Friday Favorites- Skincare

I've been getting a lot of questions recently from moms (and non-moms) about my daily skincare routine. I thought that posting here would be a good way to create a one stop shop for those who are asking. So for this weeks Friday Favorites, its all about the skin!!!

If you have read previous posts of mine you know that I LOVE the sun, but you also know that I lather sunscreen on my face every.single.day. I've been doing this since I was 16, and I truly think its the reason why my skin has been saved from a lot of the freckling/sun spots that happened in my teens when I was a tanaholic (that along with the pencil thin eyebrows..what were we thinking?!?!) Skin cancer runs in my family, and I want to protect the largest organ that God gave me, so I am a bit crazy about my skin care routine, especially the sunscreen.

Another thing to note, water makes a HUGE difference. It took me a long time to truly get this. By long time, I mean that I was never (I mean never) a fan of drinking water until I became pregnant last year. I drank so much water during my pregnancy that it finally became a natural part of my day. I now think about all the years my skin was so incredibly dehydrated, and the unfortunate damage my skin has probably suffered because of my unwillingness to drink water. :( The first thing I do when I wake up is drink 16 ounces of water. I put a bottle at my bedside table every night before I go to sleep, so its right there waiting for me when I wake up. I feel as if it truly helps my body wake up and replenish from its night of rest (especially if I indulged in wine or cocktails the night before). My skin goes from a wilted plant to a blooming flower when I down that first bottle. Now that I am actually drinking the recommended amount of water for my body each day (take your weight and divide it by 2, that number is how many ounces you should drink in a day), I have drastically seen a change in my skin from head to toe. It's fresher, more plump, clearer and the complexion is even. I really wish I would have been a better fan of water in my teens and 20's.

Well, now that I've basically done a b-or-ing blog post on water, I'll get to the good stuff. Below is a list of the skincare products I use. I want to go ahead and say that I KNOW some of these products are expensive, but there are also some that are very budget friendly. These products are based on my skin type/needs, so I have learned over the years what I need to spend money on and what I can save on when it comes to skincare.

Note: My skin tends to be oily/normal in the summer/humid months and dryer in the colder months. I had acne in my early teens, and still have a break out every now and then. I am 29 years old (I will be 30 in August), so combating fine line/wrinkles, premature aging as well as restoring skin cells are what is important to me in this stage of my skin's age. If your skin type and needs are similar to mine, then the products below could be a great fit for you.

Face Wash: I just need my face wash to get the makeup/dirt/grime off my face. I don't really need it to do anything fancy since I use other things for that. I go budget friendly on this. I wash my face when I wake up and before I go to bed.

Serums: I can not express to you the importance of serums, especially in your mid-20's up to your 50's. Serums help rejuvenate skin cells and combat harmful UV rays. Vitamin C and E are your friend here! I go expensive on serums because I've noticed that cheap serums smell bad, don't work and break me out! These serums are truly amazing, worth every penny, reduce the appearance of aging and just plain work! I use this once in the am and this once in the am and pm everyday. About 6 drops of each does it.

Retinol: If you are 25 years of age or older, you must must must use retinol (aka Vitamin A). It is absolutely essential in erasing years off your face. You can purchase retinol's or get a stronger version via prescription from your dermatologist.  I started using retinol when I was 23. Before I used retinol, I suffered from dull skin that just seemed clogged all the time. I had friends who swore by the stuff. After using the product for a few weeks (and going through the annoying period where my skin turned red and peeled), all of a sudden I had dewy, glowing skin that people began complimenting. AHAs used properly not only rids your face of dead skin, but can seem to take 10 years off as well by reducing fine lines. (Keep in mind these products do NOT shrink pores. Your pore size is completely hereditary, so don't believe promises of permanent reduction). Extra tip: You must stay out of the sun if you use retinoids. You are extra-susceptible to sunburns. Retin-A is great if you can get a prescription, or you can use this one by Skinceuticals (which is what I use). Believe it or not, the Skinceuticals is cheaper than the prescription (at least with my insurance). I use this mostly every other night in the summer and around 4 nights a week in the winter. Note: Do not use while pregnant or nursing.

Eye Cream: Eye cream is a big one for me, because around the eyes is where I noticed early aging first. I go expensive here because it is the best eye cream myself (and everyone I know) has ever tried. It's won all the rewards, top reviews, blah blah! Its the best, and is super preventative. I use this everyday in the am and pm.

SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen: What I need my sunscreen to do is protect my skin from the sun, that's it. This sunscreen is amazing, SPF 30 and contains none of the harmful free radical chemicals like most SPF sunscreens do (just zinc oxide and titanium oxide, yay! Click here for my schpeel on sunscreens). No need for me splurge in this department. I use this everyday in the am.

Night Cream: I splurge here and this is why. Your skin is completely restoring and rejuvenating itself while you sleep (hence why you need to water it when you wake up!) I need a night cream that is going to work in tandem with my skins natural process, without clogging my pores or breaking me out. This cream is super great in that its milky enough to moisturize your skin without suffocating. Therefore, the skin has the freedom to do its nightly job. I use this every pm.

Clarisonic: This is basically a tooth brush for your face. Think of it as just that. If you didn't brush your teeth, what would they look and feel like, what would happen to your teeth and gums overtime? Exactly! The clarisonic is amazing, and when I get lazy and don't use it I can see and feel the repercussions. I use this every other night, alternating on the nights I DO NOT use the retinol. In the winter, I cut down to about 3 nights a week just because my skin is dry. This is a splurge, but lasts for years so comes out to cents a day!

Exfoliating Scrub: I didn't realize the importance of exfoliating until an amazing aesthetician gave me the run down about a year ago. It doesn't need to be anything fancy (I save here!) you just need to make sure its contains mostly natural ingredients that will be gentle on the skin. I exfoliate in the shower once a week. (no need to use the clairsonic on this day, the scrub will be enough).

GlamGlow Mud Mask: I know I have talked about this stuff before, its incredible. Seriously a facial in a jar. My skin has never looked so dewy than it does the days after I use this. I use this once a week (usually after I exfoliate, no need to use the retinol on this day, the mask will be enough). It's a splurge, but cheaper than spa facials.

Hair Skin Nails: These are the best vitamins for all your hair/skin/nail needs. After I had my baby I started using these to keep my my hair and nails strong and my skin clear, and really noticed a difference after about 3 weeks. I like these vitamins as they contain Vitamins C, E, B, Biotin ALAs and MSMs all in one. I swear by these now.

I also try and have a facial once every 6 weeks, but that NEVER happens! I get one maybe 4 times a year?? I use to get them more often, but since I adapted the routine above, I've found that I don't need them as much, which saves me money.

What are some of your favorite skin care products? Any routine you swear by? Any tips for a 29-almost-30 year old mother like myself? :)