MY NIGHTLY SKIN CARE ROUTINE
I’ve just recently (the past 3-4 mos) found a skin care regimen that I really love & see a huge difference with – which feels like such an accomplishment! (lol.) You know how everyone has something that drives them crazy about themselves – it may be your hair, your physique, your teeth — well, mine is my skin. I started getting acne in high school like any other teen but it was during college where the acne got worse & I really damaged my skin. I’ve always been very thorough in the skincare process – never slept w/makeup on, always use moisturizer + what the dermatologist was recommending at the time for acne. However, that didn’t seem to make a difference. I’ll fast forward a bit and just reveal that I got awful cystic acne during college and didn’t leave them alone. 🙁 That left me with deep, crater like scars. Such. A. Nightmare. Well, I tried everything from microdermabrasion, to the strongest chemical peels given by a physician, etc. and nothing really made a difference. It didn’t reduce the appearance of scarring nor did it slow down my acne. It wasn’t until I did Accutane at age 27 that I was able to put a stop to the acne. Even then, I still have some light scarring. Now, I did do three rounds of Sublative in 2014 which actually did do a number on the crater like scars on my cheeks, thank goodness!
I wish I could list every product product, treatment, medication, diet, etc. that I have tried because you’d quickly learn that my skin is just tough and has a mind of its own. I have truly tried just about everything on the market, not exaggerating. At this point though, I am very confident in my skin for once and I literally go w/o makeup so often that I have girlfriends in Tulsa laugh if I show up for lunch with makeup on!
All of that ^ to say that now that my acne has cleared [mostly] and I’ve reduced the appearance of very deep scarring, I am working to keep my pores small, my skin smooth, bright, & healthy. The challenge with this is simply life. You guys now know, late nights and early mornings with a baby, lots of traveling (flights can take a toll on skin), stress/workload, constant change of environment, & plain ol’ aging.
We started traveling quite a bit in August and that’s when I noticed my skin not looking so wonderful. It was getting noticeably drier (even w/ me trying the top recommended/most expensive products) & the dark spots were getting darker. I just so happened to be in Dallas at the Northpark Nordstrom where my mom & I met a sales associate who quickly became our friend. This guy would get samples of everything for me and have the girls at the difference counters tell us what the best products were and why they were the best. I started trying the different products and after several weeks it became very clear what worked the best for me. In fact, it wasn’t until I was without a couple of the products in Seattle (I think) that I realized “oh my goodness, I have to go buy these!!!”.
Fair warning: this is probably a long list of products and I think a few of them are ‘game changers’ where as the rest are just what work for me – so don’t feel like you need it all. But I can almost guarantee you will see a difference if you used these & have similar skin challenges.
#1. Remove makeup really well. [Both of the following items are on sale today!] First I use a Philosophy wipe (gentle, basic) OR an exfoliating wipe that has glycolic acid in it and basically resurfaces the skin from Anthonys. These are marketed for men – but they are totally not just or men. I’ve been using them for a while now – I only use them when my skin seems to be struggling! If your guy has acne – get him a pack of these!
#2. Cleanse face and/or exfoliate. If I am cleansing I use a gentle cleanser (here) with my Clarisonic but if I am exfoliating I use this. I only exfoliate 2x per week. Sidenote – no need to be picky about gentle cleansers really – just a basic one is fine I think. I just make sure to use ones that won’t dry out my skin! I use baby wash to take off what is left of my mascara & eye liner though. I just like the baby wash because it’s cheap, doesn’t hurt your eyes, quickly/easily removes eye makeup if used w/warm water, & we travel with it anyway! Also, I use a micellar water after cleansing just to make sure I get everything off! [There’s no specific brand that I think is better than another.] The reason for all the cleansing is because you want your face to be totally clean when you go to bed at night – but also because the products will be effective if you have completely cleansed skin.
#3. Once my skin is totally clean, I use my GloPro [Microneedling tool] and really focus on the larger pores / scarred areas. *I am coming back to edit this because someone asked for a review on this tool. I actually received this as a gift from Northpark’s Nordstrom in July during the Anniversary sale. I was actually wanting to try it so I was thrilled when they sent it over. I talked about it a lot in early August in a few of those beauty posts. The tool has 540 tiny needles that prick your skin & cause micro-injuries which triggers natural collagen production. It also vibrates and has a red LED lights. I’ve read an article where someone interviewed the woman who created the tool & she said that women see a 30% wrinkle reduction in the first month of use. I love it in conjunction with the products that follow below. I notice that using this product kind of makes my skin get puffy – and then the other products sink in better.
#4. When we travel somewhere the very first night I follow up my micro needling with THIS. This is one of the ‘game changers’ and this is something I think all women should try out if you have sudden skin issues. This product is said to ‘smooth, clear, youthfully dewy surface, reveal baby like skin’ and hydrate, repair, & purify AND tighten pores. This is a product that I’d recommend keeping on hand for weekly use – maybe once per week. When I travel to a new city (flying), I actually sleep in this mask instead of just wearing it for 10 minutes.
#5. Now, any other night I use THIS product. This product is the most expensive but it is worth every dime. I’ve never tried anything like it and I can see such a difference if I forget to use it for even one night! It is very balmy feeling which is the down side so I have to sleep with my hair in a bun otherwise it will stick to my face. It is extremely hydrating, firming, & smoothing. It takes care of texture on your face and more or less just brightens it overall. I think the one word I would use to describe what it does ‘plumping.’ It literally just thickens your skin to the point where it truly is more baby like – full & smooth. If you can hydrate your skin enough – it will make it thicker, smoother, softer, etc. which ends up reducing appearance of pores/scars/dry spots. I just can’t recommend this enough. Also, using this right after your GloPro is very effective – this product will soak in better if you use it after the GloPro. However, if you are on a budget – you do not need both! I’d opt for this one if I could only purchase one of the items in this post!
#6. Also, when I travel I always take one of THESE masks. These are incredible because they are dry!! I love face masks but they are so hard to wear because they slide off of your face and they are cold and sticky. This one is SO different. It has a thing that goes around your ear and it’s totally dry. It feels like it wouldn’t work or do anything but I promise it does. I always use these the first morning I wake up in a new city. You can re-use them so I typically use them again on the same trip. It is said to ‘brighten, hydrate, & lift’ – all of which I can attest to.
#7. Lastly, I use an eye cream. I have one I only use once per week and another I use each night. The one I use once per week is HERE and it is extremely hydrating and smoothing. The other (HERE) is more for hydrating and fighting signs of aging.
If you have any questions, I can answer those in the comments. All of the products above can be found at Nordstrom, by the way!
LAS THOUGHTS: Also, I should mention that I have a different routine in the morning – these products are all more effective at night time for me. And I am currently implementing retinol into my night time routine as well. I am using pure retinol and oh-em-gee!! I’ve used it 3x over the past 2 weeks and it actually causes acne – which is good. I know it is just purging my skin but it’s SO potent!! Additionally, I use lash serum [on sale today!] on my lashes 2x per week before bed & I also use L’Occitane on my body at night – I don’t love the smell but it is very moisturizing.
Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring today’s post.