(Unfortunately photos in this post were lost due to The Great Deletion of 2014. Some efforts to re-do photos will be made but not all posts will be redone.)
It can get a bit confusing I have to say, and sometimes I wonder if having all these products can create some redundancy so I try and keep it straightforward. I wouldn't say I'm completely happy with my routine but am not about to dump all my bottles to find the perfect products. It's a bit of a process to find the right combo. As an aside, meet my fruit dish which also doubles as a collection bin for all the products I need to photograph for posts.
Day Skincare Routine
At bare minimum, I will always use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. I have used the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for ages and will most likely continue to do so. Don't fix what aint broke right? I'm such a devoted user I've bought the monster 1L size from Costco before which lasted me a good 1.5 years... yea.. that long. It's a gel cleaner that is mild on the skin. It's oil free, fragrance free and pH balanced. I tried various cleansers before but this one has really stuck with me for being simple and for doing what it's suppose to, wash my face (with the qualifier that I always remove my makeup before using this).
The toner that I've been using is the Sephora Instant Refreshing Toner. I don't really know if toners do anything. They're suppose to balance your skin's pH and remove any residual makeup/dirt/residue that remains after you used your cleanser. If you have acne prone skin, some toners have astringent ingredients like witch hazel which is geared towards treating that purpose. There are many different types of toners so it really depends on what your skin needs are. They can be refreshing to use and can add a bit of moisture but that's not their main purpose. This one is pretty no fuss. It doesn't leave a residue or a feeling of tightness but it's not really special in my opinion. I guess I feel like if I'm going to bother with a toner, it should have some fancy feature. It does the bare minimum of what a toner should do but I think I will move on from it once I'm done with this bottle.
Currently I'm moisturizing with Garnier Moisture Rescue Lightweight SPF 15 Lotion. I don't love this but don't hate it either. I was looking for something cheap (being a student) that had some SPF in it. I know I'm kidding myself by thinking the SPF 15 will actually protect my skin. You actually need to slather a lot of lotion on for it to protect you at the stated SPF level and I tend to put the most minimal amount on. Once I'm done this, I'm going to look for something else. It also doesn't have very good oil control which I'm finding I'm needing but it does an OK job . Other moisturizers I've tried and have liked include the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and the Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer.
Night Skincare Routine
For night, I do exactly the same thing except I switch up the moisturizer and add a serum/treatment. I also try and remember to use a face mask once a week. I forgot to take a photo of the toner but I use that too. The contraption on the right is the Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System with the Sensitive Skin Brush Head (review to come) which I use in the shower to
wash my face with the Cetaphil cleanser.
The serum I'm currently using is the Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector. I've got so many serum samples, I've never really had to buy one. This thing is bloody expensive in full size so when I saw it up for 100pts bonus from Sephora I thought I'd give it a try since a lot of people seem to like it. Have to say, not too impressed yet. It's suppose to correct the visual appearance of wrinkles, pores and skin color unevenness. In my opinion, there are two types of treatments. Those that change the appearance of your skin and those that actually change the skin itself. I'd rather pay a lot of money for a product that will actually change my skin. Visionnaire does provide a very very smooth finish to the skin and the liquid is slightly luminous and opalescent which probably helps with making your skin issues appear minimal. Though Lancome provides some 'evidence' on how this product works, most of the claims are geared towards changing the appearance of your skin rather than the skin itself. The clinical study is unconvincing to me.
Once a week I will use a foam cleanser to wash my face. I find foam cleansers give you the feeling that dishes have after washing, a really scrubbed clean feeling. They're a bit drying and I don't think it's great to use a foam cleanser everyday for my skin type. Perhaps a foam cleanser will be a better match for those with really oily skin who need to have a very clarifying cleanse. The Lancome Creme Radiance foaming cleanser suits this purpose well (but I prefer the Innisfree cleanser better, featured here). Just don't get it into your eyes because it stings quite a bit.
I prefer to use a thicker cream at night to really moisturize. Since I'll be using this around the time I go to bed, I don't really have to worry about controlling oil. I'm still using the Sana Nameraka Honpo Soy Milk Cream which I reviewed here. Still loving it and am getting near the end of the tub. I have some other creams waiting to be used so I won't be repurchasing it just yet but it's a really great basic cream.
Well, I hope you found that helpful. Like I said, I'm not entire happy with the current routine but I'm satisfied. Depending on how intensely you want to create the perfect routine, you may have to do a lot of reading on ingredients and on reviews of products. You want to make sure that the ingredients aren't in conflict with each other so people suggest using one brand's line from cleanser to moisturizer. I'm a bit promiscuous with my skincare choices so it ends up being a bit patchworked but so far this hasn't failed me too much.
What's your skincare routine? Share some of your favorite products!