Zoë’s (Mostly) Daily Skincare ROUTINE

Last year, my skincare routine was washing my face when I showered. I didn’t even really use soap. Just water. However, over the course of the past year, an effective and consistent skincare routine has become a more and more important part of my day to day life. I don’t really wear a lot of makeup, so I mainly focus my beauty addiction on skincare products that keep my skin as healthy and hydrated as possible. For the record, I have normal skin that gets dry in hotter and drier climates. This is only a “mostly” daily regimen because I don’t use some of the products below every day. Otherwise, this seven-step routine is my favorite way to moisturize and clean my skin at the start and end of each day.

1. Oil Cleanser: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

I generally start my routine with an oil cleanser to clean off whatever makeup and sunscreen I had on my face throughout the day. I think oil cleansing is vital because it gets off all of the stuff that could potentially clog my pores and give me breakouts. I really like The Ordinary’s cleanser because it gets everything off my face while also being an affordable option.

2. Water Cleanser: Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser

I follow up with a water-based cleanser to get any residual oil from the oil cleanser out of my skin. I really like this particular cleanser because it doesn’t strip my skin at all and leaves me feeling refreshed and clean after using it. In general, I find Cerave’s cleansers to be very effective since they gently moisturize and treat the skin without exposing it to potentially harmful ingredients.

3. Toner: The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

I only use this toner every other day due to its exfoliating properties, but I really like that it makes my skin feel clean and tight. Usually, I pour a small amount of the toner into the palm of my hand, and I rub it across my skin in upwards-sweeping motions. I also particularly enjoy this specific toner because it is fragrance-free and alcohol-free, so it won’t be too stripping or sensitizing to my skin.

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It looks like a toner. It feels like a toner. But let's get one thing settled—The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is not your average toner. Yes, this is confusing, but we are here to help. 😉⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Most traditional toners contain ingredients that work to cleanse and refresh the skin. Beyond simple astringent benefits, Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution deviates from traditional toning methods due to the inclusion of 7% glycolic acid. The simplest alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), Glycolic Acid helps exfoliate the top-most layer of skin, revealing radiant skin, while offering visible clarity. Our formulation also includes Tasmanian Pepperberry, ginseng root, and aloe vera to offer comforting benefits to the skin. Additionally, the formula incorporates various amino acids to assist with barrier support. ✨⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ We recommend use ideally in the PM, no more frequently than once per day. After cleaning your face, saturate a cotton pad with the Toning Solution and sweep across the face and neck. Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes. No rinse off is needed. Continue with additional skin treatments as you prefer! Please kindly note that since Glycolic Acid is part of the Direct Acid family, it is not so friendly with products that contain peptides or EUK 134. ⁣ ⁣ We also recommend avoiding the use of retinoids alongside direct acids if you are an inexperienced user of either. Remember to use sun protection and wear protective clothing as AHAs may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. 🔆⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ (CA$8.70/US$8.70/AU$14.50/£6.80/€8.70)

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4. Serum: The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum

I absolutely love using hyaluronic acid as an ingredient because it can hold 1000 times its own weight in water. I’ll use this serum twice a day and take a small, dime-sized amount in the palm of my hand and pat it across my face until it’s absorbed. I really like The Inkey List in particular because it’s an ethical and clean company from the UK that provides affordable skincare. I only recently added this product to my skincare routine, but already my skin feels softer and brighter than before.

5. Serum/Oil: The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + ECCG 

I genetically have dark under-eyes, and my lack of sleep surely doesn’t help. This oil is essentially something that treats that. I use one drop and rub it gently on the skin under my eyes until absorbed in the morning and at night. This part of the routine isn’t really necessary, but I really like it because it lightens my under-eyes a little bit while also nourishing the sensitive area.

6. Moisturizer: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

This moisturizer by The Ordinary is my absolute favorite because it works to hydrate my skin while also being fragrance-free and cruelty-free. I love that it doesn’t make my skin feel greasy or oily after using, but instead replenishes my skin’s natural moisture barrier and prepares me to start or end my day.

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Boring fact: Amino acids, triglycerides, urea, ceramides, phospholipids, glycerin, saccharides, sodium PCA, and hyaluronic acid are all components naturally found in the skin. These components make up a skin constituent scientifically known as Natural Moisturizing Factors (or NMF). 🤓 ⁣ What's not so boring is that all this mumbo-jumbo means that NMF is found in all skin types. The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is our non-greasy cream formula that offers light, but deep surface hydration that acts as a direct topical supplement of NMF, providing the outermost layers of the skin with a protective barrier to minimize the effects of one of its worst enemies: transepidermal water loss (TEWL). ⁣😱 ⁣ The NMF components are highly efficient humectants that attract and bind water from the atmosphere, drawing it into the skin. Increased TEWL impairs enzymatic functions required for normal barrier function, resulting in the visible appearance of dry, flaky skin. ⁣💦 ⁣ This formula offers immediate surface hydration and lasting below-surface hydration, as well as barrier support with continued use. ⁣ ⁣ The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA comes in 30ml sizes for those who want a standard size, and a 100ml format for those who know that more is sometimes more. (30ml: CA$5.80/US$5.80/AU$9.80/£4.90/€5.80, 100ml: (CA$7.70/US$7.70/AU$12.90/£6.80/€7.70). ❤️

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7. SPF: Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Last but certainly not least is the most important part of the skincare routine: sunscreen. I have pretty fair skin that burns super easily, but even for all of you with melanin, it is vital to your skin’s health to wear sunscreen. I particularly like Supergoop!’s sunscreen because it doesn’t leave a whitecast on my face and absorbs quickly into the skin. Furthermore, it doesn’t smell like your usual sunscreen and doesn’t feel weird and thick on my face. Not to mention, it’s reef safe since it doesn’t have ingredients like oxybenzone.

Optional: Exfoliate: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The exfoliation part of my routine only ever happens once a week to clean out my pores and dead skin cells. This generally happens at night before I cleanse. I use a chemical exfoliant since I have more sensitive skin, and I put it on for ten minutes every Tuesday night. I thoroughly enjoy The Ordinary’s famous peeling solution because I see an immediate difference in my skin since the acids eat away my dead skin cells. (It doesn’t hurt that it looks like I put period blood on my face.)

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It sounds really scary. It looks even scarier 💉. It's unavailable in many markets. And yet it's one of our most-loved products of all time. Our AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a 10-minute exfoliating facial that combines 30% Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (Glycolic/Lactic/Tartaric/Citric) with 2% Salicylic Acid to improve visible radiance and texture in no time. While Alpha Hydroxyl Acids, and specially Glycolic Acid, exfoliate the skin surface well, Salicylic Acid further exfoliates inside the pores to target congestion and visible blemishes. The formula also contains a hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer, pro-healing Vitamin B5, antioxidant Black Carrot and a soothing Tasmanian Pepperberry to make it tolerable by most skin types including sensitive skin. The pH of ~3.6 matches the pKa of Glycolic Acid to offer exceptionally high pure acid availability while leaving an ideal balance between acid and salt content to minimize irritation from excess presence of either. This loving, lovable product is not available in several markets including our homeland of Canada (permanent regulatory limbo), but we will have alternatives for these markets in early 2018. Some obvious bits: 1) Don't over-use acids; two times per week is plenty (which means these peels should cost you about $1 a month); 2) Avoid unprotected solar exposure at all times but particularly when using peels; 3) Don't let the honest cost (30ml for $7.20/£6.30) of this superstar misguide you. When it comes to exfoliation, your skin only understands acid type, concentration and pH; it doesn't act differently based on how much money you wasted 💸. 4) A really fun way to spend ~10 minutes with your family, partner or friend(s) is peeling together ❤️🐒

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