001 My Everyday Summer Routine

tl;dr What better way to kick off this skincare blog than with a post showcasing my current routine? In this humid summer heat, I've been loving light hydrating layers and a time-saving routine. 

Current Skin Condition & Goals: I have normal skin but summer is always a little tricky for me. I'm sweating buckets after any commute, including my daily half-hour walk to work; however, once I'm in the office, my desk is right underneath the air conditioning which dries out my skin. As a result, my skin is constantly dehydrated yet looks more congested than normal. I have small bumps on my forehead that I've never had before. I'd like to add moisture back into my skin (without that sticky feeling) and smooth out them bumps. And since my summer has been busier than usual with longer working hours, the less time necessary = the better. 

My everyday summer routine is surprisingly simple - I'm really loving how I can go through this whole routine in less than ten minutes [clutch for them lazy days]. 

001_summerroutine

Every night, I start with my trusted Banila Co oil cleanser on dry skin which melts off any sunscreen & makeup from the day. I've gone through four tubs of this and snagged a backup during MEMEBOX's closing sale [c/o @theglowingbee]. I feel like this spreads really easily across my face and leaves my skin clean without any stripping feeling. The Zero Purity version is gentle enough for my eyes [although I do recommend removing contacts beforehand] and gets off most of my eyeliner and mascara. I'll use Dior's Instant Eye Makeup Remover with a q-tip to remove any remaining eyeliner since I always tightline my eyes. At this point, I usually jump into the shower to rinse everything off. Note - I skip this step in the mornings and start with the step below. 

Next, I use Lagom's Cellup gel-to-water cleanser which is super gentle. It's a scent-free clear gel that seemingly has lasted me forever. Honestly, this product is not that exciting but that's also what I'm usually looking for - a no-fuss basic to wash off anything I may have missed. On nights that I need a little something a little stronger, I'll swap it out for Heimish's All Clean White Clay Foam or I'll use Neogen's Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser for something a little more fun. But I've mostly stuck with the Lagom cleanser and love how simple it is. In the mornings, it's exactly what I'm looking for - it cleans off any sebum or excess product from the night before and leaves me with a balanced canvas. 

After cleansing and stepping out of my shower, my skin can feel tight within seconds. I've found that if I spray my face with Lagom's Cellus Mist Toner, my skin will stay hydrated and supple for a full 1-2 minutes - especially in combination with the Lagom cleanser since it's so gentle. This gives me enough time to dry off and head to my room to finish the rest of my skincare routine. It seems like ridiculously specific use-case of a toner spray, but it's exactly what I was looking for.  

Once in my room, I'll follow up with an unconventional product - SK-II's Cellumination Mask-in Lotion. Even though I call myself a skincare fanatic and have seen a lot of products, I'll admit I was confused by how to use this and left it untouched for almost a year. [In fact, I'm realizing now that I have no idea what "Cellup," "Cellus," and "Cellumination" mean or how they differentiate...] Realizing I better use it before it expired, I looked up the instructions and turns out it's basically a time-saving toner/essence/mask/liquid lotion in one! I basically use it as a toner/essence hybrid to rehydrate my skin. It's not enough to completely withstand my air-conditioning on it's own, but it's not sticky and leaves my skin happy, balanced, and brighter. It's a beautiful luminescent milky liquid and smells like SK-II's signature Pitera ingredient. I'm not crazy out it's $80 price-tag, but I purchased it on sale and I'm very pleased with how much my skin loves it and drinks it up. I'm on my very last drops, so until I can justify another splurge, I'll be replacing this with Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner.

Finally, I'll finish with two steps - pat Shangpree's S-Energy Long Lasting Concentrated Serum to keep aging at bay and then seal everything in with Cremorlab's Fresh Water Gel. I picked up the Shangpree serum during Peach & Lily's sample sale and am crossing my fingers it's brought back this year at it's discounted price. While I can't speak for it's anti-aging properties because I don't have many wrinkles to start with, I love it's clear texture and how it doesn't feel like yet another layer on my skin. It's light, absorbs quickly, and seemingly firms my cheeks. Cremorlab's Fresh Water Gel is legitimately PERFECT for humid weater and comes in a tub large enough to last all summer. It's lightweight and feels like applying water to your skin in gel form - is that possible?? In any case, both are the perfect ways to wrap up my night routine. 

I mentioned two other items in my everyday routine that don't fit into my night routine. In the mornings, I'll also take the time to use Shangpree's Marine Energy Eye Masks. Shangpree hands-down makes my favorite eye hydrogel masks - I slap these on and after 15 minutes, my undereye bags are soothed and seemingly flattened. They also don't slip, allowing me to move around and make my morning cup of tea. Another product I've recently started incorporating is Huxley's Be Clean, Be Moist cleansing water. I'll use this as soon as I finish a sweaty workout or I'm back home from work. It's the perfect lazy way to get rid of the daily grime that has built up and keeps my skin hydrated enough for the next few hours before I go into my full routine. And for anybody who is currently head-over-heels in love with Huxley - yes, it has that heavenly fresh 'Huxley' scent.

So that's that! I wasn't expecting such a long post, but I ramble a lot when it comes to skincare - ergo, I'm hoping these posts will be more digestible than my long Instagram captions. To keep things short and limited to the products I use on a daily basis, I left out the different AHA/BHA exfoliating products I've been testing. I've also been trying a few different sunscreens...but I'll save both of those topics for future posts :] Stay tuned!

Wishing you all happy and healthy skin! 

- V