People always ask me what do I use for MY skin since giving facials is what I have done for a living for the past 8 years. I thought it might be fun and educational to share what I currently do for my skin and I may try to post every few months what I do for my skin as each season happens.
Have a skincare question or concern? Leave me a comment and I will be HAPPY to guide you through skincare ideas and troubleshoot skincare problems.
The 411 on my skin.
My skin is oily through the t-zone with dehydration on my cheeks and for whatever reason I have been struggling with acne way more than I usually do. I think this may be due to my endrocine system and thyroid acting out of whack for the past few years. My skin can be on the sensitive side so I have to be wary of using too many harsh products.
I will preface this post by saying that some days when I really don’t feel well I can’t do all of these steps. I try my best to at least cleanse and moisturize my skin every day and always make sure to wear SPF when I leave the house. For those who are chronically ill I think its best to just try to do those 2-3 steps every day. I try to do more steps on the days that I can but some days just taking a shower is impossible let alone washing my face and then doing a 5 step skincare routine.
SO here’s what I do for my skin….
I was trained on Dermalogica in esthetics school and went on to sell Dermalogica exclusively when I owned my own business. You will notice a lot of the products I use are by them. This is both because I believe in their company AND also because when I closed my business I ended up leaving with A TON of product. It will be a sad day when I run out of everything and don’t have that sweet sweet discount anymore!
I really love Dermalogica’s double cleansing system so I always start off using Pre-Cleanse anytime I wear makeup or feel like my skin needs some extra TLC. Ideally one should double cleanse every time you wash your face but some days I don’t feel well and I just need to quickly cleanse my skin with my cleanser. I definitely use Pre-Cleanse anytime I wear makeup out, it works great at getting off my liner, lipstick, and mascara.
In the summer I always use Dermalogica Skin Clearing Wash, it has Salicylic Acid to help with my breakouts and my overproduction of sebum (oil). It also contains Lemon Balm, Echinacea Anguvstifolia Extract,and Tea Tree Oil all of which help with inflammation along with having an anti-bacterial affect on the skin.
The Salicylic Acid can be very drying so I can’t use it every day so I switch back and forth with cleansing with Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel which has been my BFF for many many years. Its a FANTASTIC simple cleanser for those of us with Oily/Combination Skin. It was one of my best selling products at my spa. Once its colder I will switch between the Special Cleansing Gel and a more hydrating cleanser (changing your skincare routine up every season can be helpful if your skin has different needs as the weather changes).
I use a Clarisonic Brush to cleanse my skin 1x a day, its a tool that is absolutely worth the money. Ive had mine for going on 7 years. The Clarisonic brush helps you to cleanse far more throughly than you would with just your hands. It also provides a minute amount of exfoliation due to the brush action. I use the “Sensitive” brush head because my skin can be finicky due to being a pale freckled lady. Some days I can tolerate using it morning and night and sometimes I can’t.
I love Dermalogica’s Multi-Active toner. It smells fantastic and is really hydrating thanks to Aloe Juice, Lavender, and Sodium PCA. A lot of people can be confused by toners and their purpose. I use toners to add in extra moisture to my skin so I can then seal that moisture in with my moisturizer. Some toners do offer other benefits like decreasing oil or soothing sensitive skin. Be sure to avoid toners that have alcohol in them (I’m looking at your Clinique), it may feel like its “decreasing” your oil but all its doing is stripping your skin of it’s acid mantle.
Exfoliating may be my most favorite skincare activity. It is SO important and a step many people don’t do. Ideally our skin sloughs off every 21-28 days but as we age, get exposed to sun damage and pollution and genetic factors our skin slows down. When that happens the top layer of our skin just sits there, making our skin look dull and putting you at risk for developing blackheads. You gotta help your skin to get going so you can look glowing!
I exfoliate two ways in the summer.
I use Magic Glycolic Pads twice a day after I clean and before I tone. I cannot rave enough about these pads. They really help the breakouts I am constantly fighting on my forehead. Whenever I run out and don’t have another pack waiting, I always see a big change in my skin.
Every so often I also use Dermalogica Multivitamin Theramfoliant. This was another BIG seller at my spa. I love this scrub, it has both Salicylic Acid AND Retinol as well as Vitamine C and E which help to brighten your skin. It is a rougher type of scrub so those who are super sensitive start off using this cautiously. I primarily scrub around my nose, chin, and forehead since these areas are my biggest problem areas. I only use this once a week since I am also using the glycolic pads and occasionally a pumpkin enzyme mask. You don’t want to overdo exfoliation because it can have consequences for your skin. Once summer is done I will transition into using a retinol based cream a few times a week.
I don’t use masks as often as I should. I have been making an effort to do them more lately just to practice some self-care/pampering. I just slap one on and then work on my blog or read or do the dishes etc. The two I mainly use are Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque which helps my breakouts/oil production and Michael Todd Pumpkin Mask which is great for dull skin and adding some extra moisture. You can of course make your own Pumpkin Mask yourself (my DIY recipe is here). The Michael Todd one can be “tingly” due to the enzymes in the mask, those who are SUPER sensitive should use this mask with caution.
After I have used my glycolic pads and spritzed on my toner I use at least one serum/spot treatment to give my skin a little TLC. I use Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster for any breakouts I get, it has 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, Tea Tree Oil, and Sage to control bacteria and dry out monster breakouts. I only use it on the areas that are broken out as its specifically for spot treatments and VERY drying.
For the rest of my face I use derm E Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acid. I love this stuff, I found it at Whole Foods awhile back. Hyaluronic Acid is an incredible ingredient. Its super hydrating due to the fact that it can can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Anyone with dehydrated skin should make sure they are using at least one product with it.
If my skin is being extra grumpy or if I have done some microdermabrasion or a light chemical peel, I will use Dermalogica Ultra Calming Serum Concentrate to help hydrate and soothe my skin. This stuff is a miracle. It has helped SO many of my clients with their rosacea and always helps me out if I have pushed my skin too far. It is worth every penny in my opinion. I have a monster sunburn right now and I will relying on it to get my poor sunburned chest back on track.
I use different moisturizers depending on what time of a day it is. In the day time I mainly use Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50. My skin can be irritated by sunscreens very easily and this one is one of the few that I have found that doesn’t bug me. It isn’t oil free so those with oily skin or acne skin may not like it, I don’t find it too greasy and its helpful since my skin is also dehydrated. Another great one to look into is Murad Balancing Moisturizer. I am also a big fan of Neutrogena’s moisturizers with SPF, they have never bothered my skin and don’t break me out.
At night I use Dermalogica Active Moist which is one of my most favorite products. It’s light and does a great job of hydrating my skin without feeling super greasy. I will admit that I am terrible about remembering to use eye cream but when I do remember, I use Dermalogica Multivitamine Power Firm.
So there you have it!
My skin isn’t where I would like it to be, I have been very lucky and have had beautiful skin most of my life. Its been frustrating to watch it change the past few years as Ive had some struggles with my thyroid and my endocrine system and it’s had a big impact on my skin.
I’m definitely more acne prone than Ive been in a long time and my skin just often looks dull and uneven. It is what it is. Having I hope it will get better once certain things in my body are more regulated and I am also able to eat a more balanced diet/drink more water, moving my body more, and under WAY less stress. At least having a rough time with my skin allows me even more empathy for my clients who struggle with skin issues WAY beyond what I do.
What skincare products do YOU swear by?