Comin’ at you with a Quarantine Skincare Routine because WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO WITH OUR TIME NOW? Not only that, but as an essential worker who is being forced to rewear face masks, I am hyper-aware of what is going in/around/on my face. I am none too pleased to be wearing PPE until it is soiled, I cringe every time I put a mask on and suck in air like I’ve almost drowned when I take it off. I swear I suffocate under those things. If not out of boredom, I would’ve changed my routine simply based on the fact that I’m putting a dirty mask on my face multiple times a day. On a more serious note, I hope everyone is staying safe and doing their part to help flatten the curve. This is a crazy time for everyone so be gentle with yourself (and others) and we’ll get through this! And with better skin.
TOOLS & DEVICES
With alllll of this extra time, I’ve put my devices into a more regular rotation. I have oily and resilient skin so not only do I need routine exfoliation but I also need some heavy hitters, enter these scalpels for at-home dermaplaning. I’ve toyed around with face razors for a little over a year now and felt confident enough to upgrade to the scalpel. Guys, obviously they are SHARP, mmkay? Don’t take a scalpel to your face if you’re a first-timer, lets just not. Practice with these razors first, then when you’re well-seasoned, upgrade. The scalpels are individually wrapped and come with a cap and a handle for easy and safe handling. Use them the same you would any other single-blade razor and make sure your skin stays wet (you can use an oil after cleansing and prior to dermplaning to help the blade glide). You don’t want to drag a scalpel across dry skin. I have been dermaplaning about once a week, maybe every week and a half since the quarantine began. But again, you do you. Your skin is different than mine and dermplaning once every 3-4 weeks may be all you need! As with most things in life, skincare regimens are trial and error – you’ve gotta be patient and learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
I’ve also fallen back in love with my Clarisonic Mia brush. I use it everyday but usually alternate between AM and PM. Meaning if I use it in the AM on Day 1, I’ll use it in the PM on Day 2. I use the Deep Pore brush head but if this is your first go-around with a facial device, you might want to start with the sensitive brush head.
I’ve linked my facial steamer here. Facial steaming is HEAVENLY and I forgot why I ever stopped doing it (time, perhaps). It’s a whole routine and I would steam everyday if I could but it’s usually only recommended 1-2x week. Steaming helps open your pores so that you can purge and clean them, it also helps all those products you spend your hard earned money on penetrate your skin deeper. My facial steaming regimen usually goes a little like this, after cleansing: steam, face mask (usually a detoxifying one like this or this), rinse then steam again, pore strips/extractions if needed, steam, apply PM products (serums, moisturizer, etc.). So yes, it’s a process but it’s so relaxing. I usually dim my lights and play spa music on my phone to set the mood. I also drape a towel over my head and shoulders to trap the steam in a little more but that’s just my personal preference. I don’t usually keep track of the time I spend in front of the actual steamer, I base it off of how my skin is feeling but if I had to guess I’d say between 5-10 minutes each time. And before anyone asks, NO YOU CANNOT hold your face over a pot of boiling water and get the same results. Not even close. Please don’t ever hold your pretty face over boiling water.
I’ve been super concerned about breakouts since our face mask policy went into effect at work so I switched my cleanser to an acne foam. I love the way this one smells and this foam has some body to it, meaning it doesn’t disintegrate the second it hits your palms. After removing my makeup with this cleansing balm, I use the cleanser with my clarisonic brush. I also bought this enzyme scrub right before the quarantine for a little extra chemical exfoliation (it has AHAs and BHAs). Quick breakdown: AHAs are good for dryer skin and surface level concerns like uneven skin tone or superficial texture. BHAs are good for oily and acne prone skin types, they penetrate deeper than AHAs because they can bypass the oil that clogs pores. As with all acids, you need to wear SPF if you apply in the morning because you will be more sensitive to sunlight!
In the AM, I will cleanse then apply Tatcha’s Violet-C Brightening serum followed by Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni Retinol cream mixed with their B-Hydra serum, apply SPF, and then top it all off with Glamglow’s BRIGHTEYES Illuminating eye cream.
When you apply products, the rule is thinnest to thickest so I start with Tatcha’s Violet-C serum, it also has AHAs and helps even skin tone and the Vitamin C helps fight against damage caused by free radicals (and maybe too much time spent in the sun!). I mix a pea-sized amount of the retinol cream in my palm with the B-Hydra serum, this makes a huge difference in getting an even application and helps prevent drying my skin out (which would actually increase oil production, no thank you). If you’re 30-something and not using a retinol, I am urging you to reconsider. Sis, it’s time. Retinol boosts cell turnover, exfoliates, fights acne, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, and can reduce hyperpigmentation. This is your all-in-one anti-aging product, your home run. The strength of the retinol cream (and your skin type) will determine frequency/use; DE’s is 1% so if you are a beginner, tread lightly and moisturize. The B-Hydra is a lovely, lightweight serum that really tops off my morning routine with a refreshing boost of moisture that is not sticky or heavy. The finishing touch is Glamglow’s anti-fatigue eye cream, it’s surprisingly thicker than other eye creams I’ve used but in a good way. This also means I won’t go through the jar as fast because a little goes a long way. I don’t typically have dark circles under my eyes but sometimes they are puffy and dull in the morning and this cream really peps them up. It is fast absorbing, there’s no residue left behind, and it gives your eyes that glow that really makes them look awake and vibrant.
My PM routine is probably the most variable because this is usually when I will dermaplane, steam, and/or face mask. But on a “normal night”, after makeup removal and cleansing, I will apply Drunk Elephant’s TLC Framboos Glycolic serum followed by their Protini Polypeptide Cream. The TLC serum has, SURPRISE, AHAs and BHAs! I am always making my products work for me, even while sleeping. This provides a nightly chemical exfoliation to help unclog my pores and clarify my skin’s tone and texture. I use the Protini cream on top of it to prevent dryness and help revive my skin overnight. If I wear a sleep mask that night, I will skip those two products and go right to my mask which has been Summer Friday’s Jet Lag. Like Drunk Elephant products, this mask is also good for all skin types. This mask is magic, y’all. I have no other explanation for it – it’s hydrating and renewing wizardry all squeezed into one tube.
If I’m making a product recommendation, it’s legit. As I mentioned before, my skin is resilient and doesn’t always respond to products. It’s one of the reasons I am constantly switching up my routine and trying out new products – that and I just love this shit in general. I know that the price point on some of these products are on the higher end of the spectrum, but this is an investment in yourself, your skin. You only get one face, TAKE CARE OF IT. And if we weren’t in quaran-times, I would recommend you go to your local Sephora and ask for samples of the product before buying if you’re skeptical. Keep in mind though that most serums/creams need at LEAST 4 weeks to make a difference in your skin and sample sizes may not be sufficient enough. ::Enter return policies:: You can return a product if you’re unsatisfied with its results, so what is there to lose? Sephora’s Annual Spring Sale starts on April 17th so do your research (read the reviews!), load up that cart, and self-care/treat yo’self until they let us out of our homes!