The word ‘routine’ kind of weirds me out. It feels mundane and monotonous, and I like to believe that I’m neither of those things, so I’ve fought against the concept of a ‘routine’ for as long as I can remember. But as I’ve grown older and wise-ish, I’ve learned that routine (in the right areas of life) can actually be nice, comfortable, familiar. Like morning coffee or reading books and singing a song to your kid before bed. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve become stuck in a boring rut, rather, it can simply mean you have learned something that works for you in the season of life that you’re in. You don’t have to be married to it, but you also don’t have to hate it.
Now that I’ve therapy-ed you about the positive side of routine (by the way, that was more for me than you, so thanks for listening), we can talk about a place that it fits – your skincare. To be very clear right from the start, my routine has changed over time. It has gone from an erratic, irresponsible, no routine (hiiiii tanning beds, going to bed with an unwashed face and cheap drugstore moisturizer early twenties!) to a carefully curated ritual. And (dare I say) I love it. Like, I look forward to the evening when I can wash away the day and pamper my skin.
Now, you have to make the investment. I know quality products can be expensive, so take your time building your arsenal. Do it one item at a time, but make it a priority. Your skin is going to be representing you for a very long time, so you have to treat it well. Also, it’s like a giant sponge, so if you’re not paying attention to what you’re putting on it, you’re doing a disservice to your whole body. (Man, I’m preachy today. Sorry, ya’ll, I’ll step off the podium in a minute, but I just need you to feel how important this is through your screen) Take care of yourself. Treat yourself. You (and your skin) deserve it.
Ok, my nighttime skincare routine. Let’s break it down. It’s been a lot of trial and error, but I’ve narrowed down my favorites over the last couple of years, and what I have is really working for me these days. Remember: what works for me won’t necessarily work for you, but it can certainly help give you ideas or somewhere to start. Play around with different things, and be patient. You will figure out your ‘holy grails.’
When I consider a skincare product, I have three main non-negotiables in mind: It has to be clean (meaning, no gross ingredients), it has to be cruelty-free, and it has to solve a problem or serve a purpose (i.e. anti-aging, hydrating, etc). I’d encourage you to create your own list of ‘musts’ to think of when product shopping. It really helps keep you focused in what can feel like an overwhelming beauty and skincare universe.
The first step in my nighttime routine is washing my face. This is sometimes a two step process (first an oil cleanse, then a facial soap cleanse), or just a single step with the facial soap (this one is gentle, effective, and sensitive skin-friendly!). I get rid of the makeup, dirt, etc from the day with a good, gentle scrub and rinse.
Step number two is a face mask once a week (this one is my favorite – detoxifying, exfoliating, and smells amazingly earthy), wait and rinse, then some kind of natural version of a retinol. Every other day of the week I go straight from face wash to this part. The natural retinol is the heavy hitter in my anti-aging line up. I alternate between this one (a ‘resurfacing peel’ that brightens skin, improves texture, and minimizes fine lines) and this one (enhances cellular renewal, anti-aging powerhouse, and evens skin tone), and I love them both. I’ll apply one of these products, wait for it to soak in, then follow with a tiny bit of serum for moisture.