For the first time in my life, since literally childhood, I feel confident going out in public with no makeup. For so long, I would feel ashamed of the way that I looked without makeup, and didn’t want people to see me because I feared they would be shocked at the vast difference in my appearance with and without makeup. Arguably, much of this was inside my head, but my insecurity wasn’t unwarranted. I had acne scarring on both of my lower cheeks and a little above my lips and between my eyebrows. My skin felt splotchy and uneven, and there appeared to be a lot of redness throughout and an overall loss of radiance. And while I still got the occasional pimple here and there, acne of my years past was the actual issue I was dealing with. I felt like I was carrying around years of bad skin on my face even though I didn’t suffer from inflammation anymore.
I’ve tried a lot of different skin care products, and finally, now, I feel that I’ve found the perfect routine for flawless skin. The only area I’m still struggling to perfect is my under eye area – but my problems there are completely separate from the concerns I had for my overall skin.
Now, most of the time I go out wearing nothing but my Garnier Ombrelle Ultra Light Advanced Tinted Face Lotion SPF 60. And I feel more confident than ever before because I feel naturally beautiful – I don’t need makeup to feel good about myself anymore. I’ve also cut my getting ready time down by half because I’ve completely eliminated applying a second layer of foundation: I only put on one layer now, and no longer conceal any areas on my face, which easily took up the most amount of time.
Although I still care about my beloved beauty products, I’m definitely more interested in skin care these days. Rather than conceal the issue, I’d rather cure it, which has me gravitating toward a more natural, fresh-faced look with minimal makeup. So, in order to achieve this natural look, perfecting a skin care routine is the most important step to achieving gorgeous skin – but it’s also one that requires constant care, and you won’t always see immediate results.
Currently, I’ve been using dermatological skin care products because I honestly find them more clinical and effective than some of the fluff sold at Sephora. So, to start, here’s my daily skin care routine – and don’t forget to include all of these steps on your neck (they say your face starts at your nipples :P).
Before applying any product, I always make sure to cleanse my face. Cleansing in the most important step, as it removes all of the dirt and oil buildup from the night before. I’m always surprised how much dirt comes off of my face! I use Avene Micellar Lotion. Without a doubt, this is my favourite micellar water. It’s so moisturizing, and doesn’t strip my skin of its moisture. If anything, it adds to it. However, at the same time, it effectively removes all traces of dirt, debris, and pollutants. I usually go over my skin about two of three times using a cotton pad to ensure my skin is completely clean before moving on to the next step.
On days when my eyes look puffy, I grab my Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller. Truthfully, this product doesn’t do that much for my skin, but I do like the cooling effect it has. It makes me feel more awake than anything, and I do notice a subtle effect whereby my undereye area looks less puffy.
Now that I have a clean face, I apply Vichy Mineral 89, a hydrating daily skin booster with hyaluronic acid. I love this serum! My skin just drinks it up, and because the consistency is much thinner, it is able to penetrate into my pores more effectively, providing hydration from the inside out, leaving my skin looking so fresh, youthful and plump. I especially love this serum because it’s made with pure mineral water from France, and is free of silicones, paraben, frangrance, alcohol and oil.
Now it’s time to apply my under eye cream! I use Neostrata AquaYouth Filling Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream, which I just found out has actually been revamped and comes in a different package. I am excited to see the difference as I’m unsure about the effectiveness of my current eye cream. I’m currently testing three new eye creams, and will update you on how they compare to the one I’m currently using and if I’ll be switching.
As for the most important step – moisturizing – I alternate between two Neostrata products. Day to day, I usually use the Moisture Infusion Oil Free Hydrating Lotion. In the summer I use this daily. This lotion is ultra light and absorbs into my skin instantly. In the winter, I use the Moisture Infusion Hydrating Cream to stop my skin from drying out, but will occasionally use the Lotion if I find that my skin is sufficiently hydrated – nothing is worse than wasting product for concerns that are non-existent. I always make sure to bring this down to my neck too.
And the last step, unless I’m not leaving the house, I always apply my SPF. Earlier I mentioned that I used Garnier Ombrelle Ultra Light Advanced Tinted Face Lotion SPF 60. This product is the holy grail in my daily skin care ritual: it dries instantly, leaves no oily trace behind, free from that typical cheap sunscreen scent. It has such a nice soft texture that is virtually weightless. The best part is that now, with my clear skin, this is all I need in terms of foundation. Because it is tinted, for me its enough to even out my skin tone slightly and brighten my overall complexion.
Getting ready for bed literally excites me. I take quite a long time preparing myself as I find the process of taking off my makeup and performing self- care deeply therapeutic. With the door closed, my skin care ritual offers a little bit of uninterrupted “me” time. I usually play some music during the process too.
In terms of removing my makeup, I choose to practice the double cleansing method. First, I use Coconut Oil over my entire face to “melt” off all the makeup. Currently I’m using President’s Choice Organic 100% Virgin Unrefined Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil. I usually perform this step in the shower so I just keep the tub in there with all of my other body washes.
Once a week or so, I’ll also exfoliate afterwards. I do this in the shower as well (it’s just easier with no messy countertops to clean afterward). I use Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub. I don’t do this every time though as over-exfoliation is harmful for your skin, and also makes your skin lazy, meaning it won’t exfoliate itself naturally as it already does.
To complete the second step of my double cleanse method, I’ll always wait until I’m out of the shower. Using a cotton pad, I remove excess traces of makeup and dirt with my Avene Micellar Lotion. I will go over quite a few times, up to four or five, to ensure a completely clean face, setting up my skin to receive the benefits of all my other products as best as possible. As we sleep, our skin is repairing itself, so you want to make sure there are no leftover debris from the day on your face that, day over day, start to wear down your skin.
Now that both steps of my cleansing method are complete, I use Jouivance 20% Vitamin C Youth Boosting Night Serum. This is by far one of the best skin care products Ive ever come across. It’s my most recent addition as well. This has really brightened up my skin tone and I feel like my skin just shines lately, as if there is a light within.
About two times per week, I use Neostrata Glycol Renewal 10% Glycolic Smoothing Lotion. This is a harsher product that exfoliates dead skin on your skin’s surface, revealing more youthful, repaired complexion underneath. When I first started using this product, I used it almost every night because it really worked at getting rid of my acne scars and uneven skin tone. However, now that I’ve reached my desired appearance, I only use this to maintain. You don’t want to over exfoliate because, as I mentioned earlier, it will make your skin lazy over time. If you’re in your twenties like I am, you don’t want to expedite the rate at which your skin ages and starts losing its natural age-defying abilities. You don’t want to be a slave to these products forever. Be smart in your application to ensure maximum benefit – especially longterm.
The Jouvance serum and Neostrata glycolic have done absolute wonders for my skin. I would say they have produced the most change for my skin, having cleared up years of acne scarring and reviving what I thought was a loss of radiance. I really feel like my skin looks wonderful and I am so thankful for these products because they really helped to build my confidence back up again. If you take anything from this article, I hope it’s an initiative to try these two products in tandem with your already existing skin care routine.
Nearing the end of my skin care routine, I apply my Neostrata AquaYouth Filling Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream again. I don’t see a need to use a different product day and night, so I often double up on products. And then I’ll use my Moisture Infusion Hydrating Cream because it’s so rich and my skin loves drinking it up, especially when I’m asleep. When I wake up the next morning, my skin always looks so plump and hydrated – I love it!
And at the very end, I tone my face with Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea. This is a lovely product that hydrates and tones my skin. I love the scent of it – it’s very soft and botanical. I use this product over makeup as well, as I find it removes the top layer of excess powder, making my skin appear more radiant and natural. I don’t like too-matte looks; it feels very heavy and unnatural to me, and to me, the goal is to always appear as naturally beautiful as possible.
Well, there you have it – the perfect skin care routine to achieve fresh, glowing, flawless skin! This method has honestly changed my life. I never imagined a day I would go out without wearing makeup and actually feel confident because I truly believed I was beautiful. Having flawless skin undoubtedly improved my overall opinion of myself. I know this routine is rather lengthy, and there are a lot of steps and products to follow, but considering I naturally don’t have flawless skin, I’m willing to put in the money and effort. I hope this skin care routine helps anyone else out there – just know it is possible to change your skin.