Updated Skincare Routine for Early Spring 2016

Updated Skincare Routine for Early Spring 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve writ­ten any­thing about the skin­care and beau­ty aspect of my self-care rou­tines! After answer­ing a friend’s ques­tion about skin­care and lit­er­al­ly writ­ing enough for a blog post…I decid­ed to mod­i­fy it and turn it into a post, since I’ve got­ten to know my skin and what it needs a lit­tle bit bet­ter than I did the last time I talked about my rou­tine.

Disclaimer: this is not sponsored. Also, I am not a dermatologist or aesthetician.

As a design­er, mar­keter, and con­sumer, I’m kind of trained to be very brand-loy­al. As a crea­ture of habit, I will nat­u­ral­ly sing the prais­es of the prod­ucts that have helped me the most. So that’s what you’ll be get­ting here. I will be link­ing to a lot of prod­ucts, and to be total­ly up front from the get-go: I am a huge Burt’s Bees fan-girl. That’s just how I am.

I do want to stress, though — I am not a skin­care expert. What I’m out­lin­ing here is what I have dis­cov­ered seems to work for my skin and my life. I don’t guar­an­tee any of these work for you; I can’t pos­si­bly do that, because I lack the prop­er train­ing and I don’t have your skin.

Speak­ing of the type of skin I have…

Photo of a pale person with short hair and a nose ring, wearing no makeup, smiling at the camera.

Behold my bare skin and unbrushed brows. BEHOLD.

My skin type: combo (oily/dry) with infrequent acne.

For the sake of full dis­clo­sure, I have what one of my friends calls “irri­tat­ing­ly nice skin.” What she meant by that is I don’t real­ly get acne very often, and my skin tends to look pret­ty clear and smooth to the naked eye. Of course, I notice the imper­fec­tions — I have some red­ness in my cheeks, and a very dif­fi­cult com­bi­na­tion of an oily T-Zone and cheeks dry as the Sahara. So, of course, this affects my rou­tine.

Morning routine: so short you might hate me.

Along the lines of my “irri­tat­ing­ly nice skin,” I (appar­ent­ly irri­tat­ing­ly?) almost do noth­ing in the morn­ings. Warm clean wash­cloth all over my face, and that’s it.

Thayers Lavender Witch HazelOn the go.

If I don’t have time to wait for the water to warm up (I’m not exact­ly a morn­ing per­son), I’ll use alco­hol-free witch hazel. My favourite so far was a mix of witch hazel and laven­der, but what I’m using now is mixed with rose petal.

Acne and/or piercing problems.

When acne is a prob­lem for me, I’ll either use the Burt’s Bees Herbal Blem­ish Stick, tea tree oil, or grape­fruit oil. I’ve used all 3 to pret­ty great effect. They all help the acne go through its ter­ri­ble cycle more quick­ly so my skin can get back to its gen­er­al­ly smooth state.

Now, my nose pierc­ing can be annoy­ing. Between hav­ing aller­gies, an oily nose, and a pierc­ing that was done incor­rect­ly, I deal with nose bumps and infec­tions every now and again. So, if my nose pierc­ing is aggra­vat­ed, I’ll use some ster­ile saline on a Q-tip and clean around the out­side and inside of my pierc­ing. With a nose bump, I’ll mix a lit­tle tea tree oil (like, one drop) with a lot of ster­ile saline on a cot­ton ball that I hold on the pierc­ing, effec­tive­ly soak­ing it to draw out the infec­tion. If it’s active­ly aggra­vat­ed and infect­ed, I’ll dip a clean Q-tip in my tea tree oil bot­tle and swab around the pierc­ing, let it sit for a few sec­onds, then clean off with saline on a new clean Q-tip.

My nightly routine: makes up for the minimal morning, believe me.

What time I gain in the morn­ings from my min­i­mal rou­tine, I more than make up for in the evenings. One day soon, I’ll do a write-up of my full “get ready for bed” rou­tine which, sad­ly, takes about 45 min­utes. (I am a per­son of habit.) But for now, this is what I do in the evenings.

Makeup removal: oil is my bff.

If I’ve worn make­up, I take it off with either Almay make­up remover pads (THE OIL ONES. USE THE OIL ONES. The oil-free always has me SCRUBBING at my eyes which is obvi­ous­ly ter­ri­ble), or I’ll use what­ev­er oil I have handy (cur­rent­ly either sweet almond oil or sesame oil) and rub all over my face. If I’ve used straight-up oil rather than remover pads, I’ll use a lit­tle bit of baby sham­poo to get it off, then I’ll wipe the whole oily soapy mess off with tis­sues or toi­let paper or a cot­ton pad — what­ev­er is imme­di­ate­ly avail­able.

Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial CleanserCleansing with Burt and Mia.

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: my Clar­ison­ic Mia changed up my skin’s entire life for good. It helps even out the tex­ture of my skin, min­i­mize my pores, and takes care of deep-clean­ing my nose pierc­ing. I’ve had almost no prob­lems with that pierc­ing since using the Clar­ison­ic. So. I typ­i­cal­ly use the sen­si­tive or del­i­cate heads — the nor­mal is far too harsh for my skin.

Foam­ing cleansers for my face are a big no-no for me. They irri­tate my skin, leav­ing it red and itchy and dry. I first dis­cov­ered cleans­ing creams when I was on vaca­tion and real­ized I hadn’t brought face wash, so I picked up the Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleans­ing Cream and fell in love. At least, until I dis­cov­ered that I’m aller­gice to chamomile. After that, I start­ed play­ing with dif­fer­ent cleansers from dif­fer­ent brands, but just kept com­ing back to Burt’s Bees.

Over the past two years espe­cial­ly, I’ve devel­oped a sys­tem for which cleanser I use dur­ing which part of the year. For the dry­er fall and win­ter months, I reach for the Burt’s Bees Intense Hydra­tion cleans­ing cream. But as win­ter gives way to spring and sum­mer, I need the Burt’s Bees Sen­si­tive Skin cleans­ing cream.

No mat­ter which cream I choose, I only use a lit­tle less than a quar­ter amount and dab not quite half of it onto my Clar­ison­ic Mia. I’ll splash some hot water on my hands with the cleanser that’s left on my fin­gers and work it into my skin best as I can. Once it’s mas­saged all over my face and neck, I wet my Clar­ison­ic and use it for the 60 sec­onds it rec­om­mends. I tend to focus on my fore­head, nose (because of my nose ring) and my jaw­line, which is the only part of my face that ever breaks out.

Sweet Almond OilRinse, disinfect, and hydrate.

After using the Clar­ison­ic, I leave the cleanser on my face as I wash the head out with baby sham­poo and hot water. Then I’ll use a clean tow­el to dry it a bit, and…spray rub­bing alco­hol on the bris­tles and leave it out to dry. I tell myself the alco­hol makes the head last longer and dis­in­fects it reg­u­lar­ly, but I can’t real­ly swear that’s what hap­pens. It just makes me feel bet­ter, basi­cal­ly.

Now that my Clar­ison­ic is clean and put away, I’ll use a warm wet wash­cloth to gen­tly wipe off the cleanser still on my face. I do often use a cor­ner of the wash­cloth to exfo­li­ate my lips and/or around my nose ring. If I wore make­up, I’ll put some witch hazel on a cot­ton pad and go over every­where I had make­up to make sure I didn’t miss any­thing in the ini­tial make­up removal or the cleans­ing.

It’s time to mois­tur­ize, and this is where I do some­thing kind of dif­fer­ent, I guess. I’ve found that lotions or “mois­tur­iz­ers” don’t real­ly work all that well for my skin — they end up just sit­ting on top of my skin rather than actu­al­ly hydrat­ing it. So, I use sweet almond oil as a mois­tur­iz­er. I make sure I have enough to cov­er my face and neck and mas­sage it in real­ly well. I used to use jojo­ba oil, which I think is still great, but the almond oil was real­ly help­ful when my jaw­line start­ed break­ing out semi-reg­u­lar­ly.

I’ve also just start­ed using Burt’s Bees’ Bright­en­ing eye cream, thanks to the rec­om­men­da­tion of my sis­ter-in-law (who runs a pret­ty awe­some blog that you should def­i­nite­ly fol­low). The jury is still out on whether it works well for me, but I’m cau­tious­ly opti­mistic after using it for a few days. The skin around my eyes seems firmer and a lit­tle less dis­col­ored, which is def­i­nite­ly a promis­ing start!

LATHER Honey Moisture Mask with Propolis ExtractThings I don’t do on the daily.

About once or twice a week, I deep exfo­li­ate with a nat­ur­al exfo­liant of some kind (I love Acure’s!) before I use my Clar­ison­ic. That’s usu­al­ly on Hair Night when I’m show­er­ing any­way.

About three times a week, I use LATHER’s Hon­ey Mois­ture Mask with Propo­lis Extract on top of a thin­ner lay­er of my nor­mal almond oil hydra­tion. It works like a DREAM for me, even help­ing with acne at times. And the first few weeks after my breakup, it was essen­tial to keep­ing my skin hydrat­ed while I spent so much time cry­ing. It was seri­ous­ly a life-saver.

Dealing with my facial hair.

I have poly-cys­tic ovar­i­an syn­drome (PCOS). After los­ing my insur­ance a while back, I spent over 2 years with no treat­ment for it, which dras­ti­cal­ly affect­ed my weight, blood sug­ar, and face. Basi­cal­ly, I grow thick­er-than-is-typ­i­cal-for-some­one-DFAB facial hair on the low­er part of my cheeks, my chin, and my upper lip.

I’ve tried sev­er­al bleach­es and sev­er­al hair removers, all of which left my face chem­i­cal­ly burned, no mat­ter how short a time I left it on. So, at long last, I start­ed shav­ing my face. Almost every day. In a way, it’s demor­al­iz­ing for me (fight­ing that inter­nal­ized misog­y­ny and trans­pho­bia cis-cen­tric idea that “women don’t have facial hair). But hon­est­ly? I’m so much hap­pi­er shav­ing than I ever was with any oth­er approach to rid­ding myself of the hair in order to see me in the mir­ror.

So, when I do shave, I use Nivea’s Sen­si­tive Cool­ing After­shave Balm on the areas I shaved. (I also use that balm as a primer before foun­da­tion — and I did that before I saw Nikki­eTu­to­ri­als rave about it! I’m so proud of myself.)

How I plan and get all this on the cheap.

Eas­i­ly the most expen­sive thing I use is my Clar­ison­ic. I was for­tu­nate in that it was gift­ed to me, so I only have to pay for the brush heads. So how do I pay for every­thing else?

There are two meth­ods I use. One is an Ulta mem­ber­ship. I’m so seri­ous. I use Ulta for most of my make­up, skin­care, and hair care prod­ucts, so being part of their rewards pro­gram helps me save even more. Since I buy so much of my bath and body and beau­ty and hair rou­tine prod­ucts from them, I’m a plat­inum mem­ber, which allows me to save more. I earn dou­ble points for every dol­lar I spend and about once a quar­ter I get a 20% my total pur­chase coupon, which I usu­al­ly use to stock up on all the items I’m run­ning out of. (That’s usu­al­ly when I get my Clar­ison­ic head replace­ments, as well.) So I get my Clar­ison­ic heads, face cleanser, blem­ish stick, and make­up remover pads from there, espe­cial­ly if I can time it so that I can grab them when there’s a BOGO half off sale.

For my witch hazel and face oil, I go to the Vit­a­min Shoppe and I only typ­i­cal­ly have to replace either of those every 4 months or so. The rest of the things, like the baby sham­poo, Nivea After­shave Balm, and the cot­ton pads, I just grab when­ev­er I remem­ber at what­ev­er place I’m shop­ping when I remem­ber.

Then my only oth­er expen­sive item is the LATHER mois­ture mask. I’ll be replac­ing it soon­er than antic­i­pat­ed, since I used it so often those first few weeks post break-up, but I antic­i­pate replac­ing it about every 4 months as well.

So basi­cal­ly, I keep enough mon­ey in my gro­cery-and-body-care bud­get to cov­er these items since they’re not month­ly expens­es. Most of the prod­ucts I have I can either dou­ble up on dur­ing a BOGO event at Ulta, or it real­ly is just a once every few months pur­chase, which is far more afford­able for me than a month­ly expense.

What do you do for your skincare routine? How do you plan to replace your products?

I’d love to talk more about this kind of thing and dis­cov­er more amaz­ing prod­ucts!

Posted in Fat Girl,
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