Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Morning Skincare Routine & Favorites {Oily, Acne-prone Skin}

This week I'm sharing my skincare routine(s) and favorite products.  I've been using nearly all these products since May and have been so pleased with the improvement I've seen in my skin.  For reference, I have extremely oily, acne-prone skin.  I would say that my biggest skincare concerns are blackheads and generally congested skin.  At twenty-six, I'm also concerned with preventing the signs of aging.

Prior to last spring, I had been jumping around product-to-product trying out new samples from beauty boxes and constantly switching from one thing to another when I would purchase items from the store.  In all that constant change, I had never found a set of products that worked together in a way I really loved.  My skin was at it's all-time worse, experiencing several new breakouts each week and quite a bit of redness.  My reaction was to fight the acne with harsh products that speckled my oily skin with dry patches.  The dryness I attacked with harsh exfoliants, further irritating my skin.

Early in May I started using yet another new cleanser, the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser.  After a few days of using that cleanser morning and night, my skin had broken out in the most painful, embarrassing chemical burn!  My skin was inflamed, dry, and covered in small bumps.  I freaked out!  In the hundreds of products I've used over the years, I had never experienced any reaction like that.  I completely avoided putting anything on my face for days other than Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.  I would slather my face every hour or so in it's healing, moisturizing goodness, and within a week my skin had completely healed.

After such a traumatic experience, I decided to completely change the way I treated my skin.  Seeing how beautifully my skin reacted to the coconut oil, I decided to take a more gentle, natural approach with (the majority of) my skincare.

Today I'm sharing the products that I use every morning.  I like to keep my routine fairly quick and my products rather light since my skin is already oily and doesn't require heavy moisturization in the daytime.  Later this week I'll be sharing my evening routine as well as products that I use weekly or reach for as needed (treatments/masks).

1.)  In the shower I cleanse with the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash on my Clarisonic Mia.  This Simple cleanser was the first one I switched to after my incident in May and I've loved it ever since.  I wouldn't personally categorize it as a moisturizing facial wash as I don't find it actually imparts any moisture to the skin.  It doesn't, however, dry out the skin, which is glorious.  It has sort of a gel/cream consistency and lathers beautifully paired with the Clarisonic (or on it's own).  The Clarisonic Mia was one of my best Birchbox scores (bought with a coupon code + Birchbox points and only cost me $35 out of pocket).  I use the Deep Pore Brush Head and find it really does help clear out pores, minimizing them and improving the overall texture of my skin.

2.)  Usually the first thing I do out of the shower is brush my teeth.  After brushing, I like to exfoliate my lips using my DIY Brown Sugar & Vanilla Lip Polish.  This removes any dry skin and also adds a touch of hydration to my lips.

3.) I then apply a layer of Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner on a cotton round all over my face and neck.  This product is incredibly gentle and refreshing.  It leaves my skin feeling clean and comfortable.

4.) I moisturize in the morning with the Derma e Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acid.  This is the perfect amount of moisture for me in the daytime.  It's light, but incredibly hydrating.  It plumps and smooths the skin and creates a perfect base for applying makeup.

5.) The Derma e Hydrating Eye Creme with Hyaluronic Acid is fairly new in my rotation (I've been using it about a month).  I really enjoy the feeling of hydration that I experience with a thick eye cream and I like to know I'm doing my part to prevent signs of aging around the eye.  This eye cream is intensely moisturizing without being greasy or heavy and it doesn't sting the eye!  Another eye cream I've used and loved in the past is the Clinique All About Eyes Rich.  Since discovering the Derma e Hydrating Eye Creme (half the price of the Clinique), I probably won't go back to the Clinique as I feel they perform about the same.

6.) Lastly, I cannot go about my day without first having put on my favorite lip balm, the Burt's Bees Ultra Moisturizing Lip Treatment.  This product provides a glorious kiss of moisturize and a pretty shine.  I really love the tube packaging (great for on the go) and I find that it provides fantastic hydration without any addictive or irritating qualities many lip balms have.

Lastly (not pictured because I'm currently out), for days that I'm going to be outside for extended periods, I like to apply the COOLA Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer (on top of or in place of the Derma e Hydrating Serum).  This is a fairly light facial sunscreen with a really pleasant, fresh scent.  I don't use a separate sunscreen daily because, honestly, most days I experience less than 30 minutes of direct sun exposure, and several of my base makeup products contain SPF.

I've really been loving the results of these products and I especially love that they are affordable!  I pick up my Simple Facial Wash and Burt's Bees Lip Treatment at Target or the grocery store and I purchase the Thayers Toner and Derma e products from Vitacost as they always have the best deals.  This combination of products thoroughly cleanses, tones, and hydrates my oily skin while improving it's tone and texture and preventing breakouts.  Most of these products are gentle and would suit a variety of skin types.  I honestly cannot recommend them enough.

Check back tomorrow for my evening routine and later this week for details on the products that I like to use weekly or as treatments when necessary.

What are your holy grail skincare products?  Do let us know in the comments.


  1. Morning:) I was passing by and your blog caught my attention, it's cute! my routine in the morning is using mild scrubs with salicylic acid like biore or neutrogena and I can't live without the clinique clarifying lotion. I don't use moisturizing creams because I feel my skin gets greasy :( It's already too oily, wich one would you recommend? thanks :)

    1. For oily skin, I recommend a serum or light (gel) moisturizer in the morning. I love the Derma e Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acid. I only tend to use creams or oils in the evening when I need extra hydration.


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