The basics of any skincare routine is a good face wash, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Those three things can do wonders alone and is the best place to start.
I’m way extra so I’ve got have the treasure trove of everything skin care. So today I’m reviewing what I’ve been using for my day and night skincare routines.
Generally, this one is super simple. I am not a morning person so I’ll spend as much time as possible in bed before I spring up and sprint through my routine. Secret time: I’m typically finishing my skincare routine in the car on my way to work.
Depending on what my face looks like in the morning (dry or oily, because it’s all bad in the morning) I decide between Shiseido’s Deep Cleansing Foam (oily days) or Caudalie’s Cleansing Milk. I’m more likely to be dry in the morning than oily but sometime I just go crazy with my face oils and need to remove an extra layer of grease in the morning! The Caudalie Cleansing Milk does a great job removing your PM skincare routine while adding a little extra moisture to your skin in the process making it feel supple and smooth. But it doesn’t remove to much of the dead skin cells and flakes that can appear after my washing.
I have some stupidly expensive toners floating around but you simply can’t convince my skin that more money equals better for my skin. The best toner hands down for my skin in the winter is Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner in Rose Petal. I also really like Cucumber as well. The smell really isn’t that strong. If my face is ever irritated it will calm down right away. I haven’t had a horrible acne outbreak in years. Yeah I’m all for this product and for the price, it’s one of the cheapest and most effective toners on the market. This is absolutely everywhere, although I’ve linked Ulta’s website (which is having a buy 1 get 1 40% off sale!) there are tons of retailers that carry Thayer’s Facial Toner.
Serum and Moisturizer
And here is where I break the bank. My favorite moisturizer right now Dior’s Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Creme in Rich Texture. Why would I use a $165 moisturizer? My skin is painfully dry and this product is thick and gets the job done. I can use a good pea sized to kidney bean amount in the morning and my skin still feels fairly moisturized by the time I leave work although my cheeks will typically be drying out. This is one of the thickest moisturizers I’ve ever used. The thickest is La Mer’s Creme de La Mer. The next thickest are body butters that aren’t intended for your face and shouldn’t be used on the face or neck.
As a booster to this already potent moisturizer I also use Capture Youth Intense Rescue serum (the green one). The serum has argan oil in it which helps keep my skin moisturized throughout the day. It will even get a little shine at the end of the day which is saying something to the effectiveness of this combo on my skin. The Capture Youth serum line has 6 serums targeting different areas of concern. Everyone should be able to find something for their particular skin concern. If you want to add these skincare lines to your routine I’d highly suggest going to a Dior counter and talking to someone trained by Dior on their skincare line. It is a significant financial investment and you don’t want to spend this kind of money and find out you don’t have the optimal formation for your skincare routine. For me this is what has worked exceedingly well.
My PM routine is going to be more extensive. I just have more time to do a full 10-step style routine and deliver as much moisturizer as is possible. So it takes some time. Exfoliation probably takes the most time to perform correctly. Since I’m using cream style cleanser I have not been using my Clarisonic in the morning, which does provide some pretty decent light exfoliation. As a result I can go a little heavier on the exfoliation.
The Double Cleanse
Oil cleansers are my life during the winter. My face gets so dry I’ve used oil cleansers alone. Oil cleansers do work hard for you lifting the heavy oils I applied in my AM Routine so they don’t clog my face at night. I’ve double cleansed with a traditional water based foam cleanser and still had makeup/ tinted sunscreen on my face. The oil cleanser and water cleanser double cleanse is an immensely more effective way of removing makeup and extra skincare products at the end of the day. When used properly a well formulated oil cleanser should not leave a residue on the face.
My all time favorite oil cleanser is Green Clean cleansing balm by Farmacy Beauty. Personally, I think the cleansing balms do a better job and have less offensive odors. Do apply this product to dirty, dry skin and message. If you take showers at night like I do, I do this while my shower is warming up. This lets you rinse your face and neck completely in the shower then get on with the water-based cleanser.
For my water based cleanser I tend to bounce around a lot. I don’t use a creamy cleanser after an oil cleanser because it’s just too much and the creamy cleanser (like Caudalie’s Creamy Milk Cleanser or CeraVe) doesn’t offer enough cleanser power to provide thorough cleaning. That combo is also highly likely to cause breakouts.
Rohto Mentholatum – Hada Labo Gokujyun Hatomugi Face Foam 100g – $12.26
Right now I’m shifting between 3 water-based cleansers. Shiseido’s Gentle Force Cleansing Foam, Pyunkang Yul Low pH Pore Deep Cleansing Foam, and Hada Labo’s Gokujyun Hatomugi Face Foam. I don’t decide till I see how my face feels. If it feels congested I’ll use the Hada Labo which is a more robust cleanser, Pyunkang Yul is more neutral and the Shiseido cleanser is least aggressive. They’re all amazing cleansers this is just my preference. None of these are overly aggressive and will strip your skin’s natural moisture from your face but they will all do a great job of leaving your skin clean.
For my exfoliation, I’ve been using the Neogen Bio-Peel+ Gauze Peeling in Wine, but I also use Lemon. Green tea is also available. I can multi task with this product getting the dogs outside for their last bathroom break, turning off lights throughout the house, fixing tea before bed. The rough side shown in the image is used to exfoliate the skin. Once your skin and neck are properly exfoliated, flip the pad over revealing a luxurious cotton pad to wipe dead skin cells away. These pads really do smell like wine. I’ve literally had a glass of wine next to these pads and done the smell test. The 4th ingredient is denatured alcohol but there’s also wine extract in it. These are roughly a dollar a piece and are driiiippppping in serum. After using these pads there will be skin, and you will see a brown tint on both sides of the pad, but that’s kind of the point isn’t it?!?!?!?!?
Neogen did reformulate their exfoliation pads in 2017 creating Gentle Gauze Peeling Pads also available in Lemon, Green Tea, and Wine. The New formula is more gentle focusing on PHAs to help exfoliate instead of AHAs (glycolic acid and lactic acid in the previous formulation). The pro of this new formulation is that those with sensitive skin might be able to use this product. Con: there are more plant extracts than the previous formulation which may cause sensitivity in some and ‘Alcohol Denat.’ is the 5th ingredient of the ingredients list. Sensitivity to AHA and BHA are much more common than to the plant extracts in this formula although those with a papaya allergy will want to stay away as this does contain Papaya Fruit Extract.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that my husband went BEYOND ridiculous this year for Valentine’s Day and surprised me with a literal box of La Mer. As part of that gift, I did get a full sized bottle of The Regenerating Serum. And I am in love with this serum. Before Valentine’s Day I really was struggling with my skin; nothing seemed to keep it moisturized. Am I going to repurchase this serum once I use it, probably not. We just can’t afford a $365 serum on a regular basis. If you have oily skin this is not going to work for you. The serum is THICK. It looks more like a moisturizer than it does an average serum.
For my PM moisturizer I’ve been using the Intensive Revitalizing Mask from La Mer. This is designed to be an 8 minute mask but the remainder can be messaged into the skin then wiped away giving an intense moisture boost my skin desperately needs. Alternatively, I’ll use another healthy kidney bean sized amount of the Dior Creme Totale moisturizer from my AM Routine.
This is just one of 10 thousands things one can do for their winter skincare. For me I have to focus on moisture otherwise my skin will become irritated and I’ll get rashes (which is always fun when I one around my bra line!). Sheet masks that I’m using will be covered in another post, but I use several.