Nothing makes me laugh more than sitting down to write a post on beauty products. Absolutely nothing.
To help you understand my level of expertise, let me tell you a story:
Someone I follow on Instagram shared about a toner they loved. I have never used toner. I do not actually know what toner does, but I trust this girl’s opinion on things and she seems to have nice skin. Also, she’s good at picking out filters that give you the appearance of nice skin. All things I am a fan of.
So I ordered the toner. When it arrived, I had to Google when to apply toner. Toner in the shower? Toner before moisturizer? Moisturizer then toner? I had no idea.
And with that little bit of knowledge, here I am writing a skincare post for the internet. Let this be a lesson to the kids: you don’t actually have to know much to write on the internet. *high fives all around*
Now that you’re fully on board with my authority, let me tell you my two requirements for a skin care product: easily accessible (like I can buy it at the grocery story while I’m buying napkins and ground beef), and it has to be inexpensive. I just can’t bring myself to spend too much money on a beauty product. What I mean by “too much money” is $10-$15 TOPS. I want the fountain of youth to be reasonably priced and available at Walmart.
Is anyone still reading at this point? Does anyone actually want my skincare advice after those stories? The world may never know. But here are my favorites and how I use them ANYWAY.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
I wash my face with this in the shower. So about once a day…or every other day, who really knows how often I shower. This doesn’t dry my face out and rinses off well leaving my skin feeling clean. (I linked to it on Amazon, but I’m pretty sure it’s cheaper at Walmart or an actual store, so don’t really buy it from Amazon.)
St. Ives Blemish & Blackhead Control Apricot Scrub
I’ve used this face scrub since high school. I use a scrub on my face about once a week while showering. In the winter when everything feels so dry and flaky, I’ll do it about twice a week. Recently someone trying to sell beauty products on Facebook shared that many times our fancy face creams and serums don’t work like they should because we’re not exfoliating enough so we’re just putting our products on a lot of dead skin cells. Since I believe everything I read on the internet, I decided I was going to be more consistent about facial scrubs. Also, scrub your neck and chest if no one ever mentioned it. Actually, if you’re feeling dry, go all the way to your kneecaps. Butt crack and everything. I’m just kidding, don’t do that. It sounds painful. Again, this is why I shouldn’t be giving you beauty routine advice. I just recommended you use a face scrub on your butt crack. (I linked to Amazon again, but that price is ridiculous; this is like $4 at Walmart.)
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
I use wipes to remove my makeup at night. Every night. I hate sleeping in makeup. When I see people on social media who say, oops, forgot to take my makeup off last night, I do no relate to them. Going to bed with makeup on would be like sleeping in the tightest pair of skinny jeans you have: very uncomfortable and you wake up every hour because you’re thinking about your lack of oxygen. I’m like that with a clean face. Every night. Wash your face. (Most major grocery stores sell their own brand of these wipes and they’re fairly inexpensive; in a pinch, use baby wipes with absolutely no shame.)
Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water
I’m running low on this so haven’t been using it recently, but another great way to clean my face at night is with this “water.” I put it on a cotton ball and it seems to find dirt and makeup leftovers the face wipes leave behind. Most days I don’t wear makeup, but when I feel like I’ve got tons of stuff on my face, I use this micro water for backup to make sure I’m as clean-faced as possible. (A friend swears by this stuff; I asked for it for Christmas last year because it was too much for me to spend. It lasted twelve months with consistent use so it’s little pricey, but lasts forever.)
Thayers Witch Hazel in Lemon
After removing my makeup or getting out of the shower, I put this witch hazel on with a cotton ball. It’s fresh and tingly. It comes in many scents (rose petal, lavender, cucumber, or original) and feels amazing. I use the lemon scent because I want my face to smell like a clean bathroom apparently. Just kidding, it doesn’t smell antiseptic at all; it feels cool going on and makes your face feel taunt without drying.
Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer
I’ve also used this since high school. I know people who know things about skin will die inside with this confession, but here’s why: my skin still breaks out on the regular (hash tag blessed) and I don’t like anything that feels heavy. This contains salicylic acid acne medicine and helps prevent pimples. Plus, in a few years when Ellie hits puberty, it will just be more convenient when we can share acne cream.
Acne Pimple Master Patch
Okay, this is where I will lose you if I haven’t already. Jessica Kissel, if you’re reading, please stop now. Someone recommended this on Instagram, and I was intrigued. So when you see the zit coming, you slap one of these small circle sticker things on it and let it sit overnight. IN THE MORNING THE ZIT IS GONE. The patch sucks all the gross stuff out. It’s magical and disgusting at the same time. It for-real works. When you pull off the patch, be ready to be grossed out with your body, but also, be ready to not have a zit there anymore.
Teddie Organics Rose Water Facial Toner
Because I work from home, I don’t normally shower in the mornings. I’ll get dressed and teach my classes then shower in the afternoon or before bed. When I get dressed without showering, I like to spray this stuff on my face. A friend who had tried Rodan + Fields but didn’t love the price of whatever she was using said she liked this as a good stand-in with a lower price. So I ordered it and use it in the mornings before my moisturizer. I spray my face three times and then spread with a cotton ball, let it soak in while I brush my teeth, and then apply the moisturizer. I am not a big fan of smells and worried the rose smell would annoy me or give me a headache, but it’s light and subtle. And as someone who thinks roses stink, that’s saying a lot.
TonyMoly I’m Real Mask Sheets
When I’m feeling super fancy (like once a month), I’ll wear one of these Friday the 13th-style face masks. They’re a little slimy when you first put them on, but they’re also relaxing and make your face feel tighter or brighter afterwards. I ordered this set from Amazon when it was on a flash deal, but I’d say they’re worth it and I’d reorder them at the non-sale price when I’m out. I’ve also shared these with the girls because they wanted in on the creepy masks. I think the directions say 20 minutes; Ellie lasted the whole time, Harper made it about six. But when you have perfect six-year-old skin already, you probably don’t have to go the recommended time.
Dove Silky Nourishment Body Cream
Do NOT tell my friend Heather I’m sharing this with you. For our First Thursdays favorite things gift exchange at Christmas, she passed out this magical lotion and said don’t spread the word because it’s sacred. Welllll, here I am not keeping it a secret. This stuff if luxurious and decadent. I slather my elbows and feet in it before bed every night and wake up with Harper skin. It feels like it should be more expensive than it is. Heather discovered it in Europe when she was a flight attendant years ago and finally found a place online that carries it. I’m sharing the secret with you but you have to PROMISE not to tell others.
Also, not to bring down the room, but I feel like I should mention when I drink enough water and watch my sugar intake, my skin just looks better. I KNOW. I DON’T LIKE THAT INFORMATION EITHER. So if you just read through that whole list and didn’t find anything you liked or wanted to try, just drink more water and eat less sugar. But for the rest of us who don’t want to alter our diets but still reap the benefits, we’ll keep spending all our dollars and buying beauty products to mimic the simple diet changes.
Well, this definitely ended on a low note. Sorry. You’re beautiful just the way you are and your skin looks great today. Also, I love you.
Disclosure: Affiliate links used; thank you for supporting the businesses that support this space.
Mandy Ford says
We are beauty product spirit animals I swear – actually you are a bit fancier than I am because I’ve never in my life used toner. But you might have convinced me to try it. And I use that St. Ives scrub EVERY morning. And I sleep with my makeup on. Maybe this year, since I’ll be 40, I’ll start washing my face at night. I used to do that before the boys came along and I did such decadent things. 🙂
You exfoliate every morning?!? You are too wild for me. Oh my gosh, you gotta wash your face. Mom said.
Whitney Koehn says
I don’t know why, but I thought this was really funny. It’s all great advice and everything. But, yeah. I laughed.
Then my job here is done. Informative AND entertaining. *pats self on back*
Thank you. I bet it was the butt crack exfoliating that put it over the edge. NOTED.
Ashlie Brewer says
Where do you get your witch hazel from? The grocery store?
I’m sure they have some there, but I ordered mine from Amazon. If you click the name, it will take you to the brand I use. It’s fairly inexpensive and I haven’t seen this brand (that doesn’t smell weird) anywhere else.
Anastasia Zimmerman says
I just ordered the Master Patches! I cannot wait to try them!! I am constantly looking for better ways to improve my skin, so your blog was just what I needed! Thanks again!
Yes! Thank you! This is just what I needed. I can’t afford fancy expensive products, your list was awesome! I just started taking care of my face a couple years ago when I turned 40. I still suffer from breakouts . I bought some acne patches as soon as I read the blog post, I don’t want to say they are life changing because that seems dramatic, but whoa, they really work! THANK YOU! As soon as my old cleanser is gone, I’m going to try the Neutrogena one. Btw, I’m the third generation in my family to use Oil of Olay moisturizer!