One of the countless things I am grateful to my mom for is imparting on me the importance of skincare at a young age. Washing my face every night, using moisturizer…these habits are basically like breathing for me. But in the last few years I have found that the products which used to keep my skin clear and glowing were failing me. Whether it be stress, lifestyle changes or just getting older, I needed to discover a new lineup. Between subscribing to Birchbox, being a magazine addict, and going to Ulta/Sephora usually on a weekly basis, I consider myself pretty well versed in skin care options. I thought I would share with you my most favorite products:
1. Toner: The jury is out on whether or not toner is beneficial. I’ve read tons of articles that cast it aside as an unnecessary item, but also articles that highly recommend using it daily. For me, I’ve been incorporating toner into my skincare regime for years and love it. Each morning I put a little toner onto a cotton round and wipe my face. I feel like this preps my skin for my day moisturizer, and gets off any lingering stuff from my routine the night before. My favorites are Korres Pomegranate Toner and Burt’s Bees Garden Tomato Toner (not pictured).
2. Eye Cream: The skin around your eyes is sensitive; it’s thinner than the rest of your face and is one of the first areas to show age. It’s important to pay attention to this area with a good eye cream. In the mornings, I love using the Clinique All About Eyes De-Puffing Serum. This product is a cooling rollerball that dispenses just the right amount of product, and it’s a soothing way to wake up your skin for the day.
3. Day Moisturizer: EVERY magazine article tells you this, but it’s extremely important to use sunscreen on your face. I battled with this for years because I could never find a face sunscreen that a) wasn’t oily b) was not astronomically priced and c) didn’t smell overwhelmingly like sunscreen. I also was constantly trying products with SPF and finding that they were too harsh for my skin. I wouldn’t necessarily describe my skin as sensitive, yet I’ve suffered many a time from sunscreens that irritated my face. I’m happy to report I have found two amazing products that I am completely devoted to. The first is Cetaphil’s Dermacontrol Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30. This is so lightweight and has a pleasant smell. I usually wear this alone, but sometimes blend in my liquid foundation for a homemade tinted moisturizer.
The other product that I just absolutely adore is Dr.Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45. I found this after buying an SPF value set from Sephora two summers ago and have been in love with it ever since. Some BB creams can be overly tinted but this one blends seamlessly into my skin. I constantly will wear just this on weekends and in the summer; something a bit unheard of for me as I used to refuse to go out of the house without makeup!
4. Clarisonic: The last few years, advanced skin cleaning tools have been all the rage. Clarisonic started it all and many brands have followed with cheaper imitations of this classic tool. I absolutely believe that this is well worth the investment. For me, I didn’t exactly experience a “life changing moment” where, after using the Clarisonic for a few weeks I noticed a complete turnaround in my skin. Not to sound conceded, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I already was consistently taking care of cleaning my skin each night. That being said, this is one of those things where if I stop using the Clarisonic, I notice the change in my skin. I usually use the Clarisonic every other day; partially because I don’t want to irritate my skin and partially because sometimes I just forget. I bought my Clarisonic pretty early on (I think I’ve had it for about two and a half years) and I purchased the Clarisonic Plus Sonic Skin Cleansing System (in pink, because duh). I’ve read through the reviews of the newer versions and think if you want to spend a little less money, the Mia 2 is the way to go. One aspect of my Clarisonic Plus that I love is that it has a built in timer which indicates when you should switch which section of your face you are using it on. It looks like the Mia 2 comes with this feature, while the Mia does not. Check out the Clarisonic website for comparing models. I really recommend buying your Clarisonic through Sephora’s website; they offer some great value sets with samples of cleansers to try. I sampled the Clarisonic products which came with my Clarisonic Plus and can tell you they are nothing to write home about. Right now Sephora is selling this kit which comes with the Mia 2 and samples of some Kate Somerville products. I’m pretty sure I am going to buy a Mia 2 sometime soon for traveling, the hard part will be what color should I pick?
5. Face Wash: I’ve tried SO many face cleansers. Seriously, take me to the skin care section and I can point out a ton of products I have tried. I personally do not care for foaming cleansers (it doesn’t actually feel like my skin is getting cleaned) and you have to be very careful with scrubs as they can be overly abrasive. Two cleansers that I highly recommend are Philosophy Purity Made Simple and Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. Both are creamy washes (which is necessary when using the Clarisonic) and do an amazing job at taking off all of my makeup.
6. Makeup Remover: I also am fairly well versed in makeup removers. Years upon years of applying heavier makeup (I was a dancer growing up and show makeup is intense) have exposed me to a wide range of removers. I am not a huge fan of makeup remover wipes since they feel like they leave residue on my face. My main concern is residual eye makeup after washing my face and the only makeup remover that I have found which really does the job is the Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. It takes off stubborn liquid eye liner and does not irritate your skin at all.
7. Eye Cream: I turn to Clinique All About Eyes at night. This serum/cream is lightweight; all you need is a light dab around each eye. And can I give you a tip? Clinique’s bonus gifts usually have a sample of their eye cream. You don’t need a lot so these last forever. I’ve actually never bought this product I’ve just used samples from the gift with purchase!
8. Night Moisturizer: One old favorite and one brand new discovery. Clinique’s Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer is like gold and I keep finding myself coming back to it after I try and switch up my routine. I like to be a bit heavier with my moisturizer at night during the colder months, and I really take comfort in this thicker night cream. This is so nourishing and I do think it makes a difference in how my skin looks when I wake up.
My other favorite is a new find. Oils are having a moment now and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. I walked into Sephora one day and asked for a night moisturizer recommendation. The consultant told me that she really likes natural products (there are no creams found in nature!) and she really loves this Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Aragan Oil. Now I’ll warn you, oils take a bit of getting used to. You really just need 2-3 drops, then rub the oil together in your palms and pat onto your skin. It’s lightweight and smells yummy. I look forward to using this more during the summer but like to rotate it into my routine every few days.
And there you go! A bit wordy of a post, but hopefully you’ve seen something you are interested in trying or have been inspired to take a look at your own skincare regime. Tell me, what are some of your favorite products? I’m always looking for recommendations!