My Morning Routine // A Little Bit about Facials + Skin Care

I don't think I've talked about this too much on the blog, but after asking twitter what to blog about for today, Liz (of Donna's Decembers) & Van (of Thrift Core) inspired me.  Liz mentioned beauty tips & Van mentioned tips on something I'm good at.  I thought I'd combine the two & blog about my daily routine along with what I've learned from my day job.

First, I have horrible skin.  I am 24 years old with the skin of a 15 year old.  When I was in high school, I took pills prescribed by a dermatologist for my skin.  I guess it worked, but I didn't like putting those things in my body every day.  I tried to maintain clear skin through a really regimented routine that I always failed at!  My skin really got me down when I was younger.  I remember telling someone a zit was a bug bite because they asked what was on my face.  I was so ashamed! I didn't feel pretty, I sat for hours trying to fix my skin with make up, I really didn't like myself.  One day I realized that I was much more than my acne.  Once I developed a better attitude, I got really into caring for my skin.  I'd slip in & out of routines but I can tell you that my routine worked...I just got lazy, sometimes.

Currently, I am the office manager & house graphic designer (as I call myself) for a small & awesome school that trains Massage Therapists & Estheticians.  You are probably familiar with Massage Therapists...but do you know what an Esthetician is?  An Esthetician is often defined as a skin care therapist & usually work in spas, med-spas, under plastic surgeons, etc helping others care for their skin.  An esthetician can do anything from a basic facial to suggesting products for maintaining different skin types.  Not as far as a Dermatologist but I really think some Estheticians are up there!  They have experience in not only facials, but also waxing, spa treatments, & body treatments.  They can't prescribe things to you but they can suggest products to use & how to get the most from them.

This post combines my daily routine & what my daily routine should be.  Since I am often a guinea pig at work & get facials when there are an odd number of students, my skin care routine is sort of off.  Half the time I am afraid to get back into what my routine should be because my skin may get overly exfoliated, overly sensitized, & a lot more if I were to get a facial everyday on top of my own cleansing & exfoliating.  However, I have learned a few tips & have learned what to tell my Esthetician if she is working alone & not directly under the supervision of the instructor.  I also don't wear make up everyday (since they would just wash it off if they needed me!)

My daily routine usually includes these items:

  1. Neutrogeana Oil Free Acne wash.  This simple wash does the trick for me, it doesn't really suffice for my whole routine I used to have...but it gets my skin clean.  It's my go to face wash morning & night.  I try to mimic the way the students' actions when they perform facials & I've noticed this has helped my skin a lot.
  2. I've tried many, many, many foundations.  This Almay Clear Complexion foundation has an extra kick to heal blemishes.  I don't know how good it is for your skin, but I really like it.  It also does a good job evening out my skin tone.
  3. I recently (about a year ago) discovered Rimmel's Stay Matte Powder.  It's cheap & keeps my oily face pretty matte throughout the day.  I have both the transparent powder & Sandstorm.  I don't use any bronzer or blush usually because even with foundation & powder my natural color comes through with out the blotchiness of my acne scars.
  4. Under the powder & foundation I use Rimmel's Fix & Perfect.  I bought a Rimmel foundation once with this attached & I've loved it ever since.  It has a bit of tint but I really think it helps keep your make up in place.
  5. I apply my foundation with these types of brushes.  The large brush on the right I use to dab on my foundation & swirl to blend it in.  I used to use a flat foundation brush but I find these brushes give a sort of airbrushed look.  Make up sponges are also awesome.  (No fancy pants stuff here!)  The one on the left is good for pressed powder.  I also dab on my pressed powder so I don't disturb the foundation under it!
  6. To finish of my everyday look, I just throw on mascara. I have super long lashes & it's fun to accentuate them.
This routine used to be preceded by a specific attention to every other day exfoliation & the use of astringent, toner, & moisturizer with SPF.  Now since I never know what will happen I hardly pay attention to these other things.  The good thing about occasional facials is that the Esthetician will use the proper products for your skin type.  If your skin does well with the products, you will most likely use them again next time you come.  Thats another thing, facials are relaxing & great one time things...but if you want the benefits (even if you have normal skin) you should keep going!

With drugstore products & no fancy things, this is the routine I used to maintain clear skin:
I say maintain because you can just wash your face with a routine for 2 weeks & when it clears up just stop doing it.  Your skin needs to be maintained not just washed.

I'd start by washing my face.  Every other day I'd alternate between a foaming cleanser & an exfoliating scrub.  Sometimes I'd use a spot treatment or a mask but that wasn't part of the regular routine.  Then I'd pat my face dry, apply a toner, & then an oil free moisturizer.  Toner balances your skin's PH so that after you've stripped the oil, your skin needs to return to normal if you will.  Obviously the moisturizer protects your skin from the sun but also returns moisture to the skin you've just cleansed.

When you get a facial usually there is a pre-cleanse. This is a short, yet thorough cleanse that I believe takes off any make up or oils etc before the cleanse.  The next step is the cleanse with similar yet longer movements to the precleanse.  This is where you are concentrating on cleaning the skin of impurities.  The esthetician will start at your collarbone in both the precleanse & cleanse.  In the cleanse, she will focus on the jaw line, the corners, sides, & bridge of the nose, and your forehead.  After comes the exfoliation (either manual or through enzymes), then extractions, then maybe a mask.  Finally your skin is toned & moisturized.  All of this is a delicate process.  If you have a good esthetician, she'll be working away diligently to give you glowing perfect skin.

While I am not an Esthetician, being a guinea pig means you are submerged in a lesson.  I've learned a lot from the students & instructor where I work.  All through my teenage years I just rubbed soap on my face & washed it off.  It is through working in this school that I learned that washing your face is concentrating on areas & actually washing your face....you want that baby clean!

I searched for videos on youtube so you'd get to see what a facial is.  Check them out here.  Pay attention to the cleanse...thats what I do in the shower/over the sink.

I hope this post has been both informative & fun.  And a great big thanks to Liz & Van for helping me out!  If I've given any misinformation, please let me know.  I am not an expert, I have just picked a few things up here & there from work.

Have you had a facial? Was a good experience? Do you have a daily routine you'd suggest to others?


  1. Great post! My skin does get pretty oily so I'm definitely interested in checking out that Stay Matte Powder. I hardly wear foundation because I'm so insecure about it looking too fake. I'm bad at figuring out my shade lol!

  2. Thanks for the post. I like reading how different people prep for their day :)

    I wrote about my breakout issue, NOTHING worked better than sticking to a strict diet of food rich in the vitamins and minerals that heal your skin from the inside out: http://www.thriftcore.com/2011/10/healthy-skin-diet-100-natural-way-to.html

    I use the oil cleansing method at night (great demonstration here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MewSnToDPbI - does she not have the most amazing skin you've ever seen, too? sheesh!) and rinse in the morning or do nothing :). If I'm too tired to do the oil cleansing method at night I wash thoroughly with my 100% pure body wash- not going to invest in a separate face soap when they're honestly all practically the same. ;)

    The oil cleaning method is perfect to balance oily skin because it deep cleanses (the oil binds to the dirt and excess sebum in your skin) but does not overstrip your skin; forcing it to produce excess oil. I skip the make-up, only lip gloss/mascara sometimes.

  3. I'm so bad at maintaining my face-washing! I totally do what you talk about - wash really diligently when it gets bad and then as soon as my face clears up, I slack off again. I really need to be better about that!!


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