Skincare routines have been around for ages. For millennia it has been a way of showing one’s social standing, intimidating and gaining attention from rivals and improving one’s chance of finding the right mate. From cleopatra soaking in a bath of milk and honey to beauty painting in China, beauty practices takes us way back.
Skincare was not a thing for me. Only six months ago, I cleansed whenever I felt like it with some cheapy foaming cleanser that dried and tightened my face to a crisp, I used a hand me down cream moisturizer that someone had an extra of and things like toner, exfoliators, masks, serums etc were out of the equation.
This was all until three weeks before my wedding. My face, neck and shoulders burst out into the breakout of the decade. And it did not leave. So yes, I had a really bad looking face on my wedding day.
While planning the final details of my wedding, I slipped in some skin care research and boy I can tell you, I was immediately overwhelmed. As time passed I took my time and grew familiar with all the scientific names, the brands, the ingredients (I’m still working on that ) and so on and so on. I followed people such as Gothamista, Stephanie Nicole and Caroline Hirons on Youtube and read a multitude of blogs and message boards.
After weeks of research and contemplation, I finally settled on a skincare routine and chose the type of products that suited my needs. Then I sorted out what brand and price point would be best for me. I’m a woman on a budget, so brands like the Drunk Elephants and Sunday Rileys are out of my reach for now but I found other highly recommended, affordable (for me) brands that I am now using.
My skin and its needs in a nutshell: Oily combination, large pores, uneven skin tone, pimple prone (lots of sebum activity). I need products and practices to address these in addition to aging skin. I am 33 years old and notice a few crows feet, lingering smile lines and expression lines in my forehead.
So without further ado, here is my routine and the products I use for the morning time. It takes me all of five minutes and most times even less than that. I’m still learning, so my descriptions of each will be as basic as basic gets.
L’Oreal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser, Normal to Oily Skin, 13.5 fl. oz.
On mornings I cleanse very lightly. This is just to remove residue and whatever gunk is there from the night before. For this I use a Micellar water of some sort which is supposed to draw out skin impurities without drying it out. I tried many and settled on this one as the others caused breakouts and some even caused my eyelashes to fall out!
Lancome Tonique Radiance Clarifying Exfoliating Toner
Ideally I should be using a toner without alcohol, but this one replenishes and quenches my face and helps to clean off any excess dirt and residue. I will be replacing this with another non-alcohol toner when its finished. This one from CosRx seems interesting so I’d try it next. I usually tone only when I feel my skin needs it. Many times, thats only once a week on mornings.
Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acide Serum | The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc
I interchange these daily. I use a vitamin C serum which is an antioxidant. Vitamin C is used this every to help address my uneven skin tone, protect my skin from the environment, brighten and hydrate. It generally helps with younger looking skin as well. I’ve had some problems with this step as Vitamin C in absorbic acid form (which is considered the best form) is very expensive and highly unstable. Oxidation (turns yellow) occurs quickly once the serum is exposed to light and air. The first serum I tried lasted one month before I had to toss it.
This product is great so far as the added ingredients help with stabilization making it longer lasting (I also store it in the refrigerator). My skin already appears brighter, firmer and more even toned. On the other day, I use Niacinamide (Vitamin B3). I use this serum for my aging skin. It helps improve the appearance of my large pores, addresses blemishes and balances my sebum activity. This product is new to my routine so I’d check in later on and give my opinion on it.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
For years I used cream moisturizers. Which just basically sat on my skin and made me oilier. Ugh! I have since switched to gel type and water based moisture sources for this step in my routine. This moisturizer is lightweight, non-greasy and quick drying. It feels like a refreshing glass of water on my face! It’s my favorite step in the routine. When this one is done, I will repurchase, but I also want to try this one from CosRx and this one from the Ordinary. Just to switch things up a bit.
Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin, Broad Spectrum Spf 55, 3 Fl. Oz.
The most important step of any skincare routine. This is the only step I didn’t flounder on in the past and I’m glad because repairing sun damage is alot of work. Not to mention the number it does on your skin where aging is concerned. This one dries down nicely without a white cast, and gets the job done affordably. It layers well under makeup and it lasts me a long time. I have no idea when this product will run out.
Important things to note
I interchange my Vitamin C and Niacinamide as it is advised to not use the two together. The Ordinary claims that the use of both in the same routine will cause the Niacinamide to affect the integrity of the Vitamin C. There are many arguments about mixing skincare properties together and to date, I still don’t know which ones are right. Skincare is still new to me, so I’m still testing and fiddling.
I put on products based on consistency from liquid to lotions/gels. I leave some time between applying Vitamin C and the moisturizer.
Remember that our skin all has different needs and what may work for me, may not work for you. Even if you have the same skin type or same issues. Don’t take my routine wholesale. I took advice yes, but I researched alot and figured out what would work best for my skin.
I kept this simple as there are many resources out there that goes more in-depth. In Trinidad and Tobago we don’t have the larger department stores so I resorted to buying most of my items online. I stuck with the original producer and reputable distributors to get these products. I bought the micellar water locally and The Ordinary products from a local skin and beauty shop.
What’s your routine? Tell us!
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S ~ My Go-To 5 Minute Smoothie Bowl