My Must-Have Skincare Products

Over the past year, I have definitely taken a break from posting makeup looks here on my blog and on my Instagram. While I still have a strong passion and love for makeup, I have also developed a passion for skincare. I truly believe that great makeup starts with great skincare!

I have shared with you all before how I used to have moderate acne a few years ago, and that certain products really helped clear up my skin. In a previous post, you can find a detailed post describing my full morning and night skincare routine. In today’s post, I am just going to go into more detail about the products that I will ALWAYS continue to repurchase because they have proven to keep my skin clear. 

Keep scrolling to find out more about my favorite skincare products, how I use them, and where to buy!

 

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I took this picture (above) using only the natural light coming in through my window. In this picture I have just washed my face and am not wearing any makeup and there was no editing or enhancing done to my face.

My skin type: Oily t-zone, acne prone, somewhat sensitive, minor acne scarring

**Products will be described from top to bottom and left to right, not in the order that I would use them in my routine.

Acne.org AHA+ (10% Glycolic Acid) Lotion: Acne.org is an online forum for people that struggle with any kind of acne conditions to seek advice, product recommendations, etc. In addition to the forum, acne.org has their own line of affordable products that are proven to help solve any kind of acne issues. I used their strict 3-step regimen a couple of years ago and it completely improved my skin! I highly recommend their products if you are struggling with acne and cannot seem to find products that work for you. I love glycolic acid (an AHA) because is a chemical exfoliant rather than a physical exfoliant. This product drastically improved my acne and acne scarring and is something that I continue to use even though I do not use the other products from the regimen anymore.

How I use it: Apply a pea-sized amount all over my face following a cleanser and before moisturizing. You do not wash off this product. I let it sit for a few minutes before applying anything else to my face. I only use this 2-3 times a week.

Where to buy: Acne.org, $18

Witch Hazel: This is a natural and alcohol-free astringent that is great for sensitive skin! I use this product like a toner and it does not strip or dry out the skin, but still removes excess dirt after cleansing!

How I use it: Apply it to a cotton pad and swipe over the face after removing makeup and using a cleanser. I use this multiple times a day to refresh my face when I am having no-makeup days. You can also put this in a spray bottle with some rosewater and make your own refreshing facial spray!

Where to buy: At your local grocery store or pharmacy, $5

Manuka Honey: This product needs no introduction because I have already raved about it multiple times here on my blog! You want to make sure that the manuka honey you purchase is from New Zealand and has a bioactive rating of 15 or above for the best anti inflammatory effects. I do have a dedicated blog post where I go into greater detail about my love for this product! Check it out!

How I use it: I like to apply manuka honey all over my face as a mask or just as a spot treatment. This is great to use if you have just picked at a pimple and need to calm down redness and inflammation. No matter how I use it, I like to leave it on for as long as possible (usually 30 minutes to an hour). I use this pretty much every day!

Where to buy: At a health foods store or Amazon, about $20 (price varies depending on the bio active rating)

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum: This serum containes 20% vitamin C and also has vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid. This is a recent addition to my skincare routine and I found it on Amazon! It has over 7,000 reviews with an overall rating of 4.2/5. It is a plant-based product with no synthetic additives or fragrance. I have only been using this product for about a month, and it really has brightened my skin and lightened my acne scars. It is a really lightweight, non-greasy formula and sinks into the skin really quickly.

How I use it: This product can be applied day or night, but I like to use it in the morning before I apply a moisturizer and sunscreen. I even like to use it as a makeup primer!

Where to buy: Amazon, $20

Now 100% Pure Rose Hip Seed Oil: I have been using rose hip seed oil for years and it has done wonders for my skin. Not only is it a great for its anti-aging properties, but it has really helped fade my acne scars and any discoloration that I have in my skin. If there is one thing that I recommend you purchase out of all of these products, it’s this one!

How I use it: I apply a few drops to my fingers and then press, not rub, the oil into my skin following my nighttime moisturizer. Sometimes I will even apply a few drops during the day underneath my makeup for a natural glow. I use this product multiple times a day, every day.

Where to buy: At your local grocery store in the natural foods section, a health food store, or Amazon, about $10 depending on size of bottle

Facial Razor: Yes, I shave my face. This beauty technique is probably not a new to a lot of you, as this has become a popular beauty trend and secret to great-looking skin! Like I said earlier, I do not like to use physical exfoliants and scrubs. Using these little eyebrow razors allow you to literally shed the dead skin and peach fuzz sitting on your skin, which leads to greater looking makeup as well!

How I use it: I do this probably once every couple of weeks just to get rid of any peach fuzz and stray eyebrow hairs.

Where to buy: At your local grocery store, Amazon, $5

Jade Roller: There is some debate regarding whether or not these tools actually prove to have long-term benefits, and I am not quite sold on these claims either. However, using this every morning to de-puff the face is a game changer and gives me instant results! I find that the jade roller does help with circulation and draining any fluid held in my face. I naturally retain water in my face and always wake up with puffy eyes and cheeks, regardless of what I ate or drank the night before. Using the jade roller every morning and throughout the day instantly brings my skin back to life!

How I use it: Roll in an upwards motion all over my face for about 5 minutes or until the jade roller no longer feels cold. I do this multiple times a day, and sometimes at night, following my skincare routine.

Where to buy: Ulta, Amazon, about $15 depending on the brand

CeraVe Skin Renewing Salicylic Acid Cleanser: I use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil in the morning, but at night I like to use a cleanser that packs more of a punch. I love CeraVe products because they are great for sensitive skin, affordable, and effective. Salicylic acid is a great ingredient for acne and since this product only contains 2%, I find that it is not irritating on my skin at all! It has a gel-like consistency, so it does not strip or dry out my skin.

How I use it: I use this as my nighttime cleanser. I use one pump and massage gently over my face with warm water.

Where to buy: At your local grocery store or pharmacy, $10

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion: This is another CeraVe product that I absolutely love and cannot live without! This is just a great overall moisturizer for all skin types. It is fragrance free and does not make my skin greasy.

How I use it: I apply a pea-sized amount all over my face in the morning and sometimes throughout the day.

Where to buy: At your local grocery store or pharmacy, $10

Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen SPF 30: Sunscreen should be an essential step in your skincare routine to prevent sun damage to your skin! I do find that a lot of sunscreens break me out and can become too greasy on my face, but I really like this one from Neutrogena! It sinks into the skin quickly and does not clog my pores.

How I use it: Apply a pea-sized amount in the morning before going outside and throughout the day as needed.

Where to buy: Ulta, $10

Now 100% Pure Sweet Almond Oil: Almond oil is another great oil for your skin! I like to use this one more as a cleansing oil to remove my face and eye makeup. I like to use this instead of store-bought cleansing oils because it does not have any added ingredients and is just as effective. It also promotes healthy skin and eyelashes while removing makeup and dirt!

How I use it: Massage over face and eyes to remove makeup, then I use a cleanser to wash it away.

Where to buy: At a health food store or Amazon, $5-10 depending on size of bottle.

 

 

 

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My Current Skincare Routine (Morning and Night)

Recently, my passion for the beauty industry has shifted more towards skincare than dramatic makeup looks. While I still love makeup and enjoy its opportunity for artistic creativity, I have really been making skincare my #1 priority. After all, having skin is the key to a great makeup day!

I have tried so many different skincare products and am finally 100% content with my current routine. I use very simple, natural products and they have made the biggest difference for my skin. I currently have NO TEXTURE and NO ACNE! Occasionally I will get a little hormonal pimple, but it goes away in a day or two if I keep up this routine.

I have oily skin, but these products (with the exception of a couple) can be used for all skin types. I am not an esthetician or have any kind of professional training when it comes to skincare, but this routine has worked so well for me and I wanted to share!

My Morning Skincare Routine

Step 1: Cleanse with the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

  • This cleanser is meant for normal to oily skin. If you have dry skin, the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is a great option!
  • This cleanser contains hyaluronic acid and has a liquid/gel texture
  • Sometimes, I will also just splash my face with water and skip cleanser in the morning.

Step 2: Tone with Witch Hazel/ Apple Cider Vinegar 

  • One of the worst things you can do for your skin is use a harsh astringent that contains alcohol. Witch Hazel is an all-natural toner/astringent and is completely alcohol free.
  • I will alternate between Witch Hazel and Apple Cider Vinegar for this step.

Step 3: Moisturize with the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

  • This is a lightweight moisturizing lotion and is great for all skin types!
  • Contains hyaluronic acid as well.
  • I also mix in my daily facial sunscreen with the moisturizer just to save a step.

*** ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN ***

*** Once a day, I will apply a Manuka Honey mask. I use pure Manuka Honey and will leave this on for at least 30 minutes/ 1 hour. I have an entire post dedicated to my love for Manuka Honey and how much it has helped my skin so check it out!

My Evening Skincare Routine

Step 1: Oil cleanse with 100% pure Sweet Almond Oil

  • I do this regardless of whether or not I am wearing makeup that day. This oil works great for breaking down makeup (you can also use coconut oil, but almond oil is not as heavy).
  • I like to oil cleanse before using my normal cleanser because I find that it makes my skin softer and actually helps my skin to produce less oil naturally.

Step 2: Cleanse with the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

  • This breaks down the oil really well, but you could also dampen a washcloth with warm water to gently remove the oil before this step.

Step 3: Tone with the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner 

  • This toner is great if you have textured skin and/ or acne scarring.
  • I NEVER use an exfoliant scrub on my face because it is way too harsh and can actually irritate the skin and cause more acne/ scarring.
  • Glycolic acid is an amazing chemical exfoliant and I have found that this toner has really reduced my acne scarring drastically. It also works great with helping new pimples to go away quickly without leaving a mark.

Step 4: Moisturize with the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion + Rosehip Seed Oil

  • To boost the moisturizing benefits even more at night, I add in a few drops of 100% Rosehip Seed Oil to that same moisturizer. The oil absorbs really well into the skin and is great for acne scarring and has amazing anti-aging benefits.
  • If you have dry skin, I recommend the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream. This is a very thick and luxurious moisturizer that will help get rid of any dry patches you might have. I have gone through 2 jars of this stuff and I even love it with my oily skin!

*** As an added beauty tip, I will use a clean mascara wand to apply Vaseline to my lashes every night before I go to sleep. This has made my lashes grow like crazy!