Staples for Skincare: Healthy, Hydrated and Glowing
I’ve been asked many times over the last few months about my skincare routine and really wanted to dive into what I’ve found to be useful either from friends or random internet finds. Honestly, I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to skincare - or anything for that matter. I think it's wise to consult with a dermatologist for any specific skin concerns and get a better understanding of what's happening with your skin. After all, it's the largest organ we have and taking care of it should be a priority.
Specifically for my face, I have tried a lot of different products from drug store finds to specialty stores like Sephora or Ulta Beauty, trying to find what I thought worked best. Most of the time, I found a “nice face soap” but didn't heavily consider other factors such as oiliness or dryness. Over time, my routine has become a combination of drug store and Sephora discoveries that I really love. Let's dive into them!
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soap is bomb and I love it! I use it in the Rose scent at least twice a day. It lathers well and leaves my face feeling hydrated instead of dry. It’s relatively inexpensive and you can purchase it at your local retailer such as CVS.
I alternate between my face soap and Ole Henriksen’s Wonderfeel Double Cleanser. I normally use this at night before heading to bed since it’s great for removing long-wear or waterproof make-up. Normally after a long day, I want to hydrate and cleanse my skin to feel more refreshed. I’ve found this cleanser to be effective at rejuvenating my skin.
Spoiler alert: I never used toner until this year. I had no idea it was useful until I finally figured out that I have combination skin which is sometimes tricky. You don’t always fit into a particular category (oily or dry) and not every combination-skin labeled product actually helps you. I’ve noticed that after washing my face and applying Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner that my face visibly evens out. The rosewater is super hydrating and is a must-have for me since alcohol-based toners make my skin feel really rough and dry.
While less is more, I don’t regret adding this exfoliant to my routine. Seriously, years went by before I started doing this and I didn’t realize how amazing it is! I normally exfoliate my skin at least twice a week and find it easiest to do in the shower. It’s something I still forget but I’m currently on a Wednesday / Sunday schedule. Ole Henriksen’s PORE-BALANCE™ FACIAL SAUNA SCRUB controls oil, exfoliates and deeply purifies and reduces the look of pores. It also leaves your face feeling incredibly soft to touch – which I love! This is another great way to remove any pollen, dust or unwanted particles from seeping into your pores.
Daily Face Cream
I like to keep my daily face cream light, especially in the summertime. This desire has continued throughout the year and I really like Ole Henriksen’s NURTURE ME™ MOISTURIZING CRÈME. The jar is rather small but a little bit of the product goes a long way. It feels like a sealant after cleansing and toning my face, making me feel super confident. I also use Ole Henriksen’s HYGGE HYDRACLAY™ DETOX MASK once a week to supplement the daily moisturizing cream (it’s great in the winter time).
I’ve always dreaded sunblock because it was so heavy and smelled clinical (weird, I know). Upon further research, I realized that I should certainly be protecting my skin, especially my face, from harmful ultraviolet rays. I asked a friend what sunblock she used for her face as I was also worried the residue would be seen through my makeup. She recommended EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 (untinted). I was a little skeptical at first, especially given the price, but I decided I was going to give it a try since testing multiple products would cost even more. I was SO happy I did because this facial sunblock is so lightweight and easy to apply. It was the answer. I highly recommend it as it’s one of my favorite products.
This certainly goes a little off-topic but I think makeup has played a strong role in the appearance of my face and the health of my skin. For a long time, I used MAC, Covergirl and other foundations that clogged my pores, resulting in a tremendous amount of acne and discoloration of my face. Needless to say, I was devastated and stopped wearing foundation and wore minimal amounts of makeup to “nurse” my face back to health. To be fair, I also wasn’t doing half of what I listed above which could have worked wonders or resulted in the same way – who knows. I decided a few years ago that if I was going to wear makeup that I didn’t want it to feel heavy on my face and I wanted less breakouts (or other issues). I found my answer in CoverFX’s Pressed Mineral Foundation! I love this foundation because it’s barely there and gives me the coverage I desire. Another bonus: it’s gluten free. They have over 40 shades if you want to check it out.
I try my hardest to buy products that don’t contain parabens, sulfates, or anything else that can be harmful to the body. I think that’s made a huge difference in the products I’ve been using but I also know I’m not perfect and something might slip in every now and then – that’s alright. This isn’t a perfect science and heck, it’s really just an experiment until the next skin issue arises.
A balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables has also been helpful. I noticed that when I eat less healthy that my skin reacts negatively. It's another indicator of what's going on with my body and I try to heed its advice.
I’d recommend paying attention to how your skin reacts to different products and prioritize hydration, cleanliness and ease-of-use. I can’t emphasize the last one enough! I know I’ve listed a lot of products but this routine reflects my personal limits of where I’d like to take my skincare. You should define what those limits are - whether it’s time in the morning or budget concerns – and navigate the product world from there. You may not get it perfect (does anyone?) but pretty darn close is something to celebrate.
Either way, the priorities remain the same: keep your skin healthy, hydrated and glowing.