I believe this was the first year I stuck to a mostly consistent routine throughout. Although, I did try some new products that quickly became repeats and had a big impact on my skin’s health. I feel very confident in my skincare routine and skin’s health going into the new year! This is big for me because it’s the first time I’ve felt this strongly about my skin’s health and condition! I’m excited! Let me walk you through some of my favorite products that took my routine to the next level.
Devices and Skincare Adjacent
The ZIIP Halo has been instrumental in my face contouring and overall skin health. The new design is sleek and lightweight making it more enjoyable to use. The app has been updated with new treatments that are more freeform and give me another way to relax and recharge at the end of the day. Founder’s Favorite, The Lift, Instant Gratification, and Problem Solver are the treatments I use the most. I try to use the ZIIP at least twice a week, but three is the optimum for best results. I enjoy all the gel treatments, but my favorite is the Silver Gel. If you need more info, I have a full review on my channel.
The other skincare device I love using is the Omnilux Contour Face Led Mask. I aim for three times a week. It depuffs and reduces sensitivity and redness. Allows my skin to absorb skincare more efficiently. It’s just so easy to throw on for 10 minutes!!
Double and sometimes triple cleansing has been something I’ve been consistent with. On days I’m wearing more makeup, I like to start with the CHANEL L’eau Micellaire, followed by the CHANEL L’Huile Cleansing Oil, and finished with the Biologique Recherche Lait Dermo-S. The Dermo-S is the cleanser that has replaced Lait U from the line. It is less viscous than Lait U in texture and it has a natural scent. It reminds me of my Feu De Bois candle… not sure what gives it that woodsy ash scent! Otherwise, it has the same effects on my skin as Lait U. Perfect for sensitive, stressed, or fragile skin. I like to remove this milk cleanser with a damp CHANEL cotton pad.
In the mornings, I always use Dermo-S on dry skin then wipe away with a damp cotton pad. A few days a week, I will use the U Beauty’s the Mantle Skin Conditioning Wash. This cleanser has mild exfoliants that leave my skin super soft! I don’t use other chemical exfoliants in my routine at this time, other than the occasional P50 1970 to spot-treat minor active breakouts, so this is the perfect amount of exfoliation action for me right now.
After cleansing, I’ll mist with the Santa Maria Novella Acqua Di Rose Water to try and lock in some extra hydration, before I follow with Rhode’s Glazing Milk. What a joy this product is to use! I’m so in love with it. It’s the perfect texture, consistency, and ingredient mix. So lightweight for my oily skin. So gentle to counteract any sensitivities. This also goes a long, long, long way! I’ve been using it almost every day for the past 6 months and I’m just now reaching the end. My backup is ready to go! The next step in the morning and on my off-retinoid evenings is the Molecular Hero Serum. I ordered this being very curious of the hero ingredient, Malassezin. This serum has been instrumental in my skin’s clarity, brightness, and overall texture quality. Adding this to my routines, along with tretinoin and electrocurrent, has almost diminished all sun discoloration and refined texture in a whole new way. I don’t do well with Vitamin C, even derivates. My skin just doesn’t agree with it. This, however! This is it. I do make sure to avoid my nostril and around the nose area with any active serums because it is particularly sensitive there. Otherwise, this has never caused any irritation or adverse effects. Just smooth, glowy goodness. It is pricey, so I look to stock up during sales which they have had often at 20%. They also offer a small discount with a subscription.
Another serum that I heavily rely on is the Eltamd Skin Recovery Serum. I use a bottle per month, so I have this on a monthly subscription via LovelySkin. Nobody talks about this serum so I feel like it’s my secret weapon. It’s also perfect to use while recovering from procedures like when I have my RF microneedling. Its AAC Technology is comprised of three amino acids. They are the building blocks of peptides and proteins. It also has arginine, taurine, glycine, and ginger root extract. The packaging (functional, not visual) and texture are amazing too.
In the mornings I follow the above with the Rhode Barrier Restore Cream. I have found a tiny amount works best for me since I also use a hydrating SPF. This is such a satisfying moisturizer to use. It’s very cushiony but it melts in the skin and gives a gorgeous luminosity without ever feeling heavy or sticky. In the evenings I use the Eltamd Barrier Renewal Complex. This is also on subscription, but it lasts me about 3 months. As you can see, the trend here is lots and lots of layers of barrier-protective products and ingredients. The more, the merrier. My skin is so happy!
Whenever I remember to, I like to use the Ilia Beauty Bright Start Retinol Alternative Brightening Eye Cream in the mornings. It has a peach tint that helps counteract darkness and shallowness on my under eyes. Perfect under makeup.
On off-retinoid nights, I wrap up with a tiny bit of La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 all over to nourish and counteract any redness and give skin an extra boost of copper, zinc, and centella.
On retinoid nights, I let my EltaMD Barrier Renewal cream sink in for a while, then I layer a tiny bit of Aquaphor around my eye corners, nostrils, and mouth corners. I use a tiny amount of 0.1% tretinoin gel split amongst my cheeks, chin, and forehead. I do this every other night which has taken me about 3 years to get to this tret concentration and frequency.
It has been such a struggle to find a sunscreen that I love to use. I have used many. It is safe to say I have tried hundreds. From never-heard-of european brands to high-end all frills, to Korean and of course Japanese. The one sunscreen formulation that I have finally been really happy with is the Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion as well as the Tinted version. The formula is very lightweight, hydrating, and dries down to a natural finish. Leaving my skin feeling nourished, but never greasy. They do have a fragrance, but I find it doesn’t linger on at all. It’s like baby powder scent. The thing about these is their incredible ability to prevent and reverse pigmentation with an innovative blend of peptides, antioxidants, and DNA Repairsomes, as ISDIN calls it. The tinted version I can’t wear in the winter because it is a tad too dark, so that’s what I like using in the summertime. The untinted version is gorgeous, but it does leave a slight cast. Which is not a problem since I top everything off with makeup. Specifically, I’ve been loving the U Beauty the Super Tinted Hydrator. I thought it would be too hydrating for me because that’s how I felt about the original hydrator, but this is a joy to use. I love wearing it alone with a bit of concealer and of course, powder is necessary. It’s really pretty and gives your skin-but-better finish in a serum way. Not like MAC face and body or anything like that. This is a skincare product first and foremost.
My favorite non-stop has been the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm, particularly in Pink Sugar. This one just has something extra about it that I don’t find in the other flavors/tints. I’m not sure why, but I can’t get enough of it. I’ve also really been enjoying the Saltair Lip Oil Balm in Dragon Fruit. It’s just pretty and nourishing. I’ve stopped using the rhode lip treatments because they all got crystallized and crunchy. They started to feel like lip scrubs. I don’t know if I did something wrong, but I didn’t have time to figure it out so I just stopped using it. The original unscented and the salted caramel are the only ones that have kept a good texture, but all the other flavors have gotten crusty.
I’ve been using the Make Beauty Hyperboost Lash and Brow Serum and I enjoy it. I’m not sure if it’s helping to condition my lashes and brows, but the brush feels very satisfying to put through my eyebrows. I feel like it keeps the skin there exfoliated and fresh!
I recently picked up the CHANEL L’huile Camélia Hydrating and Fortifying Oil after eyeing it all year long and I have not been able to stop using it. It’s not like an oil at all. It’s more of a serum. Genius packaging and applicator. Smells so good!
I recently switched my makeup storage situation. I decided to bring all my makeup to the bathroom. Of course, not all of it fit, so I had to make some room in my bedroom dresser, particularly for lipsticks. My only issue was the lighting. I do love the natural light from my bathroom window, but it’s not always available, especially really early in the morning. I do not use the overhead lights. Ever. They are the enemy. I already had the ILIOS ring light, but it was no longer possible or practical to use in the bathroom. So I ordered their portable rechargeable mirror with the suction cup. Problem solved. The charge lasts forever and it’s so easy to use. I can store and put away in no time if necessary. Best of all, I can travel with it and it’s a lot more compact than my RIKI mirror. I’m very happy with it.
Lastly, my skin wouldn’t be the same without my Filter Baby. I’ve just pre-ordered the second generation which looks a lot less obtrusive and comes in black and chrome. With filter baby both my hands and my face feel less dehydrated. I’m not sure what to do when I travel now. I didn’t think it would make this much of a difference, but it has. Filtering out the chlorine and hard minerals makes the water feel so much better on the skin.