In a previous post, I mentioned how my recent facial therapist commented on how good my skin was looking. She thought for sure I never wore makeup. After that particular post, one of my readers asked that I share my skincare routine. I am always happy to oblige.
I do a lot of research on skincare products and try many before adding something into my regular routine. The products I use have come about through a lot of trial and error. And when it comes to skincare, what works for one person might not work for the next. However, the first important step in achieving great skin is cleansing day and night. Here are my go-to products…
- Clarisonic Smart Profile: This is very gentle for your face and it is amazing how much smoother your skin feels after using it. I always use it during my weekly Sunday Spa Day, and occasionally once during the week. There are a variety of attachments available making this a very versatile tool (see no. 2 below).
- Clarisonic Head-to-Toe Smart Brush Head Collection: The four attachments are for use with the Clarisonic Smart Profile. There is an attachment for use on the face, body, and two for the feet (a brush and a buffing disc). I especially like using it on my elbows and legs to keep skin smooth. It also does a good job of softening any rough patches on my elbows.
- Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser: This has been my daily cleanser for quite some time. It is a gentle foaming cleanser that has a cult following. I use it daily and it never dries out my skin. It also has a nice light fragrance and a little goes a long way.
- Shiseido Facial Cotton: I use these in conjunction with my eye makeup remover and toner. They are very thick and soft. Unlike other cotton pads, these do not fall apart. I’ve never wanted to use anything else after switching to these. They come in a pack of 40 or 165. I buy the large pack so I don’t have to worry about running out. I even pack them with me when I travel.
- Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover: I’m actually surprised at how much I like several of Sephora’s products. This gets all my eye make up off easily while hydrating my skin. The affordable price is a plus.
- Son & Park Beauty Water: It’s a toner and cleanser all in one. I’ll be honest, with a name like Beauty Water, I was skeptical about this product at first. But I’ve been using this for several months now and I can’t live without it. I use it after washing my face and taking all eye makeup off. After using this, you’ll be surprised to see that even after you washed your face there can still be trace amounts of makeup left behind.
Doing a mask or exfoliating treatment is the most fun part of my Sunday Spa Day skin care routine. There are two basic kinds of masks: sheet masks, those that are literally a thin sheet of fiber infused with serums and/or gels; and the traditional gel, cream, and clay masks that have to be brushed directly onto the face. I’ve tried many and continue to try new products, but these are the ones I currently use and always default to.
- Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel: This is another product with a cult following and I can understand why. I use this product each morning and it softens and brightens my skin. I use the extra strength formula but if you have sensitive skin then I suggest you use the Gentle Daily Peel for Sensitive Skin.
- Kate Somerville ExfoliKate: This intense exfoliating treatment is known as the “Hollywood 2-Minute Facial”. I use this exactly as directed and it leaves my skin soft and helps even out skin tone. I once left this product on longer than recommended and ended up with what looked like burn marks on my cheeks so I wouldn’t recommend this product if you have sensitive skin. I use this once a week or once every couple of weeks depending on the condition of my skin. It does leave my skin with some redness so I only use this at night. However, I follow up with another product that takes care of that (see no. 5 below).
- Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask: I love this overnight mask to deal with dry skin. After cleansing at night, I apply this and it works wonders while I sleep. If you wanted to try this before committing to a full-size product, then purchase the sample pod that provides about two uses.
- Eborian Precision Mask Applicator: This was the best purchase ever! If you are serious about using face masks, then this tool is a must. The silicone applicator helps to evenly apply your mask without creating a mess and wasting a lot of product. It also keeps things more hygienic by keeping your fingers out of your jars of product.
- Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator: I usually use this following the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate to help eliminate redness. I keep this in the refrigerator to keep it nice and cool so it feels good on the skin. During the summer it is great to use on its own because the coolness feels so refreshing.
- Fresh Rose Face Mask. This is a gentle hydrating gel mask that I like to use regularly because it doesn’t over-hydrate my skin. It is infused with bits of rose petals and has a nice rose fragrance, so if you don’t like roses then this is not for you.
Remember, that it’s not a good idea to over-exfoliate or you will end up with micro tears on your skin. Take a cue from the condition of your skin to see what works best for you.
No matter how well you take care of your skin, there will be times when a blemish or two will occur. Luckily, there are a few products that seem to work well for me.
- Kate Somerville Eradikate Acne Treatment: This is my go-to product when I need to pull the big guns out. You would think that as an adult you wouldn’t have to deal with acne but on rare occasion, I will get a stubborn blemish. In those cases, I apply a little bit of the EradiKate with a Q-tip and leave on overnight. By morning, 9 out of 10 times the blemish will be gone or hardly noticeable. I found this stuff to be very potent and can dry out my skin if overused.
- Clinique Acne Solutions Acne + Line Correcting Serum: I like that this is serum is gentle enough, but effective, to use regularly. I use this 1 or 2 times a week at night or occasionally under makeup during the day to prevent blemishes from occurring. I like to think of it as preventative maintenance. I haven’t seen any improvement as a “line correcting” product, but it may be due to the fact that I don’t use it regularly.
- EradiKate Daily Cleanser: Although technically a cleanser, I am lumping this product in with the other treatment products. Like the Clinique product above, I use this for preventative maintenance and only use it a couple times per month. It contains sulfur so it has a strange scent but I overlook that since it is an effective acne face wash.
This is what I like to call Step 1 in my beauty routine. Step 2 is layering essences and serums. Step 3 is moisturizing and Step 4 is (finally) makeup application.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to better-looking skin. Beautiful skin requires commitment and although cleansing and treating is an important part of skincare don’t forget to drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin.