Lately I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my skin. I am almost 33; generally speaking, the skin compliments have come to an end by the time you reach 30. It wasn’t until the past couple of years that I’ve really understood what my skin needs and how to have glowing, even, supple skin. Seriously, at 33 my skin has never looked better.
I’ve always struggled with a dry, sensitive complexion for as long as I can remember. I figured that was just my plight in life – to have red, uneven tone and never find the right balance of moisture. Products meant for sensitive skin just wouldn’t be moisturizing enough, and most cleansers would be too harsh. Facials would leave me with chemical burns. Masks would make me break out (though fortunately acne isn’t a problem for me). I’d occasionally find a great regimen that worked for a time, only to wake up one morning to dry patches that wouldn’t go away until I switched things up. Life was hard, guys.
After years of trying every cleanser and moisturizer on the market, I’m happy to say that I’ve found an amazing combination of products that truly work for me – and it turns out they are pretty universally great for just about everyone. See? I took the work out of this for all of you. You’re welcome.
Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil – $32 If you’ve read my posts before, you know that I love this cleanser. Josie Maran’s products are brilliant in general, but this cleanser is a true staple for me. I use it in my morning shower; it leaves skin soft and clean without feeling greasy. A lot of people don’t realize that there are astringent oils that clean your face better than soap, but even some oil washes are so astringent that they are no good for sensitive or dry skin. This cleanser is low in grapeseed oil (astringent) and high in other oils that are used for moisture retention, brightening, and soothing. Plus it smells great, foams slightly, and rinses clean. The only downside to this is it’s not great at removing makeup, so I use a separate wash for that (see below).
Julep Konjac Sponge – $12 (or $9.60 for Mavens) I know some people who use this sponge every day, but I only use it a couple times a week. The konjac sponge hails from Korea (like many amazing skincare products) and offers soft but effective exfoliation. Julep got me hooked on it, but you can probably buy them cheaper elsewhere. Since I try not to aggravate my skin too much, I’ll exfoliate only about once or twice a month, so this sponge is perfect for me in the interim.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid – $39 & Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – $48 Ok guys, ignore the hideous packaging because this stuff is LEGIT. Remember when I said that I’ve always struggled with dry skin? No matter how much money I paid for high-end ultra-moisturizing creams and serums, my skin would ultimately end up dry. Enter the genius that is Dr. Jart. I don’t know what ceramides are, but I consider them to be tough little moisture soldiers. This set works in 2 parts – first, you smooth just a little of the ceramidin liquid over your clean skin, then follow it with a thin layer of the cream. Then pack a bag, baby, because you’re on the road to Best Skin Ever Town.
The liquid plumps and seals skin for long-term moisture, strengthening and protecting the skin from dehydration and truly transforms the texture. The cream seals the liquid in and adds further softness and moisture. It’s a powerful combination that is so effective I feel like you should need a prescription for it (thankfully you don’t). Best of all, it’s VERY light. This is not thick and heavy, it’s light and dries quickly. There is not another product that I’ve tried (and I’ve tried SO MANY) that comes close to the greatness of the Ceramidin line.
I couldn’t justify dropping over $80 to see how this stuff worked, so I bought a small sample kit for half the price and, like nearly half of the reviews say, I regretted not just buying the full sized items. I’m not kidding, from the first time I used it, my skin was completely transformed. ONE TIME. I use this morning and night and my skin has never been so supple, smooth, and the perfect level of softness. I have not had one dry patch of skin since using this and the redness that has plagued my face since I was a teenager is gone too. Bonus: a lot of fine lines I’ve started getting have disappeared. Does it sound like I’m gushing? Because I am. I cannot say enough about how amazing this combo is, and how much it is worth the price tag (and you use so little that one full size bottle of each of these can last me nearly a year).
Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm – $39 I have to thank Lauren for introducing me to this beauty balm. I’ve always hated wearing foundation, since I have clear skin I’ve felt that it’s just too much coverage for my needs. My dry skin always seems to make foundation (even the good stuff) look a bit… unnatural? So I’ve been really attracted to BB creams for their light coverage and balmy texture. Dr. Jart’s BB offers not only light, even coverage, but it also has SPF 45 in it as well as an anti-aging serum that helps improve your skin. It’s premium for a reason. They now have a darker version for darker skin tones too! (Side note: there is a 4% Ebate available for sephora.com right now! Click here to sign up for Ebates – it’s free money!)
Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser – $28 Like I mentioned above, I use a different cleanser to remove my makeup at the end of the day. I’ve got lash extensions, which don’t play nice with regular makeup remover or cleansing balms (trust me), so I’ve had to find a cleanser that is falsie-safe and good for my problem skin. Caudalie’s foaming cleanser is so light and non-drying, yet super effective. I can’t believe it’s $28 in the US. I’ve never bought it here so I had no idea – I’ve always gotten it in Europe where it’s (no joke) like $5. I’m glad it’s available, but I’m actually interested in trying the Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Cleansing Bar as my nightly cleanser. I’ve heard great things – a lot of people are obsessed. It should be arriving any day now in the mail, so I can’t wait to give it a try. By the way, until I tried the Dr. Jart Ceramidin line, I would have NEVER risked trying a bar of soap on my skin. Look at me now!
Julep Night Shift – $34 (or $27.20 for Mavens) The last product I use every day is Julep’s Night Shift sleeping mask. Smoothing a tiny bit over your face before you hit the sack may seem like one more thing to do after a long day, but when you wake up with brighter, healthier, smoother skin, you’ll thank yourself for taking the extra step. I managed to get a bottle of this in a mystery box and it sat on my shelf gathering dust until about a month ago. I use it nightly now and recently scored 2 more bottles for $20 in the Julep Secret Store (you can only access it if you’re a Maven!). I absolutely love this stuff. (Side note, there is a 5% cash back Ebate available right now at julep.com too! Click here to get Ebates)
So there you have it, my recipe for perfect skin. Each of these products has transformed my skin from frustrating and unpredictable to soft, even, and smooth. I know a lot of people out there struggle with the same thing I have, so I hope this has been helpful. I realize that some of the prices are a bit steep, but they are completely worth it and all of these last for SO LONG. I promise.
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