Over the last month, I made a conscious effort to switch up my skincare & related routines as a means to 1) combat my ultra-dry winter skin, and 2) introduce myself to a few new items I’ve been meaning to try out. It’s been 31+ days and these items mentioned below are the ones I’m not only still using, but absolutely LOVE! As I’ve mentioned many many times over the years, I will never ever share something I don’t truly believe in nor find personal enjoyment/success in using on a daily or weekly basis.
I hope you’re inspired to try some of my below recs, especially if you’re suffering from dry skin to the max & unreasonable acne flare-ups in places not just on your face 😀
SKINCARE + TOOLS
NU Skin ageLOC LumiSpa Facial Cleansing Device: This has been such a game changer in my morning & evening routines! Think of it as an energizing facial massage tool that targets your skin concerns through an applied cleanser, leaving your skin appearing smoother, brighter and overall happier. With my super dry skin these days, I’ve been using my LumiSpa daily with the Dry Cleanser- every morning & every night on makeup-free skin. It’s a pricer tool but my skin genuinely looks and feels a lot softer & brighter with the removal of dead skin cells and active stimulation to better absorb the serums & creams I apply post-cleansing.
How it works: Apply the cleanser & wet the LumiSpa Device Brush Head with water. Once turned on, the device head will move back & forth in a modified scrubbing motion. Gently guide the device as it moves back and forth in the four zones – forehead, right cheek, left cheek, & jawline chin areas. The device will make a change in momentum to indicate moving onto the next zone and will turn off once treatment in all 4 zones is complete. I’ve only had to charge it once during the entire month of Jan and only now had to plug it in for the 2nd time tonight!
PS – There’s a cleanser for all skin types! Choose from Dry, Sensitive, Normal/Combo, Oily or Acne
SBLA Sculpting Wand: As someone with a round head, you can say my jawline inherently has a double-chin – or at least so I’ve noticed in certain pictures at more than one angle. So yes, I definitely felt inclined to try this sculpting wand out after reading the reviews and its quick-to-notice results. I’ve also tried the nighttime version of this wand & have noticed a slight change in my neckline upon waking, appearing more lifted than it normally is. Along with the jaw/neckline wand, there’s also one for the face designed to target the areas most likely to age quickest – for me, it’s the eyebrows & forehead especially.
How it works: The serum in the wand acts like a protective barrier to preserve your outer skin layers, conserving the natural water & amino acid content of the skin’s structure. Effectively allowing it to appear hydrated, tighter & brighter after one use (like an instant lift), as well as lasting longer with continuous daily application.
Elemis Peptide4 Hydra-Serum: One of my favorite, lightweight serums of all time. I’ve used it so much that I had to get another 2 refills (one to use now, the other to have as an immediate backup.) Seriously, it’s that great you’ll never not be using it each morning/night.
Drunk Elephant Protini Peptide Cream: If you’re looking for a daily moisturizer that sticks around without feeling too heavy/oily after applying, then this cream is for you! I can’t say enough great things about most Drunk Elephant products I’ve tried but this Protini Cream is definitely one of my most recommended ones to try!
Mario Badescu Protein Night Cream: Another thick, moisture-intensive cream that’s perfect for dry winter skin renewal as you sleep soundly. Best part: I haven’t found myself dealing with the acne-related consequences of using a thicker night cream like this, which is truly a wonderful thing.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Facial Oil: On evenings where I feel like my skin would benefit from an extra bit more of hydration, this is the facial oil I trust to lock it all in for the evening. And every morning I wake up so happy about using it, because my face looks so refreshed and feels beyond soft as a result.
Necessaire The Body Exfoliator + The Body Wash: I’m a big big fan of this combo whenever I shower. The Exfoliator I only use 1-2x a week, but The Body Wash is an everytime use kinda thing. But on the days I use both together – the BEST! I personally use & appreciate the sandalwood scent best but both are available in unscented or eucalyptus scent options.
Pixi Beauty +C Vit Brightening Perfector: HANDS-DOWN THIS IS SOMETHING YOU NEED! If there’s anything you’re influenced to try out, please let it be this incredible BB Cream + Vitamin-C tube of perfection. I often use this alone after cleansing in the morning, as the formula works to match my skintone while gently leaving my face with the appearance of being naturally airbrushed. I’ve hardly noticed it leave marks on my hand towels/shirts/etc. whenever I accidentally rub my hand on my face throughout the day; it truly lasts and allows for an all-day wear you can rely on.
Neutrogena Prep + Correct Primer (For Redness): Personally, I love using a nice primer either alone or before applying my powder foundation because I find it sets my skin up for a long day of remaining evenly-balanced. This primer has been such a miracle-worker when it comes to reducing the redness on my nose & cheeks thanks to rosacea and winter irritation.
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder: Not that I’m wearing a full face of makeup most days, but the times I do calls for a finishing touch that I can leave the house feeling confident in its longevity (alike the Pixi +C Vit.) I formerly used setting sprays but found they do more damage when applied too close to the face or when the mist is not evenly dispersed. With loose setting powder, I find I have more control over its application once I complete my makeup for the occasion. What I love about this one from Laura Mercier is its effectiveness, as well as how it leaves a discrete veil over the face in such a beautiful way. My chosen color is “Honey” but I’ve used the Translucent (for fair skin tones) and found it worked just as well on my skin tone color, in case you’re not certain which one would be best for you.
L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer Pencil: There’s no denying I pencil in my eyebrows, and I’m sure most of you do as well. As much as I’d love to invest time & money into microblading and longer-lasting brow treatments, my current budget nor my willingness to pursue it aren’t much motivation for me. Maybe someday but for now, I’m very happy with my under $10 pencils I can get at any pharmacy if need be.
I’ve tried several drugstore brow pencils & this one is definitely the best of the bunch in terms of application, consistency and natural-looking blendability. I switch between “Light Brunette” & “Brunette” depending on what’s available at the time of purchase.
Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask: I’m very guilty of using heat tools on my hair constantly, even now when I have practically no where to go lol. So this hair mask has been a true strand-saver on occasions. During the summer, I frequently use the Hydration Mask which definitely helped combat the dryness associated with salt water and sunshine. But winter calls for a different approach – more restoration-focused.
How I use: I leave my mask(s) in the shower and apply generously from scalp to tip after shampooing (Tip: leave a loose hair tie in the shower to tie up your hair once mask is applied.) For the next 5 minutes, I’ll go about my other shower activities such as shaving, body washing, etc. until it’s time to rinse the mask (you won’t need to follow with conditioner either, as the mask acts like a detangler itself.) Another thing: I like to rinse in lukewarm-cold water, as I find it makes my hair retain a noticeable shine once dried.
Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo & Hydrate Conditioner: One of my favorite lines of shampoo/conditioner out there. Pureology does wonders for all hair types, especially if yours is color-treated or used to be (like mine, which is in the process of growing out.) I like using these two in a combo because the formulas are actually different – unlike most brands that claim to be for something but ultimately seem like the same formula with a different label slapped on. I notice a difference whenever I use them simultaneously or together, limiting the amount of conditioner just to my ends. It’s a pricier S&C option but there’s a reason & the proof is in how flawless your hair looks post-use.
Unite 7-Seconds Leave-IN Conditioner: The weightless detangler your hair will appreciate time & time again. My hair gets extremely frizzy once I exit the shower, regardless if I towel dry it or leave it be. I purposely don’t use much conditioner (only a drop on my ends) to avoid the inevitable greaseball situation that happens if I overload my scalp with it. So having this spray detangler to help me painlessly get out the knots is a Godsend. Plus, it smells INCREDIBLE. Highly recommend if you have difficult hair to brush post-shower, or have small children you’re tired of fighting with when it comes to brushing out the tangles for them.
DryBar Triple Sec 3-in-1 Finishing Spray: If you’ve ever been to DryBar, you’ll think fondly of that wondrously delicious-smelling spray the stylist uses to finish up your chosen hair-do. That’s this right here! I bought it immediately the moment I witnessed (& smelled) its glory and now I’m on my 3rd bottle since the start of December 2020. I’m definitely over-using it, but my hair never shows the consequences of “too much product” and that right there says something.
Batiste Dry Shampoo: Here’s another product that’s not new to me per say, but has been in frequent use over the past month. Most dry shampoos do more harm than help when it comes to combating signs of unwashed hair (for me personally) so discovering Batiste has been enlightening. Not only does it work & work well, it’s not crazy expensive whatsoever. My personal favorite “fragrance” is the Tropical one (yellow can) & I’ve learned to buy it in the largest size, 2 at a time, to avoid any potential circumstances of running out when I need it most (which has been more often than not in the past.)
PSA for Brunette/Darker-Hair Users: AVOID using the “Hint of Color” Dry Shampoo option at all costs. It’ll stain your hands if you accidentally touch your hair, stain your clothes as a result, and stain your scalp as it runs down if ever excessively sweating or caught in a rainstorm. You have been warned.
AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream: I’ve tried A LOT of hand creams in the past month and finally found one that works! It’s thick, smells great and lasts until you aggressively wash your hands with soap. Even still, I’ve found it ever-so-slightly sticks around even after an aggressive hand wash.
Kerasal Nail Repair: I’ve mentioned this handy-dandy nail treatment earlier in January & as you can see by the before/after pictures, it truly does wonders! On the by-week(s) where I allow my nails to breathe without gel from a manicure, I generously apply it 2x a day to help restore & strengthen.
Dermalogica AGE Bright Active Clearing Serum: In my personal opinion, this is a serum used more as an preventative but judging by the lack of facial acne in the past month, it’s been doing a great job! It works particularly well for dry skin types, and actively works to turnover cells to reduce signs of visible aging. I apply it most evenings after cleansing & before moisturizing.
Proactiv Deep Cleansing Acne Body Wash: Now I’m not sure why, but it appeared as if the acne that was once popping up occasionally on my face has decided to relocate to a new (and terribly inconvenient) spot on my body – dead center of my back, out of arms with loofah reach. I’ve never had issues with acne on my back, so this was an entirely new and shocking discovery to come across at age 29. So I got myself this targeted body wash & a mounted back loofah for my shower wall so I could combat this unsightly situation right away. Within 2 weeks, the acne on my back completely cleared! I’m so happy about how effective Proactiv continues to prove itself being; I still use it weekly to help keep the acne at bay/prevent it from reappearing.
Proot Butt & Thigh Acne Clearing Treatment Cream: Oh yes, acne also made itself a new home right on my a$$ – which was indeed quite a shock to discover as well. IDK what the hell made it decide to land there but after researching treatment options, it was learned that it’s indeed a normal place for acne to show up. I ended up going with the Proot Treatment Cream and after 1.5 weeks of applying generously post-shower and whenever I felt like touching the spots up, the acne was virtually gone! Relieved about this successful disappearance is an understatement.