Our skin is one thing we have no choice but to step into the world with every day. I started to focus on my skin in preparation for our wedding more than 3 years ago, and I’ve never looked back! I grew up with acne-prone skin and knew well the feeling of wanting to hide in embarrassment. Ready to leave that feeling behind for good, I sought out an aesthetician in California and spent nearly two years gleaning knowledge from her about how to have skin I could be proud of.
I’m incredibly grateful for my time with her because I developed a sincere interest in medical skincare and came to believe that, with regard to our physical image, there is nothing more confidence boosting than having beautiful, makeup-free skin. I have quite a bit of skincare content I want to share with you, but I thought I’d start out with my morning and night skincare routine!
My Skincare Routine: AM and PM
While everyone’s skin is different, this is a great blueprint for a routine:
- Cleanse: Morning and night to remove dirt, makeup, and oil.
- Exfoliate: In the morning, 1-3 times a week.
- Tone: Removes remaining makeup and prepares the skin for treatments that follow.
- Treat: In the morning, growth factor (bio serum), vitamin C, and eye creams. In the evening, growth factor (bio serum), eye creams, and retinol.
- Hydrate: Morning and night.
- Protect from Sun: SPF in the morning only.
Many of the products I use in the morning are re-used at night. I travel with all of these products, but if I had to take only three to a desert island, I would choose my cleanser, my moisturizer, and my sunscreen. If given a fourth, my retinol.
Investing Time and Energy
In most areas of my life I am a proponent of simplicity, but skincare is an exception. My husband laughs at the number of products I use, but I guess I’m just used to it. While it may seem extensive, it takes me less than 5 minutes morning and night. I think skin is worth investing in as we are able, just like we would invest in a nice pair of jeans, a beautiful painting, an anniversary trip, or a beloved handbag.
Note: I did not start from square one with these products; they were added in over several years. Just like a house, I started with a foundation (cleanser, moisturizer, SPF) and built up (treatments, retinol, PRP, etc.) over time and as my finances allowed.
My Thoughts on OTC Products
Most of the products I use can’t be found at places like Sephora, Ulta, or other over-the-counter beauty stores. As I’ve grown in my understanding of skin, I’ve learned that products created by doctors make all the difference. They will have an impact on your skin’s appearance in 10, 20, or 30 years, rather than simply make it feel good.
That being said, I do keep a close eye on the market as well as what other people are recommending, but I generally try to avoid hype over new product lines. If I see something OTC I want to try, I always check with my aesthetician.
General Skincare Tips
My first piece of advice, as mentioned earlier, is to view your skin as a long-term investment! There’s no quick fix. In the same way that we can’t expect a 10 day diet to drastically change our bodies, an inconsistent routine of over-the-counter products will not produce the results we want. Achieving healthy skin is a lot like building a healthy body; we drink water, move more, eat healthfully, and the results will inevitably show with months or years of effort. As so with skincare.
Beyond seeking out the guidance of an aesthetician, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to see results:
- Hydrate: Drinking water throughout the day is crucial. Water has the most value for our skin when it is included in what we drink and the foods we consume.
- Go Makeup Free: Wash your face at night or immediately after an event for which you’ve worn more makeup than usual. Now that my skin is clear, I only wear mascara, blush, and a bit of under eye concealer most days of the week. I save my full makeup days for our date nights, the weekends, or other social events. I believe letting my skin breathe the majority of the week has made a huge impact on its clarity.
- Sleep: Now that I pay more attention, I notice the difference in my skin between a restful 8 hours of sleep and 5 or 6 hours of sleep. Night is when our body repairs, and we should give it proper time to do so.
What are your favorite skincare products? Do you see an aesthetician you love? Let me know in the comments.