I have had more questions than ever about skincare the past 6 months and I’ve actually been meaning to write this post for the last two months. I have a hard time writing about skincare because I have a lot of ‘ favorite’ products. I have certain masks, essences, serums, night creams, etc. that I keep on hand for certain situations so it is really hard to just give a ‘general skincare post’. I’m going to try to stream line todays post so that I answer the important/key products + the products I find myself recommending the most.
Background on my skin is that I had pretty bad acne throughout college until I was like 27-28?! I begged my parents – and then later John to let me do Accutane and everyone said ‘no’. Luckily, my BIL had done it and had good things say [as well as so many other people who we’ve met along the way] so John finally caved. There were never any product to ever ‘tame’ my acne – and the cystic acne was killing my skin. I am talking I would get cysts regularly in my cheeks – right around the mouth area and I would pick/squeeze? and that would just make it 100x worse. I feel like everyone I’ve talked to is guilty of picking at the cysts as well but it seriously will ruin skin. The cysts ended up leaving nearly permanent damage – crater-like scars in my cheeks.
I did a 6month round of Accutane and it was a game changer for me. It truly ‘changed my life’ if you will- I know it sounds dramatic but it did. I went from always worrying about acne and constantly trying to hide the blemishes/scars to now – where I don’t get acne very often at all and I don’t have to wear makeup daily. I also don’t have oily skin anymore, nor are my pores as large. My skin still has a ways to go but I have to admit that I feel like the past 6-7 months I’ve seen a lot of changes. The past year I’ve been getting PRP and hydrafacials & using new tools that really help – like THIS tool which is like at home microneedling!
I believe routine is important and that doing something regularly and consistently for a while is what will really make a change. I drink a ton of water — for a lot of reasons but one being it helps my skin. I take vitamins/supplements for my skin [like THESE] to help keep my skin plump & hydrated. And I got really routine and scheduled with some powerful products that I will share below. I saw the most difference in my skin after 4 weeks of *everything* in this paragraph. It takes time to see real changes so set a routine and stick to it! I started my routine at the beginning of June 2018 and just before I started I went to Dallas and saw a friend and also went to AZ to get my hair done.. well in August I went back to Dallas and AZ and saw the same sets of people and both sets were like “what did you do to your skin??” ? Which is huge for me – I have seen a lot of progress from simply sticking to a routine and using good products. I know some of these are expensive but I can assure you that investing into good skin care is worth it. I’d rather spend money on good skin care than on eating out, new shoes, etc. The skin on your face is always going to be there and if you don’t care for it now it will be hard to erase the damage later!
I have a couple of brands of Hyaluronic Acid that I really like but the main one I’ve been using the past 6 months is THIS ONE. I have been incorporating an HA into my skincare routine for quite some time now. I’ve noticed that very few women are not aware of how important this step is – it has been a game changer for me personally. After cleansing my skin & drying it off, this is the first thing I apply. Depending on how busy my morning is I will use my jade roller to roll the product into my skin. If I am in a hurry, I will do the jade roller first thing in the AM while I sip on my coffee. I know the word ‘acid’ is intimidating and makes you think of something tingly and/or painful but HA is not like that – it is the opposite. This product is what I swear by for having more plump, full skin. When your skin is dry and parched it looks less plump and has more of a ‘saggy’ or dull look – but implementing an HA will help bring your skin back to life! HA hydrates your skin and locks in the moisturizer you put on top- any also helps any other products sink in better. Using any type of skin care or lotion with an HA is always a good idea because these are always working in favor of your skin. [PS. I still use an essence after cleansing and then this serum.]
I started using eye creams in my early twenties and now that I am 31 I am so glad I made this a habit. All eye creams are different and have different benefits but in the morning I am all about having bright, hydrated under eyes.. lol. I don’t have huge bags under my eyes just yet – thought I did when I was on Accutane back in the day! But I make sure to drink tons of water and I value sleep so both help with bags. However, the dark circles are almost always evident. THIS brightening cream hydrates your eye area – which helps makeup go on smoother but also brightens the under eye area.
I didn’t start using Retinol regularly until my late twenties and it is something I wish I would have been more consistent using earlier in my twenties. Prior to doing accutane, I had acne, cysts, and large pores. My skin was NOT good but I’ve worked really hard to get it in shape and smoother. I’ve done a lot of things that have helped like PRP and a radio frequency treatments but using retinol regularly has helped so much. I have tried a few types of Retinol and THIS night cream is my favorite. I started off just using it 2 nights per week and slowly built up. It is tricky because it can take time to really see a difference. If you will start slowly and build up your tolerance and stick to it like a habit for 6 months, I promise you – you will see a tremendous difference.
Many people use it for anti-aging since it helps smooth out fine lines but I like it for smoothing out texture and making my pores less noticeable. I don’t use it too much when I am flying a lot since my skin gets dry but when I am home I use it every other night and I always add my La Mer moisturizer on top to help keep it from drying out my skin too much. [Also, make sure you read THIS post – there’s a pad in it that is amazing for texture as well!]
I have gone back and forth with this brand for years honestly. It is so expensive and very hard to justify. However, when my skin starts getting dry and needs a boost – this is the one thing I can always count on. I use it AM and PM and I use very little. I warm it up on my fingers before applying so that it is not as thick and goes on with a better consistency. I have a travel size of the soft cream and I do use that when I travel and I like it as well- I’ve noticed some people prefer the soft cream over the regular since the regular is very thick. If you skin is in bad shape and is super dry – sample this cream and even the oil and see what it will do for a good boost!
[Find La Mer products on Sephora HERE.]
Another La Mer product that I was skeptical of BUT now that I’ve seen the different, I know I will be sad when I run out. This stuff is so so good. I got a La Mer facial while in Dallas a couple of months back and got to learn the ins and outs of the products and this was one of the 3 products I ended up purchasing. I have been dependent on oil for my skin and hair since I started Accutane and I remain using it. I notice that the cheaper oils are never as effective for me on my skin but I have really, really fallen in love with this one. It is my last step before I go to bed or put my makeup on during the day.
[Find La Mer products on Sephora HERE.]
I think it is so so so important to exfoliate 2-3x per week – especially if you have dry skin or you are using a retinol. This will help shed the dead skin and get new, fresh skin showing better. I’ve been using this particular scrub for over a year now and it’s one that I just can’t but love. I recommend reading the Details on this product HERE because it explains what acid is in it and what allows it to now be too drying + the research results are super interesting. You can use it as a mask – but I tend to just use it as a scrub to remove dry skin. I also use a Clarisonic / similar brush daily to cleanse my skin and remove any leftover makeup!
This is something I started using a year or so ago because a friend with amazing skin said it’s the one thing you have to implement. It’s an anti-aging product but I love that it has Vitamin C so it lightens dark spots and brightens skin in general, makes your skin firmer + smooths out lines.
I have had a couple of these and I don’t see much difference in brand names except for the quality. The one I travel with is cheaper and it is not as well made but it still gets the job done. I mentioned before I leave this in the freezer so that its super cold and feels so refreshing in the AM. It is made to reduce swelling anyway but the extra cold feeling helps that as well. [If you aren’t sure about what this is for or how to use it read THIS!] I also keep an ice roller in the freezer as well. It is similar to the jade roller but way larger so I use it when I am more in need! The ice roller is good for any sore body part as well!
I’m a huge fan of Kiehls products but I really love their Midnight Recovery line. The oil is so good and I love the night time eye cream as well. I am up for trying other eye creams – especially if they are tingly or caffeinated so I’d love to hear your feedback! This product is just what I’ve used for a while now and I really love it!
IG Story Products
I added an IG story from yesterday AM before we flew out to Boston. I mentioned THIS sleep mask which is amazing and THIS lip scrub which is okay. I also mentioned 2 hydrating sprays HERE & HERE. Philosophy and Caudelie are both really great brands – I rarely ever don’t like a product from these two brands!