I have below my AM routine and product suggestions. Please get you a snack, a drink, and chill. This post may take awhile.
First and foremost I am NOT a doctor, although I pretend I know everything I don’t! I have researched this routine over the course of a year and the products I have selected, my hubs, who has PhD in Biochemistry has looked at the ingredients and done his own research. He has read in some journals which ones are proven to be effective,won’t burn your skin off, etc. Although he knows chemicals very well, he is also not a medical doctor so don’t get mad at me if something doesn’t work.
Also, please always try out skincare on your arm, hand, wrist, whatever before you just slap it all over you face. You don’t know what you could be allergic too, or what gives you a bad reaction. In addition there are so many different skin types. What works for me, may not for you etc. That is why I am giving you my steps, and different products for various skin types. Also nothing on here is over 45 bucks! Most stuff really is 20 dollars or under!
Ok here is a cute pic of my son to distract from all the boring disclaimers…
Moving on my skin type is now normal but can be combo/oily or combo/dry depending on the day. I am 30 years old, with unfortunately a lot of sun exposure/freckles. My main concern is anti-aging, getting rid of large pores and zits, and also looking as radiant as possible. First step are tools you need no matter your skincare products
What the heck Alli, cotton pads? Ok ok, hear me out. You don’t want to keep scrubbing hard on your skin. I mean it, stop that motion right now. Think about how thin your skin is by your eyes, nose, cheeks, etc. When using all these products use the most gentle tools. These beauty cotton pads I found at the Japanese dollar store Daiso, and they are 1.50 for 150 count. They are so soft, and they remove every trace of makeup. If you don’t have a Daiso by you, you can order the designer versions of these, Shiseido Cotton Pads, from Sephora. They are 10 dollars for 165 but cut them in half to make it over 300. Highly recommend the Daiso ones. Stop tugging on your skin! Link for Shishedo ones right here http://m.sephora.com/product/P173726?icid2=skugrid&skuId=101220
I also use these microfiber towels as my wash clothes. They are soft and help get everything of my face very effectively. Don’t be scared, they aren’t just for cleaning furniture, unlike what the pictures show. They are good to use on your face. They are 10 for 10 dollars at Bed Bath and Beyond, link is here https://m.bedbathandbeyond.com/m/product/the-original-microfiber-cleaning-towels-in-10-pack/1017734067
Now onto my steps;
- Cleanse (sometimes double cleanse)
So the rest of my routine is highly researched, but this piece of advice is purely anecdotal. Do not wash your face more than twice a day. I have given so many friends this advice and it has worked wonders for their complexions. Washing your face too much makes your skin think its dehydrated so it keeps producing more oil. Or washing too much can keep constantly breaking apart your skin cells causing irritation. Wash your face in the morning and night. If you get really sweaty after working out, wash your face than and not before bed. Remember companies want you to buy more, so they say stuff like “wash whenever you feel you need to” on their directions. Don’t do it, you are just wasting product, and making your face act up.
Now onto cleansers there are several different types, and they are meant to be boring as hell. Not too special ingredients, and think about this, you don’t want it to be full of good ingredients because you wash it right off. You want the good stuff, with the better ingredients, to be the skincare steps that stay on your face. Just a basic good old cleanser for everyone is this
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. CeraVe is probably one of the best drugstore brands for skincare. My dermatologist was actually the first one to tell me about this brand. They put ingredients into their stuff to try to balance your skin and add moisture back after you have stripped it away. No scent, or fancy packaging, just a good hardworking face wash. This particular face wash is currenty 8.09 dollars at Target. It’s sister, the hydrating wash (for those with dry skin) is even cheaper for 7.55 at Target.
For my makeup wearers out there, you may need a different type of face wash. One that cleanses and takes your makeup off behold the Micellar Water.
This is where the cotton pads come in. You soak them, put the pad on the area you want removed of makeup, hold for about 10 seconds and gently wipe. I have tried almost all brands of this Micellar water stuff, and this one by Garnier is by far my favorite. It is 6.99 at Target for over 13 OZ of product! That is a steal. The pink cap and blue cap version are both good.
Another good makeup removing cleanser option is for oily skin is to use an actual facial oil cleanser. Best one I have tried is from the Japanese skincare brand DHC and it’s their most popular product, the Deep Cleansing Oil. It is 28 dollars, and you have to buy online. Look for their first time customer, 50 percent off your purchase. That discount floats around several times a year. With that discount is how I bought mine for 14 bucks. I know it sounds counter intuitive to wash your face with oil if you have oily skin, but I promise it helps to balance. Not over night, skincare takes about a month to see results.
If you have normal to dry skin, I have found my favorite cleanser ever. I am not joking when I say it’s now my favorite thing to put on my face. It removes every stitch of makeup and leaves my skin feeling unfathomable soft. Instead of an oily or liquid cleanser, it is a gelly like texture. It is from a new indie skincare brand called Jordan Samuel. This particular cleanser is 20 dollars and you can order it from their website. If you aren’t cool with that, I heard this one from Sonia Kashuk, that you can buy at Target is very similar. It is also 5 bucks cheaper here is the link for it http://www.target.com/c/Sonia-Kashuk-skin-care/-/N-4y9av?lnk=skincare
Don’t think you need all these cleansers! Start off with the CeraVe and pick another one to help remove makeup. This process is called the Double Cleanse by the way, and it’s a Korean skincare staple. You first use the oil, or balm, and than a regular cleanser like CeraVe. Next up is toner.
Toner helps you get rid of more dirt and oil and balances your skin. The one I am currently testing and using in the morning is the most expensive product I have here in this post, and it is also from DHCThis is their Coenzyme Q10 Lotion. It really is not a lotion but a toner. The best toners right now have Co Q10 in them. This ingredient helps the skin to build more collagen, helps with skin turnover, and assists with skin elasticity. This stuff rocks, but at 37 dollars you have to decide if it’s worth it for you. I feel it is making my skin behave better, and removes literally every last stitch of dirt off your face. The Co Q10 ingredient is beneficial to all skin types. If this doesn’t sound appealing, just get you Witch Hazel Toner from the drugstore. It is actually a very effective good natural toner.
Next up is exfoliating. If you take anything out of this blogpost it’s that chemical exfoliation in your new best friend. Physical exfoliation is probably what you are used to, and that is the grainy beady stuff in certain face scrubs. Get rid of it, its bad for the environment anyways. The more effective ways to exfoliate are through acids BHAs or AHAs. This is the stuff I have to give several warnings about.
You first have to figure out which acid works best for you. AHA, glycolic acid, works best for me everyday. Glycolic acid and lactic acid tend to be better used for more dry/normal skin. That is because they help the skin hold onto moisture better. BHAs or salicylic acids tend to be better for oily/combo skin. In addition, these will take some getting used to. Don’t start off exfoliating two times a day. Start off once every other day, than move to once a day and than twice a day. A great place to start is the Pixi Glow Tonic. 15 bucks from Target well spent.
It is 5% Glycolic Acid. To better understand what this means, most chemical peels at the doctors office is 20-70 strength acid. This is a very low concentration, but used two times a day yields great results. I also use a BHA twice a week, but that is for the PM post.
This is another Glycolic Acid idea. This product is from the website DECIM, a skincare website out of Canada. I can do a whole blogpost on DECIM products, because there are so many brands/products housed under DECIM. This exfoliator is from their cheapest, bare bones, no frills brand The Ordinary. It is a little stronger than the Pixi Glow Tonic, and at 7 bucks for 7% Acid I will keep you updated how I like it.
If you start to use a chemical exfoliator, you need to use SPF. Unfortunately this is not a choice, because the acids will make your skin super sensitive to sunlight. Using a sunscreen is my final step in my skincare.
But before I apply sunscreen, I use moisturizers. I do this in two different ways, with a serum and a moisturizer. If you feel like you don’t need a serum than don’t use both! Serums do add extra beneficial ingredients to your skin, and good serums will penetrate deep into your skin. My favorite I used was also from DECIM and it’s from their midrange of products to target anti-aging called Hylamide. This serum was pure Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic differs from the other acids I told you about because it doesn’t exfoliate. In fact it is an incredible moisturizer that seals in moisture from the air to your skin. Companies are starting to jump on the HA bandwagon and put in a lot of products. This serum was 20 bucks.
I run out of my Hylamide Serum so I am testing out this new one from DECIM’s cheapest brand the Ordinary. This serum has HA and a bunch of other good proteins for your skin. It is 6 bucks cheaper at 14 dollars. Serum is not necessary for everyone. Think of it as a booster to your smoothie. Your serum can address specific skincare needs like anti-aging, radiance building etc.
Now onto actual moisturizer. Mine I use are super boring, but super effective. This one is from CeraVe and locks in moisture so well. It is also not fragranced which is nice. Most of my skincare is not fragranced or smells like medicine. Skincare should not smell good! Fragrance will irritate the skin! Good stuff and 9.97 at Wal-Mart. You could pay extra for the CeraVe AM moisturizer that includes SPF. That one is 13 bucks, but you could skip a step by doing a two for one. Here is a link for that product sold at Bed Bath and Beyond https://www.google.com/shopping/product/4042475290450020408?lsf=seller:7815,store:5602101740403995418&prds=oid:12876761710291300070&q=cerave+am&hl=en-us&ei=aBjyWJ7hGebLjwS2r4XQCA&lsft=gclid:Cj0KEQjwicfHBRCh6KaMp4-asKgBEiQA8GH2x4Hu1nD0GHz-lbaHfZX5S6YgyfcUgJSqtjHjfgk7xMUaAjgZ8P8HAQ
- Another good moisturizer is from the brand First Aid Beauty, sold at Sephora.
They hand out samples of this stuff like candy, seriously. I have never purchased because I have received a million samples. This stuff is awesome because you literally can put all over your body, and yet it is somehow not too thick. It is 30 bucks for a full jar that looks like will last you forever.
SPF! SPF! Number one thing that prevents aging and will keep your skin healthy. It is also the final step to my routine. You really can use any face sunscreen you like. I have been using this one from Clinique and have been loving it.It is lightweight, non-greasy, and makeup applies well on top. I suggest an SPF of 30 or higher everyday.
Ok Originals I am finally done. Here are high points to summarize
- Use a few of these products, don’t go out and purchase all of them. Read what could work for you and slowly start building your routine. Mine took a year to complete. Even if I just give you an idea for one product great.
- Expensive skincare doesn’t always mean better. The most expensive thing I have here is 37 dollars. You can achieve results with reasonably costed products
- Use a chemical exifolator!
- Wear SPF during the day, every day
- Steps again are cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturize (either with a serum, moisturizer or both) and than SPF.
We are done! Thanks Originals! PM routine is coming up!
All my love, Alli