In Part 1 I talked about all my favorite tools and products for achieving my own personal version of the Benjamin Button effect. Now I want to talk about my routine because what you do is just as important as what you do it with.
I want to talk about this first because it’s not something that gets discussed as often in the beauty community, but it is VERY effective. I think one of the most important things I do is to take my time and work my products into my skin. Not only is this great for my skin, but it is also very mentally therapeutic. I really enjoy my time in the shower and it helps me relax and boosts my mood.
Skin massage stimulates the blood flow and circulation and has many benefits that will actually show in the mirror. Even the Wall Street Journal says so. I massage my skin at every step – cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing.
Pre-Shower Oil Mask
I believe that natural oils are a power house when it comes to skin care. I’ve known people with both acne-prone skin and aging concerns to rave about their benefits. One of my favorite vloggers on YouTube, Christine of PinkSoFoxy, was able to transform her skin in a major way and she gives a lot of the credit to her switch to natural oils. This is a woman who has tried every high end product that Sephora has to offer. You can go through the archives of her videos and see a dramatic change in the texture and evenness of her skin. She gives a lot of in depth information about what she uses and how she uses it.
Personally, I like using natural oils to give my skin a smoother, more hydrated appearance. Before I get in the shower, I slather my face with grapeseed oil and really take a minute to massage it into my skin. I let it sit while I’m washing up. I then take a washcloth and wipe away the oil. You cannot splash your face to get the oil off, you have to use some type of cloth. I read somewhere that muslin cloth works well, but I haven’t tried it yet.
I exfoliate with a mechanical scrub every day and I’ve been doing it for years. For a long time it was the only trick in my book and it worked wonders. While I’m in the shower and the steam is opening my pores I take a couple of minutes to work the product over my face and neck.
The Clinique scrubs I use didn’t irritate me, but they do dry out the skin. This was fine when I had extremely oily skin. Now I have to use a gentler version of the Exfoliating Scrub (the 7 Day Scrub) and I have to work at combating the drying effects by using my oils, but I still love it. Now I use the scrub with my Clarisonic on the two minute setting. If you don’t like using a scrub you can also exfoliate with an AHA or a BHA. It’s also not necessary to do this everyday, but it works for me.
I finish off by moisturizing with a pump of rosehip oil followed by a pea-size drop of my Sephora Instant Moisturizer.
At night I wash my face with a combination of grapeseed oil and coconut oil. Coconut oil is an excellent makeup remover, even for stubborn waterproof mascara. I work it in and then wipe it off with a steaming hot washcloth. I finish things off with a pump of rosehip oil, or perhaps argan oil.
Some may argue that they don’t see how oil can get you “clean”. Well, what kind of clean are you going for? If you are cleaning raw chicken from a counter top, by all means, break out the Ajax and get every last bit of gunk. If you are cleaning an antique mahogany dresser, may I suggest a bit more gentleness? To keep the wood looking its best, you want to preserve the finish and harsh detergents will do more harm than good. Your skin naturally has healthy elements like collagen that you want to preserve.
One a week (if I’m not too lazy) I give myself an at-home microdermabrasion treatment with my Riiviva Microderm. I start by toning my skin with diluted organic apple cider vinegar. Then after the treatment I slather on the grapeseed oil and get in the shower. On those days I do not use exfoliating scrub or my Clarisonic – enough is enough!