How I Embraced a Skincare Routine

 

In the last little while I’ve really become obsessed with caring for my skin. Last Summer I saw a photo of myself, and my skin just looked like…dusty and dull. I don’t have dry skin, I’m actually pretty oily, so it wasn’t that it was just thirsty and needed a serious moisturizer but it just looked dull.

I’ve never had much of a skincare routine. The last time I did, I was about 17 and my skin was OUT of control. I was working at The Body Shop (best first job!) and of course, there we were educated all about skincare. After trying various regimes, my skin only became worse. After being SO frustrated by this, I stopped using all products. I’d wash off my makeup with soap (like LITERALLY bar soap) and in the next few months my skin cleared up big time. This skincare experience wrote a story in my head that skincare and beauty products were essentially a myth. After that, I just decided that I’d wash my face with soap, and be good to go! And for the most part it totally worked!

However, when I saw that photo, I realized that I was starting to age! Sometimes I legitimately forget how old I am - I’m 23 forever in my head. But, I’m not, actually - and while I don’t think aging is a bad thing, and that’s definitely not my sentiment, I had really neglected self-care in almost every respect over the last few years!

I have lots of amazing beauty guru friends (shoutout to my friends Tasha and Megan!) who got me on my way with recommendations. There were so many good ones I felt nervous to take the plunge as products can be expensive and you just never know what you are going to love and hate. So, to minimize the risk, I bought a few sample packs. I tried ranges from Ole Henriksen, Sunday Riley, Philosophy and more, and I’ve finally settled on a routine that really works for me.

Now, my morning and night time skincare routines are seriously my favourite part of the day - I’m seeing amazing results and have been having some amazing convos with you guys regarding skincare and self-care on IG, so I wanted to share.

When I started looking to build a routine, I found there was just SO much information out there, and since everyones skin is unique and has different needs, it was confusing.

If you’re like me and really have no idea where to start, these are the pockets you’ll want to fill (this may sound like, so basic, but honestly, this is info I didn’t have!):

  • A cleanser

  • A toner (or a double cleanse, this is what I do)

  • A serum

  • A daytime moisturizer

  • A nighttime moisturizer (in the spring summer I actually just use the same one for both seasons, but in the winter I need a night time moisturizer to combat the cold)

Okay, so that is a good place to start if you’re looking to build a routine, but for the sake of sharing I will share what I do for my skin (and frankly, for myself!):

When I wake up, the first thing I do (other than feed the cats, and start the coffee pot) is use my ice roller. I would call it my “holy grail product” but honestly, everything I’m using right now I feel is a holy grail product. So, I’ll just jump right in.

Pre-Cleanse:

Ice Roller: Anself Ice Roller

I use either pre-cleanse, or post-cleanse, before your serums/moisturizers.

Cleanser:

So, right now I’m doing a double cleanse. I feel like this has made a huge difference in my skin, especially on the days where I wear makeup! I recently made the switch from a gel cleanser to an oil cleanser, and it’s working super well for me. I know oil cleansers aren’t for everyone, so I’ll recommend both, as I do love them both, but currently I’m using the oil cleanser on the daily.

Just a caveat, before I start “cleansing” I do wipe down my face with a Neutrogena makeup remover wipe if I’ve worn makeup that day, and use these waterproof makeup remover wipes (I’ve been using these for over 10 years - they are THE BEST!). So, my skin is relatively “makeup free” before I start my routine.

Gel Cleanser: Fresh Soy Cleanser ($47) - I’m not currently using this as I mentioned, but if you’re in the market for a gel cleanser, I’d definitely recommend this!

Oil Cleanser: Softymo Oil Cleanser ($13) (that I’m using now)

And then, for my “second cleanse”, I use:

Micellar Water: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water ($8)
I’m finding it to work super well. I just douse a cotton pad and wipe my face again. Even though I’ve already wiped down, I still find that this step is wiping away extra dirt and makeup left on my skin. Obviously not much, but it does make my skin feel squeaky clean!

Serums & Acids:

After cleansing, I move onto the acids and serums stage. When I first started trying to form a routine, the first product I truly fell in love with, was Sunday Riley’s Good Genes. The price is OUTRAGEOUS, but it really transformed my skin, like honestly, instantly. After finishing off my sample size I got in a starter kit, I bit the bullet and bought a full sized bottle. However, when that bottle ran out, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy another. After watching a few different youtube reviews on whether you can really compare Good Gene’s to The Ordinary’s 10% Lactic Acid (which retails for $6.80!) I decided to give it a whirl.

I am SO happy that I did. This stuff works JUST as well and it is SO much cheaper. I will say, its not as nice to put on, as The Ordinary is literally just Lactic Acid, whereas Good Genes is more of a light moisturizer texture. But, I don’t think texture when applying is worth $193 more.

So, long story short, this is what I’ve been using:

Acid: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA ($6.80)

I’m not using a serum on top of this right now as I feel like the Lactic Acid is working well in that space, but it might be something I incorporate into my routine later.

Eye Treatments:

I think other people put their moisturizer on first, and then finish with their eye cream, but I find I need to do my eye treatments first. My under eye skin is really sensitive, and so if I am using a moisturizer with Retinol in it (which I do!) it can end up burning the skin under my eyes.

I’ve been using:

Eye Serum: Matrixyl 10% + HA ($11.20)

Eye Cream: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream ($48)

The Matrixyl has been a totaly game changer. I do also love the Banana Bright Eye Cream, and I will continue to use that, but the Matrixyl has made the skin under my eyes SO much tighter, and definitely reduced the appearance of my fine lines and wrinkles. The banana eye cream does an awesome job at reducing darkness and puffiness, and so the combo is working perfectly.

I don’t use them together, as you’re not supposed to use Peptides with Vitamin C - but I do like to rotate them!

Moisturizers:

I’ve been using these on the advice of my friend Kerri, and they are excellent! I also love that they are affordable, and from the drugstore!

Day Cream: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Day Cream ($26)

Night Cream: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night - Retinol Night Cream ($26)

Masks:

For whatever reason, I don’t love using face masks that dry and need to be washed off. I feel like I can never quite get all of the mud/clay off and it ends up in my hair. I know it’s really not a big deal, but they just seem so messy and for whatever reason I just don’t end up using them. When I heard about this sleeping mask I thought I’d give it a whirl, and it’s honestly amazing! It makes me look like I’ve had a TON of water to drink (which I’m not always the best at!) and has helped so much with evening out my skin tone. It smells delightful and is really night and smooth on the skin.

Masks: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask ($34)

And that’s about it!

That’s what I use! I know this post is quite lengthy, but I figured it was helpful to put it all in one place. If you’re wondering what exactly I’ve seen change in my skin, I’ll break it down in bullet points:

  • Fewer breakouts

  • Even skintone

  • Better and smoother texture

  • Less redness

  • More naturally glowy skin

For the first time in my life I feel like I could go out and about without foundation on - which is something I’ve NEVER felt before. The best part is, all of these products are really reasonable! If you were to go with the oil cleanser right down to the moisturizers, you’d be at a grand total of: $139, which I think is really reasonable! It would be a bit more if you went with the gel cleanser - but even still, pretty reasonable for a skincare routine!

If you have a holy grail product, I’d love to hear about it - and if you have any questions, please let me know!