I posted awhile back about a few of the beauty items I was using and loving, but didn’t get much into my skincare routine or what I use on my face on a daily basis.
I’m always curious to know how people care for their skin and what products they use, so I thought I might share my current routine with y’all, in case you’re looking to change up your own routine a bit (or in case you’re just nosy like I am).
A little background — I have problematic skin. I’ve suffered from random bouts of acne since middle school and have tried just about every topical medication on the market and eventually went on Accutane in high school. Accutane tamed things for a few years, but my acne returned when I went to law school (coincidence? I think not.) and I started using Proactiv. I used Proactiv religiously for years and found that it worked wonders. However, a few years ago it stopped being effective, and I was tired of having to shell out money every month for the products. I wanted to get into a routine that was more sustainable long-term, and more focused on anti-aging, so I pestered my husband into buying me a Clarisonic brush for my birthday (which was everyone’s obsession 2 years ago). I gave the Clarisonic a go for 9 months before giving up on it completely. Honestly, the brush made me breakout worse than anything had in the past, and left my skin feeling tight and looking shiny. I loved how clean my skin felt after using the brush, but the downside (the way it made my skin look) far outweighed any of the benefits. I finally decided to shelve the brush and get back to basics — gentle cleansing, no product swapping, letting my skin breathe, etc. — and I really noticed a difference. My face cleared up in a matter of weeks, and aside from the random pregnancy hormone-fueled breakout here and there, my skin has behaved and stayed clear since I stopped using all the fancy gadgetry and products.
Also, obviously I’m super pale (it comes with the red hair), so I tend to be prone to redness (with my lovely pink undertones and easy ability to blush over anything). My skin tends to be more on the dry side, especially in winter, so I focus a lot on moisturizing and trying to keep my skin balanced and even-toned.
I’ve divided up my routine into three categories — prep, base, and finish. I’ve made a lot of changes to my skincare routine over the years (and some recent changes as well), so I’ve noted the products I’ve been using a long time (years) vs. things that are newer in my repertoire.
- Cleanser: I use the Dove White Beauty Bar to wash my face every morning and every night. I’ve been using Dove soap on my face since middle school and stick with it because it’s so gentle and mild.
- Makeup Remover: I use Neutrogena’s oil-free eye makeup remover to remove any traces of eye makeup in the evenings. It’s gentle and non-greasy and ok for contact lens wearers like me.
- PM: At night after washing my face and removing all my makeup, I use Tarte’s Maracuja Oil on my face, Tarte’s Maracuja C-Brightener Eye Treatment under my eyes, and Burt’s Bees classic beeswax lip balm on my lips. If I have a blemish, I use Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick for spot treatment. I like the Maracuja Oil because it’s moisturizing but still feels light and surprisingly non-greasy. The eye cream is one I’ve been using for about a year and a half — I am always on the hunt for the best eye cream out there (and have tried many). This one is nicely hydrating and doesn’t irritate my skin (as many do). And of course, you guys already know about the Burt’s Bees Blemish Stick if you’ve been reading my Pregnancy Favorites posts. It’s kind of smelly (due to the tea tree oil), but it’s natural and works well, so it gets my vote.
- AM: In the morning after washing my face, I use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15, Tarte’s Maracuja C-Brightener Eye Treatment under my eyes, and Burt’s Bees classic beeswax lip balm on my lips. I’ve been using Neutrogena’s moisturizer for years now. Occasionally I’ve strayed and tried something new, but I always find my way back to Neutrogena’s classic because it’s light, has SPF, and doesn’t make me break out.
- After prepping my face with moisturizer, I use Laura Mercier’s oil-free tinted moisturizer (in Cameo) for light, all-over coverage. There’s a total cult following for this moisturizer, and for good reason. It somehow provides awesome, even coverage without having that thick, cakey “I’m wearing foundation” look.
- For under my eyes and any other spot that needs concealing, I use YSL Touche Eclat concealer (in Shade 2) and/or Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (either in Fair or Brightener… I can’t remember which one I have). Bonus for the Maybelline concealer — if you buy the shade lighter than your skin tone it works great as a highlighter as well as a concealer. The YSL concealer is pricey, but it provides really natural-looking coverage, which is tough to find in a concealer, and it doesn’t crease — even when worn all day.
- To set my makeup, I had been using Laura Mercier’s Invisible Loose Setting Powder (great for a matte finish, because the LM moisturizer is fairly shiny), but recently I switched over to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (in Diffused Light) because I’ve felt like my 3rd trimester skin could use a little extra pick me up (I’m really tired these days, so the lighting powder gives that “lit from within” effect which makes me feel a little bit less “I’m 100 weeks pregnant.”) The Hourglass powders aren’t cheap, and I think whether you like them or not totally depends on whether you’re someone who likes that sort of luminous, glowy look. I used to wear a lot of glitter back in the day (hi, I started wearing makeup in the 90’s), so the whole luminous thing is totally up my alley. I’ll probably be horrified by it in like 10 years (or my daughter will be horrified for me. Y’know.), but hey, I’m into it now, so what can you do.
- I, being the pale vampire that I am, of course finish things up with some blush — my go-to is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush. I use the Blissful shade, but am on the hunt for a rosier hue to use occasionally. I’ve heard good things about Hourglass’ blush — and given how much I like their powders (I have both Diffused Light and Luminous Light) I may just need to give them a whirl.