Wednesday, January 21, 2015

freshening up my skin care regime

the morning i got engaged, i had an amazing facial. i also learned that morning that i was completely misguided as to what a proper skin care routine should include. i thought that i was ahead of the aging curve by wearing spf in my daily face moisturizer but i had no clue that there are actually four types of products i should be incorporating into my routine on a daily basis:

1. cleanser (including some type of exfoliating product to gently scrub off dead skin cells)
2. toner (to restore the skin's ph balance after cleansing)
3. eye cream (to protect the precious eye skin)
4. moisturizer (to replenish the skin and protect with an spf)

after having this knowledge bomb dropped on me, i thought to myself, man i really should amp up what i'm doing to make sure my skin is flawless come wedding day (and you know, it's good to take care of your skin in general. another healthy habit to continue to improve on especially as i get older).

in my research, i've seen skin care recommendations broken down into four steps, which are pretty similar to the products i mentioned above, but the lovely woman who did my facial told me to keep it simple and focus on those four products first. so that's what i did. when i started looking at skin care products though, i had no clue where to start. browsing through ulta, sephora, beauty magazines... they were only so helpful, but more so overwhelming. and it seemed like everything was so. stinking. expensive. sorry, but i'm not interested in spending $70 for a one ounce tub of cream that will cover my entire face only a few times. that doesn't work for me.

i finally landed on the body shop's website where they have a custom skin care recommendation tool. i am a nerd for things like that, so i gave it a whirl and it popped out a list of seven products for me to try. easy, right? it just so happened the day i did all this the body shop was having an awesome sale so i got all (plus an extra product not listed)  but three of the products for less than $40. major score.

i'm about one and a half months into using most of the products above and i think i've already noticed improvements. overall, my skin seems to look a little brighter and i'm having WAY less breakouts than i normally do (halleluiah). i think some of the products aren't realistic for year round use (like the moisture cream which i think would be way too thick in the summer), but all things considered, i'm pretty happy with the recommendations the online tool provided. happy enough, at least, to continue to use most of the products once my current stash is used up.

i also started using a mask twice a week. my lovely instagram friends also recommended a clay mask (by the same company as the one pictured below) that i'm going to try using after i run out of the avocado based mask.

i also started using skin, hair and nail vitamins. i first started using the "it works" vitamin as recommended by a colleague, but i just finished the bottle and i'm not impressed enough to pay the price to buy another. i found a comparable vitamin at costco for about a third of the price and it has nearly the same amount of vitamins in it, including biotin, which i guess is the popular nutrient for skin health. in the past month i have noticed that my nails are a little less peely than normal, but they've still been breaking so i guess i need more time for the vitamins to work to see if they really are worth using long term.

all in all, i'm feeling pretty positive about the changes in my skin care routine:

  • adding in a toner
  • adding in an eye cream
  • using a richer moisturizer
  • using a face mask twice a week
  • taking skin, hair and nail vitamins

i'm sure i will be in glowing skin bliss when it comes to my wedding day. ;) for what it's worth, i also found this 8 month wedding beauty timeline that i'm going to follow. according to the timeline, i'm ahead of the game by getting my skin in shape a little over a month ago, so good on me. i've still got plenty of time to try different products and figure out what works best.

anyone out there have favorite skin care products or skin care secrets they can't live without? i'd love to hear what works (and what doesn't) from others!


  1. This might sound crazy but I started taking fermented cod liver oil and it's done wonders for my skin, hair and nails. I have seborrheic dermatitis so most products out there irritate my skin more than they help it. It seems kind of expensive up-front but it's comparable to other products on the market.

    1. I haven't heard of that! I've heard of fish oil in general, but not that particular kind. Does it taste fishy? That's a problem I've had with the fish oil pills....

  2. My biggest issue with skin care is trying to make my pores smaller. I have tried everything from over the counter to dermatologist recommendations. Nothing seems to work for me. Glad you are loving your new skin care line.

    1. Wow, I'm surprised such a large range of solutions hasn't helped! I don't know much about large pores :(

  3. I have issues with my pores. You can't shrink them at all, I know that, but they are always dirty and gross. That is what I struggle with.

    1. I haven't looked for anything for large pores, but now that you're the second person to say something about that, I'll be on the look out for you!


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