For about 3 years now, I’ve been wholly obsessed with beauty (which to me, includes makeup and skincare. Sometimes hair, but who has time for that?). I have no idea where this desire to learn anything and everything about beauty comes from, but I think it has to do with the neurotic capricorn in me who loves to have control of a situation. For example, if I encounter a problem with my skin, I use a combination of skincare and makeup to conceal it and eventually, get rid of it. Frankly, it makes me feel like I have my shit together.
Today, I’m sharing with you the skincare regimen I’ve been using for the past year or so. Sometimes the products changed, but they mostly remained the same, and the process was always consistent. Relative to other skincare experts, my knowledge about skincare is probably at the 101 level at best, but I’ve figured out what works for me. Obviously, I’m not a dermatologist or have extensive experience in cosmetology, so don’t take what I say as your only textbook. Finding what works for your skin isn’t easy and may take a lot of time and a lot of research. Don’t be afraid to consult dermatologists or skincare experts if you feel lost and overwhelmed.
Up until my freshman year of college, my skin was typical oily teenage skin. I had regular breakouts that wouldn’t let up no matter how much money I spent on products in CVS trying to clear my acne. Soon enough, they started to get painful. When I had to start using cold aloe vera gel on my breakouts to provide some relief, I knew it was time to research and employ other options.
I visited a dermatologist who prescribed me two topical lotions and an oral antibiotic, and after about 3 months, I started to see a real difference. As my freshman year ended, my skin had made a complete turnaround, and in the process, changed types completely. While I still get oily in my T-zone, I truly think the combination of the acne medication and one of the harshest winter in Boston’s history dried out my skin, and well, it never went back. Now, instead of oily skin, I’m definitely dealing with combination/dry so I’ve had to alter my skincare products to fit that change.
I start out by washing my face with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser. I discovered the Ultra Facial line after giving into the hype and buying the Kiehl’s avocado eye cream which is JUST as amazing as everyone says. The cleanser has a gel consistency that foams up just a teeny bit when you use it, but it doesn’t strip your skin, which is important because my skin needs all the hydration it can get. It’s also lasted me so long because you really don’t have to use a lot; I probably use slightly less than a dime’s size amount each time. I take off the leftover cleanser with a warm washcloth.
Then, I go in with a toner. The queen of skincare blogs, Caroline Hirons, introduced me to a toner’s importance and now I can’t imagine my skincare without it. I prefer a strong toner that really gives your skin a zing. It’s so satisfying! I use the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 on a cotton round and put that baby all over my face.
After, if I have any breakouts or spots, I apply the LaRoche-Posay Effaclar Duo. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a residue, and it’s not too drying.
Once that dries, I spray the Vichy Thermal Spa Water all over my face. I introduced a hydrating water spray into my regimen because I really felt like I needed another layer of hydration. This product really preps my skin for my moisturizer, and doesn’t feel heavy or sticky at all! I also use this over my makeup if I need to touch up the middle of the day, just to amp it up.
Then, I apply my eye cream. I read once that you should always apply eye cream before moisturizer so it can go straight on your under-eye area, instead of laying on top of your moisturizer. My eye area is usually one of the driest, sensitive places on my face, so I like an eye cream that’s hydrating and usually unscented. I just started using Clinique’s All About Eyes. It’s thick, but not goopy and feels refreshing on the skin.
I usually apply a few squirts of a sample of Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum Collagen Booster. At 20, I probably don’t need to be using products with collage in them, but I really enjoy this step. I don’t know why, but its scent reminds me of a nice hotel’s smell. It smells kind of orangey and helps to wake me up in the morning. Plus, more hydration!
I finish (finally) with moisturizer. If I know I’m going out in the sun, I like to use a moisturizer with SPF in it, like the daytime CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion which has SPF 30 in it. I usually top that off with a teeny pump of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for, you got it, more hydration.
And that’s it! It seems like a lot, but from start to finish, it takes me maybe 7 minutes. For my skin, I feel like a more extensive routine is worth it and really makes a difference. If you’re looking for something more simple, I recommend sticking with the holy trinity of skincare: Cleanser, Toner, and Moisturizer.
I found that having a consistent skincare routine is truly important. When I do break out, I notice that if I continue with my routine without changing it up too much, it helps to clear everything up faster. My skin (much like me) doesn’t like change, so if yours is sensitive or you break out easily, try to find what works for you and stick to it. Find the brands that you trust and that work (for me, Kiehl’s and Clinique are always bae) and start building a routine from there. You only get one face, and taking care of it now will make it much easier to maintain in the future.
Good luck on your skincare journey!