I've always struggled to find a balance between treating my skin like the delicate little silk scarf that it is and wanting to slather it with any and all potions that I can get my hands on. Sensitive skin is picky and temperamental, but my job requires me to try the newest, the best and the brightest. I think I've figured out a way around it, though. Sort of.
For one thing, I know which ingredients my skin can't really handle, and I'm learning exactly what it needs. That's why I've sort-of, kind-of got my skincare regimen down pat to a well-oiled (like, super-oily) system. Rather than just sticking with bare minimum tried-and-true products, I've enabled myself to branch out a bit as long as I stick to certain categories and ingredients. I can rotate around the skincare map as long as I follow my lil' rulebook, and my face thanks me in return. So what's the system looking like right now?
In the morning, my main concern is waking up my face. Even when I get a good night's sleep, I'm usually puffy and dry-looking thanks to the heat that blasts through my apartment as I sleep. I start the day with a gentle but awakening cleanser, like DRUNK ELEPHANT'S PEKEE BAR, and then gently pat it dry before misting with a rosewater spray (MARIO BADESCU's and GLOSSIER's are both lovely, refreshing options). Then it's time to put the moisture back in. I usually start with a serum or an oil, like DRUNK ELEPHANT'S C-FIRMA™ DAY SERUM or RODIN'S OLIO LUSSO, respectively. Massaging these products into my skin instantly brightens my complexion, and I know that the ingredients within are going to work throughout the day to repair and protect.
Then I like to add a cream, like KIEHL'S ULTRA FACIAL CREAM INTENSE HYDRATION, as my skin needs another bit of barrier against the world and it is, after all, really, really dry.
Finally comes SPF (and I'm currently using a product for that that I can't talk about because it's not available until Spring) because the sun is always there, even when it's hiding behind clouds, and it only wants the worst for our skin. Rude, sun.
Nighttime is the right time, for skin, at least. It's when our faces do the most repairing, but only if they have time and space to breathe. Falling asleep in my makeup is not an option if I want a purdy face. I like to start by massaging MARIO BADESCU'S CLEANSING MILK onto my skin, over makeup and everything. It's gentle enough that I can rub it around my eyes and it will break down mascara and eyeliner without irritating. Then I take a wash cloth, soak it in hot water, wring it out and wipe the grime off. If there's a bit of makeup residue left I'll attack it (so gently) with BIODERMA before toning with MARIO BADESCU'S CHAMOMILE CLEANSING LOTION,which is actually just water and chamomile extract, A.K.A. The Most Gentle Thing Ever.
Then it's time to use some sort of hyper-effective boosting treatment for night. I seek out repairing ingredients like vitamin C and glycolic acid to really kick my cell turnover into high gear and heal any damage the day has done. Current favourites for this step include KIEHL'S MIDNIGHT RECOVERY CONCENTRATE, DRUNK ELEPHANT'S T.L.C. FRAMBOOS™ GLYCOLIC NIGHT SERUM andMARIO BADESCU'S VITAMIN C SERUM. I slather ONE of these all over and let them sink in before applying a rich night cream, likeLAURA MERCIER'S FLAWLESS SKIN NOURISHING CREAM. Finally, a bit of KIEHL'S CREAMY EYE TREATMENT dabbed on the upper and lower lid, and Kosmea's Skin Clinic balm on my lips. Hey, I'm ready for bed.