Back in the New Years Resolution post, I briefly noted wanting to establish a skincare regimen for my finicky, prone-to-stress-breakouts skin, never really thinking that I’d stick to it. Well, it’s been almost a month now and I think I’ve found an easy enough routine. This works for me because I have oily skin, a short attention span, and my medication makes me so scatterbrained.
My mantra is Astringent, Tone, Moisturize. Ideally it’s done once a day, but stress and sweat from daily life often finds me repeating it as needed. The OCD helps with that, haha. It’s not a full blown compulsion but as I imagine most people with OCD will tell you, anxious people need rituals. Repeating this regimen enough has turned it into something familiar that I can draw comfort from, and I’m hoping that will keep me on the ball.
The links here are to the Walgreen’s site for convenience sake, and because I have an easier time buying from there than I do Wal-Mart. I tried to find non-store brands when I could, so you can find these products just about anywhere.
Astringent: Sea Breeze Fresh-Clean Astringent Sensitive Skin. I use the Dollar General brand, which is like a generic of a generic, and cost me about a dollar. Honestly, when I was a teen and in my early twenties and had a real problem with acne, I went with Biore because Neutrogena and the like was so strong that it would make me break out horribly. That means it’s working of course, because it’s meant to bring all the crap in your pores up to the surface, but it still looked horrible for about a week or two. Now that my hormones have finally balanced out, I only really have issues during my period or when I’m super stressed, which means I can use a gentler formula.
I still love the Biore brand because the products have been kind to me, but now that I’m super strapped for cash, I have to opt for the cheap stuff. Now, this Sea Breeze and DG stuff does work for a woman my age who is interested in keeping her skin clear. It smells just as strongly of camphor as the name brands, it doesn’t at all sting, and I experience no redness after applying. I feel confident about recommending this generic, and I can’t often say that.
Tone: Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Toner. I use witch hazel for everything from hemorrhoids to mosquito bites to toning my crater pores, which is why I bought such a big bottle. Dickinson’s is another brand that I trust, and usually you can find very generous coupons in-store for their products.
Another alternative is tea tree oil. It’s definitely less stinky than witch hazel and there’s less of a sting, I’ve noticed. If you go this route though, do be sure to read the label carefully, as tea tree oil has many uses; what you get from Bath & Body for your face won’t be the same as buying a bottle of essential oil.
Moisturize: St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer. Once more, a little expensive for us Poors, but just like with the toner you get a lot of bang for your buck; in this case, a whole 10 oz. for five dollars. Considering that with moisturizer a little goes a really long way, this is a good investment.
I apply after washing my face at all, either with the astringent and toner or after bathing, before applying makeup, and before bed. It’s one of those things that makes me feel good because as a little girl, I remember my grandmother daintily applying Ponds cold cream to her face at night (along with curlers and a scarf!). It’s ingrained in my mind as a ladylike thing to do, and even though I’m not exactly dainty or ladylike, carrying on this ritual makes me feel very womanly and pretty.
It’s hard to describe, just nod your head and smile.