Shaking Up My Skin Care Routine

I’ve recently discovered a new skin care guru: Caroline Hirons. Of course this makes sense, with my love of all things British, but in particular I like her because she above all prizes clean skin, gentle treatment, and avoiding shea butter if you get spots. For years I’ve known that shea butter breaks me out, but so many brands love to put it in products for acne-prone skin. It’s irritating that it takes so much effort to find a moisturizer that I’m not 90% certain will break me out, and I sometimes feel like I’m the only weirdo freak that can’t let shea near my face. I even avoid hair conditioners with it.

Anyway, Caroline’s routine is not exactly simple or minimalist, but it is also not a 12-stepper either. She first and foremost advises proper cleansing, with a hot washcloth and a good cream or balm cleanser. Already I’m listening, as I loved balm cleansing. I mixed up a batch of my homemade emulsifying cleansing balm anyway, and also bought a hot cloth cream cleanser from Human + Kind that I’ve been eyeing at Sephora for mornings. Sadly, I’m not fond of the scent of the cleanser, so I have my eye on a couple more to try out when that runs out.

Now, in the past, I’ve said that I feel like cream/balm cleansers make me feel a bit congested after a bit. Enter Hirons’ second step: acid toning. Rather than using an alcohol-based toner, she advises using an acid-based exfoliator on a daily basis (maybe even twice a day). Of course, I recently discovered that a salicylic-acid-containing moisturizer was helping with my breakouts, so I figured I’d give it a try in toning. I’ve been using First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance pads and enjoying them, but I’ve also ordered a salicylic acid pad from Garden of Wisdom.

After that, it’s hydration. First, in mist form, which I already love. No need to deviate from my favored rosewater and glycerin mix. Then, eye cream. I’ve picked up a sample of 100% Pure’s bestselling coffee eye cream to try out. And then serums, oils, and creams. So I keep my rose hip seed oil at night, and in the morning and to end my evening routine, I use my Andalou 1,000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream (the night cream contains shea, boo). It’s lovely and moist and smells of roses, which is always a plus for me. And I recently went moderately nuts on Sephora’s website and bought a serum, plus a few other deluxe sample goodies. And I think I might consider a lighter weight eye cream for the future, as the 100% Pure cream is rich and the nutty scent clashes slightly with the 1,000 Roses cream.

As far as results, it’s been not very long, but I have to say, not only are my existing spots clearing up, but my perpetually-bumpy forehead is also looking smoother. And my skin has a bit of a radiant glow to it that I don’t always see. Boyfriend’s mother’s cousin actually commented on how beautiful my skin was when we met before my play and I wasn’t wearing a scrap of makeup because I was about to go put it on backstage. Lovely.

My Bathroom Sanctuary

I’ve recently gone through a bit of a rough spot emotionally. I was busy, yes, with tech and performances for my play. But I’ve also just felt generally unmotivated and blah. So I’ve decided to organize my life a bit to add beauty and light to it. And there is one place that never fails to add beauty and light to my life: my lovely bathroom.

I love the bathroom in our house. It’s all white, with clean white tile and a clean white tub and clean white walls. I’ve accessorized it minimally. It also had a skylight, which I highly recommend for any bathroom connoisseur. One thing it does not have is a bath tub, but ah well, one can’t expect utter perfection in a rental.

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But I decided to tweak it just a bit to make for a lovely relaxing sanctuary of a bathroom. I’ve decided to try balm cleansing with a homemade cleansing balm (recipe later, if I’m very nice), but balm cleansing requires a hot cloth. And hot cloth cleansing generally mucks up the cloth you use, so it requires lots of fresh cloths and a system for dealing with them.

So I’ve devised a new system. I have two dozen cotton washcloths that I laundered, rolled up, and set out, seven at a time, on the side of my sink. Next to that, I have my jar of cleansing balm, and jars of cotton pads and cotton buds. So every evening, I can remove my makeup, steam with a fresh cotton cloth, wash the day away, maybe tone with something delicious and rosewater-based, and dab away bits of eye makeup that escaped the balm with a cotton bud. Then, I proceed with moisture and oil.

I’ve also found myself muddying my beauty routine in the name of novelty, so I’ve strived to simplify that as well. As of yet, I haven’t settled, but I’m trying one new thing at a time, rather than half a dozen. And it is much more relaxing. I hope to hear about all of your bathroom sanctuaries.