The earliest memory I have of using products on my face is when I was about fourteen, my grandmother sent me to Charm School at Liberty House (Ala Moana Mall in Hawaii) one summer. They taught us makeup application, facial care, as well as posture and other “charming” things from how to cross your legs while sitting to proper dining etiquette. But back to beauty… they recommended Almay cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Later in my teens I used Clinique and Amway‘s Clarifying system (I believe, I think it had green lettering, but I loved the smell of it).
Nowadays, I have combination skin: my cheeks, brow-line and between my brows tend to be dry; upper forehead and temples oily; acne breakouts along the underside of my jaw, at my temples, and every now and again on my nose or chin. To top it off there are dark circles and fine lines under my eyes, and I have fine lines along my forehead as well, and baby fine hairs on my cheeks and jaw. Not to mention that I have short stumpy lashes. Then there is my hair – it’s thinning and I lose more and more of it every day. Yup, I’m flawed and it’s a struggle – oh man, is it a struggle! – but that’s just being human after all, right? All of that makes for a very difficult task in finding the perfect combination of beauty products to balance out my “flaws”.
I haven’t found that yet, so my beauty regimen is constantly changing, but in case you’re wondering what my current one is:
For cleansing and makeup removal I alternate between 1) raw unfiltered honey (organic, if it’s not too expensive) mixed cold pressed unrefined organic extra virgin coconut oil (I just take a dollop of the coconut oil and put it in my palm and squeeze out about a half a teaspoon or so of honey onto it, then rub my hands together, letting the warmth of my hands melt the coconut oil. Once it’s all mixed, I gently massage it into my face, neck, and decolletage); and 2) Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser w/Cotton Extract. I use a soft microfiber cloth and warm-to-hot water to remove the oil mixture or cleanser – the cloth is necessary, water alone won’t help take it off. For the coconut oil mixture you don’t want the water too cool or lukewarm, but you don’t want it scalding either as that will be drying to your skin. The coconut oil/honey doubles as an extra moisturizer barrier (so there will be a residue feel of the oil), not to mention that it’s anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal (there are other benefits, I’m sure). I use the Philosophy purity mask about once a week, if I remember.
As for toners, I haven’t really been using one, though I should as I need it! Recently, though, I received a sample of Nip + Fab Skin Glycolic Fix. They’re little exfoliating facial pads. From the description: “radiance-boosting pads, soaked in exfoliating glycolic acid retexture and resurface skin whilst witch hazel helps to tone. This moisturizing formula with hyaluronic acid and soothing blue daisy helps to reveal brighter and smoother looking skin.” They smell really lovely, reminds me a little of gardenia, which happens to be my favorite flower. It feels really nice as well. My hormones aren’t playing nice right now, so my complexion has been crappier than normal these past couple of days, but these pads are really soothing and surprisingly have not dried my face out. The little sample only came with five, so I can’t really say for certain whether it has made any improvements, but I want to buy the full-size one which comes with 60 pads for about $12.99 via Ulta (and Walgreens has them according to google). The real test is if it does improve my skin and if the improvements last beyond 2 weeks (which is when effects usually wear off for me, it’s like my body gets immune to it). Hope to pick some up this week and will follow up with progress in about 3-4 weeks!
For moisturizers I’ve been using Philosophy’s renewed hope in a jar (for day), which smells really nice, no cons that I can think of right now, and hope in a jar night. The hope in a jar night cons: makes my eyebrows flaky, so I try to keep it away from that area; and this night cream smells like dirty socks, yick 🙁
I ordered some different moisturizers and toners from BeautyNetKorea, hopefully those come in soon (really hoping they come in tomorrow… are you listening Universe? tomorrow, ahem!). I’m part Asian, so have always been interested in that culture, and lately even more so interested in their beauty care and makeup. When that comes in, you can bet I’ll have a haul post up!
Next for my under eyes, I use sibu beauty sea buckthorn age defying eye cream, in the morning after moisturizing and at night before bed. I haven’t been using this long, maybe a week or less. So far so good! It hasn’t gotten rid of my dark undereye circles, but I’ve noticed a healthier color developing there. Picked it up from Natural Grocers.
And lastly in the facial care regimen, for my short stumpy lashes, Catrice Costmetics Lash Boost Lash Growth Overnight Serum. I’ve used this for the past two nights. It says to apply it as you would eyeliner, but you have to be very careful that it doesn’t get in your eye or bleed into your eye, it STINGS if it does! Haven’t noticed anything yet, except a couple of lashes came out :/ and there are some new lashes in an odd place very close to my tear duct – weird & yikes! I’ll try it a bit longer, but if I keep losing lashes, I won’t need this product any more as I’ll just have to commit to using falsies.
Because I have sensitive skin I use (at least currently) Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief body wash unscented.
And for hair, I use Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Shampoo and Conditioner. About 2-3 times a week, I use DermOrganic Intensive Hair Repair Masque, which is enriched with rice keratin and made with organic argan oil of Morocco. I find that if I use the hair repair masque more often than that my scalp gets oily, but 2-3 times a week is good and it makes my hair all shiny and “silky smooth” and tames most of my frizzies.
If I miss one day of washing my hair (with normal shampoo) then my scalp gets oily and if I miss two days then I start breaking out on my scalp and neck — it’s probably because I’ve been washing my hair daily since before I can remember, but I don’t have the time available to change my scalp’s chemistry by weening it off (nobody wants to walk around with oily stringy hair for any length of time — at least I don’t!).
General body moisturizer I use coconut oil (same as the one I use to clean my face) and/or Palmer‘s cocoa butter (original formula).
That’s it, I believe!