My Skincare Routine

Every beauty guru knows that good skin is the basis of a good beauty routine. Skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it's the focus of our external selves. Our skin reflects our health and has a huge impact on our self-confidence. I've struggled with my skin for years. I've had acne since I was in 5th grade. I'm now in my mid-20s, and it has finally just begun to subside a bit. I'm no beauty guru by any means, but I've tried everything to achieve "perfect" skin. From prescription drugs, creams, gels, to homemade remedies, the over-complication of my skincare routine seemed to only irritate my skin. It's taken a long time, but I've finally settled into a skincare regimen that works for me and keeps my skin feeling fresh, clean, and smooth. In this post, I've outlined my simple skincare routine and shared my favorite products so that you can give them a try, too.

Most of the products I use are very affordable items that you can pick up at your local drugstore or supermarket. I do have a few staples, though, that are on the pricier side. These "splurge" products are ones that I have definitely found to be worth their cost, and they go a long way. Let me know in the comments below if you've tried or loved any of these products!

Daily Routine

My daily skincare routine includes AM and PM care. I use the same products in the same sequence when I wake up and before I go to bed. My daily routine includes wash, hydration, & eye cream.

1. Wash: Alba Botanica AcneDote

This is a simple and effective face wash that I've been using for a while now. It costs about $6 and can be found at Target and some drugstores. It's vegetarian, cruelty free, and contains 2% salicylic acid and willow bark extract for that extra acne-fighting boost. The AcneDote face wash doesn't dry out my skin at all, and as an added bonus, it has a nice fresh scent. For less than ten dollars, it's more than worth an addition to your skincare arsenal.

2. Hydration: Cetaphil Pro Moisturizer

This Cetaphil moisturizer has been a staple of mine for over 5 years. I have combination skin, which can get quite oily at times in my t-zone. Prior to finding this product, I was always searching for a moisturizer that didn't leave my skin looking greasy. I was constantly blotting the oil off my face and was often ashamed at how greasy my skin looked. I'm not exaggerating in any way, but ever since I started using this, I've seen a dramatic reduction in the shininess of my skin. My skin is constantly hydrated without being greasy or oily. As a bonus, the moisturizer contains SPF 32 broad spectrum sun protection. You can pick it up at almost any drugstore, and it'll run you about $14. One bottle usually lasts me about 3-4 months. I can't go anywhere without this moisturizer, and I would highly recommend it to anyone with  oily/combination skin.

3. Eye cream: R+F Bright Eye Complex

My AM/PM routine used to only include face wash and lotion. Now that I'm midway through my 20s, I've started to notice some pesky dark circles under my eyes. This R+F serum is a new product I've been using, and it's like a tiny bottle of magic. It's an illuminating and hydrating gel cream that helps diminish the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. A little bit goes a very long way with this one. All you have to do is put a little dot of the serum under each eye, gently pat it in, and go your way as a bright eyed & bushy tailed babe. The effect of this product is cumulative, meaning it's not just a quick fix. Its effect builds over time, and you'll notice your dark circles fading within the first couple of weeks of use. Before I started using it, I was piling on the under-eye concealer before going in to work my night shifts. Once I added this into my routine, I stopped using my concealer for my fresh-faced makeup look. Full transparency: this product is one of my splurge-worthy items. Its retail cost is $70, BUT there are ways to get special discounts and promotions on R+F products. If you are interested in giving it a try and learning more about this one, I'll list my R+F rep's contact info at the end of this post. She let me in on some ways to get free products as well, which I'll share below, too.

As Needed Products

In addition to my daily AM/PM routine, I have a few ride or die PRN products. (PRN is nurse-speak for as needed). These three faves include two affordable products and one splurge-worthy product. All three of them are a VERY highly recommended addition to your skincare routine. It's safe to say I'm obsessed.

Freeman Clay Mask

Face masks. I've probably tried over a hundred different face masks, and of most them don't do anything for me. In a gracious contradiction, this clay mask from Freeman has done wonders for my skin. I've gone through numerous bottles of this stuff because it really is that good. The best thing about it (other than the fact that it'll make your skin feel amazing) is that it's only $4. This magical green mask, made with avocado, oatmeal, and vitamin E, will leave your skin as smooth as a baby's bottom. Whenever my skin is flaring up with acne and redness, I'll use this mask, leave it on for about 5-10 minutes, then wash it off to reveal a much smoother, calmer face. It reduces redness instantly. Did I mention it leaves your skin EXTREMELY SMOOTH? Try this one. You won't regret it.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

If you haven't heard of this popular product, you're missing out. This little bottle of drying lotion is a spot treatment for pimples. It zaps zits like no other. Some people are a bit confused by its presentation since it doesn't look like your conventional spot treatments. All you have to do with this little elixir is dip a cotton swab into the pink sediment at the bottom, and apply it to your problem areas. This tiny bottle is a borderline splurge, but since it lasts so long, I wouldn't really consider it one. It's $17, but you should only be using a small dot of the product at a time. If I didn't share this bottle with my boyfriend (I got him hooked on this one), it would probably last me about 4 months. You can find this product at Ulta or your local beauty supply store.

Dermalogica Microfoliant

Say hello to the first skincare product I ever threw down major bucks on. This splurge-worthy  exfoliating scrub costs about $60 and can be found at Ulta or your local beauty store. I've been using the same bottle for months, and I'm not even close to running out. I use this once a week to exfoliate and improve the texture of my skin. The product is a fine white rice-based powder, and you pour a tiny amount in your damp hands while in the shower. Once you rub it in, it transforms into an exfoliating paste. I love this product because it truly does leave my skin looking extremely refreshed and feeling ultra smooth. If you're unsure about spending a bunch of money on this, ask an employee at Ulta or Sephora if they have any samples or small bottles so you can give it a try. I have no doubts that you'll love it. Once winter rolls around and my skin starts acting up, I know I won't be going long without this product.

Extra Info/Deals

Rodan + Fields:

For more info on the eye bright serum or what products would work for your skin, contact Erica from R+F. If you mention The Trendy Nurse and become a preferred customer, she'll hook you up with a FREE full size product. Now that's what I'm talking about!

R+F Rep, Erica: