My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

Please refer to my “announcement” post if you haven’t already – it explains my skincare in a nutshell.
I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

Breakdown:
1. Cleanse
2. Acne Treatment / Main Active
3. Hydrators
4. Moisturize
5. SPF


1. CLEANSE

I have tried going without washing my face in the morning, but I always get a lovely amount of zits on my face later in the day. I need at least a few splashes with water to start my morning skincare routine. If I feel like my skin has a bit of a residue from the night before, I’ll go in with a gentle cleanser.

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I’ve been really enjoying Cerave Hydrating Cleanser for this step! This is such a lovely, gentle, simple cleanser. One full pump really softens the skin as I massage my face and I don’t feel ANY sensation at all.

Just like its moisturizing partners, this cleanser also contains Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid, great ingredients to help replenish moisture in its skin and support a good barrier function. The texture of the product is like a lotion and with the way it feels, the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser is definitely doing some good for my skin!

Because it is so gentle and slightly moisturizing, I always debate whether or not it would be good as a second step in my Double Cleanse. For now, I’m enjoying it as a go-to gentle cleanser in my skincare arsenal, especially the morning after using Differin the night before.

Every other day I go in with the Dermalogica Medibac Clearing Skin Wash * to incorporate Salicylic Acid in my skincare. It contain’s 0.5% Salicylic Acid, the minimal amount required to effectively exfoliate your pore lining. This is a much welcomed product, especially since I’m getting slightly oilier and actually maintaining a proper workout schedule. My lovely sebaceous filaments  on my nose have been getting darker, so this wash is effective, yet gentle and nourishing enough to even use it daily! I’m highly considering getting the full size of this product.

After rinsing my face I will lightly pat my skin dry, but not completely dry. I find if I do this, my skin is more susceptible to dehydration and dryness, so I always make sure it is “almost dry”.


 2. Acne Treatment / Main Active

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After cleansing while my face still has a tad amount of water, I first apply Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum on my forehead and each cheek. The idea of using my serum first is to get Vitamin C to make direct contact with my skin, so I can reap its benefits right away. It’s a light water-based serum so it doesn’t disrupt the flow of my skincare at all by using it first. It doesn’t sting my skin at all and feels rather refreshing both from the light sweet scent it has and how it makes my skin feel fresh.

It contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a Vitamin C derivative said to be more stable and bioavailable than L-Ascorbic Acid, while still providing the same benefits. Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E are also in the formulation to amp up the benefits as well.

I haven’t really noticed a huge difference in my skin while using this serum, other than my skin feeling more hydrated. The only marker I have that this has helped with hyperpigmentation is on my neck – the only place I don’t apply Differin. The mark I had from a breakout is very faded now and doesn’t feel raised on my skin. Either way, I think this is a good starter Vitamin C serum, but I may opt for the popular Timeless Vitamin C serum after I’m done with the Mad Hippie one.

I pat it into my skin and once it gets tacky I move onto my other products.


3. Hydrators

I’ve been really enjoying the following products in my skincare routine because they have done an excellent job in adding back hydration to my skin. I don’t necessarily have to use both products, but I find my skin stays very comfortable throughout the day and I rarely ever get a tight feeling in my skin.

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I’ve raved enough about the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner * and I’m currently using the Unscented version in my routine. So far, it performs the same! Hard to tell the difference anymore (aside from the scent) since it is summertime and my skin is slightly oilier. After 3 dime-size applications, it makes my skin feel just as comfortable as the original, and ready for more layers of skincare.
REVIEW & COMPARE: Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner – Scented and Unscented!

I follow up immediately with 2 pumps of Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence (formally called Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence – the one I have).  There’s not much information about Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate other than that it can help tighten and brighten skin, as well as improving skin’s barrier function. For me, I’ve noticed the tightness I used to get from dehydration is non-existent, my skin feels a lot smoother, and my face stays even-toned. I’ve noticed nothing but benefits from using a Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate product and will continue using it!

After all of this is absorbed into my skin and while my face is still tacky, I immediately go into moisturizing.


4. Moisturize

Inspired by Dr. Dray, I use 2 types of moisturizers – one as a humectant type to hold onto all that water I applied to my skin in my hydrating step, and sealing it further with a more occlusive one.

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I apply a minimal amounts of Mentholatum Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun Perfect Gel to my face and neck, making sure to concentrate a little more around my eyes, middle of my forehead, and smile lines.

I was fascinated by this product originally because it had Urea high on the ingredients list. It is a moisturizing agent that helps increase the thickness of your skin barrier as well as help with the skin’s natural desquamation process. I had to get my hands on this product. Hada Labo is known to have 3 different types of hyaluronic acid to help further add to it’s skin-conditioning functions.

This gel always leaves my skin feeling very soft and smoother than before. I also find it has helped minimize my pores from keeping all the water in my skin cells, giving a plump look to my skin!

I use a tiny amount of the Mad Hippie Eye Cream under my eyes to my orbital bone. Whether or not eye cream is necessary – shush! I need something more moisturizing for my eye area, as it dries out easily, so for me, eye cream is a necessity.

What is really fascinating about this eye cream is the amount of actives! The eye area is very sensitive and I don’t have problems with this eye cream at all. It contains Matrixyl 3000, a peptide that helps collagen and elastin production. It also vitamins C, B3 and E, as well as Ceramide, Niacinamide, and other ingredients that aid in improving the look and strengthening skin.

I really like how this eye cream feels light yet it provides enough moisture for my eye area. Even on application while patting it in, I notice my eye area is brighter! The one big wrinkle I get around my eye area when I smile seems less deep, and the area in general looks a lot smoother. I don’t have a problem with darkness under my eyes, but I do notice after application it looks a tad brighter.

To seal all the good stuff in, I go in with 4 pumps of Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion to cover my face and neck. It’s also a gel moisturizer, but contains a high amount of Niacinamide. I love this ingredient because it helps with minimizing pores and increasing the strength of my skin barrier. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Cerave product without Ceramides in the list! Because it’s summer, and I follow up with a moisturizing SPF, I find I don’t need to mix this in with another moisturizer to make sure I’m well moisturized.


5. SPF

The topper to my skincare! Nothing ensures a protected skin barrier like using a sunscreen. I have a variety in my collection, but the following product is what I’ve been using constantly.

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Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen really is a cosmetically elegant sunscreen. It is also so moisturizing, I could skip using the Cerave PM Moisturizer if I really wanted to (but I won’t – can’t give up that Niacinamide).

It contains 7.0% Zinc Oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate as its UV filters. Because it’s a physical-chemical hybrid SPF, the cast you would get from zinc-oxide disappears as you massage it into your skin. I do notice my skin looks paler if I do not wear makeup, especially since my body is darker, but I’ve only noticed it while at the gym. It also has Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitamin E and Petrolatum, and a variety of moisturizing ingredients to help retain skin moisture. It spreads so smoothly on my face and makes my skin feel more moisturized. The finish is quite glowy but I don’t mind. I usually use this sunscreen when I plan on applying makeup because I can easily glide on my base and sheer it out without worrying about unevenness.


There you have it! My morning skincare routine. Even when I was experimenting with this routine in colder weather, my skin rarely felt dehydrated throughout the day. My skin has been feeling and looking good, and am overall really happy with how much my skin has improved. I could probably rid my routine of a few of the products to minimize it, but I enjoy my routine a lot right now and that’s what matters most to me. We’ll see once I finish them up.

Hope you enjoyed the read!

Be sure to check out my PM Routine: My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

xo, M

If you want to see the texture of the products and in action:


This post contains affiliate links.
DISCLAIMER, PR, AFFILIATES

SUNSCREEN WEEK [DAY #7]: La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50

ABOUT:
“Broad spectrum UVA/UVB high protection.
Quick absorbing. Natural glow.
Fragance-free. Paraben-free. Non-comedogenic. Water-resistant.”

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Price: $34 CAD
Amount: 40 ml
Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 50

UV FILTERS:
Type: Physical
Titanium Dioxide11%

INGREDIENTS:
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CONSISTENCY:Watery.

APPLICATION: Spreads easily but feels kinda greasy on your fingers.
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FINISH: Satin type of finish.
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FEEL: Light.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST? The tint is slightly noticeable on my skin but I definitely do not rely on this for coverage, just to make sure there’s no whitecast. Word of caution to the super pale: this WILL be noticeable on you. Opt for the untinted one.

WATER RESISTANT? 40 minutes.

SKIN BENEFITS?
Nothing overly spectacular other than sun protection.

UNDER MAKEUP:
On par with how the Riversol SPF 30 Sunscreen performs. It Cosmetics CC Cream is able to blend evenly, but it’s not a lot of slip on the skin to help sheer it out like Elta Md SPF 30 Sunscreen.

WHERE TO BUY:
La Roche Posay’s Official Website

I originally bought this on a recommendation from one of the workers at Shoppers DrugMart for Nick to use when he cycles. It is very light, so it doesn’t feel like he’s adding something difficult to use in the morning. The tint surprised him at first, but it doesn’t provide coverage and his skin looks like his skin. It’s a nice sunscreen for sure, but $34 for 50ml is on the more expensive side.

Thank you SO MUCH for sticking around for Sunscreen Week! Hope it helped you out in choosing a sunscreen.

xo, M

 

SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #5]: Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

ABOUT
“CeraVe® AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 is an ideal moisturizer for daily use, developed specifically for the face, which helps restore and maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier while providing protection against the sun’s damaging rays.

The ceramide-rich formula provides essential ingredients to maintain a healthy skin barrier and also contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, which may help reduce redness due to dry skin. So, while CeraVe® AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 is protecting your skin from the sun, it’s also rebuilding and restoring your skin’s protective outer lipid layer.”

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Price: $17.49 CAD
Amount: 89 ml
Strength: SPF 30
UV FILTERS:
Type: Physical-Chemical Hybrid
Homosalate 10%
Meradimate 5%
Octinoxate 5%
Octocrylene 2%
Zinc Oxide 6.3%
INGREDIENTS:IMG_20180718_164441.jpg

CONSISTENCY: Light cream.


APPLICATION: Spreads nicely, takes time to blend and could pill up around the sides of your face.

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Notice the little white pills on the sides

FINISH
Slightly greasy after I massaged it in, but it goes away shortly on my dry skin.IMG_20180712_144904.jpg
FEEL: Light. Skin feels dry to the touch.
STINGS EYES? Yes. I feel it more near the end of the day rather than right after application.
WHITECAST? No.

WATER RESISTANT? No.
SKIN BENEFITS?
It is fairly moisturizing, although I don’t find it on par with the PM Moisturizer. My skin looks even tone when I use this, could possibly be from the Niacinamide low on the ingredients list.
UNDER MAKEUP:
My It Cosmetic CC Cream is applied easily with this underneath and it doesn’t seem to compromise the finish.
WHERE TO BUY:
Well.ca

This is one of the better drugstore sunscreens I have tried. It’s not my favourite product out of Cerave’s line, but it does serve its purpose. Nick uses this on a daily basis as a moisturizer. He pretty much has perfect skin, so he doesn’t have any problems with this other than it stings if he applied it after he’s freshly shaven. I only use it when I’m going to the gym and I don’t want to use a more expensive sunscreen just to wash it off in an hour. Definitely give this a try if you’re looking for a hybrid, *fairly* affordable moisturizing sunscreen!

xo, M

REVIEW: Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask & Hydrogel Sheet Mask

A couple of weeks ago I got sent an Influenster VoxBox with complimentary Neutrogena products to try out!

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Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

I’ve been testing the Deep Clean for a few weeks now and just used the sheet mask, and I’m ready to share my thoughts with y’all. Just keep in mind the basic information I’m providing about the products are based on the Canadian websites and packaging.


Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask

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$13.49, 119g
Use: Post-workout, in-shower; Leave on for 5 mins

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Ingredients: Water (eau), Glycerin, Kaolin, Bentonite, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Titanium Dioxide, Trideceth-9, PEG-5 Ethylhexanoate, Xanthan Gum, Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Menthyl Lactate, Panthenol, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Green 3.

The Deep Clean Cleanser/Mask contains Salicylic Acid, a BHA that exfoliates the skin in the pore lining to help prevent clogged pores turn into blackheads, whiteheads, or a cyst, as well as smoothen skin texture. Glycolic Acid is on the list as well, but the focus for this product seems more about SA; On the US website only lists SA as an active ingredient (0.5%), but the percentage is unknown on the Canadian site and packaging. I typically use chemical exfoliants after a workout in-shower, since that’s when I will be the most oily and more prone to breakouts. For the past few weeks, I have been using the Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask on my face as well as my back and chest to prevent congestion and body acne. I need a treatment for my back because I still tend to develop painful cysts, and I have some marks leftover to prove it! I like that the cleanser can last for a few minutes on my body without worrying about it washing away.

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In the few weeks I have been using this cleanser, my back has not broken out and my chest area looks and feels congestion free! As for my face, the Menthyl Lactate in the Deep Clean Cleanser/Mask sensitizes my skin a bit; I can feel the cooling sensation a lot. While it doesn’t heavily irritate my skin, it is a bothering feeling, especially since it lasts a while after I use the mask. Because of this, it is the reason why I prefer using it on my body or solely after a workout session. I don’t like the unknown percentage of BHA, because I don’t know if it will effectively “Deep Clean” my pores. I opt for Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne wash for my face (and sometimes back) which clearly lists 2% Salicylic Acid.


Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

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$4.89, 30g
Use: Once; Post-shower, after using Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask

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Ingredients: Water (eau), Dipropylene Glycol, Propanediol, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Chlorphenesin, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Chloride, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Sucrose Cocoate, Tocopherol, Blue 1.

This is probably the most unimpressive sheet mask I have ever tried. As you can see, Hyaluronic Acid is low on the list, and the bottom piece of the mask kept slipping down from my face. I left it on for the recommended 15 minutes and didn’t find anything noticeable with my skin other than it looked somewhat hydrated. That look disappeared quickly and there was no nourishing feeling or look on my skin that I would normally get from other sheet masks in my collection. For $5, my $2 sheet masks do way more with better ingredients and more serum in the pack.


Final Thoughts

The Neutrogena masks are overall decent drugstore skincare products that provide some skin benefits. I personally will pass on the Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask because the Menthyl Lactate bothers me too much. The Hydrogel Mask was nice but I’d rather pay $2 for a Korean sheet mask that do the same thing. Also, if you have sensitive skin, both do contain Fragrance.

On the Neutrogena Official website, they stated that the ingredients list does not get updated in a timely matter or if the formulation changes, so you must refer to the package for the actual ingredient list of your product. So if you plan on purchasing Neutrogena, it’s best to go to your local drugstore rather than an online shop to make sure you’re getting the exact ingredients you know is in the product.

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M

GIVEAWAY: 10 Canada Day Nail Vinyls!

Awesome news, peeps! Nail Polish Canada sent me these cute and simple Canada Day Nail Vinyls complimentary, and they want to gift it to 10 of you as well!

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Nail Polish Canada is an online retailer for popular nail polish brands such as Essie, China Glaze, Zoya, Sallie Hansen, and recently started carrying other beauty products such as haircare, skincare, beauty tools, and makeup.

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The vinyls come in 5 different stencil sizes of the Canadian flag and retail for $5.65.

If you’re interested in trying nail art and being patriotic for Canada Day, below is the code and where to claim them for free (shipping included)!

Code: H14UBP6X53H5B
Link: http://www.nailpolishcanada.com/products/free-canadian-flag-nail-vinyls-1-sheet-20-stencils-by-whats-up-nails.html

 

 

And that’s all there is to it! Remember, the code is valid for the first 10 readers who use them!

>>> I make no commission off of this, this is just for fellow Canadians and nail art enthusiasts to enjoy! <<<

Right now the hard part for me is finding the perfect red to use – any recommendations?

xo, M