Vulnerable Moment: for the last 8 or 9 months, my skin has not felt like my own. I have combination skin and I’ve only had to worry about a couple rogue hormonal pimples around my time of the month. Never have I had to deal with acne issues, dry patches, discoloration, or a sallow complexion but for some reason,
it has been my daily struggle for almost a year.
As some of you may know, I’m very stingy when it comes to spending money on myself. I’m not ashamed to admit that most of the products I put on my face came from the local CVS or Walgreens. It worked for 26 years, without ever having any issues, so why did it stop?
Over the last 6-months I’ve tried everything:
- I’ve had a thyroid panel & had my hormones tested (all came back normal)
- Daily, I drink more water than I ever have in my life
- I exfoliate
- My depression wasn’t acting up
- I was getting more sleep than my normal 4-5 hours
- I rarely wear a lot of makeup, let alone liquid foundation
SO WHY WAS NOTHING WORKING?!
I’m still trying to find the root cause of the issue, but I have finally figured out a skincare routine that doesn’t make me look like a swamp monster every day! In this post, I’m gonna talk about how this halfrican started to get her glow back by breaking down my current favorite products (with links to where you can buy them) & the order I use them in!
- As I mentioned above, I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup but when I do I want a non-abrasive remover. I’ve tried a bunch of different ones over the years but nothing seems to work as well as the Pond’s MoistureClean Towelette’s! You can buy them in a variety of sizes, they’re super affordable, and they don’t leave an oily residue on your skin when you’re done.
- I am not a morning person, so I usually take my showers at night in order to soak up as much time in bed as possible the next day. I have always just washed my face in the shower, thrown some lotion on it, and when I wake up the next day I just get ready for work. In January, I started washing my face every morning when I wake up and every evening before I go to bed; it made a WORLD of difference! Not only does it help me wake up, but my skin feels refreshed and ready to take on the world. I’m currently using the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, formulated for all skin types; it’s gentle, doesn’t exfoliate, and removes any excess oil I’ve produced during the day or my sleep. It comes in multiple sizes, and one is even under $20!
- After I wash my face in the mornings, I have a little pick me up with the OleHenriksen Truth Serum; this vitamin-C packed collagen booster packs a punch with just one pump; the citrus aroma is a welcomed jolt of energy in the morning and kicks my senses into high gear! Now I got mine as part of the “3 Little Wonders Mini” pack at Sephora, which puts them all in mini bottles, but you can also buy the mini and the larger-size “3 Little Wonders” combo at OleHenriksen’s website! The mini bottle is available on its own at Sephora for a significant price drop if you just wanted to try it standalone; trust me when I say a single pump goes a long way!
- After my late-night shower or quick face wash before bed, I put on another mini from the “3 Little Wonders Mini” pack; the Invigorating Night Transformation Gel lives up to its motto of ‘redefining beauty sleep’. This one took a little longer for me to feel or see a difference (about 3 ½ weeks) but I started to notice that it helped with my dark spots and my acne scars seemed less noticeable. I’m thankful that it came in the mini pack since the smallest size you can buy it in is still $50, but between this and the truth serum, it’s clear that OleHenriksen knows how to make a small amount of product super effective!
- This last one is my heavy hitter; I use it once I week right after I exfoliate and I think the combination of the two creates a work of art on my face! After using this Hyaluronic Acid Serum – my face looks brighter in color, feels hydrated, and a 2oz bottle is only $15! There’s a reason it has 5,000+ positive reviews on Amazon but the secret is to use it on a damp face and then seal it with a good moisturizer; if you just do it on its own your skin may actually feel drier than before.
- For years I used Olay’s Active Hydrating Cream and then when I began to branch away from drugstore products a few years ago I moved onto Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. I had been using Kiehl’s for about a year when my body decided to flip the switch and it started to make my face feel super oily as if it was sitting on top of my skin instead of being absorbed into it. Before this happened, my skin was a dream with both of these products!
- The above mentioned may be great options for you, like I said I didn’t have issues for years, but if you’re willing to splurge then fall in love with the silky smoothness that Kate Somerville’s Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream provides! For $50-65 a jar, I can honestly say I have never spent that much on ANY type of beauty product before but after using every bit of the sample I got, I just had to go back and invest in the real thing! My skin feels hydrated, supple, and soft to the touch so I’m never turning back!
- I learned the hard way that you can over-exfoliate your skin, so now I only do it every Sunday. After one use with Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator, my face feels softer than a unicorn’s butt. Okay, so I may not know what that feels like, but it doesn’t make this product any less magical! I got it when I used to subscribe to the Fab, Fit, Fun box, and still to this day it’s the only thing I’ve used from that subscription. At $79 a bottle, I plan on taking this to my grave but there are some great, cheaper alternatives that work. I personally like the Mario Badescu Kiwi Face Scrub – powerful for only $15!
- Followers on Instagram or on Snapchat (Erynne_Hundley) know that I LOVE a good face mask! I’ve tried everything from oatmeal to avocado, even those charcoal masks that feel like it’s ripping an entire layer of skin off. I could dedicate an entire post to face masks alone, but I’ll limit this section to my two favorites. If you are wanting to splurge, then you’ve got to try Sand & Sky’s Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask. I came across it through a Facebook ad but I’m not kidding when I say it worked better than any other mask I’ve recently tried. My skin immediately showed tighter pores, I had a healthy glow, and, BONUS – it only took 10 minutes! I’ve reached out to the company about issues I’ve had with it drying out so stay tuned for their response! At $49, I can understand the hesitation but I’ve had mine for almost 3 months and I’ve still got quite a bit left!
- If that’s just too pricey for you then you can’t go wrong with the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask. It’s a bentonite mask that you use with water or apple cider vinegar and you can feel it pulling the toxins from your skin. It’s $9 for a 1lb tub, has 13,000+ reviews, and I’ve seen it recommended constantly on beauty blogs. This is definitely the most bang for your buck!
- This month HM goes to the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch. You ever see or do something gross, yet you can’t help but stare and examine it? Like picking a scab and then looking at the remnants? That’s how I felt using these patches. I was incredibly skeptical at first, how could this tiny dot make a difference? It looks like those color coding circle stickers you put on documents or reports in school! Sure enough, I slapped one on a cystic bump I could feel coming in on my chin & within an hour or two I could legitimately see the “innards” on the patch! I tried it on a few others that were in different “phases” so to speak and got varying results. I’d recommend doing a few test-runs for yourself to see what works best. For $4, you get a sheet with 24 patches in various sizes, that can be used anywhere on the body.
That’s my Beauty Breakdown for February! What would you like to see in the next one?!
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