A Sparkley Ass Bitchs' Skin Care Routine
When it comes to my skin, I don’t mess around. I have incredibly fussy skin and a lot of my insecurities I suffer from usually revolves around the state of my skin which means I am a skincare freak. I vividly remember thinking as a teenager “I can’t wait until I grow up so I can stop dealing with all these skin issues.” Oh if I could only go back in time to slap the naivety out of myself. Instead of going back in time, I go far out of my way to make sure that I am taking care of skin because I have spent a lot of time neglecting it. Gone are the days of me washing my face with water and eating ice cream nonstop then wondering why on earth my skin doesn’t look good. Also sunscreen, why didn’t I wear it? I'm glad I never caught on to the constant tanning phase that was rampant during my high school years. I remember girls being so excited after Christmas break because their parents got them a membership to the tanning salon. Now I'm my wise years, I have learned Its as much as what you put into it and on it people, along with a routine that suits my combo, acne-prone skin. So, I wanted to share with you what I do and use. Because it is extensive (and expensive) but worth it because the first time in my life EVER I am finally, truly comfortable in my own skin, even enough to go out in public without makeup...something I haven’t done since the seventh grade.
I've read the quick morning routines and *SPOILER ALERT*, mine is not one of them. I have probably the most extended morning skincare routine of anyone I know, and that has to do with the fact the products I apply need a moment to settle and dry before I start layering the next step on top of it. Here is my breakdown of my morning routine:
Step 1: Exfoliate
I like to exfoliate with the Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel, a skincare item I firmly believe everyone women should own (or at least try). It feels fantastic because it sweeps up the dead skin on your face but crumbles off, and its disgusting but I love it. You will be surprised how much dead skin you have hanging around on your face. I know everyone drills ‘CLEANSE FIRST’ into our heads, but I just don’t like how it feels. I have found that exfoliating after cleansing leaves my skin feeling dry and gritty. I also like that it feels as if when I'm cleansing, any remaining debris is washed away to be extra sure. It’s a personal preference and not for everyone but if you haven’t tried it, switch your order and see if you like it. The skin care police won't take you away for going in reverse order (mainly since they don’t exist).
Step 2: Cleanse
I love cleansing in the morning. I feel like my face is bright and ready and I can conquer the day. Also, I like feeling clean, which a good cleanser will do. I don’t want to say all cleansers because I have tried some truly horrible ones, but I finally found that sweet spot with Glossiers' Milky Jelly cleanser. It is a dry cleanser (meaning you don’t need to wet your face) so it is a relatively quick process that is gentle enough to use on the eyes to make sure you’ve wiped all the sleep and nighttime grime away.
Step 3: Hydrate
Or rather, lock in moisture with a hyaluronic acid serum. I have tried many bottles over the years, and it took me a while to finally land on The Ordinary. It is thick and just feels like it’s getting the job done. Too many times I have tried a serum that is too watery and just disappears once it's on your skin. The Ordinary's hyaluronic acid serum actually feels like a serum, so its best to give it a moment to dry before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Brighten
As someone who battles redness and large pores, my overall complexion has been an uphill battle, but now, after discovering The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, it feels like a pleasant stroll through a park. It doesn’t solve it 100% every day (some days my redness is out of control) but it does such an excellent job of making my complexion bright and youthful while leaving my face nice and smooth.
Step 5: Tone
This is a step that I didn’t adopt until quite recently. I never really understood why it was so essential to tone but now my attitude is “tone, tone, tone.” It tightens pores to help protect from the daily grime while refreshes the face. My go-to toner is Neutrogena's Alchohol and Oil-Free toner but rather than using a cotton round; I transfer it to a little glass spray bottle I have and spritz myself evenly so I know I’m covered.
Step 5: Sunscreen
After my toner spritz has dried, it’s time to move onto the protection. I have spent way too long avoiding sunscreen because I hate the smell and I hate feeling like a grease ball with my combo skin, but finally, I found the light. Neutrogena's Age Shield is an oil-free, broad spectrum SPF 110 sunscreen that is virtually weightless and has a nice mattifying effect to it. It is an excellent base for makeup or even going out makeup-less.
Step 6: Moisturize
I hate feeling like a grease ball as I mentioned above and most moisturizers do precisely that. There is nothing I hate more than the feeling of a moisturizer just SITTING on my face which is why I love that I made the switch to facial oils. Namely, Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Oil. It has "balancing" in the name and targets redness and blemishes while hydrating your skin without clogging your pores. It has been a godsend, and even though I was SUPER afraid when I purchased it (because it was an oil and also the price) I am 100% committed to this relationship, and I don’t see myself leaving it anytime soon. And if you are looking at it and shaking your head because of the price (I did too) just know, a little goes A LONG way. Like, I’ve had this bottle for six months, and I haven’t even made a dent in it. I’ve probably only used a tenth of it, and if you just want to test it, you can get a small roller bottle for a significantly reduced price.
I will admit to a quicker routine in the evening usually because I am so damn tired I just want to get to bed. There also doesn't seem to be a need to let everything set and absorb, especially since I am not putting makeup on afterward. That doesn’t make my evening routine less important, in fact quite the opposite. Since I am prone to breakouts, I have to make sure I am myself for battle, aka sleep when skin restores itself, with this breakout focused routine:
Step 1: Cleanse/Exfoliate
At night I speed up this process by using a Clarisonic Mia (and it’s pink!), I just have the original because it gets the job done just right and if you are thinking of investing in any skincare tools, move this to the top of your list. The brush itself acts as an exfoliant so using anything else like my morning routine would be way too harsh on my skin. I squeeze a bit of Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash which is terrific for clearing skin and reducing redness as well. Unfortunately, I have only been able to find this online so far, but with Amazon Prime, it’s not the end of the world.
Step 2: Acne Treatment
I pull out the big guns and go for the double whammy with both the Advanced Retnoid 2% and Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% by The Ordinary since both target blemishes. The Renoid works to heal and prevent them from happening while the Niacinamide works to reduce the appearance of blemishes. I refuse to go to sleep without both of these on my face, and since I started using them, I’ve seen a HUGE improvement in my skin and feel like I finally have control over the acne I’ve been battling since I was a pubescent, moody, beret-wearing tween.
Step 3: Tone
Round two of the morning! No need to fix it if it ain’t broke, right? I use the same toner and just spritz all over my face to keep those pores tight and make sure the serums are doing their job.
Step 4: Moisturize and Repair
Again, in the name of being efficient, I use Moon Fruit Night Treatment by Herbivore Botanicals as it helps keep me hydrated while soothing and calming my typically fussy skin down. For a girl who is prone to breakouts and the world of having fussy skin, this is moisturizing enough for me, so I skip the nightly facial oils.
Sometime’s I do use alternatives, but everything listed here is my staples. These products, plus a consistent schedule, are the reason I am finally comfortable in my skin. I know that it can feel like a pain in the butt to wash your face right before bed (sometimes you just really wanna go to sleep) and I won’t even pretend that I do it every time. I will admit, sometimes I skip a morning or night but as long as I am doing it a majority of the time I see a huge difference in my skin thanks to this routine.
To show you how proud I am of my skin and the effort I have put into it, here is an unedited, unfiltered, no makeup selfie. #NAKEDSKINFORLIFE