Obviously, since it’s been a while since I published any content, let alone consistently, it has been a while since I’ve shared my updated 2020 skincare arsenal. Some has changed since I last shared – but there are a lot of fixed elements, too.
Today, I’ll be sharing what products and tools I use regularly as well as how often I use them up and repurchase.
I haven’t used makeup wipes since 2018. They’re expensive for what they are, wasteful, and not great for my skin. Instead, I invested in some reusable makeup removing cloths and use them with – yes, really – just plain water. I say invested, but that makes it sound like I spent a radical sum; I didn’t. I started with, repurchased (and would again) this $10 pack of two from Ulta (which also often goes BOGO). This single fixture of my 2020 skincare arsenal has easily saved me hundreds since I implemented it.
I’ve since amassed a collection of a few different ones (that’s a whole post to itself) and probably won’t need any for a while. I hear they can last up to five years with proper care. I love that I can throw mine in one of my favorite mesh wash bags and wash them with regular detergent. Mine is a Tide household, but I tend to use Laundress for these and other items that need to be handled gently.
When I’m wearing something more stubborn (like gel liner) I use Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water, $7 [[review]] instead of just water. Simple makes a nice one too; I buy whatever is cheaper-per-ounce when it is time to restock.
My 2020 skincare arsenal would be woefully incomplete without CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, $15 is nothing new for me. At this point, I’ve been using this skin pH friendly cleanser for years. If it ain’t broke and is affordable, don’t fix it. I wash my face once per day, in the evening – yes, only once – and go through about three 16oz bottles per year.
On the chemical front: Tarte Knockout, $39 [[review]]. I have a couple of acids from The Ordinary that I’ve been trying, but I haven’t found one (or even two) I like as much as Tarte Knockout. A bottle lasts me well over a year because I use sparingly on a cotton pad 1-2x per week. I’ve been considering decanting it into a fine mist bottle but I haven’t decided if its worth the hassle.
On the physical front, I use my Clarisonic (…for now) nearly every time I wash my face. I don’t know what the future will bring as I run out of brush heads (maybe I’ll use generics, maybe I’ll switch back to exclusively using a Foreo product, maybe something else).
Beyond that, I break out the Silkn ReVit, $99 [[review]] for my chin once or twice a month (not on the same day I’m using a chemical exfoliant) because that skin seems especially stubborn and just benefits from a more aggressive treatment.
Honestly, I’m using this at this point because I have it. If I lost it in a theft or fire, I wouldn’t prioritize replacing it.
Argan Oil. It just works for me. I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs, $27.50 for 4oz [[review]]. I buy this four ounces at a time and keep it in the fridge so as not to tempt fate to troll me with rancidity. Four ounces is a preposterously gigantic amount: employing it for triple duty between body moisturizing and hair, it lasts me about two years. YES. REALLY. Stop spending oodles on Josie.
Admittedly, my 2020 skincare arsenal is light on the treatment front. I use a vitamin C serum in the morning before I apply any cosmetics. Most often, I use Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, $50 for 1oz; $74 for 1.7 [[review]]. It’s a moderate price point and does a good job; I get about a year out of the 1.7oz bottle (I don’t need a full pump per application). It isn’t the best out there, but the intersection of performance and value makes it a good fit for me and my needs.
Last winter, during the Sephora holiday sale, I bought a bottle of C-Firma, $80 for 1oz [[review]] to get me through the winter – but I think that’s the last time I’m buying it. It performs stupendously, but it doesn’t have a stable enough shelf life. To date, I’ve not gotten through an entire bottle before it went bad once. I can’t justify that waste. I’d say I get about 3-4 good months of product out of it before it starts to turn.
What could would a beauty blogger’s skincare routine without something imported? I’ve been using Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50 PA++++, $10 [[review]] for FIVE YEARS now. The price has crept up a little since CoVid-19, and getting the best price generally requires buying two. If you’re anti-Amazon, eBay has them too. I don’t have a favorite seller on either, but just check the third party reviews to make sure you’re making a smart choice. I go through 2-3 tubes per year.
I also use another Japanese skincare import, Nivea Sun Super Water Gel (also SPF 50 PA++++), $15. I find that it is kinder to my skin than the Biore product on days where my skin is feeling sensitive (and other reviews corroborate this). The latter comes with a pump, too, which can be a plus or a delta depending on your perspective; easy dispensing but harder to recycle. Same story as the Biore option regarding buying two for the best price. They also sell low-packaging refills, which I love.
Remember, like Baz Luhrmann says – wear sunscreen.
The Bottom Line
My 2020 Skincare Arsenal isn’t wild or flashy. I’m not experimenting with my skin very much these days. My 2020 skincare arsenal is a formula in which value and utility intersect that seems to work for my skin, so I’m not trying to upset the apple cart. As time passes, I will probably add some more aggressive anti-aging elements because not even I am immune from youth-driven vanity bullshit.
Happily, much of my skincare routine is is a lower price-point; my main splurges are on my exfoliation (all forms) and treatments. Overall, I estimate my annual spend (which will include a portion of my tools to represent usage over time) to be around $175. This factors in my ruthless bargain hunting for my drugstore items and general refusal to pay retail for much of anything.