This last year I finally decided that I was going to make skin care a priority. I have always "taken care of my skin", but I never took it serious. My products were inconsistent and my skincare routine consisted of A nightly serum, a day/night moisturizer, the occasional facial and weekly exfoliation. I didn't shop for products to treat some of the things that bother me so I was essentially just waisting money on products that were not right for my skin.
When I decided to take my skin more seriously I identified the things that I wanted to correct. Un-even skin tone, dry skin, brown spots, and my pores. They get clogged easy. Once I got this list together I headed to sephora.com and started doing my research and finding products that claimed to address these things.
One of the biggest things I committed to is daily exfoliation. I basically learned that if you are not exfoliating nightly, then you are wasting your money on any other product.. Exfoliating every night not only gets rid of the day, it allows your other products to absorb better. I used to exfoliate a few times a week using the Peter Thomas Roth Peel Pads, but once I finished those up I switched to the Dr. Dennis Gross Daily peel because they have AHA/BHA. Don't ask me what that means, but apparently they are ingredients that exfoliate and moisturize (and they have good reviews). At first the two step process was kind of a drag, but once I got used to it, its not bad. I use these nightly and my skin feels smooth to the touch. I can really feel the difference. I also use a mechanical exfoliator like, the Foreo Luna or the Clarisonic Mia once a week to make sure I really get all the dead skin off.
Retina-A/ Retinol- I said this in a previous post, but I have stubborn skin and I needed a clinical active in order to make a break through. If you can get your hand on a prescription for Retin-A, I highly recommend it. Retina-A is a clinical grade form of retinol which is something we should all be using. Retinol aides in reversing sun damage and signs of aging. It decreases fine lines, evens skin color, improves texture, tightens pores, and stimulates blood flow and collagen production.
* I don't use the retina-A every night. It would be too aggressive, but if I was using an OTC retinol, I would use it every night. Prior to getting Retin-A I used PTR Retinol Fusion PM and I really liked it.
Toner- This is something I added to my routine, I used a "toner" when I was younger, but toners today are not like toners back then. Now they are packed with ingredients to help even out skin tone, lightly exfoliate and moisturize. I am currently using Biologique Recherche P50. This popped up on my feed occasionally and I was always intrigued, but it wasn't until I heard Rosie Huntington-Whiteley talk about it on a podcast that I decided to pull the trigger. This product seems to be a cult favorite and I am so happy I got it. It Exfoliates, Hydrates, and Balances the pH of the skin. I have been using this for about six months and it has helped my complexion tremendously. I can't recommend it enough.
* I alternate this and the Retina-A. It is not recommended to use with retinol.
Lactic Acid- This was also an addition to to my routine. Remember one of my issues was uneven skin tone, and dryness, and from my research lactic acid is great for dullness and uneven texture, dark spots and fine line. It basically addresses pretty much all of my concerns.
After all my research, Sunday Riley Good Genes was a clear favorite and I can without doubt tell you, you need this in your routine. This is the one product that is always in my rotation regardless of what I am using prior.
Weekly Masks: I love a good mask, but I used to reserve them "special occasions". Like the night before a big event, or an important photo shoot because they are a lot of work. But, I started small with committing to doing a mask once a week, on Sunday. SHOCKER. Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard of Drunk Elephant. My first introduction to their products was the vitamin C serum. Which at first I was like, eh. It's okay. But after switching it out for another Vitamin C serum, I realized how well it actually worked. so once I am done with the one I am using I plan on going back to DE. Anyway, The Drunk Elephant Baby Facial which is packed with those AHA/BHA ingredients. This was on my radar for a while. Everyone was raving about it so of course I had to try it and can I tell you, there is a reason why they were raving about it. This stuff is like magic. As soon as you put it on, you can feel it start to work. And by the time I was it off my skin looks and feels amazing.
Prior to starting these products, I recommend you do something to accelerate your results. Get a peel, a laser treatment, a hydra facial, or a regular facial that includes suction. A treatment that will prep your skin for the all of these lotions & serums. I personally started getting moisturizing and suction facials. These products are expensive and an investment in you. If you are not prepping your skin, you are just throwing money away. It is also important to remember that these products are formulated to work over time so if you are looking for immediate results you are going to be disappointed. I recommend giving a product at least 2-4 weeks unless your skin has an adverse reaction to it. I AM NOT A SKIN CARE PROFESSIONAL. But I am a girl with real image issues who decided to take action and I am so happy I did. I actually look in the mirror and like what I see. That has not happened in a long time.
Incorporating these things has really helped me achieve my results, and I still have a way to go, but I want to be honest with you guys. I do get botox and I recently did a "liquid face lift". I have been getting botox for years to address the wrinkles and I will get botox for the rest of my life. As far as the liquid face lift. I decided to do it because I started to notice the loss of volume and plumpness in my skin and so I decided to on the LFL because it was less invasive than going for full on fillers. While the two procedures help address other issues, the did not address any of the issues I stated above.
I am currently looking for a nightly serum, and day and night moisturizer so if you have a fave, let me know in the comments.