I love my evening cleansing routine. Washing the day away is refreshing and relaxing. My husband often jokes about my ritual, as it takes me about 15 minutes. I’ll even hear him from the living room asking if I’m done yet! And the answer is always, “no”. I just enjoy it. The warm water, the removal of all the stress from the day, the amazingly scented products…swoon!
I want to share the products I enjoy and the routine I’ve been following religiously for about a year and half. The key here has been every.single.night. No matter how tired I am, I do it. And I’m grateful in the morning and for the long haul. And every product is under $20 at your local drugstore!
Step #1: Tone and Acne Treat
I don’t use this product specifically for acne reasons, but I find that OXY Cleansing Pads Acne Treatment ($5) remove facial makeup (like my foundation) and daily build-up PRIOR to cleansing, allowing my cleanser to work properly. I absolutely hate the feeling of just swooshing my foundation around my face with some soap. It doesn’t completely rinse off, leaving a residue over my skin when I sleep. Gross. While having super sensitive skin, I’ve tried drugstore and high end toners and facial wipe products. This is the ONLY product I’ve tried that does not cause my skin to turn bright red, swell, and radiate heat like an atomic bomb. The smell is a bit chemical based, but it has never left my face dry. I’ll use two wipes on my entire face and under the chin. Obviously, this product should stay away from your eyes since it is a bit harsh.
Step #2 part A: Cleansing Oil
Garnier discontinued my absolute holy grail cleansing oil (insert ugly cry face). Darn you, Garnier! The next best thing that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is the Neutrogena Ultra-Light Cleansing Oil ($9) and the pump doesn’t leak everywhere like the Garnier pump did. After I use my OXY Pads, I will use 3 pumps of this in my hand and massage onto a dry face. This is like a little facial all in itself! I will massage in circular motions (focusing on problem areas) for up to 5 minutes. Facial massage is a huge propionate in avoiding dull, aging skin. I’ve followed Lisa Eldridge’s cleansing routine for awhile now (here). She is fabulous and so are her tips. The oil provides a slick surface that allows you to avoid pulling on your skin, but gets a nice clean. Using this oil daily has evened out the oil production on my face. I’m not dry, I’m not oily. It’s a perfect balance. When done massaging, I will put some water in my hands, add it to the oil on my face, and allow it to emulsify. I’ll let it suds a bit and then thoroughly rinse clean. This stuff is so gentle you can use it on your eye lids without irritation. I use this product 4 nights out of the week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The product listed below is used the evenings in-between.
Step #3 part B: Exfoliate
I am an exfoliating junky. If exfoliating every day wasn’t a crime for your skin, I’d do it. The St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub ($5) has been a staple for me since I was in my early 20’s. My mom has used this since I was a little girl. It has been given numerous awards, such as Readers’ Choice from Allure Magazine. Needless to say, you need this in your life. The product feels really grainy, but it is luxurious on your face. I’ll use a quarter sized amount, 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday). I press fairly hard, vigorously moving the product around my face and neck. I avoid my eyes at all costs, as this stuff is too abrasive for that delicate area. Even with easily annoyed skin, the apricot extract is quite soothing. You’ll notice a little redness, as it is sloughing off the rough skin on the surface. But, the redness will only last 10 minutes or so, then you’re left with soft, glowing skin. Holy grail!
Step #4: Eye Cream
The RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream ($20) is a very new product to my evening routine. I’m always extremely weary of eye products since my skin is prone to negative reactions. I did a lot of research, and this product kept appearing for its focus on sensitive skin, particularly skin sensitive to Retinol. I went ahead and splurged, fingers crossed the whole time, and this product is a hidden gem. I use a small drop and gently massage under my eyes and outward to my brow bone. I’ve had no irritation whatsoever. It does take a bit to soak in, but it leaves my under eye area looking dewy. My under eye concealer goes on much smoother now with no creasing, my genetic discoloration is improving, and I’ve seen a small difference in fine lines, but I’m sure over time the results will become more noticeable. The tube is a squeeze bottle with a tiny tip, only allowing a small bit of the product out at a time. It also has a screw top, which prevents anything from leaking out. If you’re looking for an eye cream that is super sensitive, but does the job, this.is.it !
Step #5: Moisturize
Again, another new product and my favorite part of my evening routine, moisturizing! Enter the RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream ($20). Just like the RoC eye cream, this is great! It sinks in quickly, has a velvety feel, and a very light scent. There is no irritation and the Retinol component is just enough to combat aging without the harshness Retinol can bring. The tube is a bit small, but I’m finding that I only need a quarter size, compared to other brands where I used a handful. After the eye cream has penetrated my skin enough, I’ll massage this in an upward motion all over my face and neck. It applies evenly and smoothly. The tube is lasting awhile, considering the size. It is a squeeze bottle with a screw top, which is convenient and mess free. I love this stuff.
I hope this helps for those of you looking for new products, attempting to create an evening cleansing routine, or just need some guidance overall. These products and opinions are solely my own and work with MY skin type: normal and super sensitive. I will only use and share things I enjoy and I know have benefits. All of these products can be found in your local drugstore and online. Happy cleansing!
**all images and prices from walgreens.com