Updated Skin Care Routine *

Hey Everyone!

This post is all about my updated skin care routine, as of February 2014. I have been using this routine for a couple months now, and I absolutely love it. It is a lot different than my previous routines that kept to a strict step by step system. While those are great for some skin concerns, I find that my skin, as well as the majority of peoples skin, is constantly changing and needing different things to keep it healthy.

As of now, my skin type is acne-prone (mainly cystic), susceptible to dryness and irritation at times, and susceptible to concentrated oiliness at times. I have moderate to severe scaring left behind from previous breakouts, and moderately sized pores on my cheeks.

**Disclaimer* I have been doing skincare routine videos/posts for years. Just because I am using something different now does not mean that I dislike the products mentioned in previous posts. Skin changes and acclimates to things (especially mine). This is just what is working for me now. **

Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator – is a thick cream with micro beads to exfoliate. It has 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, as well as glycolic acid. I think this is a great cleanser for both morning and night because it does a great job of cleansing the skin gently without over drying. It has a light medicinal fragrance, and rinses clean without leaving any residue on the skin. When my skin is being particularly good, or when it is extra sensitive and needs a break, I will only use this product for that day. 

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo – is a dual action acne treatment that has 5.5% benzoyl peroxide, 0.4% LHA, and soothing flower extracts. It has a thin cream consistency with no fragrance. I prefer this treatment over the similar Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment because it has a higher percentage of benzoyl peroxide as well as many other better ingredients. I typically apply this in the evening only to the areas of my skin that have active blemishes due to the fact that it is extremely potent and can cause irritation to my skin if over-applied.

Proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator – is a soothing gel/mousse moisturizer with 0.5% salicylic acid. I love this product because it is extremely soothing and leaves the skin looking and feeling healthier. It has a slightly medicinal scent with notes of cucumber and citrus. I use this in the evening after cleansing or cleansing and treating.

Mario Badescu Drying Cream – is a thick, clay-like cream that is used as a spot treatment for acne blemishes. It contains ingredients like aloe, beeswax, lemon extract, and colloidal sulfur to quickly dry blemishes, even erupted ones! I like that this product is slightly tinted to conceal problem areas as well. I typically use this product when I have a stubborn blemish that needs to be dried out.

Clinique Spot Healing Gel – is a concentrated 1.0% salicylic acid gel that is used as a spot treatment for acne blemishes. I use this product when I have a deep cystic blemish that needs a little extra help. Unfortunately this product is no longer available, so I will not ramble on about how wonderful it is.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer – is a gentle moisturizer that has a light milk and honey fragrance, and ingredients like sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and avocado oil. Kiehls also has an identical product that contains an SPF, but I opted for this one so I can use it anytime for any occasion. I use this product every morning, and every time I apply makeup.

Dior DiorSnow UV Sheild – is a translucent SPF 50 PA+++ moisturizing cream. It has the most luxurious feeling to the skin, and has a convenient pump applicator. I usually mix this in with my Kiehls moisturizer daily, but I also apply a proper coat to my entire face and neck when I know I will be in the sun all day. This product gives fantastic sun protection.

Burts Bees Radiance Eye Cream – is a thick, hydrating eye cream that has ingredients like royal jelly ( which is “made of nectar, pollen, flower parts, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients. It is a very precious, mysterious substance that honeybees produce for the queen bee”), cucumber, and chamomile. It has a strong smokey campfire fragrance that could be bothersome to people, but it does not bother me much as it dissipates fairly quickly.

Vitamin E Oil – whenever I am not wearing makeup for the day, or have extra dry skin or dry patches, or want to pamper my skin, I apply vitamin e oil. It keeps my skin super soft, smooth, clear, and healthy, and I would recommend this to everyone. I use the Derma E Vitamin E Skin Oil 14,000 I.U..

Where to Buy:

Proactiv+ – http://www.proactiv.com , about $40 dollars for a three step system. My sizes are 6oz for the cleanser and 3oz for the hydrator.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo can be found at drugstores like CVS and Ulta for about $36 dollars for 1.35oz .

Mario Badescu Drying Cream can be found at Ulta for about $14 dollars for 0.5oz .

Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer can be found at : http://www.kiehls.com/Ultra-Facial-Moisturizer/351,default,pd.html?start=16&cgid=face-moisturizers , for between $18 and $38 dollars depending on the ounces you choose.

DiorSnow UV Sheild can be found at Sephora for $58 dollars for 1.3oz .

Burts Bees Radiance Eye Cream can be found at drugstores like CVS and Ulta for about $18 dollars for 0.5oz .

Vitamin E Oil can be found anywhere that sells vitamins. I got mine at Sprouts market for less than $15 dollars for 2oz .

My Current Skincare Routine

Hey Everyone! This post is all about what I’m currently using to keep my skin looking clear and healthy. First I will tell you about the step by step process of my daily routine, and below there will be a detailed review of each product mentioned. Let’s get to it!

Morning Routine:

I start my day by lightly cleansing my skin with only warm water and a washcloth.

Then I use a cotton pad to apply a small amount of the Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion to my face and neck area.

I then apply a quarter size amount of the Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 moisturizer to my face and neck area.

Finally I apply a small amount of the Origins Ginzing Eye Cream to my eye area.

Nighttime Routine:

First I cleanse my skin and remove my makeup by taking a quarter size amount of  the Clinque Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm and work it into the skin on my entire face and neck. Once the balm has been adequately worked into the skin, I take a warm/hot washcloth and remove whats left of the cleanser and makeup.

Next I take a cotton pad and a small amount of the Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex, and apply it to my face and neck avoiding my eye area.

Once that has dried, I take the DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel and apply that to only spots and the areas of my skin that are currently problematic. Benzoyl peroxide can cause scarring, so I only want to apply it where it is absolutely necessary; plus we just applied glycolic acid which should help with breakouts anyways.

After the benzoyl peroxide has set, I apply the Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Moisturizer to my entire face and neck.

For the last step,  I apply the Origins A Perfect World For Eyes eye cream to my under eye area. Voila!

If my skin is being particularly problematic, I take these Optional Steps:

If my skin is extra dry – I apply a small amount of the Josie Maran Argan Oil to my skin after cleansing, or add a few drops into my moisturizer.

If I have a stubborn pimple – I apply the Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel to the problem areas.

If my skin is having a meltdown – I use the Origins Out Of Trouble Mask.

I hope this step by step routine was helpful! Now onto the reviews  :

Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion : a liquid toner containing cucumber extract to fight against oil and bacteria. It has an herbal/cucumber scent and feels refreshing on the skin. If not followed by a moisturizer, it can feel a little bit tight or sticky on the skin. I have noticed that this product has helped reduce the size of my pores as well. This product is not tested on animals. $15 for 8 oz at Nordstrom ( I bought mine in Ulta, so I would check there as well ) http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/mario-badescu-special-cucumber-lotion/2920700

Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 : is a “skin tone correcting” moisturizer. It has a pleasant herbal/lemon/ginger scent and leaves the skin looking bright and healthy.  I believe this product in part has helped diminish my acne scars, as well as made my skin overall healthier. It has a lightweight gel/cream formula that leaves a dewy finish; and contains Japanese Basil leaf, Cucumber, Peony, Vitamin C, and Palmaria. I highly recommend this product to everyone. $47.50 for 1.7 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/brighter-by-nature-spf-35-skin-tone-correcting-moisturizer-P297537?skuId=1375906

Origins GinZing : is a lightweight eye cream with a peach undertone to combat darkness, and a slight sheen/glow for added brightness. It has a cream to serum consistency, and little to no scent. It contains caffeine, ginseng, and magnolia extract. $30 for 0.5 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/ginzing-refreshing-eye-cream-P297511

Clinique Take Off The Day Cleansing Balm : is a makeup remover and cleaner in one that goes from a thick balm consistency to a oil/liquid consistency once rubbed into the skin. I have used this to remove everything from long wearing foundation, waterproof mascara, semi-permanant eyeliner pens, etc. and it literally removes all traces of makeup without drying out my skin. I switched to this after hearing that makeup wipes are really bad for your skin due to the high alcohol content, and have fallen in love!  $28.50 for 3.8 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/take-the-day-off-cleansing-balm-P126301

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex : is a liquid clarifying toner that acts as an exfoliator by removing dead surface skin. It contains lactic acid, citric acid, witch hazel, chamomile, allantoin, aloe vera, sodium pac, vitamin C, and AHAs. It smells very acidic and slightly citric. When applied to the skin it gives a slight burning sensation, so if you have very sensitive skin I would probably not recommend this. If you can get past the burning, this product works wonders. Overtime it fights acne, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, deep cleans and shrinks pores, smooths skin, restores natural pH balances, AND protects and moisturizes the skin. Can you say Holy Grail? $40 for 8 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/glycolic-acid-10-toning-complex-clarifying-toner-P375358

DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel : is a thick, creamy gel that contains 5% benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil. It is very effective when used regularly, but it can bleach your clothes/sheets and cause excessive dryness if too much is applied. With this product, less is more. If you use too much it can actually have the opposite effect and make your skin worse. I use a dime size amount or less, only where I absolutely need it. $36 for 2 oz at Ulta. http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=prod370030

Philosophy Take A Deep Breath : is a lightweight, oil free, gel-cream moisturizer. It claims to “diffuse energizing oxygen to the skin” to leave a healthy looking glow; which is does. It contains antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental factors, and has a slight powdery/herbal scent. $34 for 2 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/take-a-deep-breath-oil-free-energizing-oxygen-gel-cream-moisturizer-P311182

Origins A Perfect World For Eyes : is a serum that uses white tea to firm and moisturize the eye area. It has a herbal, lemon, ginger scent, and leaves the eye area feeling refreshed. I have notices a huge improvement of the appearance of my under eye creases and dryness after using this product. It has a pump applicator, which is nice, but it dispenses a bit too much with just one pump; you really only need about one half of a pump. $34 for 0.5 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/a-perfect-world-for-eyes-firming-moisture-treatment-with-white-tea-P297532

Josie Maran Argan Oil : is a silky oil that moisturizes, heals, and protects. It can be used on the skin, hair and nails. I also like to apply this to bites, rashes, bruises, etc. to speed up the healing process. $14 for 0.5 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/argan-oil-P218700

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel : is a gel that contains a concentrated 1% salicylic acid to fight stubborn breakouts. If you have an open spot it can give a burning sensation, but it quickly dissipates. This is my holy grail spot treatment! $16 for 0.5 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/acne-solutions-spot-healing-gel-P188312

Origins Out Of Trouble : is a 10 minute mask that contains zinc oxide, sulfur, camphor, and salicylic acid to extract excess oil, dirt, and dead skin; as well as calm the skin. It is a thick toothpaste-like cream and smells very herbal and medicinal. When on the skin it feels very cooling and tingly. $23 for 3.4 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/out-of-trouble-10-minute-mask-to-rescue-problem-skin-P297551

Holy Grail Face Product!

Hey Everyone! Today I thought I would share an amazing product that I discovered for all skin types, but is especially great for problematic skin. I came across this product when researching detox bath recipes and such. What I ended up discovering turned out to be one of my holy grail skin products.

Calcium Bentonite Clay has been around for years mainly used in bodywraps, foot soaks, bug bite salves, etc. Recently it has become more popular is treating skin problems such as acne. I was skeptical at first, but with some additional research I found that what makes it so powerful is the fact that the clay extracts and absorbs dirt, oil, and impurities without actually being absorbed into the skin itself. This means you can expect an extremely deep pore cleanse without any residual impurites.

The calcium bentonite clay I am currently using is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, which claims to be the world’s most powerful facial. It is 100% calcium bentonite clay with no additives, fragrances, or animal products. It is also sun dried, and cruelty free! The instructions for use are to mix clay with equal parts of raw apple cider and/or water and stir in a non-metal bowl until it turns into a smooth paste. Then apply a 1/4 – 1/2 inch layer to the skin and let dry between 5 and 2o minutes depending on the sensitivity of your skin; then rinse with warm water.

This product also warns that you will feel a pulling and tightening sensation, which is completely correct! It is not painful in any way, it just feels like your skin is getting pulled/squished forward towards the center of your face. It also will leave your skin a bit red for about an hour before turning back to normal. After a few hours, or the next day if you apply this mask before bed, your pores should have shrunken significantly and your face should look extremely smooth and matte. Usually the majority of any acne I have will have disappeared or at least reduced by a huge margin.  I like to use this mask once every one or two weeks. I purchased mine at The Vitamin Shoppe for $4.99.

In addition to using this product for facial masks, I also like to use it in detox baths.

RECIPE:

Approx 1 cup of Calcium Bentonite Clay (I have a large tub, use the appropriate amount for your size tub)

The juice from 1 lemon

1 bag of green tea

a pinch or two of dried lavender for aroma

** Make the water temperature as hot as you can stand and soak for about 20 minutes. Drink plenty of fluids after**

BEST FOUNDATIONS EVER!

Hey guys! This post is all about foundations that I love. You should first know that I have very fair normal skin with acne scaring and occasional breakouts. These are in numerical order with number one being the best. If you like this post and want to see the worst foundations ever, click here : https://beautybysarahmarie.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/worst-foundations-ever/

Here we go!

5. Clinique Even Better: This foundation has a staying power like no other. Its hard to describe without actually trying it, but it is like an illuminating stain. It is super blend-able and smooth, but once it sets it stays and the coverage is medium. I wish the shade range was a bit better (the very fair is still quite tan) but thats my only complaint, and even then I can easily make it work with some bronzer down my neck. This foundation claims that it “evens and corrects”; I haven’t noticed any significant improvement, but it definitely doesn’t make anything worse.SPF 15, ($27)

4. Make Up For Ever HD: I love the shade range available for this product (actually all MUFE products) and the smooth finish it offers which is mainly a matte finish with a hint of satin. This foundation has medium-buildable coverage, photographs beautifully and has great staying power. Your skin looks extremely healthy and flawless when wearing this, yet I find that sometimes concealer is needed for any scars. ($42)

3. NARS Sheer Glow: Let me first say that the application of this foundation is key, I like to apply it with a beauty blender sponge. I’m not sure what NARS was thinking, but I would not call this foundation sheer OR glowy, so if that is what it luring you in know that it is medium coverage with a matte/satin finish. That being said, I was lured in by the shade range for fair skin, and that part is amazing. This foundation one of my all time favorites! ($44)

2. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24hr: This is the best long-wearing foundation I have ever tried. It is perfect for special occasions when you need to look flawless for a long time. I specifically use this for special occasions because it is a little bit heavier than I would like to wear day to day, and the price is on the higher side ($45). But if you work or go to school long hours and want to invest in a high end foundation, this one is it. The shade range is great and the finish is a nice matte/satin and the coverage is medium-buildable. SPF 15.

1. Clinique Acne Solutions: I know this might be a strange choice for the number one best foundation ever, but truthfully I’ve never found one that is better. I have been using this foundation since my sophomore year of high school and it has always been a staple in my collection. It has medium-buildable coverage and offers the most natural and flawless finish ever. I don’t think that it clears my skin like it advertises, but it definitely prevents any new acne. I never have to worry about touching up while wearing this foundation because, like my number five pick, it is sort of like a stain once it sets. The shade range is also good, thankfully they offer one for my very fair skin and the price is reasonable ($27).

Clinique Acne Solutions Review

Hey Everyone! Today I’m reviewing the Clinique Acne Solutions regimen, as well as talking about my current skincare routine. For those of you who don’t already know, I’ve suffered from breakouts for the majority of my life and have since been on numerous different routines and treatments trying to solve the problem. Before I started the Clinique regimen, I was using the Neutrogena Skin ID system, which really helped my skin a lot, but they discontinued that line leaving me to have to find something else. Yes, I have been to dermatologists many times throughout my battle with acne, but I’ve found that when I use the harsh treatments they tend to prescribe I lose the health of my skin and end up having to quit using any kind of treatment and only use gentle cleansers and moisturizers to get it back to “normal”. That is why the majority of the time I prefer using non-prescription treatments. Now back to the review!

This system has three steps:

1. Foaming Cleanser: The cleanser, as mentioned in the video, is not as thick of a foam as I would like but it does the job with 2-3 pumps of cleanser without over-drying the skin. I like to use it with my Clarisonic to really remove all dirt/makeup well.  2% Salicylic Acid

2. Clarifying Lotion: This clarifying lotion is actually a liquid toner, not a “lotion”. I apply it after the cleanser with a cotton pad all over my face, excluding my eye area, and down my neck. It is excellent at removing excess dirt/makeup and tightening pores. I’ve noticed a huge difference in the size of my pores since the very first use of this product. 1.5% Salicylic Acid

3. Clearing Moisturizer: Although this treatment moisturizer absorbs nicely into the skin, be extra careful 10-20 minutes after applying it if you are wearing dark clothing or have dark sheets as it could bleach them. 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide

*4. Spot Healing Gel: You can feel this spot healing gel working on contact. It brings cystic acne to the surface as a whitehead in one to two doses and dries it up within three. Excellent! 1% Salicylic Acid  **optional step**

Overall, I would give this system a 4/5. It was able to significantly clear up my skin extremely quickly without making it look and feel unhealthy. If you have heard bad things about Clinique products and are still weary, I would recommend getting a sample of  the spot treatment first. If you like the spot treatment, you will love the rest of the line!

 

I also use for my Morning Regimen :

1. Cleanse – Aveeno Brightening Daily Scrub

2. Treat – Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Bright

3. Eye Cream – Origins GinZing

4. Moisturize – Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, Origins Brighter By Nature, DiorSnow UV Shield

5. Conceal – Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

 

 

 

Best “Lazy” Tip For Clean Skin!!!

This is the best tip I can give you guys for how to clean your skin when you’re really really tired! All you do is follow these easy and really quick steps:

1. Use a makeup remover wipe to get all of your face and eye makeup off. I use the Neutrogena makeup remover wipes.

2. Get a hot washcloth moderately to heavily soaked in water and place over your entire face. (kind of like at a spa facial) Do this until your face is steamy and your pores feel open. Then wipe off the excess makeup and residue with the washcloth.

3. Spray your face generously with the Lush Tea Tree Water Toner

This should take way less than five minutes, which is way better than removing your makeup, cleansing, toning, treating, moisturizing, etc. which takes me about ten minutes each night (I’m very thorough). By doing these three steps, you’ll be cleansing your skin and prepping it to look good the next day ; instead of doing nothing and getting breakouts and makeup all over your pillow.

The reason why this works so well is because of two things. One is that after you remove your makeup with a wipe, you prep it to accept treatment better by steaming the skin with a hot washcloth. The second is the actual ingredients in the Tea Tree Water toner. The three main ingredients in the toner are tea tree, grapefruit, and juniper berry.

Tea tree is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal, which basically means its going to heal, protect, and clean any kind of blemish on your skin, as well as your skin as a whole.

Not only is Grapefruit high in vitamin C (which is fantastic for the skin) but it is also an anti-inflammatory, which is skin calming and it increases pH levels to combat acne and balance oil levels.

Juniper Berry is awesome for unclogging pores due to its detoxifying and astringent qualities.

Please try this out the next time you’re too tired to properly take care of your skin and let me know what you think! Check out my video for more info!

 

Tea Tree Water

Im not affiliated with Lush, but you can get this at http://www.lushusa.com/Tea-Tree-Water/00405,en_US,pd.html