I am really stingy about the money I spend on personal care products because they need to be constantly replenished, and there are 4 growing people in this house who are forever growing out of their clothes and shoes and celebrating birthdays and other gift-giving holidays. I just cannot commit to an expensive line of anything. But, I have just been using face soap and a daytime moisturizer twice a day forever, and it just wan't cutting it anymore. So! I drank the 10-step skincare routine Kool Aid, and here's what I am using:
Step 1: Oil- Based cleanser
I went with safe $5 original Ponds cold cream cleanser. I have been using this stuff for more than 20 years to take off makeup, and I love the way it makes my skin feel. It gets a 4/10 on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database.
Step 2: Cleanser cleanser
I have been using this $6 Aveeno calming cleanser for a couple of years because I have issues with redness, and I am happy with it across the board, especially because it is a 3/10 according to the EWG.
Step 3: Exfoliator
I grad school, I raved about the St. Ives Apricot Scrub I have been using for a million years, and my friend told her aesthetician about it, and was she was horrified and said the scrubby pieces (technical term) are too big and it hurts your skin. Still, when I read that I needed to exfoliate, I grabbed a tube. It's great for my feet, too, which should probably tell me something. But! It's $4 And a 5/10 according to the EWG.
Step 4: Toner
I have not used a toner since I had acne problems back in the day or since I worked at Lancome and was gifted one in my gratis. I went with another $6 classic in Neutrogena, but the EWG tells me it has some neurotoxicity issues (5/10).
Step 5: Essence
Confession: I did not know what the hell this was, and my mom and I wandered around Ulta with a girl who had white velvet skin (the palest smoothest skin I have ever seen) reading labels until I found this! Apparently, when you choose an essence, which is JUST LIKE A SERUM and also sort of like a toner, you should focus on something you want to improve abut your skin. I got a Vitamin C product for brightness. This was my most expensive step by far ($32), but my mom bought it! Yay! I could not find this product on the EWG, but the rest of the stuff by this brand ranged from 1-5, so I am hopeful. (the face SPF got a 7, but SPF is a whole other headache for me).
Step 6: Serum
I have a couple small bottle of Lancome serum from my Christmas makeup haul, and I have been using it under my makeup, but it's $140 to replace and there's NO WAY that's going to happen, so I stuck with the brand I love most at the drugstore and got Aveeno Absolutely Ageless which is a much more reasonable $20 and a respectable 4/10 on the toxicity scale.
Step 7: Mask
I haven't used a mask in a million years! Most bloggers use those cool peel-off charcoal masks, but I read a cautionary article about them, so I decided to go for the mud mask of my youth. I got Deep Down Detox because it was $7 and looked cool. So basically, I am picking my skincare products like I pick bottles of wine. Awesome. It gets a 6/10 on the EWG database which I suspected as soon as I brought it home because it smells amazing.
Step 8: Eye Cream
I have a tube of Aveeno Absolutely Ageless lying around, and I just started using it regularly. It's pretty meh, but I like the $13 price point, and it's a 3/10 on the EWG scale.
Step 9: Moisturizer
In the morning, I use Aveeno Ultra Calming, which has a built-in SPF and is only $13 and gets a 5/10.
Before I started this process, I used this at night, too, even though I had other creams on my shelf. But now! I use Aveeno Absolutely Ageless at night. It's $17 and gets a 4/10.
Step 10: Sunscreen
I feel like my daily moisturizer has me covered in this area, but that could be why I have the complexion of fruit leather, too. And plus also! My $36 Tarte BB that I use after all this other stuff has an SPF of 20. (And it's a 3/10).
So there you go. 10 reasonably priced steps. I could be persuaded to swap out my toner and mask, the 2 most toxic items I use, but it would have to be for similarly priced products because why buy a couple really nice things when you can have a whole bunch of cheap things? This is my general worldview, BTW.
Speaking of nice things! I had a giveaway last week, and I want to tell you who won!
If my counting skills are up to snuff, that's Carrie Jones! Congrats!