Hello again everyone!
I had a couple people a while back inquire about my daily routines. In the conversation, it occurred to me that this would be a great discussion for the blog. I love reading other posts about daily routines and thought I would throw mine into the mix as well. Are these my favorite products? Not necessarily… but it also allows me to maybe explain why they aren’t, right?
Step 1 – Cleanse
I tend to drift towards a gentle morning cleanser. There is no need to use a heavy duty product, since I am diligent about removing all of my makeup at the end of the day. I’ve been using the Avène Cleansing Foam Mousse for the last several months. It is incredibly gentle and really balances my skin. This leaves my skin feeling clean, but also very soft and prepped for the day. This bottle is starting to run low and I’m going to have to repurchase soon!
I also recently started using my mini Erno Lazlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar on my T-zone in the morning. This came in an Allure box a while back and I really doubted what this little bar could do. I’ve been using daily for a couple months and have barely made a dent. It is very heavy duty and helps unclog pores and minimize oil. While it is great for the T-zone, it is too drying for the other areas of my face.
If I’m feeling super oily, breaking out or just need a deeper cleanse, I bypass all of the above and reach for the Murad Clarifying Cleanser. I only buy the travel size bottle of this because a little goes a really long way. I use about a half of a pea sized drop in the morning or night and it is really tough on the problem without drying out my skin.
The other key piece of the cleansing routine is the EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge – it gives a light exfoliation and gives the cleansers an extra boost. I do replace this every 2-3 months, as it is a natural product. They recommend every 3, but it gets a tough to use by the end of the second month.
Once a week, I do bust out a serious exfoliator and use the Aveeno Daily Brightening Scrub. Occasionally, I will increase to twice a week, but I don’t really need to use more often. While this is one of my favorite products, I recently realized it contains synthetic microbeads. Sigh. Really, Aveeno? I don’t think that is an “active natural.” I am working to eliminate all of my products with microbeads… I refuse to just throw perfectly good products in the trash, but I will not be repurchasing.
Step 1.5 – Problem solve
I don’t know what else to call it… but this is my middle step that fixes the “you haven’t slept in a month” look. My favorite product to battle this look is the GlamGlow Bright Mud Eye Treatment. They suggest you use one pod per eye, but that is way too much mud. I actually cut the pods in half and use one pod for both eyes and that is plenty! You are supposed to tap the mud around the lower orbital bone and swipe off after 3 minutes. It does start to tingle a bit after a minute or so. I’m not sure what is in those magic little tea leaf chunks, but this stuff does wonders. I have woken up with completely black circles and after using this product, they are gone.
Step 2 – Tone
After more than 10 years of use, I still swear by the Clinique Clarifying Lotion #2. I use this in the morning and night. Yes, I’ve read the pros and cons to using a toner, but I still want that extra cleansing step to eliminate excess oil on my T-zone.
Step 3 – Prep
I am currently using two different serums. It sounds ridiculous even as I’m typing it… First, I apply the Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Repair Eye Serum under my eyes and to the outer edges to combat the crow’s feet. You only need a half a pump to produce enough product for both eyes – just a thin layer will work!
Next, I apply the other serum all over. At the moment, I’m using a VERY generous sample of the Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil. When it comes out of the bottle, it seems very oily (hence the name). However, if you apply evenly and wait 5-10 minutes to soak in, there is no oil residue. This is packed full of vitamin C and really does brighten the skin. I like this serum quite a bit!
Step 3.5 – Problem solve
Again… I don’t know what else to say. This is where I address the ridiculous hormonal acne issues when they pop up. If you read my Use It posts, you know that I went through a ton of samples of the Murad Acne Clearing Solution. It promises results in 72 hours and that is no joke. This is probably the best treatment out there. If it is a minor problem, I will use a dab of the Murad Spot Treatment.
Step 4 – Moisturize
The next step is probably the most critical – eye cream. After some searching (and failed product testing), I discovered the Philosophy Miracle Worker. I’ve been using this for over a year now (see original post) and have been very happy with the results. This high retinol cream hydrates tired, dry eyes and tightens fine lines. Depending on how bad they are, this does even battle and brighten my dark circles.
My final step is the Avène Light Hydrating Cream. I have to admit… I’m not in love with this. I’ve been using this for a few months and really liked it at first, but now is a bit frustrating. My thought is that I’m using this in the wrong season. While it is a lightweight moisturizer that absorbs quickly, it seems to be a bit heavy for the humid weather. I think I’m going to swap this out and test out something else in my collection. Also, it does not contain an SPF, which is so critical right now!
So there you have it. Let me know if you have any suggestions for an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer with SPF!
Products mentioned in this post:
Avène Cleansing Foam Mousse ($20 for 5.29oz)
Erno Lazlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar ($45 for 5.3oz)
Murad Clarifying Cleanser ($28 for 6.7oz)
EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge ($5.99-$7)
Aveeno Daily Brightening Scrub ($6 for 5oz)
GlamGlow Bright Mud Eye Treatment ($69 for 12 cells – total 24 individual pods)
Clinique Clarifying Lotion #2 ($23 for 13.5oz)
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Repair Eye Serum ($83 for 0.5oz)
Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil ($45 for 1oz)
Murad Acne Clearing Solution ($42 for 1.7oz)
Murad Spot Treatment ($18 for 0.5oz)
Philosophy Miracle Worker ($68 for 0.5oz)
Avène Light Hydrating Cream ($30 for 1.35oz)