Today’s entry was inspired by the lovely Sarita Coren’s recent post titled, “My Seriously Edited Morning Routine.” See it here. Be prepared. You will want to shop as she has lots of intriguing products in her routine. I love reading about skincare routines–to the point where I recently wrote to No More Dirty Looks to suggest that they add evening routines to their current coverage of morning routines and what’s in people’s makeup bags. Not sure they’re biting! Oh well, thankfully there are lots of sources for getting a peek into what people use. Getting back to to Sarita’s post, it got me thinking about my morning routine. My skin is in a really good place right now. In fact I have a couple of new products to try out, but I haven’t out of concern that I will mess up a good thing! Okay, so here we go:
The star of this show is Yuli Halcyon Cleanser. It is probably in my top three favorite (and most repurchased) finds since greening my skincare routine about a year ago. Described as a bioactive gel, Halycon gets your skin clean, calm, and toned without stripping it. It has a light, watery consistency and it makes a perfect morning cleanse. I also use it as a second cleanse at night. I start with dry skin, rub it on my face then wet my hands and rub it around some more before splashing it off with cool water. You want this to be in contact with your skin so it can do its thing. It is a gorgeous product. (Reviewed here.) I occasionally cheat on Halycon with Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser. How could I after all that I’ve said? Hear me out. This winter has been rough on my skin. I had red, flaky cheeks in need of exfoliation. I feared masks would be too much; gritty scrubs are always too much; even my konjac sponge was too drying. I decided to buy a creamy cleanser to remove with a washcloth. The TH cleanser is gentle and hydrating. It also contains clay for purifying. Working it into the skin and removing it with a warm, wet washcloth lifts dead skin off and leaves my face feeling incredibly soft. I wish I had thought of incorporating the washcloth method earlier–a noticeable difference after one time. (Reviewed here.)
This next product in my routine isn’t one I have seen in green routines. It’s Skinceuticals CE + Ferulic. I think there are probably green alternatives out there, but I am going to finish the bottle I have and explore from there. This oil is expensive. It smells weird. It also contains a combination of antioxidants proven to protect the skin and make sunscreen more effective. In my experience it does just that. Does it claim to also be firming, anti-aging? Sure, vitamin C is known for that, but that is not why I use it. This is a spring-summer essential for me as I often don’t remember a hat and really don’t want to reapply sunblock over my makeup. Once you apply, it sinks in completely and the protection can’t be wiped away. It plays well with the layers that follow. One caveat: Apply to dry skin. If your skin is even a little wet, it will over-absorb and dry you out. I learned that the hard way.
Once the Skinceuticals is dry, I spritz. Oh, do I spritz. I love spray toner. I love Yuli’s toner in particular. The one I have (and keep backups of) is Yuli Panacea Elixir . This one is their balancing and clarifying toner (they have soothing and anti-aging versions as well). Aloe, cucumber, several types of rose formulations…lovely. Skin feels balanced, plumped up and ready for the next step. (Reviewed here.) I also have Suki Concentrated Nourishing Toner. I bought this on sale. I think this formulation is now called strengthening toner. This one features roses, aloe, and mushrooms and it smells good (surprised me). This is a solid product and alternating toners helps me stretch the life of my Yuli.
Tone Again (and Hydrate)
This is a new addition to my routine. While my skin is still damp, I apply Osmia Organics Active Gel Toner. Let me just say, if I were rich, I would apply this all over my body. It’s a cool, thick, soothing gel that smells ah-mazing. If the word clean had one defining scent, it would be this stuff. The ingredients feature a combination of calming (aloe, oat, calendula) and moisture attracting/retaining (hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide). (Reviewed here.) While the gel is still a bit damp, I pat on a few drops of One Love Organics Morning Glory Brightening Complexion Booster. Morning Glory is an oil that tightens, brightens, and provides light moisture. Of all the oils I have tried in my green journey (and there have been many), this one is my favorite. It does exactly what it promises–it boosts your face and your morning mood. (Reviewed here.)
Lips Need Love Too
Waxelene has to be the the best green beauty buy. It’s cheap and one tube has lasted a year–and it’s still half full! I love this as a lip balm and base for lippies. It’s simple but great with soybean oil, beeswax, rosemary oil, and vitamin e oil. It feels good on the lips and best of all you can’t detect it–no shine, stickiness or scent. I also have a Burts Bees lip balm that has lost its label. It’s the minty one. This has an extra dry, waxy texture. I use it as a base when I want my lip color to last a long time. Put it on, grab your lip liner and fill in the whole lip, and top with lipstick or gloss–or don’t top it for a matte look.
Pratima Neem Rose Sunscreen is the morning routine closer. This fluffy lotion hit all the marks. Green sun protection with a short, recognizable ingredient list; it absorbs beautifully (no shine or stickiness); it leaves no white cast; and foundation layers perfectly over it. Boom. (Reviewed here.)