Serums, moisturizers, oils, sunscreen... just a few of the many things we put on our faces on a daily basis! They do all have a purpose, but did you know that the order in which you apply them can make a HUGE difference in how well they work? I had no idea until I started getting regular facials last summer and my esthetician would tell me how to properly use the products I was buying from her. Here are a few tips I've picked up along the way and the routine that I follow each day.
1. Obviously the process starts with washing your face. I have used La Roche Posay's Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream for something like 6, 7? years now and it's just the best. A dermatologist recommended it to me when I was having skin problems and while I've cheated on it here and there, I always come back to it. And I always use my Clarisonic (on sale right now!) because that thing is just the best.
2. After washing, I use Mario Badescu's Aloe Vera Toner. Love the price, love the mild scent and love that it's alcohol free (won't dry out your skin). I consider a toner a must to get off the rest of the product gunk on your skin that just washing it can leave behind - the proof is on the cotton ball!
3. Serums are next because they are the thinnest product so they need to go on clean, dry skin to be able to penetrate effectively. I have been using Kiehl's Midnight Recovery (on sale right now, too) since the winter and am a huge fan. I really feel that it makes my skin brighter, clearer and moisturized without being greasy.
4. Next up is a Vitamin C antioxidant serum. Vitamin C is important for brightening your skin, protecting against sun damage and being a collagen booster. It's not pictured because I'm currently out, but I have long used this one by Ole Henricksen. I like it, but don't love it so I'm going to try this Mad Hippie one recommended in Kristin Cavallari's book (see my review here!). This Obagi brand is also another super popular vitamin C serum that I want to try one day.
5. Once those products dry (I'll usually brush my teeth to give them a few minute to sink in), I apply my moisturizer. Belif Moisture Bomb is my go to right now. It's awesome. It's super lightweight, but still provides deep moisturization. This is the only moisturizer I've used that when I wake up, my face still feels good, not that tight and dry feeling. I also use this eye cream (on sale as well) at night.
6. And last step, retinol. Applying after serums and night cream is best because the moisture helps to penetrate the skin better with less irritation. I haven't used my Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 since being pregnant, but I can't wait to start again because it is AMAZING. Retinol helps with fine lines and makes your skin appear smoother and clearer. I only used it for a few couple months last summer and was already seeing a difference. Make sure to only use it at night as the sun can cause irritation to your skin.
My morning routine is much simpler. Since I have pretty dry skin, I don't wash my face in the AM - I just splash cold water on it to help me wake up and have a clean slate. I then use my toner to get rid of all of the products from the previous night and apply my moisturizer + this Origins eye cream. What's missing? A sunscreen. The only thing I truly hate about the Belif cream is that it doesn't contain SPF... so now I really need to find a great sunscreen to use each day. I tried this one, but really wasn't impressed. Any recommendations? Sunscreen should always be your last application step as anything you layer over top of it can make it less effective.
What's your FAVORITE skincare product? I'm kind of a junkie and love trying new things, so let me know!