Monday, November 26, 2012

My Favorite Things: Skin Care Edition

It Girl Fam,

Many of you have asked me about my skin care routine and the products that I use.  So this post is dedicated to you. 

Me / Pre-makeup 

First and foremost, I believe that good skin starts from the inside. I drink a ton of water.  I find it odd when people tell me that they don’t like water. Perhaps, it’s an acquired taste. Hmm… Anyway, I love it and it loves me back by keeping my skin hydrated.  Water also flushes the system, which is also a great benefit to the skin.

In the morning, I wash my face with Cetaphil's Gentle Cleansing Bar which is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and mild.  An esthetician recommended it to me many years ago and I have been hooked ever since. Cetaphil has a liquid version too, but I prefer the bar and I purchase it from Wal-Mart.

Every 2 days or so, I follow that up with an exfoliating scrub. I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub.  If you don’t exfoliate normally, then please be aware that there is a slight learning curve involved.  The danger is that you could damage your skin if you apply too much pressure or exfoliate too often.  I love this scrub because it is very affordable, can be found almost anywhere, and it keeps my pores open so that grit and God-knows-what does not stay trapped in my skin.  If I do have any blackheads or whiteheads, then they tend to vanish after a few days.  Tip: Do not exfoliate anywhere near your eye area.

I swear by my Murad Oil-Control Mattifier lotion with SPF15.  I learned the hard way that black folks burn too, hence the SPF 15.  Also, I love this product because it truly moisturizes my combination skin, it’s not oily and it does not interfere with my makeup game. Check. Check. Check.  It’s a grip though.  I always feel some-type-of-way when I dole out $40 for a 2-ounce tube of face cream.  However, it lasts for a few months and I am able to rack up points at Sephora with every purchase...which helps to soften the painful impact on my pockets.  I have to add that I have never found another product that comes close to Murad’s efficacy.  In the Fall and Winter months when my skin feels particularly dry, I will apply Neutrogena’s Oil Free Skin Moisturizer with SPF 15 around my mouth, jaw line, and neck.  It's a good product, but feels heavier on my skin than Murad and is not as makeup friendly.  Tip: Use your forth fingers (ring finger) to moisturize around your eyes and use gentle upward strokes.  This helps to preserve the skin around the eyes, which is delicate.

I apply a smidge of Burt’s Beeswax Lip Balm to my lips and that’s it.  Then I apply my makeup. (I’ll post a separate blog on my makeup routine and the products that I like to use.)

In the evening, it’s all about getting that makeup off and removing any evidence that I even had makeup on in the first place.  My skin is not super-sensitive, but it will react if makeup gets stuck in my pores.  I do not take any chances, so I double- or triple-wash my face with Cetaphil soap. 

I usually go hard on my eye makeup so it requires another cleansing step.  I use Sephora’s Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover to get the mascara and any remaining eye shadow or eyeliner off.  Sometimes, I use a Q-tip or a cotton round. It just depends on how much eye makeup is hanging on.  Other than moisturizer and soap, this is the only other beauty care product that goes near my eyes. My lip gloss hangs on too, so I use a little petroleum jelly and a cotton round to remove it.  Tip: All cotton balls and cotton rounds are not created equal. Check the packaging for "100% pure cotton" or you could end up with scratches on your face.

My toner is witch hazel.  To me, it is a commodity like rubbing alcohol so I am not brand loyal where this is concerned.  It’s around $1 per bottle and can be found at any pharmacy or mass merchandiser like Wal-Mart or Target.

If I notice any random white heads or bumps on my skin at this point, then I will use a Q-tip with a dab of pure tea tree oil to spot treat them.  Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties.  It’s very effective, but should be used sparingly.  My friend burned her skin because she used too much. Pure tea tree oil is not hard to find and there are many brands available. I like Derma E Tea Tree and E Oil and I get it from the Vitamin Shoppe.

When I have time, I will give the tea tree oil at least 15 minutes to be absorbed before I apply my Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion.  This lotion is thicker than Murad and Neutrogena, but not oily and does not clog my pores.  It leaves my face feels dewy when I wake up the next morning.

Hope you enjoyed my post and that you have found it to be helpful.  For formal skin care advice, please consult with your esthetician or dermatologist.




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