Skincare was never a concern of mine until recently. Although I was never addicted to tanning, my sole concern was rougeoyer and to maintain that glow. I sashayed through college, blemish-free, using Oil of Olay face wash that I picked up at the local Kroger. Sometimes (ok, often), I would sleep with my make-up on.
Fast forward to one year out of college: PIZZA FACE. Once I started my first real job, my skin went crazy. Cue: Adult Onset Acne. So..I may be exaggerating a bit, but from someone who went from clear skin in college to newly sprouted craters on her mug within mere months, it was indeed a wake up call. I tried the standard route of Neutrogena, naturally, since I was sucked into the Neutrogena commercials they played during Gossip Girl, starring teens with angelic complexions such as Vanessa Hudgens and Emma Roberts. NAY. Then I tried more adult brands such as DDF and Murad. BETTER. After scouring the internet for better routines and ignoring friends' suggestions to go to the dermatologist, I decided I wanted to go au naturel.
I have tested many a' product and here is what's working for me these days:
Alaffia Shea Butter Facial Soap with Goat's Milk
Now before I hear your "boos and hisses," I want to say that I would have never deemed myself a naturalist, and I would have NEVER imagined using a bar of soap. However, my after two months of use, this soap has really stabilized my skin. You can find it at Whole Foods or vitacost.com for a whopping $4.
Neutrogena Alcohol Free TonerI never said I was completely against Neutrogena. When my skin started freaking out, I went to a facialist and she told me that toner was absolutely necessary. I asked what she suggested as a quick-fix and this is what she recommended. I have tried a few others along the way and always go back to Big Blue. This isn't your big sister's Sea Breeze, stinging, make-you-eyes-water toner from the early 90s...this is a gentle toner that I like to put in a spray bottle and spray all over my face (no cotton ball necessary) after I wash my face. According to the wise facialist, it helps your face absorb product better, and I must say: I believe her. Bonus: you can buy this ANYWHERE.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Gel
Per the suggestion of my facialist, I put this on after my toner (less than a dime size) in the MORNING to keep those cells turning all day! It really helps prevent blemishes and keeps cell turnover high (i.e. keeps you from looking decrepit).
Juice Organics Antioxidant Serum
Ever since I heard that antioxidants are the Fountain of Youth (thanks for nothing, Ponce de Leon), I've been buying anything I can get my paws on that advertises with that magic phrase. Juice Organics is owned by Juice Beauty which is a more expensive line sold at Sephora. I decided to try this serum out first before taking the plunge on the $45 Juice Beauty Serum. So far, so good. I will let you know what I think of Juice Beauty once I make the purchase. P.S. I put this on at NIGHT, before my moisturizer.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluid
The French know skincare. I need moisture, apparently, even though my skin seems quite slick; this moisturizer is perfect, light, and non-greasy. Perfect for night or day. This line also makes terrific sunscreens that I have sampled. I never though I would say this, as I love getting bronzed, but don't forget to wear sunscreen!!
Alaffia Rooibos & Shea Butter Antioxidant Face Cream
Like I said...I'm a sucker for anything antioxidant. Because I fell so deep in love with the bar soap, I thought I'd try the face cream. I've had it about a week (purchased at Whole Foods), and I can't decide what I think yet. It would definitely be too heavy for day, but I enjoy it as a night cream so far. I'll be back with an update.
When did you develop a skincare routine? High school? College? Post-college like me? Do you still sleep with your makeup on? No judgment from this direction--if it works, I say keep doing what you're doing.