What's Working Lately

Skin is the largest organ, so why not treat it with extra love? I have a very strong resolution this year to take care of my skin better than ever before, even if that means putting serum on while part of me is already asleep. It's going well-- my brain now associates putting my head on the pillow with CE Ferulic. I haven't skipped a beat all year (ok, all 2 and a half months) and it really shows! There's still the occasional cystic spot, but I've yet to find a remedy to prevent those completely. I believe in sharing the love, so I want to let you in on little tips and products that have been working for me.

The skin on your face and neck is particularly delicate and prone to breakouts, large pores and fine lines. In order to prevent extra tugging and moisture loss, adequately moisturizing seems like the obvious step to take. What's not so obvious are the steps leading up to adding moisturizer, which should be the final part of your routine to seal everything in.

*Tip: If the temperature is freezing or below, don't wear an oil-free moisturizer. It will freeze on the surface of your skin and cause broken capillaries, which are bright red blood vessels that won't go away. Even with the best of treatments.

I start by double-cleansing my skin. I'll always be loyal to the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser in all of its velvety rosewater glory, but my new favorite is the Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk. Not only does it smell like Earl Grey tea, it feels like butter in the best way possible and removes every last bit of makeup and excess sebum from your face without stripping it. Bonus: it doesn't sting your eyes at all. Even when you have to get up in there to wash away that kohl eyeliner. It's a multi-action formula that claims to eliminate environmental aggressors, increase skin resistance and minimize the signs of chronic irritation and sensitivity. Fennel seed extract is known to neutralize pollutants that cause the skin to age prematurely due to oxidative damage. With omega 3 and 7, the soothing components of this cleanser sooth and boost skin's lipid content which restores the natural barrier-- this is why it doesn't leave your skin dry and stripped. Lastly, calendula oil heals active spots and calms the skin. REN is part of the clean beauty team and is free from synthetic fragrance, pore-blocking petrochemicals, sulfates, gluten, silicones, animal ingredients and parabens.

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CE Ferulic - who doesn't love this? It's not only good for its instant glow, but truly delivers results over time. Only 4-5 drops are needed in the morning and before bed, patted into the skin-- never rubbed. This allows the product to be soaked in more efficiently. This patented formula is an antioxidant combination of 15% pure vitamin C which is the L-ascorbic acid, 1% vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and 0.5% ferulic acid to protect against free radicals. While brightening the skin's complexion, CE Ferulic improves signs of aging and photodamage.

I've been loving retinol for years now. So far during my skincare journey, my favorite has been The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion -- formerly known as Advanced Retinoid 2%. This costs a whopping $9.80. Don't always let premium prices influence your thoughts on quality. Deciem found a way to extract key ingredients from high-performing formulas and incorporate them into products that cost far less with fewer additives, which is why they're able to market themselves at this price-point. It's also a plus that they're cruelty-free. After reviewing the formula composition on Deciem's website, I found that the pure retinol is in a protective capsule system, which enables the delivery and effect of Granactive Retinoid. 2% concentration of this is solubilized Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR). This is a non-prescription version of all direct retinoic acid that assists against signs of aging and smoothing of the skin's surface. The smoothly effect has been my personal favorite effect of this.

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Lastly, I've been head over heels in love with Leo oil by Dena Smith for a while now. Dena, known as @leowithcancer in the Instagram world, hand brews this formula at her ultra-aesthetic home in Denver filled with mini baubles, or "for size" as she says, and iconic accessories. I really believe it's magic, there's just no other explanation for how good this oil is. Pimple? Diminished by morning. Tired skin? Glowing and even. Anxious? Hopes and dreams fulfilled. 

"Leo Oil is a blend of blue tansy, rosehip seed oil and meadowfoam seed oil. It is a powerful, hand-blended recipe, made from raw ingredients, known in the holistic community to act as a moisturizer that also treats and heals irritated skin. On the skin, applying a green color acts as a natural antidote to redness. People who use it report feeling more comfortable in their own skin. They love how it feels and smells. They love how they feel about their skin after they use it." 
I'm going to need this in candle and fragrance form. Best oil ever, never removing it from my routine.