I’m a firm believer that flawless makeup starts with a solid skin care routine. A beautiful masterpieces needs a clean canvas, right? I’ve always been a tad *OCD* when it comes to my skin care routine. Falling asleep with makeup on is a worst-case scenario, overly fragranced products are a major no-no, and don’t even think about touching my face with dirty fingers. But beyond those pet peeves of mine, I rely on tried and true skin care products to help keep my skin looking clean, smooth, and vibrant, and I’m going to share my routine with you!
A little background: I have super sensitive, acne-prone, oily skin. It’s a total dream! Just kidding. Figuring out what’s best for my skin has been a long road, dating back to my teenage years that were filled with breakouts and shiny skin. To this day, I still struggle sometimes, but have invested lots of time, energy, and unfortunately, money into trying different products and routines until I learned what works for me. I’m fortunate to have found some amazing brands and have learned a lot about the skin in general on my quest for that clean, glowing canvas I was talking about earlier.
Hopefully I can pass along some knowledge with my step by step routine and break down of products, some of which have been referenced in my previous post about my favorite products, here.
1. Before applying my makeup for the day, I use a M61 PowerGlow Peel Pad over my whole face. These individually packaged wipes are like an on-the- go facial. They make my skin feel so clean and I swear I glow for the rest of the day after using them. I love the way my makeup looks after using these pads, too. Note: if you have sensitive or dry skin, use these with caution. They are made with glycolic acid and definitely leave a tingly burn behind. Also, don’t be afraid if your face feels a little tight after. Glycolic and salicylic acids are combined to reduce pore size, and this product is actually considered an exfoliator. All in all, I would recommend for oily skin, or if you’re on the drier side, try using one of these once every three days to start.
2. After using the glycolic pad, I apply Dermalogica Clearing Mattifer to my T-zone. This product is a dream for all my oily friends out there, and I wish I had found it sooner. I think this makes a huge difference in reducing shine and helping my makeup stay in place throughout the day. Additionally, it is made with a blend of cinnamon, Vitamin A, and Green Tea to actually help clear and prevent breakouts. Total win-win in my book.
3. Lastly, if I’m feeling a little dry or tight, which is the case some days, especially in the winter, I will use a small amount of moisturizer before applying makeup. I love It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream because it’s so light and doesn’t feel like it’s weighing down my skin. Try just a few dabs of this in the morning, and you’ll be good to go.
1. I prefer to fully wash my face in the shower at night, but first I use a makeup remover wipe to loosen my foundation and mascara. This acts as a pre-cleanse. (I also have a theory that washing my face with makeup on it just presses it all into my skin and spreads it around, but that’s just me.)
2. After “pre-cleansing”, I wash my face with a cleanser in the shower, as I mentioned before. This is where it gets a little more complicated. Who me? I definitely like to have options when it comes to my skincare (and with everything else in life, who am I kidding?). You will figure this out pretty quickly at first glance of my shower – I think last time I counted I had 29 products in there. Yep, for real. This means I have a variety of cleansers that I rotate through on a weekly basis. I’ll break them down here:
FOR A GENTLE CLEANSE: If I just want to simply wash my face so it’s squeaky clean and fresh, I use It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser .This was made by plastic surgeons and contains anti-aging properties, so I feel confident about what it does for my skin (see what I did there?). If you’re looking for a good, general cleanser, I highly recommend.
FOR A POWERFUL CLEANSE: For when my skin needs a serious pick-me-up, I turn to M61 Power Cleanse Facial Cleanser. As you may have figured, this is the gel cleanser version of the pads I referred to earlier. This cleanser lives up to its name, and feels powerful. I use this if I wore really heavy makeup, had a long night, or am experiencing breakouts. Glycolic acid is an ingredient I tend to gravitate to because it works really well with my skin type.
FOR EXFOLIATING: I have two that I’m loving right now, and would say they are pretty equal in terms of quality and potency. Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate and Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish are top-notch exfoliators that help remove dead skin, dirt, oil, and other impurities. I alternate between these two products on days when I want to smooth out my skin, and recommend giving these a whirl every two days or so. Again, be wary about exfoliators if you have sensitive skin, as both these products are made with intense ingredients, such as papaya enzyme and glycolic acid, which will make you feel the (temporary) burn. After gently massaging into my skin, I leave on for up to two minutes before rinsing, but would recommend one minute for sensitive skin.
3. After cleansing, about once a week I use a face mask to really get my skin in tip-top shape. This smooths the skin and depending on which one you use, can do anything from hydrate to draw out impurities. I have used quite a few masks over the years, but am currently using Kate Somerville’s EradiKate Mask. This pretty pink mask is foam activated, which means it goes on like a clay, but after a few minutes, it starts naturally foaming up and tingling. I love the feeling and love the way it makes my skin look even more. My skin looks smoother and brighter, plus leaves it feeling clean and tight. This mask is great for helping clear blackheads, which is a great enemy of mine.
4. After cleansing (or masking, if it happens to be a day I do one), I use the Kate Somerville D-Scar Roller Ball, which I really can’t say enough about. I have a lots of pick marks and acne scars do to regrettable years of picking at blackheads and pimples. This magic gel, which is applied through rubbing a roller bar across affected areas, diminishes the appearance of those scars and is the ONLY thing that has worked for me to help this problem. And trust, me I tried lots of products. Also, can you tell I love Kate Somerville?
5. Lastly, moisturizer! As mentioned in my morning routine, I use IT Confidence in a Cream, at night, as well. However, in contrast to the minimal amount I apply in the mornings, I really slather it on at night.
And, that’s it! To me, there’s no better feeling than a fresh, clean face. In fact, I think I’m going to go wash mine right now.