I try a lot of skincare products for my website. Before I add a new company to the directory I personally test out a handful of their goods. So I spend a fair amount of time as a cosmetic guinea pig. However my personal daily beauty routine had become so quick and short that it could hardly be considered a routine. A few splashes of water on my face, eye cream (mostly because if I skip it I get rashes around my eyes) and a face oil. If I was working from home I would often just spritz a few sprays of facial mist and skip the washing until I showered later.
I turned 36 this year and as I tend to do around my birthday I started over analyzing everything about my life. Work, personal life, parenting, growth (or lack of)..... and also my physical appearance. Which is when I noticed my skin was not in a good place. I have always had very dry skin, sensitive as well and with blemishes coming around on a fairly regular basis. But for the most part my skin would probably be considered pretty decent. However things had taken a turn for the worst, my skin looked like it had an extra layer of skin. Creased, dry and tired, with pores that were staring back at me. My first sad thought was “oh great this is my new face, welcome to 36.” But I reached out to my cousin at Natural Feeling Spa to see if she had any game changing ideas. Our conversation went something like this;
Adina “have you been drinking a lot of wine?” Me “yes.”
Adina “have you been drinking enough water?” Me “no.”
Adina “what type of cleanser do you use?” Me “no”......
Adina “seriously chandra!! You must cleanse!!”
Adina “do you exfoliate at least?” Me “no.”
Adina “mask?” Me “sometimes (product testing).”
Adina “ like a couple times a week? “ Me “no.”
Adina “serum?” me “nah.”
Basically I was doing everything wrong. Testing out products, but not maintaining a proper routine was leaving my skin pretty neglected. I also wasn’t using any of the strong active stuff regularly, which I now know makes a world of difference. One of the coolest things about having a natural aesthetician in the family, sleepovers/at home facials! Adina walked me through a routine that left my skin looking like I had just gone in for a spa treatment. I’ve been doing that same routine day and night since then, and although it takes more time my skin looks so much better! I had a moment the other day where I thought to myself “maybe my skin wasn’t that bad and maybe I am just imaging the improvement.” Then I got a call from my husband at work. He said “I was telling my friend how great your skin looks and he wants to know what you’re using.” Validated.
So I figured I would share the steps and the products that I have been using here too. Our skin is all different (again I’m sensitive, dry and blemishy) so products that I love might not be perfect for you. But most of the ones listed below are pretty universal and I think a big part of my improvement is due to the steps themselves. Taking the time to cleanse, exfoliate and mask regularly has been a game changer. *The Lotus Moon products were recommended by my cousin, the others were items I already had or was gifted to sample. If you live in LA I can’t recommend Adina Diaz and Natural Feeling Spa enough, her treatments are amazing and she can personally tailor a product routine for you. I swear it’s not just because she’s family.
First step - the oil based cleanser, I have been using a balm style one, the C + C Cleansing Balm $35 by Lotus Moon. Massage it into dry skin to help break up dirt and makeup (while also adding moisture), rinse and pat dry. This step is also a great time to add a little facial massage which helps stimulate blood flow. Adina showed me some of her magical moves, which you can get a little peek at in her latest video (a guide for men’s facials) watch it here. She also plans to share another video focused on massage tips and I will share that when she releases it.
Second step - the gel or cream cleansers (thats right, I now do two steps of cleansing), lately I’ve been alternating between the Coconut Cream Hydrating Cleanser $34 by Lotus Moon or Matilija Canyon Cleanse Botanical All-purpose soap From $19 by Rowsie Vain. They both do a nice job of cleaning away excess oil without drying my skin. Gently pat dry leaving skin a little moist and continue to the next step.
Third step - exfoliate, I do this three times a week, either in the morning or at night. My two current favorites are Cardamom and Bamboo Polishing Creme $30 by Lotus Moon and Nourish Facial Exfoliant $46 by Ona Organics. Both do a great job of clearing away dead skin without stripping away moisture.
Fourth step - a mask, do this one twice a week after the other steps. I have been using both the Organic Honey Masque $34 by Lotus Moon and Enliven Mask $54 by Ona Organics. I also really like Raw Cacao Mask + Peel $46.00 by Lotus Moon and Bee Rosy Exfoliating Clay Mask $28 by Wildcare. Doing the first three steps before applying a mask makes a big difference. I use to just apply masks on unprepped skin and my results weren’t as good.
Fifth step - serum, this one changes for day and night, but both products contain active ingredients with anti aging benefits. For day I have been using Hyaluronic Intensive $50 and for night Firm and Refine Night Gel $46 both are by Lotus Moon.
Sixth step - moisturize, for day I use Hibiscus Flower Hydrating Lotion $34 and for night Cherry Blossom Healing Soothe $48 also both by lotus moon. I occasionally still use a face oil for this step, my favorites are Beauty Oil $78 by RMS Beauty (I know its a splurge) or Deep Serum $55 by Noto Botanics.
Seventh step - eyes, I’ve been using the same eye cream for the last 12 years, its a no fuss product from a small company in Oregon. I use to get dry eczema type patches around my eyes and they stopped when I started using this, the Wild Rose Hydrating Eye Cream by Wild Carrot Herbals is also priced really nice at $15.99 (it usually lasts me a couple months too). For night I’ve been adding the Roll-On Eye Serum $28 by Lotus Moon under my eyes as well. The rollerball has a relaxing and cooling effect when applied, which is lovely. I prefer it just at night though because it can leave my skin looking a little glossy.
I know its a lot of steps, but its actually a fairly quick process. The monetary investment is also daunting when you look at the prices all together, but you can sub in products that you already own too. Below is my face makeup free and unedited, my apologies for not having a before, I know not being able to compare is a buzzkill. But let me tell you, its a big improvement.