Today I am going to share with you my morning skin care routine. I strongly believe that investing in your skin is one of the most important personal investments that one can make. This is true from both a health and beauty standpoint. However, I don’t think that you must necessarily break the bank to do so. Brands like The Ordinary from DECIEM are making affordable, high quality skin care products more accessible to all. The Ordinary’s creed is: “Clinical formulations with integrity.” I have been testing a few of their products for the last few months. In this post, I will walk you through the steps of my AM skin care routine and share my thoughts on what products have worked best for me. FYI: This post is not sponsored and all products have been purchased with my own funds.
Background: I’m 32 years old but most people guess that I’m in my mid-to-late 20s. I have a fair to light complexion. My skin would probably be best described as combination, but lately it’s been a little more on the dry side. I get occasional hormonal acne on my t-zone. Otherwise, breakouts have never really been an issue for me. My biggest skin care concerns would be: anti-aging, redness, large pores and uneven skin tone.
Step 1: First, I cleanse my face using my Clarisonic Mia 2 ($169) and The Cleansing Gel ($90 for 6.7 oz of product) which I bought when I went on a major La Mer binge. (Let’s just call it a moment of temporary insanity.) Amazingly, I still have about half a bottle left. It’s a gentle, foaming cleanser ideal for dullness, uneven texture and dryness. Would I repurchase it? No. It’s a very effective cleanser, but there are many other options available for a fraction of the price. However, I paid $90 for it so I will get my money’s worth!
If I’m pressed for time, I’ll soak a cotton pad in either the Bioderma or L’Oreal Micellar Water and wipe it over my face for a quick cleanse. My favorite cotton pads are from Shiseido ($5 for 40 sheets) because they’re ultra soft and gentle on the skin.
I use the sensitive brush head for my Mia 2. Tip: I buy my replacement brush heads from Amazon for much cheaper than in stores. Even most of the off-brand heads will work. You should change your Clarisonic head at least once a month to keep things hygienic.
Step 2: After gently drying my face with a clean wash cloth, I apply the Buffet ($14.80 for 30 ml) by The Ordinary to my face, neck and décolletage. You should apply the products with the lightest consistency first. The Buffet is a “Multi-Technology Peptide Serum.” In addition to multiple peptide complexes, this product also contains “probiotic complex (with lactococcus lactis lysate), in a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes.” Hylauronic acid is important because it hydrates the skin. If you have dry skin, then adding hylauronic acid to your skin care routine is an absolute must. The Ordinary also carries a Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Solution if you don’t opt for the Buffet. Again, you can also find H.A. for relatively cheap on Amazon.
Step 3: I like to incorporate a serum containing Vitamin C into my routine because it has a wide variety of benefits. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, brightens the skin, boosts collagen and reverses signs of aging. I apply ALL of my skincare products to my face, neck and décolletage. Right now, my favorite serum is Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum by Caudalie ($52 for 1 oz.) It’s formulated with Caudalie’s Anti Cell Burn-Out Complex which is designed to address damage caused by “common pollutants and life stressors.” It also contains the brand’s signature grapeseed polyphenols, spruce extract to support natural antioxidant defenses, Vitamin C, Vitamin E to boost radiance and hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin and defend against wrinkles. This serum makes my skin seriously glowy. Another Vitamin C serum that I’ve tried recently is Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% by The Ordinary ($5.80 for 30 ml of product.) This is a water-free, silicone-free suspension because water can destabilize Vitamin C. I didn’t really care for the texture of this product, so I will be trying their Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone ($6.80 for 30 ml of product) in the near future. FYI: Ricky’s NYC now carries The Ordinary products.
Step 4: Next, I apply eye cream by very lightly patting it around the orbital bone and onto the eyelid with my index finger. You should never rub or pull at the delicate skin around your eye. I have yet to find my holy grail eye cream, so I’ve been experimenting with different brands. Right now I’m testing a deluxe sample the Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment ($38 for 0.35 oz) It’s not a bad eye cream, but I don’t think I’d purchase the full size. My quest for my ride or die continues. What’s your go-to eye cream?
Step 5: Moisturizing is a crucial part of any skin care regime. At the moment, I’m loving Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Cream ($60 for 1.69 oz.) It’s thick and creamy without being heavy or greasy. It has a lightweight whipped texture. I like that it has a pump that’s much more hygenic than an open jar which can become a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s also noncomedogenic so it won’t cause breakouts. Currently I use this moisturizer in the AM and PM. My all time favorite moisturizer is Crème de la Mer by La Mer but it’s quite a splurge at $85 for 0.5 oz of product. I tend to only use the La Mer moisturizer at night.
Step 6: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, wearing sunscreen 24/365 is probably the most important bit of anti-aging advice that I’ve ever received. Most dermatologists recommend a minimum of SPF 30 and a maximum of SPF 50. Personally, I prefer to err on the side of caution by using SPF 50. I never skip this critical step even if my foundation contains SPF. I like the Algenist SUBLIME DEFENSE Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF 50 ($28 for 1 oz) because it’s oil-free so it won’t break me out. Also, it contains Alguronic Acid which is known for its anti-aging properties. I would recommend the Ultra-light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ by Eau Thermale Avène ($24 for 1.69 oz) for those with very sensitive skin. The Algenist lotion is a physical sunscreen; whereas the Avène lotion is a chemical sunscreen. I found this blog to be very helpful as it discusses the differences between physical and chemical sunscreens as well as the pros and cons of each. The jury is still out on which type is more effective. It’s really just a matter of preference and what works best for your skin. Both of these sunscreens are rich in antioxidants which help prevent premature aging. When shopping for a sunscreen, it’s very important to select one that contains broad-spectrum UVA/UVB filters. Some people prefer to opt for a moisturizer that contains SPF. I’m not really a fan of such products, but to each their own. NOTE: Do not wear a moisturizer containing SPF to bed!
So there you have it! Remember that better skin means less makeup and less risk of premature aging. Stay tuned for my nighttime skincare regime!
What are your must-have skin care products?