Good morning #bossyones! This week, let's chat about skincare. I'm always interested to hear other women's skincare tips and tricks, so I thought that I would share mine.
Let me preface this post with a little disclaimer (I am a lawyer after all). I am by no means a skincare expert and have no training in the area. I am, however, a YouTube skincare video addict. If you're new to the skincare game, I highly recommend taking a scroll through Caroline Hirons' website and YouTube channel. Caroline Hirons is a skincare expert who explains everything from the basics (check out her cheatsheets) to the latest crazes. Next time you find yourself wondering "WTF is an alpha hydroxy acid and where do I put it?!", mosey over to her website.
I have pretty no fuss, no muss combination skin. I get a little oily around my t-zone and a bit dry under my eyes, but I'm lucky to have skin that mostly behaves itself. The only real skin sensitivity I have is to the sun. Despite covering myself in SPF, I'm a certified freckle monster and have to be very careful of sun spots. So with that skin breakdown in mind, here is my bedtime skincare routine:
Step 1: Remove Makeup
Sleeping in your makeup clogs your pores and is hard on your eyes (not to mention your pillow case). Since I have super sensitive eyes, I have to remove all of my eye makeup before bed or my eyelash follicles get irritated (attractive, I know). Needless to say I'm always on the hunt for a gentle but powerful makeup remover that won't sting my eyes.
Enter Pond's Cold Cream. Sound like something that your grandma uses? That's probably because she does. This stuff has been on the market since the dawn of time for good reason - it gets the job done. I use my finger tips to massage a small dollop into my skin and it melts my makeup right off. You will absolutely look like Uncle Fester once you're done, but you can wipe away all of your makeup without tugging at your skin.
If you are super-tired or coming back from a late night out, this step will take all of two minutes. Since Pond's leaves your skin moisturized, you can flop into bed without worrying about your skin and eyes.
Step 2: Cleanse
Once your skin is makeup-free, it's time to cleanse. Cleansing does exactly what it sounds like - it removes all sorts of cr*p from your pores and leaves your skin nice and clean. I like to use First Aid Beauty's Face Cleanser (you can find it at Sephora). This bad boy is free of parabens, fragrances and sulfates and it's pretty gentle on the skin.
If you want to up the ante, try a cleansing tool. My favourite is the Foreo Luna Mini (find it here or at Sephora). This silicone facial brush vibrates while you cleanse for an extra-deep clean. Unlike other cleansing tools that require expensive brush head replacements, the Luna Mini's silicone casing is bacteria-resistant, so you don't need to switch it up. Since this tool comes with a fairly hefty price tag, I recommend sticking with the mini version (your face is only so big...). Bonus points if you can find a marked down Mini instead of the newer Mini 2. The Mini 2 has a slightly larger brush area and multiple speeds, but if you're trying to save your pennies the original Mini totally does the trick.
Step 3: Tone
Next, it's time to tone. I really like toning. I find it weirdly refreshing. Toning removes any dirt that survived the cleansing stage and reduces the appearance of your pores. Right now I'm using the Clarins Paris Toning Lotion with Iris (find it here or at Sephora). According to the sales associate at Sephora, you can apply toner using your fingertips, but I prefer to put it on a cotton pad and draw it across my skin that way. I've recently been experiencing a lot of cotton pad guilt, due to the huge amount of garbage that it creates, so I've ordered reusable ones from (Canadian-based) Oko Creations. Check them out here.
Step 4: Anti-Aging
I'm just gonna say it. Anti-aging skincare products stress me the f*ck out (ironic, I know). I don't want to look like a leather shoe in my old age, but I'm also wary of so-called miracle products that actually have very little affect. So, like the good Type A person that I am, I turned to the internet and my girl Caroline for a little crash-course in anti-aging products.
After many YouTube videos, cheatsheets and conversations with #bossyones with better skin than me, I settled on two products: lactic acid and a retinoid. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid or AHA, which is safe to apply to your skin and helps reduce signs of aging. It's also good for dehydrated or dry skin. The retinoid cream is a Vitamin A product that fights signs of aging by doing a bunch of things I only sort of understand, including boosting collagen production and evening out the skin. According to Caroline Hirons "they are worth the faff", so there's that.
I buy my lactic acid and retinoid from a Toronto-based company called The Ordinary. A lot of skincare products come with staggering price tags, especially when it comes to anti-aging concoctions. The Ordinary has the admirable mission of providing "effective, more familiar technologies at honourable prices". I use the Advanced Retinoid 2%, which costs 9.80 CAD for 30ml, and the Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, which costs 6.70 CAD for 30ml. While I'm raving about The Ordinary, I might as well toss in the fact that I also love their High-Spreadability Fluid Primer.
So yeah. I use these products on a three day rotation (Retinoid on Day 1, Lactic Acid on Day 2, rest on Day 3) so that I don't barbecue my skin and, so far, my foray into anti-aging products has been a success. Phew. Don't forget to wear an SPF when you use a retinoid, because it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun (that's also why they come in tinted bottles).
Step 5: Moisturize
Last step! Not to toot my own horn, but I'm kinda the queen of oils. I love moisturizing with oils. I go to bed looking like a seal and wake up happy. As a last step before bed, I apply an oil to my face, neck and lips. My all-time favourite product is Moroccan Argan Oil. It's so silky and moisturizing and wonderful. The Ordinary sells an affordable 30ml bottle; Josie Maran sells a significantly less-affordable one. If Argan Oil is a bit rich for your blood, try coconut oil. You can buy 100% coconut oil at most grocery stores and it's a really great moisturizer for your face, body and hair.
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There you have it! That's my bedtime skincare routine. Despite this lengthy post, it only takes me about 5-10 minutes to do my whole skincare regimen before bed. Let me know your favourite skincare products and tips in the comments section down below!
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