BEAUTY: My "Basic" Skincare Routine

In general I would say that I have relatively healthy skin. I guess this could be attributed to good genes and not engaging in harsh-to-your-epidermis activities like smoking or sun-worshiping, but at the same time a lot of it has to do with creating a regime that only slightly changes depending upon the time of day (morning or night), the day of the week (weekends versus weekdays) and *ahem* the time of the month (no comment).

Skin loves consistency so it doesn't pay to drastically change up your strategy all the time with different products. It also helps to know what kind of skin condition you generally have - oily, dry, combination, or normal. For me, like a lot of people, this changes depending on the time of year and a variety of factors. Hence, it's important to pay attention to how your skin behaves over time to truly come up with a great strategy.

I'm 30 years old but I'm commonly mistake for someone just starting college, and when I was in my early 20's I often mistaken for someone just starting high school. As long as I can keep looking a decade younger than I am, I would consider this a great success in skincare! But whenever people ask me how I achieve this it's a complicated answer because it depends on so many things that I don't really have ONE skincare formula to give them. I tried to come up with a really basic one below - with a few variations - and hopefully this will help you discover something new or to find something new to add to your regime. As always, feel free to send your questions my way!

1. Micellar Water - Simple Cleansing Water ($6)

I first discovered micellar water after watching a lot of YouTube personalities talking up a storm about it. It made me laugh at first because I wondered how something with the word "water" in the name could be that effective. As it turns out, French women use micellar water all the time as it is effective at removing makeup, toning, cleansing, AND moisturizing all at the same time. Sometimes if I'm super lazy I will use this to remove makeup and go to bed without doing anything else. This is great for removing makeup gently and even first thing in the morning it's great for prepping your skin of the day. Simply add a little bit to a cotton pad/ball and rub your whole face in a circular motion. You'll be amazed at how much dirt and gunk this removes from your skin. The Simple Cleansing Water costs about $6 and you can get it at any drugstore; it also won several Allure Beauty Awards so make of that what you will. '

2. Cleanser - OriginsGinZing™ Refreshing Scrub Cleanser ($20)

I have gone through so many cleansers in my life, and I still do, but the one I love to keep going back to is this gentle scrub/cleanser combo from Origins. It smells amazing - like a bowl of oranges - and when you wash first thing in the morning it just lifts you mood immediately for the morning. Scrubs can be really abrasive to skin - I used to scrub way more often than I should - so this is a great common ground. Wet about a quarter-sized glob around your face, make it foam, rise it off with warm water and SMILE! You can get this cleanser at one of Origins' stores or you can find their best products at Sephora as well.

3. Toner - Thayers Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera ($9)

Never ever think that alcohol can be used as a toner. Most people do and it dries their skin out to something ridiculous. Instead, you should use some derivative of witch hazel, which accomplishes the same thing as alcohol but won't dry your skin out. I love the toners from Thayers because a) it's a formula that's been around for ages, b) the addition of Aloe Vera helps to restore moisture and c) they smell amazing! I love the lavender and rose formulas. You can apply this to a cotton pad/ball and apply to your entire face, or you can do what I do and reuse a tiny spay bottle and add a spritz to the face after cleansing. Wait for it to dry before applying a serum.

4. Serum - Murad Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum ($54)

I never really wanted to start using this stuff because I found that my facial oils were doing the trick. However, I took the advice of my aesthetician and decided to try a serum that would help with the redness in my cheeks. Ultimately, I think changing my diet will help solve that problem, but this is a great serum for sensitive skin because it's really light and absorbs very quickly. It adds a lot of moisture for a serum and has a nice cooling effect as well. You only need one small pump to cover your whole face and despite the price, it will last you a really long time. A good face oil or serum will only require that you buy a new bottle 1-2 times per year.

5. Moisturizer - LUSH Cosmetics Magical Moringa ($25)

Finally a LUSH product to rave about! I fell in love with this moisturizer as soon as it came out. Moringa is known as the "miracle plant" in Africa because it is incredibly useful for solving skin and health issues. Many people use it in tea, food, and for healing skin issues. LUSH figured a way to extract the oil from the moringa plant and make it into a moisturizer which is great for all skin types. The best part is that it feels pretty solid when it's at room temperature but turns into an oil with your body heat. Also after a few minutes of being on the skin it turns into a matte finish; no shine, just a flat surface to apply makeup. It's really quite an amazing product! As with all of LUSH's moisturizers, a little bit goes a long way so make sure you only use a tiny amount or you WILL feel like a grease ball.

6. Eye Cream - Origins Eye Doctor™ Moisture Care For Skin Around Eyes ($37)

I regret not paying attention to the care of the skin around my eyes until recent years. This is extremely important for maintaining a youthful look. Eye creams from Origins are great because they absorb into the skin right away and add a massive amount of moisture - I find the skin under my eyes get dry pretty easy. The Eye Doctor formula is great to counter crow's feet, de-pouf puffs, and fade dark shadows. Just make sure when you apply this that you use your ring fingers (your weakest fingers) to tap under your eyes - never drag and pull!

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