My skincare routine is constantly evolving. It's difficult to figure what works since the effects are often slow to show. I've picked up a few things here and there by reading reviews from bloggers with similar sounding skin to mine, so I thought it might be helpful to share my current skincare routine. In general, I have combination skin. My T-zone is especially oily in the summer, but normal in the winter. My skin is sensitive to a number of makeup and skincare products and often gets irritated or breaks out in small bumps along my cheeks or forehead if its not happy. In this post, I've listed my current favorite skincare products and how I use them. Enjoy!
1. St. Ives Green Tea Scrub -This is my current favorite exfoliator (and I have many). I use it daily, usually in the shower. Exfoliating is so important for my skin; it removes excess dead skin that can harbor acne causing bacteria and helps skincare ingredients penetrate better. St. Ives Green Tea scrub has many small size grains (similar to Philosphy) and a pleasant smell. It's on the more aggressive end of my exfoliators and has salicylic acid for skin turnover.
2. Avene Cleanance Soapless gel cleanser - This has replaced Philosophy Purity as my favorite facial cleanser. It foams only slightly, but massages around the face easily. I only need a very small amount each time so the bottle will last a long time. Somehow this Cleanance cleanser gives me the deep clean feeling I need while being gentle and non-irritating. I think I can actually tell the difference if I stop using this cleanser which really surprised me. I also find the thermal water scent relaxing.
Note: I haven't listed a makeup remover here since I'm still working on a favorite. However, it's a key step! Even the best face washes might not be good enough to break down the last traces of foundation.
3. Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax hand creme - I apply to the back of my hands once in the morning and once at night. I've gone through a number of tubs in the past. This winter I thought I could get by with regular lotion, however that caused me to have dry and dusky hands all season long. Burt's Bees beeswax is the only thing that can save my dry hands when they're chapped. I even recall receiving a compliment on the quality of my hands one winter thanks to this.
4. Kirkland Borghese Intensive Eye Serum - This was a great find; it's cost effective and convenient. I use this serum both in the morning and at night. It's a serum, but it has a really thick (as opposed to runny) consistency that is almost cream-like. It's a bit lighter than your typical eye cream, but I like that since I have young eyes that do have some natural oil this is better for me. I even apply it to my lids during the day without worrying that my shadow will run. The pump dispenser is really practical and makes my routine much faster and more hygienic than digging into a tub. My eye area does seem to have improved. I think it's partially due to the product, and partially due to my daily consistency thanks to ease of use. Also, this is paraben free.
5. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - I use this only as spot treatment for breakouts and it does work to reduce acne size. It contains benzoyl peroxide which is a drying acne medication. I think you are supposed to use it all over the face, however it might be too harsh for me to do that at this point.
6. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum - I try to use this nightly. A while back I had a sample and used it every day just to use the thing up. However, I noticed that the serum cleared up some breakouts and discoloration over time. This is a pricey product that I believe works.
7. Avalon Organics Vitamin C facial serum - I use this daily under facial cream, and sometimes alone. This is a product that seems balance my skin. If my skin is being really irate, I'll just wear this alone to avoid potential unknown irritants in other products. It has a brightening effect, which I'll guess may be from the acidity of Vitamin C. I've used up a few bottles of this and will keep using it.
8. Avalon Organics Vitamin C facial creme - This is my current day and night moisturizer. You might have noticed that I've simplified my day and night to be similar. It's partially for convenience and partially so I can identify what products actually are working/notworking for my sensitive skin. Since I do have some oil on my skin, I don't really need a heavy duty night creme at this point in time. The Avalon Organics Vitamin C facial creme is a new product for me. It's thicker and almost waxier than a normal cream. I pick up some with my fingers, warm it slightly, and pat it on. It's not really easy to smear. I like that it's not oily, yet I feel like it gives a waxy(?) barrier to keep my skin from drying out. I'm not sure if it's love, but it's ok so far. I like the shorter ingredient list and that it's paraben free.
Note: I haven't found a facial cream that I really love yet. I've tried numerous department store samples and nothing really made an impression, save for Clinique's gel lotion which made my skin red and irritated, and a 'youth regenerating' cream that seemed to age my skin. Lately, I've been exploring drugstore options.
10. Vaseline- My lips have been unbelievably chapped and Vaseline is the only thing that seems to fix that. I apply a light layer in the morning and at night. I know petroleum isn't supposed to be good for you, but I haven't found an effective alternative yet. It's on my list of things to do.
Thanks for reading about the products in my current skincare routine! Have you tried any of these? Do you have any skincare must-haves or recommendations?