I’ve been thinking a lot about what products to start our banter with and TBH, skincare has been my latest obsession. Gone are the days I can be frivolous about which products I use, and trust me, my skin went through hell and back when I moved to LA. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about what works for me, and I’ve been in good hands by getting occasional treatments by Dr. Nadia (her PRP facials have changed my skin — more on that later!). The hardest part about skin-related topics are the obvious disclaimer: everyone’s skin is different. My skin is pretty combination, that veers dry in the winter (even in LA!). Since there are so many I’m loving lately though, I figured I’d start with cleansers.
First, one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is my skin can use all the moisture it can get, so I try not to go crazy and overdo the cleansing (hence, stripping my skin of the oils it needs). I’ll usually skip a morning cleanse and use a micellar water if anything (more on that in a sec). But generally, this is what I find has been working best for me:
LATEST OBSESSION: Glamglow Supercleanse Clearing Skin-to-Foam Cleanse, $27
This is a little pricey as far as cleansers go, but there’s few that I’ve come across feel as good as this one does. It keeps my skin in check, and gets all the dirt out with the power of three different charcoals. A little goes a long way to remove all my makeup at the end of the day. It also has licorice and AHAs to help keep skin bright and encourage cellular renewal. I’ve even had friends stay over and use it, and notice the brilliance of this from the first go.
EXFOLIATING CLEANSER: Soap & Glory Vitamin C Face Wash, $11
If you feel your skin can use a little more of a deep clean, and you’re not looking to spend $30 on a face wash, I’ve been using and really liking Soap & Glory’s Vitamin C Wash. First of all, the bottle is massive — for 11.8 oz, it might as well be your body wash. In fact, I keep it in the shower so I can use it on my face and my upper back too after a workout. It has tiny exfoliating beads that helps get a deeper clean in, and it has mint and chamomile so your skin actually feels refreshed after using it. Vitamin c is also one of my favorite skin brighteners — which is also notoriously hard to stabilize, so I can’t speak to how effective it can be in this gel form, but it does make my skin feel clean without feeling tight or dry after.
GENTLE/EVERYDAY CLEANSER: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, $9
I haven’t used this one in a minute because I’ve been so happy with the two I’ve already mentioned, BUT I’m always asked about gentle, drugstore cleansers, and CeraVe has always been my favorite no-frills cleanser. My favorite thing about this one is it has ceramides, which helps protect the skin. If your skin is breakout-prone, you may also want to consider their SA cleanser that has ceramides AND salicylic acid.
TONERS: It Cosmetics Miracle Water, $38
I don’t use this every day, but on days I need a little extra, I’ll go over my face after cleansing with micellar water. Micellar water helps to cleanse the skin and leaves good-for-you ingredients (like peptides and skin softeners) behind so your skin benefits as well. This one from It Cosmetics is gentle and helps get every last bit of grime out before I go to sleep. It’s, again, a little on the high end as far as toners go, so if you’re looking for a good drugstore alternative, I also really like Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water ($7). I keep their makeup wipes next to my bed on the days I’m feeling extra lazy and just want to do a quick clean. Otherwise, I use toners sparingly, and mostly if I have a lot of makeup on that day.
I’ll have more AM and PM routines to come, and what products have been working for me to come! What have you been using that you love? Leave me a comment below!
So I was asked to post my skincare routine (Hi Erica!). I mentioned in the GliSODin post that I change it up a lot because I haven’t found the magic formula yet (isn’t that what we’re all looking for?). Well that, and because I’m constantly scouring for new products to write about. More times than not, I’m disappointed in brands that make grandiose claims that don’t deliver. I also think it’s pretty tough to write about skincare — everyone’s skin type is different and some are more sensitive than others. But since you ask, these few have been pretty good to me lately:
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser ($12)
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
It says foaming, but it’s a gel consistency that stays pretty clean. I used to use stronger face washes, but this has been gentle yet effective enough. I actually felt like I broke out when I stopped using it. Otherwise, I feel like my skin feels pretty balanced and clean when I use this!
Clarisonic skin care system
I love my Clarisonic. I feel like I’m getting a facial at home every single time I use it. I had to change the brush head to the one designed for ‘sensitive skin’ though because my skin can’t take too much buffing. Another thing is, I don’t use it every single day. I feel like it’s too much exfoliating for me (personally, I think you should use it sparingly or you might irritate your skin, but I guess there are some types that can handle it). When I feel like I need a deep cleaning though, I bust this out for sure.
CeraVe’s Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM and PM Lotion ($14 each)
CeraVe's AM and PM Lotions
Can you tell I love CeraVe? The AM lotion has UV protection (SPF 30) and the PM lotion has hyaluronic acid which is an excellent moisturizer, as well as niacinamide which is proven to help create more ceramides and fatty acids to protect your skin. My face feels so soft afterwards when I use these routinely. To be honest, I was first introduced to the products from an event with Dr. Leslie Baumann, a well-respected derm and one of my skin idols (will talk more about her endeavors in a post to come). But she believes in specific skin types and based on mine, I was given these to take home. I couldn’t believe something as easy as a drugstore brand could works so well, but they did for me.
For occasional breakouts: This is going to be a tease, but NOTHING works better for me than Avène’s Cleanance Acne Spot Treatment. The reason I feel bad for even mentioning it is because it’s no longer available in their line for purchase I know, because I wanted to write a whole post about how much of a life-saver this has been to me in the past (like when I had this giant zit on my nose during my trip to Europe and just two applications of this on the plane ride from Berlin to Paris, and it vanished…true story). Shortly found out that it’s no longer in production. Why do companies get rid of their best products?! Believe me, I’m devastated and have been savoring every last drop. Anyone have anything they use that works? I need a replacement soon.
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel and Seaweed Cleansing Lotion ($12 and $15)
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel and Seaweed Lotion
I know it sounds fancy pants, but Mario Badescu products are ridiculously affordable and effective (both of these for example are under $20 and come in big 8.0 fl oz bottles). I switched to MB when I was traveling recently because they came in little travel-friendly bottles that fit into a green case that made it easy to carry around. It’s extremely gentle on my skin too, and I love its fresh, relaxing scent. So many beauty editors have told me they get their facials from MB’s flagship on 52nd street (also very affordable $65 for NY standards). I always tell people to go to their website (mariobadescu.com), where you can fill out a questionnaire and they’ll send you samples of products that fit your skincare needs for free. I’ve done it before and the little samples they’ve sent me were fantastic (especially their Strawberry Face Scrub, yum).
For other night creams, I’ll also switch it up between Face It’s Dream Beautifully ($45) and Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More Pore Effect ($55) when my skin is feeling really dry. Don’t even get me started on masks and other indulgences — it’s a wholeee other story, maybe for another post.
But ENOUGH about me — what skin care products have been working for you lately?