Friday, December 26, 2014

Back to Basics - Skin Care Update

Back in October of last year, I posted about some skincare products I had been using and what my current skincare routine was at the time. At the time, I was enjoying everything that I was using.  In my June favorites post, I mentioned that my skin went all out of whack, how I freaked out and went back to basics for my skincare needs. I was like ok the basics for me are cleanse, treat and moisturize my skin. For cleansing, I like a light exfoliation in the morning and cream cleanser at night to help remove my makeup. For treating, I'm prone to breakouts, got pores going on, some dark spots and want to address anti-aging. Also I do like using weekly masks, peels, scrubs etc. For moisturizing, I need something that absorbs into my skin but doesn't contribute to my oiliness and I need an SPF for the daytime. Not too much to ask right? Some of these items you've heard me mention in previous favorites posts. Here's what I've been using and more importantly, what's been working for my skin.

Cleansers/Makeup Removers

I went back to the Biore Unclogging Pore Scrub. This was my favorite cleanser to use in the morning. Before I stopped using this I had purchased 3 tubes. I like using this in the morning in the shower. Sometimes I use it twice a day if I don't wear makeup on that particular day. It's not a harsh scrub, I like the tingling sensation and how my skin feels once I rinse it off. It feels smooth and not super tight/dry.

I randomly picked up the Olay Foaming Face Wash for Combination/Oily Skin when I was in Ulta. To me to this is more of a cream cleanser vs a foaming cleanser. This really got some use in July when I was doing a bunch of travelling. This was the one cleanser I took with me and used morning and night. I really really enjoyed using this cleanser. It gets my face clean but it doesn't feel stripped or have a tight feeling. I could stick with just this cleanser. But I do like having the Biore cleanser on hand too. There's also a Sensitive version that has good reviews. If you're looking for a good simple cleanser then check this one out.

I also use makeup remover wipes and I keep picking up random brands to try lol. Right now I have Maybelline Clean Express and Aveeno Ultra-Calming makeup remover wipes on hand.

I'm still using the Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil and enjoying it. The only thing I don't like is the packaging. It leaks but it's not enough to make me throw it out. But it's enough to be annoying. I don't know if I was a messed up bottle or if this is normal. Once I use it up, I won't be repurchasing it.

I'm still making my way through the H2O+ Dual Action Eye Makeup Remover. I'm still liking it but I forget to use in the evening when I remove my makeup! Oye! So when I do use it up, I don't plan on repurchasing it or any other eye makeup remover. Using a makeup remover wipe and the Olay cleanser gets all my eye makeup off. It's just another step that I don't really need.


I know some people say that you don't need a toner and then others say yes you do. Well for me, when I've had a toner in my routine, it has helped my skin. I'm still using Neutrogena's Clear Pore Oil-Controlling Astringent. I've lost count on how many bottles of this I have purchased. I was going pick up Dickinson's Witch Hazel again but this one does have Witch Hazel in it along with Salicylic Acid. So I'm sticking with this one.


I've talked about the L'Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector products in previous favorites post. I'm still using and enjoying the Day/Night Cream. I don't plan on switching it out of my routine anytime soon. It absorbs into my skin nicely and it helps mattify my skin along with keep it moisturized. I've used both day and night.

When it comes to moisturizers with SPF I am very picky! I don't do thick ones. I need something that absorbs into my skin and doesn't make me oily. I picked up the Cetaphil Oil Controlling Moisturizer from Ulta. I was iffy on it once I mentioned picking it up to my beauty pusher and she said that she didn't like it. When I first started using it, I was meh towards it. But the more I use it, the more I've grown to like it.  So I will continue to use it. I may check out one from Neutrogena at some point next year. But again we'll see on that.

Eye Cream

I still have the L'Oreal Youth Code Eye Cream on hand and I'm still enjoying it. I've looked at some Olay ones. I may try one next time Ulta has a sale or I have a coupon. The L'Oreal one I order online from an Amazon seller which is fine but it would be nice to have something that I could get directly from the store. I have some sample ones that I am trying to use up now that aren't from drugstore brands (Murad Essential-C Eye Cream and Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel). Once I use them up, I will crack open the tube of the L'Oreal eye cream that I have.


The Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum is a favorite for the year! I think this is my third or fourth bottle and I have a back up bottle waiting in the wings. This is one of the best serums that I have used. I love that I can score a deal on it from stores with store promos and coupons. I was tempted to try another L'Oreal Youth Code serum but I'm not going to. This helps keep my skin smooth, soft and addresses anti-aging.

The Clean & Clear Persa Gel 10 is what I have been using for blemishes and I love it. It blends in nicely to the skin but doesn't dry my skin and cause dry patches like some acne products with Benzoyl Peroxide. It gets the job done quickly in taking care of blemishes too. It's one of the best acne spot treatments that I've used. This will stay in my skin care arsenal!

Alpha Hydrox's ResQ has been a long time favorite. It's a dupe for philosohy's Help Me. I added this back into the rotation a few months ago. I stopped using it earlier for a little while to "see" if I really needed it. I noticed a difference. Retinol has so many benefits in addition to anti-aging. Plus this one also has Vitamins A,C and E. So check this out if you're looking for a good retinol but don't want to speed a lot of money.

Alpha Hyrdox's Oil-Free Treatment 10% Glycolic AHA is a newer item to my skin care routine. I picked it up based off of several reviews on Ulta's site from acne prone users who said that it helped them with their breakouts and control oil. It also helps with anti-aging. Since I use the ResQ at night, I only use it in the morning based off of information I found on Alpha Hydrox's website. So far I'm liking it and will keep using it.

Masks, Peels, Scrubs

The Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque is awesome sauce. I have used this off and on for years but really have been sticking to it for the last few months. I use it once a week every Sunday. Sometimes twice a week if I have a lot of breakouts going on or if my skin is just "congested".

I've mentioned the Queen Helene Grape Seed Peel Off Masque in my August 2014 favorites post. It's awesome sauce as well. I use this twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The peel gets all the gunk out of my pores and firms the skin (especially my neck!).

I mentioned the St. Ives Pink Lemon & Madarin Orange Scrub in my November 2014 favorites post. I'm still enjoying it. The times where I have been lazy do the Queen Helene Masques, I'll make sure I use this since it doesn't take long and it does the job. So this is another product that will remain in my skincare stash. I haven't seen it at the Ulta store that I frequent. So I need to go by Target and get another tube.

And there you have it!! Phew! Seems like a lot but it really isn't. I don't use all these products everyday or even twice a day.

It's kind of cool that everything that I am currently using is a drugstore/low cost product. For the most part I am consistent with my routine but I do have lazy days. Mainly on the weekends if I'm at home and not going anywhere. If you're curious about skin care at the drugstore, I highly recommend picking up products from Ulta. They seem to always have some type of promo going on, they have coupons you can use ($3.50 off $10, $5 of $15 or 20% off) and they have a pretty good return policy.

There are a few higher end items that have caught my my eye. Was tempted to pick up a Perricone Today's Special Value a few months ago, a Kate Somerville acne product had caught my eye and I've been contemplating trying the new Proactiv + line. But honestly what I have been using has been working. Even when I get lazy and don't do my masques, my skin is still pretty decent. I also love the fact that everything I'm using I can pick up from Ulta, Target or the drugstore. I do love me some online shopping but it is nice to run into a store and get what you need every now and then lol!! So as the saying goes, if it ain't broke don't fix it! So this will be my routine unless my skin goes whacky again.

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