Ever since middle school I have been pretty adamant about washing my face at least twice a day. I guess I can thank my mother for that habit, (Thanks Mom!) because she taught me early-on what a good skin care routine can do for you.
I never had what you would consider to be clear skin during my adolescent years, and I frequented trips to the dermatologist, got medial facials and used prescription blemish cream. When I got to high school, my skin finally started to clear up and I was then blessed with getting on the same skin care line as my mom called Eva’s Esthetics. Now, the line is called Tu’el or (2L), and I still use a product or two of theirs.
The main reason I don’t use their entire line anymore is simply because of cost. When I moved out and on my own I forfeited ordering my skin care line with my mom and decided to find the best alternatives I could find to create my own affordable skin care line & routine. After a few years of trying different product lines, products, types of cleansers, moisturizers, creams and everything you can possibly imagine, I’ve found my own personal line that has worked wonders and keeps my skin feeling soft, wrinkle-free (well…reduced) and even clear:
When choosing the line of skin care that works the best for you, always go with one that says “Dermatologist Recommended” on the box or bottle. Be careful not to go for “Dermatologist Tested” products. I’ve learned that just means the product was tested by a dermatologist, NOT approved & recommended. Once you find one product you like, start experimenting with more from the same line and eventually you will create an entire skin care routine on your own, according to what works best for YOUR skin. *NOTE: I got all of these products (with the exception of the blemish cream) from ULTA. You can also find the majority of them at your local grocery store, CVS or Walgreens.
As far as brands go, I swear by Neutrogena. I used to use Clean&Clear for everything, but I started to see dryness from that line and it just didn’t feel as natural. Speaking of natural, have you seen the NEW Neutrogena Naturals line? I LOVE it!
It smells SO good and is a great way to start your morning, without all of the added chemicals! 🙂
Okay, let’s begin with the basics. Just like brushing your teeth, washing your face is important to do at least twice a day. I say at least, because if you do an intense workout or go swimming, or outside for a period of time, you’ll probably add another wash into your routine. But, for this purpose let’s go over the 2 basic times you should make time for skin care – when you wake up in the Morning & before you go to sleep at Night.
Morning Skin Care Routine:
Washing my face when I get up in the morning actually helps me wake up. I love starting my day with the wonderful smell of Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser. There is another version of this called Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover, but I opted for the straight cleanser because I’m using it in the morning and there is no need to remove make-up. After I wash, I go for the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub. *NOTE: Everyone’s skin is different and results vary from person to person. I use this scrub every other or every few days, so I don’t over strip my skin of it’s natural oils.
After cleansing your skin it’s important to moisturize it. Here is a great way to kill two birds with one stone by applying a product that already has SPF in it. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before but if you don’t wear SPF to protect your skin from the sun AT LEAST wear it on your face. They make it really easy for you by putting it in products you (hopefully) already use.
I recently tried a new moisturizer and loved it. Pictured above is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiance Cream and I use it in the morning only (you’ll see why later on in this post). I’ve switched between a few different Neutrogena moisturizers, but for now this is the one I’m using and it’s working great. *TIP: Don’t forget to moisturize all the way down to your neck, that skin is important too!
After my skin is clean and moisturized, I put a nice little dab of eye cream under each of my eyes to help make me look a little more awake, while trying to hide those pesky crows feet wrinkles.
Pictured above is two different eye creams: Oil of Olay Age-Defying Eye Gel and Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream. I’ve been using Oil of Olay for about 6 months now and noticed a difference in the bags under my eyes. After just a few uses they seemed less puffy and the darkness of my circles were fading. Just recently I started trying the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair, and even just after a few days of using it twice a day I can see big difference! I am in my mid…well leaving my mid-twenties and that’s the one part of my skin I’m not crazy about. I think years and years of dancing and smiling for hours on end really did a number on those guys (crows feet.) I’m happy to have finally found something that helps put those bad boys back where they came from and look my age again!
And that’s my morning routine. Once you’ve got the pattern down it all takes less than 5 minutes.
After a long day a work, working out, or just being out and about all day sometimes I can’t wait to get home and wash my face. I know, that sounds weird…but it’s true. I NEVER go to bed with my make-up on my face and even if I accidentally do for even one night I wake up with a pimple or two the very next morning: NOT WORTH IT! I can’t tell you how important I think it is for every person out there who cares about their skin to complete their skin care routine at night! Sometimes, (especially for girls who wear a lot of make-up) it’s even more important than your morning routine!
As soon as I get home and know I’m home for the night the first thing I do is take off my make-up. Before I reach for any type of cleanser, I use make-up wipes first to get as much eye make-up off as I can. *NOTE: You many not need make-up wipes if you’re not a heavy eye make-up person, but I wear eye shadow, eye liner & mascara every day and need that first step.
I started using Almay back in college for make-up and came across their amazing make-up wipes from a friend of mine. I’ve tried all different brands and kinds of wipes, eye make-up removers, pads, etc. and these exact make-up removers are what I’ve been buying and will continue to buy for years to come. I use Almay Oil-Free Makeup Remover Towelettes every night, and on nights when I have extra or performance make-up on I remove my eye make-up off first with Almay Oil-Free Eye-makeup Remover Pads.
After my make-up is “off” (I use the quotes because you’ll be amazed at how much keeps coming off with each step!), it’s time to cleanse. You’ll notice that in the morning I focus on deep cleaning my skin, while at night I still cleanse but focus more on firming my skin with anti-wrinkle products.
My favorite night-time cleanser is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle + Anti-Blemish Cleanser. I picked this up about 6 months ago and was so excited to find a wrinkle AND blemish fighting cleanser in one! I have noticed a difference since using it and would recommend it to anyone.
If I think my skin was extra oily, dirty or lathered on with extra make-up that day I then follow my cleanser with the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub. *NOTE: If you use the scrub at night, try to avoid using it the next morning so you don’t irritate your skin or dry it out.
If it’s just a normal make-up day, I go from cleanser to toner. I started using toner in high school and right away I noticed a difference in the size of my pores. *TIP: Washing your face with warm water opens up your pores, so it’s important to use a toning product directly after to close your pores again once they are clean. Again, I used to use Eva’s Esthetics, but keeping price in mind I’ve searched on my own to find on that suits me the best. I used Clean&Clear Toner Astringent in college, but after using it day after day my skin seemed to dry out and sometimes even peel. What I really like about Neutrogena products is that nothing feels to “stingy” or filled with chemicals when I use it, but instead feels natural like it’s working with my skin not against it.
I just recently found Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner and fell in love after just one use. Toners are a great product to reduce the size of your pores and also to fight acne, but I’ve always been reluctant to use it since I had a previous problem of drying out from it. Even after just using this product a few nights, I can already tell a difference in my skin and it doesn’t feel one bit dry.
After toner, it’s time to moisturize. For night time, I want a wrinkle-fighting, firming moisturizer.
The best one I’ve found out on the market is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream. I sound like I’m repeating myself, but honestly after just a few uses I noticed a huge difference in the my skin. It’s soft and feels tighter and firmer – hence, less wrinkles! I LOVE this product!!!
Have I lost you yet? I promise we’re almost done.
After my skin is cleaned, toned and moisturized I use my fabulous Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream to fight the bags and crows feet I got all over again from my long, hard day and call it a night! If I’m fighting a blemish, I turn to the only Tu’el product I have left to use (it’s the best, so I keep buying it).
|You can tell how long this bottle lasts me from the wear!|
It’s called Clear-It Blemish Control, and you can get it online. When I run out I either ask my mom to order more with her next order or I just google it and order it from a third-party site. Here‘s one I happened to find for $39. It’s a little pricey, but it the bottle lasts a really long time (since you only place it on blemishes) & does a great job to clear up any blemish within days.
Oh, and one more thing…you’re probably wondering what that weird egg shaped thing in my night time routine was. Well, it’s only the best lip balm in the world!
It’s called EOS, it’s organic & it’s seriously the best! I am a HUGE lip balm fan and have to apply it after I brush my teeth in the morning, before I go to bed at night and about a hundred times in-between. I found this gem in the check-out line at ULTA a while back and fell for it right away, for it’s shape alone. Pictured above is the Sweet Mint flavor, but they have 5 other wonderful flavors to choose from and once you try it you’ll be hooked on all of them for more than the shape! You can get this lip balm at ULTA, an EOS retailer or online.
If nothing else, I hope that you’ve understood that keeping up with a daily skin care routine can do wonders for your skin! Good skin care is not only healthy and helps to keep your skin clear, it also keeps and takes YEARS off of you!
What are some of your favorite moisturizers, cleansers or all-around favorite brands in skin care?