The other day, a reader asked me about my skin care routine. Since I have had years of practice caring for sensitive skin, I thought I would share my routine with everyone.
First off: about my skin. I battled bad breakouts until I was around 30. Now that I have fewer (and much less severe) breakouts I only cleanse my face once per day, in the evening. I live in the desert so my skin stays quite dry, eliminating the need to wash my face when I wake up in the morning. Also, since it is such a dry climate, I re-moisturize in the middle of the day most days. If you have blemish-prone skin or live in a humid climate, you’ll want to cleanse more often than I do. All of the products I have listed are excellent for blemish-prone skin, as they are light and fragrance free. They are also great for extremely dry skin and aging skin, which are currently my main concerns.
I’m providing links to each of the products I use, but be aware that I did not look around for the best prices on each of these (I buy most of them locally, not online). You might want to shop around if you consider purchasing any of these items.
Daily Morning Routine
- Moisturize with Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 45 Daily Moisturizer (untinted).
- Apply Kinerase Intense Eye Treatment (no one under 30 needs this!).
- Apply Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals foundation in Fair (the lightest shade).
Daily Mid-Day Routine
- Remove foundation using Cetaphil Fragrance Free Moisturizing Lotion and a tissue.
- Apply a new coat of Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 45 Daily Moisturizer.
- Re-apply Bare Minerals foundation.
Daily Evening Routine
- Remove makeup using 100% coconut oil and a couple of tissues.*
- When not breaking out, wash with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
- When breaking out, wash with Povidone Iodine Solution. Follow with a touch of tea tree oil on spots.
- Exfoliate with finely ground pumice stone every other day (I just add a bit to my Cetaphil cleanser and rub gently for a minute or so).
- Apply a thin layer of Bio-Oil.
- Moisturize with Cetaphil Fragrance Free Moisturizing Lotion.
- Apply some Vitamin E on lips (I just pierce a Vitamin E capsule with a needle and squeeze it directly onto my lips).
- Apply Kinerase Intense Eye Treatment.
- When my face is very dry, I steam it for 5-8 minutes using Conair Facial Sauna once a day for a couple of days. Be careful any time you use steam in your beauty regimen!
- Apply a 35% Glycolic Acid Peel monthly, and occasionally weekly for a month (no one under 30 needs this). Please see my comments about chemical peels below! **
- Sleep with Frownies on 2-3 times per week to help miminize the lines between my eyebrows.
- Apply Neutrogena SPF 100 Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sun Block on face, neck, shoulders, arms, and back when I will be out in the sun for any length of time. If temperature is not too insanely high, I will wear a lightweight long-sleeve shrug or just sleeves or long gloves to protect my arms and the back of my hands from age spots.
** 35% Glycolic Acid is considered an entry-level professional peel. If you purchase it for home use, please exercise caution until you are certain how your skin will react. Do a small spot test, following the instructions on the product carefully, and then wait 24 hours before applying to your entire face. I leave mine on for 10 minutes and experience a mild tingling and have no redness at all after the fact, but your results may vary!!! Peels like this do not result in any visible “peeling” so you will not have any healing time (everything that is peeled off is microscopic) but you should avoid sun for 24 hours after each treatment.
Of course, everyone’s skin is different and there is no guarantee that what works for me will work for you… But I have used all of these products for a long time, and I quite delighted with the current state of my skin.
Do you have any special skin care tips you’d like to share?