Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Updated: My skincare routine

I've gotten some questions about my skincare routine from friends, so I figured I'd make a blog post of the answer. I feel a bit strange writing this, because I've just recently switched up my routine. In fact, I just changed it yesterday. So, what I'll do is share what I'd been doing up until then, which had been working for me up until about two weeks ago when I started to break out for no reason that I can discern for myself.

In the mornings, I would wake up and wash my face with a non-foaming face wash, such as Noxema original or as of more recently Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser. I'd use warm water, to keep my pores from constricting, and rinse several times. I recently read that one should splash the face with warm water at least six times to get all of the cleanser off and thoroughly rinse pores. The reason I would use this type of cleanser in the morning is because  wash my face with a stronger cleanser at night -- after a whole day of exposure to dirt and grime, makeup, and sweat. After washing my face, I would use a toner. Any toner that works for you is good. I have several toners depending on how my skin feels. I have Aveda's All Sensitive toner for when I want something gentler, and also had Neutrogena Clear Pore astringent (which was a big stronger for the sweaty summer months).

Next, I dab on eye cream. I've been using Garnier Ultra Lift eye cream. There's a lot of squinting going on down here in sunny Florida, you gotta start treating the eyes early, it's the thinnest skin on your face! I've recently picked up a sample of Origin's Youthtopia eye cream, and I'll have to let you know what I think of it once I've used it for a month. I have to finish my Ultra Lift first, though.

After the eye cream, I put one pump of Origins A Perfect World serum all over my face, followed by a thin (emphasis on thin) layer of Origins A Perfect World moisturizer. I say thin because I find it to be quite moisturizing, and when I first started using it, I used a little too much, and broke out. But, when I scaled back on the amount, everything cleared up. So, you don't need a heavy hand, unless maybe your skin is really dry. I have pretty normal skin, just a bit of oiliness in the T-zone.

I let that absorb into my skin for a few minutes and then I apply SPF. I use Target's Up & Up brand generic for Aveeno's face SPF 70. I recently saw that they are carrying the generic for Neutrogena facial SPF as well, and I may try that one next when my current one runs out. I've had it since last summer. I have to check and see the expiration date (yes, SPF has an expiration date), but so far, I still have plenty left in the bottle (maybe half way through). It's important that you use an SPF that is specifically designed for the face so that it's not too greasy, and it doesn't cause the dreaded eye burn if you sweat into your eye.

Once, I'm done with that little routine, I wait a while to let it all sink in before I apply makeup.

In the afternoon, which is when I workout, I wipe my makeup off with baby wipes. I find that Target's generic brand, travel-sized wipes are nice and moist, and also soft. Please do your best not to exercise with a face full of makeup. Can we say, cakey makeup and clogged pores? Ick! Makeup remover wipes also work,  but for less than $1 baby wipes work just fine as well. I've read that many makeup artists use baby wipes to remove makeup, so if it's good enough for the pros... And, always use a clean towel at the gym. I learned this the hard way, when out of laziness, I kept using the same two towels a week (and wash then on the weekend). At the time, I didn't have super sweaty workouts, so I thought, why not? I don't wash my home towel every day... Eh! Wrong! Breakout central! Not only is your towel touching your face (like it does at home), but its resting on equipment that other people have used. Even if their sweat has already dried, there are still germs and bacteria on there. So,  I went out and bought a few more towels and would keep a supply in the car, and just toss the one I'd used that day in the hamper. I also stopped just tossing my towel on the floor if there was no place for me to put it, instead, I rest my towel on my water bottle if needed, and fold it in half so that the inner side of the towel is the only one I use for my face - the other side to wipe down any equipment. Once, I started doing that, my face cleared up in no time. Laziness does not pay off sometimes!

When I get home after my workout. I hop in the shower, and wash my face with a stronger face wash than in the morning. I liked Clean & Clear (or Target's generic for it) foaming face wash, Neutrogena Deep Clean, Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Bacterial foaming cleanser, Clearasil foaming cleanser, or anything along those lines that I could get at a good price, especially if I had a BOGO free or $1 or more off coupon for it, which Noxzema and Clearasil tend to put out. I repeat the same cleansing routine as in the morning, warm water, rinse thoroughly. Then, I use toner, and moisturize. My night moisturizer is Garnier Noutrisse Ultra Lift night cream, and I also apply eye cream again.

I also like to use Alba's Unpetroleum Jelly on my lips in the morning and at night, but any lip balm will also do the trick.


  • Always use cleansers specifically designed for the face. Regular soap is too harsh! Even if your skin is oily. Use products designed for oily skin. Your skin needs some essential oils, so don't go wild washing a million times a day.
  • Only moisturize you face with products specifically designed for the face. Body and hand moisturizer are not designed the same way. 
  • Drink lots of water. Hydrated skin = beautiful skin. You must moisturize it from the inside out too!
  • Eat your fruits and veggies! They provide vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial to your skin. 
  • Try not to touch your face too much. Your hands touch so many things throughout the day, and those things have been touched by others and others. You'll just transfer germs, dirt, and bacteria to your face. 
  • Exfoliate. I do it at least twice per week. A good inexpensive product is St. Ives Apricot Scrub. It's been nomiated a top product by Allure several times. Plus, Target makes a generic version so you can save even more. I also like Origins Modern Friction as a non-drugstore alternative.
  • Masks are good! I love the way my skin feels and looks after a mask treatment. I use Queen Helene's Mud Pack Mask with Natural English Clay. I love how my skin feels clean and taut after I use it. I've also tried Queen Helene's Mint Julep Mask and really liked the results. After this recent bought of breakout, I think I need to go out and buy another bottle to have on hand when another breakout looms. The best part, these masks are affordable, and you can find them at your local drugstore, Target, Walmart, and ULTA. You don't need a hefty price tag to get great results, and Queen Helene proves it! I try to use a mask at least once per month.

So, that's it for my skincare routine. I hope this has been helpful and informative!

Now that I've had this recent breakout, I've gone out and purchased University Medical's Acne Free. It has its own cleanser, toner, and spot treatment. I'll let you all know if it works for me. I'm only on day two!

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