My Holy Grail Skincare Products

I take skincare seriously and have tried many products over the years. I own very minimal makeup (one lipstick, one eyeshadow palette....you get the drift) but skincare products are where I invest! Today I'm breaking down my favorite products by category and answering detailed skincare questions!

Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that works to stimulate collagen in your skin. It also fights acne, fine lines and brightens your complexion. It's one of the best anti-aging ingredients you can use!
Hyaluronic Acid: The primary role of hyaluronic acid is to help the skin hold on to water, hydrating the outer layers and preventing dry skin from happening. Dry skin is one of the usual culprits behind damaged skin since it breaks down the skin's structure and makes it more likely to be damaged by things like the sun and other outside factors. Hyaluronic acid helps your skin to look and feel more supple and plump. 
  1. Top Pick: SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier 
  2. Affordable Pick: Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum 
Retinol: Retinol is a compound derived from Vitamin A, and softens fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. It comes in a variety of strengths and can irritate sensitive skin so I advise to use sparingly in the beginning (1-2 times per week) and see how your skin reacts. 
  1. Top Pick: SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex 
  2. Affordable Pick: Paula's Choice Clinical 1 Retinol Treatment 
Eye Cream: Many moisturizers are not supposed to be used near the eyes due to sensitivity so I like to have use eye cream for concentrated hydration. You can purchase eye creams that treat dark circles and discoloration as well. 

Facial Oil:I love to have a facial oil on hand for a few reasons; A.) When my skin is acting up B.) On days I need intense moisture C.) After I've washed my face at night and I don't feel like going through a long skincare routine. I really love the way an oil feels on my face and brings immediate moisture! Even if you have oily skin I recommend trying an oil. I will often apply an oil over my vitamin c serum in the morning and night. 
  1. Top Pick: True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil 
  2. Affordable Pick: SOCO Botanicals Face Oil Serum / Olive & M Face Oil
Neck Cream: I'm still not 100% sure these work, but I will try anything to stop the signs of aging in my neck. I'm prone to a droopy and crepey neck so moisturizing and wearing sunscreen is key! 
  1. Top Pick: SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair 
  2. Affordable Pick: Gold Bond Neck & Chest Firming Cream 
Exfoliant: Exfoliants can show instant results leaving skin noticeably brighter and smoother. These products help to even your skin tone, remove dead skin cells, smooth wrinkles, and unclog and diminish enlarged pores. I use these immediately after I've washed my face before applying any serums. 
  1. Top Pick: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant 
  2. Affordable Pick: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting Exfoliant (use right after you've washed your face, apply with a cotton ball)
Pre-Cleanse: Most of us wash our face with a facial cleanser and call it a day for removing makeup. However, we should all be double cleansing. The benefit of double cleansing is that the first cleanser will break down any makeup, remove dirt and excess oils from the day and clean your skin. The second cleanser will address your particular skin type or concern and should have ingredients to hydrate, exfoliate or treat acne. On days I don't wear any makeup I rarely double cleanse!
  1. Top Pick: Dermalogica Precleanse (I LOVE the way this oil feels on my face)
  2. Affordable Pick: Biossance Cleansing Oil
Masking: I highly encourage you to mask weekly. Sheet masks are my personal favorite and I recommend using 2-3 times per week. Some people use them daily, but I know this can add up quickly. Why mask? Masking provides instant hydration to your skin making it look more healthy and radiant. I love to use a mask before a big event or on a morning when I feel super tired and want to look more awake and vibrant! Lately my skin has become more sensitive to sheet masks so I've switched to traditional clay masks.  
  1. Sheet Mask: If you have an H Mart nearby I highly recommend stopping in and picking out a few options to try. If not start here!
  2. Traditional Mask Top Picks: SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Mask or Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Masque

If you're wondering about my specific skincare routine I'll break it down by morning and night.

Morning Routine:
  1. Cleanse
  2. Vitamin C serum 
  3. Sunscreen (my favorite daily sunscreen is EltaMD)
  4. Facial Oil (if I'm not wearing makeup that day)
  5. Neck Cream
Nighttime Routine:
  1. Pre-cleanse
  2. Cleanse
  3. Exfoliant
  4. Hyaluronic Serum
  5. Vitamin C Serum or Retinol 
  6. Facial oil
  7. Eye Cream
  8. Neck Cream

I understand if this is overwhelming, but my advice is to start with 2-3 products and build from there. If I had to pick three products to start with I would choose a Vitamin C Serum, Hyaluronic Acid serum and a facial oil. Learn what your skin reacts positively to and understand that good skin takes time.  These aren't going to change your skin overnight. It takes consistent application, sunscreen daily (ALWAYS wear a hat when outside), and facial treatments to really see major results. You can find all the products I recommend from this post here

Stay tuned for an extensive blog post about skincare treatments including micro needling, IPL photo facials, botox and more. 

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