My Spring 2015 (Scaled Back Affordable) Skincare Routine
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I was spending so much time on my skincare routine that it was time to simplify it and by simplifying it I mean cut down on the number of products to limit my decision making time, save space, and save money. It feels good. I feel like I’m becoming a minimalist.
DITCHING THE TOOLS
So I’m not ditching my Clarisonic or Philip’s PureRadiance but lately I’ve found myself just tired of seeing them on my bathroom counter plugged into the wall. Truth be told I’m either becoming a minimalist or I’m growing tired of electronics. I can’t tell which one it is yet but it’s happening. So I’m going back to cleansing sponges, more specifically the Pure Konjac Facial Sponge (now sold at Honey and Petals Skintanicals). If you’re use to using compressed facial sponges you’ll love konjac sponges even more. Created from the konjac plant these dome-shaped sponges puff when wet and have the texture of squishy gelatin. They have a great amount of “slip” and glides across skin. No matter your skin type you can use this delicate sponge. Every week give is a deep cleansing by letting it soak in hot water for 15 minutes and always hang to dry. Replace every 1-2 months.
NEW CLEANSER, WHO DIS?
For years I used Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash but I was ready for something new- something along the same lines but something new. I wanted a foaming cleanser, it also had to help with skin cell turnover (a gentle exfoliator), non-drying, and still gentle because I have eczema on my eyelids that flare up when I use harsh products (including makeup). Did I mention I wanted it to be affordable too? This is why it takes me so long to shop, not to mention the cell service inside of my local Ulta store is almost non-existent and they don’t offer wifi so I avoid just stopping in. I have to browse online first. Otherwise I’m stuck browsing for the rest of the evening. I ended up dropping in right before closing and started with the clearance section and found what became my new holy grail facial cleanser. I grabbed Skincare Cosmetics Retinol Anti-Aging Cleanser. Quick note, I’m pretty sure they’re doing a rebranding or maybe they’re just making their products easier to find without so much confusion because Retinol-X makes the same cleanser. This cleanser was everything I was looking for and it has encapsulated retinol and vitamin E in the form of microbeads. This aren’t banned plastic microbeads that go more harm to the environment than your skin but beads of product that quickly dissolve. Because I love testing new skincare products I also keep a bottle of Cetaphil in the shower. Plus it’s great to keep it around for house guests. I have a group of friends who love trying new skincare products just like me. They had once told me about dermalogica skin care products and its likes. I was told that brands like these are known for making gluten free, eco-friendly products that do not contain any artificial color. Additionally, all the positive feedbacks (from my friends) could lead to a conclusion: skin care products like these might be able to yield fruitful results.
I think masks are finally making a comeback and it’s about time. For years when we’ve heard the word we automatically think drying clay masks that often just dehydrate the skin than anything else. In my personal experience clay masks should never be left on long enough to dry because healthy oils and moisture start to absorb. Not to mention they’re messy so they make for great spot treatments instead of large areas of the face. With that being said it’s time to start using masks that really work with the skin. First up is the Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel made in Korea by Secret Key. This peel has been getting a lot of buzz lately and for good reason. Apply it to clean dry skin and let sit for 5 minutes (do not let it dry, i repeat do no let it dry) then massage and roll the gel formula as it clumps on the face. Massage for a few minutes then rinse. The tiny clumps is actually the gel formula and a small amount of skin. I think people have assumed that the clumps are all dead skin but that’s not the case. As with any gel (think hair gel or glue) it clumps with the right amount of liquid and aggravation. So don’t worry your skin isn’t being rubbed away but those dead skin cells are revealing beautiful healthy skin. Some instructions don’t mention using it on clean skin, only that the skin is dry. IMO the only time I’ve seen brands tell consumers tell people to use a product starting with dirty skin is to give the impression that it’s performing better than it actually is. I’ve seen this trick on in malls. If you exfoliate dirty skin you’ll see surface dirt being lifted. It could even have you thinking it’s layers of skin being lifted when essentially it’s doing what a regular cleansing would have done. You’ll get results if you get to the stuff that your cleanser missed, so use on clean dry skin.
Another non-traditional mask I’m using is the Freeman Beauty Banana-Oat Instant Soothing Mask. I never use the two masks on the same night, I just go with whichever one my skin needs. Banana-Oat has a gel-like texture and it’s to be applied and rinsed but I find that it works best if you massage it for a few minutes with steam incorporated to keep your skin hydrated then rinsed. This isn’t a physical exfoliator, instead is uses banana, papaya enzymes, and alpha hydroxy to dissolve dead skin cells. If you have acne avoid massing and limit manipulation as much as possible. You can let the mask just sit and do its job.
SCALED BACK TREATMENTS
I have an arsenal of skincare products to treat everything but it was time to scale back. I treat most pimples with Benzoyl Peroxide but depending on the type and stage of the pimple I might switch it up. The pimple topic deserves its own blog post so I won’t go into much detail here but it’s already in the works. I still treat for my hyperpigmention. The best option for thit is Las Vegas laser skin resurfacing treatments, but here’s the thing, you can get rid of dark spots and blemishes but if your melanin is hyperactive it will blemish from the slightest things, so you need a daily routine that helps to counteract them too. Skipping sunblock wrecks havoc too. It’s one of the issues that keeps me on top of my skincare routine. As soon as I get a pimple it’s game on then I follow up with The Jojoba Oil Company Natural Pigmentation Oil which moisturizes and brightens dark spots. Dassit. Only if I’m truly in the mood will I layer an essence or serum before my moisturizer.
… AKA face moisturizers. This summer I wrote a post on winter face oils and creams which covered all skin types. You can read that post here if you missed it. Remember, I’m cutting back on my daily products so as of now I only keep a few in heavy rotation. The rest I use only if I’m feeling jazzy. Bask & Bloom Essentials Vibrant Radiance Face Cream – The rich medium weight moisturizer is super rich, can handle dry patches, and it’s the least expensive moisturizer of the group. But don’t let the price fool you. I’ve compared it to both Embryolisse and La Mer. During the day I use StriVectin Repair & Protect Moisturizer with SPF 30 – This is my go-to sun protection this season. It’s a medium weight moisturizer that’s also a multipurpose product that repairs and protects. It contains their patented NIA-114 which converts free radicals to nourishment and from what I can tell it’s been working. My skin remains supple during the day and my dark spots don’t get any darker.
Skincare Cosmetics Retinol Anti-Aging Cleanser $5
Pure Konjac Facial Sponge $7
Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel made in Korea by Secret Key $9.74
Freeman Beauty Banana-Oat Instant Soothing Mask $4.29
Benzoyl Peroxide $5.99
The Jojoba Oil Company Natural Pigmentation Oil $39.00
Bask & Bloom Essentials Vibrant Radiance Face Cream $8.00
StriVectin Repair & Protect Moisturizer with SPF 30 $89.00