January 5, 2012

Shine From Within: Skincare Routine

When it comes to beauty, I get alot of question regarding my skincare routine. It's kind of an odd compliment, but lately I have been getting alot of "damn, your skin is so nice!" and other variations. Of course I say thank you, but I'm secretly laughing to myself... if they only knew how HORRIBLE my skin actually is!

Over the years, I've had way too many late nights of partying, not enough water, and too many nights of "forgetting" (aka being too lazy) to take off my makeup. This has led my skin to where it is today: a hot mess. However, this skincare routine that I've been doing for the past 6 months or so has nursed my skin back to life!

I have combination/oily skin during the summer months and extremely dry skin in the winter months. Because of this, I definitely change my skin care routine accordingly! That is the number one mistake most people make: they don't realize that their skin changes, and that they must change their routine accordingly!

I also have become a big fan of inexpensive products... Alot of the things I use can be found in your average drugstore! I used to be a snob and would only use high-end products, but who can afford that? Unless you are a celebrity with a fat paycheck, we can all afford to save a few dollars ;-)

My Actual Routine:

This seems pretty obvious, but people ask about it so I will share it anyway!
I do have a morning and evening routine that I try to stick to diligently!

1) I splash my face with cold water. This not only wakes me up, but it refreshes my skin! This is perfect for the morning because I like to have a clean base for putting on my makeup. I do not cleanse my skin in the morning.
2) I pat my face with a soft towel. I don't rub -- I pat! Seems insignificant, but it's not. It's less harsh on your skin.
3) I apply my moisturizer of choice, and let it sink in while I'm doing my hair or brushing my teeth.
4) If it's been a rough night, and I have puffy eyes when I wake up, I apply an under eye serum to help ease the scary under eye bags I can have!
5) I then apply a face primer and wait an additional 1-2 minutes to let the primer sink in and do my makeup for the day!

1) Remove all my makeup with face & eye makeup removing products.
2) Wash my face with a cleanser & my clarisonic cleansing tool.
3) Pat my face dry.
4) Apply serums that I'm using and skip to step 6.
5) Slather on a heavy lotion, normally heavy because I will be sleeping and this is a good time to deep moisturize the skin.
6) Apply special spot treatments.
7) This is my final and most important step that I have been doing for years that have eliminated smile lines and prevented crows feet: Apply Vaseline to my eyelids and surrounding eye areas, as well as on my lips to make them smooth & moisturized. I do not have a single wrinkle at 22. ALOT of my friends have a ton. Trust me, this step works.

1) Use an exfoliant if you do not use the clarisonic system as the clarisonic acts at an exfoiliant so its not so necessary to do this if you use that regularly in your skincare routine. Or you could try a facial cleansing brush.
2) Use a facial mask. I even get lazy about this one, but I swear it does seem to help regarding buildup within pores, oil control, and overall skin health.

Products I Use:

Clean & Clear Makeup Removing Cleanser: I have NEVER used such an amazing makeup remover. I do not use this as a cleanser, but as a makeup remover. It takes off my heavy-duty MAC foundation like nothing else has. It isn't so great with eye makeup, but that's ok in my book! I like to use a specific eye makeup remover to make sure I've taken off everything anyway! :-) I just actually stocked up on this product from my local Grocery Outlet, as I believe it's being discontinued! Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you have the opportunity to find this, try it!!

Clean & Clear Deep Facial Cleanser: This is my number one cleanser. I talk about this in my beauty favorite's post, and I can't say anything bad about it! It's creamy, so it doesn't dry my skin out, and it's not a harsh cleanser but it leaves your skin tingling so you KNOW its working! It prevents my breakouts before it starts. I use this after the makeup removing cleanser that I rave about above and I use this creamy cleanser with my clarisonic.

* Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover: This is the best eye makeup remover I have ever tried. It's been a favorite of mine for years. I put a dab on a cotton pad, and hold it over my eye for about 10 seconds so that the eye makeup breaks down, and then swipe it all away! Works wonders... and it's inexpensive! :-)

$7.99: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/neutrogena-oil-free-eye-makeup-remover/ID=prod1401629-product

* Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes: I have recently replaced using these with the Clean & Clear Makeup Removing Cleanser, but if I ever run out of that cleanser, I will go back to these! They take off almost all of my face makeup. I can't stress enough how important it is to take the makeup off of your face BEFORE you cleanse! Cleansing & makeup removing are two different steps. Alot of people try to consolidate these into one, but you aren't doing yourself a favor!

$5.99: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/neutrogena-makeup-remover-cleansing-towelettes-refill-pack/ID=prod728010-product

* Cetaphil Daily Facial SPF 15 Moisturizer:

$11.19: http://www.drugstore.com/cetaphil-daily-facial-moisturizer-spf-15-fragrance-free/qxp58258?catid=169449&fromsrch=cetaphil

* Beverly Hills Decade Peel Exfoliation Serum: So I let me beloved Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector leave my skincare routine since it was so expensive... and let's be honest, I'm cheap! This gem retails at $120.00 for only 2 ounces of product, but I found this at my local Grocery Outlet for $10.00! I've been using it 3-4x per week at night instead of moisturizer, and I've noticed such a difference in my overall skintone, texture, and my scars! If you have a similar problem or would just like to have a more youthful glow, this product will do the trick! Found it on amazon for a very low price as well ;-)

$14.00: http://www.amazon.com/Beverly-Hills-Decade-Exfoliation-Serum/dp/B004WXSPOO/ref=sr_1_2?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1325790671&sr=1-2

* Clinique Eye De-Puffer: I actually received this as a sample when I bought the Clinique Even Better Serum and let me tell you, this might just become a part of my skincare routine. I work alot and maintain an active social life, so on those days I wake up and I'm exhausted -- and it shows -- I used this under my eyes. It definitely helps my under eye area.

$26.00: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P257537&categoryId=B70

* Clean & Clear Deep Cleaning Oil-fighting Astringent: Even when removing my makeup, cleansing with the Clarisonic, and rinsing my face, I can still have some built-up grime on my face thanks to my full-coverage foundation! I swipe this on my face with a cotton pad and it takes care of any gunk still deep in my pores! You can feel this working with a tingling sensation left all over your face!

$6.76: http://www.amazon.com/Clean-Clear-Cleaning-Astringent-Oil-fighting/dp/B003TOZIN8/ref=sr_1_6?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1325792282&sr=1-6

* Clarisonic: Ladies, THIS IS A MUST HAVE. It's amazing. I took my time to buy this, as it is pricey, but it is so worth it. It's an overall investment in your skincare routine. You can use any cleanser with this, and it takes off the remainder of the makeup on my face that I didn't realize was still on there. My skin has never been softer, my pores have never been smaller. There are different brush heads if you have sensitive skin, and it's just basically amazing. If you have any questions, tweet @clarisonic and they actively answer people's questions about this skincare system!

$120: http://www.amazon.com/Clarisonic-Mia-Skin-Cleansing-System/dp/B002XURD32/ref=sr_1_3?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1325792544&sr=1-3

* Queen Helene Face Mask: This mask looks extremely ghetto, right? Well, it doesn't matter because it is the best spot treatment and face mask I've ever used! I'd compare it to the ProActive clay mask even -- except this is a fraction of the cost. It dries out your skin a bit after using as a mask, but what clay mask doesn't?! You can also use this as an overnight spot treatment on an oncoming pimple!

$3.99: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/queen-helene-mint-julep-masque/ID=prod7481-product

* St. Ive's Natural Face Scrub: If you don't use a clarisonic, I recommend using this product 1-2 times a week. It's a little rough if you have sensitive skin, but if you don't, I would try this out to exfoliate the dead skin cells off of your face. I don't actively use this anymore, as the clarisonic exfoliates every time I cleanse, and over exfoliation is a big no-no for your skin!

$3.49: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/st.-ives-naturally-clear-blemish-%26-blackhead-control-apricot-scrub/ID=prod5564512-product

* Vaseline: I NEVER GO WITHOUT VASELINE!!!! This is my number one beauty secret... I use this sometimes as a moisturizer too. The thinnest layer can provide the best moisture to thirsty skin and a barrier for harsh environments! I also use this on my eyelids & my lips overnight. If you want to learn about more uses of this wonder product, google it. There are too many to list here. Every person needs this product, man or woman!

$2.29: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/vaseline-100-pure-petroleum-jelly-skin-protectant/ID=prod4572-product

* Clean & Clear Acne Spot Treatment: If a pimple has popped up and I couldn't spot treat it with the Queen Helene mask I mentioned above, I'll use this during the day over my makeup! All you need is a thin layer and it gets rid of my breakouts within 24hrs!

$6.99: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/clean-%26-clear-advantage-acne-spot-treatment/ID=prod728024-product

My Skincare Tips & Tricks:

1.) DO NOT skip your face routine for anything! We have all had those nights where we are too tired to wash our faces... or too drunk? Ha! Find the motivation and get up and do it! You will thank me later.
2.) Drink a ton of water. I personally am not a fan of the taste of water in the city... I add lemon juice so that I enjoy the flavor of it! :-)
3.) Avoid Caffeine! I've eliminated my caffeine consumption in recent months and it makes a difference. I'm constantly on the go, so coffee is my best friend... but I limit myself to only 2 cups, or the equivalent (redbull anyone?), per day. Growing up in Seattle (coffee capital of the world) it's hard since there are coffee shops everywhere, but it's good to drink it only in moderation. Switch to green tea if you can!
4.) CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES! A friend of mine had been complaining for months about her breakouts, and we had tried everything under the sun to help control them. Nothing was working. I finally asked her nonchalantly one day if she ever cleaned her makeup brushes and she revealed she had never done so. She had been using them for a good 6 months straight and hadn't cleaned them since she had purchased. DING DING DING! Bacteria builds up (ewww), clean that off!
5.) Sleep: This is obvious, but so important. Your body cannot rebuild if you don't give it a break. Sleep will prevent stress, wrinkles, and so much more. I try to get a solid 7.5-8.5 hours a night! Find your perfect sleep amount (hrs) and you'll feel so much better!
6.) Vitamins. Take them. Crush them up if you need to. BUT don't go without them! We so often don't get what we need in our diets, that this is very important. Beauty comes from within ;-)
7.) Try a Do-It-Yourself mask, they are easy to make and cheaper than expensive not-so-effective masks that are on the market.
8.) Don't touch your face. Just don't. Don't pick, don't rub, don't do any of the above. (Yes, I just rhymed)
9.) Clean your cell phone at least once a week. I am guilty of not doing this... but when I remember, I sanitize!!
10.) I probably shouldn't condone this, but here goes: if you absolutely must pop a zit, make sure it is a whitehead or a blackhead. NOT a bump that is developing. If its a whitehead or a blackhead, pop but make sure it does not bleed. Put ice over it to ease the swelling, and medicate it. If its a developing zit, skip the popping and go straight for the ice & medication.

Remember: Every time you change your skincare routine, you more-than-likely will breakout. It's your skin's way of purging the impurities and getting used to the new routine. If you are trying a new routine and your skin hasn't calmed down after a week or two, then I would re-assess your routine! The main thing to take away from this blog post is to change your skincare routine based on your needs. Be problem-area appropriate! If you have acne, let that be your focus. If you have mature skin, focus on skin cell renewal treatments. Just because the above products work for me, they may not work for you because our problem-areas could be different :-)

Hopefully you've learned some tricks from this blog post! The tips are pretty similar to my beauty ones, but hey, skincare is a part of overall beauty!

Feel free to ask questions if you have any -- good luck on your healthy skincare journey! :-)


All images found in google.com search. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. This is making me feel lazy... Lol so now I'm motivated to be more proactive about my skincare routine. It's on my liiiist.