Current Favorites: Skincare & Routine

Lately, my skin has been in it's best condition since before I hit puberty. With everyday wear and tear of applying, removing and reapplying makeup, sweating and sun exposure, touching my face with dirty hands and phones and natural oils, your skin is probably just as exhausted as mine. I've recently found that taking just that little bit of extra time to dedicate some love to my face has really proven a huge difference in how my skin feels, and as a result, how my makeup looks (as well as how much I really need. I haven't used concealer for anything except under my eyes in weeks!) That being said, I have splurged a little bit more lately on what products I am using to keep my face looking healthy and blemish free, but that may not always be necessary for you to do. These are just the products I have picked up and have been trying out lately. What works for me may not work for you. We all have different skin types but luckily, I think most of these products would be effective across the board.

1. Clarisonic Mia 2 -  ($150) This is a newer purchase for me, I have been using it for a little over a month now. I personally don't have huge breakouts often, just the common blemish here and there around that girly time. But I have always had an issue with clogged pores and little uneven bumps, especially around my jaw and chin line. This Clarisonic really has diminished those little bacteria clogged areas, almost completely at this point. My skin no longer has annoying little bumps and pimples around my chin, and I've even noticed my pores seem to be visibly smaller in problem areas like on my cheeks, etc. I am currently working with the sensitive head brush, which is just fine for my skin type. They do make ones designed specifically for acne, deep pores and even body brushes. I was amazed (and disgusted) to see after I removed my makeup and washed my face as I normally do, how much residue and makeup was still on my skin after following up with the Clarisonic. It really deep cleans and removes all the bad stuff left on your face. *I did notice a bit more of a breakout here and there for the first week or so, probably because this is such a deep down intense cleaning system, that my skin wasn't used to. So beware, but don't give up. This is a common occurrence for many users.* I use the Mia2 on average once a day, that works best for my routine.

2. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads - ($14/28 pads, $30/60 pads) Described as a gentle daily renewal treatment, these face pads are said to "contain just the right amount of lactic and glycolic acids to make them safe and effective for daily use. Cucumber and Indian gooseberry tone the face, while lemon peel and licorice root leave the skin bright and glowing. First Aid Beauty's facial radiance pads are free of harsh chemicals and colorants." I will say, I do NOT like the smell of these, but it isn't so prominent that I can't get past it (not like the Bare Minerals night serum, blech). But I really have enjoyed these for a quick face refresher, I use them in the morning or even after washing my face at night. My skin seems tighter and brighter and they also have an exfoliating surface which seems to have helped a bit with my dry spots. A bit pricey but they seem really handy and nice to me.

3. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream - ($12/2 oz., $28/6 oz.) Now, I am always trying out new moisturizers because I have prominently dry skin, so I got the smaller size of this product to try out. But I enjoy this nonetheless, although I wouldn't say it's really a huge stand out product to me in terms of moisturizers. I haven't found one yet that I am completely in love with, to be honest. It has a nice whipped consistency, but does feel a little thick, you only need a pea-sized amount to go a long way. If you have oily skin I would say this probably isn't for you, as it could come off a bit greasy, but I don't have an issue with that. It's described as "a thick, rich, emollient product that hydrates deep down with exceptional penetration. This cream is for anyone with severely dry, scaly skin due to harsh winter weather, aggressive cosmetic treatments, or any of the following conditions: atopic dermatitis, irritant eczema, allergic eczema, and keratosis pilaris. With the help of colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, soothing eucalyptus oil, and ceramides." Now, I do not have any diagnosed skin conditions, but as I said, I usually have super dry and sometimes flaking skin around my nose and chin, especially in these brutal winters. This lotion seems to soak up instantly into my skin, and no peely gross patches are left on my face or visible through makeup! Viola.

4. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser - ($20/5 oz.)  A cleanser similar to any other, but then again I am not super impressed with any face wash I've used. I found the consistency close to that of Cetaphil, a whipped and shiny type of look, that lathers up pretty nicely used with your hands or your Clarisonic. It seemed a bit light for my typical cleanser preference, but it does the trick to remove makeup and get my skin squeaky clean. The good thing I liked about this cleanser is that it's pH balanced and really did seem to calm down any flare-ups of redness or irritation I have.

5. Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser - ($28/5 oz.) This is literally a BLACK gel cleanser. A little scary at first look, especially when washing your makeup off, the foam is black and bubbly and weird. But it is warming, gentle, smooth and lathers up nicely. The smell is a strong peppery scent, that I don't mind but it does take some getting used to. I don't notice this drying out my skin, and I really do enjoy the intense warming sensation. Sounds sexy, I know.

6. Murad Hydrating Toner - ($27/6 oz.) I've only used one other toner before this, so I am not exactly the toner expert. I just never thought it was necessary to incorporate to my beauty regime. Now, I still don't think it's a 100% needed product, but it does have it's benefits for sure, and you can definitely get a cheaper version with the same effects. I spray it on as a mist, and let it soak into my skin, where it seems to refresh and rehydrate my face all around, after washing it or before applying makeup. I use the toner before applying my moisturizer and it really seems to lock in the moisture and leave my skin looking supple and healthy. This also has a pretty lovely smell to it. I purchased this in September and I still have over 60% of product left.

7. Origins Drink Up Mask - ($24/3.4 oz.) - This is like a thick, super super thick moisturizer, that goes on heavy and white, and rubs in smoothly to your whole face. It is a bit sticky and you will need to rinse your hands after applying it, but it doesn't bother me while it's on my face. The color clears up and it absorbs quickly, just remaining shiny on the surface. The scent is plesant, and it really super-hydrates dried out skin. It's almost too intense to put all over your whole face as a normal mask would be, and it doesn't dry up like most masks either. It stays moist until you rinse it off. I sometimes just use it really sparingly in trouble areas, and although it says 10 minutes, I want to sleep with this on! It makes my skin so juicy and smooth, it's like youth's elixir in a bottle.  

A little picture of my naked skin fresh out of the shower! Looks pretty even, eh? Next up on my wishlist is the GlamGlow ThirstyMud Masque! It's quite pricey but I've heard such good things. What are your skincare favorites? Do you want to try any of these products now? 

xx Chelsea | instagram | twitter | tumblr

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