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My Skin Care Routine

Like so many others, the last year has pushed me to find new ways to care for myself in an attempt to salvage my sanity. On top of finding time to meditate, connecting with good friends, and stepping away from the headlines-- a calculated skincare routine has become one of my coping mechanisms. 

 

I've been using (mostly) the same products for the past 4 years or so. My mom is a devout fan of Estee Lauder so my routine stems from hers. It's really something I fought for awhile because as a teen I wanted to just use products my friends were using. I gravitated towards whatever my favorite celebrities were promoting! But it seemed like every product I tried dried out my skin, caused redness, or irritation in the form of small bumps on my jawline and forehead.

It can be scary to test out products-- I mean, these weird creams are going on your face!! Your FACE!! Plus, not to mention, the sheer cost of products is enough to discourage anyone from testing without guarantee of success. It's totally understandable.

As I mentioned before, I've been using more or less the same products for the past 4 years but in the last year, I decided to get serious with both the order in which I applied products as well as the time of day I applied products. After using this super simple guide as a template for what my skin routine should resemble, I realized I was lacking an alcohol-free toner AND needed to up my clay mask game. I think it can be difficult to see someone else's routine and believe you're doing something incorrectly with your own.  But, skincare is like medicine-- what helps treats one person may not cure another. It can be very useful to read someone else's skincare routine in order to gain inspiration but I believe following the above guide as a template and testing products as an individual is the key to success with skincare. Research is key!
 


My Skin Type:

  • Combination- oily on nose and forehead, large nose pores, dryness (to the point that it flakes in the winter) on cheeks and chin, breakouts tend to cluster on jaw line and hairline)
  • Never really got acne besides on my period. I'm super lucky in this regard! I'm on birth control and I don't get acne really unless I'm eating junk food for 3 days non stop #FinalsWeek? 
  • I don't really wear that much makeup (most days none at all) so my skin has benefited from that as well.
  • Redness!!! I always use a color corrector when I do makeup because my skin always has flushed discoloration. I don't have Rosacea but I get self-conscious about it enough that it's something I try to be conscious of in my routines.

My AM Skincare Routine:

First, I wash with Estee Lauder's Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask. I love it because it's a very soft foam-like wash that smells incredible! In high school, I used to wash with cleansers that had an ingredient called "salicylic acid" (it's basically the active ingredient in every acne wash). It stung my skin and caused more redness but I think I was convinced it was the reason I didn't break out. After I switched to "Perfectly Clean" my skin felt softer, moisturized, and still didn't break out too much. That's when I realized that the acne washes were causing more negative effects than positive ones. That's not to say they don't work for others, but for myself, I saw that the change made all of the difference!

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Next, I use Milk's Matcha Toner to purify my pores and give my skin a little all natural love. With ingredients like witch hazel and of course, the namesake of matcha green tea, I feel like it's the perfect combination of what my skin needs to tone down the redness, work on my pores, and protect myself from the elements! In the past, I had used astringents (read difference between that and toner here) that stung my skin and dried me out too much. This is a perfect example of finding my groove in skincare! I tested it, loved it, and now cannot wait to try out other Milk products!

After toner, I moisturize using Estee Lauder's DayWear. It has SPF 15, 24 hour moisture lock, and it's a beautiful pastel blue that glides onto my skin with no residue to the touch. It's thick enough to carry me through the winter but because it glides on so easily, I use it in the summer as well. It's very concentrated so a little goes a long way.I love this moisturizer because it also smells really refreshing yet lightweight enough that it doesn't make my skin more oily.  In short, it's bomb.

My PM Skincare Routine:

At night, I add a few more steps to my routine. I cleanse and tone but then I apply 2 serums so it's CLEANSE, TONER, SERUM 1, SERUM 2, MOISTURIZER, UNDER EYE CREAM.

The first serum I apply is Estee Lauder's Clear Difference. I found this one maybe 4 months or so ago at Marshall's (the treasure trove of discounted skincare products) and picked it up because I had been experiencing some breakouts near my hairline. The smell is little odd but it goes on so smoothly that I just got over it. I apply it to my jaw and hairline and I feel like it prevents breakouts incredibly well. During the weeks I'm expecting to have horrible skin from eating junk food, I'm pleasantly surprised with minimal bumps and maybe a single pimple. It's magic.

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My second serum is again by Estee Lauder (like I said, my mom's a devout fan and hey if it's working, it's working!) to minimize my pores. I apply Idealist to my nose and upper cheeks to even out my skin tone, make my skin soft beyond belief, and fight those large pores! It smells incredible (I don't know why smell is so important to me but it matters ok??) and feels soooo silky. I love it. 

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After serums, I moisturize with DayWear then apply Revitalizing Supreme+ Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Eye Balm. Wow, talk about good things coming in little packages. This product really packs a punch. I have the smallest size bottle and it lasts forever!! I've been using this product religiously for 3 years now (age 19 to present) and I credit it with salvaging my under eye region. It's very, VERY concentrated and the little bit that I dab on with my ring finger under my eye causes a pleasant/refreshing tingle under my eyes.

Through 48 college courses, 13 film projects, 8 internships, the creation of an online community, commuting, and everything else that's made up the last 3 years, I should probably have the biggest under eye bags known to man and circles darker than the night sky. But, somehow (this product) I've been lucky enough (this product) to have average dark circles and no bags (thank you @ this product). 


I was very wary of this product when I was 19 because I was afraid of the "anti-aging" portion of this eye balm's title. Anti-aging?? At 19?? My mom explained to me that anti-aging products aren't necessarily for humans 30+, it's meant to combat the behaviors that cause aging like sleepless nights, poor diet, lack of hydration, and stress. Wow- me?? I've read though, that some anti-aging products can be extremely harsh to younger skin and actually damage it!

I want to clarify that this product, as well as the rest of my routine (minus the toner/acne serum which I found on my own), were recommended to me by a skincare professional. I have never had serious acne so my journey in skincare hasn't been too bumpy. I'm aware I'm super lucky that my routine can remain simple and I can go makeup free without feeling insecure. Like I mentioned before, this is my skin-care routine but what helps treat one person may not cure another.

Skincare can be scary to dive into and a lot of articles seem to be written by experts for experts. But the best ways to find out what you need is truly to read about different products and their active ingredients and to simply know your skin. No one will know your skin better than you so keep that in mind when you're shopping. 

So def get YOUR skin checked out by a professional, use their suggestions for your skin type as a template, and find products that work for you.

-KH