I’m not dead– I swear! I’m just buried under loads of boxes (still waiting to be unpacked), lots of houseguests and a busy work schedule. Things have been a bit more chaotic in my day to day life than I typically like them, and so I haven’t had much time for blogging. I miss it, and I know I keep saying it, but I hope to be back soon, but until then I wanted to share some thoughts on some new skincare products.
I’m blessed with pretty decent skin, and so I’ve always been a little indifferent to skincare. My skin is combination-oily and I get the occasional hormonal breakout, but I’ve never had any major gripes about it. Back in February, however, I started noticing that my skin was getting dry and flaky in places it had never been before, and I had fine red bumps all over my cheeks. I decided that it was finally time to start taking care of my skin and invest in products that suited my skin type. I made an appointment at my local Sephora and came away with lots of great products.
I’ve been using these products for about six weeks now, and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts. This is probably the fourth or fifth time I’ve sat down to write this post… There’s so much I want to talk about I can’t possibly include it all. For the sake of keeping things as brief as possible, I’m going to do my best to keep my descriptions short, but feel free to ask questions and add feedback in the comments below.
Before I get ahead of myself, here are a few things you should know about my skin:
- Skin Type: Combination-Oily
- Biggest Concerns: Oil control, wrinkle prevention (you gotta start sometime…), brightening/evening out my complexion
- Previously Loved Products: St. Ive’s Blemish Control Apricot Scrub, Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes, Aveeno Clear Complexion Moisturizer (when I remembered it)
My intention with this post is not to say, “Everyone must go out and spend a boatload of money on skincare,” or “You must have 9 gajillion steps in your skincare regimen!” Everyone’s skin is different, and what suits one person may not suit another. The biggest thing that I took away from this process is that it’s important to know your skin and how it reacts to different products. I just thought that I’d take the opportunity to review some of the things that I’ve been using in case you’re in the market for something similar.
With all that out of the way, let’s get started!
After talking to Robb (my representative at Sephora), I discovered that the cause of the fine red bumps on my face was likely over-exfoliation. Instead of using an apricot scrub every day in the shower, he recommended a more gentle cleanser for daily use. After testing a couple in the store, I picked the Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. I use this foaming cleanser in the morning and the evening to rinse away all of the impurities from my face. The foam formula is a tad more drying than gel or cream-based cleansers, so it helps to control oil, but it doesn’t leave my face feeling stripped. It also smells like rainbow sherbet, so, that’s a plus.
While the Ole Henriksen Cleanser is supposed to be able to remove makeup, I also wanted something that I could use to remove stubborn waterproof mascara and eyeliner. I’ve always been intrigued by micellar waters, and so I grabbed a bottle of the Sephora Collection Triple Action Cleansing Water. This is a great product for removing makeup, but unfortunately, it causes my eyes to burn really bad. Luckily, I’ve found that it removes my face products like a dream on nights when I’m too lazy to wash my face. I haven’t decided whether I’ll repurchase this in the future, or if I’ll go back to using my Neutrogena makeup remover wipes. It’s not terribly expensive, but I find that it doesn’t last as long.
This last product isn’t a “cleanser,” but I thought I’d include it here since I use it before applying moisturizer. The Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a totally frivolous, totally splurgy product, but I have become so addicted to it. It can be used as a toner when applied to clean skin, but it’s also great for setting makeup or an afternoon pick-me-up. Misting this on my face in the morning (or, you know… mid-day, evening, whenever I feel like it…) is the equivalent of jumping into a pool on a hot summer day. It’s so cooling and refreshing on the skin, and it smells like a spa.
Having oily skin has aways made me a little wary of adding moisture to my face. Turns out, I was actually doing more harm than good. Robb taught me that your skin produces oil because it needs moisture. I’d heard it before, but I never really believed it. Using moisturizer always seemed to make my forehead extra greasy, and my makeup wear off quicker.
Luckily, Robb helped me select the Shisedo Ibuki Protective Moisturizer for daytime use. This moisturizer is extremely thin and lightweight, meaning that it sinks into my skin quickly and doesn’t leave it feeling greasy. It’s a pretty no frills product: no scent, no exciting packaging. It is what it is, and it does it’s job well. Additionally, it has an SPF 15, which is super important for protecting from sun damage and preventing wrinkles. If I’m out and about in direct sunlight, I’ll apply a separate sunscreen, but this one is perfect for daily use.
I also wanted to grab a night cream. Typical Jackie: I was lured in by the scent of the Korres Black Pine Firming, Lifting and Antiwrinkle Night Cream. The product actually performs really well: it leaves my face feeling plump and hydrated in the morning, though it is a bit heavy on the skin. Ironically, I’ve actually come to dislike the scent. A lot. It’s a very earthy, somewhat musky scent (definitely not everyone’s cup of tea). Initially, I found it quite pleasant, but when it’s on the skin for a long time, it can be overpowering — especially if you’re trying to sleep. While I like the way this works on my skin, I might try out something different after I’ve used it up.
Finally, Robb suggested that I use the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream in the morning and the evenings. This is a pretty standard eye cream. It’s slightly thin in consistency and has a very faint fresh scent that reminds me of cucumber. I’ve noticed a definite improvement in the fine lines beneath my eyes, and it’s helped to prevent my under eye concealer from creasing. I typically prefer slightly thicker eye cream formulas, so I’m undecided about whether or not I’ll repurchase this, but I’m not sorry to have tried it.
It’s difficult to attribute any improvements in my skin to a single product– especially since I started using all of these around the same time. However, if I had to pick one item that I think has made the biggest difference, it’s definitely the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster. I use this product every morning before moisturizer, and it’s the perfect start to my day. It leaves my skin radiant, glowing, and smelling like citrus! I’ll do a full-length review on it one day, but let me just say: orange creamsicle-scented good skin in a bottle.
This next product is one that I never thought I’d pay money for: Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light. That’s right, the oily skinned, “I’m afraid of too much moisture” girl bought argan oil. Let me tell you, my fear was so unfounded. Not only have I discovered a million and one ways to use this product, but it feels so nourishing and replenishing on my skin after a long day. I’ve been using this in the evenings after cleansing, but before moisturizer. It’s actually light enough that I could probably get away with it in the daytime (instead of moisturizer), but I haven’t quite worked up the nerve to try it.
I’m slowly trying to wean myself off my addiction to exfoliators. While it’s tempting to scrub off every bump and blemish, it’s just too harsh for my skin. Under Robb’s suggestion, I’ve reduced my exfoliating to 2-3 times per week. I purchased two exfoliating products: one chemical and one physical.
The chemical exfoliator was recommended to me by Robb. It’s the Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel, and it’s possibly the most bizarre thing I’ve ever put on my face. It might also be my favorite product I’m mentioning in this post. The product is meant to be applied to clean, dry skin, so I’ve been using it in the evenings when I have time to let my face fully dry after cleansing. You rub it all over your face and the plant enzymes slough of the dead skin cells. But the truly weird part is that it has an additional ingredient that causes all the dead skin cells to clump together into little balls. It’s a little unnerving at first to see all of your dead skin clumped all over your face, but it washes off easily with water. You’re left with smooth, bright skin. In addition to being a part of my weekly routine, I can definitely see this becoming something I use before a special event.
I alternate the Boscia chemical exfoliator with a physical one I keep in my shower. I purchased the Korres Wild Rose Brightening and Refining Daily Buff Cleanser based off of a recommendation from an Essiebutton. Unlike the Boscia exfoliator, I’ve been using this one in the mornings.
Overall, I feel like this is a pretty generic exfoliating product: it has tiny pieces of rice grain and cherry stones which scrub off dead skin cells. I appreciate that it uses natural ingredients as exfoliators, rather than microplastics, which so many hygiene products include. It claims to be gentle enough for daily use but I found it to be more abrasive than my old St. Ive’s scrub, so I’d recommend using caution if that’s what you’re looking for. I’m a little indifferent toward this scrub. I think it works well, but I don’t necessarily think it works any better than drugstore exfoliators I’ve used in the past. When I run out (which won’t be for a long time since I’m only using it a few times a week) I’ll probably go back to the drugstore.
This is another post for another day. I do use masks a couple times a week, and I think that they’re a great way to pamper yourself and take care of your skin. I have lots of masks at a variety of price points that I love. Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you’re curious, otherwise I’ll get around to writing about them someday…
I think that about does it. There’s lots more information I’d like to include, but I don’t think I can reasonably expect you to read another word. If you’re still with me, thanks for making it through! Until next time!