Now that I’m in my mid-20’s I’ve developed a pretty decent skincare routine. When I graduated college and started wearing makeup on a regular basis, the need to develop a good cleansing and exfoliating routine became very clear very quickly when my normally clear skin broke out like crazy.
Reddit was a huge resource for me and the basic routine from /r/skincareaddition really helped me find some good products. I highly recommend checking it out, especially for more information regarding the different types of exfoliators, which I mention below.
Standard beauty blog disclaimers: My skin is combination, with an oily forehead and nose, and relatively normal skin on my cheeks. My skin is also pretty sensitive. These are products which work for me, but may not work for you.
I’ll start with my evening skincare routine since it’s more involved and almost all of my morning routine involves the same products.
To remove makeup, I use my Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water and Shiseido Facial Cottons. One of my best friends had gone to France about two years ago and I begged her to pick me up some Bioderma. She did and I am forever grateful because I LOVE this stuff. It’s so soothing and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily. I hate that feeling, especially on my eyes. The Shiseido cotton is so incredibly soft and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.
I start by taking one of the facial cotton squares and pulling them apart into two squares. I use one half for my eyes and then two halves (front and back) for my face, so I’m basically using one and a half of the full squares. I find this process removes most of my makeup. The only thing I find I struggle with is waterproof mascara and longwear liquid lipsticks. So I either take extra care to remove the mascara or just deal with some small smudges in the morning/ To me it’s worth the extra effort not to have oily eyes. I do use an oil-based remover for the lipstick.
I follow with one of two CeraVe cleansers. Most nights I use the Hydrating Cleanser, which is a creamy non-foaming cleanser that gets my skin nice and clean but doesn’t strip my skin at all. About once a week I’ll use the Foaming Facial Cleanser to get a really deep clean. I don’t find it to be stripping but my skin doesn’t like using a foaming cleanser all the time so once a week works well for me.
To exfoliate, I alternate between the Stridex Maximum Strength pads (which is a BHA- beta hydroxy acid) in the red box and the St. Ives Exfoliating pads (an AHA- alpha hydroxy acid). I exfoliate every third night and switch between these two. So if I exfoliate with the Stridex pads on Monday, I let my skin rest for two nights, and on Thursday I’ll use the St. Ives pads. If I exfoliate more frequently, my skin gets upset and breaks out. These are both great drugstore options, but sadly the St. Ives pads have been discontinued and I’m on my last package. I desperately need to find an alternative soon and I’m open to suggestions.
For moisturizer, I use another CeraVe product, the Moisturizing Cream. I get the 16 oz. tub and it lasts me for about six months. This is a thick cream but it sinks in so so so quickly and doesn’t feel greasy at all. I’ve even taken to using it on my upper arms lately in hopes it will help me with some keratosis pilaris I have (we’ll see how that goes). I usually see the 16 oz. tub go for between $15-17, so for roughly a dollar per ounce, this is a huge budget buy. The cleansers average about the same cost per ounce and also last me a really long time. I promise this post isn’t sponsored by them, I just really love what the products do for my skin (and my budget).
For my morning routine, I stick with the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and Moisturizing Cream. I try to remember to use sunscreen everyday, but I’m really bad about it. When I do remember, I use the EltaMd UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Sunscreen, which I reviewed here.
There you have it, my skincare routine. If anyone has recommendations for a new AHA exfoliator, I’m more than happy to hear it!