My cousin Adam asked me, and then my friend Samantha. Before that, another girlfriend asked, and one of my clients. I wasn't sure how to intro a post about the fascinating topic of WHAT I DO TO MY FACE SKIN but, here we are.
At the very least, it will be easy to choose not to read this if skincare isn't your bag. At the very most, you might be able to overhaul your skin!
For the most part, I've had very few issues with my facial skin over the years. I had a very comfortable routine of using hand soap to wash my face (....it was always by the sink), a standard face lotion, and a St. Ives face scrub. That's basically what I did for 10+ years.
When I turned 29, my skin started to shift.
I have a pattern of getting intensely obsessed with things sometimes. My husband will attest to this (homemade soap is the most recent product of my most recent obsession.) I started to learn about the skin, going so far as to scrape dermatology papers, esthetician guidebooks and cosmetic formula research from various places online. Let's not even talk about the online forums. Then I stopped using products and let my skin settle out for just under 30 days, including not using foundation or concealers. Next, I started a skincare routine on my 'settled' skin and every 15 days I checked in and evaluated how things were going.
I'm going to share with you the results of everything I read and what skincare routine I ultimately landed on and am still using.
That said, I am just sharing what worked for me (and my normal to sensitive skin) and I am not an expert and you should definitely talk to a skincare professional. I also do not think my skin is especially fabulous and I truly hope this post doesn't come off like I think I am a magnificently-skinned being in a castle of better-than-yours skincare products.
Blotchy Skin: I want to address this first because most people, especially women, don't realize that blotchy skin can be the result of your makeup. If you think about the foundation you wear, and the sunlight that hits your face....well if you have it on thicker in some places on your skin then the sun is going to unevenly hit your skin. Which means you might tan darker in some spots and lighter in others.
Your first step whether you feel you have blotchy skin or not is to give your skin a break and not wear foundation or concealer for a minimum of 2 weeks. You really have to do this. It will make a tremendous difference. You also need to get used to what your face looks like in its natural state, which, believe it or not, a lot of people (especially women) don't see their natural faces for more than a few minutes each day....
After I stopped wearing my foundation and concealer (which I previously wore every single day) I noticed big changes. Little blemishes disappeared and my skin evened out. I had a breakout at the start (that's called 'purging') and then my skin settled out.
Today, I only wear foundation if I am speaking or getting some sort of professional photo taken. I do not wear foundation at all anymore! It's awesome.
It is nearly always recommended that you add one product at a time. I'm just putting this out there. If you don't do it one by one, you won't be able to figure out what causes your skin problems.
Anyway, you should do that.
I recommend doing this whole thing during summer. Why? Well, imagine you do not wear foundation or concealer for the summer months. The sun will even out your skin during those months and you will give it a nice break. And as vain as it sounds, it's more 'casual' in the summer months as many people vacation during this time....or get sunburned or poison ivy.....so it's kind of normal for people have skin situations??? And it's easy to be like "oh I'm breaking out because I just got back from vacaaaayyyyyyyy" and people generally understand the post-vacation-break-out. Or at least they won't question it?
(Typing this, a voice in my head is saying 'this is not scientific and would maybe not even qualify to be published in Seventeen magazine.' That voice is correct, and I'm choosing to leave these statements in tact.)
WHAT I USE
This is what you came for, I know. I am linking the products to my Amazon account so click the links so I can get a few pennies in my account!!! I worked hard to share this knowledge with you!!!
FACE LOTION: DAY & NIGHT
CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM & PM Bundle
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, For Normal to Oily Skin
I use this every night after I take off my makeup (which is normally just mascara, eyebrow pencil and lipstick). If you have oily skin, you might want to try cleansing in the AM and the PM. I only do the PM. In the AM, I just splash my face with water, towel dry and put on the AM lotion above.
You can find this at most drugstores or grocery stores.
This is what I do in that department. There is SO much information out there about 'anti aging' and the skin. Diet plays a big role, so does hydration. There is no one routine that is a proven winner. This is what I do, I love how my skin feels and it has reduced the appearance of this one age spot I have had at the top of my forehead from sun damage to the point that it's not even noticeable anymore. I can also travel with these.
I do them 3 times a week in the evening after I take off makeup. No need to do these daily. So what I linked above will last you 3 months, but you could try stretching it to 4 and see what results you get.
The first time I did it, I did a 2 week treatment of daily use.
You can find this at Sephora too!
Also. It's worth the money.
That said, I did find what people do who don't want to buy this product but want the results. I haven't done it myself so I'm not typing it up but leave a comment if it interests you and I'll dig that article up and link it.
I exfoliate once a week. This is important especially as your skin 'grows up.' I use the Cetaphil cleanser with this, and I just use it in the shower. I have had mine more than 2 years, and you have to periodically buy new brush heads which are about $25 for a 2 pack. Despite what packaging may tell you, you DO NOT and really should not use this daily. Your skin does not need that much help. Once a week is usually just fine! This also comes in a bunch of colors and patterns. Check Sephora and department stores for special deals and discounts. I linked to the cheapest listing on Amazon here.
I use this in the winter when my skin might get really dry, like after a day spent outside in the cold. (I'm specifically thinking of frigid February days walking around NYC.) I use it in the summer if I had a long day outside and my face needs the extra moisture. I also travel with a small tube for use after long flights. It feels so great. Once I get settled in my hotel room, I wash my face and put this on and it just works like a charm. It's great.
You can also find this at Sephora.
Well, here's the finale.
AM: I splash my face with water, then use the CeraVe AM lotion.
PM: I take off my makeup, then cleanse my face with the Cetaphil Cleanser I linked above. Then I use the CeraVe PM Lotion.
- 3 nights a week I use the Dr. Gross peels and forego the lotion.
- On days when I need it, I use the Ceramidin Cream.
- I exfoliate once a week with the Cetaphil cleanser and the Clarisonic I linked above.
- I only wear foundation when I actually need it, and I don't wear it daily.
It took me a long time to get here! I hope you find something worth trying!