Whenever I thought of California, I thought of sun-kissed skin freshly exfoliated by the sand and sent home glowing. What I conveniently failed to consider was the possibility of sunburns, peeling, and drier-than-desert dry skin that ultimately led to breakouts. In the past three months, I’ve had to do a total overhaul of my skincare routine to work with my new surroundings. While it’s taken a while to figure out what works for me, it’s also been kind of fun playing with new products (it’s the beauty junkie in me).
Elta MD Facial Cleanser: This face wash is a pretty basic oil and soap free solution that has become a staple of mine. I’m not a fan of foaming cleansers (*fist bumps my oily-skinned friends*) as they tend to dry out my skin and only end up producing more oil to make up for it. As fun as it is sudsing up and making Abe Lincoln foam beards, the damage it does to your skin isn’t worth it. The Elta MD Facial Cleanser gets about 90% of my makeup off with 1 lather, which is pretty darn impressive for a gentle face wash like this.
Drugstore dupe: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads 20%: If you have never used glycolic acid anything on your face, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT start with 20%. You will most likely end up melting your face off. I’ve always played with different glycolic acid products over the years and loved the results. Brown spots, acne, wrinkles, large pores, oily skin – hey hey, BYE BYE BYE. (Admit it, you just sang that in a Justin Timberlake voice.) Anyways, I honestly don’t know why I stopped using it. Glycolic acid is perfect for unclogging pores, speeding up cell turnover and removing dead skin.
Last winter, I got sucked into the Retinol trend and was somewhat pleased with how the texture of my skin was changing. Until I moved out here and my brand new $60 tube of La-Roche Posay Redermic R became about as effective as slathering on old mayo on my face. Clogged pores, breakouts in places I never broke-out before – you name it, it was happening. At the end of the line and running out of hope, I ordered these treatment pads. I won’t lie to you – the first night I used these, my face was covered in red blotches and burning like I have nothing I have ever felt before. For a second there, I honestly thought, “Sh!t, this is it, I’ve really ****** my face this time.” I don’t know if I just fell asleep or my body shut down and went into shock, but I woke up pleasantly surprised. No more blotches, no more itching. My skin glowed. That under the skin bump that was plotting a surprise appearance shrunk down to nothing. It did take me at least 3 nights of consistent use before the intense burning went away and from time to time, I do get a sting here or there, but these will forever be in my medicine cabinet. If you are interested in experimenting with glycolic acid, start with a lower percentage (2% – 5%) and work your way up. Don’t go full on balls-to-the-walls because you WILL be sorry.
Drugstore dupe: Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads
L’Oreal Advanced Revitalift Eye Cream: Honestly, I have never squinted so much in my life, which I actually consider a good thing (GIVE ME ALL THE SUNSHINE). The not-so-good thing about squinting is it quickly leads to wrinkles, crows feet, and other issues. I decided to try out an eye cream by L’Oreal after spotting one of their products (I’m a cabinet snooper, guilty as charged) in my friends bathroom and wanted to see what else they had to offer. I chose to go with the Revitalift eye cream, even though the target demographic is women 40+. I’ve always struggled with bags under my eyes. If I had a dollar for every time I heard “You look so tired today”… (*insert eye roll here*). Anyways, this stuff is the only thing that has ever made somewhat of a dent in de-puffing my eyes. I am in no way saying that I am completely baggage free, but at least it’s been reduced to a “carry-on” level and that works for me.
All in all, these three products have made a HUGE difference in the disaster that began as soon as I stepped off the plane. I do use other treatments such as masks, special creams for nights when I’m feeling extra fancy, along with a crazy amount of sun protection lotions for both my face and body. If you are interested in learning more about those, I plan to do a follow-up post in the future on my favorite sunscreens I’ve tried this year.
Do you have a “ride or die” skin care product that you can’t live without? Leave it in a comment below so I pick it up on my next Ulta binge!