Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to Treat Your Body Skin: Body Washes

The skin on your body is typically very different from your facial skin. It's not as thin, most times it's drier, and you need different products to help take care of the rest of your body. There are many types of body washes to choose from. There are super creamy ones if you have really dry skin, shower gels if you don't have really dry skin, and then there's the old bar soap (which I think is so bad for your skin, but my fiance loves it). 

I love the super creamy body washes in the Fall, Winter, and very beginning of Spring as my skin gets pretty dry at that time. Now I haven't really found any higher end body washes that I like so I stick to my drugstore brands. I am totally obsessed with Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash. OMG, this stuff seriously means business when it comes to dry skin. It also has a light, clean scent that's not overpowering. That's especially good if you have a sensitivity to fragrances. I use this body wash with a washcloth and lightly scrub it over my skin for some light exfoliation. When I get out of the shower my skin is so soft and smooth and this is the only body wash that helps with those nasty red bumps on the back of my arms. Another nice one is Olay Body Wash plus Creme Ribbons. This one basically has a ribbon of lotion in it that makes your skin soft and it says it visibly improves your skin in 5 days.

Now with shower gels, I prefer higher end ones that aren't super expensive, but they're definitely not as inexpensive as drugstore brands. As with any person who loves the Philosophy brand, I am completely in love with their shower gels. When you put them on a washcloth, they lather up nicely, and they smell sooooooo good! Man, every time I've smelled a certain scent, it smells exactly like the name says. They are also a shampoo and bubble bath as well, which is pretty cool. some of my favorite scents are Cinnamon Buns, Coconut Frosting, Mimosa, and Senorita Margarita. They also have their seasonal scents that come out during Halloween and Christmas and other holidays and such. I love all the scents I've tried though. To me, Philosophy can't go wrong with their shower gels. Other shower gels I love are from The Body Shop. Their Satsuma Shower Gel is amazing. It smells just like a freshly peeled orange and all their gels are soap free and lather up so nicely. Other good scents are their Sweet Lemon and the Earth Lovers Cucumber & Mint shower gels. They also have body creams, which don't foam up a lot but they're very moisturizing and amazing as well, especially the Coconut and Shea shower creams. The coconut smells too flipping amazing.

Okay, so like I said in the beginning, I can't stand bar soaps. Every single one I've tried has dried out my skin terribly and I just don't like them. My fiance, however, is a big fan of them and pretty much refuses to use body wash, unless he ran out of bar soap and it's the absolute last thing he can use. He loves the Dove Unscented bar soap for Sensitive Skin. I'll admit, this makes his skin pretty darn soft, and the bugger never uses body lotion or cream and stays soft no matter what (lucky duck!). Also, since it's unscented, it doesn't have a harsh fragrance to it if you have a sensitivity to smells. I sometimes do, but only if a body wash or shower gel has such a fragrant smell to where it makes my nose itch, then I sneeze a lot. I know to stay away from any kind of product like that because it never does me any good, especially if I'm sneezing like a maniac.

Alright, I know there are so many different kinds of body washes and shower gels out there and honestly, try a lot if you can to see what you'll like most. Try a bunch of different scents too and see if they irritate you or if they smell amazing enough to make you re-buy it. I'll admit this, my closet outside the bathroom is stuffed with shower products from my body washes and shower gels, to all my scrubs and lotions. I probably won't have to buy anything for a year, that's how much I have. But hey, I'm a beauty junkie so I probably will anyways ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Skincare For Teens

I'm sure a lot of you younger people out there might only have access to drugstore skincare and makeup, which is totally fine. You can find some wonderful, amazing products at the drugstore or even at Walmart and Target. So, today I'll be talking about how teenagers can take good care of their skin with the right products from the drugstore.

Now I know when I was a teenager, I couldn't stop the oil on my face. It was just so greasy and very annoying at times. It was hard finding a good cleanser that got rid of the oil on my face, but not dry it out real bad. I remember using the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash. Oh the memories. For me, it was just okay. It didn't do anything miraculous for my skin and at times it just dried it out and made it uncomfortable. It also didn't do much for the acne I had. Granted, that was like the first skin cleanser I ever tried back when I was 11 ( that's almost 13 years ago!), so they might have changed it or reformulated it somehow so it can be a decent cleanser for starting out a routine. Personally, I think you'd have better luck with Clean & Clear cleansers. I still use Clean & Clear cleansers to this day because I think they're wonderful. Their Morning Burst Facial cleanser is fantastic! Seriously, if you wake up in the morning feeling really tired, this will wake you right up. It has a nice citrus scent that's not overpowering, and its got Vitamin C and Ginseng which help to wake up your skin. If your skin is looking and feeling a little dull, try the Morning Burst Skin Brightening Facial Cleanser. This will kick your skin up a notch and make it look vibrant and refreshed.

Toners aren't absolutely necessarily for teenagers. Most toners geared toward teen skin is way too harsh anyways because a lot of them are alcohol based, which is so not healthy for your skin. They'll just over-dry your skin, therefore producing more oil to compensate for the dryness. It's not a fun cycle to go through. If you really do want to try a toner though just for the sake of having a routine, a good one is Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner. Like the name says, it doesn't have that nasty alcohol in it and it's just a simple, basic toner. Another good one is Simple Soothing Facial Toner. This toner is wonderful for acne prone skin because it'll help calm down all the inflammation of acne. 

Another thing I feel I should mention is, don't feel it's necessary to stick with a brands 3-step system. There are so many brands that have a cleanser, treatment and moisturizer combination set. 9 times out of 10, and I hate to say this, but the systems won't work. Trust me, there were times where I'd try out different systems, and they broke me out so bad and made my skin so red and irritated because they were just too harsh. My acne was worse than before, so I had to stop using the system. I'd then try maybe the cleanser of that system but use a different toner and moisturizer and my skin cleared up. So really, try some different brands, try the 3-step systems if you like, but I'm just warning you, it might not work.

Now onto moisturizers. Personally, I would try to find a moisturizer with SPF in it to save time and a little extra money. You also want to start early with using SPF because that'll help slow down the aging process. (we all want that, don't we?) A good moisturizer with SPF in it, if you have pretty normal skin with a touch of acne is Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream SPF 15. This is thicker than a lotion or gel, which is why I recommend it for more normal skin. If you're oily, try a light lotion based moisturizer like Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture in either SPF 15 or 35. I prefer 35 since it's got more sun protection in it, but 15 is the absolute lowest you should go. Neutrogena has a very nice line of moisturizers with SPF, so look around and see if you like something better too. for nighttime, you definitely don't need the SPF moisturizer. If you have oily, acne prone skin, try Neutrogena Oil-Free Anti-Acne Moisturizer. This has salicylic acid in it, which helps to clear out your pores, healing and helping to prevent more acne from forming. If you have more normal skin with not too many issues, try the Oil-Free Moisture - Combination Skin. I have this in my closet for when it gets a little cooler outside since it's a tad bit heavy to use right now. Also, as you can tell, I'm a huge Neutrogena fan. Even though that one cleanser wasn't that good, I still love a ton of their products.

It's also a good idea to always use sunblock all over your body when you're outside in the sun all day. You might not believe when I say this, but tanning is bad for you. Yep, I said it, it's bad for you. When you get a tan, sunburns also, you're damaging your skin cells. Tans and sunburns are caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation and that's what attacks your skin cells making them darker. Tans may look good on some people, but trust me, the consequences in the long run aren't good. Your skin can look a lot older than it is, therefore making you look older than you are, and you can get skin cancer, and I know no one wants that.

I really hope this helped out any teen girl (or guy even) looking to start a simple everyday routine. I know it can sometimes be a pain sticking with a routine, especially with school and whatnot, but try to make the effort and wake up 5 to 10 minutes earlier to do your skincare routine. Then at night, take that same amount of time roughly and do it again. You can even wash your face in the shower quick and do the rest when you get out. Trust me, if you stick with it, in the long run, you'll be so much better off. You'll have beautiful skin that everyone will compliment on, and you'll look younger too!

Monday, August 20, 2012

All About Eye Creams

Okay, so I'll admit, even though I'm only in my early 20s, I love eye creams. I can't get enough of them. I've been using them since I was in my late teens. I love trying all different kinds and price usually isn't that big of a deal to me when it comes to them. Although, I do have some kind of spending limit to them and I usually don't go over $50. Seriously, a good eye cream, in my opinion, is very important in a skincare routine no matter what kind of skin you have.

Now for me, since I have very oily facial skin, sometimes my under-eye area and especially my eyelids, get oily, which is usually in the summertime. This is why I prefer to use a gel based eye cream. If I feel a little drier than normal, I use a lighter cream based one. But don't get me started about my winter eye skin. That can be a challenge for me because my skin changes daily when it's colder. So, my favorite eye cream of all time is The Body Shop Vitamin C Eye Reviver. I use this in the morning to help with the lovely dark circles I get. It's a wonderful creamy gel formula that moisturizes my eye area, but doesn't make it greasier. You can go on their website and try to find it all you want but unfortunately, it got discontinued (womp, womp :(), and is now reformulated, repackaged in a roller-ball form, and called Vitamin C Eye Reviver Duo. When the new version came out, I originally thought it was just repackaged differently, but no. This one has a gel on one side and a cream on the other. I'll be honest, I don't like it at all. To me, it's nothing like the original. The original is so amazing and it breaks my heart that it got discontinued. (Luckily, I still have a decent amount left in the container I'm using now, plus a back-up!) 

Since I've been using the Vitamin C eye cream in the morning, I do use a different one at night because I like a little more moisture when I go to bed. The one I'm currently using and have been using for quite a while now is another Body Shop product. It's their Vitamin E Eye Cream. I love this stuff too. It's a little heavier than the Vitamin C, but not super heavy like Philosophy Hope in a Tube (I love this stuff too, but only in winter when I have drier skin). If you have dry skin and also a very dry eye area, the Hope in a Tube is wonderful. It's pretty thick, but it's very moisturizing and sinks in well. 

Another really good eye cream is Clinique All About Eyes. Holy cow, this stuff is amazing! It's a cream-gel formulation and when I used this, I used it only at night because it's heavier than I'm used to for daytime, but boy, when I wake up, my eye area looked so good. I will definitely repurchase this in the future but it is a little on the expensive side with 0.5 ounces costing $30, and a whole ounce costing $50, but like I said, I'd spend $50 on this in a heartbeat because I love it so much.

Drugstore eye creams aren't necessarily my favorite, but I haven't tried too many to compare them so one I came across that isn't too bad is L'Oreal Paris Eye Defense. I bought this at Walmart for around $13 and it's another gel-cream formula. For a drugstore eye cream, this really isn't bad. It's just a nice light eye cream that's not greasy and says it's made for all skin types. Sometimes I feel like I spoil myself with eye creams because your eyes are generally the first area on your face that show age, and I'm all for slowing down how old I look in the future, so I'm always going to invest in good eye creams but if you don't feel like shelling out $50 for an eye cream, keep looking at drugstores or Walmart. Another eye cream I've been hearing good things about but haven't yet tried, is Simple Soothing Eye Balm. The name sounds wonderful. I'm all about soothing my eyes after a long day at work, especially if I've worn makeup for 8+ hours. You can find Simple skincare at Walmart, Target, or any drugstore really. Their website has a spot where you can type in your zip code to see where they have a particular product. I'm actually dying to try this eye cream, but I'm trying to use up what I have before I buy more.

I know this post is probably long, but I can't stress enough about a good eye cream, and it doesn't have to be super expensive to be a good product. Drugstores and Walmart have some wonderful options if you want something less expensive, or if you're just stepping into the world of eye creams. As you get older or more into skincare, you can always expand your horizons and find products from Philosophy or Clinique. Anyways, like I said, a good eye cream is super important in any skincare routine, and I really hope this helped anyone looking for a new eye cream, or if you're new at starting a routine, a nice, simple one to try :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How To Take Care of and Treat: Normal Skin

People who have normal skin are so lucky, for real. You don't really have that much oil and there isn't much dryness either. You have a good balance of both. You also don't get blemishes very often either (Double lucky!). This will be easy to inform you on how to take care of your normal skin.

First for a cleanser, you can really look for anything. Try a creamier one and a gel or foamy one and see which agrees more with your skin. A cleanser that's like the holy grail of cleansers is Philosophy Purity Made Simple. This cleanser is supposedly good for all skin types, but I remember trying it a long time ago and it didn't do anything for my super oily skin. This is good for normal to combination skin. This stuff is also very gentle on the eyes so it's perfect for getting off eye makeup at night. If you use the Clarisonic in conjunction with this cleanser, you have probably the best skin cleaning system around. I won't even recommend a drugstore cleanser because with Purity, it comes in a ton of sizes starting at 3 ounces for $10 at Sephora, to 32 ounces for $49.50 (this size will last you a very, very long time too). If you just want to try drugstore cleansers, look for something from Olay or Neutrogena. Those brands are the brands I trust the most when it comes to good skincare.

Now with toners, I say normal skin doesn't particularly need one, but if you want to try something, a nice one is Origins A Perfect World Age-Defense Treatment Lotion with White Tea. I know it says lotion in the name, but it's really a toner. Sometimes normal skin can lean towards being a little dry occasionally, so this will help put a little moisture into your skin, while giving you some age fighting protection. Neutrogena makes a really good toner as well if you prefer drugstore toners.

A real insanely popular moisturizer that's great for normal skin is another Philosophy one. it's Hope in a Jar. This is another cult favorite that helps to hydrate and protect your skin. This is a moisturizer I actually really like. It is a bit heavy in the summer for my oily skin, but in winter it works pretty well. This moisturizer also comes in different sizes, and 0.5 ounce costs $15, which isn't terrible but for under an ounce it's a little high, but hey, it's a great moisturizer that isn't going anywhere in the near future. Now I love Neutrogena moisturizers (Neutrogena anything really) and a very good one is the Oil-Free Moisture SPF 35. Normal skin to me can get away with using a moisturizer with SPF and not have their skin freak out. Putting an extra layer of sunblock on top of a moisturizer can sometimes be too much.

Although, if you really want the extra layer of sunblock, again, the Neutrogena Dry Touch sunblock is the winner in my book. It won't make your skin greasy but it'll give it enough moisture in case you're a little more dry. 

Hopefully this has helped anyone who has normal skin. Like I said, you guys are lucky because you can really try anything you like without having your skin be too fussy. You just have to try some things and see which works the best for you so you can keep having that glowy, beautiful  skin :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How To Take Care of and Treat: Combination Skin

Today I'm going to talk about combination skin. Combination skin can sometimes be a little finicky to treat because you can be combination/oily, which means you can lean towards being more oily, combination/dry, which means you lean a little more towards dry skin or just combination, which is a combo of oily and dry. There might have to be some trial and error in finding the right products to help take care of your skin.

Now, for a cleanser, don't look for something that's strictly for oily skin because it can dry it out real bad, but also stay away from super moisturizing cleansers as well (unless you lean a little towards the drier side). For me, I get combination to combination/oily skin in the later part of the Fall, into Winter, and the very beginning of Spring. A cleanser I absolutely love to use in the winter is Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash. Seriously, this cleanser is so fantastic and it's one of the only cleansers that I can use when it's colder outside. Here is a description of what it says on Sephora, "When it comes to faces with dry and oily places, it takes a clever cleanser to balance the two. This gentle, frothy face wash carefully does both jobs without canceling each other out. Skin feels comfortably refreshed after cleansing, never tight, pulled or parched." I couldn't agree more with this description. It cleans my skin well, but doesn't leave it parched and dry and also doesn't leave my feeling oily as the day goes on. A little goes a very long way with this cleanser. A little pea-sized drop will do, so it will last you a very long time, and it's only $20, so that's not too bad for a higher end cleanser. A nice drugstore cleanser is Biore Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser. I haven't used this in years, so I don't remember too much how it worked, but I do remember liking it at the time. 

With toners, like I said with dry skin, you can skip unless you absolutely feel the need to use one. A toner I really, really love is Bliss Daily Detoxifying Facial Toner. This toner is so amazing. It keeps my skin hydrated enough in the winter but it doesn't create any grease on my skin either. A good drugstore toner is Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner. I really think any skin type could use this, but it's just a simple, basic toner to help prep for moisturizer.

Onto moisturizers. This could be tricky depending on which combination skin you have. If you have combo/oily, try Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. This stuff is like a cult classic in the world of beauty. If this one doesn't seem moisturizing, try the lotion version instead (which is really geared more toward combo/dry, but hey, it doesn't hurt to test it out). For combo/dry skin, try out Ole Henriksen Truth Creme Advanced Hydration. Now I know this sounds like it's for people with totally dry skin, but this one has a lighter texture, so it's not as heavy as a cream. This stuff is pretty expensive too, so for a drugstore moisturizer, try Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture, Combination Skin. I'll admit, in the dead of winter, in like the middle of January, my skin can actually get pretty dry and this is the only moisturizer that hydrates my skin just enough, but doesn't make it an oil slick.

Now for sunblock! Finding a sunblock for combination skin can be a bit tricky as well because it can moisturize the dry areas, but make oilier areas more oily and it can just be really annoying. Unless you wear foundation everyday that's got a high SPF, you're definitely gonna need a sunblock and one I hear good things about is Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40. This can even replace a regular moisturizer if you don't want to layer too much on. this is also a little pricey so a nice drugstore alternative is Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunblock. I know I recommended this for oily skin, but this can be wonderful for combination skin as well. And there are a ton of SPF levels on this sunblock, so choose which one you like. I prefer the SPF 55. 

Alright, now I really hope this helped anyone who has issues finding products for their combination skin. I know it can be such a pain finding something good. Trust me, that's why I hate my skin most in the winter because it changes almost everyday at that time, and like I said before, it can be trial and error in finding what's right. But when you do find something that works, stick with it. In the end, it'll be so worth it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

HAUL! Sephora & The Body Shop

For now I'm veering off the skincare and telling you guys about a recent haul I did :)

Last Thursday I went into my Sephora inside JC Penny and picked up the Lorac Pro Palette. I was torn between this palette and the new Urban Decay Smoked Palette. I looked at both at the store and decided on the Lorac one. Boy, am I glad I bought it! These colors are so beautiful and you can make easy, neutral eye looks or smoke it up a touch. There are also 8 matte shades and 8 shimmer shades, so if you want to keep it super neutral, you can do that with the matte shades, but if you want to be neutral with a little something extra, definitely use the shimmer. One look I love (and I actually wore this yesterday), is taking the LT. PINK color and putting it on half of your eyelid starting at the inner corner. Then, taking MAUVE, put it on the outer half of your eyes. Next, blend SABLE into your crease and use CREAM as a highlight on your browbone. I skipped eyeliner and put some mascara on and this look lasted me for 12 hours! No lie, even with a primer, eyeshadows tend to crease on me after about 4 to 6 hours, so 12 hours was totally unexpected. I always use an eye primer no matter what because I have such oily eyelids. Anyways, this eyeshadow just looked so beautiful and I still can't believe it lasted me basically all day.

Then, on Friday I went to The Body Shop. Oh, how I love that store! I could literally spend all day there (and spend all my money!), but I'm trying to be good and only buy things I need, with the exception of the Lorac palette. I just really, really, really wanted that. I mainly went here because I needed a backup of their Lightning Touch, which is basically a concealing highlighting pen for your face and under your eyes. I pretty much just use it under my eyes to help cover my dark circles and brighten up the area and for me, it does the job. There are a few different shades in this and I use the shade 01. This is the lightest shade and it's the most flattering for me. I remember seeing a yellow based one, and the one time I tried it, it made me look so sick, so I highly recommend testing out the different shades to see which is best. Once I got up to the counter, of course the manager was trying to sell it up and get me to buy more since there was a sale. I actually bought two of these pens and as I was checking out, I was told I was eligible for my 4 point gift (more on that at a later time), which gives me $15 worth of product, so I decided to try their new Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, which is $18 so I only had to pay a few bucks extra. This is only available to people who are Love Your Body members at The Body Shop right now, but it officially launches I believe the end of August. I haven't tried this yet, but on the front of the package it says, "Pores look smaller, skin feels purer. Smoothes, primes and instantly mattifies." So with that being said, I might try this whenever I feel like wearing a tinted moisturizer or BB cream to help control how oily I get throughout the day.

So that's my little haul for you guys! Hopefully this is helpful to anyone looking for a new palette or just someone looking up new product ideas. Like I said, I am already loving the new Lorac Pro Palette and I think this is going to be a staple product in my collection. Thank you to everyone who reads this!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How To Take Care of and Treat: Dry skin

It can be tough having dry skin. It can get all flaky and feel tight and uncomfortable but following these tips and tricks will help keep it feeling more normal.

Now with finding a cleanser for dry skin, you want to look for a creamy or milky cleanser. Those cleansers are more moisturizing and hydrating than gel cleansers. If you use a gel cleanser, you're just going to dry out your skin even more. Sometimes a foam cleanser is okay, as long as it says it's hydrating and moisturizing. In the morning and evening, splash your face with lukewarm water. Don't use hot water since that will dry out your face. Take about a dime to nickel sized amount of cleanser massage it on your face for about a minute. If you tend to get flaky skin, get a washcloth and gently massage your face to remove the cleanser, rinse off the rest with lukewarm water and pat your face dry with a clean towel. A really good cleanser that can be found at Sephora is First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser. This cleanser starts out with a whipped consistency, but when water is added, it turns creamy. This is also a good cleanser if you have sensitive skin on top of the dryness. A good drugstore cleanser is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. This is a nice, simple cleanser if you don't want to break the bank on skincare.

A toner is optional with dry skin because most toners will dry it out more. If you absolutely need a toner, look for one with out denatured alcohol (alcohol denat. is usually the abbreviation on the ingredient list), as that is super drying, even for oily skin. A good toner to try is Murad Hydrating Toner. This does have witch hazel in it, which helps balance skin, but it also has chamomile and cucumber which helps to soften and soothe dryness. a nice drugstore toner is Simple Soothing Facial Toner. You can find this at Walmart and it's only around $7, so it's very affordable.

Onto moisturizers. When looking for a good moisturizer to treat dry skin, look for ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. These are water holding ingredients which will keep your skin hydrated and moisturized all day. Some people say go with an oil based moisturizer, but I only recommend that if you have super dry skin. Like so dry, it seems drier than the desert. A really good moisturizer that I hear very good reviews on is Clinique Moisture Surge Intense for Very Dry to Dry Combination skin. People I know have said this moisturizer has changed their skin from dry and flaky, to healthy, dewy and hydrated. A drugstore moisturizer I recommend is Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. This moisturizer has glycerin in it for hydrating skin and a bunch of vitamins and other good stuff to help with some anti-aging as well.

For sunscreen, people with dry skin have it easier in my opinion. Having super oily skin like I do and trying to find a good sunscreen that won't make me oily hasn't been very fun. (until I found my Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunblock! :)) A nice sunblock to try is L'Oreal Paris Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen for Face SPF 50+. This can also be found at Walmart and it's only about $8, depending on your location, for a little under 2 ounces.

It's not fun being super dry, nor is it fun being super oily, so I hope this has helped anyone who has dry skin. You can always play around to find things that work too. Always read ingredient labels and description labels to make sure what you're getting is for dry skin and not oily. Hey, you might even find out that products for dry skin may be too much for you, and you might have combination skin, which is luckily going to be my next post. :) 

Anyways, thank you everyone for taking the time to read! :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How To Take Care of and Treat: Oily skin

Since my last post was about the different skin types, I figured I'll write about how to take care and treat your skin type. Today, I'm starting with oily skin because that's my skin type and it's the type I know most about. So, lets get into it! 

Now, I'm going with personal experience here and let everyone know what I use and also recommend what I like, but I'll give some other options and recommendations as well. So, once you've decided your skin is oily, the first step is to find a good cleanser that's preferably gel-based or foaming (I love both honestly). I actually use two cleansers because I also have sensitive skin on top of the oiliness. One in the morning and the other at night. In the morning I use Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser, one because it's gentle enough for my sensitivity, and two because it's foamy enough to clean my skin but not strip it and dry it out. This has been my regular morning cleanser for about a year or so now. At night, I recently started using Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser. I use this to help keep my breakouts at bay and it also does a good job at taking off any makeup I wore that day (along with using my Clarisonic, but a review of that will be in another post! :)). Another good cleanser that is actually very popular is Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin. Now, I haven't used this cleanser in years, and by years I mean since I was around 13, so that's a good 10 years but I remember it being kinda like a creamy gel consistency but not too creamy and it left my face feeling clean and soft. If drugstore brands aren't what you're after a good cleanser that can be found at Sephora is Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel. I can't say enough about this cleanser! This is the cleanser I used as my last night cleanser and it is uh-may-zing! Pairing it with my Clarisonic made it a zillion times better. My skin was always soft, smooth and clear and took every little bit of makeup off my face. It's just a wonderful product.

This next part isn't an absolute must in your skincare routine, but I use it every single day, and that is a toner. Now, like I said, you don't have to use a toner but because my skin gets so greasy, especially now with how hot and humid it's been, I'm gonna talk a little about them. Again, I use two different toners for morning and night. In the morning I use The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner. This stuff is fantastic. It mattifies my skin and makes it feel really soft. The toner I use at night is another The Body Shop toner. It's the Aloe Calming toner. Again, this stuff is amazing too. There are only six ingredients in it, so it's perfect for sensitive, fussy skin. It's also good for in the morning if you're feeling lazy, you can just splash your face with lukewarm water, dry, then swipe that toner all over. You can even put it in the refrigerator if you got sunburned or just want to cool off. Another good higher end toner is BLISS Daily Detoxifying Facial Toner. I'll be honest and say I haven't tried a drugstore toner but I hear there are good ones from Neutrogena and Olay.

Onto Moisturizers. A lot of people who have oily skin think they don't need a moisturizer, but we really do! We just need one that's not a heavy, thick cream. We need more gel or light lotion based moisturizers that help balance oil production. For in the morning, I just started using Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream. This is actually pretty nice, it keeps my skin moisturized and hydrated without making me oily. The only downside for me is that its smell is a tad too strong for my liking. I try to stay away from very fragrant products because of sensitivity, but some people may like it. (EDIT: another downside is the packaging. It's way too bulky and I've already dropped it twice.) At night, I combine a serum and lotion together. I use The Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum and The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Blemish Fade Night Lotion. (Can you tell I like The Body Shop Now?) Anyways, I just squirt half a pump each into my hands, rub them together and onto my face. I will say though, it can make my skin a little greasier than I like, but it doesn't bother me too much since I'm using it before I go to sleep. When I wake up in the morning though, my skin looks and feels so soft and clear so the extra grease doesn't bother me. A good higher end moisturizer is Philosophy On a Clear Day Oil-Free Moisturizer. This is really nice and keeps your skin looking soft and matte. A nice drugstore one is Clean & Clear Oil-Free Dual Action Moisturizer. This is just a nice, simple everyday moisturizer for oily skin. 

Now I'm going to talk a little about sunscreen. Everyone knows about it, everyone knows they should use it, but not many people do, especially on a regular basis. This to me is probably the most important step in your routine. If you do nothing else but wash your face and put on sunscreen, I'd be a happy girl. Every morning I use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55. I know, I know. The SPF is super high, but I'm paler than Casper the ghost so I need it, trust me. I say try and go for at least SPF 30 but if that's still high, 15 is as low as I'll suggest. This is probably the best sunblock I have ever used in my whole life. It does tend to make your skin look really white at first but if you blend it well, it goes away. But this stuff doesn't make my skin greasy, it doesn't clog my pores and it makes my skin feel softer. I use this every morning on my face, neck and chest area. I will put it on everywhere if I'm spending the day outside, though. I'm not even going to recommend another sunblock for oily skin because this truly is by far the best one I've used.

 If you're still reading at this point, you're awesome! I know this blog is very long but hey, I'm trying to give you all the best advice I can. I'm definitely gonna go into exfoliators, treatment masks and so on for different skin types, but those will be in separate posts after this little series. The next blog will be on how to take care of and treat dry skin. Anyways, thank you to everyone who takes time out of their day to check out my blog. Please leave any comments or questions and I'll respond as soon as I can.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What's Your Skin Type?

Many people can get confused as to what skin type they are, but a few simple tips can help you figure it out. First, get a piece of tissue paper, then splash some lukewarm water on your face and let it dry. If you don't know what lukewarm is, it's basically in between hot and cold and this temperature is best to wash your face because it's not harsh on your skin. Once you dry your face, don't do anything else to it for about 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes is up, take the tissue paper and hold it to your entire face for about 10 seconds then peel it off. What do you see? Does it still look like normal tissue paper? Are there big oil splotches everywhere?

These questions will help you decide if you have oily, dry, combination or normal skin. I always say there are sub-categories to skin types because you can also have sensitive skin, older, more mature skin, acne-prone skin, etc. Now, back to the tissue paper. When you look at it, if you see a light, even distribution of oil, you have normal skin. If you see a lot of oil all over, you have oily skin. If it still looks like regular tissue paper, you have dry skin. And lastly, if there's oil in the t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and normal in the cheek area, you have combination skin. There are also times where a person's skin can change due to weather or other circumstances. For me, I'm very oily in the late spring, all of summer and a little into fall, then the rest of the year I tend to be combination, depending on the day. I also have very sensitive skin and have to be careful what I use or I breakout real bad or get lots of red patches. I can be acne-prone occasionally, but since I'm older now, my skin's grown out of it.

Now, onto my sub-categories. Like I said with my sensitive skin, you can have a lot of redness all over, or it can be in splotches on your face. Some people can have that on their body as well. I can get it on my neck and chest area sometimes. A lot of people can mistake sensitive skin for acne because red bumps can appear, but it's not a pimple. It's just plain old irritation from not using the right products. Having acne-prone skin means you get blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples, either occasionally or frequently. When I was a teenager, I had acne pretty frequently. Now, it's actually very rare for me to breakout. I get maybe one a month, if that. You can also have severe acne where when you break out, they get all big and red, then can develop lots of pus. (Gross, I know.) When it gets that bad and you feel like you've tried everything, you have to see a dermatologist. They can prescribe certain medications or antibiotics to help get rid of it, or at the very least, lessen it a lot. Now with older, mature skin, obviously this is for the woman or man in their late 40's to early 50's and so on. I'm going to use my mother as an example, even though I feel she has beautiful skin. She has normal, very sensitive skin. She can get an oily nose sometimes, but not bad. Now for a woman in her early 50's she has incredible skin, but of course this is because she has a skincare routine she's been following for years and years, since she was a kid, and has instilled it in my head that if I take good care of my skin now, I won't have bad skin down the road. (Thanks, momma!)

There is so much more to skin types, but to me, this is the typical breakdown of the most common ones. Now a little disclaimer, I am not a professional in any way and if you feel there is something really wrong with your skin, please, please, please see a dermatologist. I can just give you my advice on products to try to help, but in no way am I a licensed doctor. Anyways, thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave one below!

Monday, August 6, 2012

My First Blog!

Welcome to my blog!

First blog ever, woohoo! So, like the name of my blog says, I will primarily be giving my thoughts on what good skincare is and how to take care of your skin. There will also be some makeup tips and a few other ramblings about life and such. I'll definitely try my best to post as often as possible, but life can sometimes get in the way, so I'm aiming for at least one a week. There's more to come! So stay tuned!