You can really fall into the black hole of the internet when looking up how to properly apply various overpriced products to the skin. The beauty- blogger Youtube universe is seemingly oversaturated with “Updated Routines” so naturally, this is what I have uniquely decided to title this post. Here’s the thing, I was asking my mom if I could borrow some of her cleanser the other day and you know what she said? I JUST USE BAR SOAP. BAR. SOAP. Ok, now this is coming off extremely pretentious and my mom is a beautiful, glowing angel, but really? Bar Soap? I love her too much to let her dry out her skin every night like that.
SO WHY CARE?
Your skin is very fragile yet works as the main barrier between you and environmental factors like bacteria, chemicals and water. At night in particular, the skin has a very important job- it essentially repairs itself, making skincare products all the more necessary. The skin needs to be able to properly absorb replenishing, detoxing products in order to effectively do this job (and if it aids in the aging process and makes you glow like Gisele Bündchen, that’s just a great added benefit.)
Before I go into my favorite current skin products, here is a simplified list of my skincare routine. All you really need is a gentle cleaner, serum and moisturizer to start. Then, if you get really into treating your skin at night, you can add in an eye cream, toner, and glow serum. If you are just starting out, no need to worry about the extras, just stick to the basics.
STEP 1: Cleanser
STEP 2: Toner (optional)
STEP 3: Eye Cream (optional)
STEP 4: Serum
STEP 5: Hydrating night mask (optional)
STEP 6: Moisturizer
Pro Tip: After each step, wait a couple minutes (or realistically at least a few extra seconds) before applying the next product. That way, your skin has time to properly absorb the formulation before moving onto the next step.
If you have a current favorite, feel free to use what works for you. I have combination skin with a slightly oily t-zone and dry patches. To treat what I got goin’ on, I always start off with a trusted cleanser, one that is non- invasive for sensitive skin. Note: make sure all makeup is removed prior to cleansing. Whether you use a makeup remover wipe or cleansing oil, you want to start with a fresh base.
Lately, I have been loving the Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser, formulated with a coconut- based, mild surfactant blend that helps to effectively detox the skin as well as antioxidant- rich virgin Marula oil. Plus, this brand is cruelty free and its proceeds support the IEF (International Elephant Foundation.)
For toners, I have always gone for the Thayer’s brand Rose Witchhazel facial toner. Witchhazel is nature’s best detoxifier- it is anti-inflammatory and aids with some of the most common skin issues from Rosacea to common acne. I usually just take a small cotton round and dab the toner into my skin right after cleansing. To read more about the magical powers of Witchhazel, click here. I actually dedicated a whole post previously to its magic!
To fake looking awake the next morning, an eye cream is pretty essential. OLEHENRIKSEN has a simple, brightening eye cream that I have been re-buying for the past couple years. This “Banana Bright” cream is vitamin C-rich that helps decrease inflammation and dark spots. It also improvs concealer application and because of this, I often will apply a bit while prepping my skin in the morning.
Now serums are a bit tricky to recommend, seeing how there are hundreds of amazing products out there specifically formulated for various skin types and needs. Basically, a serum is a nutrient packed, hyper-concentrated treatment formulation. Picking the right serum for you depends on your type of skin and its needs which often change through the year. Since its a brutally cold, drying Winter when I live, my skin has been in need of hydration and overall nutrients. Since the skin does its restoring over-haul at night, if you have any current perscription meds for your skin such as tretinoin, acne and rosacea creams, this is the time to use it.
There have been two main serums have been using these past couple years, I often trade off based on how my skin is feeling. The first is basically gold in a bottle: the Darphin 8-Flower Nectar. This guy is PRICY, but it was given to me during skincare training course when I worked as a beauty expert at Anthropologie and since then I have been hooked. You only need to massage a couple small drops onto your face a night to wake up to radiant, soft skin.
This 8- Flower oil is a rejuvenating elixir, formulated for all skin types and has a rare blend of aromatic essences from 8 different flowers. It is packed full of anti-oxidants to nourish the skin. This is really my go-to night serum as it never bothers my skin and repairs my dry patches.
The second, Sunday Riley “Good Genes” all-in-one lactic acid treatment is a fan favorite, spotted in the various bathroom cabinets of almost every glorified beauty guru. Lactic acid treatments are effective at exfoliating dull, clogged pores and plumps fine lines. Due to the fact that this is a high potency, purified grade lactic acid treatment, I typically will only use this products one to two times a week. I will say, this product 100 percent lives up to its hype. My skin is probably the best its ever looked since using this gem. I wake up and not only is my skin visibly brighter, but my pores feel tight and detoxified. Just one to two pumps of this product is all you need.
Note: Don’t forget the neck when applying the serum (or really any face product.) I usually will rub the product in with a circular, upwards motion to active the product and generate blood flow.
For an optional step, I love to add a little night mask into the mix. The Glow Recipe “Watermelon Glow” sleeping mask has been my obsession as of late. I love its immediate cooling effects on the skin due to its formulation of watermelon extract that soothes irritated skin. This step adds an extra dose of hydration and gives you a subtle glow when you wake up!
Finally, the most important step: moisturizing. I typically go for a light- weight moisturizer that sinks into the skin instantly. My moisturizer pick is a relatively new favorite, the Laneige “Water Bank” moisture cream. This cream is patented with Hydro- Ionized Mineral Water (which is a thing I guess) that fuses essential minerals. It is also formulated with olive squalane oil that strengthens skin’s natural barrier and aids in instant absorption. Fun Fact! Squalane is a natural oil our body produces along with olives, sugarcane, wheat germ, rice bran, palm trees and shark liver (yum.)
All of the products mentioned above are free of parabens/phthalates. Not sure why this matters? Here’s a shameless plug for this other post I wrote: NATURAL BEAUTY: CHEMICALS TO AVOID AND SAFE ALTERNATIVES!
Always consult with your dermatologist before trying any new regimen especially if you are already on varying medications. I tried to pick products that are suitable to use on any skin type from oily, dry to combination.
Thank you so, so much for stopping by again. As always, if you have any specific post requests, I’m totally open! Drop me a message any time. Until then, write to you later.