My first beauty post will present the current version of my ever changing skin care regimen. In the process of creating a new regimen, I first take stock of my skin’s current needs, and any problems that may appear in the future. From there I perform extensive research on the skin care industry looking at brands, individual products, and ingredients that are known to be effective. I will go into depth about this research (and how to take your research to the next level) after I’ve presented the products I use currently. It’s a long process, and if you are at all like me, it will never feel complete. As your skin changes and you reach various goals, you will have different needs for different products and methods. My current regimen includes products that help me reach my goal of having a complexion that:
- Is even in tone and bright, without the need to use concealer to cover marks from blemishes
- Is smooth and uniform in texture
- Appears plump and “nourished”
At this point, I am attempting to have my skin get as close to the consistency and appearance of buttercream as possible. A dear friend of mine used that word to describe it as it is right now, even going so far as to place a picture of my face next to a screenshot of actual whipped buttercream. While I appreciate the comparison, I have to disagree. I think I could have buttercream skin if I am thorough, diligent, and make it a priority as I would any other goal.
Pre-cleanse– If I wore any kind of makeup that day, I use makeup removing face wipes. Since it is only one part of my cleansing I don’t really focus on what kind to buy. I’m currently using a pack by Equate that is lavender scented for nighttime.
Cleanse– In the morning I use Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, because its gets my skin clean without drying it, something that is important to me because of my oiliness. When i use face washes that strip my skin, it produces even more oil to compensate. At night I use Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover. It does exactly what it says, which is “completely removes makeup & gently cleanses for refreshingly clean skin.” It cleanses everything from the day without completely drying me out. Cool.
Exfoliate– I use Fresh Sugar Face Polish almost every night. This is another one of those products with truthful packaging. I prefer this to a drugstore scrub for reasons I will discuss below.
Serum– Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum. I can’t tell if it is the serum or a combination of all of my skincare efforts, but I can definitely say that my spots have rapidly lightened. COOL.
Moisturizer or face cream– This is a part of my regimen that I am still figuring out I have oily skin, but I definitely believe in moisturizing. I am at a point where I believe every step of my routine should help me reach a skincare goal.
Sunscreen– Ole Henriksen Protect the Truth Sunscreen SPF 50. This step is just as important to me as all the others, as acne scarring gets darker with sun exposure. Additionally, we all know that the sun causes the premature signs of aging like fine lines, spots, and a general leather-like texture. Everyone should be using it, regardless of skin type or color. There will be a post on this topic later.
How to create your own regimen
- Assess your skin: Take a critical look at your skin as it is now, and ask yourself questions. Do you have any acne scarring? Do you have blemishes and what types? Blackheads, Whiteheads, regular acne, under the skin bumps? Do you have rough patches, dull areas, dark circles, fine lines, or anything else that you think you would like to change? Take it to the next level: If you are really serious about changing your skin from the ground up, consider going to a dermatologist or even an aesthetician for a professional medical assessment of your skin. You don’t necessarily need to purchase the products they will try to sell you, but make note of the brands, and ingredients for the next step, your research.
- Perform 3-part research: Once you have taken a look at your skin, you need to find the products that will make up your regimen. The research can be done in 3 parts, as you will be looking at People, Products, and Ingredients.
- First, peruse blogs, YouTube, Instagram, even people you know in real life. Who has skin that you admire? What products do they recommend and what brands are they loyal to? After a while you will start to see the same products and brands show up over and over again. Make a note of them, they are industry favorites. Next level: find people who look similar to you, or have a similar skin type as you. If I know someone has oily skin and got rid of acne scarring, I’m going to consider her product recommendations than someone who has never had a pimple in her life.
- Next, research as many brands and products as you can. You should already have a starting point from the first part of your research. Take a deeper look at those products, their claims, customer reviews, and how the brand came to be. Many people online have already done this work for you, so make use of that. My favorite thing to do is google “best/top moisturizers for oily skin” or any other version of that. From there I get many lists of product recommendations where I can pick out products that look useful to me. Next level: Sephora is my go to for skincare products, so I always search for products there. Consider going in, and asking someone to tell you the most popular and top rated products in the category that you are looking for. Ask for samples, because you’ll need them!
- Finally, you must research ingredients. If you are looking for a particular action to happen, you need to know what ingredients will cause that action. From there you can look at the products you are considering and be empowered to determine if the claims are even possible with the ingredients list. Additionally, the placement of ingredients on a product’s list tells you how much there actually is inside. The lower a name is on the ingredient list, the less of it is actually present in the product. If a product makes a claim to do something, and has certain ingredients to achieve that, but those ingredients are last on the list, you can make an educated guess as to whether you will achieve the results you are looking for. This allows you to separate the truthful claims from the marketing lies.
- Experiment: At this point in time you should have a couple of products for each step in your skin care regimen. After extensive research you can finally get started! Gather as many products as you can for free or little money. Sephora is great for giving samples, and every time I am in the mall I get some. This way I can determine if the product is even worth my money. If you are short on money, rank all of the products you have. Things that stay on your skin are worth more that things that wash down the drain. This means, don’t spend too much money on a face wash, but be willing to spend it on a serum or face cream. Scrubs and masks are also higher up on the splurge list. More expensive scrubs have smaller and rounder scrubbing particles that won’t cause tears in your skin, and high end masks have smaller particles that can penetrate your skin deeper, rather than sit on top.
Creating an effective skin care regimen is a process, and the best way to get through it is to have fun. You are taking steps to achieve the skin you want, so be delighted in the knowledge you are gaining. Don’t think of it as a chore, because you won’t enjoy the process, you won’t use the products, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money, with skin no better than the day you started. If you have any questions about this process or the products I use, leave a reply below! Good Luck!