I often get asked what products I use on my skin, what's my routine, etc. In this post I'll talk briefly about the products I use on my face and what I use in my everyday routine. I never really had a specific routine, or was consistent with any skincare products until this past month. In late February, my skin was breaking out pretty bad, so I looked to all of my items of skincare (and added a couple new products) to help get my skin back to where it was. I've been consistent for a month now and I'm very happy with the way my skin is looking.
|Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil, African Black Soap, Facial Buffer Brush, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Exfoliating Facial Pads.|
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes - These are my favorite makeup remover wipes on the market. I've tried every brand, including discount brands, Garnier, L'Oreal, Ponds, Olay, etc. None of them work as well as the Neutrogena wipes in removing every last trace of makeup and mascara from my face. There are some people who don't like that these towelettes are so watery/oily, but I love that about them. If they were any drier, they wouldn't be as effective. I also find them to be moisturizing for my skin.
Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil - (pictured above in the small screw-top jar with the black lid) There are so many uses for Jojoba Oil, but for cleansing purposes, I love using for hard to remove mascara. Baby Oil works great too (not pictured), but I like using Jojoba Oil because it is very moisturizing for my eye area, and it has conditioning properties for use on eyelashes.
African Black Soap - African Black Soap is an all natural soap containing Coconut Oil, Raw Shea butter, Cocoa Pod ash, Water and Palm Kernel Oil. African Black Soap is used to treat acne, oily skin, clear blemishes, etc. I like lathering it all over my face and rinsing for a great cleanse. It removes makeup better than any soap I've used. I currently only use it 1-2 times a week on my face, because when I was using it daily, it was a little too drying for me. If you have oily skin, I think this is something you'd really like. I use it on my body as well when I'm showering.
Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser - This was a recent purchase of mine because I didn't own any specific "cleanser", and I wanted to give Cetaphil a shot because of the positive reviews. I usually use it after I've already taken off my makeup with the Neutrogena wipes and I would like cleanse/remove any oils or traces of makeup that the wipes may of left behind. I love that it leaves my skin feeling very fresh and soft.
Facial Buffer Brush - I use an exfoliation brush on my face 1-2 times a week with any of the cleansers listed. I don't use it any more than that, because it can be too drying for my skin.
Exfoliating Facial Pads - These come in many shapes and forms. I purchased the ones pictured above from Big Lots in a value pack. I use these pads a couple times a week with my cleanser for a gentle exfoliation, if needed.
|Tea Tree Oil, Oxy Cleansing Pads, Witch Hazel.|
Gena Laboratories 100% Tea Tree Oil - Tea Tree Oil is a very powerful, natural antiseptic. It can be used on skin, hair and nails. A few drops can be added to your shampoo, body lotions, cleanser, toner, etc to fight bacteria. It can be very drying when used alone, which is why it's best to use it diluted with your favorite products. I like adding a couple of drops to my toner (Witch Hazel) to treat any breakouts. I also like applying a drop directly to any formed pimples to dry it up quicker.
T.N. Dickinson's Witch Hazel - Witch Hazel isn't a part of my everyday routine, but I do find it very handy and use it often. Like mentioned above, I like to use it with Tea Tree Oil on breakouts and I like using it with a cotton ball on areas that are prone to breakouts. I mostly use it on my forehead and chin.
OXY Cleansing Pads - Oxy Cleansing pads are my daily dose of BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid), in which I use after cleansing to deep clean my pores and prevent breakouts. Beta Hydroxy Acid is basically Salicylic Acid, which is found in most acne medications. BHA is able to penetrate deep into your pores, which contains sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore. Salicylic Acid, is basically Aspirin, which is an anti-inflammatory, and can help calm down certain skin conditions. BHA builds collagen, calms redness, treats acne and blackheads, prevents breakouts, unclogs pores, etc. Best suited for oily and acne prone skin.
|AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion, Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Cream.|
Alpha hydroxy acids work by gently peeling away the uppermost layers of the epidermis, which is the top layer of the skin. This will allow the undamaged skin underneath to be exposed and create a smoother, more youthful appearance. Alpha hydroxy acid can be used to smooth dry or rough skin, help control acne and improve the texture of skin damaged by the sun. (Source: http://www.ehow.com/)
Normal healthy skin will have a pH of 4.5-5.5. An AHA product with a lower pH won't be as effective. An AHA with a higher pH, can cause potential skin irritations/side effects, so it's something to look at when choosing an AHA for your skin.
AmLactin - AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion contains 12% Lactic Acid (derived from milk). The pH is 4.5-5.5. Although it's a body lotion, I use it on my face to chemically exfoliate my skin, making my skin appear more radiant and fresh. I also use it to fade blemish scars & light freckles from past sun damage. I apply AmLactin after my Blemish Control treatments.
Alpha Hydrox 10% Enchanced Cream - Alpha Hydrox 10% Enchanced Cream contains 10% Glycolic Acid (derived from sugar). The pH is 4. This cream basically does what AmLactin does. It makes my skin appear more fresh and radiant as well as improves texture and skintone.
I switch off between both AHA products. They both seem to be moisturizing and neither one irritate my skin.
|Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque|
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque -This is a great mask to help dry up blemishes, clear blackheads and shrink enlarged pores. I use this mask whenever I feel my skin needs a little extra pampering. This mask contains sulfur, which is great for treating acne.
Aspirin Mask (not pictured) - (Review here) I don't use this much anymore because I now use Oxy pads for my BHA.
|Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator, Isomers Age Defying Multi-Active Eye Treatment|
Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator - I don't find this necessary to use as often as I was before I was using a AHA/BHA daily. I loved this treatment because it made my skin look more even and radiant and made my pores much less noticeable. Now my AHA/BHA do this for me, so I only use this once in a while.
Isomers Age Defying Multi-Active Eye Treatment - This is a new product of mine, but I'm trying it out as my under eye treatment/moisturizer. I like it so far, as it does make my eye look less tried & my skin more smooth.
|Unrefined Shea Butter, 100% Pure Jojoba Oil, Smith's Rosebud Salve|
Unrefined Shea Butter - I am obsessed with Shea Butter. It's excellent for moisturizing as well a healing. I like applying it on areas that are really parched, like areas around my nose. I also like to apply it to blemishes and under my eyes. (Not to mention smearing this stuff all over my body!!!)
Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil - I love Jojoba oil as well. I like using it under my eyes to moisturize, or all over my face when my skin is feeling very dry. Jojoba really helped me through the winter months.
Smith's Rosebud Salve - My favorite product to keep my lips moisturized. I apply this to my lips before I go to sleep, in the morning and throughout the day. It keeps my lips moisturized all day more than any other lip product.
|Estee Lauder Time Zone, Pond's Clarant B3, Olay Night of Olay|
Estee Lauder Time Zone - I like using this moisturizer after my AHA to keep my skin from drying out. It quenches the thirst of my skin very well and makes my skin look more radiant.
POND'S Clarant B3 - I really like using this at night and in the morning (before I apply makeup). It moisturizes my skin extremely well and I love the smell.
OLAY Night of Olay- My favorite night cream ever. Nothing makes my skin feel as soft as this cream. It helps keep my skin moisturized.
I alternate between all of my moisturizers.
My Current Routine
Before bed - (take off makeup) Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
(Cleanser) Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser
(Blemish Control) Tea Tree Oil to blemishes, if necessary
(BHA) Oxy Cleansing Pads
(Treatment) Isomer's Age Defying Multi-Active Eye Treatment
(Moisturizer) Olay Night of Olay Cream
(Lip Moisturizer) Smith's Rosebud Salve
Morning - Wash face warm water & wash cloth
(BHA) Oxy Pad
(Moisturizer) Estee Lauder Time Zone
My routine has really been working great for me. I haven't had any new breakouts this month (which is extremely rare) and my skintone is much more even and radiant. My pores are less noticeable and my skin looks much healthier. I'll continue with any updates in the future!