Friday, December 19, 2014

Skincare Essentials

Skincare Essentials

After months of deliberation, I've come to terms with my absolute necessities for a balanced skincare routine. With under 10 products, this highly customizable routine provides deep cleaning and gentle care, that anyone of any age, and any skin type could use and love.

I fortunately don't have terrible skin, but I do get the occasional acne breakout, some enlarged pores, dryness and oiliness. My skin is true combination, and it's hard to keep the oil at bay while moisturizing and reducing redness.


Here are my morning necessities:

Water & Face Cloth
You don't need to cleanse in the morning if you wash your face throughly at night. Simply use a gentle cloth and some warm water to wake up your skin and remove any sleep crusties. This muslin cloth from The Body Shop is a great option, but I actually prefer baby washcloths. For only a few dollars, they're really cute, dry fast (I can't stand musty cloths) and have the slightest exfoliation.
I make sure to put mine through the wash every week to keep them free of any bacteria or buildup.

Thayer's Witch Hazel
This is the best skin toner out there. Everyone needs a bottle of Thayer's Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel, which is available in a few varieties (rose, cucumber and unscented are best). For $10, I like to pour this into a small spray bottle to spritz as opposed to using cotton each time.


Avène Moisturizer
A light moisturizer is necessary after I wash my face, and the Hydrance Légère from Avène is my absolute fav. The scent is gorgeous (not synthetic or perfume-y) and my skin feels balanced and fresh.  Follow up with SPF if you're planning on going out in the sun.
For a cheaper option, I have had great experiences with Nivea products. Their sensitive line is quite nice. 


Now for at night:

Nivea Makeup Remover 
This is a fabulous makeup remover, for a great price. At only $10 or so, this bi-phase makeup remover gets all traces of makeup off the skin. Simply shake, pour onto cotton, and swipe away. To gently remove eye makeup, rest the cotton pad onto your eye area for a few seconds before wiping. That will dissolve the makeup so you aren't left scrubbing. You can see my favourite makeup-removing wipes in this post.

Froosh or Cetaphil Cleanser
I adore the Go Deep cleanser from Froosh, which is a small Toronto-based company owned by a lovely girl named Monika. I met her while working at the One Of A Kind Show. The mild exfoliation and hint of tea tree oil work wonders for my skin. One pot ($12) also lasts for-ever.
A great, simple alternative is Cetaphil's sensitive skin cleanser, or even CeraVe's cleansers. The cleanser itself doesn't matter too much, just avoid those harsh exfoliating scrubs, or ones with perfume-like fragrance.

Clarisonic Mia
Each night I use my Clarisonic with a delicate or cashmere brush head to apply the cleanser. For a budget option, grab one of those cloths from the morning and massage your cleanser all over the skin in circular motions for 1 minute. That's the key here - consistent, gentle exfoliation in a circular motion for 60 seconds. We probably wouldn't cleanse for that long unless someone (or a beeping brush) told us to! A vigorous scrub for 5 seconds could leave you with redness, residual dirt, and micro scratches welcoming in bacteria to cause further breakouts. Blehck.

Thayer's Witch Hazel
Cleansers bring the skin's pH up to a 10, when it should be around 6 (neutral) to keep acne, oil and dryness at bay. So it's pretty crucial to follow up with that same balancing toner from the morning to even everything out. Dry off your face and immediately apply your toner, either with a few spritzes or swiped over on a cotton ball. Such a simple step can make a huge difference. 

Paula's Choice Chemical Exfoliant
This next step has transformed my skin, in its brightness, texture and lack of major breakouts. I apply just the smallest bit of this exfoliating liquid onto my t-zone and cheeks, once a day, avoiding the eyes. Read more here on why I love this salicylic acid treatment.

Cetaphil Moisturizer
Finally, finish with a moisturizer. Weather that's a light serum or a thick cream, this part is especially important after cleansing. Here I've featured the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, since you could literally put this stuff head to toe. It's so thick but doesn't leave your skin feeling sticky or congested. The ingredient list is mainly water, oil and some good quality hydrators with no added fragrance or irritants. It's the absolute best for under the eyes - most eye creams are too rich (and cost a fortune!!) so this is my go-to.

Palmer's Face Oil
Very often I skip the traditional moisturizer and use a straight up oil for my final treatment. I have a whole list of oil options here, but my most recent favourite is this one from Palmer's. It's cheap, available at the drugstore, and has a good blend of ingredients to cover all the bases. I put only a few drops on my palms, rub them together to warm it up, then I press my hands onto my skin, gently distributing the oil. It's such a calming step that seriously diminishes redness and breakouts. Plus, oils will condition your lashes and brows! 

xx
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