Favorite Skincare Products of 2021 - Let's Get Lost Blog

by - 8:00 AM



Your skin is your canvas. Very much like a real canvas, once you make a mark - it's hard to undo. This year is definitely the year we learn to take back self-care rituals. After all, it's needed now more than ever. Before 2020-2021, I spent years using skin care products that just weren't great. I suffered from acne in high school and it turns out, I was using very harsh acne face washes and scrubs to help get rid of it. I didn't know any better back then but I was actually destroying my skin and its moisture barrier. Even now as an adult, I suffer from skin that is both dry and oily, sensitive to new routines, large pores and breakouts. I can say that my skin has improved so much since I've learned more about best skincare practices, my skin's moisture barrier and allowing myself to splurge a little more for quality ingredients. 

So, what exactly is your skin's moisture barrier? 

It's the outermost layer that helps protect your skin and helps to retain moisture. When your moisture barrier is healthy - it defends against irritants like bacteria and pollutants, keeping your skin looking smooth, clear, and youthful. If you have a healthy barrier, your skin is also less likely to breakout or have scarring. 

What happens when your skin's moisture barrier is damaged? 

You won't be able to see it visibly but your skin will be damaged on a microscopic level. If the moisture barrier is compromised, you will have a harder time keeping your skin moisturized and looking plump. You may suffer from skin that's dry, tight, easily irritable, more prone to breakouts, redness, dullness, fine lines, rashes, enlarged pores, and more. 

Can you repair your skin's moisture barrier? 

Yes. It can take anywhere from 2 weeks up to a month or even longer, but once your barrier is healthy again you will notice a decrease in inflammation, breakouts, dullness, fine lines, and dry skin. You can repair your skin by changing your skincare routine. Not all skincare products are created equal and there are some that are actually harmful to your barrier, while others are more beneficial. For example, switching to a moisturizer that container ceramides (lipid molecules that help form the skin's barrier and retain moisture) or a humectant (substances used to keep things moisturized) like hyaluronic acid can really help. Avoid products with high amounts of unnecessary essential oils, fragrances, alcohol-based toners, and using exfoliants, scrubs, or chemical peels too often.  However, there are some oils that are good for your skin like Jojoba oil, Primrose oil, Carrot oil, and more. It's best to research ingredients in your products to really know what their purpose serves in your product. 

What's the best way to layer your skincare? 

There are so many resources that say different things but what makes the best sense in what I've found so far and has provided me my personal best results is this order: 

  1. Oil based cleanser
  2. Water based cleanser
  3. Exfoliants 
  4. Toner
  5. Treatment or serum (for acne, anti-aging, dullness, etc.)
  6. Eye Cream
  7. Moisturizer 
  8. Sunscreen or other protection
  9. Body skin care (serums, treatments, lotions)
  10. Make-up (optional)

  • Masks, on a weekly basis or as needed in place of step 3. 

  • MY FAVORITE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

    CLEANSERS

    If there's anything that I absolutely did not know before that I would highly recommend now, is to double cleanse. Double cleansing is a method of cleansing your face where you use two products: an oil based cleanser and a water based cleanser afterwards. The purpose of this is because a lot of the oil on your face cannot be combated with a water based cleanser on its own. Water and oil repel the other. Therefore, using just a water based cleanser will not truly give your skin a deep cleanse. If you're like me and struggle with oily, combination, or acne-prone skin - then a double cleansing method will work wonders for you. It did for me! 

    Another PRO: You don't have to use a make-up remover wipe to remove all of your make up. An oil based cleanser will take everything RIGHT OFF! Including waterproof eye makeup! When you're done washing all of your make up off with the oil based cleanser, follow up with a water based cleanser for a proper clean. I've noticed less breakouts on my face, less clogged pores and a more even skin tone. 

    Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser

    (water based cleanser)

    This brand and this cleanser is my absolute favorite. The bottle is glass and you can purchase refills without the plastic spout. It's eco-friendly and sustainable while also using high quality ingredients. The superfood ingredients calms the skin while also offering skin-repairing effects. Shop via Amazon or Kohl's


    Then I Met You - Living Cleansing Balm

    (oil based cleanser)

    The best oil based cleanser I've tried! The texture is thick, just like a balm but smells like a mango smoothie or mango-scented candle. It can be a bit pricey at $38 but I promise it's so worth it. It's not sold in stores, so you'll have to order more before your current jar runs out which requires some planning. It smells so good and feels luxurious when you use it. It also comes with a scoop stick. If you're worried about an oil based cleanser being too, well, oily - this one is a nice medium. It doesn't feel oily at all and it truly works to remove all of your make-up and skin care products to truly reset your skin. This one pairs well with the Superfood Cleanser above also! 


    Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil

    (oil based cleanser) 

    This oil based cleanser can be found in most drug stores and is quite affordable at around $15. It has a the consistency of a liquid oil, with a little going a long way. You can use half a pump if you're not wearing heavy make up or a full pump if you're wearing make up. Shop via Amazon or Target



    TONERS & EXFOLIANTS

    Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner

    This toner is gentle and works to remove any impurities still left on the skin after cleansing. You can also use it to refresh your skin whenever you don't have time to properly wash your face. The color of the liquid is a light brown color so it may be off-putting to some as far as appearance. I actually don't mind it as I believe it shows the makers aren't going for just a pretty product and that it's actually made with good ingredients.


    Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 

    This is a chemical exfoliant that gently exfoliates the skin without the use of harsh scrubs or physical scrubbing via a wash cloth or face brush. Having a regular chemical exfoliant in your skincare routine will help your skin shed the old layers and rejuvenate new layers. This product is one of the very few that can even out roughened skin, improve dry skin, and decrease the size or appearance of enlarged pores.


    Other favorites not pictured: 

    TREATMENTS AND SERUMS

    Great Barrier Relief by Krave Beauty

    If you want to get a jumpstart on repairing your moisture barrier ASAP, bestie, this is THE one. Use it as a night cream for maximum effect and wake up with super hydrated skin.  

    Versed Gentle Retinol Serum 

    Retinol, also known as Vitamin A, is one of the best skin care ingredients on the market. It provides anti-aging and anti-acne qualities. It also increases the production of collagen in the skin, giving your skin that bouncy look and fading skin spots or fine lines. A gentle retinol should be a part of your everyday skin care treatment to help keep your skin supple and smooth. Shop here


    Naturium Niacinamide Serum

    Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B that helps your skin's moisture barrier stay healthy while also improving your skin's oil balance, reducing the appearance of pores, and keeping your skin hydrated. The Naturium formula is smooth, affordable and you'll notice results within a couple weeks of consistent use! Shop via Naturium's websiteUrban Outfitters or Amazon




    Other favorite treatments not pictured:

    MOISTURIZERS

    Even Prime Daily Moisturizer 

    This moisturizer is helps to protect your skin barrier and also reduces shin and oil. It's packed with high quality ingredients including niacinamide and the company, Evenprime, puts a lot of effort into creating recyclable packaging. This is one of the very few moisturizers that gave me results within DAYS of using it. I saw huge improvements in my skin's texture and hydration. Shop via Amazon


    Oat So Simple Water Cream

    This cream moisturizer has been featured in many YouTube videos by beauty gurus. If you want a no-nonsense, simple and clean moisturizer - this one is perfect. It's lightweight, not heavy at all while still providing hydration. Oats, are the featured ingredient, and helps calm irritated or stressed skin. Since it's water based, it's perfect as a summer moisturizer. 


    Other favorite moisturizers not pictured: 

    BODY CARE PRODUCTS

    Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream

    This stuff is fantastic if you're looking for a quick, hydrating body lotion routine. It's simple and effective. Use it all over your body after your shower to lock in the moisture right away. It's affordable and can be found in many drug stores. Shop on Amazon or Zulily


    Truly Beauty 

    If you're looking to splurge on the ultimate package, Truly Beauty is a full line of amazing, high quality products. Using these products is a mini spa treatment at home and has converted me into a lifelong customer. The products come in glass jars and smell so good. You can purchase products that target specific areas or that are meant for a specific purpose. Their "Buns of Glowry" and "Acai Your Boobies" packages are meant to target your booty or boobies with ingredients that promote lifting and firming. Each set comes with a Body Polish for exfoliating in the shower, a serum for treatment post-shower, and a body butter that makes your skin so soft and glowy. I also would suffer from the occasional breakout on my back, neck or chest as well as razor burns on my legs or thighs. Truly's products got rid of ALL of that! 


    Buns of Glowry Set

    Acai Your Boobies

    Truly Shave Kit

    While these products can be used to target specific areas, you can also use them all over your body! I've used both of the polishes and body butters on my arms and legs. Honestly, amazing stuff and so versatile. 

    MY CURRENT FACIAL SKINCARE ROUTINE

    My current skincare utilizes a rotation of many of these products and that's honestly why they're my favorite. I have separate morning and night routines. And have even become one of those people who have separate seasonal routines. My summer moisturizer is different from my winter one because my skin is more oily in the summer and very dry and flaky in the winter. Obviously, you don't have to get all crazy with your skincare routine, especially if you're on a budget. For many people (both men and women), a simple cleanser/toner/moisturizer/protection routine is enough and there are many products that do double duty, like the Aveeno Daily Moisturizer with SPF is a moisturizer and sunscreen all in one step! I personally feel like I've got years of damage to undo so I'm really committing to the treatments to help repair my acne scars and keep my oily/dry combo skin in check. My nighttime routine is very thorough because I really want my skin to rejuvenate overnight and I like the mental health aspect of putting on these products in an official 15 minutes of self care every night. My morning routine is "shorter" so that I can get ready quickly in the mornings. It doesn't take me long at all to complete the morning routine - less than 5 minutes. 

    Morning Routine

    1. Cleanser - Superfood Cleanser 

    2. Toner - Green Tea Fresh Toner

    3. Treatment - Naturium Niacinamide Serum

    4. Moisturizer - Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer (summer) OR Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel (winter) 

    5. Protection - Aveeno Sunscreen (reef friendly) 

    Night Routine 

    1. Cleansing Oil/Balm - Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil OR Living Cleansing Balm

    2. Cleanser - Superfood Cleanser 

    3. Toner - Simple Micellar Water OR Paula's BHA 2% Liquid 

    4. Eye Cream - Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel

    5. Treatment - Versed Retinol Serum OR Great Barrier Relief 

    6. Moisturizer - Oat So Simple Water Cream (summer) OR Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream (winter) 

    7. Body routine

    MY CURRENT BODY SKINCARE ROUTINE

    1. Truly Beauty Blueberry Kush CBD Body Scrub or Black African Soap 
    2. Truly Beauty Body Polish
    3. Truly Beauty Serums
    4. Truly Beauty Body Butter
    5. Banana Boat Sport SPF 50 Reef Friendly Sunscreen (if I'm going out) 


    SKINCARE IS A JOURNEY

    Everyone's skin care journey is different. We've all started at different levels and may even still be at different places in our journey of find what works for us and our skin. It's best to research the ingredients in your products to really know what their purpose serves in your product. 

    Sadly, we've learned that just because a store sells skincare products - that doesn't necessarily mean they are all good for you. Just like how a grocery store can still sell you junk food that isn't the best for your body. It's up to us to help ourselves become more informed with what we are buying and supporting. 

    I hope that sharing my own findings and my journey has lead you to some new products that you'd like to try! I would love to know of your favorite personal products that have worked well for your skin! 

    xoxo Vicky


    SHOP FOR THESE PRODUCTS 



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    6 Comments

    1. Thanks for sharing! I'll need to try some of these products.
      -Nina
      http://www.stylingwithnina.com/2021/11/cozy-cardigans.html

      ReplyDelete
    2. WOW so many great products here!! That last brand Truly Beauty I have seen on Tik Tok a lot and it has me curious.

      Allie of
      www.allienyc.com

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. They carry Truly Beauty in the Ulta section at some Targets. It actually works so good. Using it cleared up the skin on my back and worked so many other wonders, especially now with the winters in Wisconsin!

        Delete
    3. I need to try some of these! x

      Zoey | www.zoeyolivia.com

      ReplyDelete

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