Up your skincare game

by Katherine Buecheler

I recently developed a keen interest in understanding skincare products. I have quickly discovered many practices I have been doing wrong for years: using makeup wipes, spending more money for “better products,” applying products in the wrong order and much more. After a long skincare journey of researching ingredients and products, watching hours of reviews from skincare professionals and trying out a variety of products myself, I am here to give you my own personal product recommendations.

For skincare beginners, I’ll start with some term definitions along with the order in which you should apply these products. If applicable, start with makeup remover. Next, use a cleanser. This will clear your skin of excess dirt that infiltrates the skin. Serums are next on the list. They can be used to remove blemishes, redness, acne, improve texture and much more. Finish off your routine with a moisturizer. This keeps your skin hydrated. It is important to remember that moisturizer is needed for all skin types, even if your skin is extremely oily. During your morning routine, do not forget to apply sunscreen as a final touch!

To preface the product recommendation, all of these are suitable for all skin types (dry/oily/combination). Furthermore, all of the products below are fragrance-free, meaning they have no added scents—which are often the cause of irritation and break-outs.

1. Clinique Take The Day Off Balm ($36) and Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water ($8): Throw out the makeup wipes and switch to a balm and micellar water to take your makeup off. Wipes tug your skin and can cause irritation, worsening of skin texture and weakened elasticity. Balms followed by micellar water with a cotton pad are gentle on the skin, use better ingredients and are better for the environment!

2. CeraVe Facial Cleanser ($12) and Moisturizer ($10): The CeraVe cleanser gets the job done and does it at a reasonable price. This cleanser uses the exact same ingredients as many high-end brands. When consistently using this cleanser, I saw significant improvements in my skin. The CeraVe moisturizer is probably my favorite. It is the perfect weight, uses great ingredients and keeps my skin hydrated for a long period of time. My skin feels radiant after using it. This product is can be used by all skin types.

3. Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Vitamins Cleanser ($36) and Glow Dream Mask ($48): I have been using the Youth to the People Green Tea cleanser for over a year and have seen a significant difference in my skin. Along with smelling amazing, this cleanser leaves my face feeling clear and brightened. I have seen the best results in my skin since using this cleanser. While I was very skeptical about purchasing the Youth to the People Glow Dream mask, I can not recommend it enough after using it for a few months. Since this product is expensive, I use it very minimally. I apply a small amount every night, and the next morning, my skin is fully hydrated, brighter and glowing! This product is more suitable for those with drier skin, and it gives intense hydration for a radiant complexion.

4. The Ordinary Serums ($6-8): One of the best things about this brand is that it uses the same, if not better, ingredients as some of the most expensive skincare products in the industry. The following products I am recommending are serums, meaning they should be used in between cleansing and moisturizing. The Ordinary niacinamide serum is known to be a lifesaver for many when it comes to acne. Along with seeing personal improvements in acne, the product focuses on reducing redness and evening skin tone. It is also known to be effective in treating eczema. The Ordinary hyaluronic acid serum is beyond effective in hydrating and brightening the skin. It also is used to boost elasticity and reduce scarring. Since hyaluronic acid is a heavier serum, it should be used after the niacinamide.

5. Supergoop! Glow Screen ($36): Many people say it, and I am going to say it again…sunscreen is so important! I found myself forgetting about this vital step in my routine until I found the Supergoop! Glow Screen. The glowy look it gives along with some coverage for evening out skin tone has made me avid about completing this important step. The product is light and provides good hydration for drier skin. It also smells amazing!

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