Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bringing Your Best “Face” Forward

One thing that I’ve always taken for granted is my complexion. While I may be gifted with psoriasis and a stretch mark or two (okay, maybe more), I’ve never been plagued with having to diminish the appearance of all-over acne. Every girl has had the occasional breakout in their teen's, but now as we get older–eek!–its important to have a good skincare routine down so you can protect and safeguard one of your most valuable features, helping to bring your best “face” forward.

Take a moment to get down the essential steps–cleanse, treat, hydrate, and repeat. These are the key to keeping your skin clean, clear and looking it’s best. While doing this routine morning and night seems to be a lot, you’ll appreciate it as time goes on and your skin maintains its glow.

Face Care Essentials

First thing’s first–I received a Clarisonic Mia 2 for Christmas from my fantastic in-law’s and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it! Not only does it have two speed settings, it pulses when you are to move on to the next part of your face, giving your skin the perfect deep clean. When using the Mia, I actually feel like my skin is being cleansed more thoroughly and as an added bonus, your skin feels ridiculously microdermabrasion treatment smooth. I truly feel like this allows each of the products to absorb into my skin better. That’s a major bonus in my book!

Step 1: Cleanse

Whether you have dry, oily or combination skin, you need a cleanser that can remove makeup and dirt that’s built up on your face throughout the day. For years, I was doing my due diligence and cleansing my face with luke warm water, cleaner and a washcloth. Now with the Mia 2, I feel like my routine is so much simpler. I literally just put a dollop of product on the Mia and scrub away!

As for cleaning product–Although I've been using Arbonne RE9 anti-aging products for some time, I’ve had an itch to try something new. So I’ve sampled the Philosophy Purity Cleanser and Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser and they have both proved to be amazing. The Philosophy cleanser left my skin feeling smooth and refreshed, but in the end I found that the foaming aspect of the Ole Henriksen cleanser was able to leave my skin feeling better and had a surprisingly nice fragrance.

Step 2: Treat

While I called this step “Treat”, I’ve actually rolled multiple steps into this one. After I cleanse, I immediately dry off my face and use a toner to neutralize anything left behind. Yes, there is much debate about whether this step is actually necessary, but I still do it anyway out of habit. For everyday, I use Arbonne’s Regenerating Toner. For days when I have a blemish or two, I use an old trusty fave, C.O. Bigelow’s Dr. Galen Herbal Skin Tonic. With purifying elements of witch hazel, rosemary and clary sage, your skin irritations clear up in no time.

After my toner, I always use some sort of anti-aging serum as well. They can help infuse your skin with more age-defying elements and vitamins to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful. Currently, I am using Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster which helps to not only brighten your skin, but support natural collagen production as well.

Step 3: Hydrate

I know, I know, you may be thinking, “But I have oily skin, I’m not putting more lotion on my skin to make it even more of an oil slick.” I used to douse my skin with products formulated for oily skin, swearing only to use those products. However, I found the only reason my skin was oily was because I was constantly stripping moisture from it, causing my skin to work double time to keep itself hydrated. It sounds bizarre, but its true. The moment I switched my skincare over to a more hydrating product, my skin was no longer constantly oily.

To keep my skin hydrated, I use an eye cream and an all-over moisturizer that always contains SPF. The eye cream I’m currently using is Arbonne’s RE9 Corrective Eye Cream and for an all over moisturizer, I'm using Peter Thomas Roth’s Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense. Both are quite amazing products! The skin around your eyes is super delicate, so it’s important to keep it hydrated and supple. Your facial moisturizer should also ALWAYS contain sunscreen. After all, what’s the point in all of the anti-aging products if you are still damaging your skin daily with the UVA/UVB rays and other free radicals.

Step 4: Repeat

While these steps sound a little overzealous, they are each important in their own way and can help keep your facial skin looking its best. Now comes the fun repeat part, these steps need to be done in the morning and evening my friends. However, if you’re like me and find yourself super tired after a long day, at least grab some cleansing wipes–like the Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Wipes–that gently cleanse away the makeup and debris, leaving your skin cleansed and ready for bed.

It’s taken me some time to get together a routine that I enjoy. It’s all about testing out new products and creating a routine that works for your skin type. When all else fails you can go to your local Sephora or beauty store, and they can give you tips on new products to incorporate into your routine. Have you tried products that you’ve loved? Tell me about them! I’d love to try them too!
Jaime Costilow


  1. I love my Clarisonic Mia! It has helped my skin tremendously. I just found your blog on the Midwest Bloggers link-up. Can't wait to start following along :)

    26 and Not Counting

  2. Thanks Jessica! I can't believe the difference it's made in my skin as well. Can't wait to check out your blog too!