Many of you have asked me about my [morning] “skincare routine” after I posted a few pictures on Instagram (thank you 😊) and today I would like to share some of my facial skincare issues and products that I use to “fix” and/or maintain a healthy skin.
I have a combination, brown/caramel skin type with dark spots and hyperpigmentation around my nose and mouth. I also have deep eyes and dark eye lids and circles. When I say dark, it means that these areas have a darker shade tone than the rest of my face. This is usually common in most of us; however, Asian/Indian facial skin suffers the most from hyperpigmentation and dark circles. (sorry my Indian girlies) 😊
I started to take care of my skin after having both my girls. My skin changed a lot after my second pregnancy because I noticed a lot of discoloration/melasma on my forehead and cheeks. They were somewhat blended into my skin color but when I noticed them when I saw my face up close. After I turned 36 last year, I also noticed that my dark circles appeared darker/deeper, and my hyperpigmentation appeared worse. I never used sunscreen religiously, so I am sure a lot of damage was also due to sun exposure without protection.
After watching one too many skincare videos and reading about my skin type and issues, I knew that I had to take better care of my skin if I wanted to age gracefully rather than dramatically.
Skincare is not a matter of DNA. Surely many of us are gifted with amazing skin, but the truth is, our daily habits have a huge impact on our skin. Creating a skincare routine that works for YOU is an essential step to having a healthy complexion. Along with that, good eating habits, hydrating, and a good night sleep also keeps our skin functioning at its best.
Some of the changes I have made recently that I know affects my skin are:
1. Drinking a lot of water. If you add lemon to it, that’s even better, but drinking water hydrates and boosts your skin from the inside. I was and still am very lazy about drinking water. But since I drink coffee, I have created a habit to drink at least a 4 cups of water per cup of coffee.
2. Sleeping on my back. Imagine the weight of your head. Now imagine putting all that weight on your face when you sleep on your tummy or even sideways. Ha! No wonder my face looked all squashed the next day.
3. Eating healthier and avoiding sugar. This is also a major work in progress for me, and I am working on it with baby steps. Cutting sugar from my daily diet has helped a lot. I have noticed that on the days I consume sugary food or have an unhealthy meal, my face looks duller than usual. I try to minimize those days and if I do eat something “bad”, I balance it with fruits, greens, or a lot of lemon water.
4. Wearing sunscreen. Yep, I never wore sunscreen before. You can read more about my sunscreen journey here. But now I do, and I feel that all the treatment or serums we use in our skincare routine will only work better if we protect our face from the elements and sun damage.
These are just a few but I would recommend that you see a dermatologist and get to know more about your skin and its needs before diving into any kind of skincare routine.
My Morning Skincare Routine
I have a combination skin type, and I try to follow this morning skincare routine every day, if not as often as possible. Consistency is key to seeing the changes you desire in your skin.
I use a super gentle cleanser in the morning. Because my skin is still soft, supple, and clean from the night I often skip the cleanser and splash cold water on my eye lids, and water and gently massage it to remove any topical residue from my nighttime skin care products.
Cleanser: Purity Made Simple by Philosophy
I used to tone my skin every single day when I was in my 20s. But some how that habit faded away into my laziness. However, I have begun toning my skin again in the last several years and it makes a huge difference. I mostly use the Thayers Witch Hazel Unscented Toner in the morning. It is alcohol-free and soothes and tones my skin for the serum and moisturizer.
However, recently I started a different combo toner. Since I have a combination skin type, I currently use 2 toners on my face.
I use the Balance Force Oil Control Toner on my t-zones to manage the oil on my forehead and nose and to decrease the appearance of pores. And I use the Glow 2OH Dark Spot Toner on the lower half of my face especially focusing around my mouth, below my nose, cheeks and chin area.
The thing is, if you have combination skin like me, one product generally does not do everything for you. What I mean is, that if I used a hydrating toner all over my face, my t-zones will get oily rather quickly [the same rule of thumb applies to moisturizers too].
However, using the Balance Oil Control toner controls the amount of oil on my t-zones and the Glow 2OH helps with my hyperpigmentation areas.
I use both these toners on alternating days and not every day. They are both potent with AHAS and BHAs, therefore, using them daily could irritate your skin especially if you use them together and if you have sensitive skin.
I started off using only the Glow 2OH at night because it has a high potency AHA content and it can make your skin very sensitive to sunlight therefore causing sunburn and/or irritation.
But since I am home all day and I also wear sunscreen, I decided to shift its use to morning as well and combine it with the oil control toner.
Please do a patch test before using any new toners/products. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to not mix both the toners and to avoid using it with Vitamin C.
My favorite serum is the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and honestly you cannot go wrong with anything from the Truth collection line. However, whenever I use the AHA/BHA toners, I try not to use the Truth Serum because ideally you are not supposed to combine AHA/BHA with Vitamin C. Why? Because they are all acids and for those with sensitive skin, the entire mix is basically a recipe for skin irritation.
But over the years my skin has become less sensitive, so I do use the Truth Serum as my go-to serum in my morning skincare routine regardless of the toner. I am thinking of trying the Drunk Elephant line but I feel that they are a bit too pricey, so I am hesitant to try them.
Serum: Truth Serum – Ole Henriksen
My favorite moisturizer is the Ole Henriksen C-Rush Brightening Gel cream. I am all about brightening my dull and hyperpigmented skin, therefore, I love this line as it is rich with Vitamin C and other collagen, nourishing, and brightening formulas.
Another go-to moisturizer for me is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair cream, and I use it mostly with my AHA/BHA toner. It is lightweight, non-greasy and gives my skin the hydration it needs to avoid dry and chapped skin especially around my nose and chin.
And finally, my oldest moisturizer which I used when it first came out and still use it on some days when I am desperate for oil control around my face; Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. It is seriously one of the best moisturizers out there for combination skin type.
So there you have it guys; my must-do steps from my morning skincare routine.
Other products I use are the Banana Bright Eye Cream and the Dermalogica Physical Defense Sunscreen, but some days when I get lazy or am in a rush, I skip these and just use the eye cream at night instead. I rarely wear makeup and in fact the last time I wore it daily was about 6 years ago.
Personally, a good skincare routine is what makes me feel good about myself and my skin. I feel that makeup should be used to enhance your beauty, not just to cover your flaws and problem areas. I love watching others apply makeup effortlessly, and I will if I absolutely must especially for a function, interview, face-to-face work meeting etc. But I never wear it to work from home or even when I go out to run errands etc.
I will write more about other oils, exfoliator, and masks I use in another post 😊 so look out for that. I recently started using some new masks and I am super excited to see how they help my skin. I am also DIY nut, and I use homemade skincare remedies as well. You can read more about it in this post.
I hope you liked my morning skincare routine and got a tip or two from this blog post! If you enjoyed it, please do share it 😊.
Until next time,
Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and if you purchase through them, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!