Howdy, friends! I’m back again to share the PM portion of my current skincare routines along with the stuff that I keep in rotation and the masks I use and love. If you missed my initial post this week – check out my current AM skincare routine (or, a general idea of what it looks like lately since I’m never consistent!).
My skin type: I’m 28YO, normal-dehydrated and as I get older it feels like my skin is becoming more dry. I tend to break out when my skin is not well-exfoliated, but I also break out with certain ingredients like beeswax and when I consume a lot of omega 6 oils.
When it comes to my morning skincare I opt for a minimal routine with lightweight wearable layers (especially during the Summer) and for my nightly skincare my main concerns include hydration, replenishing my moisture levels, and thorough cleansing + exfoliation for clean happy pores and smooth skin texture. A new concern of mine are these deepening creases that extend out from my eyes like crow’s feet, but it’s caused by the way that I press my face against my pillow when I sleep. I’ve been taking care to moisturize the outer eye area with oil + cream layers and I’m doing my best to sleep on my back to prevent further deepening of these creases. On the topic of getting older and possibly seeing the first signs of aging (I’ve been fortunate so far) I know that eventually I will need to take a more clinical approach in terms of the ingredients I am incorporating. Eventually I’d like to look at retinol or retinol alternatives, but the thought of it makes me nervous considering my skin doesn’t even like AHA’s. Maybe my moisture-focused approach will keep getting me by?
As I mentioned in my morning skincare post, you will be seeing some of the same products I shared in that one because most of my collection is AM/PM interchangeable – when/where/how I feel like using it just depends on my mood and the kind of “finish” I am going for.
MY PM ROUTINE
- DOUBLE CLEANSE: I’ve been doing the double cleanse protocol since ~2011 and I go through periods where I’m iffy as to whether it’s good for my skin or not. In the short term it’s great for keeping my pores clean and it’s a method of gentle exfoliation, but I worry that cleansing my face ~3 times a day is overdoing it and that it will damage my skin over time, much in the same way our hair looks damaged if we do “too much” to it. For now I’m still double cleansing as always: lately for my first cleanse I’m loving Heart of Gold’s Sea Change Cleansing Balm* courtesy of the Boxwalla August beauty box. It’s solid in the jar and it takes some warming up between hands, but once it’s warmed up it gives the deepest luxurious cleanse and I get a lot of grits with it – a sign that it’s a good balm cleanser for me. After wiping away my first cleanse with a warm damp washcloth (which serves as mt daily exfoliation as I mentioned), I go in for a second cleanse using CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser. I’ve tried so many cleansers for this category, both hydrating and foaming gels, and this one just gives me the most thorough but non-drying cleanse to make sure all the residue is gone and therefore can’t clog my pores.
- HYDRATE: Stark Skincare’s Petrichor Purifying Tonic is similar in scent and results in comparison to the 5Yina Lucent Hydrolat I shared in my AM skincare post, but Petrichor has a more powerful kick of hydration to it and the scent is more grounding – something I love for a night time routine. It’s pretty much my favorite mist ever and I appreciate how affordable it is at $32 – it’s hard to come by fancy but effective face mists at a price like that. It also packs a dose of willow bark extract which is a natural form of BHA and is great for pore cleansing. After washing my face I’m quick to mist my skin and then follow with serums and/or moisturizers.
- MASK/TREATMENT: Ahhhh, I’m so excited to share this new mask I’m using! African Botanics Le Masque Hydralift Intense* is the next Boxwalla Beauty Box feature for October and I’ve been testing my PR sample nearly every night for the last week. While it’s formally considered to be a mask and can be washed off, it’s also a concentrated treatment serum which can be left on overnight as a sleeping mask. I’m going to share more in my October box review which will be coming in the next couple of weeks or so, but for now I will share some brief details and how I’m getting on so well with it. This mask is all about hydration and reinforcing the skin’s outer barrier to help improve firmness, elasticity, smoothing of skin’s texture, and it’s ability to retain moisture. It contains a number of African adaptogenic plant extracts that we’ve seen in other products by African Botanics, including Aloe ferox, resurrection, and honey bush. It also includes stabilized vitamin C, hyaluronic acids, fermented yeast, and niacinamide among more. After allowing my face mist to dry for ~10 seconds, I massage in a small dollop of Le Masque and allow it to sufficiently dry before applying the rest of the layers. After this full routine, my skin looks crazy amazing in the morning! My skin looks more firm, toned, and refined in texture as well. It also looks a lot brighter too! I think this sleeping mask is going to do wonders on these new eye creases of mine so I’m eager to see further results with this product.
- MOISTURIZE: After applying Le Masque Hydralift Intense, I’ve been following it with Stark Skincare’s City Recalibrating Oil. It was designed for day use but it’s honestly great for night too. It’s on the lightweight end so it’s perfect for combining with Le Masque and my face cream. I gently pat 3 drops of oil on my face (and extra around my eyes) because any rubbing or massaging will make the mask pill up due to an ingredient in it that acts as a second-skin barrier. To seal everything in I apply a small scoop of Flower & Spice’s Daily Moisturizer* which is a light to medium-weight cream that smells oh-so-good like rose and coriander.
- EYES: Glossier’s Bubblewrap Eye + Lip Cream is a fairly new addition to my skincare collection and I’m liking it a lot more than I expected to! It’s basic in ingredients but I love its rich pasty cream texture and the way it imparts such a hydrating glow and plumped look to the skin around my eyes. The combo of Stark’s City oil + Bubblewrap seems to be softening the pillow creases around my eyes so this is one thing I will keep consistent in my routine for time to come.
OTHER PRODUCTS I ALTERNATE WITH IN MY pM SKINCARE ROUTINES!
Olive + M Cleansing Oil* ($29) – This one’s a basic oil cleanser made with olive oil, castor seed oil, hemp seed oil, and sunflower seed oil. I keep this on standby for when I run out of my better cleansing balms/oils. It’s not exactly my favorite – it’s pretty viscous and it doesn’t feel like it gets as many grits as my other fave cleansers, but it’s still a good backup for when I run out and it’s never ending in this massive bottle.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser ($18) – I’ve recently reunited with Milky Jelly and I mainly reserve it for mornings but I’ve occasionally been taking it into the shower at night for a nice hydrating cleanse. If I’m not in the mood to double cleanse with a balm + foaming cleanser, I will just do a sole cleanse with Milky Jelly but I’ll leave it on for a few minutes to hydrate my skin which helps further coax off dead skin cells.
SERUM & OIL
Stark Skincare Everlasting Calm + Smooth Infusion ($30) – Prior to receiving the African Botanics sleeping mask, I was using this hydrating serum from Stark Skincare in combination with their City Oil. It has a watery consistency and it’s so good for hydrating and calming. I would even say it’s like a liquid version of May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon! Eventually I will limit my use of Le Masque to every other day or a few times a week, so when I do I will be going back to using Everlasting for my serum step on these alternating nights.
5Yina Lucent Beauty Oil ($145) – While I love the plump/juicy/glowing results I get with this oil, I don’t use it often because its vetiver scent is really fragrant and a bit strong. I wasn’t always sensitive to it – in fact I really love vetiver! – but found it a bit strong over the course of the Summer for some reason. I’m hoping I get over that soon because I do love how my skin looks when I use it.
BALMS & CREAMS
Blissoma Peace Evening Calming Elixir* ($39) – Like with the case of the 5Yina oil, I’ve oddly become a bit sensitive to the scent of this cream! It’s a shame because this is one of my HG products, something I discovered and have loved since the first year I started blogging. The scent of some of Blissoma’s products have always been on the stronger side, but I’ve never really been one to be sensitive to scent and find myself averse to my favorite products. It’s strange but I’m hoping I overcome this smell sensitivity! In any case I have always loved this cream for the healthy look it gives my skin and for how well it plays with other products – it’s a lightweight topper to seal in any routine.
Max Green Alchemy Elemeni Radiance Face Cream* ($34) – This cream performs similarly to the one from Flower & Spice – it’s a teeny bit richer and feels thicker in texture, but the difference is not major. I get random cravings to use this cream when I feel like doing a basic routine of a face mist + cream.
Earthwise Beauty Yasuni Face Balm* ($100) – I was using Yasuni a lot at the beginning of the Summer but I’ve gone back to using it random spurts when it feels like my skin is craving a good balm. That’s how balms have always been for me – most days I just want to seal in my skincare with a cream since balms can be a bit much. I love that Yasuni smells like banana nut bread, at least it does to my own nose! Speaking of Earthwise Beauty, I had received Yasuni back in Boxwalla’s December 2018 beauty box alongside their Resiliency serum which I loved, but unfortunately dropped and spilled – every last drop of it! Otherwise, it would have been included in this post as well.
Max Green Alchemy Elemeni Ageless Eye Serum* ($33) – My eyes have been dry and itchy lately, and I have some newfound pillow creases/crow’s feet, so I’ve been opting for Stark’s oil-based eye serum or Glossier’s Bubblewrap which are both more rich than this lightweight Elemeni eye serum.
Stark Skincare Astral Orbital Eye Serum ($33) – Prior to the Glossier eye cream I was using Astral on a nightly basis – now I tend to reach for it in the mornings.
MASKS & EXFOLIANTS
My skin detests AHA’s like lactic acid and glycolic acid so I rely on gentle methods of exfoliation to keep my skin smooth – this includes my preference for masks which contain mild scrubby bits and I also get daily exfoliation through double cleansing a la warm damp washcloths. I also have two non-exfoliating masks in this little collection.
Heart of Gold Modern Love Gommage Gel* ($66) – I love gentle physical exfoliants so gommage gels are a thing to be right up my alley. I received this in Boxwalla’s August Beauty Box along with the Sea Change balm mentioned earlier in this post and I haven’t really seen anything like it in the green beauty space, with the exception of Odacite releasing a gommage gel right after HoG did. Modern Love is this luscious sticky pudding with a deep green color and it exfoliates via two ways: it contains fig enzymes which dissolve dead skin cells for the short period it sits on the skin, and then via massage the product pills and rolls away, lifting away any excess dead skin cells that the product attached itself to and what the enzymes ate. This one takes some trial and error in figuring out how much to apply (do a thin layer) and exactly how many seconds you need to wait before beginning massage.
African Botanics Le Masque Hydralift Intense* ($180) – At the top I discussed my preliminary thoughts on this new mask, but in this section I want to elaborate on its designed usage. It can be used two ways: use it as a traditional mask by leaving it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off, or for best results leave it on overnight as a sleeping mask. I’ve been using it as a sleeping mask because I can’t imagine washing this precious stuff off my skin! It has so many great ingredients that I think it’s something that should definitely be left on overnight to reap the full benefits of it, especially concerning the vitamin C and hyaluronic acids. When you leave it on as a sleeping mask you can combine it in a number of ways with your other skincare layers, whether you mix it with oil or layer it separately and top it off with a cream – you can’t go wrong!
The Granola Goat Fresh AF Powdered Cleanser ($18) – Fresh AF contains Australian sandalwood, oat flour, garbanzo flour, kaolin clay, and rice powder. With powders like this that contain clay I find them dual purpose for both masking and quick cleansing so I like to use this at night as a mask and it leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, and bright!
The Granola Goat Magical Mushroom Mask ($18) – This mask smells so good and chocolaty! Magical Mushroom is made with Reishi, cacao, garbanzo, rhassoul clay, and turmeric. Like Fresh AF, it too makes my skin bright and feeling really smooth and soft. This mask comes in different packaging now – a jar similar to the powdered cleanser. I love these Granola Goat masking powders for quick and easy scrubs and they are so affordable too.
Malaya Organics Advanced Repair Neem Honey Mask* ($78) – This is so bittersweet – I’m almost finished with this mask! I got this in the April Boxwalla beauty box and I don’t think I fully appreciated this mask until a couple of months ago. At first I found the scent off putting since I’m not one for lavender and I just didn’t use it often, but I gave it more rigorous testing when I needed a good exfoliating scrub one night. I couldn’t get over how nourishing it was and how well it exfoliated my skin without being harsh or abrasive. This mask is based in neem honey (which is why it’s amazingly nourishing) and it also has clay and a number of herbs that work to repair and calm skin. LOVE this one.
Twelve Beauty The London Mask* ($92) – I have to say, everything I have tried from Twelve Beauty I have loved deeply. I got this jar of The London Mask courtesy of last April’s Boxwalla beauty box and I should have used this up by now but I savor it because it is so, so nice. The London Mask is a pink clay pudding that’s designed to detoxify and treat skin’s exposed to city life and pollution. If you live in the city or get a lot of outdoor/sun exposure and your skin feels like it’s suffocating at the end of the day and is in need of something that’s going to simultaneously detoxify and nourish, this is the mask you need! It’s super comforting but it feels great to know the clay is taking care of impurities at the same time – zero harshness here. Bonus that it smells like sweet almond.
This concludes my week of sharing my current skincare routines! Everything I’ve shared this week is essentially everything you’ll find in my skincare collection – I’m pretty proud that I don’t have a lot of excess and that I do use everything I own. Did you spot any favorites or care to share your Summer skincare? It’s about that time to transition into Fall/Winter – I can’t say I look forward to the change! Luckily where I live, it stays blazing hot til mid/late October!