If you are anything like I was…
then a skincare routine is not on your list of priorities. You’re probably like Uh, I wash my face…sometimes. That’s all I need. Then this post is for you. If you sleep with makeup on. This post is for you. If when I say ‘toner’ and ‘serum’ you think of the office printer that still hasn’t produced those reports you printed last week, and Harry Potter. THIS POST IS…..well you get the idea. Sorry to burst your bubble, it is time to step up your skincare game. Trust me you and your face will thank me later 😉
*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure here.*
Ain’t nobody got time for that…
If I was now, who I was then I’d be right along with you. I was too busy working, hanging with friends, going to nursing school, and depending on the time frame; ‘dating.’ The thought of washing my face. Then toning it (whatever that means.) Followed by oils, serums, lotions, creams, and exfoliators were overwhelming. Some people even say some products cause you to need it MORE if you stop. Nah, nope, not for me.
Then shit got real…
Ok, skip forward some. I got pregnant. Yay! queue the joy! Right before the disaster. My skin FREAKED OUT! Foundation was cracking, falling into fine lines. You could see the flakes of skin and you didn’t even need to be up close. Of course, I think; I’ll just exfoliate it’ll be fine, except it wasn’t fine and I even made it worse by overdoing it. It got so bad that I almost cried. I had tried 7, SEVEN different foundations ranging from sheer to hydrating full coverage. All drugstore brands, because now it’s not about time it’s about money. I was washing every day. Without researching at all got a day cream and ‘nourishing’ facial oil (Hint, the ingredient in the oil was used to dry out over oily skin…). Nothing was working. This is when I returned everything that I could and decided to get some advice from people who may know a thing or two more than me.
Sephora, you the real MVP
Yes, I went to Sephora, barefaced found the first person I could and told them my problems. She promptly had me talk to another woman about it all. She was like the encyclopedia of what was going on with my skin. I got a new primer, foundation, moisturizer, and cleanser that day. As well as kicked that oil and day cream to the curb they were making it worse! After just a week of getting on a skincare routine, sticking to it, and being patient. My skin was and still is better than before getting pregnant. I got “pregnancy glow” comments before that phase even set in and some have said it seems like it never went away 6 months later.
What is it, what do you need, where do you start
A proper skincare routine nourishes, protects, and tames your skin. There are some things that can be used no matter what skin type you are and some things tailored to specific needs. Where you start is finding out what are those needs for you. Do you have normal skin, oily skin, dry skin, combination skin?
Normal – You don’t find yourself overly dry nor do you feel greasy mid day
Oily – Your skin over produces its natural oils for several reasons. Maybe it is dehydrated and it is trying to pick up the slack. Maybe they are just a little outta wack thinking you need more when you don’t.
Dry – Pretty self-explanatory. Dry, patchy, flaky skin. Possibly itchy a lot.
C-C-C-Combo – Some spots are dry (like chin and cheeks) others are oily (forehead, eyes, nose) or maybe you go from being dry all over to being oily all over day by day or week by week.
I have combination skin where sometimes I can fry an egg with how much oil is on my forehead to my whole face being dry and irritated. So the products I’m going to share with you have helped me with that. Although I know my facewash and moisturizer would work for just about anyone.
Step one, wash.
This is obviously the most important step. You don’t want to be rubbing all the gunk into your face with all the stuff you just got to help your skin. This needs to happen twice a day. Morning and night. You want to start the day fresh and end the day fresh. I use Soap & Glory’s Vitamin C Facial Wash. This is seriously amazing stuff. The little beads very gently exfoliate making your skin baby soft smooth. You’ll notice a difference right away. This is one I would suggest anyone give a go no matter your skin type. You can also find this at Target.
Step two, tone.
Think about what it means to tone your body. Now, apply that same concept to what toners are to your face. They are meant to get your skin into shape. Reducing pores, evening out skin tones, reducing redness. There are everyday toners like Burt’s Bees Rosewater Toner. This product just simply helps remove any excess dirt from the skin and with its anti-inflammatory properties calms the skin. Another great one is Thayer Witch Hazel Toner. The brand is all natural and offers multiple different types including cucumber and lavender. You can use these during your routine and throughout the day to freshen up your skin.
Then there are specific and exfoliating AHA/BHA (Alpha and Beta hydroxyl acid) toners like Pixi Glow Tonic (AHA) and Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner (AHA/BHA combo). These toners are chemical exfoliators and I explain all about them in my blog post here.
The basic rundown is they help loosen and lift away the dead skin your body naturally shreds while helping retain your skin’s natural moisture. Depending on which hydroxyl acid it contains (there are a few different ones) they can target more specific issues like fine lines, pores, and acne. These toners should only be used once to twice a day. After cleansing and your regular toner but before the next step. Also, I’d stay away from any harsh physical exfoliators like face scrubs and wash scrubs if you use a AHA/BHA regularly as too much unnecessary exfoliating can have opposite desired results.
Step three, serum. (if you arn’t using a AHA/BHA)
Serums are concentrated vials of nourishing powerhouses. You can find a serum for just about anything. I use one for fine lines as I have these little lines under my eyes that I’ve had forever, and dark circles. The Buffet from The Ordinary is doing great with that! It’s basically a whole lot of peptides and other great things in one hence the name. I like to put enough to make a thin ‘wet’ layer on my face and let it seep in from there till just about dry. It’ll feel a little sticky but that goes away after the next step. You can find more specialty ones if you just have one or two issues that need tending. This one for hydration or this one for acne.
Step four, moisturize.
Now I’ve done a few moisturizers here and there and none really ever stood out as in I couldn’t see the difference. Which is the main reason why I probably stopped keeping up with it. Till I found this amazing little miracle stuff in a bottle. Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer by First Aid Beauty. This stuff is seriously a holy grail if you will of skincare and it’s not even that expensive! I put two little dots on each cheek and I get it around my whole face. Meaning, I use very little and it lasts a long time.
That’s really not that much now, is it?
Those are your basic essentials for the beginning of a glorious and proper skincare routine, use for both day and night. This whole process takes me 5-10 minutes. There are more things like eye creams, exfoliants both physical and chemical, treatments, and face masks. What to use during the day and what to use at night. I’ll be doing another article covering all that at a later time.
Quick last tips:
#1. Do what works for you. The products I mentioned are what works for me and that I love but everyone is different. If any products irritate your skin or cause any stinging sensations then discontinue use.
#2. TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP AT NIGHT.
#3. Stick to it, consistency is what is going to get you results and after you achieve them. KEEP GOING.