Updated: Apr 1
Helloooo hello beautiful humans and happy day! It's officially feeling like Spring & the pollen is out in full force here in the south, so I hope everybody is taking care of their bodies as well as possible. I've had a lot of people asking me lately about my skincare routine, and I figured I would answer all the questions I've been asked.
My whole life, I've felt really blessed and lucky to not struggle with acne (though I've always had REALYYYY oily skin), but over the past year and a half, acne has become more of a problem. I've tried nearly every skincare product under the sun, from spot treatments, masks, prescriptions, and more! And when those didn't work, I turned to every natural remedy I could find online (cutting out certain foods, drinking excess water, etc.). After a long journey of trial and error, I think I've finally discovered something that works for me!
I always stay active, and the mix of Spring pollen, sweat, and pollution from the Atlanta community would be stuck in my pores if I didn't pay my skin a little extra attention! So what are my go-to skincare products, morning/night-time routines, and favorite tips & tricks? Well, friends, that's the point of this blog post! SO LETS GET STARTED! (I do want to say, everyones' skin is different & I am not a professional dermatologist. I am sharing my experiences and what has worked great for me!)
WHAT IS MY SKINCARE ROUTINE & EVERYDAY DAILY PRODUCTS:
Morning Routine (in the order I do them):
Face Wash: Bioré® Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser – Started using this in January 2019, and it REALLY helps control oil production on my face & leaves my skin feeling soooo clean!
Toner: Bioré® Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Toner – LOVE THIS. Witch hazel is my go-to for clearing up skin imperfections & preps pores for the day.
Eye Cream: Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb – This product technically isn't even an eye cream, but it moisturizes, firms, and minimizes fine lines/wrinkles better than any affordable eye cream I've tried before! 10/10 would recommend!
Facial Moisturizer: My Clarins RE-BOOST Refreshing Hydrating Cream – This moisturizer is perfect for oily and combination skin. Plus it's vegan!
Primer for the Day: Face Studio Master Prime® – Affordable and my FAV! It blurs skin imperfections & controls redness, so it's especially perfect for those makeup-less days.
Nightly Routine (in the order I do them):
Makeup Removers: Equate Beauty Night-Time Soothing Makeup Remover Towelettes + Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads – Name a better duo!! The Almay eye pads will take off the toughest mascara with no effort. I couldn't be a makeup guru without these products!
Double Face Wash: Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser + Skin Script Raspberry Refining Cleanser – Recently, I started following a Korean skincare staple: double cleansing. This has made a huge difference in how my skin feels, and these two cleansers clean out my pores without overdrying (super super important)!
Toner: Bioré® Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Toner OR Clinique Acne Solutions™ Clarifying Toner – I use the Clinique toner if I wear makeup all day, and both of these are hands down the most bang for your buck! Extremely affordable and great toners.
Eye Cream: Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb
HOW TO KEEP SKIN FROM GETTING DRY AND TOUGH:
I'll share my favorite 3 tips & tricks with y'all.... collagen, the right moisturizer, & water!!
1. Collagen: Last August, I started using collagen in my daily routine, and it has been absolutely incredible! I put a scoop of Dark Chocolate Collagen in my coffee every morning, and it adds such a rich flavor to it! This brand is dairy & gluten free (YAY!) & I personally like the chocolate flavor, but you can get unflavored collagen to put in coffee, sports drinks, or even yogurt. The best part? You can't taste it at all (unless you get the chocolate, of course- lol)! Also, if you don't like the idea of putting powdered collagen in your food/drink, you can also use topical collagen serums! My favorite serum is Crystalline Anti-Aging Collagen Day Cream, which contains Dead Sea Minerals, is lightweight, and is made right in Israel. You may be wondering... why is collagen so important & how can it help you? Here are the top 3 benefits:
Improves Skin Health (bye bye dryness & helloooo fresh, glowing skin)
Boosts Hair Health & Promotes Growth
2. The RIGHT Moisturizer: Moisturizing seems obvious to avoid dry skin, but using the wrong type is just as ineffective as not moisturizing at all! Find a cream or gel that really moisturizes & make sure it is right for your skin type. Dry skin requires a cream-based moisturizer, and more oil-prone skin requires a gel-based moisturizer. I learned that the KEY to a good moisturizer is to look at the ingredient list and to make sure there is a humectant listed on the back. I know what you're thinking, and yes, holy COW that's a big word!! A humectant is something like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and propylene glycol, and making sure your moisturizer has one of these is important for long lasting moisture-locking (AKA beat those winter face woes)! My FAV winter moisturizer is My Clarins RE-BOOST Refreshing Hydrating Cream because it keeps my face from getting beat up by harsh wind + weather, but it's also very appropriate for oil-prone skin.
3. Water, Water, & More WATER: Honestly, this speaks for itself. One of the most important things to keep a healthy lifestyle (physically, emotionally, and otherwise) is to drink. that. H2O! Sometimes it's really easy to forget your water, so I challenged myself to drink at least one full glass before and after every meal. PLUS, I found the CUTEST app of all time called Plant Nanny, which reminds you to stay hydrated by watering your plant & helping it grow, right on your phone.
HOW TO CONTROL ACNE:
Aside from eating healthy, exercising, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle (I could go on and on, so that's a topic for another post), be kind to your pores + your skin in general! To start, wash your face every morning and night with a gentle cleanser that meets your individualized needs. This means if you have sensitive skin, don't choose a harsh cleanser, and if your skin is very oily, don't use an overly-astringent wash! Over-stripping the skin's natural oils will only trigger more oil production and lead to even oilier skin (yuck, right?).
My favorite facial washes for oily and/or sensitive skin are Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, Skin Script Raspberry Refining Cleanser, and Bioré® Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser! You really can't go wrong with any of these options, and they are perfect for any time of the year.
On top of washing your face regularly, make sure you exfoliate 1-2 times a week (I swear by this, y'all). Why?? What skin-related problems does exfoliating target, besides acne?? WELL... let me tell you:
Post-Breakout Dark Marks & Scarring
Makeup/ Product Buildup
If I can recommend just one thing.... ALWAYS ALWAYS look at the ingredients on the back of your products, friends!! Now, if you're feeling really #Extra & want to try some amazing products/ self-care treatments that have really been game changers for me.... here's a list of my favs:
Vitamin.Sea Beauty Healing & Toning Face Mask – ALL. TIME. FAVORITE. Best for healing small imperfections/ acne scarring, and clearing out pores.
Vitamin.Sea Beauty Cooling & Antioxidant Face Mask – This mask gets rid of red, irritated skin in literally 15 minutes! It's my favorite, especially after a long day of wearing makeup (pageant problems, am I right?).
Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment – GAME! CHANGER! Full disclosure... I found this to only work for me when I caught the blemish early, but when I did... it would literally be gone a few hours after using this!
FAV PROFESSIONAL SERVICES + FACIALS:
I had never actually gotten a facial or had any skincare services done professionally until a few months ago when Christine Giustra at Spa Aeon became an official sponsor for my year as Miss Rome. I was really excited to get started and to work with her because (like I said earlier) I had been having some acne-related skin issues & I was eager to clear up my skin again! Since working with Christine, I have definitely found my real favorites, and if you ever have the opportunity to visit Spa Aeon, totally try these out for yourself (skin type permitting, of course)!
My two favorite facials are the Hydrafacial and the Acne TX facial (but for very different reasons). The Hydrafacial gets dirt, makeup/ product buildup, and blackheads out of your pores with this hydra-vaccum-like machine, and the Acne TX facial focuses on extraction, LED light, and peels to fight breakouts and minimize scarring. Both are absolutely amazing & I recommend 100%!
Outside the realm of facials, I started trying derma planning to originally decrease acne scarring & I LOVE IT!! Not only does it diminish imperfections in your skin, but it gently exfoliates the top layer of your skin, getting rid of dead skin cells, bacteria, product buildup, and more! It leaves my skin so soft and glowing... and I found that makeup applies so much smoother after having this done (ALWAYS a plus, right y'all??).
Again, every face is different; every skin type & body is different. And no matter your personal skin struggles, you are beautiful in every way because God created you in his image & he created you to be unique. I hope that some of my personal routines and tricks help some of y'all out if you're looking to get more into skincare (because skincare is #SelfCare)!! Y'all are amazing, beautiful, and so flipping cool!