Let’s talk about skin care.
It was only a few years ago that I had zero consideration of my facial skin care.
Some history: I did have a run in my teenage years with some regular acne, so I experimented with some one-off products and cleansers I saw on TV commercials, typically promoted by the latest Disney or Nickelodeon teen icon, and I found that my skin became dry, agitated, and worse off nearly every time. I took a quick lesson after about a handful of nightmarish trial and error situations, and I backed off the facial products entirely. I admit, for a good stretch after that and well into my early twenties, I was just using my body wash and body lotion for my face. Yes, I am horrifyingly serious. Most days I was caking my face with heavy makeup, and was rarely washing it off before bed. When I did wash it off, I reached for the nearest heavily scented hand or body soap, and finished with whatever body lotion I had at the time. No clue how my skin survived those trying times, but it was certainly a lot less happy than it is now.
I never knew my interest in skincare would be sparked again. Intentional skincare came into my life when I started to realize that my skin won’t always be effortlessly bouncy and resilient. I can abuse my body in certain ways now because I am young, but one day, all of that special lenience will come to an end, and I will be at the mercy of my habits. And I don’t fear aging itself, but I do fear early and unnecessary deterioration for no better reasons than laziness and neglect. We can’t have that.
As heavy makeup phased it’s way out of my daily life, I started to really look at my bare face more often. And let me tell you, there is a real difference in skin that is healthy and well taken care of vs., dull, dry, imbalanced and chronically irritated skin. I dealt with dryness so bad that my face was always tight, flaky and red in certain areas, while my nose was covered in oil. Make it make sense.
Now that I’ve seen what my face looks like when it’s fresh, nurtured, evenly hydrated and happy, this glow is not something I’m willing to live without. Plus, I rarely ever see blemishes anymore, and I’d like to keep it that way.
I started my skin care journey with inexpensive products, (I was going to say the word cheap, but that wouldn’t be fair. I lucked out with a $5 face wash from target that I still use to this day and have included in this blog.) But then, I slowly got a little more curious (and arguably a little more reckless,) and I started to try and add new skin care products to my routine. After playing around for some time, I can now say I truly have a quality, personalized routine. I still keep it subjectively simple, but I went from cleanser and moisturizer only, (bare minimums in my opinion,) to a cleanser, a toner/tonic, a moisturizer, an eye cream and a finishing oil/serum. In other words, I take the dirt off, I put good stuff in, I hydrate, I give some love to my eyes, and I seal it all in. Easy. Let’s give you what you came here for—
(listed generally in the order that I would use them, and listed with prices I paid. Please note: prices may vary depending on the retailer you shop. Also, specifically, Ere Perez products purchased direct from the brand ship from Australia. For those of us in the US, know that the shipping speed may be slower than you are used to. I purchased directly from the brand website to be as supportive as possible and I did not mind waiting. Ere Perez is also sold from Free People and Revolve. You may have better luck with more inexpensive express shipping options from those stores. Please don’t let this discourage you, the products are amazing.)
0. CLEANSER : Simple Moisturizing Face Wash
This is the cleanser I lucked out on early in my skin care product search. Depending on your area, you can find this at your nearest target for between $4-6.
Aside from the price, this cleanser is a great value being a clean product, free of: alcohol, artificial fragrance, harsh chemicals, mineral oil, parabens and sulfates, and is also VEGAN and cruelty-free.
My experience with this product: zero issues. this is clear, jelly like product that glides onto skin smooth, works into a soft lather, and cleanses skin without drying out and causing irritation.
1. Ere Perez Facial Tonic
$30.60 USD – as the first Ere Perez product description, I have to say, I love this brand. I love their simple, natural products. I love their ethical and medicinal approach to beauty and skincare. You may be wondering what the difference is between a tonic and toner. Tonics tend to contain more humectants and moisturizing properties. But to me, a tonic/toner step is all the same. This herbal tonic is light, refreshing, and full of good stuff: Aloe vera, geranium, grapeseed, green tea, hyluronic acid, mandarin, rosemary and witch hazel. Apply to clean skin and take a deep breath.
2. Ere Perez Moringa All Beauty Crème
$30.60 USD. This is a nutritious, natural day and night moisturizer. Also full of good stuff: apricot, carrot, cornflower, lactic acid, melissa, prickly pear, sunflower and vitamin e. A gentle, creamy kiss for the face that has a very faint natural smell and is kind to sensitive skin.
3. Belif The True Cream -Moisturizing Bomb
$38 USD. This is my second moisturizer that I’ll always keep in my rotation. This decadent, creamy and cooling moisturizer is my preferred night time moisturizer. (Also makes your face a great base prior to applying makeup.) I love the clean smell, it reminds me of eucalyptus, but after checking out more product detail I was surprised to not see eucalyptus listed! What it does have is: comfrey leaf, oat extract and panthenol. Ingredients that help smooth, moisturize and retain moisture in the skin.
4. Ere Perez Cranberry Lip & Eye Butter
$30.60 USD. This lush, whipped-like lip and eye butter is actually white in color and odorless! (apart of me was hoping for that cranberry to come through!) It melts into skin easily and contains goodies such as: shea butter, cranberry, cucumber and lactic acid. It’s never to early to add an eye cream to your routine.
5. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Facial Oil
$40 USD. Aside from the lovely color pop this adds to my bathroom counter, I also love the simplicity of this product. Containing antioxidants as well as omega 6 and 9, this oil goes on light and absorbs into skin beautifully for a dewy, supple finish. I love adding this oil to the end of my routine to lock in much needed moisture. Good for all skin types.
6. Glossier Future Dew Oil Serum Hybrid
$24 USD. Glossier has had my heart since I found them. Their makeup and skincare has a “skin first” approach, always ensuring product quality and your skins health in every product. If you get anything from them, grab their future dew. It’s “I woke up like this” in a bottle. This pearlescent serum contains nourishing oils and plant based extracts to keep you moisturized up to 12 hours. I alternate between finishing with this or my marula oil.
7. ILIA Lip Wrap Treatment Mask
$26 USD. I know what you’re thinking. Do I really need a lip mask? Well, need is a strong word but I bet you won’t regret this one. Regular chap stick could NEVER. And I know how good this product is now, so I’ll be keeping it around. This lip mask feels like a much needed hug for the lips, with an instantly smoothing velvety texture and long lasting hydration. I imagine this will do wonders for me in the winter!
Now, just because I have all of these products (and more, I fear,) that doesn’t mean I use all of these all of the time.
Tips and advice as you venture out and become your own skincare guru:
What I like to do is continually assess what my skin needs. This is how you personalize your routine. Make a habit of recognizing the conditions of your skin. When I notice I’m really shiny or my skin is producing a good amount of oil on its own, I will skip my oil/serum step. Sometimes I use my eye cream more sparingly. I double cleanse on certain occasions. I use my lip mask as needed. I encourage you to continuously play with your routine to make it perfect for you.
I would also advise you to shop your skin care from merchants that accept opened packaging returns and returns for customer dissatisfaction. Skin Care is an investment and you should be able to spend your money on something you absolutely love and will use for it’s worth. In regards to the pricing of skin care, do what is comfortable for you and your budget. I find that my products (although they are at a moderate price point,) are worth every penny because they are high quality, effective, and last a a very long time. I tend to have enough product available to use all the way until expiration. This is plenty justification to me.
An additional tip I have is to shop merchants that have mini and trial sizes available to you. Sephora is my spot for this. I will use one of their many special offers (often a $35 minimum spend will earn you a free mini/trial size product of your choice depending on the special,) and use this as a way to introduce and try new products I’m not ready to plunge on purchasing full size. This system brought the belief moisture bomb and ilia lip mask into my life. It also helped me realize a couple products I had been eyeing were not actually a good fit for me or worth the investment.
Well, who knew I could talk so much about skin care! I hope at the very least, this blog introduced you to a new brand or product you hadn’t thought to try. If you have any skincare tips, feel free to comment! Share with someone who is new to their skincare journey and could use any of these recommendations or pointers!
Thanks so much for reading. We’ll chat again soon!