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Posted on Feb 2, 2012 in Dear Diary | 34 comments

Skin Care

Happy Vampire Diaries Day Thursday, everyone! I hope that you’re making it through the week relatively unscathed. I’m continuing to fight off a cold that I REFUSE to give into. Here’s hoping that the 10 gallons of Airborne-infused water I’ve been consuming doesn’t affect next week’s weigh-in, haha.

So given that I recently spent time detailing how eating poorly wrecks my face, I thought it might be interesting to talk about skin care. I would say something about how I’ve received questions on my skin care routine from readers to make this seems slightly less self-indulgent, but while make-up questions have indeed been issued (for which I’m flattered!), face wash-related ones have not. Regardless, it’s my blog and I can write what I want to, so here we are. 😉


As I did mention in the other post, I actually have been pretty lucky when it comes to my skin. Growing up, I never had to deal with really terrible acne, just a pimple or two that would pop up here and there. Nowadays I mostly deal with small bumps and redness issues and my skincare routine is pretty low-key. That said, I am a total sucker when it comes to beauty products (seriously, I have to give all the kiosks in the mall a wide berth, because if they suck me in I know I’m going home with an ion hair straightener or nail buffing kit), so I’m constantly trying new things (cleansers! serums! scrubs! lotions!) and reevaluating out what I like using best. So here’s what I like best for now!

To preface this, I should probably state that I have fairly normal skin (slightly oily t-zone, slightly dry cheeks) that strays to the sensitive side.

Face wash: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. This cleanser was recommended to me by a salesperson at Sephora, and I am in love with it. It’s pretty expensive ($38 for a full sized bottle, or $15 for a small) but I can’t help it. I’m addicted. And considering I use it twice a day on my precious, precious face (haahahahaha), I think it’s worth it. It’s a gel-type cleanser that does lather slightly, but is super gentle. It has a vague cucumber scent, so while it’s not mentholated or anything, it does have a slight cooling sensation. I also love it because it’s a pretty fantastic make-up remover on its own. I do have a separate eye makeup remover for the rare occasion I get all fancied up, but most days I don’t use anything else to take off my makeup.

Exfoliator: Clarisonic Mia. I purchased the Clarisonic Mia after reading about it in a magazine and getting totally swept up in the hype. It’s a significant purchase (they run about $100+) but it is a machine, after all. I use it about once a week/when I remember to exfoliate (I should probably be utilizing it more often, but oh well) and my skin always feels so soft and refreshed. The Fresh face wash works really well with it, which is another reason why I like it so much. I distinctly remember making a baby’s bottom comparison right after the first time I used the Mia. Smooooooooooooth.

Moisturizer: Fresh Soy Face Cream. During the winter, I moisturize after washing my face both in the morning and at night. During the summer, I tend to only moisturize at night (if at all) since my face gets greasier much more easily. Right now I use the cream that Fresh makes, but I’m not as obsessed with it as I am with the cleanser. I don’t love the smell (refreshing as a cleanser but cloying as a lotion), and while it doesn’t cause me to breakout or anything, I just feel like it’s not the best value. I use it right now because I’ve gotten mini bottles of it when I buy the cleanser. I’d be happy to take your moisturizer recommendations!

Eye cream: Mary Kay Indulge Soothing Eye Gel. I’ve been to a few Mary Kay parties (even hosted one!) over the past year, and I always have so much fun primping and feeling girly. Of course, I always have so much regret after I realize I’ve purchased even more beauty products that I probably don’t need. I was glad to have discovered this one though! I don’t use it as regularly as I probably should, but this eye gel is awesome. I dab it on before bed sometimes and it soothes and relaxes, or dab it on in the morning to help de-puff my sleep-deprived eyes. They say that for even more cooling benefits you can keep it in the refrigerator, but I know if I did that I would never use it (also, I would probably inadvertently eat it.)

So there you have it! The four little products that help keep my face, uh, clean. And stuff. I’m super interested in this stuff, so I’d to hear all about your favorite tried-and-true products, too!

What does your skin care routine entail?


  1. I love trying new skincare and makeup too, so I’m glad you posted about it! My skin is very similar to yours except even more sensitive, and I have rosacea. What I just recently started doing is oil cleansing. If you have never tried it, you should try it at least once! All the details are in this blog post I found – http://www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2011/02/23/homemade-facewash/

    I tried it using olive oil and castor oil, and it works great. Somehow it normalizes the oily areas and moisturizes the dry areas so that it’s all even. The castor oil has no smell which was my biggest concern. And it was suuuuper cheap. Less than $3 for the castor oil and another $1 to get a little bottle to put it in.

    For moisturizer, I like Clinique’s Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream. Not cheap, but a nice moisturizer that doesn’t irritate or make me breakout. You could probably get a sample at Sephora or the Clinique counter. 🙂

    Have you ever tried a BB cream? They are everywhere now, and I’m dying to try one, but also hesitant since my skin seems happy with what I’m currently doing.

    • I have Rosacea too! Or at least I had it. I can’t tell you exactly what made it go away, though I think it has a lot to do with quitting smoking. It came on suddenly, and left suddenly. I still have very sensitive skin and sometimes minor redness, but nothing near the problems I was having. I use Berts Bees and LOVE it! I have the cotton face cream and the sensitive skin wash and they are both the best things that I have ever used. And I have tried just about everything.

  2. Just so everyone knows, they’re putting a Kiehl’s store in Tyson’s next to Banana Republic…exciting!

  3. I’m the same way about skin care/beauty products — I’m just a girl who can’t say no. Heh.

    As far as moisturizers go, I love Clinique. I’ve used their moisture surge extra (it’s like a gel) a lot over the years. I love that I can use as much as I need and it makes my skin SO SOFT. It’s probably my favorite moisturizer that I’ve ever used, but it doesn’t have SPF, so I don’t rely on it. Right now I’m using one of their “youth surge” moisturizers (because I am an old biddy in her 30s 🙂 ). I find all their products to be very high quality and they just seem to agree with my skin. I would recommend Clinique to anyone. I bet you can get some samples to see how they work with your skin!

    Facial cleansers are where I am still searching for my true love, though. I’ll have to try that Fresh stuff, it sounds really great! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I don’t think I’ve had clear skin since I was a baby. Seriously. It was kind of bad when I was a teenager, but I was pretty fortunate considering how bad some of my friend’s skin problems were. But as an adult, it still hasn’t completely cleared to the milky, smooth complexion I assumed all adults magically woke up with the day they turned 25 (I was SO disappointed). I blame a lot of it on my constantly running, but I always usually have a pimple. Luckily, my neck/chin line are the only place I really break out anymore, but still … I’d prefer NOT to if given the choice. Right after Christmas this year I took some cash I received as a gift and skipped over to the mall determined to try a “real” skin care line of products that didn’t come from Wal-Mart or Target. I ended up getting a 3-step Clinique system that only ran me about $60 for the whole set (kind of pricy considering I used to buy a $4 bottle of cleanser, but you can’t put a price on lovely skin). And I LOVE it! My skin cleared up in about 2 weeks and it is SO SMOOTH. It’s wonderful. I make my hubby rub my face all the time so he can see for himself, too! I love, LOVE the moisturizer because it does not make your skin greasy and does not cause breakouts. It’s called “Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel” and I have it for Type 3 (oily/combination) skin.

    Love your posts! Love talking about beauty products! 🙂

    • Amen to this!: “But as an adult, it still hasn’t completely cleared to the milky, smooth complexion I assumed all adults magically woke up with the day they turned 25 (I was SO disappointed).”

  5. I have similar skin to you as well. While I love trying different makeups, I’ve been very true to my skincare (I think around 15 years). I use Clean & Clear Deep Cream Cleanser on my face (because I am secretly 15) and Pond’s moisturizer at least once a day. I actually just branched out and bought an Aveeno face wash. I think the Clean and Clear is too much cleanser for my skin during the winter. The Pond’s moisturizer is super thick, so it’s great for winter, but I think I will branch out into a thinner formula for summer. On my body, I use the lotion that is on sale and for extra dry skin. On my hands, I use an intensive Vaseline lotion. I live in Colorado where it is super dry and my poor hands suffer.

    • Oh mannnn, I used that Clean & Clear cleanser religiously when I was a teenager — so tingly. But I agree, it’s too harsh on my skin these days, especially in the winter months.

  6. Egg white. Cornmeal masks. Kinda messy but suuuuuper smooth afterwards. And cheap!

  7. Love love love love my Clarisonic Mia! Best purchase I have ever made. I use it every morning in the shower, and my skin has not been better. And trust me – I had some CRAPPY skin.

    I find that I just use whatever face wash is on sale – probably not the best logic. Should really start looking for something better!

    Great post.

    • So with the Mia, do you have to buy a special wash to use with it, or you just use the machine and that’s it?

      • I use the Fresh cleanser with it. I dab a little bit straight onto the brush head and then go to town!

      • Great question! I add a dollap of whatever face wash I have on hand directly to the brush head – and then let the Mia do its magic. I actually remember really liking the trial size face wash that came in my Mia kit, but never went back to Sephora and bought a bigger bottle. Pretty sure you should stay away from an exfoliating face wash, though…I imagine the little beads could “gunk” up the brush heads. Does that help?

        • Yes! Thank you Amy and Gretchen! I watch QVC like it’s my job and I’ve seen them raving about this on there all the time… but to hear real people’s reactions to it is inspiring me to get one… b/c I still have acne like a teenager and I could see this really helping! Thank you both! Great post Gretch!

          • Yes! I had terrible ance from 5th grade to age 24. My aunt RAVED about the Mia to me, and I decided to bite the bullet and spend the money. For me it has honestly been the best product I have ever used on my skin (and trust me…I have used a lot!) Good luck!

  8. I too spend way too much on beauty and skincare products! Every time I go to the pharmacy I end up buying some new product that I don’t need. I have a fairly oily t-zone, but prone to dryness on the rest of my face, and feel better off with gentle products. With regards to moisturiser, after reading numerous rave reviews I caved and bought Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentrè. Seriously the best product I have ever bought! It’s a primer, cleanser and very pure moisturiser rolled into one – and it lasts aaages. Unfortunately, in the UK it’s pretty hard to come by so I have to get my brother to buy it on business trips to Paris (it’s widely sold in French pharmacies), but in the US you can buy it on Amazon. At $25 a pop it’s not the cheapest, but like I said, it lasts forever!

    My favourite face wash is Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula Foaming Cleansing Wash, because it’s pure, gentle and has no scent. Unfortunately all the shops seem to have stopped selling them so I need to find an alternative – if we had Sephora over here I would gladly try the Fresh one. As for make-up remover, I use Kiehl’s Supremely Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover</a. Works like a charm!

    • Eep, it would appear my HTML programming skills went awry…

  9. I totally do not have a skin care routine.. eek. I should, but I don’t.. call it laziness I guess?!

  10. My skincare routine is this:

    • Consistently sleep in my makeup
    • Rarely take showers after a workout
    • Never wash my face
    • Never use sunscreen
    • Use whatever lotion is around whenever it feels dry

    I take such terrible care of my skin. It’s going to catch up to me someday. And probably really soon. But I think the insane amounts of water and veggies I consume help to counteract my total skincare laziness. Maybe I should put on my big girl panties and buy some of the products you recommend. 😛

    • Hahahahaha. I am really bad atbout wearing sunscreen, and I think that’s probably going to be something that catches up with me too. Eep!

  11. I got a Clarisonic Mia for Christmas and I LOVE it! My skin feels so smooth and clean afterward. I’m convinced it removes my makeup and gets rid of more grime than anything I’ve used before. I had a bad breakout after I started using it, but it’s clearing up now…I’m convinced it was just bringing yucky stuff up to the surface? And maybe now I’ll be good to go? We’ll see!

    • I’ve heard that can happen the first time. Also I’m bad about cleaning the brush head but I’m sure that makes a huge difference too. Regardless, it is SUCH an awesome smoothing experience!

  12. I am Mary Kay all the way! My favorite product is the micro-derm set-kinda like your Mia but without the machine! Makes my skin feel AMAZING!!!

    • Would you judge me if I told you I actually have that too? Hahahaha

      • You know I wouldn’t! I probably have at least one of everything they make…

  13. I am really impressed by your routine and products and am embarrassed to say that I put no effort into my skincare. I really wish I had started investing more in it during my 20s, and I’d probably have less lines and wrinkles (!!) now.
    I also really want to start getting facials. I can’t believe I’ve never had one!

  14. I stopped using anything on my face. Usually I just wash it with water. Sometimes a little hand soap if I’m wearing make-up. If it gets dry I’ll put on moisturizer but for the most part I go without anything.
    Products started to get really expensive and I realized they weren’t doing anything for my face anyway. My acne is caused by diet and hormones and nothing topical was ever able to fix that.

  15. I love trying new skincare products as well. I’m currently on a quest to find the perfect foundation – you wouldn’t believe how many I’ve tried, and I have yet to find it!

  16. I am in LOVE with The Body Shop’s Nutriganics Facial moisturizer I have both the night and day version and I love them, they are light and just barely scented. Not totally cheap ($38/each) but Body Shop ALWAYS has a ton of sales and I snagged mine on a ‘any 3 items for $30’ sale.

    I would highly recommend them, I have dry/oily skin. I know that doesn’t sound like it makes sense, but when I get out of the shower or its cold, my face is ridiculously dry, but during the day it gets oily right quick.

    I also adore the body butter’s from The Body Shop. So silky and thick and work so well!

  17. My face is picky, especially since my psoriasis decided that it was fair game to took up the task of making red flaky patches appear at random. But I seem to do well cleanser wise either with a gentle one from Biore (I use the self-foaming cleanser right now) or just the Dove beauty bar (especially if my psoriasis is flaring. Any other kind of cleanser just makes it so much worse) and occasionally exfoliating with the good ol’ St. Ives’ Apricot scrub.

    And I LOVE the Mary Kay eye gel. It’s so soothing after long days of staring at screens at work. And stickering over 2000 items, having to read the tiny tiny print on the sticker to see what it goes on. Sigh.

  18. I really need to start taking better care of my skin- more often than not, I usually just splash some water on my face in the morning [if I’m taking a shower later] and will wash my face in the shower and sometimes I’ll use a little lotion if my face is dry… But one of my long-time, product that I swear by is “Drying Lotion” by Mario Badescu- put a dab on a pimple at night and the next morning it is gone!!!

  19. I love finding out what people do for their skin. Mine is pretty low key too but the one product that I absolutely LOVE and recommend to everyone is Dior HydraLife eye cream. It’s a miracle worker I tell you!!! 🙂

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