In the past my skin care routine barely existed. It consisted of me occasionally using that Maybelline expert eyes make remover and maybe a make up wipe here and there. You know that product! We all used it one point. Not to mention this was the old expert eyes formula, so my eyes would feel as if they were about to fall out and burn until I drifted into lala land.
Now that I’ve gotten older, and, by older I mean I’ve reached the age when science says wrinkles form, I decided to take better care of my skin. You know, so I can look like this forever…
Also, being that I’m a brown girl, over the years I’ve experienced some hyper-pigmentation in repeat areas. I figured it was high time I addressed those suckers!
Additionally, I like make-up :). That in itself is reason enough to take care of your skin…
[NB. You have to eat well! What goes in WILL come out, usually on your face at that]
What do I use?
To start I like to use the Neutrogena Hydrating make-up remover wipes. I alternate between this packaging and the light blue, but this one in particular smells better. As earlier mentioned this step was basically the only step I used to take in high school, which probably explains my many breakouts. Mind you, I didn’t wear much make up then, but I’ve since learned that skin care is essential whether you do or don’t cake your face!
The number one mistake many people make, myself included, is to use a wipe and either go straight to bed, or wash their face once, then go to bed.
This step is optional, but it makes a considerable difference! What many fail to realize is that we have multiple layers of skin. By just using a wipe only the surface is attended to. Also, by just washing once, only the top layer of skin is being cleansed. This is how we wake up with an unsightly and unwanted mountain on our faces in the morning. I’ve been using Clinique’s Take The Day Off for almost a year now and I love it! It’s a cleansing balm and it goes on quite thick to start but quickly turns into a light milky consistency once water hits it. For the make-up days, this will reveal to you how much product is left on your face after your trusty make-up wipe. You’ll feel betrayed at first, but that’s okay! Not only does this remove the excess make-up, but I have NEVER seen a product remove mascara the way this does! No more dirty pillow cases and definitely no morning racoon eyes.
I usually get mine from the Clinique counter at any department store, however it’s also available at Sephora. It comes in a liquid form as well but the balm is better in my opinion. It’s a bit pricey and if it’s out of your budget any essential oil will do the trick as well. I like to use avocado oil as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it also leaves your skin feeling amazing! I use this if I run out of the balm.
As I mentioned, you can’t just wash your face once. You can skip the above step and just use your favourite cleaner two times in a row. As long as you remove your make-up, or if you don’t wear make-up, the debris and toxins from the day. Then after you remove that, THEN can you actually wash your face. This will reach the other layers of skin, preventing any overnight visitors from parking on your face. Trust me, with this extra step you WILL notice a difference in your skin because your skin will now in fact be fully cleansed. My face cleanser changes quite frequently. I do however look for certain things when purchasing a new one. It must be paraben free, reduce the appearance of pores, it can’t be drying and of course it must deeply cleanse. My current cleanser is a cheap drug store buy which does an amazing job. It’s by Life, a Canadian company, and it contains charcoal, which is awesome because is acts as a magnet to draw out dirt and toxins. It also gently exfoliates. I like to use the Clinique sonic cleansing brush to gently lift the dirt off my face. I pump the product onto the brush and get right in there! I’ve had it for the past 2 1/2 years and it does a fantastic job! (It’s not pictured because I somehow managed to leave it in Barcelona 🙁 I’ve yet to get a replacement- SOON!)
If I need extra exfoliation, which is usually right after a hormonal breakout ( don’t you just HATE those?! Aunty Flow is a NUISANCE!), or I’ll use it as a preventative measure if I feel a bump coming on. My go to is by LUSH and it’s the Ocean Salt scrub which contains vodka and lemon to help remove any pore blockages and brighten the skin. It’s a bit intense, but my skin is relatively sensitive and it does a good job. Just work it in with your own desired force. It’s for face and body- WIN.
If my face is TOO far gone I use a mask. I recently tried a sample of the Glam Glow Super Mud mask and fell head over heels! It worked wonders! But.. yes BUT that bad boy is $79 BEFORE tax… Idkkkk! I’ll think about it. For now, samples will do 😛
I use paper towel or a freshly washed white cotton wash cloth to dry my face as germs can live in reused towels. Germs=clogged pores=breakouts
PAT to dry!
You do all this before you go to sleep?! Yes! 3 more quick steps..
TONE YOUR FACE!
This is an important step because we’ve just stripped our faces. Toning not only nourishes and soothes skin but it also helps with moisturising it. Additionally it restores the pH level to the skin. Super important! My ALL TIME favourite is Thayers Cucumber Witch Hazel! Witch hazel is so bomb and I recommend it to everyone. Not only does it do all of the above but it acts as the best spot treatment! One quick squeeze then a healthy amount of witch hazel will ensure that in the morning the culprit is done-zo! Works like a charm every time! I use some cotton pads and PAT it onto my skin. Don’t rub it pulls the skin. Pulled skin leads to wrinkles and we are too young for alla’dat. This particular one has cucumbers in it which I love because they help with dark circles, under eye puffiness, can tighten pores, and improve uneven complexion. Why do you think spas use them so much? 🙂 The original and rose are great options as well. I also love Thayers because it’s alcohol free. The whole point here is to add moisture and nourishment; alcohol does the opposite.
Because skin can seemingly become immune to products I like to keep a back up around that I’ll use a few times a month to give my skin a reset. Aveeno’s positively radiant toner is my current back up. It’s a cheap alternative and does the job but it has some junk in there that I’m not too fond of. I’m on a hunt for another back up. It’s also alcohol free.Serums are an overlooked item mainly because they’re pricey and seemingly unimportant. They are filled with many hydrating properties that penetrate the skin faster and more efficiently. They have more room in their solution for cell communicating ingredients, anti-ageing ingredients and antioxidants. Unlike moisturizers that use that room for emollients and thickeners to do just that, moisturize the skin. If you have oily skin you can use a serum without any moisturizer. This should be used day and night along with an spf moisturizer. The one that I’m in love with is by Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins and it’s the Mega Bright formula. It’s all natural and has definitely helps with my hyper-pigmentation. I saw results after the first week of usage. It also leaves my skin super smooth. You know how I apply this right? I PAT it in!
In any skincare line serums are EXPENSIVE! There’s no way around it! They contain all that goodness in them.. Your skin will thank you for it, I promise! It’s one of the best long term relationships you can get into. Plus, you don’t need to apply much! One bottle should last you months. I use this both morning and night.
Last, but certainly not least, the moisturizer. This will lock in all the moisture and keep your skin supple. If you’re prepping for the day this will help protect your skin from toxins and debris in the air, or, alternatively can prep your skin for make-up. Skin tends to repair itself overnight so this step is perfect for sealing in all the prior steps to ensure we wake up glowing. I was using these in rotation but I have only been reaching for my Dr. Andrews for Origins Mega Bright moisturizer with SPF 30 here lately. It’s oil free and it leaves my skin looking so radiant. A little goes a VERY long way! Too much can leave you feeling greasy- which I hate! This is a good thing, because so little is needed it lasts a really long time. I try to use a q-tip when applying to prevent any germs from contaminating the product but truthfully I forget..often lol. This mositurizer has all natural ingredients in it which is awesome for the over all health of my skin but also it contains SPF which is the number one wrinkle preventer! Also a little tip, if you experience hyper-pigmentation, the last thing you want is the sun to hit those spots causing them to get darker and prolonging their tenancy on your face. No thanks! SPF should be your bff, especially in the summer!
I also use this both morning and night.
I PAT this product in as well. PAT PAT PAT! No rubbing mmkay?
And that’s it! It seems like a lot but its not! The more you do it the quicker it becomes. Plus taking that additional 10 minutes before bed will definitely show in your skin. We only have one face- let’s love on it a little…