So, I turned 40 this year, stopped shaving my legs, and started to think maybe I needed to do a little more for my skin. The trouble being that I am pretty clueless, don’t have a ton of disposable income, have sensitive acne prone combination skin, and I’m both short on time and lazy about my appearance. I’m only interested in stuff that I can realistically shoehorn into my day and that will make a difference that even my husband can actually notice. I’m also wanting to move to mostly using cruelty-free products.
My facial skincare routine has been pretty basic up until recently. I use Dr. Bronner’s Organic Castile Bar Soap (Citrus Orange) and had been moisturizing my face with Olay Active Hydrating Cream Original Facial Moisturizer.
I use St. Ives Fresh Skin Exfoliating Apricot Scrub once a week for a really fresh and invigorating feeling. I know that some people feel that this scrub is too harsh and can be damaging to the skin, but for me the trick is to very gently massage the scrub into the face and then rinse. You really don’t need to vigorously scrub at the skin!
I periodically use an Aloe face mask from either My Beauty Diary or Welcos Jeju Natural. My experience of using a facial mask with aloe is that it is very soothing for my skin and that I would probably benefit from more regular usage.
I’m going to go ahead and admit that I often pick at my acne, so I also use Savlon cream to prevent infection and spread of bacteria.
Let the Beauty Trials Begin!
Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil from TATCHA
I’ve never double-cleansed or used a cleansing oil before now, so I don’t have a point of comparison. The product smells wonderful and seems to do a nice job of cleansing my face. However, I rarely wear any makeup at all, so it was hard to see a noticeable benefit to this cleansing method.
The Rice Polish: The Classic from TATCHA
I’ve never used anything quite like this, and ended up using a facial brush and a small ceramic bowl to mix it in before applying it to my face. I certainly felt like my face was really clean and soft after using this product, but found the recommended two-step routine of the double-cleanse to be overkill for a face bare of make-up to begin with.
Also, I should add, I ended up purchasing more of the cleansing oil and rice polish as gifts for my sister and niece who wear make-up daily.
The Deep Cleanse from TATCHA
I have actually really loved using this cleanser and will seriously consider incorporating it into my regular skincare routine. The smell is lovely, I like the additional exfoliation, and it is less fussy than double-cleansing but leaves my face feeling just as fresh and clean.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
For trouble-shooting I love these little clear circles that suck out all the guck and clear up stubborn pimples. It also makes me less likely to pick at the acne, which reduces scarring.
The Essence from TATCHA
I love this product! I’ve never actually used an essence before, so I was pretty skeptical and thought it was just a money making scheme to convince women that they needed to apply yet another expensive product to their face. I was utterly astonished to find myself loving it and even my husband noticed that my skin is firmer and plumper after using this essence for two weeks! It also makes any creams or serums that you then apply to your skin go on much more smoothly and evenly.
The Water Cream from TATCHA
I wanted to love this cream, mostly because it has the cheapest price point of their face creams at $68, but found that it isn’t really moisturizing enough for me. I also feel like it may have made me break out a little more, and I’m not a huge fan of the smell (although that doesn’t linger for more than a few minutes after application).
I think it probably works really well for layering with sun protection products and makeup, so that you don’t have any issues with caking or emphasizing fine lines, but I felt that my face was slightly drier and even my husband commented that he thought my skin looked drier. This is not a negative reflection on the product itself, it is simply not a good match for my skin.
The Silk Cream from TATCHA
I love this cream so much and am so sad that it costs a whopping $120. Although I feel that a full-sized pot of cream would likely last two months, this is still a lot of money for me personally to spend on a face cream. IF I could afford to buy it regularly, I honestly probably would do so – the cream has made my skin feel wonderful and is a pleasure to use. However, for now, I will probably try out The Indigo Cream instead.
City Sunscreen Serum from Supergoop!
I had previously been very inconsistent about applying sun protection, mostly because a lot of products feel greasy and unpleasant and seem to contribute to acne breakouts.
The City Sunscreen Serum from Supergoop! is a light SPF 30 sunscreen that goes on smoothly and feels like a moisturizer. At $42 I feel like this is a reasonable price to ensure that I will consistently apply some form of sun protection on a daily basis.
Organic Lip Balm from Dr Bronner
I’ve used this before for chapped lips, but have recently started using it as part of my regular skincare routine. I’ve noticed that my lips are less dry, smoother, and plumper – particularly since applying the product before bed. I’m sure that a lot of more expensive lip balms and moisturizers are very worthwhile as well but, for the price, nothing beats Dr Bronner.
I don’t really wear much make-up, but I do have a few items that I keep in my make-up bag for days when I need it. What I use varies depending on what I might have picked up to try out.
Fruit Pigmented Lip and Cheek Tint from 100% Pure
I don’t use this on my lips, but this is a wonderful blusher stick for days when I look a bit haunted. I like the Pink Grapefruit Glow, but they have quite a variety to choose from. I started using this about four years ago and just keep buying the same one.
The Silk Canvas from TATCHA
I’d never used a primer before receiving this as part of a set, but I think it makes a good alternative to foundation (as well as working well underneath foundation). Gives a pleasing blurring effect without feeling heavy on the skin or making the skin too matte.
Sheer Eye Zone Corrector from Shiseido
This does a pretty good job of covering up dark circles, but your skin does need to be well moisturized to begin with – otherwise it can settle into fine lines and make your eye area look tired.
Peach Cotton Multi Finish Powder from SKINFOOD
This is a nice light powder for days when you don’t want to look too oily.
For the Body
I’ve been continuing to use Vaseline unscented lotion as a hand and body moisturizer, I’m not sure if this is tested on animals or not. I suspect that it is, but I’m not really sure what a good alternative would be. Unfortunately all of my attempts to use products containing Shea butter, including a pure form which came in a glass jar, were an utter failure for me as my skin became significantly drier and my feet actually ended up cracked and sore. I’m sure that Shea butter is fantastic for many people, just not for me.
I also still use Bio Oil sometimes, which I’ve been assured by the company is not tested on animals other than humans, as an all over moisturizer after showering.
For the Hair
Organic Olive and Aloe Hair Mask from Venus Secrets
I find using a hair mask a little fiddly to incorporate into my routine, but it makes a big difference to the texture of my hair.
The company also makes shampoos and conditioners.