(Photo via @sharemyshelfie)
One of the perks of beauty writing is obviously the swag. I get to sample and try out the products I'm writing about — and boy do I. While my skincare regimen has grown more elaborate over time, I do try to keep it as stable as possible to avoid skin disasters like my post-Vegas facial fiasco. (For example, a primer I tried today may or may not have clogged a few pores.) Plus, some products take up to 3 months to show results — with a few notable exceptions — so I try to cycle in only one new product at a time (usually when something runs out). Hint: For help with patch testing new products to avoid breaking out, check out my Brit + Co. article here.
One more thing: because I no longer work a regular 9-5 job, my regimen actually changes based on my schedule. Rarely do I wake up and go through the entire routine outlined below, which is why I call it my dream A.M.-regimen. Most weekdays, I slather on SPF and some vitamin C before walking my dogs and heading to yoga. Afterwards, I'll use an in-shower face-mask, Make P:Rem In Shower Mask ($25) , that's powered by steam, and pick and choose from the steps below. The most important thing to me is keeping them in the right order, because I do believe that there's merit in giving your skin a break a-la-Skin Cleanse. Ok, and I should also probably add that I have a few Joanna Vargas products that I can't bring myself to open — because they're just that luxe — so they sit like trophies on my shelf.
Most importantly, though, my philosophy is that this stuff should be relaxing. If adopting a multi-step regimen is stressful for you, the time is not right. Stress is the ultimate evil when it comes to all-things-wellness, including having radiant skin. (Seriously!) As my yoga teacher Jana said in class yesterday, your intention matters; avoid acting out of fear. And really, if not for love, then why?
My Dream A.M.-Regimen:
(1) Lancer Skincare Polish ($105) - Step 1 of the patented Lancer Method which you can buy in a more affordable, mini-size at Sephora, Lancer Method The Minis ($25). The Method is the ultimate smooth-maker for skin, at least in my experience — and those of *most* of Hollywood.
(2) Lancer Skincare Cleanser ($55) - Silky and amazing. I love.
(3) Replenix Gly/Sal 2-2 Pad ($18) - Sometimes I forget. My dermatologist got me hooked on them.
(4) Herbivore Toner ($39) - Another favorite is by S.W. Basics ($20). Toning balances the pH of your skin. It annoys me endlessly that I often forget this step.
(5) Optional Essence - Formerly SK-II ($179), soon-to-be Glow Recipe's YuriPibu Artichoke Essence ($40). I only use an essence if I've used a toner first; they interlock and work better together. P.S. I'm giving up SK-II because they're not cruelty-free, but Glow Recipe's co-founders schooled me on the oft-ignored skincare step and hand-picked their favorite ones — see here!
(6) Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum ($85) - Formerly alternated between SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($165) and Phloretin CF ($165), but I dumped SkinCeuticals because they're not cruelty-free. Plus, Sunday Riley's works better.
Verso Skincare Super Facial Serum with Retinol8 ($120) - I opt for Verso's daytime-safe Retinol8 serum when I want to treat blackheads, large pores, wrinkles, or hyper-pigmentation.
(7) Sunday Riley Tidal ($65) - Formerly Lancer Skincare Nourish ($125), which feels like silk, while Tidal is more of a plumping hyaluronic acid-filled gel.
(8) NeoCutis Bio-Restorative Eye Cream with PSP ($97) or Volition Beauty Helix AM PM Gel ($52) - Formerly Sunday Riley Autocorrect ($65), Lancer Skincare Eye Contour Lifting Cream with Diamond Powder ($95), or Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Eye Cream ($35).
(9) Trilogy Rosehip Oil ($18) on my lips- Formerly Drunk Elephant Marula Oil ($40), which I prefer, and you can read about here.
(10) Kerstin Florian Correcting Multi-Vitamin Day Creme SPF 30 ($62) - My favorite SPF right now.
If I'm dealing with a break-out, I turn to Renée Rouleau without fail. Her Zit Care Kit ($153) has everything to keep you covered, but I swear by her Rapid Response Detox Mask ($60) and her Anti-Cyst Treatment ($45). At night, her Drying Lotion ($30) does the trick. That being said, her Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($87) gives you serious glow while it exfoliates.
My Dream P.M. Regimen:
(1) Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48) - Only if I'm wearing makeup.
(2) La Roche Posay Micellar Water ($8) - I use this to clean up extra mascara from around my eyes. (formerly Simple Micellar Water)
(3) Lancer Skincare Cleanser
(4) Herbivore Toner
(5) Essence, peel pad, or both.
(6) Either a Retinol — Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($55 - $105) or The Ordinary Granactive 2% Emulsion ($10) — an Antioxidant Serum — Verso Skincare Antioxidant Turmeric Booster ($95) — or a Plumping, Hydrating Serum — The Ordinary Buffet ($15) or The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA ($12)
(7) Sunday Riley Good Genes ($158) - If I used Luna. For a more cost-effective lactic acid, The Ordinary Lactic Acid ($7), which is usually sold out at Sephora but probably available on Beautylish.
(8) Tidal - If I didn't use Luna.
(9) NeoCutis or Volition eye cream
(10) Patchology FlashPatch Restoring Night Gels ($20) - A whole tub of their eye gels costs around $60. I formerly used Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower ($24) or Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels ($30 for 8)
(11) Oil - If I use an oil, it's on a night when I'm not using Luna. I've been loving Lancer Skincare Omega Facial Oil ($75) and the cult-favorite Indie Lee Squalane Oil ($32), but also occasionally like to put Tata Harper Beautifying Facial Oil ($68) around my eyes to lock in extra moisture.
Living the Skincare Dream:
I know it looks super complicated, but the reason I make adjustments is that I don't like to mix certain ingredients. When I'm opting for a retinol, I avoid antioxidants like vitamin C. And the reason to go through the trouble of incorporating a retinol is to improve the quality of your skin. I wouldn't have gone down this path if my skin didn't need some serious TLC.
For the longest time, I mostly relied on facials once per month. I was never strict with a regimen (although I turn to cult-favorites like Biologique Recherche Lotion P50V) and wasn't even disciplined enough to use eye cream regularly. But I got fed up with my skin, especially when dealing with hormonal imbalances, and finally decided to do what it would take to make myself happy with it again. It took work! But it's so fun.
Also, please remember that this is literally my job. I am incredibly lucky to have received full-sized samples of many of these amazing products! I don't think it's pro-health to bankrupt yourself in the name of beauty, but I appreciate the struggle. Thanks to BeautyPie, luxury beauty just became way more affordable anyway.
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