skin care

Beauty Tips: Summer Skincare Essentials

summer skincare essentials

Ever since I started listening to Natch Beaut (which I highly, highly recommend as a podcast!), I have gotten very into skincare. 

I used to be really... lazy about my skincare. But the more I listen to the experiences of others, the more I realize I need to get on top of a good skincare routine. I wanted to share a few of my essentials for summer skin. 

1. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum 

My skin texture pre-Ole Henriksen Truth Serum was... not great. I have really scarred skin thanks to years of cystic acne, plus I have rosacea and some melasma from my pregnancy. Overall, it's not really realistic for me to go bare-faced most days--or even use a lighter coverage foundation. However, Truth Serum really changed my world. My skin texture after 3 weeks of use is totally changed; my pores are smaller, my rosacea is really improved, and my dark spots have faded. I've gotten to the point where I dab on just a little concealer on weekends and go. This is huge. 

2. Source Vital Customized Facial Cocktail

I love Source Vital. I learned about them from Natch Beaut and immediately ordered my own custom cocktail. Here's what is in my cocktail: a base of neroli oil; infusions for acne & blemishes and oil control; and an extra shot of prickly pear oil (for dark spots and pore size). It is so soothing. I use it at night after my Ole Henriksen Transformation gel. I've only been using it about a week, but it has made my skin so moisturized and glowy. If you have drier skin, it's definitely a great way to go. 

3. Coola Suncare Classic Face SPF 30 

Listen, as I wrote on Monday, you need to wear a SPF moisturizer every single day. I recently started using this one from Coola because it's an unscented, cruelty free, available on Amazon option. I wear it mixed with my Transformation Cream moisturizer underneath my make up every single day. 

4. Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist

"But Michelle," you say, "how can I reapply sunscreen on my face over my make up?" Because, remember, you have to reapply sunscreen ever 60-90 minutes. 

Well, stress no more! Supergoop! has a setting mist with SPF 50; so when you're out at the lake, on the go, at work outside, or whatever, just mist some extra on your face, neck, and shoulders to get a double dose of sunscreen. It's also super refreshing. Supergoop! is a little expensive at $28 a bottle, but for something to keep in your bag for out-and-about retouches, it's pretty affordable. There is also a travel size if you just want to test it out. 

Beauty Review: Columbia Skincare Probiotic Complex & Concentrate*

(Per my Disclosure Policy, an asterisk* denotes that this post is sponsored. I receive the Columbia Skincare Probiotic Concentrate and Probiotic Complex as samples in return for an honest review. While I received these products, the following review is honest and my own! To learn more about my advertising and PR policies, click here and here.)

When I was offered the opportunity to try out some new skincare, I'll admit it: I was really excited. I've been really struggling with my skin lately: a lot of break outs, a lot of oiliness, a lot of redness. I was hoping that trying something new would help me out. 

The products I received from Columbia Skincare are their Probiotic Concentrate and their Probiotic Complex. The concentrate is like a toner that you apply with a dropper and rub in; the complex is more like a thick cream moisturizer. 

Here's what Columbia Skincare has to say about their products: 

"Our probiotics promote the natural cleansing of impurities in the cellular system, including residual impurities from other medications and treatments including retinoids." 

Sounds cool, right? 

I don't use products with retinol in them (but if you do and decide to give Columbia Skincare a try, you need to stop using retinol products at the same time as it can cause some issues). However, I'm very into ridding my skin of impurities. I've used acne treatments for so long that my face is numb to them, which I'm sure isn't great

So what did I think of Columbia Skincare? 

Let's start with the Probiotic Concentrate: I really liked it! It made my skin feel really clean and smooth after applying. Plus, I loved the dropper; it made me feel extra fancy. I haven't noticed a huge improvement with my skin, except that I have had less break outs since I started using it (possibly unrelated correlation, but I like to think it has helped) and my skin generally seems healthier with less bad oily and dry patches. 

As for the Probiotic Complex, I did have some issues with it. When you first apply it, it feels really mattifying, which is actually awesome; I typically use a mattifying moisturizer from Dermatologica, so that was nice. However, after about 40+ minutes on, it got incredibly oily. It was like an oil slick. Underneath make up, it was even worse; my make up basically slid off two hours into wearing it. Not a great look. Even though the instructions say to apply both morning and night, I've decided to keep the Complex for night time. It's nice because it is very moisturizing and makes my skin very soft, but the excess oil for the day isn't great. If you have dry skin, however, it would be AMAZING. 

Other notes: the products are high quality, including the packaging. It is glass and very heavy, as well as feeling very luxurious. The smell of the products isn't bad; there is no artificial scent. It smells really clean and... doctor's office-y, for lack of a better term. Not bad, but not like something I want to smell like--although my husband assures me my face doesn't end up smelling like that! 

Want to try Columbia Skincare? Find them on Facebook here and you can check out their website here

3 Essentials for Oily Skin

I've always had oily skin. Always have, probably always will. I still struggle with break outs. When I was a teenager, I remember reading teen magazines that said, eventually, I would just stop breaking out whenever any minor environmental or health change occurred. The fact is, that just didn't happen. 

I have found ways, as I've gotten older, to deal with my skin. Ultimately, as much as I would like to fundamentally change my skin (or, realistically, the balance of hormones that causes this travesty), it probably isn't going to happen any time soon. So, I learned to take care of the skin I have, prevent break outs as best I can, and soldier on no matter what. 

Here are the 3 products that I absolutely depend on for my skin's survival. 

1. Charcoal Cleansing Bar, Beautycounter

My sister sells Beautycounter and for my birthday, she gave me the Charcoal Cleansing Bar. It's $24 for a bar, which seems pretty steep, except it lasts forever. I use it to wash my make up off every night and honestly, it leaves my skin feeling super soft and clean, without that weird, waxy, squeaky feeling that other cleansers cause. I have also noticed a significant improvement in my skin since I started using it, both in terms of break outs and how greasy I get throughout the day and night. With almost 2 months of solid use, I'd say it is reduced in size by about 1/3--so a bar should last 5-6 months, depending on how often you use it. 

2. Clear Start Matte Moisturizer, Dermalogica

Moisturizer is key to preventing oily skin. When I was around 13, my pediatrician (seriously) explained that people with oily skin actually have quite dry skin; the body produces more oil to help with the dryness, thus creating too much oil and causing acne. I know, right? So keeping your skin moisturized is super important when you have oil skin; it will help prevent excess oil. I love this matte moisturizer from Dermalogica; it's the perfect base for primer and foundation in the morning, and it doesn't have that gross, greasy feeling I associate with a lot of moisturizers!

3. Studio Finishing Powder, NYX Cosmetics

I posted about NYX two days ago, but another reminder: if you have oily skin, a finishing and blotting powder are musts! I carry a compact of blotting powder in my purse, but I always top my foundation with a light dusting of Studio Finishing Powder. If I forget to do it, my make up is sliding off by 9am. However, with finishing powder, I'm pretty much set until noon--and even then, it's only the oiliest parts of my face that get bad (my nose and forehead, mainly). Give it a try, I promise you'll love it!