I am always learning new things about what is best for my skin. And of course, a routine has to be balanced with how much time is available. Usually my full skincare routine is done after the kids have been run to school. It only takes a few minutes but it is much more relaxing without anyone else asking where their socks are.
My morning skincare routine has evolved from nothing to 8 steps in the last few years. I had read advice somewhere that oily skin gets dried out when it is cleansed. So even though I had blackheads that I absolutely hated I stopped washing my face in the morning. I was also glad to welcome an excuse to simplify skincare.
Then, because my blackheads and acne didn’t improve I did more research. Turns out that oily skin benefits from the right kind of cleansing and while there might be an adjustment period for your skin, the oil will balance and blackheads and acne will clear up.
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Cleansing is actually two steps. First with an oil based cleanser (I use Beautycounter’s Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil). An oil- or balm-based cleanser is massaged onto dry skin and works to break down grime, sweat, makeup and sunscreen. These substances are all “hydrophobic” meaning they repel water or are designed to be water resistant. Putting a water based cleanser on first isn’t as effective as an oil based cleanser. Oil attracts oil.
Choose an oil or a balm that will emulsify with water so as you gently massage warm water onto your oil cleanser it’ll thin and then rinse clear.
Oil cleansing will also soften the drying effects of a gel or foam cleanser that follows so double-cleansing actually hydrates the skin!
Follow your oil cleanser with a water based cleanser. The one I use changes because I haven’t found one that I love but today’s flavor is the Beautycounter Counter+ Charcoal Cleansing Bar. Your water based cleanser will have water listed as an early ingredient (did you know ingredients are listed by volume on labels!)
Raise your hand if you don’t know what a toner does. Same, sister, same. I only just learned it myself!
Toners restore the pH balance of the skin. Our skin is slightly acidic and water is neutral or alkaline so when we cleanse with water we throw the pH balance off a bit. Toner helps to bring it back to it’s natural state.
Having a pH balanced skin surface prepares the skin for the following steps and allows the products to soak in deeper which helps them be more effective.
I have a two step toning process. First I tone with Beautycounter’s Countercontrol Instant Matte Toner. The witch hazel and aloe work together to calm redness. I follow it with Beautycounter’s Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence which is like a daily multivitamin for your skin!
This is our serum stage. And this is where I lay it on thick! The skin has been cleansed and prepared with the first half of our routine and now we get to treat it! This is the step to target any specific concerns.
My concerns are for combination skin which means I have a lot! Acne, dryness, oil and redness. My serum line up most days is as follows.
- Countercontrol All Over Acne Treatment on breakouts or acne prone areas. This serum fights acne and helps to prevent future breakouts with 2% Salicylic Acid.
- Counter+ All Bright C Serum all over – but only half a pump! This is a potent serum and a little goes a long way. This serum brightens and helps to reverse damage done by free radicals. (This is Beautycounter’s best seller company wide)
- Glow First Priming Serum all over – the jojoba esters plump and hydrate the skin and provide a smooth even canvas for the last step in our routine.
Or moisturize. I follow my serums with Beautycounter’s Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20. This is a 4-in-one product. It hydrates with hyaluronic acid, protects with broad spectrum non-nano zinc oxide, fights damage with Vitamin C and provides sheer color coverage to even out the appearance of your skin tone. (The skincare ingredients listed actually work to even it out long term so it’s not just a cover up!)
This sunscreen actually protects against blue light damage as well. I used to think that I didn’t need a sunscreen if it was cloudy or if I was going to be inside most of the day. Well – wrong. Looking down at our screens all day can cause many lines, wrinkles and spots too!
I am also comforted knowing that the Beautycounter products that I use are clean and effective. The company formulates the products without over 1,800 ingredients that have been deemed unsafe as carcinogens, endocrine disruptors or flat out poison (asbestos in talc for example). And Beautycounter takes it to the next level by advocating and petitioning Congress to pass health protective laws to protect everyone.