Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Skincare: An update.

I mentioned in a recent post that, thanks to a series of fortunate events, I got my first facial from my wonderful aesthetician Renata last week, and aside from some kind of gross-but-apparently-natural (?!) peeling that took place afterward, thanks to a potion she put on my face that made my face feel like it was being repeatedly stung by bees, my skin has never felt better. In fact, it's has been in much better shape in general since I started seeing Renata, so I thought I'd share what's been working for me lately and some of her tips. (Real talk: I feel kind of superficial writing this post, but I also love talking about this stuff, we go.)

First, I should say that I have incredibly fair, sensitive skin that tends to be both dry and oily and also very red. (Lovely.) So Renata's first tip was that I baby my skin—instead of applying harsh, chemical-laden lotions and potions, I should focus on using gentle, plant-based, organic-when-possible products. Specifically, I've been using Rhonda Allison's beta green tea cleanser, which has salicylic acid and (surprise!) green tea in it and functions as both a cleanser/makeup remover and a gentle exfoliant. I'm going to be honest here: I hate the name of this skincare line (Rhonda Allison sounds like a '70s soap star to me—no offense, Rhonda; I know you didn't choose your name!), but I love the results. My skin always feels super-clean after I wash with this stuff, but never dry or crackly.

Renata also told me that, even with my sensitive skin, I can still use my Clarisonic brush, which my previous aesthetician told me would be too harsh. She just said I have to use the sensitive brush head, which I was doing anyway. So now I wash with the green tea cleanser twice daily, and use the Clarisonic with it at night. After both washings, I soak a cotton ball with witch hazel (specifically, Dickinson's) and run it over my face—it acts as a natural toner and, happily, it doesn't dry out my skin at all. I've been doing the green tea cleanser/witch hazel routine for about six months now, and I added the nightly Clarisonic cleansings back in about two weeks ago, right after my facial. Again, there's definitely been an improvement.

Makeup-wise, I'm still loyal to Bare Minerals, although I've recently been trying out Jane Iredale's Glow Time BB cream, which so far I'm really liking. It's scented, but not overwhelmingly so, and I like that it's mineral-based, with SPF and lots of other good stuff in it. After cleansing, I apply a tiny bit (seriously—this stuff is a bit pricey but it's going to last me forever because it comes in a huge tube and I literally only need a drop or two), blend, and then add blush and top with a little Bare Minerals powder. Done and done.

The point of all this is that I'm really trying to be much more careful about what I put on my face—you don't have to do much research to realize that there's a lot of crap that's not-so-great for you in a lot of makeup brands. I never used to care that much about all this stuff, but as I get older—and my skin responds positively to the above—it just seems to make sense.

What's your skincare routine? Do you love your Clarisonic like I do mine? Ever had a bee-sting facial? (Kidding. Kind of.)

Edited to add:

P.S. Huge thank you to my friend Megan, who referred me to Renata in the first place! She is awesome, and she also writes a fantastic blog that you should totally go read right now.


  1. I've been thinking about trying to oil cleansing method since reading a lot about it from Liz Wolfe and the website Crunchy Betty. It's a little intimidating to start though, because it's so counterintuitive to what I've always done. Someone made the comment that it worked for them because it was a shift towards healing their skin rather than fighting it- love that mentality.


    1. I've heard really, really good things about the oil cleansing method, I just think my skin is too finicky for it. If you try it, please let us know how it works! And I totally love the "heal-don't-fight" mentality when it comes to skin, too. I think it applies to most things, actually. ;)


  2. umm, i love this post!! i knew your skin was looking amazing - so glad to hear you still see renata. isn't she the best thing ever? and hahaha about rhonda allison. it is a blah kind of name. i'm obsessed with my clarisonic (maybe too much so) and i, too, notice the more i love and pamper my skin the more it responds lovingly in return. coconut oil is my bestest friend in the whole world, too. renata swears by it too. :)

    1. YOU are the person who introduced me to Renata, so thank you for starting all of this!

  3. I have a post called "Take Off The Day" in my drafts in the same vein! I'm so happy you shared your picks because I've been looking for some product updates/to expand my skincare regime.

    I have a Clairsonic and LOVE IT. Though, I can only use it every few days since I have sensitive skin. I alternate between a cleanser with salicic acid and one without. Ever since I start working out everyday, my skin has been more prone to oil and blemishes so that's been interesting.

    Can you please explain to me what the deal is with BB cream? I must be the only person on the planet, but I like, don't understand what it's actually for... Is it a blemish treatment?

    <3 eileen