Here is my current AM Skincare Routine:
1. Cleanse with Kirkland wipes from Costco. They are soft, gentle, and a good price. I've tried several others (Yes to Cucumbers, Neutrogena, etc.) but these are hands down my favorite.
2. Tone with either Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel (Natural Grocer or Amazon) or Pixi Glow Tonic (Target) with 5% glycolic.
3. Vitamin C serum. This is the backbone of a complete skincare routine. Proven in clinical trials. This is an antioxidant which treats and prevents photo damage, the biggest precursor to aging and cancer. It is unstable in heat and light, so needs to be from a reliable source that mixes the product fresh. I use this. There is a LOT to learn and know about Vit C. There are lots of different types and the formulas and secondary ingredients used depend on the type of Vit C. Not all C serums are equal!! Despite what you can find on the web, do not try making your own serum.
4. As mentioned in Part A, I am experimenting with drugstore versus higher-end products on my face, hoping really there isn't too much of a drastic difference or I'm going to look might funny. hahaha.
So on one half of my face, I use Tretinoin Cream (Retin-A*). It comes in different strengths. Right now I'm using mid-potency of 0.05%. This is the worker bee, prescription only. Lots of good long-term data with good efficacy. It thins the top layer of skin promoting rapid cell turnover. Thickens the deeper layer of skin, to boost collagen, improving wrinkles. Reduces age spots and evens skin texture. May reverse pre-cancerous cells.
On the flip side of my face: Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle serum. This has retinol, a weaker cousin of the prescription Retin-A with the potential for more irregular absorption, depending on face conditions (pH, dryness, inflammation, etc).
*avoid retinols if pregnant
5. Moisturize: don't do this daily in the am unless looking dry. If I wear foundation, I use Embryolisse, a light delicious moisturizer as a base.
6. Sunscreen: Every single soul, regardless of age, should wear BROAD SPECTRUM daily but imperative if using Retinoids. This can be in the form of a moisturizer with SPF (love Cerave AM), in a tinted CC or BB cream, or as a stand-alone. Currently using Neutrogena Ultra-sheer with Helioplex in SPF 30. (Anything more than 50 is wasting your $$). This chemical screen is ok if driving to and from work. If outside for awhile, I prefer a physical block. Like Badger-an organic and natural zinc oxide.
7. Don't believe in eye creams.
8. We can talk about lips on request..... comment here if interested....
Continue on to Part C for my nightime routine.