Confession: I didn’t start a real skincare routine until a couple of years ago. You may hate me for saying it, but I’ve been genetically blessed with good skin. Because of said blessing, I never really thought about a skincare routine. I’d use the occasional St. Ives apricot scrub or maybe swipe an off brand astringent of some sort across my chin on the rare occasion I got a zit, but otherwise? Not much on skincare, this girl.
Then I figured something out.
What a realization.
And so, I decided it was probably time to start actively doing something to keep the healthy skin I’ve enjoyed all these years.
I’ve tried a lot of products over the years. Some were great, some were not so great, all of them are affordable – ya girl loves a good product for a good price. Here is my current affordable skincare routine (that works!). All products are under $30 – and several are under $10!
I wash my face with Tula’s Purifying Face Cleanser. This stuff is magic. At $28 a bottle, it’s a good deal for a great product and one bottle lasts 2-3 months. I’ve tried several cleansers over the last couple of years, but always come back to Tula. This is the gold standard as far as I’m concerned.
I then apply Vitamin C Serum from The Ordinary. A lot of folks like Vitamin C in oil form, but I like this more cleanser-like formula. Despite the smoothness of it, it goes on with a little bit of a grit feeling without actually being gritty. It tingles for a moment, but seeps right into the skin. Best of all, it’s inexpensive at $5.80 per tube. The tube is small, but at that price point and for the effectiveness, you can’t beat it.
After Vitamin C, I go for the all important sunscreen. Sunscreen is a must, even if you’re “not going to be outside.” My mom worked in a dermatology clinic and she was very serious about sunscreen with us growing up, something I’m grateful for as when I went to a dermatologist for the first time in December, she told me I have “near perfect” skin. I used Neutrogena for a long time, but recently made the switch to Supergoop!. The Supergoop! can get expensive, but there’s a smaller bottle available for $17 that lasts quite.a while. I like this particular Supergoop! Glowscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen as it has a bit of primer in it and gives you a subtle glow in addition to the protection of sunscreen.
Once the sunscreen is on, I go for my Neutrogena Hydro Boost moisturizer. Like cleansers, I’ve tried many moisturizers, even the cult favorite IT! Confidence in a Cream. I liked it well enough and wouldn’t discourage you from buying it, but I found it a little thick for my liking and I always come back to the Neutrogena. It’s $16 at Target and a jar lasts around two months – a little goes a very long way. You can also get a smaller jar for around $8.
My morning routine takes less than five minutes and I’m good to go for the day. I don’t wear a lot of makeup these days other than some under eye concealer and mascara (always mascara) and my skin always has a nice little “glowy” look to it after this routine.
This is where I get as fancy as I ever get for my skincare routine. I alternate products each night.
To start, I use the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes to remove any makeup and dirt from the day. I love these wipes and they work so well, but I’m searching for a more sustainable option as using a fresh wipe each night does create a lot of waste. I’ve tried a couple of options and haven’t loved them, so if you have a more sustainable option you love, let me know!
After my makeup has been mostly removed, I use my Tula cleanser again and that does a great job of getting any leftover makeup off my face. Once my face is clean, I get into my alternating skincare routine.
Every other day I use The Ordinary’s Retinol 0.5% in Squalane. About 3-4 drops is all I need. I rub it in and give it a moment to settle in. If I’ve taken a shower that night, I tend to do this step as soon as I get out of the shower. Otherwise, I follow it up with one of two products – my Neutrogena moisturizer or a new find, the LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask. The sleeping mask was part of my birthday gift from Sephora and I love it. It has a similar feel to the Neutorgena moisturizer, but it’s a little thicker. I tend to alternate nights with my moisturizer as well.
On the nights I don’t use the retinol, I use The Ordinary’s Argireline Solution (peptides). Like the retinol, I only need 3-4 drops. The morning after I’ve used this production, my skin GLOWS. I was admittedly skeptical of The Ordinary products given their price point as all of their products I’ve mentioned in this post are under $8, but I’m blown away by how effective they are.
After I brush my teeth, I finish off with another cult favorite, the LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask. I waffled on buying it for a while, but after moving to Los Angeles where it’s much drier, my lips were always dry and sometimes even hurt. No chapstick or lip balm I tried was helping. Within two days of using this, I noticed a major difference and this is now a nighttime MUST.
And that’s it. My simple, affordable skincare routine.
I do get Botox in my forehead every 4-6 months as despite the great skin genes my family passed along, they also passed along what my Botox gal calls “an expressive forehead.” My Botox is minimal and 100% a personal choice.
Another thing I do for skincare every 3-4 weeks is at home dermaplaning. I use the Schick Silk Touch-Up Facial Razors to slough off the the fine hairs and any excess dead skin. I usually do this before I take a shower. My face will be a little red for a few hours, but it is so smooth and has a healthy glow within the day.
I want to add microneedling to my routine as well. I’ve been reading up on at home microneedling and just ordered my first roller. I’ll let you know how that goes!
I’m always up for trying a new skincare product. If you have a product you swear by, let me know!
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