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A lot of bloggers might tell you about the 1400 products that they love to use. As someone who hates clutter and taking longer than 20 minutes in the bathroom I couldn’t justify anymore many of the products I had stowed away in my bathroom cabinet. A few months ago I decided to look at the products I was using and reduce them to what really worked for me and what I would actually use. I found that ultimately I only really used these products.
1. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash (Target $4.69) – When I was in college I tried all of the the new-fangled, there’s milk in there, there’s rosehips, there’s the tears of virgins cleansers that were on the market. My skin never seemed to be happy with any of them. My face would either get too oily or too dry, which would lead to breakouts. I felt that all those cleansers just had too many ingredients and were too harsh. And then in the middle of a budget crunch I discovered Purpose. Often used in hospitals after dermatological procedures Purpose is about as close as you can get to washing your face with just water. For me, it gets all the gunk off without drying out my face or creating an allergic reaction. I simply can’t do all of those beneficial flowers that are in other cleansers. You can find it at your local drugstores but I find Target tends to have the best deal on it.
2. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream Night (Ulta $15.99) – When I was in college I got the idea in my head that in order to stay looking 20 you probably need to start your anti-aging regimen when you’re 20, so that’s what I did. I bought myself the whole Perricone’s system and religiously used it until I got to law school. At that point I realized it was kind of ridiculous to spend upwards of $100 every couple of months when I was living that poor grad student life. So after looking around and doing a little research on Beautypedia.com (which has research and reviews of every cosmetic and beauty product out on the market) to give Neutrogena Healthy Skin a try. It had what I needed, enough retinol to maintain things. I’ll tell you I’ve been using it since I was 23 and I’m 31 now and still get carded whenever I order a drink. It’s really gentle and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. Affordable obviously. And the tube lasts!
3. Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Fluid For Face (Ulta $27.50) – I grew up with a Mom who swore by Clinique and I have to tell you, if you have sensitive skin they really do make great products, even if they use traditional cosmetic manufacturing methods. I had been struggling for years to find a sunblock for my face that wouldn’t clog my pores and wouldn’t give me a ghostly white complexion. Some sunblocks would look okay alone but looked awful under makeup. Six months ago I decided to give Clinique mineral fluid sunscreen a try and I’m so glad I did! It does go on white like a traditional sunblock but your face soaks it in right away and it blends perfectly. Makeup goes on really smoothly on top. But the best part is that I have not once gotten irritated while wearing it. While it’s a little pricier than some of the other products, it’s well worth the investment, to reinforce all that work you’re doing at night with your retinol cream.
4. Pacifica Kale Brighten AHA Surface Overhaul Mask (PacificaBeauty.com $15.00) – Formerly dubbed Pacifica Kale Juice Cleanse this mask is an amazing chemical exfoliate. It’s a 100% vegan and cruelty free product designed to get rid of all those dead skin cells on your face and make you glow. I use it about 1 to 2 times a week and find that it helps me to bounce back after a week of less than stellar skin. You can order it from Pacifica directly or pick it up at your local Ulta store.
5. Stridex Maximum Strength Acne Treatment Pads (Walmart $3.53) – I was a loyal user of Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Gel, which when I discovered Neutrogena was discontinuing, I hoarded. I finally ran out of my last tube about 4 months ago and had to look for something else. After doing some googling on the interwebs, I found that people were using Stridex pads as a dupe because Stridex pads have the same amount of BHA as the old Neutrogena gel had. So I gave it a try. One pad swiped over my whole face after my face wash before bed and my face is exfoliated and ready to recover. While some people may find it drying, my combination skin that changes it’s oiliness and dryness depending on the weather, my hormones, and what I had for dinner tolerates it just fine. And you can’t beat the price!
6. Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (Sephora $39.00) – SPLURGE ALERT! So the final piece in the puzzle was finding a moisturizer that wasn’t going to irritate my skin and wasn’t going to interfere with my makeup application. I found that with this little tub of moisturizer. It’s really gentle. Makes my skin look great in the morning when I tend to be a little dull and doesn’t make my make-up (on the off chance I do wear it) look cakey. The tub also lasts quite a long time. I’m going on about 4 months with my tube and I’m still not out. All you need is a dime sized dollop and you’re good to go.
Now that you know the products let me tell you the schedule I tend to stick to:
Morning +++ 1. Wash face with Purpose cleanser. 2. Put on Caudalie moisturizer. 3. Put on Clinique Suncreen. 4. Put on make-up or head out the door.
Evening +++ 1. Wash face with Purpose cleanser. 2. Wipe face with Stridex pad. 3. Put on Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Cream. 4. Go to bed.
1 to 2 times a week +++ Put on Pacifica Kale Overhaul Mask. Feel fabulous for the week!
And that’s it! A skincare routine in my opinion doesn’t need to be complicated and like anything else, the more steps it has, the less likely you’ll be to stick to it. Let me know what you love to use in the comments!