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My Skincare Routine

8.29.2014

I have a confession: I am obsessed with skincare products.  I'm also incredibly nosy.  One of my favorite YouTube videos to watch or blogposts to read is skincare routines.  I love peeking into people's medicine cabinets to get a look into what products they're loving.  Recently, I've incorporated a few new items into my regime & thought I'd share my thoughts.


*Disclaimer: by no means am I a dermatologist, aesthetician, or general 'beauty guru'.  These items work for my skin & any recommendations are based on my experience.

For starters, I have dry to combination skin most of the year with the occasional dry patch.  In the summertime it does tend to lean more toward the oily side thanks to the ever present Alabama humidity & the fact that I mostly work outside in the abrasive heat.  I also have extremely reactive & sensitive skin.  Typically, whenever I incorporate a new item into my routine, my skin does a general freak-out & hates me for about a week until 1) I either stop using the product or 2) it regulates itself out & adjusts accordingly.  My skin concerns are hyperpigmentation & fine lines (particularly underneath my eyes).

Morning Routine: 
 As my skin is on the drier side, I recently stopped washing my face in the mornings.  I found by doing this, I stripped my skin of all the moisture & as a result, would suffer from dry patches the rest of the day.  I now wake up in the morning & go straight to my Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal toner.  I pour a little on a cotton round & give my face a good once over.  I like that this toner is alcohol-free & generally I'm a fan of the herbal scents.  I have to admit though, I'm not keen on this one.  It doesn't necessarily bother me but I had noticed it always reminded me of something.  The other day as I was looking at the ingredients I noticed it has camphor in it.  Finally I realized that the scent reminds me of kissing my father goodnight when I was little & he always smelled of Vick's vapor rub & Campho-Phenique.  Both of which contain camphor.  Scent aside, Kiehl's claims this is the mildest of all their toners & it is perfect for sensitive & dry skin.  It leaves my skin feeling clean with a slight cool tingling feeling.  I'm not quite sure I'm completely sold on this product yet.  I'm about halfway through the bottle & I suppose I'll make a decision to repurchase or not only when I've run out.  It's definitely not the worst I've tried but I feel like there may be something out there I love more.  (Isn't that always the issue?!?)  

After toning, I use this little beauty.  It comes with a handy pump dispenser.  It only takes one pump (I actually don't even use a full pump) to cover my face.  There aren't many products I own that I can throw down the gauntlet & say- without a doubt- this is my holy grail product.  I have a recent, but full on, love affair with First Aid Beauty.  I've tried quite a few of their products in the past few months & I am 100% sold.  The one skincare product that I absolutely cannot live without is the FAB Anti-Redness Serum.  I typically purchase mine on Amazon as it is a bit cheaper & can be here within two days.  It can also be picked up at Sephora.  I also purchase at least two bottles at a time because (at the risk of sounding like a high maintenance brat) it is the worst feeling when I run out & don't have a backup.  This has happened on more than one occasion & I can DEFINITELY tell when I've gone without it for a couple of days.  This little miracle product really tones down the redness my skin generally has, especially when I have a breakout.  It's also super light weight so my skin doesn't feel smothered after applying it AND a moisturizer.

Next up I spot correct if need be.  Usually I am a faithful user of Origins Super Spot Remover.  I purchase mine at Sephora but I'm sure you may be able to find it elsewhere online.  Because it is an Origins product it's a little pricey but honestly, I've yet to find anything else that works as well at clearing a spot as fast as this little gem.  I have even applied it to my husband & stepsons whenever they get a breakout & they've been impressed with how fast it clears.  Unfortunately, I ran out of this a couple of days ago & just haven't had the opportunity to repurchase.  As a result, I've just been dabbing a qtip into tea tree oil & applying it directly to my blemishes.  Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial & I even make my own toner with it occasionally.  I don't feel like it's quite as effective as my beloved Super Spot Remover but it'll do for now.

I have been using the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery eye cream lately.  I received a sample when I made a few purchases at the Kiehl's store in Nashville.  Considering it is a sample size, it has really lasted me a long time.  I've still got quite a bit of product left in it since it only takes only a pea size amount around each eye.  I can't say that I'd repurchase it, especially considering the price tag but I have enjoyed trying it out.  I have the driest under eyes known to (wo)man.  I have tried so many different eye creams but have yet to find one I love.  I need something that's ridiculously hydrating without leaving my skin oily.  Because I have such dehydrated skin under my eyes, they consistently have tiny fine lines.  It's kind of like a desert under there & the skin has just shriveled up & dried out.  (Wow, that paints quite the lovely picture...)  None the less, I'm still on the hunt for a good eye cream but I'm filtering through the samples I have & keeping my fingers crossed I find one I love.
The last step before applying my makeup involves applying moisturizer.  I am always sure to apply one containing SPF if I know I will have sun exposure.  An important thing to remember is that just because you're not sitting out in the sun for hours upon end doesn't mean you're not getting sun exposure.  Every little bit counts & you can even get sun damage riding in the car.  So I apply Aveeno Positively Radiant daily moisturizer with SPF 15.  I like this product because it does a good job tackling my dry patches without feeling too heavy & greasy.  Ideally I'd like a little more SPF but I am usually applying a foundation or tinted moisturizer after this that contains more SPF so I feel a little better about that.  If I'm planning on staying in for the day or going out at night, especially if I know I'll be taking photos & don't want to worry about flashback, I'll reach for the FAB Daily Face Cream.  This is another fantastic lightweight moisturizer that provides a great base for my makeup.  It doesn't feel heavy or greasy & it tackles my dry patches without making the rest of my face oily.  After that sinks into my skin, I move onto my makeup as usual.

Nighttime Routine:
I've been a lover of Bioderma for a few years now.  I just pour a little on a cotton round & it easily removes all my makeup- including waterproof mascara.  I usually go for the Crealine range but while we were in Croatia, I picked up a couple of bottles of the Sebium variety.  I really love the scent of this & honestly I can't tell the difference from the Crealine range.  The bottle is in a Croatian, French, & Slovene so I have absolutely no idea what it says.  Through some research on their website though I discovered the sebium range is geared more toward oily skin, which has worked out well considering I'm more oily in the summertime.  The only problem with purchasing Bioderma is its accessibility- or better yet, lack thereof.  Typically I find it on Amazon but if you live in the US you'll be hard pressed to find it elsewhere.
After all my makeup is removed, I then wash my face.  I alternate between a few different face washes, depending on how my skin is feeling & looking that day.  If my skin is a bit drier & needs some exfoliating I'll use the St. Ives Blemish Control Green Tea Scrub.  It gently exfoliates without feeling too rough or harsh on my skin.  I try not to use it more than two or three times a week to give my skin a break.  The rest of the week I use the FAB Face Cleanser.  Another product I've really taken a liking to.  My skin has had no bad reactions to any of the First Aid Beauty products I've tried because they're all so gentle.  This cleanser has been no exception & I love how creamy it is.  It leaves my skin feeling soft & hydrated.  I pair it with my Clarisonic Mia to really buff my skin & leave it with a healthy glow.  Recently I've also been throwing a little LUSH Aqua Marina into the mix.  I really loved this cleanser in the past because it was great at calming any redness or irritation.  While I still really like it, I've noticed I prefer my First Aid Beauty cleanser over it.  Who would've thought?!?!
 After washing my face, I tone & apply my FAB serum, & spot correct as I do in the morning time.  Instead of applying one of the other moisturizers, I have recently been using the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.  This pricey little guy has been on my wish list for some time now & I finally broke down & bought it a couple of months back.  Despite using it nightly for over two months now I've hardly made a dent in it.  I'm sure this will last me a long time, so I choose to justify the splurge with that.  I take the dropper & dispense two drops into my palm & gently pat it into my skin.  It absorbs quickly & really hydrates my skin.  Kiehl's claims it will improve fine lines & dark spots.  I can't really say I've noticed a different because (thankfully) I don't suffer from wrinkles or fine lines- with the exception of under my eyes, which I don't apply this product there.  I have noticed my dark spots don't seem to last nearly as long as before, but I'm not sure that can be chalked up solely to the Midnight Recovery.

Weekly Treatments:
 I'd like to say I apply a mask once or twice a week but I'd be lying.  I try to remember to do so but honestly it just slips my mind.  Unless my skin is really feeling out of whack or I'm having a pamper session,  I tend to forget to treat my skin with a mask.  I also like to apply pore strips to clean any blackheads out.  If you say you don't find those things sickeningly cool then you're lying!  I have several different masks on rotation & really just decide what my skin needs.  If it's feeling really dehydrated (usually in the winter time) I'll throw on some Origins Drink Up 10 minute mask.  This works so well at quenching my skin's thirst that I even apply it when I'm on long haul flights.  It's clear & sits thickly on your skin until washed off.  I recently finished a tub of the Glamglow Supermud Treatment.  This is a hyped up product that quite honestly, I don't feel is worth all the hoopla.  I did like the weird fact that you could see when it had actually pulled all the oils out of your skin but I really don't know that the results justify the price tag.  A significantly cheaper alternative that I actually prefer is the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque.  For less than $5 you can get much better results.

There you have it- all my skincare products.  This may be a lot compared to your regime or it may be a few.  I like to switch out my products now & again to see if I like something better.  I tend to splurge a little more on skin care.  I see it as it's important to have a good base to work with.  If I purchase items that may cost a little more in the beginning but less in the long run & give me better results, then I'm ok with that.  What products are in your medicine cabinet?
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