As an esthetician, I LOVE educating myself about the physiology of skin, the science behind why certain ingredients work and how they work. Even though I love it, it can be overwhelming. There is a ton amount of information online. Where do you start?
The social media #skincareroutine has almost become a joke now with influencers and bloggers using this annoying line… “so many of you have asked about my skin care routine so I thought I would take a moment…” 🙄 Did they really ask or are you just selling products? How can you even trust anyone to tell you the truth when every link you click on gives them a kickback to their bank account?
How do you know what will work for you and your specific needs? What even are your needs? In my opinion, simple and sustainable is best! If you have to engage in a 15 step skin care routine every day and night, it just won't happen. Although self-care is so important, we are all busy people! I try to recommend products that are easy to use, easy to find and won't break the bank.
Here's a simple routine step-by-step you can start to get your skin wedding ready!
Goal - Get rid of makeup, sunscreen and irritants. Go to bed hydrated and glowing:)
If you wear makeup, waterproof eye makeup or water resistant type sunscreens, double-cleansing might be a great practice to get into to. There's actual data out there that says that "double-cleansing" is the most effective at removing makeup and sunscreen. You only need to do this extra step at night before bed. It's not totally necessary but I do feel like it makes a huge difference in how clean my skin feels.
Step 1 - Use an oil cleanser or balm to break up everything, including eye makeup, I use a washcloth and just gently wipe it all off, rinsing the washcloth out a couple times.
Step 2 - Cleanse with a foaming cleanser to remove all the gunk you just emulsified.
(At this point, if you still have eye makeup on, follow-up with a cotton round and some makeup remover, like micellar water.)
Just use a pea-size or more of your moisturizer or night cream and that's it!
Exfoliate - 3x a week
If you are struggling with dull, tired skin with rough texture, hyperpigmentation or signs of aging, exfoliation is one of the best things you can do. Using a gentle acid (like Lactic or Glycolic) is one of the best ways to get rid of dead skin cells and help it to look refreshed and renewed!
Goal - Start the day off right by hydrating & protecting your skin from harmful rays!
Ok so, here's the thing... if you don't really sweat that much when you sleep, and you have a clean pillowcase most of the time, you don't really need to cleanse in the morning. Especially for drier/dehydrated skin types, it is better to just splash with water and head to the hydration! If you have oily skin or like to start your day with a cleanse, that's fine! Just switch to a more hydrating cleanser, and you're good to go.
At this point, if you are more on the oily side, all you need to do is put on a good moisturizer with an spf and you're good! For dry/dehydrated types, apply your moisturizer, and then follow it up with an spf.
Getting into a routine can be hard at first, but I promise you will start to enjoy the self-care. When you start seeing results in a couple weeks, you will be thrilled! One thing that helps me stick to my routine, even when I'm working from home, is to cleanse my face right after dinner, or before I sit on the couch in the evening haha! Then by the time bed-time rolls around, all I have to do is brush + floss my teeth and I can take my tired butt to sleep!
Here are some of my CURRENT favorites that are great basic everyday products to get your skin wedding ready!
Double Cleansing Products
DHC - Deep Cleansing Oil - if you are wearing makeup or sunscreen, definitely do a 2-step cleanse, starting with this stuff.
Cerave Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm - Cleansing balms are also a great first step to break down dirt, they are just a different texture. I love them!
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser - This is a great hydrating cleanser to use in the morning or as a step 2 cleanse at night. It will leave your skin clean but not "squeaky clean". Actually, our skin should never feel like that, that means we've stripped all the good stuff off. It might take a while but you will get used to the feeling! If you have dry or dehydrated skin, you might not need to cleanse at all in the morning.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser - This non-foaming cleanser is great if you have dry/dehydrated skin and/or you aren't wearing a lot of makeup or sunscreen. Because it doesn't foam, it is different than most cleansers, it gently cleanses and is great if you feel like you need a morning cleanse.
Pixi Glow Tonic - This is a gentle 5% glycolic acid exfoliating toner that you can use 3-5 days a week at night. It helps with clogged pores, dull skin, dark spots and fine lines! Just put a little on a cotton round and sweep across forehead, nose, cheeks + chin avoiding eyes and lips and follow with a moisturizer.
Farmacy Honeymoon Glow - a more potent 14% glycolic + lactic acid exfoliating serum that you can use 3 times a week. I love how glowy and radiant my skin looks in the morning after I use this!
Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer - This is a great basic everyday lightweight moisturizer. You can put this on at night if you want or under your sunscreen/makeup during the day if you're feeling extra dry in the morning. It absorbs fast and does not feel greasy!
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 - this is a great daily moisturizer. It has ingredients to help combat redness and dehydration and it also has an SPF in it so if you have oilier skin, its a one step option for face and neck. You won't have to use a moisturizer AND a sunscreen unless your skin is feeling dry or dehydrated. It's good to get into a habit of wearing an SPF every single day, even if you are inside all day. The sun's rays (UVA/UVB) come in through windows and cause premature aging and skin cancer. Yikes!
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF45 - The ultra-sheer ones from Neutrogena are my favorite US sunscreens, even though I mostly use Korean and Japanese brands. (this deserves it's own dedicated post!)