Lar’s Skincare Routine

So that you can decide if you want to incorporate any of these steps into your routine, I’ll give you a wee background on my skin and what we’re working with:

• I’m 33, so some fine lines are starting to become permanent (I’m totally okay with that. I’m totally okay with that. I’m totally okay with that. Ha! Aging is hard.)

• My skin is very reactive — or what is usually termed “sensitive.” It doesn’t like to be scrubbed hard, touched with harsh chemicals (benzol peroxide makes it mean and red), it doesn’t like sun, wind, air, cold, heat … life basically. If I eat lots of refined sugar, I break out and/or my pores look bigger. If I don’t drink enough water, it looks dull. On the upside, my pores do shrink if I eat cleaner, but where’s the fun in not eating chocolate cake once in a while?

• On top of being hyper-sensitive, my skin is also lazy. It won’t look bright and happy on it’s own. I need to exfoliate (difficult with sensitive skin) and it needs more than all-natural products to do the heavy lifting. I so wanted to be the girl that can just slather on coconut oil and just glow, but instead I break out and my skin looks dull, dull, dull without a few meanie chemicals thrown in. (But again not too “mean” because then my skin will go red — quite high maintenance, this skin of mine).

• Breakouts: these still happen, but are controlled by birth control (which I take non-stop for my endometriosis). On most days, my skin is clear of acne, which is still unbelievable to me because as a teenager I had terrible acne (3 doses of accutane that I wish I never took, worked temporarily) and I was still fighting with flare-ups in my mid-twenties. My skin is still oily though — especially my t-zone and eyelids (nothing keeps eyeshadow on!). That said, my skin can still feel flakey and dry at times. Combination it is!

So now that that’s out of the way, here’s how I get my skin looking the best it possible can without genetically engineering it to be better skin (wait, can we do that yet?):

I don’t actually wash my face in the morning — is that weird?
1) I give it a good rinse in the shower and then
2) before I put my make-up on, I prep it with this cheap, but mostly natural serum from The Dollar Shave Club. Yup, this is the stuff that gents use to prevent razor burn on their face. It’s not a miracle serum, but it does give my skin an extra dose of moisture and does seem to keep a little bit of my redness down. And for a $12 serum, that’s worthy in my book.
3) On top of the serum, I put on whatever natural-ish lotion I have going at the time. I’m currently using Pacifica Dreamy Youth, but I use whatever I find at Whole Foods that’s on sale. This is nice and light-weight and sinks in quickly without being too oily. Come to think of it, I might buy this one again even if it’s not on sale.

1) I use two-three drops of organic, cold-pressed jojoba oil mainly to take my eye make-up off pre-washing. I’ve been doing this for years instead of using a proper make-up remover — works just as well as anything more chemical-laden and I swear my eyelashes seem healthier giving them a good dose of jojoba every night.
2) Cleansing time! Again, I use whatever natural-ish cleanser I can find on sale at Whole Foods. I really haven’t found one I’m willing to be monogamous with, but I do think a cleanser is one skin product you can be a little less particular about because it doesn’t sit on your skin and get absorbed like a serum or lotion.
3) About twice a week I’ll use this Aesop exfoliator instead of a cleanser (I suppose I could do it after cleansing, but I’m lazy). Now, this is by far the spendiest thing in my whole routine, but it really does clear away any dullness without rubbing my skin raw like a lot of exfoliators do. I’m careful to just gently rub it on my damp face even if a good scrub seems like it will work better (It won’t. At least not on my skin.).
4) After either cleansing or exfoliating, I’ll follow up with this toner from Kiehls. Okay, this is also more spendy — so I lied about that Aesop exfoliator, but I swear this is another product that totally makes a difference. It’s also not totally natural and organic. And I can’t describe exactly what it does, but my skin looks brighter and less red in the mornings when I use this at night. What is this magic? Chemicals of some sort! I’ll just pretend I can’t read the ingredient list because I got some jojoba in my eye!
5) And finally! Moisture! I’ve been using this almond oil from Weleda for a few months. I think I would prefer a heavier night cream, but I like using a more natural oil for the time being. If you guys do have any magic potions for slowing down the aging process, do let me know.
6) There isn’t actually a number 6, but there needs to be. Eye cream. That’s where my pesky wrinkles are most pernicious. I dream about purchasing the SK-II eye cream because the guru-est of all make-up gurus Lisa Eldridge says its a miracle, but I’m balking at the price a bit. I tried this eye cream from Kiehl’s but I didn’t notice much except that it burned my skin a little. If it burned away my wrinkles, I would have kept at it — but no such luck!

And there you have it! Let me know if you guys use any of these products and have holy grail items. I’m also thinking I’ll try getting regular facials (if I can afford them!) — and seeing if that makes my skin any happier. I feel so grown up saying that. Spending money on skincare instead of lipstick colors does that to a girl, I suppose!

11 thoughts on “Lar’s Skincare Routine”

  1. Thanks for sharing! Love reading these 🙂 Don’t bother with those expensive over the counter eye creams. Just get your PCP or dermatologist to write you for a mild retinoid! It’s the only scientifically proven anti-aging cream and will work wonders. It will also help dry out your oily skin.

  2. A few months ago, I started washing my face with almond oil – I rub it into my dry face for a couple of minutes, enjoying the massage sensation. Then I place a hot wet washcloth on my face to steam out the gunk. Wipe my face with the washcloth to exfoliate and take off the excess oil. I have combination skin and was concerned that this would feel too oily, but I love it. We’ll see how it works in the summer time when the weather is not as dry. (Though, living in New Orleans, our dry is most people’s humid.) But I love the simplicity and how dewy my skin is since I started doing this.
    To tone down my red, and protect my face from the sun, I love First Aid Beauty’s 5 in 1 Face Cream, from Sephora.

    1. Shokufeh, thank you so much for sharing your routine with us! I tried a the oil cleansing method too — though I think I just tried it with jojoba oil. The only reason I didn’t stick with it is because I ruined my face cloths with the oil — my washing machine at the time could not get hot enough to get the oil out. So I had to chuck that routine in and try something else. But your comment is making think I should try it again — and do it with the almond oil I have too.

      And thanks for the First Aid Beauty tip — my face still has redness and I’ll try anything!

      x, Lar

  3. If you end up using a retinoid, please be sure to wear sunscreen daily! It thins the stratum corneum and makes your skin much more sensitive to UV light, such that being in the sun without protection will do significantly more damage than it would’ve pre-retinoid.

    Some good strategies for anti-aging would be a product with non-acidic vitamin c (one of the only other things that can stimulate collagen production over time), such as MAP (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate), which you could find in something like Skinactive’s Collagen Serum or the Holy Snails El Dorado Oil Serum. I’ve used the former and it smoothes and hydrates my skin nicely.

    Alternatively, you could use a regular niacinamide serum or lotion, which over time will even skin tone and reduce/prevent wrinkles without exfoliating. I’ve used Holy Snail’s Shark Sauce (which is freaking awesome, btw), but there are plenty of good products out there.

    Good luck!

    1. Melissa, you are a font of knowledge! Thank you so much for all those tips. I’ve not heard of Skinactive or Holy Snail — can’t wait to look them up.

      I actually just went and got a facial for the first time in many, many years — and I think I’ll be switching up my skincare soon — I’ll give everyone an update if I do.


      1. Don’t forget that I bought you a dark grey hoodie! It’ll go with your Primark joggers, Hillary tee, and dressing gown ;P

        My loungewear only looks chic because everything I buy is either black or grey!

        xoxo, Cath

  4. Such a fun post! I love to chat skincare, and was nodding my head throughout your post (sensitive skin? Check. Prone to breakouts and redness? Check. Trying to be cool about aging? Check check check). If you’re still looking for a nice thick nighttime potion, I am a big fan of Portland Girl Beauty’s Hella Hydration Moisture Cream: It feels really lovely going on, absorbs nicely, and keeps your skin baby soft. The $32 jar lasted me for about 5 months, which I found to be super reasonable for an (almost entirely) natural product.

    This place is actually just a few blocks away from me, and I also use their delicious-smelling Brightening Beads as a gentle exfoliant 2-3x/week and the Plumpin Pumpkin Glycolic Face Mask every week to help with hyperpigmentation/etc. And their Whipped Coffee eye cream. My medicine cabinet looks like an advertisement for them 🙂 but my skin has honestly never looked this good…and my wallet isn’t crying!

    1. HI Jane Marie!

      Oooo I can’t wait to check out your recommendations! I’m always on the look-out for more natural (and local — woohoo!) skincare prodcuts — and it’s especially helpful that you can understand my skin woes (and my wallet woes ;D).

      Whipped Coffee eye cream, you say? On it!


Leave a Reply