Skincare Arsenal Update – June 2016

I needed to take my own advice and get back to basics. My skincare routine became too complicated and had too many moving parts. I was vacillating between Cetaphil Gentle, philosophy Purity, Noxzema Triple Clean, and random cleanser samples I had received from Sephora and Ulta (because that’s what you do when you’re a beauty blogger who reviews things). I was inconsistently using this toner, that moisturizer. Exfoliant roulette. Masque roulette. You get it. I was all over the place.

All that combined with a stressful eight months and my skin just wasn’t my biggest fan. It was making me crazy, and it was preventing me from having as much fun with my makeup. So I revamped my skincare arsenal and process to get back to consistency, and I’ll just need to go longer between trying new skin products for science. Tomorrow, I turn 25 – and I’m doing so with skin that is behaving.

Makeup Removal & Cleansing

Skincare Arsenal Update - Cleansing

Micellar Water – I am really impressed by how well the Garnier one I reviewed is treating me. As I don’t use waterproof mascara or go hardcore, full-face every day, I’m delighted with the way this stuff has been (oh-so-gently!) treating my skin. A lot of people have eschewed their other face products in favor of this minimalist product; I can see why. I’ve picked up the one by Simple (I liked their Micellar wipes, after all) to try, but I’m not remotely unhappy with the Garnier one. I still have Kirkland Makeup Wipes; they’re effective, inexpensive, and convenient – but I’m growing tired of the fragrance. They’re still a good product and a great value, but I am scaling back my usage in favor of micellar products. Personally, I’m also not in love with something so disposable for everyday use.

Cetaphil Gentle – Tried and true. Just as good without water as with. Plays nicely with both my Clarisonic and my Luna Mini.

philosophy Purity – For when I need a deeper clean. This is about as ‘hardcore’ of a clean as I want, these days. Also plays nicely with both aforementioned tools.

Keep reading for more on my Skincare Arsenal Update…


Skincare Arsenal Update - Exfoliating

Clarisonic Mia2 – For a more-intense, scrubby-clean for my face 2-3x weekly. I do NOT use a Stridex pad immediately after cleansing with this. I have a Mia2, but I recommend saving the money and going with a regular Mia. I’m using this a lot on my decollete now.

Stridex 2% Salicylic Acid Pads red box – As a teen, I was blessed with problem-free skin. I unnecessarily used acne products out of paranoia and caused myself more harm than help, but eventually figured out a gentle routine that worked for me. I mentioned it before, but my skin has been freaking out with some minor breakouts for the past several months. They are infuriating – but I’ve figured out how to manage them. Simplifying my routine and adding this BHA chemical exfoliant in is making a huge difference. It’s inexpensive and readily-available at the drugstore, and it is alcohol free. Win, win, win.

Foreo Luna Mini – I’ve only recently purchased this, but I’m currently 4-5x weekly, this little thing is gentle but invigorating. It isn’t over-exfoliating, which I learned I was struggling with before. I’ll use a Stridex pad after this.


Skincare Arsenal Update - Moisturizing

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil – Used at night only after a cleanse. 3-4 drops cover the entire face. 1.7 oz bottle is $48; I usually buy the 0.5 oz bottle for $16 because that much lasts me over a year and I don’t have to worry about it going bad. I typically only use this on my face, but I might throw a few drops on my elbows or knees, too, if they’re annoyingly dry.

Clinique Dramatically Different Gel – This lightweight moisturizer is fantastic. I typically use 2-3 pumps on my face. It sinks in well and absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy, film-y residue behind. It does not contribute to shine, it is fragrance free, dye free, and pretty awesome all around. I’d recommend this to all skin types, but dry skin might need something a little more moisturizing. I haven’t tried the Lotion+ in this line, but have heard good things. I’ve been buying mine at the CCO when I’m at the Outlets; otherwise Nordstrom because free shipping.


Skincare Arsenal Update - SunscreenBiore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50 PA++++ – Still my holy grail sunscreen. Feels great, doesn’t have that god-awful sunscreen scent, doesn’t make me look ashen. Japan really nailed it here. I will literally cry if they discontinue this.



Yes, it can be hard. I still catch myself absentmindedly resting my face on my hand. Beyond that, I’m pretty sure I’ll shuffle off this mortal coil before things stop making me facepalm, but just try. I’ve been staying more mindful of it, and that’s been helping a lot, too.

When you do need to touch your face – cleansing, applying skincare, applying makeup, wash your hands first.