Lauren’s note: This is Part 3 of Loren’s guest posts, where she has given us so much information on all of the amazing products she uses on the daily. Click here to see Part 1, her daytime routine, and click here to see Part 2, Loren’s night routine. She is kind of my hero. I hope she will come back and write more guest blogs for us because she’s amazing! But without further ado… here’s the final post in her little guest blog mini-series on skincare!
Oh but wait, there’s more! These are some “supplemental” items I also consider part of my routine, but which I vary use of depending on my skin’s specific needs or state of despair:
I usually use two main types of masks: pore-cleaning and hydrating. I have a love/hate relationship with pore unclogging masks. Typically charcoal masks, these tend to dry me out something painful, and do not ultimately unclog so well that I can tolerate the skin tightening. However, I have found some charcoal masks that are actually “hydrating” (i.e., not especially dehydrating), my favorite of which is the Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash‑Off Treatment ($38). I also enjoy Lush Mask of Magnaminty ($14.95 & Cruelty-Free CF) – it never dries down to the point I start to see cracking, and feels soft on my skin from the time I apply until I wash it off. I just don’t love the small scrubbies it contains, and try to be gentle when spreading it on my skin.
For hydrating masks, I like to use Julep Night Shift Sleeping Mask ($27.20 & CF) or Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask ($24 & CF). The Paula’s Choice mask is not my absolute favorite for how thick and silicone-y it feels. But I have used it after peels and other intense facial treatments, and it worked beautifully to calm any redness and reduce flaking. I typically substitute my night cream for either one of these mask treatments once a week or as needed.
I also consider sheet masks an important part of my hydrating mask rotation. I just can’t use them all the time because buying enough for regular weekly use is not sustainable for me. I’ll reserve sheet masking for nights before a big event, times when my skin REALLY needs the extra TLC, or for travel when sheet masks seem to do their best work! My absolute favorite of ALL TIME sheet mask is the StarSkin Red Carpet Ready Hydrating Bio Cellulose Second Skin Face Mask ($10) (another mouthful! these names sometimes….). StarSkin has several varieties of sheet masks. This one is basically their hydrating version and it works beautifully for me, especially on a recent trip to Peru when I lost my luggage (including skincare!) and only had two of these masks to sustain me for days. Alas, they are not readily available in the US. When I travel to Europe, though, my first priority is to stock up on these puppies. That’s right, first priority is not to check into my hotel or eat food or go see the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben or whatever; it’s to pop into a Douglas and hoard StarSkin masks like the crazy person I am! Another favorite is the Etude House Dr. Ampoule Dual Sheet Masks ($6). They also come in several varieties, and include a first-step serum to apply before the sheet mask, which is what makes these totally magical! I picked these up during a layover in Seoul, and stuffed my carry-on bag just to its breaking point!
2) Lip Products
I too long neglected lips as part of my skincare routine, and am now trying to make up for that ridiculous ignorance! I try to exfoliate my lips semi-regularly, or at least before using my more drying liquid lipsticks, because those bad boys really like to suck the life out of lips sometimes (not that I have that much experience with bad boys and lips to compare!) The Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub ($10.95 & CF) is one of my favorites, although I have to use it quickly or else it dries out. I also enjoy the e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator ($3 & CF), specifically the “regular” brown sugar flavor, for the fact it comes in a super easy to apply lipstick bullet. And the price certainly makes me and my lips happy.
As far as moisturizing treatments, all roads lead to the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26 + CF). This is the single best lip treatment I have every tried, and it saves my parched lips in the dry winter months. If you have watched any about of beauty YouTube, I am sure you have heard this product mentioned and hyped by everyone. EVERY. ONE. And with good reason, because it really is that good. A little goes a long way, and i like to warm up the paste in my first to make sure I get a nice, even application. This is usually the last step in my nighttime routine. For the daytime, I like to use a lip balm with SPF: for clear balm, I like the Aesop Protective Lip Balm SPF 30 (CF), or when I want a natural easy-breezy flush to my pout, I will use the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Rosé ($24). This is my favorite lip balm for travel because it doubles as “my lips but better” makeup.
3) Spray Mists
Like with sunscreen, I have a little sable of spray mists I like to use for different reasons and in different circumstance, because apparently high-maintenance is a term that needs its definition pushed to the limit. I have already mentioned Lush Eau Roma Water ($10.95- $22.95 & CF) as both a toner and gym staple for gently refreshing my skin. Speaking of the gym, I also use Lush Tea Tree Water ($10.95-$22.95 CF) after a workout just to keep my pores from getting too clogged with sweat and yoga-mat residue. On its own, this would be too drying on my skin, so I follow with Eau Roma Water or Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist ($24 & CF) to moisturize lightly post-barre. My #1 favorite hydrating mist to use on the regular is the Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol ($25 & CF). This is a more intensely hydrating formula that has one of the most satisfying “mist circumferences” around (just you watch, that expression is about to explode onto the skincare scene). I use this daily to “set” the rest of my moisturizers because, again, high-maintenance is a moniker I wear proudly. And adding few spritzes after a long flight both restores hydration to my skin, and makes me feel human again (traveling whilst in zombie mode is not ideal).
And there you have it! Perhaps this skincare routine is excessive to some of you, or woefully underdeveloped to others. But it has been carefully curated over several years, and I am overall content with the place to which it has brought my skin for now. Most of all, taking care of my skin brings me a lot of joy – testing out products is exceedingly fun – and I try to keep my expectations in check lest skincare become a source of misery. It has also been a self-esteem booster, not because I think I look fly or because appearance is the most important of things. It has been a self-esteem booster because it is nice to feel like I deserve the time and money it takes to invest in skincare. I deserve, you deserve it, we all deserve it!