I like to follow a Keep-It-Simple-Stupid formula for my skincare routine. There's no way I'm going to maintain a regimen with 5,011 products and 21 steps. I like to believe most of us want clear skin without the bells, barrettes, and glitter. Now, as a disclaimer, I don't have problem skin but it can be pretty sensitive to various chemicals when trying new products. This means I have to keep products to a minimum and stick with the tried and true. For that reason, I use this routine for both day and night. This isn't meant to replace medical advice for skincare. It may help someone looking to build a basic routine without expensive serums and masks or a college student on a budget.
Step I: Face Wash + Exfoliation
Currently, I'm using an inexpensive face wash I bought at Dollar General from the Studio Selection brand. I bought it while traveling in Nashville, TN for an internship. I didn't want to buy my regular products and possibly have to throw them away at the airport. If it weren't for that I'd be using the Cetaphil Foaming Cleanser for around $10. Once I finish the current cleanser, I'll go back to this product. There are two alternatives I use for exfoliating with face wash: i) Clio Facial Cleansing System, ii) Beauty 360 Ergonomic Facial Scrubbers. I found the Clio facial brush for $8 at Walmart and the Beauty 360 scrubbing pads at Target for around $5. You may be able to find the Beauty 360 pads at CVS or on Amazon. The Clio Facial Cleansing System comes with two spin brushes, one for normal skin and one for sensitive skin. When I'm out of batteries for the Clio, I use the silicone scrubbers and I won't have to worry about harboring bacteria. Typically, I wash my face twice a day for a 60-90 seconds with the sensitive brush. If I'm in a rush in the morning, I'll just mist, oil, and moisturize then wash my face before bed.
Step II: Astringent or Witch Hazel
This may be a skincare no-no for some folks since astringent can strip the skin of its natural oils. I do it anyway because it works for me. Currently, I have the Sensitive Skin Astringent from Dollar General for about $3. I use this with cotton rounds right after washing my face to remove any residual dirt. You could also use Witch Hazel for this step.
Step III: Rosehip Oil
I attribute my lack of acne scarring to this gem. After researching different oils and their properties, I came across rosehip oil for moisture and scar reduction. Currently, I ordered mine from Radha Beauty for $15 on Amazon. It's the most expensive product on this list but it's well worth the price. I've had it since July 5th and there's still half a bottle left. This product is supposed to be 100% pure, organic, and cold pressed. It comes in a dark blue glass bottle and the oil has an orange tint with a slight earthy scent. It also comes with a dropper. This oil has been the best one I've used on my face since the whole coconut oil craze. Using the dropper, I use 2 drops of product once my skin dries from the astringent (or witch hazel). It has the perfect density to be absorbed into the skin instead of sitting on top or nearly disappearing. I give it a 10 out of 10.
Step IV: Moisturizer + SPF
I make sure my daily moisturizers have SPF in them so I don't have to worry about buying an extra product. I have to strategically avoid becoming a product junkie. It's also against the K-I-S-S formula. I like to use the Cetaphil Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF 15 after using the rosehip oil. You'll only need half a pump since the rosehip oil will help the product spread evenly. This product is also for all skin types so no worries there.
I) Don't pick or pop pimples. Let them be. It's like trying to take Tussin to cure a viral respiratory infection. It'll make you feel better but it just has to run its course.
II) Use products with SPF last. Look at them as a barrier. Once you massage other products into your skin on top of the SPF layer, you're rendering the effects almost useless.
III) Bring your moisturizers, oils, and SPF down to your neck. You wouldn't step out the house without your foundation matching your neck, would you? Need I say more? Trust, when signs of aging come you would have wished you reconsidered.
IV) Use a misting spray for days you have to run out the door. When I'm late and need to skip a couple of steps, I spray my face with the Happy and Hydrated On-The-Go-Mist with Aloe and Cucumber from the Jean Pierre Cosmetics brand. I got it from Five Below for $3. That's a steal compared to the $10+ listings online. I cannot resist a sale! I mist this on my face before using my rosehip oil and moisturizer. Rosewater spray may be a good alternative but I have yet to try it out. Also, no astringent will be necessary on these mornings. It'll have to wait until I repeat the process at night.
There you have it. A bare-bones skincare routine with less than 10 products and tools. When I get an adult job with adult benefits I'll look more into holistic skincare routines with 5,011 products. But for right now? These are the products I'm rocking with.
I want to know your favorites. What are your skincare staples? What products for sensitive skin would you like me to review? Comment below!