Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Skincare Loves + Winter Skincare Staples

Let it be said that I am no skincare expert and I very well could go into my third decade (eeks!) with wrinkles on wrinkles on wrinkles. But let's just hope not! What I can tell you is that I rarely, raaaaarely have breakouts or pesky little pimples and my skin is one thing I have always received compliments on. I may have been at my highest weight and looked and felt terribly, uncomfortably unhealthy but strangers have always commented on my skin no matter my size. I've found that the more weight I've lost, the more glowing & healthy my skin looks and feels. 

I have also found that for me, less is more. I follow so many wonderful beauty bloggers and YouTube gurus who swear by 8 or 9 products that they use each and everyday, sometimes twice a day, and they often interchange them with different cult favorites and I wish I were the same. That just sounds luxurious, right? However, as much as I love to test out new products and browse through new skincare lines, when I stray away from the skincare staples that work for me- even to try products that are so highly recommended and loved- sometimes my skin reacts negatively to it and it definitely shows. For instance, I ventured into the world of toners a few months ago, played around with a few and started using one that is so highly loved by other beauty bloggers. Within a week, my skin was irritated and full of little tiny bumps ALL over my cheeks and chin. No thank you! So my little skincare routine, if you'd even call it that, is just that- little. 

I tend to have normal/combo skin that is sensitive. In the summer, I go for lightweight products to combat an oily t-zone when it's 1,000 degrees out and in the winter months, my skin is parched-- thanks to the 4 years of dry, Colorado air for that one. Regardless, I've used the same few products for years and I operate under the whole "if it aint broke, don't fix it" mantra regarding my skincare regimen because this little group just works for me.

During the last week of undergrad back in 2009, my best friend and I pampered ourselves each day for the week leading up to graduation #ohtobe23again and while the rest of our group of friends were cracking up saying that it was as if we were prepping for prom, I was so excited to finally enjoy my first facial! And I absolutely loved it. One of the products that my esthetician recommended for my skin type was this facial cleanser. Unlike typical cleansers, this one comes in powder form and is more of a daily cleanser + exfoliant. You lather it up with water until it's a foamy, milky paste and then you apply it like you would with any other product. It's a mixture of rice bran, rice extract and a few other fancy ingredients. But the fact is, it really sloughs off dead skin cells and beautifully deep cleans your pores. It's also gentle enough to use every day, which I love, too.  Weird that it's a powder, yes, but think about traveling with it, it makes it a breeze! And with 4.7 stars and 405 reviews, I think I'm not alone in the love affair I have with this stuff. Seriously, try this soon! I swear by it. Looking back through years of pictures, my skin has always looked and felt the absolute best when I've used it.

I alternate between the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and this one. I've used it for years, too, and I love the gel-like consistency and how it never clogs my pores or leaves my skin feeling heavy or greasy. It's just a great performing cleanser- nothing fancy, it just does the job and does it well.. and I love the price tag. I've tried other products in this line, especially as a teenager, and I've never been disappointed.

In the realm of moisturizers, I've used this one for the last 8 years after randomly purchasing it at Ulta on a whim and I've been obsessed with it and pretty much the entire Ahava line ever since. It's just perfect for my skin- not too heavy and just feels so perfect. I feel like it's fairly lightweight and it has never clogged my pores or made me feel more oily, I just can't say enough good things about it. I've ventured into their hand cream- spoiler alert, it's divine! And I also love their foot cream, body lotion and shower cream. So, I guess you could say that I'm a big ol' fan of everything Ahava!

During the colder months if my skin is feeling particularly dry, once or twice a week I use this moisturizer and my skin looks and feels back to life. I don't use it daily in the wintertime because for me, it's a little bit heavy for daily use with my combo skin. I find that if I use it every few days, my skin is able to get through winter with no problem, no dryness and just pure radiance. And isn't that what we all want? Again, it comes with overwhelmingly rave reviews and is a cult favorite. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't have oily skin.  You normal to dry skin girls will adore this one! I have combo skin and it can sometimes feel a bit heavy, so I'd imagine that oily girls would find this one pretty heavy and sticky.

In the realm of eye cream, I'm picky about what I like. I want it to be not too thick but thick enough to where I feel like it's doing a little something-some tightening, some brightening, some moisturizing and lightweight.. but not too lightweight. I'm a tough critic. Me? Picky? Never. Again, I have some favorites for cooler weather and warmer months. My favorite eye cream for every day is this one. What can I say? I'm a fan of anything Ahava. And no, they're not paying me to say so. I liked the moisturizer so much that I just ventured to their eye cream and I'm glad I did. This guy just really performs so, so well and I love that it really absorbs into my skin quickly.

My favorite eye cream for the colder weather is this one. I got it as a sample once and I swore by it when I lived in Colorado where my skin needed to be dipped in moisturizer, wrapped and mummified 24/7. It's just heavy enough for when my skin is super dry and it's a huge bonus that it goes on like a dream and smells amazing. It has such a yummy, clean, spa smell and I just love the stuff. I find it to definitely be thicker than my normal eye cream and it really brightens my dark under eye circles that my genetics blessed me with. #thanksmomma

It goes without saying that I have noticed a considerable difference in my skin since cutting out lots of processed foods, diet soda and processed carbs in general. My skin really does look lit from within and I'm not as puffy and bloated as I used to be. I tend to find that if I have an off plan eating day, it shows in the clarity and brightness of my skin. Carbs can dull my skin in 2 seconds flat. Meeting my daily water goal is a constant struggle but the more I hydrate, the better my skin looks and feels. 

I'm always on the lookout for any eye creams that are lightweight but also brighten. And any new moisturizers that y'all swear by! So if you have any recommendations, let a girl know! I always love seeing what stuff people use on the daily and adore and the fact that Sephora will throw together a free sample of any product in the store is really something to love. 

Happy Tuesday! 

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