Let’s be real – we are creatures of habit. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we often do things the same way each day. Wake up, use the bathroom, brush your teeth, wash your face, make the bed (maybe not for some of you)… the list goes on and on.
The same should be true with your skin care.
What you’re missing in your morning routine: some TLC with your face + neck
As someone who would go to the beach with no sunscreen nor hat on growing up (I’m from So Cal – give me a break!), I’ve begun to learn the hard way the lasting effects of poor skin care. I suffer from melasma on my upper lip and have one hundred and one freckles I wish I didn’t have. I’ve also have angiofibromas (one on my nose, another on my cheek) that make me self-conscious.
We all want that flawless skin tone and complexion without having to apply makeup, but what no one ever tells you is that it starts early.
Luckily, I’m now deep into the game and have created a routine that encompasses everything I need to make sure that my hyper-pigmentation continues to fade, my skin gets the nutrients and care it needs, and it’s quick and easy – I can get it done in 5 minutes or less!
First, let’s talk about order.
It’s essential that you apply lighter, more water based products before applying heavier, oil/cream based. The issue with putting on your tinted moisturizer or SPF first is that everything after it won’t absorb. Think of it this way – SPF has one job: to create a barrier between the outside world and your skin. That barrier includes oils, toners, serums, correction creams, and anything else you might want to apply.
Sear into your brain: Light before heavy.
Serums/Mists/Eye Cream/Treatment Products
Next, let’s talk products. Everyone is different, which means everyone has different needs. If you have a lot of redness you might look to neutralize it. Maybe you have really dry skin and are looking to hydrate. You might be like me and have issues with too much pigmentation.
As you create your routine – it’s important that its tailored to your needs. This is essential in making it a habit. Stop whining about your problem areas and start facing them head on!
My Morning Routine
Time: about 5-6 minutes, depending on how long I wash my face
What I use: Cosmedix Purity Clean (Exfoliating Cleanser), $39
I love this stuff! I got it after getting my first facial because the Esthetician used it. I loved the smell. It smells fresh and minty, which is the perfect way to start your day. I use this with warm water, and despite the title the consistency is smooth.
Lather up, let it sit, wash it clean.
Will I switch when it runs out? Never! This product causes no irritation, it smells amazing, and it leaves your skin soft while removing all the gunk in your pores. All you need is a dime size!
Scrub Skin with Brightening Bar (for hyperpigmentation)
What I use: Nurse Jamie Brightening Bar, $56
My favorite part about the product is the brush it comes with. It’s soft enough where it doesn’t hurt your skin, but firm enough where you feel like you are working the Soap Bar into your face and crevices. A little goes a long way. You could even use this in the shower!
Will I switch when it runs out? No – several different sources have touched on Kojic Acid being helpful for pigmentation.
Rose Water Toner
What I use: Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner, $3.99
I don’t see the point in spending a lot for a toner. It’s the last step in your cleansing process – it puts hydration back into your skin. Witch Hazel has been known to remove excess oil from your skin, but my cleanser does an amazing job at this.
Will I switch when it runs out? No – it’s cheap, and from Trader Joe’s. What more could you want?!
Vitamin C Serum (Sometimes I will also apply a Vitamin B Serum if I have extra redness)
What I use: TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum, $35.99
This Serum is super light and absorbs into the skin really quickly. It’s milky in color but goes on clear and is almost completely odorless. Vitamin C helps protect against sun damage and aids in anti-aging because of it antioxidant properties.
Will I switch when it runs out? Maybe. There’s nothing wrong with this product – it’s been great! I might want to see what else is out there once I finish the bottle.
What I use: Farmacy Dew It All Total Eye Cream, $38
I got this product in my FabFitFun box and I’m in love with it! I put it all over my eye area, including my lids. I think a lot of people remember their under-eyes but forget the top lid – which can lead to droopy eye lids! This product is light, odorless, and goes on smooth.
Will I switch when it runs out? Maybe – I’m not 100% what I’m looking for out an eye cream yet. I think I’d like to try something targeted more towards puffy eyes – so if you have any recommendations, send them my way!
Brightening Moisturizer (for my hyper-pigmentation) *If you do have Melasma this stuff truly has helped even out my skin tone, but you MUST follow up with Sunscreen if you use during the day
What I use: Fade to Light Brightening Moisturizer, $48
This stuff just smells like a jar that can do wonders. I love the texture and it really provides hydration. You can feel the product working right away. It gives my skin a warming sensation that makes me believe the active ingredients are doing their job! Remember to follow up with sunscreen if using any lightening products during the day!
Will I switch when it runs out? No! It’s expensive, but you only need a small amount to cover your face.
Sunscreen (I love Supergoop! and Coola – both available at Sephora)
What I use: Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $19
Sunscreen is usually gross, oily, and leaves a film on your hands you can only wash off with soap. No one wants to put sunscreen on. Enter Supergoop!, a company aimed at making sunscreen a part of everyday products. I have their Vitamin B Serum, Glow Stick, and Refresh Setting Mist (great for a full face of make-up that you forgot to apply SPF too). Check out their line at Sephora! You can also order small sample sizes from their website, which are great for traveling.
Will I switch when it runs out? No – their line of products are phenomenal. I also like Coola (also available at Sephora, because you can smell it’s natural ingredients, like in it’s White Tea Sunscreen), so I’ll typically use which ever is in my bag when I go out.
What I use: Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil, $52
Ahh, Fresh – a line I love dearly, but my pocket doesn’t. There’s something about Fresh Products that I can’t find in other products I use. If you are new to Fresh they have different tiered lines, which use different ingredients (reflected in the price). The Seaberry Oil, smells like herbs (but very lightly, not in an overwhelming way). All you need is 1-2 drops for your entire face. I pat into into my skin, rather than rub to make sure most of it gets on my skin instead of on my hands.
Will I switch when it runs out? Never! The bottle isn’t cheap, but I’ve had it for more than 4 months and still only about 10% through the bottle. I’ve always loved a dewy glow, and this stuff does just that. The oil puts the final touch on keeping my skin hydrated throughout the day.
Don’t forget – to take care of your skin before bed!
I will always tell you the truth, and I am by no means a Saint when it comes to applying products at night. Sure – I’m super on top of my morning routine cause it starts my day, but remembering to apply stuff at night is challenging since one of my products must be refrigerated. I do my best to put the rest by my toothbrush as a reminder.
My Night Routine:
Time: 2 minutes
What I use: Tri-Luma (Dermatologist Prescription)
Tri-Luma is a cream that combines three active ingredients to improve the appearance of melasma.
-Fluocinolone acetonide (a mild corticosteroid that reduces inflammation)
-Hydroquinone (a depigmenting agent that interrupts the formation and synthesis of melanin to help lighten the skin)
-Tretinoin (works by increasing the skin cell turnover rate, which helps exfoliate the skin)
Will I switch when it runs out? No – but it is expensive. It definitely is an investment, but it’s definitely worth the price tag if you have melasma or sun spots.
Same as during the day! Don’t forget the lids.
Same as during the day!
Getting the skin you want doesn’t happen overnight, but you will start to see it improve over time. Now I never leave the house without sunscreen and a hat in hopes of one day completely undoing the damage my younger self thought was “cool.”
It takes 21 days to make a habit.
Commit to your skin and your future self will thank you.