Over the last few months I’ve been getting tons of compliments on my skin (Thank you!) and a lot of you have been asking me to do a post on my skincare routine. If you’re new to this blog, then you should know that skincare is something I’m pretty passionate about because I believe that beauty starts from within (as cheesy as that may sound) and any makeup, no matter how expensive or hyped-up it is, will look good if you aren’t taking care of your skin. Skincare is more than just the products you’re using; it has to do with your diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and we put it through a lot over our lifetime, so creating a routine even if it’s small, is a step in the right direction.
One of the things that I found most daunting about skincare when I first really got into it was the price tag. Investing in good skincare is important, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. A lot of the time, luxury and high end brands have the price tag that they do because they know that consumers will pay that price simply for the name. That’s not to say all high end brands are like that, because there are a lot which really do contain some expensive ingredients in them, but there are also a lot of affordable and drugstore brands that produce great results as well. Drugstore brands are stepping up their game when it comes to quality because there is so much competition out there now and the beauty industry is thriving now more than it ever has. I’ve used skincare products that range from luxury to drugstore and depending on where I’m at in my life and what my income is, that has definitely played a huge role in the products I use. What I want to share with you today is my current routine which mainly consists of drugstore products.
I also want to preface this by stating that everyone’s skin is different, although I’m sure that seems obvious… It’s not just dry or oily, young or mature, acne prone or not, that you need to take into consideration. Some people have great skin due to genetics and others, no matter how great they take care of their skin or how much water they drink, deal with terrible acne or flare ups. When it comes to women, hormones play a huge rule in how our skin behaves as well. But, with that all of that out of the way, you guys came here to see what I use. So without further adieu, here we go…
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cleanser $14.99CAD
I’ve just recently started using this cleanser so I don’t have too much to say about it, but I don’t mind it. It does have a strong fragrance which I’m not crazy about, but I like that my skin feels squeaky clean after I use it. It also has hyaluronic acid in it which is a great ingredient in skincare products geared towards those with dry skin, like myself. Hyaluronic acid helps retain moisture and improves collagen production, which is great for anti-aging. All good things!
This stuff is a great dupe for the Bioderma micellar water (which is my fav when I can afford it). It’s not drying or harsh on your skin either. In the morning I’ll just go over my face with some of this on a cotton round after I’ve cleansed, just to remove any dirt or impurities that were left from the night before. If I’m running late or I just feel like my skin is super dry, I’ll skip the cleanser and start with this. You can also use this to remove makeup but I find it doesn’t do a great job on waterproof makeup and it also can burn a little around the eyes so I just avoid using it for that.
I’ve been using this for about a month and a half now and I’m almost all out if it. I went through it rather quickly (maybe I’ve been using too much?) and although it does a great job at keeping my eyes hydrated, I didn’t notice much of a difference in my dark circles. I really love Andalou Naturals Luminous Eye serum which is a natural brand and it’s less expensive as well. However, in a pinch, I would re-purchase this again.
I wish they made this is a bigger size because I go through this stuff WAY too fast! I really love this product as I’m sure some of you may know because I’ve mentioned it in so many previous posts/videos. It gives your skin a beautiful glow, provides UVA and UVB protection and makes a great base for foundations!
I honestly don’t know why this stuff is called “oil-free” because it’s oily as shit. But I like it! I only use this if I am going to be washing my face after, ie. I don’t use it during makeup application if I mess up because trying to put anything overtop of it would be a nightmare. I put a small amount on a cotton round and it takes off all my eye makeup. Then I proceed with my cleanser.
I bought this cleanser when it was on sale at Whole Foods because I was out of one and I always like giving local and natural product brands a try. This company is from Vancouver and the cleanser seemed like it was suited for my skin type, so I gave it ago. I’m not crazy about the pump because I feel like very little product comes out and so I need to pump it at least 3-4 times in order to get an amount of product out that I feel like is sufficient enough. I’ll massage this cleanser on to my skin without any water and use it almost like a makeup remover all over my face, avoiding my eyes and then I’ll use a warm wash cloth to remove it all and rinse a few times with cool/lukewarm water. Generally I feel like milk cleansers don’t do a great job at removing makeup or making my skin feel super duper clean like I like it to after a long day, but using it this way with the wash cloth and having already removed my eye makeup is the way I’ve found it works best.
Although Neostrata is sold in drugstores, it’s more of a “derm” skincare line, meaning the products contain a lot of potent chemicals which are target for mature or problematic skin. I’ve been using chemical exfoliants for a few years now and it’s something you need to gradually work your way into. They can be very harsh on your skin if not approached with caution and can do more harm than good. I started off with the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta wipes, a couple years back and then once my skin started to become comfortable with those, I moved onto the extra-strength ones and now I’ve started to use glycolic acid treatments. I could do a whole post alone on chemical exfoliants and the benefits of them. They do wonders for your skin when used properly!
I’ve used this toner for almost 5 months now and I love it. It can be a little harsh at times so I only use it every other day or so. It contains lactic, glycolic and salicylic acid in it which is great for tightening skin and light chemical exfoliation which in turn reduces the appearance of your pores.
At night, I like a really thick moisturizer because I tend to use stronger products that contain acids and whatnot. I haven’t found anything that’s been a hit or miss about this moisturizer but I do feel like it keeps my skin feeling hydrated by the morning which is a huge plus.
This isn’t really part of my routine as much as it’s something that I feel has made a huge difference since I’ve incorporated it into my diet, so I wanted to add it into here! Collagen peptides are another thing I could write an entire post on, but essentially collagen is the glue that holds our bodies together. As we get older, we produce less collagen and our skin starts to sag and even on the inside, our joints and ligaments start to stiffen. Take collagen! This will improve all of that! Your hair will be shiny, your nails will be strong and long and your skin will look amazing! It does take about a month to really notice a difference but I’ll tell you, now that I’ve started taking it, I don’t think I’ll stop. I really like the Organika Enhanced Collagen which is a powdered collagen. This is odourless, flavourless and dissolves into anything. I put one tbsp. into my oatmeal or smoothies every day or two (sometimes I forget).
And there you have it folks! I hope this post has given you some ideas and inspiration towards building a skincare routine for yourself! Even if it’s just a cleanse, tone and moisturize routine, then at least it’s something! Let me know what you’d like to see/read next in the comments below!