Morning Prep for No-Makeup Monday

I was so pleased with how nice my skin looked after not wearing makeup for a day that I decided to carry it out for the rest of the week!

This morning, I cleansed with my Cetaphil cleanser for normal to oily skin. Cetaphil is one of those polarizing beauty products where my opinion falls somewhere in the middle. The cleanser is cheap – about $11 for 16 fl oz, and lasts me about two months total when I use night and day. It is unscented, non-foaming, and has a gel-like consistency. The top three ingredients are common, water, glycerin (a humectant aka attracts water), and PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate (another humectant). A full list of ingredients and more information about the product can be found here. I’m trying to use few products that have alcohol-based top three ingredients, but this is proving to be quite the challenge! While I may be a bit skeptical of the ingredients, I doubt I will ever stop buying this cleanser.

After cleansing, I dabbed on my Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion, a toner I’ve been using day and night for the past three weeks. It is costs about $15 for 8 fl oz, but I got it as a sample size and am about halfway through the bottle after three weeks. To use, the brand suggests moistening a cotton ball and sweeping in upward motions across the face until clean. I do this very motion twice a day, using a quarter sized amount of product each time. The first three ingredients are even more disheartening than Cetaphil’s: Water, Isopropyl Alcohol (an anti-foaming agent), and Propylene Glycol (a humectant and conditioning agent). Two alcohols in the first three ingredients! Overall, I love this toner but will probably not repurchase due to the heavy amount of alcohol. For more information on this product, please visit here.

Next, I delicately applied a small amount of the Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream. It may be $18 for 0.5 oz, but this cream goes a long way! The top three ingredients are water, glycerin, and paraffinum liquidum (Mineral Oil, Huile Minérale). Read more about the product here

Lastly, I applied a healthy amount of the Mario Badescu Oil-Free Moisturizer. Sunscreens make up the top ingredients, followed quickly by water, Isononyl Isononanoate (a conditioner), and Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene. For a full list of ingredients, please visit here.

This took me only about 5 minutes to complete and I was out the door! Since I’m writing this the night after, I can say that my skin looks even better than it did this morning – less red and irritated for sure. While I do love a lot of the products mentioned above, I am going to be on a search for similar products that contain less alcohol. Once I find such products, I’ll be sure to update!

Nighttime Prep for No Makeup Monday

Today, I did something I hadn’t done before: I went to work without any makeup on.

Now, for someone who has hidden behind makeup for years in fear of my acne being exposed, this was a pretty significant move. To prep my skin for this brave new world, I washed my face with my Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser, used a dab of his Special Cucumber Lotion, and followed it up with the Oil-Free Moisturizer. On top of that, I put on a small amount of The Ordinary’s 100 percent Plant-Derived Squalane Oil to seal in the moisture.

To prep for this momentous occasion, I went for my most glow-inducing products the night before.

Last night, I forwent the Acne Facial Cleanser and instead lathered on my trusty Cetaphil Normal to Oily face wash with my Clarisonic brush. After, I applied a small amount of the Drying Mask to my trouble areas – cheeks, jawbone, and T-zone.

A quick rinse later and I dabbed on pea-sized amount of Mario Badescu’s Vitamin C Serum. This serum is ridiculous – I’ve never used a product that makes my skin more radiant! After the serum, I gently massaged in my moisturizer-of-the-moment Origin’s High-Potentcy Night-A-Mins.

I originally got the moisturizer as a sample in a Sephora box and have been using it consistently for 3 weeks. I love the smell, how easily it absorbs, and the way it makes my skin feel the morning after use. I’m not sure if I’ll buy after the sample is finished, but I am definitely leaning in that direction!

What are your most glow-inducing products?



Toner Review

Toner review! Before I started listening to beauty podcasts, discussing skincare with friends, and avidly following bloggers, I’d distrusted anything that I considered “extra” skincare as something that could potentially wreck havoc on my acne-prone skin. I lived and died by the pm routine of cleanser/epidou and am routine of cleanser/spf moisturizer. I was convinced any oils, masks, or creams would destroy my complexion.

Boy was I wrong!

The first “extra” product I got into was toner and I started with @neutrogena alcohol-free toner. It came in a 8.5 fl oz bottle and I am still not all the way through it. I chose this as my first toner as all the articles I read decried alcohol- based toners, warning they could strip skin of moisture. I liked this toner immensely and did see my pores shrink, my acne decrease, and my skin began to feel tighter overall which I personally like. During the time I used this toner, I saw the clearest skin of my life – granted I was also only eating salad! I may go back to this toner one day, and would give it 4/5 stars

Next, I used @thayersnatural Witch Hazel toner with aloe vera and rose petal. It is also alcohol free, and smells like a freshly cut rose. I bought my first one from target in a 3 fl oz bottle months ago and still have half the bottle! This toner is not drying, decreases pores, and provides an 360 experience with the scent, results, and cooling effect. My acne did not get better using this toner, but it also didn’t get worse. I’d give it 3/5 stars and may purchase again.
The current toner I’m using is @mariobadescu’s Special Cucumber Lotion. This is the most drying of the toners I have, but it also leaves my skin feeling the cleanest. Designed for acne-prone skin, this stuff is powerful and has the second “cleanest” ingredients list. I have seen smaller pores, tighter skin, and my acne has remained about the same. I’d purchase again, however, and give it 4/5 stars.

What is your favorite toner?