Next up in this beauty series – everyday skincare essentials! This is by far the most important part of my beauty regimen and what I find myself prioritizing as I get older (think sunscreen, anti-aging and eye cream). After all, skin is the largest organ, so it’s important we take good care of it!
Over the years, I’ve tested and tried a lot of skincare products working at Birchbox and just from generally being an interested consumer. I’m not picky when it comes to where I’m buying my products (i.e. drugstore vs. department store), as I’m more interested in the performance and ingredients.
Since everyone’s skin make up is different, it’s super important to find out what products work for you and to stick with them.
For reference, I have dry, sensitive skin that can be considered combination in the warmer months. Generally, I keep my skincare routine lighter in the summer (no heavy oils or super thick creams) and will add in heavier products during the winter. A good skincare routine should include the following in order: cleanser, exfoliator (every other day), serum, eye cream, moisturizer (preferably with SPF). Masks, facial oils, mists/waters and cleansing wipes are also products you should incorporate where needed. Tools like rollers are great add-ins but not totally necessary for everyone.
As someone who’s tested numerous brands and product types, below are the ones I’ve found that work for me. The best way to find out if a product will work for you is to ask for a sample first and give it a try! If that’s not an option, be sure you know the store’s return policy in case you find out it’s not your type of product in the end. That way you don’t end up with a closet full of skincare that really won’t work with your skin type. Now, onto the main event – I hope you’ll find it useful!
Cleansers & Exfoliators
My favorite cleanser is from Kiehl’s who we all know has been around forever and makes top notch products. I’m taking a break from it right now while pregnant (it contains salicylic acid) but will most likely use it again after baby girl is born. Right now, I’m testing out two “clean” beauty cleansers which exclude many of those nasty ingredients like parabens, sulfates, formaldehydes, etc: this jelly cleanser from Drunk Elephant and this Origins makeup removing cleanser. While at Birchbox, I also found the absolute best exfoliator and I haven’t strayed in three years. It works for most skin types and really is not at all harsh. Also loving this refining peel gel that I recently got from the Sephora sale, and am really into the brand overall. At night, I like to use this cleansing oil to wash the day off before bed.
Some masks out there can seriously mess up your skin either from strong chemicals or harsh exfoliants. However, my favorite masks both fit into the clean beauty beauty category! This beautifully crafted resurfacing mask is seriously one of the best I’ve ever tried. I don’t use it every week due to the price point, but my it is wonderful. Leaves your skin feeling refreshed, soft and hydrated. This classic charcoal mask is great for purifying and toning. I will use this one more often to pull out any impurities and refresh my skin.
One of my top five beauty products is this Korean moisturizing serum. It has seriously changed my skin and I’m not sure I’ll ever stray from this product. It has the perfect weight and really preps your skin for whatever you want to add next. I cannot say enough good things about this product. Right now I’m also testing out a few clean beauty serums through a brand partnership, so stay tuned for a post! In the past I’ve also used this power infusing concentrate and absolutely love it.
Moisturizers and Oils
From the same line as my favorite serum, I also use the cream as it too works wonders for my skin and helps give that youthful glow. Both work beautifully together and don’t just sit on top leaving that filmy feeling. Currently also loving the Saturday Skin moisturizer and think I’ll permanently add it to my regimen. When it comes to eye cream, I love this eye renewal balm but am currently testing out this brightening cream and really like it so far! Some other moisturizers I use and love is the Clinique gel moisturizer and this French cream (great for makeup priming). Believe it or not, I just bought an organic argan oil from Trader Joes for only $7 and it’s really nice! In the past I’ve used this popular argan oil and really enjoyed it.
Sprays, Wipes and Rollers
When it comes to sprays, I mainly use them when prepping my skin for makeup or throughout the day if I need a refresh. I’ve been using this rose water spray for years and recently have been enjoying this hydrating essence. I always keep an inventory of my favorite makeup wipes and love using this micellar water with a cotton round as a quick cleanser or toner.
Lastly, I wanted to touch on the jade roller. I do really like how it’s performed, but the jury is still out for me when it comes to the impact and necessity. Many women I know keep it in the fridge for a nice cooling effect, but I would honestly never use it if it was sitting in my kitchen fridge. However, when I do use it, I see a difference in puffiness and wrinkles. It also feels nice, so who doesn’t love that! And at only $15, it’s not something you need to feel bad about purchasing.
PS – Next skincare topic I’ll cover is a controversial one – facial razors. In the meantime, check out my everyday makeup essentials!