Skincare Sunday | The Cold/Allergies/Sleep-Deprived Routine

As I write this post, I’m sitting beside my well-loved bottle of artificial tears and a heaping glass of water (with loads of ice) because I have a major case of allergies and I’m exhausted. From what I’ve gathered, many of us are sick, tired and suffering from allergies so I thought I’d share my pampering skincare routine for helping when we’re under the weather and our skin definitely shows it. I’ll remind you here that my skin is dry and dehydrated for the most part, with a tendency to get eczema whenever it gets upset or the weather changes.

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1. Gentle Cream Cleanser

I used the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser ($18 US) to remove the residual skincare products from the night before and whatever grime was on my face. My skin was dehydrated with my allergies and change of season, as I think many people experience, so a gentle cream cleanser is essential.

2.Hydrating Toner or Essence

This is one of the occasions where I think incorporating one of these products makes the greatest difference. When your skin is dehydrated and a bit irritated, adding back those essential substances that make your skin glowy and hydrated immediately after cleansing helps. I used one of my favourites, the Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Replenishing Toner ($24 US), which definitely helped calm my skin, adding back essential fatty acids to restore the skin barrier along with some antioxidants.

3.Azelaic Acid

Depending on your skin care concerns and the state of your skin, this could be replaced with a more traditional chemical exfoliant; after all, the verdicts still out whether or not azelaic acid performs technically as a chemical exfoliant. Because I live in Canada where azelaic acid isn’t available over the counter, I actually used Finacea, a prescription only product. It’s anti-inflammatory activity keeps my skin the most calmed, clear, bright and radiant that my skin has ever been.

4. A Powerhouse Serum

This step will differ depending on your skin concerns, but you want it to be gentle and loaded with beneficial ingredients. I went with Laneige Bright Renew Original Serum ($59) because it has a gorgeous milky texture and soothes the skin while brightening, with niacinamide, squalene and liquorice root extract.

5.A Facial Oil

There’s something about the extra antioxidant boost from applying a plant oil that makes the skin look better. I’ve been reaching for The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil ($4.20).

6. An Eye Cream

I normally believe that eye creams and overpriced an unnecessary but when you’re suffering through a cold or allergies, you can typically use something a bit extra in the under the eye area, but it needs to be gentle. My pick was the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado ($39).

7. A Good Moisturizer

This seems like such a blah heading but it’s all I could come up with. This will have sun protection in it, if you’re going the routine during the day (and got your life together before 5 pm unlike me) and will perhaps be a little richer in the evening. Because my skin is so thirsty, I slathered on the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($35) but I’m sure this would entirely be too heavy for someone who is not on the drier end of the spectrum. This step is going to depend heavily upon your skin type.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

August Skincare Empties

Contrary to what the lack of activity over the last six months or so might suggest, I am not dead. And I used up products:

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Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Mask ($3-4/20g): I’ve gotten into that whole sheet mask shebang and out of all the ones I’ve tried, these ones are my favourite – and I’ve used loads of them, in different varieties. They don’t contain harsh or irritating alcohol and, instead, contain beneficial ingredients like glycerin, panthenol, allantoin and hyaluronic acid. Most of all, they aren’t obscenely priced for a single use mask. After use, my skin feels soothed, plumped and enriched with a dose of dewy hydration. My favourite has to be the Radiance variety. Definite repurchase.

Paula’s Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner ($24 US/118 mL): Paula’s Choice toners weren’t one of the first products of hers that I tried, but they were among the most life-changing. I really liked this one, enriched with fatty acids along with her more typical antioxidant, hyaluronic acid and anti-irritant based formulas but I decided to repurchase the Skin Recovery  offering instead because I liked it about as much, with its milky texture and nice variety of anti-irritants, antioxidants and oils and you get more for less. In short, it’s great for fighting inflammation and repairing the barrier but it might not be as cost efficient as her other offerings.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% ($6.50/30 mL): This was my first foray into the brand and is a simple, AHA formula that isn’t irritating, is formulated at a functional pH and contains hyaluronic acid and a tasmanian pepper berry derivative to soften the blow of the acid. At first, I wasn’t in love with the gel formula because I didn’t notice anything different and didn’t find it as gentle as other formulas, but once I started layering my skincare again as I was dealing with dryness, I started to really enjoy how it resurfaced while drawing moisture to the skin. At first, I dealt with the tiniest tingle on my beyond sensitive skin but that did subside. I think I even repurchased this in the stronger formula a few days ago. Someone really needs to monitor my late night online shopping.

Hylamide Booster Sensitive Fix ($20/30 mL): As someone who suffers with random bouts of seemingly random sensitivity, I decided to try Hylamide’s offering for this sensitivity. I can tell you that I liked the product but with all the jargon in the claims, I’m not sure it completely performs in comparison. It contains sodium hyaluronate to soothe and hydrate the skin, along with  lactobacillus ferment extract that has research supporting its ability to help with barrier repair and fatty acids that have the same function. It also contains a few plant extracts with anti-inflammatory activity. It’s not that I don’t like the serum – I did, and would consider repurchasing -, its more that these extracts that the serum boasts have questionable abilities to completely fix skin sensitivity and I hate how convoluted the language is on the website. This was a nice serum to layer underneath a moisturizer or oil to help reduce inflammation and sensitivity.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: This cult classic is among the very best of affordable cleansers out there, fragrance-free and formulated without harsh cleansing agents. I have a couple of cleansers on the go so I won’t repurchase immediately but I definitely will. It’s excellent for sensitivity and dryness. Even though the ingredients are rinsed off, I think the hyaluronic acid, ceramides and fatty acids are a nice touch for barrier repair – but the real superstar ingredient is the lack of barrier disrupting ingredients in the formula.

Josie Maran Argan Oil: This was a sample sized product that I got out of one of those Sephora Favourites Kits that I adore but it was large enough that I deemed it worthy of mention. Seeing as I’m not a huge fan of essential oils in skincare for myself, I liked that this was purely an antioxidant rich plant oil, in an organic cold-pressed form. It wasn’t my absolute favourite and it wasn’t a sophisticated blend, but I enjoyed applying it to add a boost of hydration, do some soothing action and provide some extra nourishing. I don’t think I’d repurchase but it’s nice.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

A March Weekend Wishlist

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Rosegirls Cool Beans Muffins($7 US/5.2-5.6 ounces): I’m starting to get to the point where I’ve purchased more vendor wax than I will reasonably burn through, but I still feel the need to order a few more things when the vendors I’m interested in open. I should probably have prefaced this with saying that I’ve gotten majorly into burning vendor wax, though… I’m a major fan of Rosegirls’ Lavender Peppermint blend as an everyday kind of mellow scent and this features the same notes, along with the additional Vanilla Bean Noel. Too much bakery can be overwhelming for my sensitive nose, but i think the hint of VBN will be nice.

Rosegirls Strawberry Peppermint Coconut Milk ($10.50 US/ 8 ounces): With today’s Rosegirls opening, I actually struggled with what other specific scents I’d like because although I love her wax, I’m not partial to fruity bakery scents. Even though neither strawberry or coconut are my thing, I’m really interested in this scent because in my experience, her peppermint is amazing and I’ve heard that the strawberry and coconut are in the background of the scent. I’m also partial to the ease of the chunk bag format.

Sassy Girl Aroma Black Sea Shaving Cream Chunk Bag ($9.95 US/9-9.5 ounces): I am well aware that I need to get a handle on this wax buying that I’ve been doing and not overbuy before I accumulate more than I have a chance of burning but another vendor that I’ve ordered from and enjoyed beginning to melt is Sassy Girl Aroma. I like that they are a ready-to-ship company with twice-monthly restocks and their sheer variety of scents. This scent was not available from this week’s opening but I expect that it will return again, especially with the trending of these slightly masculine shaving cream offerings from vendors. I’m really intrigued to try out this aquatic cologne and fresh scent, especially as a contrast to these other scents that I’ve been trying that take me further out of my comfort zone.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% ($7.90/30 mLs): I promise that now this post is returning to the expected beauty content here and is not going to entirely be dedicated to my newfound wax obsession. Those who have read my posts before will know my love of gentle acid exfoliants and in the same vein, I’ve been dying to try one containing azelaic acid and struggling to find one available to me. It functions as a brightening chemical exfoliant in the standard sense but is also known to function as an antioxidant while providing these benefits.

Nine Zero Lacquer A Night With the Cats ($9 US): I’m still really wanting to try Jessface90’s indie nail polish brand but still have not bit the bullet. This crelly-glitter-mix really strikes my fancy because I’m really into the sheer white combination glitters and that I know that she has reviewed a million of these polishes and would expect perfection from hers as a result.

I’m well aware that I’ve been the worst blogger as of late but I promise that I’m getting myself into gear. I’ve just been stressed about a whole lot of nothing and been left with zero energy and motivation. If I don’t get back to blogging on a semi-regular basis, I might scream at this point.

Any wishlist related thoughts?
Maggie, x.