Let’s Talk Skin Care

It’s no secret that one of my favorite methods of self care is skin care. There is nothing more relaxing than washing your face after a long day and applying your favorite moisturizers, masks, and serums as you prep for bed. I wrote a similar piece to this a little over a year ago, but low and behold, I’ve switched up my skin care routine yet again. Yes, we’re really doing this again… It’s a funny thing, really, this constant battle with sensitive skin. Just when I start to think that I’ve finally found my routine and my skin is looking better than ever, IT HAPPENS. Usually “it” is a rough bout of dry skin or a breakout, but this time, sh*t hit the fan — my eczema navigated to my face.

When I was around 7 years old, my mix of eczema and psoriasis was horrendous. Doctors told me that it was possible that I would grow out of it, and — for the most part — it has cleared up over the years to the point where I had not been to the dermatologist for over 10 years. Recently, I’ve noticed the psoriasis patches have been making a comeback on my ankles and behind my knees, which I’ve been managing by moisturizing consistently. Additionally, after utilizing the same Vitamin C products for a few months, I began to discover psoriasis-like patches on my face that wouldn’t go away regardless of how much I moisturized. After consulting my dermatologist for the first time in years, I made the decision switch to a totally different skin care routine and finally found the one that works for me and my sensitive skin. 

Skin Care Routine: A.M.

Full disclosure: I only wash my face once a day at the end of the day and/or following my workout so that I don’t dry out my face. I will rinse off and dry my face first thing, especially if I wore a face mask or acne spot treatment overnight. I start my morning with a quick rinse of my face, patting it dry and then moisturizing it. One of my newest beauty obsessions is Drunk Elephant. I’ve heard about it for years and was finally influenced to try it after dealing with all of my recent issues. The best part about it is that you can easily mix the moisturizers and serums together to create a one step cocktail for your face. I always use Drunk Elephant’s Protini™ Polypeptide Moisturizer as the base, and combine it with B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum and D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops. I love that B-Hydra is a great addition to your morning routine to help give your skin an extra dose of hydration. Not only does D-Bronzi give your skin a beautiful glow, but it also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles all while protecting your skin from pollution/environmental stressors. My only complaint with these products is that you can’t tell when the product is running low to restock, so I will restock these items about a month into using the product to prepare. Once I apply everything, I allow it to soak into my soak prior to applying my makeup for the day. 

Skin Care Routine: P.M. 

I start my evening routine by removing my makeup with Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar Water and washing my face with Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser. These are two of my holy grail products that I swear by and have used for years. After I dry my face, depending on the day, I have three different options for how I’ll end the night:

One // On any normal night, I will use the Protini™ Polypeptide Moisturizer as a base and mix it with Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Antioxidant Face Oilto help lock in moisture over night. The marula oil contains antioxidants and omega 6 and 9 to combat dryness, dullness, texture, fine lines and wrinkles. It is one of my absolute favorite Drunk Elephant products.

Two // Once a week, or if my skin is feeling drier than usual, I will combine Drunk Elephant’s F-Balm™ Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask with the T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum and by the morning, my skin feels so plump and hydrated and looks glowy. 

Three // If I’m having a break out (which is rare), I will simply put on Kate Somerville’s EradiKate™ Acne Treatment on my acne spots and sleep with it on. In the morning, I notice that there is a dramatic reduction in acne. 

Regardless of which of these I choose, I will always put Glossier’s Bubble Wrap cream under my eyes and Vaseline on my lips for an extra bit of moisture. 

Have any questions about my routine or the products I use? Leave a comment below!

-K.

How to Combat Dry, Winter Skin

In typical millennial style, I tend to obsess over skincare and the best products to get me that youthful, healthy, glowing look. It’s no secret to my long-time readers that I’ve had dry, sensitive skin issues since I was a baby, but this winter in particular has been brutal on my skin. I’ve suddenly not been able to use products that I’ve been using religiously for years, and I feel as though I can’t keep my skin hydrated for the life of me! Sick of feeling like a reptile, I was forced out of my usual skincare routine to seek out new products and solutions to combat my dry, winter skin.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate // The first step in keeping your skin hydrated is drinking lots and lots of water. Studies show that you should drink approximately 64 oz of water daily, which seems like a lot; however, it adds up quickly if you are constantly carrying a reusable water bottle around with you. You can always find me carrying around my pink Yeti or my gold Swell bottle!

Upgrade your facial routine // As much as I hate to admit it, I really skimped on my facial care routine until I was about 20 years old (terrible, I know). When my skin suddenly had a reaction to the products I was using for years a few months ago, I spent a ton of time researching products to take it’s place. I ended up discovering OLEHENRIKSEN’s Vitamin C line through a recommendation from my aunt. As I mentioned in my previous post, I purchased the A Brighter Truth Brightening Essentials Kit by OLEHENRIKSEN, and I am OBSESSED. I’ve been using it religiously for about a month now, and have noticed a huge difference in my skin. Not only is my skin brighter and more hydrated, but these high-end products are set at affordable prices and smell amazing! I will definitely be purchasing the large versions of the products once these run out soon.

Cut down on shower time // As great as a super hot shower feels on a cold day, don’t do it! I’m guilty of doing so, and recently noticed that when I get out of the shower, my skin is red, blotchy and more dry than it was when I got into the shower. Now I try to keep my showers under 10 minutes, and use lukewarm-warm water.

Moisturize // Immediately when I get out of the shower and wake up in the morning, I moisturize from head to toe. I recently discovered NIVEA Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion, and my skin has never been more smooth and firm. I noticed a dramatic difference in only two weeks!

What are some of your favorite tactics and products to repel dry, winter skin?

-K.

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Beauty Essentials + Product Reviews

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of trying out new beauty products, but there are some items that I cannot give up. All of my below beauty essentials are affordable prices, and can be found at your local drugstore. Please know that this is not a sponsored post, and all my opinions are my own. I would not recommend any products that I would not use myself.

The Essentials

TRESemme Tres Two Hairspray (level 4) // I have been using this hairspray since high school and still swear by it. It works just as well as the high-end hairsprays that cost $20 a can, but at an affordable price (only about $4).

TRESemme Heat Tamer // I started using this product in college when I realized just how much damage my straightener and curling iron did to my hair because I wasn’t using a heat protectant. This product has made a world of difference on my hair – it is much more silky smooth even after applying heat.

Dove Refresh + Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo // This is by far the best dry shampoo I’ve used and it smells AMAZING! I’ve tried a number of other dry shampoos, but this I’m also a big fan of Dove’s new coconut scent, perfect for summer!

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner // This shampoo and conditioner makes my hair feel silky smooth, not to mention it smells heavenly!

Invisibobbles Hair Ties // These do not damage your hair. Before I purchased them, I read that they don’t crease your hair, but I found that to be false. When I’m at work, there are times where I’ll throw my hair up on the top of my head to focus. I’d take the hair tie out an hour or so later, and I would still have the crease. Nevertheless, I love that these hair ties don’t snap nor damage your hair. 10/10 would recommend for those of you who have thicker hair. 

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water for Waterproof Makeup // I hopped on the micellar water bandwagon about a year ago, and was not disappointed. Check out my previous post about how I incorporated micellar water into my skin care routine.

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm // This stuff is as good as my prescription ointment for half the price! My only complaint is that it is a bit oily so I only put it on at night after I shower, right before I go to bed; however, I’ve never had a problem with it staining my sheets or anything, which is a plus. By morning, my skin feels soft without much itchiness throughout the day.

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm // Another classic high school staple of mine that I do not leave the house without to this day. Living in Michigan where the weather is constantly changing, I am no stranger to dry, cracked lips. Let me tell you – this product has worked miracles for me! The company also focuses on what is good for both their customers and the environment; not only is it made of natural ingredients, but the packaging is eco-friendly.

PRODUCT REVIEWS

It’s been a while since I’ve done a product review so let’s recap: I rate all products I try on a five star scale. This review in particular is also not sponsored; I purchased these products myself, and am giving you guys my honest opinion.

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream // This stuff has been EVERYWHERE lately, so you know I just HAD to get my hands on it! Honestly, I was a bit skeptical at first – I don’t venture out of my usual body lotions because of my eczema and skin sensitivities; however, I have found a new favorite “anytime” lotion. Not only does it smell incredible, but my skin has never been more soft and smooth. I will admit, I’m not totally trading in my eczema creams because flair ups still occur, and this lotion isn’t meant to clear up eczema, but I will absolutely be purchasing the big tub once I run out. I give this product 4 out of 5 stars. Note: this is the only item on this list that you cannot purchase from a drug store. I bought mine from Sephora.

OGX Refresh & Revitalize + Argan Oil of Morocco Dry Shampoo // I rate this product a 2.5. While the product smells absolutely amazing, I felt as though I had to use a significant amount of it in order to not my hair look so greasy after just one day, and I still had to put my hair up to make it look half decent. I was pretty disappointed in the product as a whole.

OGX Smoothing + Shea Sleek Smooth Style Spray // This is meant to be for thermal protection and to speed blow dry time. I give this product a 2 out of 5 stars because it didn’t speed up my drying time. While it did provide thermal protection, it made my hair super wet, and more difficult to straighten. Additionally, I wasn’t a big fan of the scent, but that is just personal preference. 

What are the beauty products you can’t live without?

-K.

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Glossier Product Review

A few months ago, I gave into the hype, decided to try out the beauty brand Glossier and promised to review it on my blog. Well, July has come and gone, and I’ve decided that it’s about time for me to share my experience with the brand. Since I only knew about the products from several fellow bloggers I follow, I reached out to Twitter to see what everyone’s favorite products were before trying some for myself.

The brand is hypoallergenic and cruelty free – two of the main qualities I look for in beauty products. I took the leap and purchased the Phase 1 Set containing the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturizer, and your choice of Balm Dotcom, as well as Rosewater Spray.  Here is my experience with each product:

Milky Jelly Cleanser // In a previous post, I shared my nightly skin care routine, and, while I’m not straying away from my normal routine, it’s nice to use a more gentle cleanser every now and again. As its name suggests, the cleanser has a jelly-like consistency that leaves your skin feeling fresh, and doesn’t dry it out. I prefer to use this on days when my skin feels dried out since it’s not filled with harsh chemicals.

Priming Moisturizer // This has become an integral part of my morning routine! It leaves your skin feeling silky smooth, and helps shrink your pores for an all-over even surface. I don’t love to wear a ton of makeup every day, but when I do, I actually find that it helps secure my makeup for a full day of coverage.

Balm Dotcom // Since July is my birthday month, I decided to go with Birthday Balm DotCom, and was not disappointed. I do have a particular loyalty to Burt’s Bees Original chapstick, but this balm is universal and provides hydration not only to your lips, but also to extra dry areas just as cuticles (I even applied mine to my elbows which tend to become extra dry. I have my eye on the mint and rose versions of this product for my future orders!

Rosewater Spray // Okay, so I’m going to be super honest when I say I never understood the fad of rosewater spray… and I still don’t. I mainly bought this product because of the hype, but upon using it, I don’t really see the difference besides the fact that it smells good. Granted, I could totally be using it wrong, and I do not carry it to work with me for the “midday pick-me-up” that it’s said to be great for. I’ve mostly been using it as a makeup setting spray right before I head out for work in the morning. Again, I could totally be using it wrong so if you’re a rosewater fanatic, PLEASE tell me what I’m doing wrong!

Needless to say, I was very happy with Glossier. Not only did their products work well, but they shipped fairly quickly which is always a plus! Next, I intend on trying out Boy Brow, Cloud Paint, and their newest product, Wowder.

Have you tried any Glossier products that I have yet to? Comment below, I’d love to get your opinion!

-K.

Skin Care Routine

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For years I’ve struggled with finding the right skincare routine. Having eczema and dry, sensitive skin since I was just six days old is something that prevents me from using the vast majority of products out there. On top of this, nasty winter weather can wreak havoc on my skin. However, I’ve finally found a regiment that works for me and my extremely dry skin.

My process works as follows:

One // One thing I did not do enough in high school and college was wash off all of my makeup before bed. Usually because I believed I  was actually taking it off in the shower. Boy was I wrong! I did use Neutrogena products back then, but I found that while they did reduce oil, they dried out my skin terribly. Lately, I’ve been using Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water for waterproof makeup and I LOVE it! Just shake and drip a bit on a cotton round to take off your makeup. It does leave your skin a tad oily, but remember that this is just the first step. Sometimes (namely, when I fail to go through the rest of my routine when I get home late) if I just go to bed only using this step, my skin is softer when I wake up. You can find miceller water at CVS for only $8.99, and my latest bottle has lasted me a few months so it’s great for your wallet.

NOTE: If I’m traveling or stuck in a bind, I still carry my Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes. They’re the perfect quick fix, and they don’t dry out your skin.

Two // Recently I discovered Clinique’s 3-Step Process upon a trip to Ulta, and I must admit that I’m in love. This stuff actually WORKS! There are different levels for different skin types; I picked up the level 2 for dry combination skin.This is when I actually cleanse my skin with the first step of the program using the mild liquid facial soap. I wet my face and gently scrub my face and neck following up with a clean towel to dry before the next step. The 3-Step System trial package that I started out with is $19.50 at Ulta.

Three // Next I tone using the clarifying lotion, which acts and looks like a toner. This is where the exfoliation comes in. I apply it with a cotton ball all over my face and neck to sweep away dead skin cells. I take extra care to go over the particularly dry areas of my face a number of times during this step.

Four // The final step in Clinique’s process is the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. You guys, this lotion has worked WONDERS for me! I can’t rave about it enough. My skin is smooth, bright and radiant in the mornings after I put it on at night. I highly highly recommend this for anyone whose skin is as dry as mine.

Five // Finally, I apply Vaseline or my go-to Burt’s Bees to my lips, and the corners of my mouth which tend to crack in the winter over night.

So there you have it! What are some of your favorite skin care products?

-K.