Do you have a hobby? I always tell myself that I want a hobby, but have no idea what that hobby would be, or more importantly, when do I have time for this hobby? Can chilling a hobby? That would be my hobby if I had to pick one.
WARNING: if you are not into skincare, stop reading now, because this post might bore you to death.
The other thing closest to a hobby would be my morning and evening skincare routine (keep in mind, I am not an expert of any kind). I have been into skincare since my teenage years and back then all I could afford was $5 drugstore products. But I started the cleansing, toner and moisturizer routine very early on (thanks to my mom). Now 15 years later, this has become some of an obsession and I love trying new products. My skin has ages a lot, especially after having a baby, and now with second one coming, It will probably add a few more years to my face.
Recently, I decide to change some of my product to a more natural, plant based products (due to my pregnancy). I have very dry skin and a lot of my products that I use (before pregnancy) has the ingredient Retinol in it. Retinol is an anti-aging ingredient that is not ok during pregnancy so it had to go (for now). Retinol has the power to help accelerate skin renewal and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots for firmer, smoother and more evenly-toned skin (as close as you get to in-home botox).
Initially I was a little skeptical towards plant based products, but I have to say I love it so much that I will probably keep using some of them post-pregnancy.
I wanted to share some of the products I love right now:
A have recently found a brand that I am loving called “Youth to the People”. They use superfoods in all their skin care and recently I decided to get their Superfood cleanser and it has been so good and gentle to my skin and also does the job of removing all dirt and makeup. I use it every morning and evening.
My go-to toner since a few years back is the inexpensive but efficient Thayers Witch Hazel toner. I have tried many toners, since I truly believe that toners removes all last bit of makeup and this one is the best in my opinion. Recently I ran out of this toner and have been lazy to get a new one and therefore using this toner from Caudalie that I had purchased before the Thayer.
This is something that I don’t think many people do, but after reading about Korean skin care and the benefits of essences, I am hooked. What is the difference between an essence and a toner?
As written in this blog post by Chriselle Lim (one of my favorite bloggers): a toner is used to balance your skin’s PH level and get rid of any other impurities left on your skin after cleansing. An essence is most commonly used in Korean Skincare as a way to best prepare your skin for the rest of your routine.
I see a lot of Asians older women at my gym using essence with different techniques, and if you are interested here is a video of how you can use it. I personally just pat it on my face and here are the benefits if you are interested. My favorite essence right now is from Fresh (Black Tea Kombucha Antioxidant Essence) and it feels like a great foundation to my serums, however, I only use this at night (due to time).
This is where you can go wild. There are times I use all from 2-4 serums depending on the season (and time). But currently I am using one serum at daytime and three at nighttime.
Since I am not using my retinol serum, I found a great alternative from OleHenriksen called Retin-ALT Power Serum. This is a great alternative for people who have sensitive skin towards Retinol. I also always use some kind of vitamin C serum, and this one from Sunday Riley is my favorite, but I have used this one for years, which is also very good.
One ingredient I need all year around is hyaluronic acid and the most affordable option is from The Ordinary. I love this one but have also tried one from “Youth for the people” and I love it too, since it has Vitamin C in it as well. Hyaluronic acid provides long-term hydration benefits, so your skin can maintain a plump, hydrated, radiant, and smooth appearance.
I am always trying new products, and this part of my skincare routine changes depending on mood and season. But since I am currently a fan of the “Youth for the people products” my Nighttime cream is from them. Its very light and does not feel sticky, yet very hydrating. It has ingredients like Adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms that calm the skin when faced with daily stress factors like UV rays and environmental pollutants.
At Daytime I always use a cream that has SPF in it. And I truly believe that SPF is the key to a young and healthy skin, so make sure you always apply SPF before you leave the house. Your skin will thank you later. In the wintertime I prefer a thicker cream and this plant based one from Orgins has been great. During summertime I will probably go back to my go-to cream from Clarins. However, if you have a cream that does not have spf, just make sure to apply some kind of makeup product that has it or this one from Supergoop (this is great on darker skin, since I hate the SPF white cream factor on our skin).
I read an article that you should apply eye cream before you moisturizer, but somehow I always forget about that. Either way, always make sure you are using an eye cream, since the skin under your eyes is thinner than the rest of the face. One place on my face where I have seen signs of aging after having a kid would be under my eyes (Infants and sick kids = bye bye sleep). I personally look for an eye cream that prevents wrinkles and dark circles and therefore recently using this one from “Youth for the People” and I love it. Make sure you add a small amount on your finger and gently tap with your fingertip under the eyes.
I don’t go to sleep without face oil and I have tried many different brands. This is great for me who has dry skin, but I have read that the benefits are same for oily skin. It is true, you will look like a glowing disco ball when you go to bed (my husband is used to it), but the result is to wake up to hydrated, glowing skin. I have tried many different brands, but the one I am loving right now is from Biossance and it also has the ingredient Squalene. Again, since I am not using retinol I am always looking for a products that can give similar benefits. Squalene maintains the skin’s moisture barrier and hydration, and is also an antioxidant that has anti-aging properties for neutralizing environmental damage (Yes please!)
It’s a little on the pricier point, so the other alternative that I am also loving is this one. Very hydrating and just take a few drops on you palm and pat it gently on your face.
For that extra glow
Maybe you are a skin junkie and think this all is completely normal or you are someone like my husband who uses water and Nivea (I mean Nivea, really?) on his face. However, some days your skin needs more products than others and some days you have more time on your hand. I am very good and consistent with my skincare, but there are days I like to add a few extra steps depending on my mood. For example, I exfoliate least 2 times a week, and some nights I sleep with a night mask.
The favorite exfoliating mask right now is from Kora Organics (Miranda Kerr’s brand) and it has the ingredient turmeric and as a “brown” girl, turmeric does wonders for your body inside but also outside. The way I use it, is to apply it before I jump into the shower and let it sit and then wash it off at the end. I am one of those people who has no patience to sit with a mask, so this routine has worked for me (was a tip from a skin junkie friend). I also have this exfoliate toner that I use after my regular toner (some days a week), and it leaves the skin glowy and bright.
I also love night masks, since you can just put them on and go to bed. This one is for night time and it was a gift from my cousin and the next day my skin feels super hydrated. But this one from Summer Fridays created by two great influencers is so versatile, I use it at night, before gym or just under makeup, it’s a must have product.
The last thing I will mention is that, no skincare will work unless you take care of what you put into your body and how much water you drink. Good luck and if you have a product you love and think I should try, send those tips my way!