Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Basic Skincare (Updated)

My skincare regimen changes every now and then, but for the most part I try to use products with good ingredients and few chemicals. I wash my face only once a day, which is at night. For morning time I usually splash my face with water and slap on some SPF lotion and I am good to go. The reason I don't need to wash my face in the morning with a cleanser is because I don't use a very heavy moisturizer at night and so my face is already kind of dry in the morning (although I  do have a oily t-zone). On days I wear makeup I will use a cleansing oil that emulsifies into a milk-form upon mixing with water. If I still have something remaining, I will use a makeup wipe, but I tend to stay away from those as they do tend to irritate my skin. Okay so let me elaborate a little about on all the items I use.

I bought this facial cleanser at Trader Joes a few months ago. It costs $5.99. Like with most products, I read reviews on makeupalley prior to buying any beauty product. I have been doing this for years. So I read good reviews about this Nourish All-in-One Facial Cleanser and decided to get it. I live very close to Trader Joe's, which is also another reason why I feel to fulfill a lot of my needs from there. So onto the product: It lathers moderately and is truly tearless, however I found that it doesn't give me that 'squeaky clean' feeling that a lot of regular cleansers do. I did notice that about a lot of more natural cleansers I've tried in the past. It does an okay job at removing makeup but thats okay for me as I don't rely exclusively on this for makeup removal. I use it only at night.  I like the product. It cleans the skin without stripping it of its oils. As I am nearing the big 3-0, I am trying to put moisture back into my skin, so gentle cleansers are my new best friend.

I have used the MAC Cleanse Off Oil before and I truly love it. However, when I went to purchase a new bottle, the lady mistakenly gave me the MAC Cleanse Off Oil-Tranquil, which is a gentler version of the original. It retails for $30 and you get 150ml of product. It is definitely pricey and I am not one for over-priced skincare, but I did try some cheaper cleansing oils and they were horrible. They stung my eyes, didn't remove makeup and contained mineral oil. MAC Cleanse Off Oils are mineral-oil free. This one has a soothing smell to it and is much, much gentler than the original, which is my only gripe. I find that it doesn't remove stubborn waterproof eye makeup all the way. The good side is it does remove 80% of your makeup and the part where you get to the massage the oil all over your face truly feels divine. I feel like I am in a spa and the process feels much gentler than tugging at your face with a makeup wipe or dousing your eyes with foaming cleansers to get everything out.


I love this Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Toner. I just love it. It contains mostly organic ingredients, is alcohol-free and is so, so soothing. It retails at stores such as ULTA ($14) for a higher price than online stores such as Iherb ($8).  The primary ingredient is aloe and lavender juices. It also contains witch hazel, hibiscus extract and some other great ingredients. I just put some onto a cotton ball and wipe my face. It feels very refreshing and doesn't give your skin that tightening and drying feeling. There have been days when I was so tired that I just applied this and forgot moisturizer and I woke up with perfectly moisturized skin the next day.

Once again, another Trader Joe's product :) The Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion ($3.99) looks a lot like Olay's Complete All Day Moisturizer. I didn't compare the ingredients but I know this one is fragrance-free, PABA free and is enriched with Vitamins A, C & E. It absorbs into the skin quickly and doesn't leave a white cast on the face. With a SPF of 15, I obviously wouldn't use this if I were going to the beach or was going to have a long day in the sun. Being Bangladeshi, I don't need to be in the sun all that much, we are born with some tan. I like this product, I like it underneath makeup as it doesn't make my skin oily and provides the right amount of moisturization. My husband loves it too!


Okay, now is the part that is going to seem so bizarre to all. My Holy Grail Moisturizer is Jojoba Oil. This oil is like the gold standards of oil. It doesn't clog my pores, it doesn't make my skin oily. It has actually rectified a lot of problems I've had with my skin. I have fewer blackheads and whiteheads. I have fewer dry patches on my face and my skin tone looks more uniform. I attribute it all to this oil. I bought this at Whole Foods for $8.99. I am sure many of you might squirm at the thought of applying oil to your face, but believe me, it has worked for me. I am sure there might be a few whom it might not work for. I apply only a tiny bit all over my face and massage it till its absorbed completely. I have noticed that a lot of expensive serums and lotions that retail for over $20 will list jojoba oil as a primary ingredient. They will try and use the scientific name (Simmondsia chinensis) to make it sound more important or exquisite. Read this article by holistic health herbalist about the benefits of using jojoba oil. It also doubles as a wonderful scalp treatment.

If I could go back in time, well, back to before I was born, I would ask God to give me more eyebrow and eyelashes. I have the scantiest eyebrows and eyelashes. If I don't pencil in my eyebrows and apply mascara to my eyelashes, I look sad or sick. For a long time now Castor Oil has been coveted as a remedy for thickening eyebrows. I bought this at a local grocery store for $2.99 because it was on clearance. It usually retails anywhere from $3 to $6. I like that this particular one is cold-pressed and has no parabens. Besides the highly goopy and thick consistency of castor oil, I think it might be actually beneficial in conditioning my eyelashes and eyebrows. I apply it with a q-tip to my eyebrows and eyelashes. Although it is easier to apply if you can get a disposable mascara bottle and just apply it like you would a mascara. Castor oil also works very well in the Oil Cleansing Method. You mix equal parts castor oil and equal parts jojoba oil (or any other oil such as sweet almond oil, olive oil, etc.) and massage all over your face and follow with a warm wet washcloth to remove the oil. This purges all the impurities from your skin and is supposed to be very beneficial to your skin in the long run. Due to the tediousness of the process, I don't do it very often, but whenever I have done it, the results have been great.

I am not very big on taking care of my lips. I mean they are not super dry or super supple...they are in between. I was previously using the EOS lip balms after buying into the hype. I did not like it. It did nothing to moisturize my lips. A lot of youtubers and bloggers felt the same way about the balm. Moving on, I bought this Nivea Milk & Honey lip balm ($2.99) a month ago at ULTA. I absolutely love it. It makes my lip so, so, so silky smooth. My husband was teasing me how I can't let go off this. I keep reapplying because it is just that silky smooth and the scent is actually like milk and honey. It says on the container than it locks in moisture for 8 hours and it did keep my lips moisturized throughout the night. 

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