BY LAURA H. (@GLOWPURSUIT)
As someone who is ridiculously obsessed with skincare and self-care; I always get asked the following: "why do I have so many products?" (Let me live!) What I use on a daily basis, and what products I recommend as a "starter kit" for those looking to take better care of their skin? To give context to the first question. I use to have terrible acne and hyperpigmentation in my late teens/early 20's. I was so blissfully unaware of all the different types of products out there that could've benefited me, and instead, I kept buying the same drugstore products that had a ton of alcohol and other ingredients that harmed more than helped. It wasn't until last year, around my 25th birthday, that I discovered an Instagram page that was solely dedicated to one girl's skincare routine and her journey to clear skin. I followed her journey and stumbled upon a whole community of other skincare addicts. This is where it started: I became obsessed and started my own account (@glowpursuit). I started buying products based on this community's feedback and on my own research. Months later, my medicine cabinet was filled with 0% medicine and 100% skincare products, and I'm so proud of my collection and experimentation because now I can help you break through the clutter of the skincare world and narrow down what you really need in your routine.
In the morning I like my routine to be on the gentler side, so my cleanser definitely has to be gentle. I'm loving 2 cleansers right now: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and PCA Skin Creamy Cleanser (if you're unfamiliar with PCA Skin, it is a cosmeceutical brand that is super effective and definitely worth looking into). Both of these cleansers are on the creamy side, so they don't foam up and it does not dry your skin out. It's the perfect first step to add moisture.
My treatments alternate day-by-day based on my skin concerns, which right now is dull texture and hyperpigmentation. Every other day, I use the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum (with 15% vitamin C, which helps treat and prevent hyper-pigmentation) and on the days I don't use Vitamin C, I use an acid. With acids, I alternate between Paula's Choice 2% BHA (helps prevent acne and clears out pores) and Pixi Glow Tonic 5% Glycolic Acid (helps with texture). I find that alternating between these 3 products has really helped me address my skin concerns better and faster. Disclaimer: I do not recommend using vitamin c serums and acids in the same routine, it could be too harsh/irritating for your skin, which is why I alternate nights with each product.
Moisture is the greatest gift you can give your skin. For daytime, my favorite moisturizer is Glossier's Priming Moisturizer because it is super hydrating and is the perfect foundation for the rest of your routine. Also, it smells delicious.
NEVER FORGET YOUR SPF, ladies!!! Your entire routine means nothing if you don't protect your skin from the sun. I learned this the hard way when I realized that my dark spots didn't go away after months of treatments, because I was not wearing SPF. My favorite SPF at the moment is La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30. Always get SPF 30 or above!
In the nighttime, I go in with a foaming cleanser to ensure that I really get my makeup off. My favorite cleanser is the PCA Skin Facial Wash. Sometimes I even double cleanse with a foaming cleanser and a creamy cleanser to really get the job done.
Twice a week, I like to use a mask to treat my skin and pamper myself. My faves at the moment are Origins Re-texturing Mask with Rose Clay and Pixi Glow Mud Mask, so I alternate between the 2.
My nighttime treatment for the past year has been retinol. Now that I'm in my mid-20's, I want to make sure my skin has the best chance of looking young forever and retinol is definitely known to be the youth ingredient. My favorite retinol will always and forever be Peter Thomas Roth Retinol PM Fusion. It's in serum form so it absorbs fast, however, it could be drying so make sure you follow up with a good moisturizer. You could also use an acid in your night routine; I like The Ordinary's 10% Lactic Acid serum (lactic acid is a miracle ingredient for my hyper-pigmentation gals!), but do not use acids and retinol in the same routine. You could alternate days or use one or the other.
The last step in your routine is the one to seal it all in. My favorite PM moisturizer at the moment is Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream. It is super hydrating and refreshing, because of its gel-texture. The gel texture works for me because my skin is on the oily side but if your skin is drier, I recommend a moisturizer that has a creamy/rich texture. Some of you like to use a facial oil in your routine; I personally do not at the moment but if you did, it would go AFTER your moisturizer.
That's about it for my routine! Of course, since I have so many products, I am constantly testing and throwing new things into my routine, but when I want to keep it as simple and effective as possible, I just remember to cleanse, treat and moisturize. Hope this helps, ladies!
xo, Laura (@GlowPursuit)