Does Skincare Matter in Quarantine? Yes.

One of the first things I realized when stay at home/lockdown orders were initiated was how I was going to totally revamp my skincare. I was stoked. I was excited to not wear makeup every day and channel my energy every morning and night to my skin. My skincare routine has always been very simple: facewash, moisturizer, eye cream. Since March, I’ve added a few new products to my usual routine, but overall, kept it fairly simple.

I have combination skin – a little dry in the cheek, chin and upper lip area, and quite oily in the t-zone (nose and forehead). While I don’t actively get a lot of acne, I have in the past, so I also try to focus on products that help prevent breakouts and any further textural irregularities. I have also always been insecure about my dark circles, so I try to focus on eye products that will reduce their appearance. I know using a handful of products every day may seem onerous, but I promise it’s totally worth it and it only takes a couple of minutes max!

Keep in mind that these are products I use based on my skin type and concerns, and you should always do your research and consult a healthcare provider/dermatologist if you are unsure what is best for your needs!

1. Wash

Beste No. 9 is a lightweight gel-like cleanser that removes any excess oil I have on my skin but doesn’t over-dry it. This is great considering my combination skin. I also love that this is free of silicones and fragrances. It also contains glycerin – which is great for locking moisture in your skin without the use of excess oils — perfect for oily skin! Given the gel-like consistency, it doesn’t foam and lather much, but a little does go a long way. After using this, my skin feels balanced and ready for the next products!

2. Serum

If you want a product that is literally bang for your buck, this is it! Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is by far one of the best serums I have ever used and it’s only $6 for a 30 mL bottle! I use this morning and night and it’s lasted me a couple of months. This is an especially great product for oily skin. It does exactly what it’s description says — makes your skin look less oily and reduces the appearance of blemishes. My skin feels a lot less oily on hot summer days and looks less shiny in the t-zone. The best part? It has completely helped me out in controlling my blemishes and hyperpigmentation! With regular use, I have broken out less, and when I do break out, they are either super small, or they go away very quickly. This product has also helped reduce the look of and even eliminate some of my darker spots/hyperpigmentation caused by blemishes. I just started using several more of The Ordinary’s products, which I will write about after a little more use. It’s no wonder why this is always sold out – I recommend snagging it whenever you can!

3. Exfoliant

Rather than using the abrasive, beady kinds of exfoliants, I highly recommend a chemical one such as an AHA/BHA product that will go deep into your skin and pores to remove any build-up and remove dead skin. T.L.C Framboos is one of my favorite chemical exfoliants because it’s gentle enough for everyday use, but powerful enough to produce results. My skin feels instantly softer, smoother, with fewer blemishes and dark spots. It also contains salicylic acid — one of the holy grail acne-fighting ingredients. It’s at a higher price point than most other products I use, so it can be quite the investment to drop on 1 product. However, this truly does last a very long time. I do recommend easing into it — I started using this 3x a week and worked my way up to daily. It’s also very important to only use this once at nighttime and wear sunscreen in the day– the skin is significantly more vulnerable to the sun after using chemical exfoliants/acids. It’s truly one of my favorite serums that makes my skin soft, smooth and glow!

4. Eyes

Ever since high school, my mom has reminded me of the importance of eye cream. She swears that aging first starts around the eyes. This OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème is a total game-changer. Not only does it smell amazing, but it’s also lightweight and very moisturizing. Because it applies very smoothly, it’s also base to put on underneath concealer. The cream has a slightly peachy tone to it, which helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and brighten up the eye area. This has been part of my skincare routine for a while now, and it hasn’t disappointed me! While anti-aging is not a main concern of mine now (although, according to my mom, it should be), a big bonus about this product is that it also helps reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. A win-win for all!

5. Moisture

*Not featured is my OLEHENRIKSEN Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer.* I JUST ran out of it and using a backup moisturizer that I received as a sample from an older Sephora order in the meantime. 🙁 Love this stuff though — it’s super lightweight and doesn’t make my skin oily. My skin soaks up all the moisture! Regardless of what your skincare type is, and concerns you have, moisturizer is SO important! I used to be so bad about wearing it when I was a teenager, and now I can’t go a day without it!

5. SPF

I can’t even begin to stress how important sunscreen is. It is a MUST in everyone’s skincare routine. The sun, while it brings us joy and warmth, is one of the main causes of common skincare concerns: hyperpigmentation, aging, sunburns, you name it. I used to be AWFUL about wearing sunscreen — I absolutely hated how it made my skin feel tacky, oily, and streaky. La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios is by far my favorite one! It’s part of my routine to wear it even if I’m indoors all day, as my WFH setup is right in front of a huge window. Even though I’m indoors, considering I’m in front of my window for a good majority of my day, I want to make sure I’m still protected from the sun! I’ve also tried the brand’s other sunscreens (my mom swears by the Mineral Zinc Oxide), but I particularly like this one as it doesn’t clog my pores or feel sticky and oily. In fact, it contains ingredients to help control sebum and shine! I also love that it’s widely available at common drugstores, so it’s pretty easy to find. Trust me, as someone who hates the feeling of sunscreen, this one has convinced me to wear it daily.

Do you have any skincare favorites? Drop a comment below– I’m always looking to try new products to add to the mix!