Let’s strip it down and talk about ✨ skincare ✨
One of the best forms of self-care is skincare. Whenever I feel myself loose grip on my life, I slap on a sheet mask and ground myself back to reality. It’s the one thing I feel like I currently have the most control over in my life. I’m a creature of habit and when something works for me, I rarely change it… which is why I’ve tested this skincare routine for the past year and a half and I can vouch that my skin has never looked better.
Honestly, if I skip my skincare routine for one day/night, I can guarantee a pimple within the next day or two. It’s not to say I don’t get an occasional hormonal breakout from time to time, because #human, but my skin rarely gets an unwarranted breakout if I follow this routine.
For starters, it’s so important to drink yo water! I can’t stress enough how important it is for not just your skin, but in all aspects of healthy living. Keeping myself hydrated just makes the products I use work more efficiently and makes my skin just appear to glow more.
Let’s break down the routine first, then discuss some of my favorite products for each step:
You might recall this chart from my March ’20 Faves, but this is the same chart I’ve followed for the past year-and-a-half and have sworn by.
Cleanse | Tone | Eye cream | Moisturize | SPF
Sunday: Cleanse | Exfoliate | Tone | Eye cream | Sleep mask
Monday: Cleanse | Tone | Oil/serum (use jade roller) | Eye cream | Moisturize
Tuesday: Cleanse | Clay/gel mask | Tone | Eye cream | Moisturize
Wednesday: Cleanse | Exfoliate | Tone | Eye cream | Sleep mask
Thursday: Cleanse | Tone | Oil/serum (use jade roller) | Eye cream | Moisturize
Friday: Cleanse | Tone | Sheet mask | Eye cream | Moisturize
Saturday: Cleanse | Tone | Oil/serum (use jade roller) | Eye cream | Moisturize
For the longest time, I believed that the more money I spent on a product, the more it was guaranteed to work. This is NOT ENTIRELY TRUE: I’ve tried a lot of products in my day and sometimes the drugstore finds are better than the high-end products. If a product works, I won’t hesitate to spend the money on it, but just because you ball out at Sephora doesn’t mean that it will ensure flawless skin. Do your research about what skin type you have and find products that work the best for you. For reference, I have combination skin and use products that help combat oiliness.
This is the one product that I always thought the more money I spent, the more it would work and although I have always loved the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip cleanser, sometimes you don’t want to spend nearly $40 on a face cleanser you’ll run through!
I’ve recently dabbled in finding drugstore cleansers that won’t trash my skin. My friend Amanda had suggested trying out Pacifica Cosmic Hemp cleanser and I am in love with it. It smells incredible and doesn’t leave my skin dry. I also love the fact they’re cruelty-free, vegan and comes in at $10.
Growing up, I never realized how crucial toning your skin really is. As someone who has oily/combination skin, finding the right toner can help combat that dreaded mid-day shine.
The tricky thing with toners is that you don’t want a product that has alcohol listed as its first ingredient, since that will dry out your face: Look for toners that have water listed first. The Caudalie Vinopure has been my favorite I’ve tested so far because I can feel it give my skin an extra clean through without stripping it too much of its natural oils.
I have combination/oily skin and I always thought that the more creams and product I put on my face would make my face shine (not like a diamond). Come to find out, this is actually NOT true! The more hydrated and moisturized your skin is, the less overtime your makeup has to put in to look well-blended and flawless.
Mattefying moisturizers are among some of my favorite formulas because it gives your skin a baseline to work off of. One of my all-time favorites is Origins Original Skin Matte Moisturizer. It smells great and really leaves my skin hydrated, but without the shine.
I’m slowly learning that hyaluronic acids will be your skincare BFF as they provide important moisture to the skin. Another favorite moisturizer of mine is the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Moisturizer, because even though it’s suppose to deliver intense hydration to the skin, it doesn’t leave me feeling weighed down with product.
We’ve all done it: We’ve stayed up too late binging one last episode on Netflix or endlessly scrolling on TikTok and now you’re paying for it with those unslightly under-eye bags.
Admittedly, I don’t always do this step since I’m fortunate to have manageable under-eye skin. I try to aim for the right amount of water and sleep, but I understand that sometimes it is genetic and can’t be helped. My biggest tip for using eye creams is to look for ones with peptides. These will help brighten and de-puff.
Also crucial is using your ring finger to apply in a dabbing motion. Never rub your under-eyes because this will cause wrinkles down the road. Dabbing will help absorb the product better and using the ring finger helps since it’s the most delicate finger tip.
Like drinking plenty of water, I cannot stress how important it is to put an SPF on daily, even if it’s cloudy outside. If you do one thing to better yourself, adopt putting on SPF every day, your skin will thank you in the future.
Even if I’m not leaving my house, I’ve just gotten into the habit of putting it on every single day. Throughout my beauty subscriptions, I’ve tested out a lot of sunscreens in the past and always stored them for the summer time. (Oh silly, naive Sarah). The one brand that has always been a favorite is Supergoop! and even though it’s on the pricier side, I like how it doesn’t have the traditional Banana Boat scent and they have a wide variety of formulas. My personal favorite is the Unseen Sunscreen because it melts into the skin and doesn’t ruin my makeup.
My biggest skin concern is my enlarged pores and blackheads that riddle my chin and nose. If I could take sand paper to my face to buff them all out, I would.
Adopting an exfoliator two times a week has really helped clear up these areas, but they aren’t perfect. Once a week, I focus primarily on these trouble areas, really buffing it into the skin and extracting any blackheads that come to the surface. The other time, I give a gentle exfoliation to the whole face, just to sloush away fake tan and any other product build-up I might have.
Y’all already know how much I love Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, but I purchased the Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator and have been OBSESSED with it. It has a cooling sensation when you rinse your face to give it an extra clean feeling, plus it’s a clean product with no sulfates, parabens and other garbage! I bought it back in August 2019 and I’m just finishing my bottle, so a little goes a looooong way.
Oils & Serums
If my skin’s oily, I shouldn’t be putting MORE oil on my skin, right? WRONG!
Serums are literally magical potions that help reset our skin and there’s a serum for everything. Brightening? Check ✅ Dullness? Check ✅
I like to apply my oils & serums in two steps: One, pressing it into the skin by using my fingers and then allowing it to penetrate even deeper by using a facial roller.
There’s one product that I need to give a special S/O to because it has tremendously helped the overall health of my skin: Sunday Riley’s Good Genes. I discovered this gem forever ago and it’s the one thing I can guarantee to help me in a pinch. I use it as a spot treatment or when my skin just needs a boost. It’s important to note that if you use any product that has lactic acid in it, be sure to USE YOUR SUNSCREEN! Lactic acids leave your skin more sensitive because it acts as an exfoliant.
Whenever I think skincare, my brain immediately goes to face masks. (And NOT the ones that have been required through all of 2020…) Having a bad day? Face mask. Work sucked? Face mask. Boy problems? Face mask!
Twice a week, I indulge in a mask-off and alternate between formulas: clay/mud masks and sheet masks. There’s just something therapeutic about slathering on and washing away a clay mask, just as there’s something so relaxing about a slapping on a sheet mask and binge watching some Netflix. It really is the best kind of self-care.
When it comes to my clay/mud masks, Peter Thomas Roth is the way to go. I had purchased a Mask-arade bundle a while back from Sephora that had a sample of each of their top-selling masks and discovered the Irish Moor Mud mask and the Pumpkin Enzyme mask (perfect for fall!). Since the holidays are right around the corner, I highly suggest buying mask bundles for yourself so you can test out a bunch without dumping your life savings.
You can buy sheet masks anywhere, but I’m skeptical about buying the ‘cheap’ ones from Walmart and Target since you never really know what kind of junk they put in them. Even though I do receive and even purchase some of these myself, I do love to treat myself and splurge on a higher-end mask every once in a while. My friend Amanda had given me a few of the Saturday Sky Cotton Cloud masks, and I am in l-o-v-e with them and will see myself purchasing them in the future.
I’m not sure if I would call these tools of the trade, but there are a few things that really help with maintaining my skin.
I’ve recently boycotted makeup wipes because of how wasteful they are and instead have found an alternative: Makeup Erasers! Only using water, these clothes don’t irritate the eyes and are so much better for the environment. I don’t use these every day, but when I have a full face of makeup on and that stubborn eyeliner doesn’t want to come off, this always comes in clutch. You might recall seeing them in a Faves video. (P.S.: Shop my link and you can save $5 off your first order!)
If you want to level up your self-care routine, buy yo’self a facial roller! I love using rollers for when I’m applying face oils & serums or to get a sheet mask to hug the contours of my face. For an added treat, throw your roller in the fridge for a cooling sensation. Even though this is kind of a boujee product, you don’t need to break the bank in buying one: I found my rose quartz one at Sephora for $20! Admittedly, I’m not sure if jade, rose quartz or amethyst are better, depending on which holistic elements you believe in, but I’ve used jade and rose quartz and haven’t noticed a major difference between the two.
Skincare Routine video 🎥