3 Positive Changes I’ve Made To My Skin Care Routine

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I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with reading about other people’s skin care routines. Seriously. Can’t get enough of it.

My skin has actually been behaving itself lately. Weird, right? I credit this to a few changes I’ve made in the last couple of months.

1. Consistency

- No skipping pre-bed skin care, no matter how tired I am. Skin cell turnover is eight times faster during unconscious time, so I want good things being absorbed, not a pore-clogging film of makeup and sweat. If I’m expecting a late bedtime, I make sure to have a pack of face wipes and some moisturizer by my bed. I may be consistent, but I’m still lazy.

- Change pillowcases regularly. Since sweat, oils, and other things I try not to think about get trapped in pillowcase fibers, it’s a good idea to flip your pillowcases and launder them more frequently (just toss ‘em in with your weekly load of work clothes or stock up on extras).

- Use a fresh washcloth to wash your face every night. I’ve amassed quite the stockpile, and they’re so cheap and easy that I barely even noticed until I suddenly had SO MANY WASHCLOTHS. (Costco, how I love thee.)

- Weekly maintenance. I bought a Dr. Dennis Gross home steamer a few months ago and I try to steam once a week before masking. Fun fact: steaming doesn’t open your pores, per se; pores don’t really open and close. It actually softens the top layer of your skin cells so they can release whatever’s trapped in there (shudder). Get the same benefits by draping a towel over you and a bowl of hot water for 10-15 minutes. But be sure to keep your face at least 12 inches away from the water.


2. A Gentle Approach

Man, do I love exfoliating. That baby-bottom-smooth feeling afterward? I live for that. Unfortunately there is such a thing as too much; I used to exfoliate almost every day like a big idiot, and my skin cried uncle in the form of redness and chapped areas.

I was never a Clarisonic die-hard, but I used mine dutifully--despite never being impressed with the results. I’ve seen first-hand how amazing it can be for some people, but those bristles always felt a little harsh for my semi-sensitive skin. So when it got around that the Foreo Luna was poised to succeed the Clarisonic throne, I was anxious to try it. (If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Mari mentioned it in March.) The Clarisonic uses oscillating sonic technology, while the Luna uses "t-sonic" technology, which mimics a gentle yet deep cleaning tapping motion with up to 8,000 pulsations per minute.

Other benefits: no brush heads to replace every three months, silicone is far easier to clean (read: more hygienic), and the charge lasts for an entire year. Seriously. I initially used the pink model (normal/sensitive skin), but after a few months of “it’s OK, I guess,” I switched to the blue model for combination skin. A revelation. My skin is baby-soft and much clearer, and I’ve gone from impressed to obsessed.

3. These Products

OK, so I’m not saying that you need to purchase EVERYTHING (unless you’re rolling in cash, in which case, can I borrow some?). But I’d recommend stealing at least one or two of these recs--I promise you’ll be stoked on the results.

Nighttime

Skin experiences a high rate of cell turnover at night, making it the perfect time to use those active, heavy-lifter products.

Eve Lom Cleanser: I wrote about this amazing balm last month, and my adoration continues. After working a pea-size amount into dry skin for a minute, I run my Luna under warm water and begin the ritual purification that leaves my skin soft, supple, and hydrated (forever and ever, amen).

Kate Somerville Dual Radiance Serum: Gimme that vitamin C, baby! The antioxidant has been shown to promote collagen production, diminish sun damage and hyperpigmentation, and reduce inflammation. I haven’t met a Kate Somerville product I don’t love, and this two-pump mixture is no exception. It’s a little tingly on dry skin, but that’s how I know it’s attacking all those free radicals!

Cold-Pressed Rosehip Oil: 70% fatty acid and crazy-rich in vitamins and antioxidants. It’s basically a magic tonic for your skin; you name it, this stuff targets it. Wrinkles, dryness, sun damage, eczema, scars, burns--the list seems endless (particularly when you’re trying to research it). When I pat this on at night, I wake up with glowing skin. Available in your local crunchy store (or Amazon).

Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion (Blue) and Retinol Lifting & Firming Milk (Red): Hyaluronic acid is a hydrophilic (water-loving) molecule that nourishes and supports collagen. Our bodies produce it naturally, but the levels decrease with age (sigh). After cleansing, I rub a few drops into my skin for instant soothing and hydration. Retinol is a powerhouse age-fighter, and it makes my skin so soft I have to restrain myself from touching it constantly.

Mario Badescu Drying Cream: This stuff is the overlooked little sister to the famous calamine drying lotion, but I think it’s far superior. Just a dab will dry a zit overnight, and because it’s a cream, it’s easier to handle and stays put. You can also blend it into your skin for daytime wear.

Daytime

Save the expensive creams for nighttime and just focus on environmental and sun protection.

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser: This is the best exfoliator I’ve ever used. Since it’s made with sugar, it dissolves as you massage it into your skin so you can never overexfoliate. It also contains alpha hydroxy acids for some chemical exfoliation action. Skin feels squeaky-clean, but never dry or tight.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré: Cult favorite multi-tasker and staple of makeup artists everywhere (where have you been living, under a stupid rock?). After applying some Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, I use this to moisturize, hydrate, and create a smooth surface for my makeup. You don’t even need to use a primer with this. It’s that good.

What lights your fire these days? I’m still on the hunt for the perfect nighttime moisturizer and my holy grail eye cream. Sharing is caring…