friday faves: skin care

To mix things up, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite health, beauty, household, or fashion favorites on Fridays! So let’s kick off Friday Faves with something I’ve been extra passionate about lately: skin care.

When I was young, I always lived by the “I burn but then I get tan RIGHT after” method of achieving a summery glow. In fact, two years ago on a trip to Florida, I got so sunburned the first day that I could hardly shower. My whole face started peeling by the time we headed back from the trip. My back was shedding so much that I bought a long sleeve t-shirt at an airport gift shop to keep my skin from getting all over the airline seats. My husband was appalled by the snake skin. Not mention disgusted (though he hid it well). I wish I could go back and pour an ice bucket of water on myself for being so dumb and reckless with my skin.

Fast forward two years and I have been trying ever since to get the brown spots off of my face that accumulated during that senseless week in Florida. I finally learned I’m not a teenager that can just “burn but then get tan RIGHT after” anymore, at least not without immediate and even serious consequences (like skin cancer, Hello.)

So it was this experience that led me to start taking a closer look at how I take care of my skin and what I put on my body, especially my face. I have a lot of respect for my skin now, and I want to honor it by taking care of it as best I can.

So, here is how I treat my skin now, though it is somewhat evolving…

Makeup remover: Burts Bees facial wipes. I used to only use makeup wipes when I traveled, but now I use them at the end of every day to remove makeup. I follow with a cleanser and feel like my skin is actually clean and not like I just rubbed all my makeup around. I never and I mean never go to bed with my makeup on. Not since college anyway…

Cleanser:  For Christmas I got this Erno Laszlo facial bar and I love how clean it makes my skin feel! The routine is a bit long, but it really cleans my face well without feeling dry and tight.


Exfoliate: I used this Apricot Scrub for a long time when I needed a good, deep clean (2 or 3 times a week) and I always loved how soft and smooth my skin felt afterwards. Then last year Dillard’s had Clarisonics on sale and I happened to have some gift cards from my birthday, so I finally “splurged” and bought it! It’s convenient and I love the way it deep-cleans my skin, so I’m glad to have it. I use the Sonic Radiance wash that came with it.

Toner: Ok, I’ve never really been much of a toner girl. I didn’t really see the point before. But I read recently that this step is important because it balances skin tone, reduces redness, and removes any dead cells left on you face after washing. Doesn’t sounds like I step to skip! I use this rose water. It’s gentle, smells great, and it’s inexpensive.

SPFI used to think that having makeup with SPF was enough, but since I’ve started taking protecting my skin a little more seriously, I’ve experimented with my facial sunscreens. Honestly, I haven’t found one I really love that is easy to wear under makeup. Does anyone have great recommendations? I am thinking of trying this one, because I’ve heard great things. If it’s a no-makeup day or if I’m at a baseball game or the beach, I use minimum SPF 50, like this one. I like baby safe sunscreen so I can share with the kiddos!


MoisturizerMoisturizer is another step I skipped for years, because I thought it made my skin oily and would make me break out. But you probably know (like me) by now that dry skin is just as prone to breakouts because your face produces oils to moisturize itself, and often over-compensates. I’ve tried probably 10 or 15 difference moisturizers over the past 5 years, and this one is my favorite. I use it day and night and it never makes me break out. Bonus: it has like six ingredients and you can pronounce every single one. I even use it as a lip balm.


Night serum: This is a new addition for me. I finally got tired of seeing the under-eye Mom bags every morning, so I did some research. No surprise, getting more sleep is crucial. There is no miracle serum if you are constantly shorting yourself in the sleep department. I get up pretty early, so going to bed earlier is my only option. I try to be in bed before 10. This serum here is mighty tool to help in the renewal process while you sleep. I can see results right away when I wake up! I mean BRIGHT eyed and BUSHY tailed. Wow. Though for now, I still look beat and tired again by the end of the day. We’ll see if that gets better over time.


“Facial”: I got a sample of this REN Wake Wonderful Night-Time facial after I bought some cosmetics from Nordstrom, and I was impressed. You put it on at night and it starts tingling right away. You don’t rinse it off, you sleep with it on (it’s like a serum, not a mask). My skin looked absolutely radiant after one use. I bought a full-size and now use 2-3 times a week (I would use it more, but I try to follow the directions)!

Hydration: Just like sleep, plenty of water is essential to your skin health and appearance. I try to keep a bottle by me all day long, and keep track of my water intake in my daily planner. Consider buying a cute bottle to motivate you to carry water with you everywhere! I use this one (it’s glass, which I prefer because it does not absorb odors and I sometimes put essential oils in my water).

Tanning: If I absolutely need a little color, I apply L’Oreal Sublime gel or use the towelettes. I’ve tried a lot of self-tanners and these definitely smell the least and give the most even color.

So here is a quick example of my morning and evening routine so you can see how I use these products:

Morning: If I’ve worked out that morning, I wash my face with the Erno Laszlo bar. If not, I just splash with cold water several times and blot dry. Then I apply the rose water with a cotton ball in upward strokes. Once dry, I put on the Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic. Lastly, sunscreen. I go ahead and do some other items in my morning routine, like make breakfast or pack lunches before I apply makeup. Takes less than 5 minutes.

Evening: I take off makeup using the Burts Bees facial wipes. Again, if I worked out that day (up to three times a week), I will use my Clarisonic to exfoliate my face while I shower; if I’m not exfoliating, I’ll use the Erno Laszlo bar again. After my shower, I apply the rose water again (using cotton ball in upward strokes). Once dry, I apply Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery serum. A little goes a long way, so I put 2-3 drops on the back of my hand and with the tip of a finger, dab under my eyes, on my forehead, and on my cheeks. If I’m using the Ren Wake Wonderful facial, I put it on it after the serum. After the facial I apply Mama Medicine’s moisturizer again. Done! Takes up to 10 minutes.

You can see my nighttime routine is definitely longer than my daytime. Our bodies (especially our skin!) repairs itself while we sleep, so many products (serums, moisturizers, night creams) work their best on bare skin while you catch Zzzzs.

What are you must-have skin scare items? Any GREAT sunscreens out there that are light enough to wear under makeup and won’t clog my pores?

And what do you guys think about chemical peels? I have been wanting to try one but have trouble finding out if they are harmful – so many conflicting opinions and different ones!




One comment

  1. Shelly Brown · March 11, 2016

    Katie, my dermatologist told me to use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer for sunscreen on my face. It still feels kinda weird, but I’ve used worse.


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