MY NIGHT TIME BEAUTY ROUTINE
If you follow along on instagram, you know I’ve been talking a bit about my skin lately and how I’ve been trying to get it back to it’s pre-wedding-glowy state. I never struggled with acne as a kid - I was super lucky to have clear skin through high school and most of college. When I moved to LA, though, the pollution, water quality, poor-girl eating habits, and mass amounts of redbull and coffee really did a number on my skin and hair. I remember the water being so harsh that hair dye would be rinsing out in the shower even months after having it done. And my face had the worst breakouts I’d ever seen!
Back then, I wasn’t really spending much on quality skincare and I was also wearing a lot more makeup with nearly no days off. Now that I’m older - and I like to think wiser, too - I’ve found what works best for my face and there are a few staple products I refuse to leave out of my routine. Obviously, diet and environment have loads to do with how our body functions and over the years I’ve definitely managed to find what foods work best for me and make my gut and skin happiest, but that’s for another post!
Quick background on my most recent skin saga - last summer, in the midst of wedding planning, I decided it would be a good idea to have my face sugared, which is a form of waxing meant to be more gentle on the skin etc., etc. I had sugared my underarms and bikini line in the past with no issue, and I have friends who have sugared their faces so I thought this would be a great way to get rid of all that peach fuzz, sluff off dead skin, and have glowy smooth skin as a base for my wedding day makeup. Sounds amazing, right?!
Well, it was great for 2 whole days and then I thought for sure we would need to call off the wedding because there was no way in hell I was paying a photographer to capture my face looking the way it did. I know this sounds dramatic, and having good skin is not the meaning of a wedding. But when you go nearly 28 years with pretty ideal skin and all of the sudden - 30 days before the most important/photographed day of your life - you look like a teenager with a hormone problem…the world may as well have ended right then and there.
Basically, from what I understand, the waxing opened up my pores making them susceptible to infection. It was a hot day when I had it done, and though I followed the instructions to not put any makeup on that day, I went home and worked in the yard and likely got a bunch of dirt and sweat all up in my fresh, new, baby skin pores which caused them to become clogged; thus turning into some crazy acne breakouts. I felt a little bumpy on my chin the day after but figured it would go away. It didn’t look like acne at that point, just bumps under the surface. Then I woke up with red swollen bumps covering my entire forehead, my cheeks, and all over my chin. I was completely devastated. I’ve come to know my skin pretty well, and everything I knew about how long a typical breakout took to heal (because yes, I’m human and still get hormonal acne spots here and there), was telling me there’s no way this was all going away in 30 days without scarring.
I was so depressed over how I looked and it really took a toll on me - I cried every morning getting ready for work. It was supposed to be a super happy and exciting time and here I was, barely leaving the house and afraid to even look in the mirror for weeks. I ended up getting it under control by going make-up free whenever I could and using the most natural form of skincare I could think of. I would wash my face with a gentle cleanser, do a toner with 2 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar, and finish with pure aloe straight from the plant. Kyle, bless his heart, drove around to 3 different stores looking for an aloe plan one night after work because I heard it was the best thing to use and I’m sure he couldn’t stand my pity party anymore.
I’ll spare you all of the horrific skin photos and just share this one which was the improvement after just one night of using the aloe!
The aloe was a life saver for sure - even overnight the overall redness had gone down significantly. I was lucky to only have a few spots that scarred but the majority of the breakout subsided after a couple weeks. That being said, yes my skin looked okay for the wedding but it was nowhere near the “perfect” it was for years prior. I’m still having residual affects on my chin - it’s literally never been the same again. I blame the sugaring for messing with my skin’s overall texture and I still maintain that was part of the problem. It basically stripped this awesome glowy moisture barrier I had built up over the years and it was like starting over with a new face - not in a good way.
Of course, then we ate like crap for 2 whole weeks on our honeymoon and came home to go right into the holidays which meant sugar overload and excessive alcohol intake. Lets just say my skin has been having a bit of a moment ever since.
Fast forward to January, I remembered how good I felt in the summer when I had been drinking celery juice and how many compliments I got on my skin back then so I decided to read up some more and start drinking it again. It’s been a solid week and a half now of drinking it daily and I can honestly say it’s working its magic! I could do a whole post on the benefits of celery juice, and I might if you guys are interested! In the meantime, if you want all the juicy details (pun intended) head over to @medicalmedium on instagram.
Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m back to using all of my favorite products and getting back on the skincare routine I loved so much before all this drama went down. If you’ve read this far - bless your heart! Haha let’s get to the good stuff…
I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed product junkie. I love trying new products, and sometimes I do switch it up, but these six players will always be in my lineup - they are truly game changers! I use each of these goodies, every night, in this order:
// 1. Tula Purifying Face Cleanser -- $28 Okay - I know this brand is plastered all over social media and anyone who’s anyone with a following has been promoting Tula. And I’ll admit, I found out about Tula through an instagram influencer! But this brand is seriously the real deal. Not only is it affordable, it’s great quality CLEAN skincare and offers great results. A tiny bit goes a long way for this gentle cleanser to remove even the most stubborn makeup. It cleans your face without leaving it dry and tight. About 2 years ago, I stopped used a scrub to wash my face every day, and I saw the greatest change in my skin. Highly recommend this cleanser - it’s also packed with probiotics which is part of the whole Tula story and I truly believe it works to balance your skin.
// 2. Tula Pro-Glycolic 10% PH Resurfacing Gel -- $34 Hands down I think the best thing you can add into your daily skincare routine is a glycolic toner. This one is gentle enough for daily use and uses probiotics, glycolic acid, and beetroot extract to exfoliate your skin. The glycolic acid works to exfoliate gently over time, rather than using a product with scrubby beads in it which just strip away layers of good skin. This will help even out skin tone, soften fine lines, and resurface the skin making it softer and more hydrated. You can find tons of glycolic toners on the market but, in my opinion, this one works great and lasts a long time for the price.
// 3. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel -- $88 I use these peels 2-3 times a week after cleansing and before everything else. Typically, I’ll skip the toner after this peel and go straight for the serums/creams. The one thing you want to avoid is products that contain alcohol after using these. Although Tula is alcohol free, I feel like the peels do enough exfoliation so I don’t need to double up. These are quite the splurge - but oh-so-worth it. Whenever I run out, I can totally tell a difference in the texture and clarity of my skin. I started using these probably 4 years ago and I don’t think I’ll ever stop! “Step one is packed with rejuvenating, powerful, yet gentle exfoliating acids. Step two controls the alpha hydroxy acid activity, delivers antiaging actives, nourishes, and keeps skin balanced, smooth, and radiant. Skin immediately looks refreshed and perfectly prepped for a more effective skin care routine.” Sold! PS, if you want to try before you commit to the large box (includes 35 treatments), Sephora also carries a 5-pack in the impulse area at check-out for just $17.
// 4. Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil -- $34 After all that good exfoliation, it’s so important to give your skin the drink of moisture it deserves! Squalane oil is one of nature’s best moisturizers. It balances oil production, providing just enough moisture to keep your skin clear and healthy. Indie Lee is also a clean brand - which I love - and this is 100% pure, olive-derived oil. Squalane oil also has powerful anti-aging properties and anti-inflammatory benefits which help calm skin conditions like acne and eczema.
// 5. Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Serum -- $85 My favorite part of this routine! Hands down. There are tons of brightening products out there, and I’ve tried a few other Vitamin C serums. None have produced such visible results as Sunday Riley’s. When I use this, I actually notice - in a week or two - huge improvements in the redness of acne scars and dark spots. Typically it takes months to see results from a product, if at all. This serum is a life saver for keeping your skin clear and bright in the summer time - and all the time! It works to fight dullness, dark spots, and discoloration while diminishing signs of aging. Your skin will be plumper, firmer, and more even-toned. I had gone through 3 bottles of the travel size over the summer and finally decided it was seriously that good and warranted the $85 splurge. Never looking back!
// 6. Origins High-Potency Night-a-Mins Resurfacing Cream with Fruit-Derived AHAs -- $45 The last piece to my nightly puzzle - this miracle cream! Packed with nutrients your skin needs to regenerate overnight, this has fruit-derived AHAs from grapes and sugar beets which slough off dry layers of skin while vitamins B, C, E, H, and calcium help nourish skin while you sleep. Seriously, you wake up with the most moisturized, supple skin - it’s amazing!
Now I realize not everyone has $300+ to spend on a nightly skincare routine, but if there were any two products I’d recommend the most, it would be the glycolic toner, and the vitamin C serum! As always, gentle cleaners are best and you want to exfoliate just a couple times a week for your best skin. Let me know if you guys try any of these products! Hope you love them as much as I do!