January 28, 2015

Nighttime Skincare Routine

As I've gotten older, I've become much more interested in skincare and taking care of my skin.  And, after much trial and error, I have come to realize my skin is pretty laid back and doesn't require much work. I do have pretty dry skin, but it's easily managed if I'm consistent with a basic routine using gentle hydrating products.  I by no means have perfect skin, and there are areas I still want to improve upon, evening my skin tone being number one, but here are the products I have been using lately that have been leading my skin in the healthy looking direction I want it in.

I start out by swiping a cotton pad with Sephora's Triple Action Cleansing Water on it over my entire face.  And while a woman who worked at Sephora told me this is all she uses to cleanse her face, I use this as more of a makeup remover before my cleanser.  I do this each night regardless of if I wore makeup that day, just to remove and excess dirt and oil if nothing else. It does leave my skin feeling slightly sticky, but it doesn't burn my eyes and is easily washed away with the next step.

Next, I wash my face with Olay's Foaming Face Wash, the sensitive formula. I have been using this for over a year now and my skin loves it. This wash is soap free, which I'm not entirely sure what that means (aside from the obvious), but it leaves my skin feeling super clean and not dry or uncomfortably tight. I use this with my exfoliating face sponge each night that I do not do the following step.

2-3 times a week I follow up cleaning my skin with the Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polish.  I don't get floored easily by products and this one has managed to amaze me. Seriously, if you need a good face scrub I highly recommend checking this one out.  I've used numerous face masks from Freeman and was never impressed, but still grabbed this scrub to try because they're just so cheap (I got mine at Ulta for $3.99).  You can use this product as a scrub or as a mask/scrub where you apply a thin layer for 5-7 minutes and then wash off as you would any other scrub.  Immediately after using this product my face felt softer than it ever has, I was blown away at how smooth my skin felt.  I tried this as both a normal scrub and mask/scrub and didn't notice any difference in the two applications.

After washing my face (or exfoliating and drying, depending on the night) I will apply an eye cream. I'll be honest, this step I sometimes skip because I'm just not a fan of this eye cream.  I don't really see that it does anything for my eye area and it burns terribly if I rub my eyes and some of the cream gets in. I'm really just trying to use this up and figure it's better than not using anything at all.  If any of you have a good eye cream recommendation, please let me know! I also am testing out Nourish Organics Renewing Avocado Eye Cream, so I'll keep you posted.

The final step in my routine, and my most favorite step, moisturizer. I love a good moisturizer and this is by far the best I've tried.  After everything, I slather on Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. It's the first gel moisturizer I've ever used and I love it.  It's so hydrating, not at all sticky, and leaves my skin feeling awesome. This moisturizer is a little pricey to me, $38.50, but the tiniest amount goes a long way and this jar will last me a good 6 months.

Lastly, in regards to my skin and what I think is the other key to my skin's change is that I've completely stopped using any acne products as they're just too drying for my already dry skin.  I've never suffered from acne, only the occasional breakout, but in order to try to prevent them I would wash with saylicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide cleansers and then use topical ointments when I would have a breakout.  I think it was all just too harsh and completely unnecessary for my skin. Instead, I've been dabbing a bit of tea tree oil on any spots I may get and so far it's been a much gentler approach that my skin has been thanking me for.

I think skincare is twofold, it comes down to finding products that work with your skin and then being consistent with using them.  Neither one of those are very easy, at least for me. It took a lot of trial and error before discovering this combination of products and as skin tends to do, in a few years I may need to switch things up.  For now I just need to remember to be diligent about using these products each night.

And there you have it, my very simple nighttime skincare routine.  As I mentioned, I still want to find a product to help with my uneven skin tone and begin to incorporate an all over wrinkle cream, so if you have any suggestions please let me know!

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