You’ve been asking and here it is. My new skincare routine. I warned you it’s over the top, but it has made a huge difference in my skin. I’ve been reading books about skincare, talking with estheticians and my dermatologist, and asking everyone I know with great skin (Sienna, Christina, Jenny - I see you). I’ve included affiliate links to all the products that I’m currently using and a few that I’m really wanting to try. My routine is constantly in flux depending on what I feel my skin needs, but here is the gist:
I started at home derma planing. This is probably one of the cheapest ways I’ve made a difference in my skin. I buy these cheap razors on Amazon (make sure you get this brand and beware of fakes) and then I dry shave my entire face once a week. For even better results you can pay an esthetician to do this - got to the Aviary if you’re in Atlanta. It exfoliates my skin and lets my products penetrate more deeply. For more info and for how I learned to do this, check out this link. On the day I do this, I skip my chemical exfoliator so that I don’t over do it. And then I like to try out new hydrating sheet masks to restore moisture.
Cleansing. I don’t wear much makeup, but after reading about the benefits of double cleansing I started using micellar water to take off any makeup or sunscreen - I like the Sensibio one the best. Then I use a very gentle cleanser to wash my face. I’ve been reading about how important it is to protect the microbiome on the face, so I’ve been trying to find extremely gentle cleansers that protect the skin barrier while cleaning. I’m thinking of trying out some oil cleansing as well. In the morning I only cleanse once since I don’t have any makeup to remove. I also got a silicone cleansing tool. I’ve heard they can over exfoliate the skin if you use them too often, so I try to limit myself to using it twice a week. But it makes my skin feel SO soft that I’m tempted to use it more. I got the mini one because its cheaper, but I bet the sensitive skin one would be the best bet for protecting the skin barrier.
Toner. After cleansing I use a toner or mist. There is one that has probiotics in it that I really want to try, but haven’t yet. The True Botanicals one is refreshing and smells amazing, but if you are sensitive to essential oils you may want to avoid it.
Exfoliating. Upping my exfoliation game has made the biggest difference in my skin. My favorite product is the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50. It can only be found through certain spas and it is intense but effective. I use it every other day. I’ve heard great things about the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels, but they were too strong for my skin. If I wasn’t so in love with the Lotion P50 I would probably try the Dr. Dennis Gross ones for sensitive skin. I let my husband use the ones that were too strong for me and they are great for him. And I’ve linked some cheaper ones that are also more gentle. For a great natural one, I LOVE the True Botanicals exfoliating mask. I don’t like using physical exfoliators because they can injure the skin, but all of these are chemical exfoliators and they have been amazing. These do make your skin more sensitive to the sun so you MUST wear a sunscreen. But you’re wearing sunscreen everyday anyway, right!? Right!?
Serums. At night I mix around which serums I use depending on what my skin needs or what mood I’m in. Serums are super concentrated, so while they are expensive, they are some of the most effective skincare products. I got a sample of this Caudalie one and I’ve been really loving the milkiness of it. The True Botanicals one is one of my favorites for hydration. You can read more about my love for it here. Hyaluronic Acid is a powerful humectant so it is also important for hydration. I’ve been really interested in trying these Marie Veronique ones. The Vitamin B3 serum is supposed to be amazing for calming redness in skin with acne or rosacea. And the Barrier Restore Serum is supposed to be incredible for hydration while protecting the skin’s microbiome. If you layer serums make sure to go from thinnest to thickest.
In the morning I use a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C helps make your sunscreen more effective and helps heal damage already done to your skin. I’m currently using the Obagi one, but I want to try the Marie Veronique one because Vitamin C works best in conjunction with Vitamin E and Ferulic acid. Skinceuticals also makes one like this that is considered the gold standard but its really pricey. Caudalie claims that their product is more effective than Vitamin C. While I can’t speak to that, if you wanted to get just one serum, it could be a good one for day and night. And it is all natural!
Retinol. I’m not sure how I missed the memo on Retinol, but it seems like if you do nothing else, you should be on a retinol. Your skin cells start regenerating more slowly as you age. Retinol makes your skin cells regenerate faster. It can make your skin a little irritated at first, so I started out slowly with it and got a lower concentration one. Now I use it about 3 times a week. I never had any redness or peeling. This is the one I’ve been using and I love it, but there are natural options out there as well. FYI- Retinol is not safe for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant.
Moisturizer and Sunscreen. Ok, this is where I need your help. What are your favorite moisturizers? I have been bouncing around with different samples I’ve gotten, but I still haven’t found a true favorite. The good news is, the serums have done such a great job that I don’t feel like I have as much of a need for it. I used to think this was the most important step for me. Now i’m just looking for a basic moisturizer to hydrate and seal it all in. In the mornings I use my sunscreen as my moisturizer because it is really hydrating. It is great for redness because it has B3 in it. Definitely choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide because zinc is great for your skin. They are making them now with micro particles so they aren’t as thick and white as they used to be. Or you can get a tinted one. They are still more sheer than tinted moisturizer but they don’t go on white. My makeup is just a tinted moisturizer and it also has sunscreen in it. And I keep a sunscreen stick that goes on clear and glossy like a highlighter in my purse to reapply when i’m out. I also put sunscreen on my lips always and have noticed a huge difference in my chapped lips.
Ok, last but not least, I sometimes use a Gua Sha tool. Its a tool used to stimulate lymphatic fluid. It has been so amazing for my neck during and after migraines. This has become such a special selfcare ritual for me. I recommend watching some videos from Lanshin to learn more.
Ok, I warned you it was over the top. But I just love skincare. I look forward to my skincare routine all day. I’m actually considering becoming an esthetician because it brings me so much joy. If you have any favorite products I should know about please tell me! Especially moisturizers and masks.