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?
OMG i went to lush today and was like hmm should i get this tea tree toner? ive used it in the past and dont know if it works either...but i like this toner the most when the season is warmer and my skin becomes more oily!ReplyDelete
Where do you purchase the Borhese eye treatment? sounds good! i need an anti wrinkle cream for my eyes badly ive been out but i think i may try shisiedo's
Glad you are enjoying the Avene! i really also like their gentle gel cleanser in conjunction with the clearance one! the most non irritating acne cleanser i ever tried! works nicely with the clarasonic!
Hi J- lol! I don't know if it can make miracles but at least it's refreshing and I like the way it smells. I'm dreading the summer weather a bit since I know my face will get quite oily too! The Borghese is from Costco (Kirkland is like the Costco brand). It's Under $20 for 1oz. I'd love to hear if you decide to try the Shiseido. I really want their other cleanser too after reading your blog. Maybe a clarisonic too to go with it :PDelete
I prefer natural and organic skin care. I am glad you like Avalon Organics, I have been wanting to try the line for a while now.ReplyDelete
Me too! I try to use more natural when possible. I'd def recommend the serum --- I think that seems to be their most popular :)Delete
I love skincare routines! Thanks for posting :)ReplyDelete
I've heard a lot about vitamin C for your skin -- I think I read on a blog that the girl used Emergen-C or Airborne as a travel exfoliant. I kind of want to try it but I have such an exfoliation addiction, I'm afraid to add another product to the mix :P
Thank you for reading! I can't believe someone used Airborne as exfoliant, but I suppose why not. It's vitamin laden! I actually like to take an Airborne a day if I can remember it. I usu. feel better that way!Delete
I think french pharmacies make the best skincare. combined with vit c, it's the perfect routine. my hubs is using the tea tree toner and he loves it. I have super dry skin and it didn't work as well. I love looking at other people skincare routines, always fun to see, what others use and sweare by :DReplyDelete
Hi Claire, thank you for such an encouraging comment! I love reading about skincare too--- it helps me pickup tidbits here and there! Have you tried the LUSH Eau Roma toner? That seems milder and I've wanted to try it for a while now :)Delete
I did! it smelled very calming and relaxing but for my very dry skin it didn't do much. I used it before my mu as a base. I also noticed some breakouts (after 2 week of constant use). I think for combo-dry it would be better. I prefer my caudalie beauty elixir: smells even better, lol.Delete
If you're looking for an alternative from Vaseline, I highly suggest a tub of Aquaphor for your lips. I've been using it every night on extremely chapped lips and keep waking up with plump normal lips. It's amazing! It's basically like Vaseline (main ingredient) but it works really really well for me! Especially since Blistex does nothing but dry my lips more!ReplyDelete
Hi Annick, I've heard good things about Aquaphor too, but I've never tried it! I really need to make a mental note of that. I know that like you vaseline really helps me wake up with good lips; I agree that some lip balms don't help the situation!Delete
Coconut oil for your lips. It's a lot lighter than Vaseline, and you don't get petroleum! Slathering some on at night always guarantees me soft lips. Plus, you can use it for oodles of other things.ReplyDelete
Oh that does sound nice! I wonder where I can get some. I would definitely give that a go, especially if there was a little lingering coconut scent added. Thanks for the tip :)Delete
I was looking at that Avene gel cleanser earlier today, it is like you read my mind! I really like the look of it and am thinking of trying it out. Paw Paw seems to be touted as a better alternative to vaseline- also honey within balms is a really great moisturiser :DReplyDelete
Hi EB! Haha, awesome! I love when things like that happen :) I've never seen Paw Paw --- is it an aussie brand? I love honey too-- I used to have a Burt's Bees honey flavored balm onceDelete
I love the tea tree toner! I ran out a few months ago and I need to go get some more! That vitamin C serum looks great - I was going to try the philosophy product, but I think I'll try the Avalon one first!ReplyDelete
Hi Kelly- hehe, I think we share the same love for LUSH! I hope the serum works for you :)Delete
Hi Dovey :) If you can get it I think you'd like the Bioderma Crealine H20 to remove makeup. Have you tried Dermalogica Active moist as a cream? It has a mattifying effect you might like in summer. I am oily so I don't really use a night cream except in the coldest months, and I use tinted moisturizer during the day so sorry I'm not more helpful!ReplyDelete
Hi Sarah, thanks so much for the suggests! I have heard of Bioderma and would love to try it. It seems to get good reviews! I will also look up Dermalogica active. Mattifying sounds good to me :)Delete
I just got that Burt's Bees Almond Milk Hand Cream, now I'm glad that you're using it as well! I'll have to check out those Avalon Organics products as well. It's funny, but when I got my Effaclar Duo in Europe 2 years ago, it didn't contain any benzoyl peroxide! Maybe they reformulataed since then?ReplyDelete
Hi Rocaille - what a coincidence! I just ran out, so I'll have to get another one for myself. I'm glad you told me about the Effaclar European formula. That is so strange; I double checked my tube and it definitely says BP on the active ingredients list. I wonder if that is due to location or a general formula change.Delete
I've been trying out the Body Shop Aloe toner, which is weird to me after using Clinique's for so many years. It's refreshing - has a bit of a zing - but then my skin is left feeling moisturized afterward, too. My current HG lip balm is Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment - nothing else really works as well! The price tag is a bit much, though, haha.ReplyDelete
As for makeup remover, I'm using Clinique's milk right now (as you know, haha), but I've tried Boscia's oil in the past and really liked it!
Hi Larie, that actually sounds really nice---- I think I'd like the Zing, and aloe sounds quite relaxing for the skin. I'm intrigued! I also used cliniques forever--- I still have about half of the super-size Clinique toner on my vanity that I use from time to time. I really want to try Fresh sugar (I'm glad that it's the Sephora gift this year!)Delete
You've got me interested in... well, everything! LOL The Lush toner sounds perfect for my oily skin in the summer.ReplyDelete
Hi Liz--- =D I think you're right--- it probably will be nicer in the summer. I certainly need freshening up then too.Delete
I love skincare posts! Mine is always semi changing. Right now I'm loving The Body Shops Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream (I add a drop or two of Bio Oil for my dry winter skin). Also I got CVS's brand of Neutrogena Ageless intensives deep wrinkle eye cream (was on sale for $5).ReplyDelete
Hi Yessie, Thanks! I love them too--- and mine is always changing too :) Thank you for the recommendation! This is the second vote for Body Shop skincare I've seen; I've always been focused on their bath and body products. I will take a look next time I'm near the store!ReplyDelete
Great post! I'm a big fan of the Avene cleanser too. As you said, it really does give you that deep clean feeling without being harsh or drying, and the bottle lasts for ages. I've just started using a product from the La Roche Posay Effaclar range, too (Effaclar K), and I'm really liking it so far. I might have to give the duo a go at as well.ReplyDelete
Hi Nat!! It's good to hear from you. Thanks for the recommendation; I haven't tried Effaclar K, but I've been thinking about that one too :)Delete
oh i love the avalon vitamin C serum!ReplyDelete
it is one of the few inexpensive serums that actually gives visible effects. :)
Hi Lena I think so too. Visible effects are so hard to come by (especially the GOOD visual effects :)Delete
so many great suggestions! i've been meaning to try la roche possay, but i haven't heard of the kirkland serum or the avene cleanser. do you find that the avene cleanser removes makeup away as well as philosophy purity?ReplyDelete
Thanks Jess! The Kirkland line is made by Borghese, specifically for Costco :) I wish I could answer the question better, but I haven't tried Avene for makeup removal! I did use philosophy in the past and found that it did remove makeup pretty well, but not well enough for my skin! So for that reason I use two steps (removal AND cleansing)Delete