On Sunday afternoon I posted about my favorite makeup products I used or discovered in 2016. So, today I decided to compile the best skincare products I came into contact with last year. I’ve been wanting to write my skincare routine for a while, but I switch up products so often that it would have been a mess to explain. Instead, I am going to lay out my favorite products in the categories of makeup removers, cleansers, masks, exfoliators, moisturizers, and lip treatments.
Before I get into this post I think it is only fair to explain my skin. I have naturally dry skin that tends to be acne prone due to hormones and environmental factors. Because I have Endometriosis, if my hormones shift it is visible on my chin, cheeks, and forehead before I feel it in the rest of my body. When I travel up and down California (which I do a lot) I tend to get breakouts due to temperature shifts, humidity, and smog. I am also an avid equestrian which means my skin gets caked with the lovely combination of dirt and sweat (sometimes even the horses). Basically, it is important for me to keep my skin as clean as possible to protect it from getting clogged under my dry skin.
Over the past six months I finally feel like I have gotten control of my skin through using these products. I still get a break out or two a month, but it is much better than the texture and small bouts of cystic acne I used to get. I hope if you have similar problems this post may be able to point you in the right direction to save your skin.
Towels – The Honest Company 3 in 1 Facial Towelettes $6
I always have at least one package of makeup removing towels on hand for when I’m either tired or traveling. I had been loyal to a different brand, but one day at Costco they were selling big boxes of The Honest Company ‘3 in 1 Facial Towelettes’. I decided to give them a shot and now of course, I am obsessed. I can easily remove a full face of makeup with just one towel, and it doesn’t leave any type of sticky residue on my skin. If I’m exhausted and I don’t want to use a cleanser, I will just use two wipes and when I wake up I am still break out free. Plus I love that this packaging has a plastic lid because it keeps the towelettes from getting dried out (like other brands).
Oil – Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil $28
On the other hand, when I’m at home, have a little more time on my hands, or just have really dirty skin I use a cleansing oil. My favorite is the ‘Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil’ from Clinique. I bought this through recommendation from a Sephora employee. I get two pumps, smear it all over my skin, add a little water, and my makeup literally melts off.
Not only is this great for your skin, but I’ve found it makes an excellent brush cleanser. I put a few pumps in a bowl, smear the brush around, then I put it under the faucet and all the residual makeup pours out.
Body – Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Body Wash ‘Nourishing Coconut’ $8
When it comes to body wash, they tend to always dry me out. I always tend to pick the ones in pretty packages, that have bold and beautiful scents. Then of course I step out of the shower with tight skin. I picked up the Aveeno ‘Skin Relief Gentle Scent Body Wash’ on a quick trip into Target. I loved it because it had the same soft realistic coconut scent of my favorite moisturizer (later in this post). When I step out of the shower my skin feels clean, soft, and very hydrated.
Cleanser – Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Acne Treatment Cleanser $22
In my routine the Philosophy ‘Clear Days Ahead’ cleanser is an oldie, but a goodie. I’ve been using this cleanser for a couple years now, but it’s always a favorite I constantly repurchase. I love it because one pump cleanses my skin beautifully with or without my Clairsonic. It’s the only gel-like acne cleanser I have ever used that does not dry out my skin. After using this product my skin feels squeaky clean.
Detoxifying – Derma-e Dailey Detox Scrub $16
Derma-e is a brand I discovered over the summer when I was gifted a good portion of their collection. A stand out product to me was the ‘Daily Detox Scrub’. I don’t believe this should be considered an exfoliator because truthfully the little balls that make it a “scrub” do nothing for my skin. However, it does help shrink my pores, wash out anything clogging them, and it helps protect my skin from environmental factors. When my skin is on the dryer side I will opt for this product because of its creamy texture over the cleanser above.
Purifying – Derma-e Purifying 2 in 1 Charcoal Mask $20
I’m a sucker for a great charcoal mask, and this one takes the gold. It is formulated with Activated Charcoal and Marine Algae. It’s a kind of bluish-gray shade with small sandy exfoliants. It dries down onto your skin, then as you rinse it off in circular motions you can feel the texture gently removing any dry patches. I will also use it as a spot treatment as well on white-heads because it dries them out quickly without being as rough as an actual spot treatment.
Polishing – Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask $58
I recently wrote a post about a Peter Thomas Roth mask gift set I purchased and I reviewed each mask inside (click here to read), so I’m going to keep this short. If you would have told me the pumpkin mask would have been my favorite, I would have laugh in your face (thats how much I hate pumpkin). Silly me.
This mask is great because you can feel it working the second you put it on. It does burn slightly, but to me that usually means the product is working. As you remove it (like with the Derma-e mask) you can feel it exfoliating. When I take it off my skin feels insanely clean and fresh. If I could use it every night I would.
Hydrating – Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask $52
Now, if you read the post I liked above about these masks you’ll know this was the one I had lowest on my totem pole. With more use I have really learned to love this product. When my breakouts are beginning to disappear, I am left with dry patches and hyper pigmentation. I use this mask to help the cell turnover on my face. It will help relieve my dry skin as well as aid in removing dark spots quicker than whitening treatments I’ve tried.
Just like with the body wash, I love the scent of this coconut Aveeno ‘Skin Relief Gentle Scent Lotion’. This is a lightweight moisturizer that goes on smoothy, dries quickly, and keeps my skin healthy, and hydrated all day. The fragrance is very minimal too, so although it is enjoyable it does not interfere with my perfume.
Everyday – Soap & Glory Beauty Sleep Accelerator $18
Over the summer the next moisturizer I am going to talk about became too much, so I replaced it with a slightly lighter formula from Soap & Glory. The ‘Beauty Sleep Accelerator’ is marketed as a moisturizing product for night and flights however I think it’s lovely for everyday. The formula is thick and creamy, but it melts into your skin without leaving residue. Up until we started getting cold and rainy weather here in California it made for the perfect face lotion and I will absolutely go back to it once the weather warms up again.
Intense – Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance $66
For me the Dermalogica ‘Intensive Moisture Balance’ is a ride or die product. Although it’s a splurge I always hate paying, I am never disappointed by the results. The product itself is not overly heavy, but it hydrates like no other. It is also noncomedogenic so it won’t clog your pores like many hard core moisturizers do. I can also wear it under my makeup without it changing the texture or color of my foundation.
Body – Tree Hut Lychee & Plum Shea Sugar Scrub $8
I’m going to try to keep this one short and sweet. I’ve used Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrubs for years. They are great, inexpensive and get the job done. They are an incredibly fine exfoliator in a thick gel base that removes any dry skin while also leaving skin smooth and hydrated. This year I discovered the scent ‘Lychee & Plum’. Girl, let me tell you… I want to eat this scrub.
Face – Lush Cup O’ Coffee Mask $20
Again, lets keep it brief. The Lush Cosmetics ‘Cup O’ Coffee Mask’ is a game changer. Not only does the scent wake you right up, it manages to exfoliate without irritating my skin. I believe the caffeine in the coffee grounds help to wake up and bring life into my skin. I use this almost every time I apply a full face of makeup and it smooths my skin flawlessly. The large jar lasts about 6 months for me (using it 3 or 4 times a week). It’s just fan-freaking-tastic.
Scrub – Lush Lip Scrub ‘Bubblegum’ $11
Let’s say it again for anyone who hasn’t gathered it yet… I HAVE DRY SKIN. That dryness includes my lips and just like everything else, they need to be exfoliated. My favorite method is through the Lush Lip Scrub. I currently am using the ‘Bubblegum’ flavor, and it is delicious. Whenever I notice I’m getting a little chapped (or before lipstick, lets be real) I apply this to my lips and gently rub side to side. It easily pulls up any dead skin and makes my lips look full and smooth. If you’re not into bubblegum, they have many other flavors to choose from (next time I’m getting Mint Julep).
Balm – Burt’s Bees Lip Balm ‘Bees Wax’ $3
If you don’t have a Burt’s Bees lip balm, are you really living? I swear I own at least 10 of these little guys in the original ‘Bees Wax’ that I stash in my handbags, car, vanity, bathroom drawer, and of course my nightstand. Needless to say, you can’t beat it. I’ve tried the other flavors, but they don’t have the tingly peppermint extract that I love so much about this product. The peppermint flavoring makes it feel refreshing on my lips and the formula itself keeps my lips plump.
Treatment – Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ‘Clear’ $26
The last thing I do before I go to bed you ask? Apply my Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask of course! This is the thickest balm ever, but it keeps my lips from getting dried out and chapped overnight. I’m currently on my second tube of it because you literally need the tinniest drop of this product at a time. I had the first tube for over a year, and only had to replace it because the packaging tore. It’s a great investment for any lipstick junkie to keep you from looking crusty.