July 23, 2013

My Current Skincare Routine

My skincare routine isn't very complicated, but I thought it would be great to take a second to write a little bit about my typical routine and my 'problem areas' as a reference for future skincare posts! Let's begin with a really not that bad photo of me sans makeup (thank U iPhone for making this just a smidgen bit more bearable by being lovingly blurry) and then the same image with a lot of accidentally angry looking words all over it, showing you my perceived concerns about my skin. I'd say the biggest concerns are also the easiest to read ones - blackheads and enlarged pores on my nose and inner cheek area and my allergy-induced + fair skin + genetically pre-defined very dark circles. But I am really worried about the fine lines and texture my forehead has developed :(

Currently in my mid-twenties (24 to be exact, which feels too old for how unsettled my life is, but that's another story), my main concerns are balancing my oily-combo skin + it's frequent tendency to desperately want to break out, especially hormonal acne, with the early stages of anti-aging lotions and potions. I'm all about the idea that I can maybe maintain what I've got ~going on~ right now (collagen wise and all that) instead of some mad dash to "fix it all later" once the wrinkles and sadness sets in.

I developed my 'regimen' by sifting through tons and tons of articles, ingredient lists, and product reviews on Beautypedia // Paula's Choice. I am NOT an expert or a professional (nor do I pretend to be one), I've just read a lot of things on the internet and am trying out different products to see what works for me. I have a limited budget, but that doesn't mean there's not an affordable, super awesome sunscreen for my oily face if I don't research hard enough! These are the products, mostly drugstore ones that fit my budget and that I can go buy in person quickly when I run out, and routine that I have been doing since about January.

In the morning:
  1. Clean & Clear Advantage Oil Absorbing Treatment - I use this light oil 'absorbing' "treatment" lotion as a BHA exfoliator and I use it primarily on my nose and cheeks. It dries to a nice soft, silky finish. I don't really notice that it keeps that part of my face less oily, but I guess it must because my primary shine area as the day wears on is my forehead!
  2. Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 - This is probably too harsh for constant use, but it's what I could find at the drugstore that contains Benzoyl Peroxide instead of salicylic acid. I like that one tube lasts FOREVER and I do feel like this has been more effective for me than other treatments.
  3. Kiss My Face Oat Protein Complex with Hydresia SPF 18 - As an already oily person, I sort of loath having to slap on greasy sunblock. This sunblock, however, is fantastic! I always feel nice and moisturized, not shiny, oil, or greasy once I'm done rubbing it in and it doesn't break me out. Only con is that this was really hard to find until I stumbled upon it at Whole Foods (the internet lists it as being at a lot of drugstores, and it isn't in my area). There is apparently an SPF 30 version of this I want to try because SPF 18 isn't really as high as I feel like it should be. Regardless, great price and great product - highly recommend if you're looking to try a new reasonably priced sunblock.
At night:
  1. Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes - I use a lot of waterproof and 'long lasting' makeup (like Color Tattoos over primer, locked down with spray, etc.) because I am oily and don't like creasing/smudging. I do find it very helpful to have a cleansing cloth to really get rid of makeup without tugging and scrubbing with a washcloth on my eyes, etc. These work well and the smell isn't overwhelming (A+ because I hate drenching my face in fragrance right before sleeping). These also don't dry out my face! And I got a huge pack on sale at Walmart :) 
  2. Clean & Clear daily face soap of some kind (and washcloth) - After using a cleansing cloth I do a quick rinse to get any leftover makeup or petroleum product residue from the cloth off. I usually gently physically exfoliate with the washcloth on my cheeks and my forehead. In particular the facial cleanser I've been using from Clean & Clear is a 'simple' clear one, which is nice, but it really dries out my face a lot and makes my skin feel very tight. I think next time I purchase a facial cleanser I'll be opting for a creamier style one.
  3. Clean & Clear Advantage Oil Absorbing Treatment (again) - I like to use this as a BHA exfoliator, and again, focus on my nose and inner cheeks at night.
  4. Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 (again) - Dab a little on zits here and there at night, hooray!
  5. "General night lotion" = this is what I've been experimenting with the most. I was using the Neutrogena retinol night cream, and it was fine, but there are SO many different night lotion potions to try that I don't mind mixing it up!! I find that if I keep all the other steps pretty consistent I can try new products without upsetting my face too much.
I think that just like with anything in life, being consistent is key! The more often I stick to my steps, the better my skin fares.
What's your skincare routine like? Do you like to use drugstore or higher end products?

*This blog utilizes compensated affiliate links through Skimlinks. I would never recommend a product to you unless I have tried it myself and truly love it, pinky promise!


  1. Drugstore! Specifically a recent Neutrogena sale :P Very interesting post, especially because I feel like I have a lot of the same skin concerns.

    I've fallen in love with the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser after I read about it on Nouveau Cheap. It does have a mild scent though, and it isn't creamy, so...might not be something you'd like. I give my eyes extra attention with Maybelline Clean Express eye makeup remover, because I also use Color Tattoos and waterproof mascara.

    I like the Neutrogena All-in-1 Acne control for my hormonal acne flare-ups. It's the only thing I've used where I usually see a noticeable difference in a day or two.
    I'm really bad about consistently using sunscreen, and I need to fix that. I know it's really important. I picked up a Neutrogena SPF 30 facial moisturizer - I think it's the Tone Correcting one - and I like it, but I'm horrible about using it consistently.

    I keep the Neutrogena cleansing pads (with salicylic acid) handy at home and at work, and use those if my face feels oily (and I'm not wearing makeup at the time). Does salicylic acid disagree with your skin?

    I think I need to check out the Oil Absorbing Treatment! And maybe using a washcloth...I don't do anything specific to exfoliate.

    Any luck with these dang dark circles? I'm fair-skinned and allergy-ridden, and my dark circles are the worst. Covering them up has become tougher as I get older (34) and develop some fine lines :(

    1. Thanks! I've gotten much better about the sunscreen application because my desk is next to a window and I have indirect natural light beaming in at me all the time!! I don't think salicylic acid disagrees with me, I just remember having a prescription strength benzoyl peroxide based acne treatment in high school/early college when I was going through some more extreme acne, and I thought it was time to change it up again.

      I will definitely be checking your recommendations next time I need to go shopping!! I am pretty fond of Neutrogena products :)

      For dark circles I rely heavily on concealer (duh, right?!) - my 'trick' is keeping my under eye area moisturized and prepping with a primer to make everything easier to blend (I'm using the L'Oreal magic base one right now). Then I use a creamy concealer a shade darker than my skin to actually cover the darkness focusing on the inner and darker parts of the circle (usually if I use something that matches my skin exactly I just get grey circles). THEN a highlighting shade (currently using the Hard Candy Glamoflauge in 'Light') blended a little on the edges and down into my inner cheek area a little! It sounds like a lot of work but it really doesn't take very long; I think it takes longer to explain in words than do it :p I don't totally feel like this is the perfect solution yet, but the theBalm concealer and the Hard Candy Glamoflauge are lasting SO long I'm not really in the mood to repurchase even more concealer right now!!

    2. Aha! I've never been good about using primer. That's probably what I need to do to moisturize the eye area and address the "crepe-iness". I'm using a Cover Girl concealer stick in "Light", which is actually one shade darker than my skin, to cover up, so that step sounds correct - I discovered the same thing about those grey circles! The concealer just keeps settling into my skin a bit, so hopefully the primer will even that out. I own Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Light but haven't used it yet - I'll definitely give the highlighting a try too. Thank you!!

      P.S. How did my nail polish addiction spill over into cosmetics? I think it's a "color" addiction, perhaps...

    3. Totally, I agree about the "color" addiction thing! I love having color EVERYWHERE :p Hope that primer helps you out! I think it's definitely helped me a TON with blending everything together and the longevity of the concealer products :D I've been using the L'Oreal one (as I mentioned), but I don't love that it comes in a jar so I probably wont re-purchase when I run out.

  2. I've been using the same routine as you have since I was 15 (and I'm now 28). Sometimes I just quit and go all natural, and see if I've passed the random breakout phase that I experienced as a teen. Nope. So, I wonder if all of the products we use to on our skin has sort of a negative effect. It would be nice to not have to apply all of these creams and lotions and whatnot one day, you know?! It gets so expensive! But, I'm afraid that I've trained my skin to NEED all of this extra pampering, that it can't survive on its own!


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