Several months ago, J took a picture of me and I was not happy with how my skin looked. My skin tone looked terrible, it had no glow and looked dehydrated. Up to that point, I thought I was doing okay with my “skincare routine” of only washing my face in the morning and sleeping in my makeup at night because I never broke out. Surely that meant it was fine! Yeahno.
I sucked it up and determined my days of never washing my face were over, and it was probably time to invest in some skincare products. Skincare has been a bit of trial and error, so I will share what has worked for me. Note: I have really dry skin. I don’t know why this was a revelation to me, but I started paying attention and realized my cheeks felt really tight during the day, and if I moisturized really well, my nose stopped shining. If you’re oily, the majority of these products will be way too much for you.
Morning and Night
Clarisonic with Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser—I got this cleanser in a PopSugar box and fell in love. It’s ridiculously expensive and I feel guilty buying it, but it smells so good and is actually decent at removing makeup.
I’m not sure that using a Clarisonic twice a day is recommended, but it works for me. My skin seems to want to have layers sloughed off on the regular.
Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream—Day moisturizer with retinol. I like to frequently retinol my face.
Anessa Perfect Essence sunscreen—This is Asian sunscreen that I bought off of Amazon. “But Lisa,” you say, “they make sunscreen in the US.” Yes, but you know how for all the new things they’ve done to sunscreen it really hasn’t changed that much since we were kids? It still smells the same, is greasy, leaves a white layer on your skin? That’s because it really hasn’t changed since we were kids. The FDA has such a backlog of sunscreen ingredients to test that nothing new has been approved since 1990. The Sunscreen Innovation Act went into effect last year to force the FDA into making decisions on some of these ingredients that have been on the list for so long. Anyway, this stuff is amazing. It looks like it is going to be greasy because after it is as rubbed in as it is going to get, my face is really shiny and there is a slight white cast, but then it dries down to a nice satin finish like a makeup primer and there is no scent at all. It’s completely weightless, I can’t tell that I have anything on at all, and most of these (another on my list to try is by Biore) wash off with cleanser, they don’t take a cleansing balm or oil.
Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover—This stuff removes Benefit’s They’re Real. That is my ultimate test of makeup removal, if it will remove They’re Real without scrubbing out all of my lashes, it is decent stuff. And available in any drugstore!
Paula’s Choice Intense Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum—I have no idea if this repairs wrinkles or not. It does make my skin look nice and plump and hydrated. It is pretty moisturizing on its own, but the retinol can be tough on the skin, so a good calming moisturizer is needed, in my experience.
Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra Rich Moisturizer—This is getting way too heavy for hot weather, but in the winter when it was dry, it was a face-saver. It is full of coconut oil and shea butter, and almost feels like a body cream, but worked perfectly for moisturizing a dry face.
You’ll notice a lot of Paula’s Choice products on the list and there are a couple of reasons. One being that they are really reasonably priced for anti-aging skincare. Retinol products can get really expensive and PC stays pretty reasonable and usually runs decent sales. They also have good customer service, always willing to help you find the right product or exchange one that didn’t work, and almost everything is available for purchase in a sample size. I’m a sucker for samples. If you’re interested in trying them and aren’t opposed to referral links, here is mine. They do referrals right; you get $10 off your order, minimum $15. (Ahem, StitchFix.)
Now that I’ve written all that out, I’ll say that I’m probably going to switch it up by throwing Clinique Take the Day Off Balm in at night, and I’ll probably have to change up some of the heavier lotions for summer, especially my day moisturizer. What is your skincare routine, any products you love and can’t live without?