Happy Monday, my friends! I have spent the last few weeks researching and searching for the best skincare products to revamp my skin care regime for my Mama Care Monday series. My goal for this past week was to do my entire skin care regime, with my fun new products- every single day. I am a busy mom and would be lying if I said I even wash my face every single night. I know I am not alone, and we need to stop! It’s so bad for our skin.
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I am happy to announce that I met my goal 100%. My skin feels seriously amazing. My husband keeps stroking my cheeks and saying “wow, they’re so soft!” I kid you not! I’ve also been trying to eat more foods that are high in anti-oxidants, drink tons of water, and remember my vitamins. We can’t just slather our faces with expensive creams, and then only eat coffee for every meal and sleep for 5 hours a night and expect our skin to look all magical.
Today, I am going to share some of the best skin care products with you. Whenever we try a new product, we obviously want to research it before we buy it, and WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?? I usually just ask my sister, who doesn’t have kids and is pretty much a beauty guru, and she tells me what to buy. This time I did ask my sister for her expertise, but also spend a LOT of time online reading reviews, and browsing the aisles at Sephora. It can be really overwhelming because there are so many products out there, and I want to make it easy for my mama friends.
My skincare regime has always consisted of washing my face and applying moisturizer. I’ve always used good quality products, but I’m getting to an age where I need to dial up my routine a bit. I don’t break out often, but my skin just looks dull, tired, and uneven.
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How Did I Choose the Best Skincare Products?
I consider a few things when looking for skincare products. It’s important to me to use high quality, more natural or organic products on my skin. I try to avoid most drugstore products and harsh chemicals such as retinol. The FDA doesn’t have to approve any products before they are put on the market. Other countries have banned thousands of products, and the FDA has banned under 10. It’s pretty scary to think that literally almost anything can be in our products that we put on our faces and in turn get all over our children. That being said, I also don’t usually go with products that are 100% organic. There have been several brands that I have tried that have just been ‘meh’ but were really expensive. I try to find a balance between high quality, natural products that work.
I also consider the price. A few of the products I tried and am suggesting to you are fairly expensive, however, they will work and last you a long time. You can also return anything that you don’t like through Amazon or Sephora. I haven’t returned things through other retailers, but I know those two are great about taking things back that don’t work for you. I tried to test out brands with varying prices, but certain products, such as serums, just come with a high price tag or aren’t very effective.
Did you know that you are supposed to take your makeup off BEFORE you wash your face?? I always thought that taking makeup off was the entire point of washing my face. Apparently, cleanser doesn’t do the job of really cleaning your pores if it is busy taking off your makeup. I despise makeup remover. On the rare occurrence that I did take my makeup off before washing my face, I would wet my face and smooth some coconut oil over a cotton ball and use that. It worked pretty well, but it’s so oily that it would get in my eyes and make my contacts cloudy. One of my lovely blogger friends, Natalia, recently shared a DIY natural makeup remover. It has only 3 ingredients: coconut oil, water, and witch hazel! The water and witch hazel cut down on the oiliness, and it has been absolutely perfect.
I have used the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel for the past several years and really love it. It’s around $40 for 8.4 ounces, and it lasts so long. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I bought some, but it was well over a year ago, I kid you not. It’s very gentle and has no scent, perfect for sensitive skin. It’s very smooth and doesn’t dry out my skin at all since it isn’t actually a soap. I think it’s done a really good job of keeping my skin soft and moisturized with no other products.
I’m almost out of my Dermalogica, and so I tried a sample of the cleanser that my sister uses, the DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Brightening Daily Cleanser. It worked really well, and my skin felt very smooth after washing it. I’m not crazy about the scent. It did a slightly better job of smoothing out my skin than the Dermalogica, but I have used it for so many years with no issues. Both products are gentle and don’t contain ingredients that strip the skin of moisture like many cleansers do. I’m not sure which one I’m going to use long term, but I think I would be happy with either one.
This Fresh cleanser is another good option for busy moms. It is a combination makeup remover/cleanser, so you can skip the step of removing makeup! I have a travel sized bottle that I plan to use on nights that I’m really tired and feel like skipping my skin care regime altogether.
If you’re looking to spend less money and still get a quality product, I have used the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser in the past with good results. It is very gentle, great for sensitive skin. It doesn’t make my face as soft and smooth as the Dermalogica or the DERMAdoctor, but it’s $19 for a TWO PACK, so that is hard to beat!
I’ve used face masks back in college for a fun night with my girlfriends, but haven’t touched one since then. There are two types of face masks: sheet masks, that you lay over your face, and then peel off, or ones that you just put on and then wash off after. As far as sheet masks go, I honestly don’t think you can go wrong. I picked up a few from Target, that were nice, but nothing to write home about. I also tried a few of these that I really liked, especially the avocado and honey ones. I’ve been making it a point to put on one after dinner at least once a week and spend 20 minutes reading by myself while my husband plays with the kids. It’s been ah-maz-ing!
I also have tried several non-sheet masks and loved so many of them. The first one I tried was the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. I woke up in the morning and my skin was smooth and glowing. The texture was even, it was just great. The directions say to use it every day for 2-3 days, and then reduce it to 2-3 times per week. The Tata Harper brand is highly effective and completely free of synthetic and chemical ingredients. I’ve loved everything I’ve tried by them, and I love knowing that I’m not putting anything harmful on my skin. I could see myself exclusively using this brand in the future, that’s how much I love this mask.
For a more affordable option, Origins makes some nice charcoal masks. I sampled one and liked how it cleared my pores without drying out my skin. My sister, who has drier skin than I do, said that she used to use the origins mask and found it to be drying over time.
I’ve never used a serum before, and honestly didn’t even know what they were until a few weeks ago. You apply serum directly to your skin before moisturizer, and it delivers a super powerful and potent dose of treatment. They can be hydrating, purifying, evening, and so much more. You don’t rinse the serum off, just let it dry and then apply your moisturizer. A little goes a long way because it is so powerful, so keep that in mind while applying. Because serums are so potent, they tend to be really expensive, which is the only downside.
Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum: Guys. This stuff is so expensive. However, after using this product for a week, I am telling you, my skin has never looked better. Drunk Elephant is a fairly new brand, and they use non-toxic ingredients, are cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free. The description for the serum says ‘go from a drab complexion to a luminous one overnight,’ and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it happened to me.
Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Firming Serum is another serum that I sampled. It’s slightly cheaper than the Drunk Elephant but still expensive. My skin looked smooth and polished after using this serum. I only used it twice since I had so many products to sample, but according to reviews, your skin becomes noticeably firmer after using it for a few weeks.
I have been using the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream since my sister came to visit last March. I kept using it and ordered it as soon as she left. It’s only $30, and it comes in a huge jar. It’s been about a year, and I still have a quarter of the jar left! I recently started using it on my chest and hands because I have no idea when if it’s going to go bad or expire. In the winter, I just slather it all over my face and it does a great job of keeping it moisturized. This moisturizer is an Allure Best of Beauty winner, and I love it so much (especially for the price!!!), that I didn’t even try anything else!
When using an eye cream I realized that I have to keep my expectations in check. I got a sample of the Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Cream, dabbed it around my eyes, and then looked in the mirror and waited for my fine lines to disappear. Wellllll, nothing happened. I was a little upset. It’s an expensive product and I wanted it to work. I complained to my sister and she said “Seriously, Caitlin? You expected it to make your wrinkles go away by the time you looked in the mirror? You’re delusional.” Sigh. A girl can dream. Apparently, eye creams only really moisturize around your eye to decrease the puffiness, and in turn, can decrease the appearance of fine lines… over time. After using it for a week, I have noticed a significant difference. My eyes look brighter, and when I put concealer on, my fine lines and dark circles almost disappear.
As much as I LOVED the Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Cream, it’s almost $80, which is really expensive. If I wasn’t investing in a new cleanser, mask, serum, AND eye cream, I would 100% get it. I decided to go with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye. For the price ($37!!!), you really can’t beat it. It goes on super light and smooth and you only need a tiny amount. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Kiehl’s also as a Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado that I haven’t tried but am really intrigued by. If anyone has tried it, let me know how it is!
I hope that this has been helpful! Products react differently on everyone, so I encourage you to get samples of products! Go into your local Sephora (tip: The JCPenny stores have a much lower selection) and ask for samples. If you have more severe skin issues than I do, then what works for me might not work for you. I like to keep that in mind when reading reviews. If the majority of the reviews are raving, but there are a few bad ones, I know that it probably just didn’t work for that individual.
Tata Harper, Fresh, Drunken Elephant, and First Aid Beauty are all high-quality and non-toxic brands that you can’t go wrong with. If you try some of their different products, let me know how they work! I will update this post as I try more products. Do you have a favorite product that I left out? Drop it in the comments, I would love to give it a try!
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