My Quest for a Great Skin Care Routine

September 16, 2014·

I mentioned earlier in the summer that one of my main goals has been to start working on and investing in a GOOD skin care routine for myself. I’m not getting any younger and while, yes, I have definitely been blessed with youthful skin (thank you genetics!), that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be taking good care of my skin NOW to prevent problems later. I have felt like my skin has been feeling tired, dry (but also oily), dull, and just lifeless. I mean, my skin IS the largest organ on my body. RIGHT? Right. Anyway. I am definitely not an expert in the arena of skin care and while I don’t feel like I’ve found the “holy grail” end-all be-all of skin care routines, I have discovered some products over the last few months that I’ve integrated into my daily regimen that I am really enjoying and I have felt like are beginning to make a difference.

I also will say that I realize that this is a bit of a hodge podge of products, but that is because I’m still very much in a “trial” phase and I’m seeing what works for me and what doesn’t.

BEAUTY | An All Day Makeup Look with Neutrogena (13)

A little about my skin (and my skin “history”):

I thought it might be helpful to tell you a little bit about my skin type and the history of my skin so that it might help those of you who may have a similar skin type put what I’m saying into perspective…

As I mentioned earlier, I have been extremely blessed with “youthful” skin. My mom’s side of the family all had very youthful skin and my mom, even up until the day she passed, always had gorgeous skin and she always looked WAY younger than her actual age. So, I’ve always looked way younger than I am and I’ve never really struggled with my skin.

I never really had many issues with acne growing up. I had a few breakouts here and there during that “time” of the month, but overall, I never had major, major issues.

I am SUPER allergic to Benzoil Peroxide – the active ingredient found in many acne medications. I learned this the hard way in fifth grade. I remember getting some acne medication from Rite Aid, taking it home, putting it on a zit and ALL over my face, going to school and an hour later I looked like Will Smith in Hitch. It was NOT a good look. So, needless to say, I have always avoided products with BP in it.

My skin has never been too oily and never been too dry, it’s definitely more “combo” than anything else.

I am really fair skinned (stating the obvious) and skin cancer runs really rampant in my family… so I am really REALLY conscious about wearing something with SPF in it… even in the dead of winter.

The Current State of my Skin:

So, that brings me to today. Since getting pregnant and having Lilly, the hormones have really changed my skin a lot. I feel like it’s aged more in the past year than it had in the 28 years prior.

My dark circles have gotten out. of. control. My freckles are darkening (and not in a cute way) and I’m beginning to develop some age spots. I also have noticed that my skin breaks out more than usual and I’m getting wrinkles where I didn’t have them previously and I also have weird times where my skin is both dry AND oily. I don’t know how that is possible. But it is.

My Current Skin Care Routine

Arbonne RE9 Advanced Smoothing Facial Cleanser – used in the morning and/or in the shower

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One of my dear friends here in the area, Elise, is an Arbonne consultant. I actually tried my first Arbonne product back in the winter when John got me something from them for my stocking. I loved it right away. I had been on the hunt for a good, “age-fighting” cleanser and Elise recommended this to me back in the spring and I’ve been using it ever since. I LOVE it. A little goes a long way (I am barely halfway through the first bottle that I got back in May), and it gives a good clean lather without being super soapy.

It’s also not heavily scented, which I like. It’s just straight forward and I feel like it really gets my skin feeling clean.

Garnier Clean Purifying Foam Cleanser – used to remove makeup

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I’ve been using this Garnier Clean cleanser for almost a year now and I love it for removing the last bit of makeup at night before bed. After using makeup remover and/or face wipes, I use this cleanser last right before bed. It has a really light feeling and my face just feels… clean after using it. You know what I mean? I realize I’m over simplifying it, but you get what I’m saying.

Clinique Acne Spot Healing Gel – used as needed

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I have been using the exact same acne spot treatment for close to 15 years. The Clinique acne spot treatment is seriously MAGIC. It’s $17 for a tiny little bottle, but it takes me a good year to use the whole thing up. It zaps zits OVERNIGHT. It has salicylic acid instead of benzoil peroxide, but seriously… this stuff is magic. MAGIC. MAGIC.

Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum – used twice a day, every day

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I got sent a sample of the Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum last month and I’ve been using it twice daily since I got it. I am always a little bit skeptical about products like this because they seem to be more on the “gimicky” side. But I have to say, I have DEFINITELY seen a difference in my skin. My skin tone has appeared MUCH more even, less blotchy, and I’ve seen a significant decrease in my dark circles and age spots.

I’ve had to use foundation less and less lately, and in a lot of ways, I think I attribute it to the use of this stuff. I think only time will tell on whether or not I’ll keep using it for the long haul, but for now, I am LOVING this stuff.

Arbonne RE9 Advanced Corrective Eye Cream / Moisturizer – used twice a day, every day

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I’ve been using another Arbonne product per the recommendation of my friend, Elise, in conjunction with the Arbonne cleanser. I was using another Arbonne under eye cream previously, and I honestly wasn’t blown away by it. Sure, it kept me moisturized, but I wasn’t seeing improvement in my under eye circles and wrinkles.

Elise recommended this particular line to me and I’ve been using it since May and I’m hooked. This stuff is the bomb. It’s another one where a little goes a long way (I barely use half a pump for both eyes) and I really feel like I’ve begun to see a difference in my skin using this stuff. I will definitely repurchase when I run out.

SOBO Ultra Age Repairing Cream / Moisturizer – used twice a day, every day

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I was also sent a sample of the SOBO Ultra Age Repairing Cream with Resveratrol earlier this month and have been using it twice a day, seven days a week for the last two weeks. I was using another moisturizer previously, but it wasn’t one that blew me away. I had heard great things about the SOBO line so I was excited to try this one out. (By the way, you can use the code “TRYSOBO” for 25% off your purchase!)

So far I really like it. It is a little “heavy,” in that it needs a good 15-20 minutes to seep into your skin after applying. But, my skin has felt really soft and moisturized. If you have oily skin, I’m not sure how you’d do with this, but for my combo skin, it does great.

I can’t speak to it’s “age fighting” power quite yet as I’ve only been using it for two weeks, but as a daily moisturizer, so far I am really impressed.

So that’s it for now. That’s what I’m using… I feel like I’m making progress in my skincare routine, but I’m also not locked into one yet. It’s all trial and error at this point… BUT, I do like what I’m experiencing so far.

What about you? What’s your skincare routine look like? What products have you been using that you can recommend?




*thank you to BrandBacker and SOBO for sending me a sample of the SOBO Skin Care moisturizer! Also thank you to Murad for sending me a sample of the Age Spot and Lightening Serum as well! All other products were purchased by me and all opinions are totally honest and my own. Other than samples, no other compensation was provided. I wouldn’t be writing about these things if I didn’t truly love them!