I've had a few conversations about skincare routines with people recently, both online and off. I thought I'd go over my skincare routine here. I used to be pretty inconsistent with facial care..sometimes I washed my face, sometimes I didn't. I didn't give a rip about SPF and most nights I just swiped at my face with one of those makeup removing cloths. (I love those, by the way. I have nothing against them at all, and I still use them sometimes when traveling, when I'm too drunk to go through my whole skincare process, and after working out at the gym. Not that I do that very often. The gym thing. Anyway, I just don't use them every night anymore.)
Then, when I was 30 years old, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. As a result, I quit smoking immediately, cold turkey. (almost 4 years with not even a drag, what up!) After I quit smoking, I realized how badly smoking had aged my skin. I had lines around my mouth, lines around my eyes, and lines on my forehead. My skin was dull and always looked tired and parched. I decided to crank my skincare routine up a notch (or 12) and really start to take it seriously. I started with using a moisturizer with SPF every day. Today, at 34 years old, I have MUCH better skin. Many of my wrinkles have actually disappeared, and my skin looks smooth and soft. I know that quitting smoking had a ton to do with it, but I also believe that this new skincare routine has basically performed miracles. So here it is, folks.
I start the morning with washing my face. I believe that since a cleanser isn't on your skin for very long at all, since it's rinsed off pretty much immediately, that you can get away with using a cheap, no-frills cleanser. If you don't have acne, I recommend using one that is creamy. The clear see-through cleansers tend to be a little harsher and more drying. I don't have a cleanser that I ALWAYS use. I pretty much use whatever I have gotten on sale or whatever I have gotten as a bonus while buying beauty products. I have about 5 cleansers lined up, so I won't be buying anything new for quite some time! For about the past 2 months, I have been using Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser.
I really like it. It makes my skin feel really clean, it is slightly exfoliating, and it rinses clean. My skin doesn't feel tight after using this, which is my Number One Facial Cleanser Pet Peeve. This retails for about $8, and you can almost always find coupons in the monthly P&G coupon insert in the Sunday paper.
After the cleanser is when I start getting picky. I am pretty much strictly a Philosophy girl when it comes to skincare. It's pricey, more money than I ever thought I would want to spend on skin products, especially because as a general rule I'm kind of a cheap bastard. I have been so incredibly happy with the way my skin looks using Philosophy products, though, I just think there's no turning back. Other than cleanser, I have been using Philosophy products for about a year and a half. Like I said, my skin looks pretty awesome for a 34 year old ex-smoker, and I contribute at least part of the awesomeness to Philosophy products.
After cleansing, I use Philosophy Hope In A Jar with SPF 25 Moisturizing Cream.
This retails for $40. I do not by any means believe that you need to spend this much money on a daily moisturizer. I just happened to get hooked on this one and that's the way it is. I DO believe, however, that you ABSOLUTELY need to be using SPF on your face every day. Olay has some nice moisturizers with SPF and so does Neutrogena, both half the price of the Philosophy stuff. In fact, before I was using this, for 5 years I used Olay Complete SPF 15 Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin. I may go back to it when I am through with this tube, it's great stuff. Anyway, this Philosophy moisturizer feels light and it soaks in right away and makes my skin feel really soft. I also should mention that I love the way Philosophy skincare products smell. It's kind of a light clinical smell, which probably sounds weird, but they smell like they WORK, you know?
Now comes the nighttime routine. I wash my face with the Olay cleanser again, and then I use Philosophy Help Me Nighttime Retinol Treatment. This is my Holy Grail product, the one that I simply will not go without. I swear this product has ERADICATED the fine lines around my eyes. My skin looks brighter than it did before I started using this, and even a little tighter. This is a miracle product, I promise you.
It's $47, and it lasts me about 3 months. Maybe a little less. You just use a tiny bit every night. It is a retinol product, so you want to be careful about being in the sun when you're using this. Some people are more sensitive to the sun when they are using retinol product. I do not happen to be one of those people, but I have heard it's pretty common. This stuff, though, delivers the retinol via encapsulated technology, which basically means it's time-released, therefore more gentle. This product won the Allure magazine's "Best Of Beauty" award for "Best Anti-Aging Treatment".
Lastly, I use Philosophy Hope In A Jar moisturizer. It doesn't have sunscreen, which is why it's my go-to nighttime moisturizer. It's simple, light, and effective.
It's $40 and usually lasts me 2-3 months. Philosophy did just release a Hope In A Jar Nighttime Moisturizer, and I will be trying that as soon as I am done with this jar.
Three times a week or so, in the shower, I use this exfoliating product on my face. Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. This is $26 and I have had mine for probably 6-8 months, and it's a little more than half gone.
I know this seems really expensive, and it is, but there's ways I've found to get my Philosophy without paying full price. The Today Show runs a promotion every few weeks called Steals and Deals, and Philosophy is often featured. The last one was a 16 oz Philosophy Candy Cane shower gel, a 2 ounce jar of the Hope In A Jar moisturizer, full sized Philosophy Purity facial cleanser and a lip balm for $32, which is less than the regular cost of the moisturizer. So I always check those, and then I also check Marshall's and TJ Maxx pretty frequently. They sell Philosophy products at a discount pretty often. They sell the bath products more often than the skincare, but I have seen the skincare there a time or two. Lastly, I make sure to buy the products from Sephora, where I build points for free product and always get free samples with my order, or I buy it when Beauty.com has one of it's "spend $100 and get a makeup bag filled with 18 free samples." Ulta has a rewards program where you can build points to get free products. Basically, if I'm not getting the products at a discount, I try to get it from somewhere that I am at the very least building up points to get more products next time at a discount.
So there you have it!