My Skincare Favorites Right Now
First, I gotta start this post off by saying that I am in no way an expert on the topic of skincare. I’m just a girl, with a face, who is trying to keep it looking good as I age. But even though I’m no expert, I still get asked about my skincare favorites all.the.time. I think it’s because skincare can be really overwhelming (there are so many products out there) and it’s always nice to hear about someone else’s routine and fave products.
My Skin Profile
Some background… I just turned 34 and I would consider my skin to be pretty dry and sensitive. While I don’t battle acne, I do battle melasma, from my pregnancies, and sun spots from my teen years out in the sun without sunscreen. Ugh, silly Casey! I also have wrinkles, most prominently on my forehead. These started popping up in my mid-20s but they really made their mark over the last few years. (Those kids are stressful, I tell ya!).
I am not afraid of aging and I’m certainly not trying to turn back the clock. We all age and that’s a-okay. But, for me, I do enjoy using products and doing things that make my skin look its best and make me feel good. You do whatever works for you! If you want to wash your face with a bar of soap and that’s it, have at it! If you want to visit the derm and do different procedures or fillers, you go girl. Everyone should do what they’re comfortable doing…end of the story.
Annual Skin Checks
My dad has had skin cancer removed on his face many times throughout his life and I inherited his sensitive Irish skin. Therefore, I need to be really careful with my skin. I too have had a few spots removed over the years and I mostly attribute it to my years in tanning beds as a teenager. (I want to go back and shake young Casey and hand her a bottle of self-tanner instead!)
Because of this, I visit the dermatologist every single year for a full-body skin check. This is something that everyone should do! We watch various freckles and moles to make sure nothing looks irregular and it gives me peace of mind knowing that I’m doing what I can to keep myself healthy. So this is your nudge to make that skin check appointment!
Treatments, Botox, Facials, and More
I’ve also done a few skin treatments over the years and these help keep my skin looking good. I talked about this a bit in my “Year of Casey” post, but here they are again.
- Dysport: This is similar to botox (different name, same process). I get it in my forehead every three months or so. I had some pretty deep forehead wrinkles that have now disappeared. I’m a big fan of this and it makes me feel really good. I see Jessica J. at Innovative Med Spa in Lincoln Park and it’s about $400 each time. Pricey, but worth it for me.
- Fraxel: In the fall, I had a treatment called Fraxel. It lasers the top layer of skin off and lightens melasma. (Don’t worry! It’s not painful.) It worked really well for me and I’d love to do another treatment but it’s realllll pricey, so I’ll wait til the fall again. I got this done at my dermatologist’s office (I see Dr. Omer Ibrahim) and I talk about it a bit more in this Instagram highlight.
- Laser Hair Removal: I’ve always gotten terrible razor bumps along my bikini line. I purchased a package at my local spa (SpaDerma in Lincoln Park) and I’m on my fourth of six treatments to say bye-bye to the hair down there! This has been awesome and I would love to do my underarms next.
- Facials: Before kids, I was really good about getting quarterly facials and they always kept my skin looking good. Now, it’s hard to fit them in, but I just requested a gift card for my birthday and have one scheduled for later this month at SpaDerma in Lincoln Park.
My Skincare Favorites
Okay, now that I disclosed all of that information, let’s discuss my favorite skincare products. These are the items that are currently in my medicine cabinet that I reach for just about every day. Some of these are super inexpensive, while others are pricey. It’s a balance for me as I figure out what works best for my skin.
Toner // Cold Cream // Night Cream // Sunscreen // Body Lotion // Deodorant // Scar Gel // Lip Mask // Retinol // Lactic Acid // Vitamin C // Face Tanning Drops // Exfoliating Face Wash // Midnight Recovery Oil // Eyelash Serum // Daily Cleanser // Eye Cream
My Everyday Essentials
Toner: I typically wash my face and then use this toner. It’s budget-friendly and this big bottle lasts forever… at least a year. I just take a cotton swab and run it all over my face. This gets off any residual makeup.
Makeup Remover: Pond’s cold cream is a “ride or die” product for me. My grandma used it, my mom uses it, and now I use it. I remember being a little girl and watching my mom use this to take off her eye makeup and I was always so mesmerized by the process. After I wash my face, I put this all over my eyes and then use a tissue to take off my makeup. Works like a charm and keeps my eye area hydrated.
Daily Sunscreen: Sunscreen is a MUST, even on cloudy days. I swipe this on my face every morning. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and works really well.
Deodorant: This one is fairly new, but I’m liking it. I used to just be a Dove deodorant girl, but I really like this gel deodorant. It glides on easily and I don’t get any underarm bumps anymore.
Body Lotion: Even though we’re mostly talking about our faces, I have to recommend this body lotion from Necessaire. I absolutely love it for my dry skin. They also have a body serum that I want to try too. I’ve heard the key is to use a tiny bit of the serum as soon as you get out of the shower, when your skin is still damp, and then put the lotion over it. I’m adding it to my cart right now!
Scar Gel: I’ve used this every evening on my c-section scar since having Ellis and I have to say my scar looks pretty damn good! I rub it on every night and really massage it in to work the scar tissue.
Lip Mask: I keep this lip mask on my nightstand and put it on every night right before I fall asleep. It’s so hydrating and smells amazing!
My Occasional Products
Retinol: Retinol is an anti-aging must-have, but it’s also something you have to ease into. I use my retinol only a few nights a week. This one is prescribed by my dermatologist, but I trade-off with this one. (It’s so freakin’ good.)
Lactic Acid: Another product that I use only a few times a week. It works overnight to improve the top layer of my skin. You only need a tiny bit, so I’ve had this bottle for a long time, as evidenced by how dingy it looks in the above photo!
Face Tanning Drops: These are magical if you want a nice face glow, without putting your face in the sun. I put a few of these drops into my night cream and mix it all around in my palm. I then apply it all over my face a few times a week. Be sure to wash your hands well and try to avoid your eyebrow area. (I’ve made that mistake and had orange eyebrows. Eek!)
Exfoliating Face Wash: This is a really cool product. It’s composed of little granules that you mix with water to make a face exfoliator. I do this a few times a week to remove any dead skin cells and I’m left with a dewy face!
Midnight Recovery Oil: I swear I’ve had this bottle for over a year because it lasts forever. This smells so good and I sometimes do this as my last step before bed to seal in all of the stuff I just put on.
Eyelash Serum: I swear I get a DM about this product at least once a week. My eyelashes are naturally pretty long, but holy smokes, this makes them sky high! I know it’s pricey, but if you want longer lashes, this stuff really works. I just got my sister-in-law to buy it. She was very hesitant and I’m excited to see her results. I swipe this on a few times a week. You can do it daily, but I’ve found mine stay long even without daily use.
New Items I’m Trying
Eye Cream: I’ve always struggled to find an eye cream that I love. My dad got me a few items from this new-to-me brand and I’ve been liking the eye cream. (He is always finding new cool stuff.) I’ll keep you posted on how I like it long-term.
The Order of Operations
Again, not an expert, but here’s how I apply everything.
- Vitamin C
- Eye Cream
- Makeup Remover
- Eye Cream
- Retinol or Lactic Acid
- Night Cream
- Face Oil
- Lip Mask
Share your Favorites
I absolutely LOVE hearing about other people’s skincare favorites. Let me know your tried and true products in the comments below. It’s always fun to try out some new goodies.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.