Skincare Routine

I thought I would do one big blog entry about the skincare products I use and my daily regimen. Since the weather’s sort of in that in-between phase — some days it still feels like winter and other days it feels like mid-spring — I’ve decided to include all the products I use during the cold and warm months. When I find something I like I don’t usually stray from it so there’s really not a whole lot of products that I use. 

My skin is dry to very dry so I don’t usually wash my face in the morning. The most I’ll do is splash my face with some water when I’m in the shower.

After I dry off, I spritz a little toner on my face and gently pat it into my skin with my hands (ETA: I forgot to mention that I usually decant my toners into travel sized spray bottles. I’ve found that I use way less product misting my face compared to pouring the toner out onto a cotton pad.) I usually choose 1 out of the 4 toners here: the Boscia tonic, La Mer mist, Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner, or rosewater. Honestly, the Boscia, La Mer and Mario Badescu aren’t any better or worse than my $1.99 rosewater from Walgreens so in the future I’ll be sticking with the cheapie.

After toner, I apply Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment. You can probably tell that I’m almost finished with the tube I have, and when I am I’ll definitely be purchasing another tube. I love this stuff. It contains 2% salicylic acid, has a light gel texture, absorbs super fast into the skin, smells like cucumber, and keeps my skin clear.

Next, I moisturize my face. I’m currently using the L’Oreal Youth Code Day/Night Cream. It has a rich, creamy texture and smells kind of like cologne. I’ll do a more detailed review on this product soon.

I don’t feel like I get enough moisture from the Youth Code cream alone so in the mornings I’ll apply a second moisturizer with some sun protection on top of that. Right now I’m using the Clean and Clear moisturizer with SPF. I’m not in love with it but I feel like I need to use it up. It’s a pretty light moisturizer that absorbs into the skin very quickly. The downside is it’s very highly fragranced with a floral/powder scent. The bottle I have is the old packaging; Clean and Clear now calls it their Pore Perfecting moisturizer but the ingredients are still exactly the same.

After that, I usually apply sunscreen. The one I used to use was Neutrogena’s Ultra Dry Touch sunscreen but lately I’ve been using Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Liquid sunscreen. It’s okay, nothing special.

The next step is makeup, and then to keep my face moisturized throughout the day I’ll spritz my face with a homemade glycerin/water spray which also makes my skin look dewy.

Here’s an example of my typical skincare Day routine:

  1. Splash face with water in the shower
  2. Rosewater toner
  3. Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment
  4. L’Oreal Youth Code Day/Night Cream
  5. Clean and Clear SPF moisturizer
  6. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid sunscreen
  7. Glycerin/Water spray after I finish applying my makeup

I tend to stick to mostly the same products for my nighttime routine, adding a few heavier and more moisturizing products as well as some cleansers and scrubs.

At night I wash my face with either Purity cleanser (meh, nothing special) or the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Cream Wash, and I follow that up with any 1 out of the 4 toners that I mentioned previously as well as the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment.

After that I apply my serum which is currently (and has been for the past year or so) Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex.

The next step is moisturizer. I’m still using my Mario Badescu eye gel to moisturize my under-eye area. Honestly, I think specialized cream for the under-eyes is a marketing gimmick and I won’t be buying any more eye creams in the future.

After eye cream I use my L’Oreal Youth Code Day/Night cream and if my skin is feeling drier than normal I’ll apply a few drops of oil to my face (jojoba, sweet almond oil or Vitamin E oil). Otherwise, I’ll just use my beloved Cerave cream.

If for any reason my skin is freaking out, super dry or peeling like mad I’ll apply a thin layer of Vaseline (yes, that’s right, Vaseline) straight to my face after using facial moisturizer. Vaseline acts like a barrier between the skin and the air, sealing in all the moisture from the serums and creams that I’ve painstakingly applied to my skin for the whole night. However, using Vaseline on my face is a pretty rare occurrence — it’s only for emergencies — and whenever I do I’ll be sure to use a facial cleanser in the morning to remove the residue.

About once a week I’ll use the Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel System. I’m currently working on my 3rd kit, and one kit usually lasts a little over a year for me so I’ve been a fan of this product for 3+ years. The kit I’m using right now is in the bathroom so I’m showing you my backup kit in the photo above. I really love this scrub. It’s a fantastic dupe for the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion in a Jar. If you like thick scrubs with superfine exfoliating particles, you’ll like this kit. It’s a bit pricey though so I usually wait for sales to stock up. I’m currently looking for a cheaper option and have my eyes on the St. Ives Green Tea Scrub.

My skin gets quite dry throughout the week so to keep the flakes to a minimum I usually use a more gentle scrub about twice a week. I know it sounds like I’m scrubbing way too much but I’ve tried using physical exfoliation only once a week but I just get too many flakes, which leads to clogged pores and breakouts. Some people breakout because of too much oil. I get breakouts from all the dead skin clogging my pores.

The twice-a-week scrub I’m currently using is Freeman’s Smoothing Facial Scrub from their Goodstuff Organic line. Frankly, it’s not a very good scrub. The consistency is a thick gel, kind of like aloe vera gel, but the scrubbing particles in this are useless. The particles are way too small (finer than table salt), not very abrasive, and there are simply not enough scrubbie bits in the gel to do any good. If I use A LOT of product and really massage it onto my skin I can get a tiny bit of friction…but not much. I don’t recommend this scrub.

Since the Freeman scrub is so useless and I don’t want to use too many physical exfoliants, sometimes I alternate that product with the Freeman Pineapple Enzyme mask. The fruit enzyme and glycolic and lactic acids in the mask are supposed to be gentle chemical exfoliants. I had seen/read so much hype and raves about this product which is why I got it but, honestly, I’m not sure it does anything. It feels nice and doesn’t smell bad but I don’t think it’s removing any flakes or making my skin any softer. Perhaps my skin type is just too dry or hardy for it to do any good. I still have to rely on my Olay physical scrub once a week to keep my skin smooth and flake-free.

Also, about once or twice a month I’ll use a clay face mask. The one I currently like and use is Freeman’s Revitalizing Facial Mask from their Goodstuff Organics line. Most clay masks dry my face out (the popular Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Mask felt like rope burn on my face) but this one doesn’t feel too tight or painful on me at all. I had been using the Freeman Chocolate and Strawberry Mask but the Goodstuff one is far less drying on my skin. I passed the Chocolate and Strawberry mask onto my oily skinned sister.

I used to use the Walgreens brand AHA face cream religiously but I had to stop recently. I think the formula changed when they changed the packaging. It just doesn’t seem to work as well as before and I think it’s clogging my pores. I also cut out the Neutrogena Anti Wrinkle cream from my nightly skincare routine because the retinol seemed to be drying out my skin. I experienced a similar dryness when I used the ROC retinol night cream a long time ago, too.

I always conclude my nighttime routine by applying a thick layer of N.Y.C. Lip Sliders Tinted Lip Balm to my lips. This product’s not so good if you’re looking for color payoff, but it makes an awesome overnight lip treatment. This lip balm contains so many moisturizing oils and natural butters. I slap it on at night and in the morning there’s still some left on my lips, and when I go to wipe it off with a damp towel the dry skin literally sheds off and I’m left with super smooth lips. I’m so mad that N.Y.C. discontinued this product but I stocked up and have enough to last for a long, long time.

Here’s an example of my typical skincare Night routine: (the items in red are products that I don’t use daily)

  1. Purity Cleanser
  2. Once a week, Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel Kit
  3. Twice a week, either the Freeman Facial Scrub or Freeman Pineapple Enzyme Mask
  4. Twice a month, Freeman Facial Mask
  5. Rosewater toner
  6. Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment
  7. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex
  8. Mario Badescu Eye Gel (When I run out of this product I’ll be eliminating the eye cream step from my routine completely.)
  9. L’Oreal Youth Code Day/Night Cream
  10. Oil (jojoba, sweet almond, Vitamin E), only if my skin is experiencing abnormal dryness
  11. Cerave Cream
  12. Vaseline, only if I’m experiencing a dry skin emergency
  13. N.Y.C. Lip Sliders lip balm

For my body, I have a few lotions on rotation. Right now I’m using Aveeno’s Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion, Aveeno Positively Ageless Firming Body Lotion, and Jergen’s Skin Smoothing lotion.

As for my hair, I’m not too particular. Cheap shampoos work extremely well for me and the two brands that I keep going back to are VO5 and Suave. I’m currently using the VO5 Tea Therapy Clarifying Shampoo in Vanilla Mint Tea. It took a little getting used to but I really like the scent; I have to say, though, that all I get is vanilla and no mint tea. Also, I didn’t even realize that this shampoo was for clarifying until halfway through the bottle; it’s not harsh or drying on my hair at all and I use it daily. I always buy shampoos based on the scent and whatever’s on sale, never on what the company claims it’ll do (marketing hooey, in my opinion). Another shampoo favorite of mine is the Suave Naturals in Juicy Green Apple.

I never or rarely use conditioner on my hair; I just don’t need it. Lately I’ve been experimenting with conditioning hair masks, though, just to see what they’re all about. I’m currently testing the L’Oreal Sulfate Free hair mask and the one from Moroccan Oil. The Moroccan Oil hair mask came with the oil treatment so I’m testing that out as well. I know that the oil treatment contains lots of silicone so I also got a silicone-free hair treatment oil from Mizani to compare.

The last thing I want to mention is that I always keep a large bottle of aloe vera gel on standby. It’s good for hot, humid days when my skin doesn’t need much moisture and also for sunburn relief.


3 thoughts on “Skincare Routine

  1. >I'm totally taking notes on this post. Fellow dry skin gal that suffers from breakouts due to dry skin here. It's so much fun. Lately, all I've been doing is washing/exfoliating in the shower and splashing cold water and it has seemed to calm things down a bit.

  2. >Wow that's a lot of products!:D Do you have a review of the NYC lip balm? I'd love to hear what you think about that. Thank you! 😀 Thanks for following too, btw 🙂

  3. >@Jeweled Thumb Fun, fun LOL 😉 My sister and I joke all the time about our skin(s). I always tell her that if I could give her some of my dryness and she could give me some of her oiliness (she has the oiliest skin I've ever seen) we'd both have perfect skin. @AyaHaha. Yeah, after looking at all the products lined up in the photos it looks massive. Most of the products are on rotation so I don't use them all at once. That would be insane, although I have seen some people who do use 10 or more products at once and it seems to work for them so to each their own, I guess ^.^Yep, I have have reviews up for the lip balm. You can check them out here:

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