Here it is, friends: the longest list of skin care products known to man. I love them ALL, and have listed below my faves from higher end all the way to drugstore, all natural, non toxic and everything in between.
Makeup Remover: Though most everything I use daily/nightly is Mario Badescu, to remove my makeup BEFORE cleansing, I swear by Neutrogena Makeup Wipes. They are worth every penny. They come in several types, but I prefer the fragrance-free kind. Nothing works better. They don’t sting your eyes or leave a weird filmy residue on your face. Makeup Wipes
Cleansers: I have two Mario Badescu Cleansers. The Glycolic Foaming cleanser is my absolute favorite to use up to 3 times a week for gentle exfoliation-it’s made my skin more even toned and brighter, slowly fading dark spots. I’ve had my bottle since December- a tiny bit goes a long way. For everyday use, I love the Enzyme Cleansing Gel. It’s a hard texture to get used to, because it doesnt foam-but its super gentle on the skin and doesn’t dry or cause any redness or irritation. It also has small amounts of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) to bring dull skin back to life. A TINY amount goes a long way too.
Toners: I used to think toners were a waste of money, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t live without them. They rebalance skin after cleansing, remove any last stubborn traces of makeup, and usually only a tiny squeeze onto a cotton ball or cotton pad does the trick. One of my favorites comes from the drug store- Thayers Rose Petal witch hazel toner its a good place to start if you’re new to toning, and it smells amazing. This one soothes irritation and keeps skin moisturized. For daily use, this Alpha Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion from Mario Badescu is my favorite. It brightens dark spots and makes your skin GLOW. When I need a little more intensity/exfoliation I use their Glycolic Acid Toner on my face, neck and chest to brighten and help remove any dry patches.
Moisturizer: Moisturizer is the most important thing in any skincare routine. These two are the products I’d take with me on a desert island. For daytime: Orange Protective Day Cream is my ultimate discovery. It moisturizes, brigthens and is full of great ingredients like Beeswax (to hydrate/protect) and Orange Extract (to brighten-and it also makes it smell like a fresh squeeze glass of OJ.) For Night: I used the same Retinol based night cream for about 4 years before I tried a sample of this Elasto-Collagen Night Cream. I have never fallen in love with a product so quickly. This is ultra hydrating (feels more like a oil/serum than a heavy cream) and I can NO LIE tell a difference when I look in the mirror in the morning. It makes me look lifted, hydrated and my skin feels tighter. I dont know how it works but its a miracle in a bottle. I love it SO much that I fear I’ll sound like a salesperson if I keep takling about it. My number one product on this whole list.
Eye Cream: I ‘d never tried an eye cream until I bought my sample kit from Ulta. It had a tiny vial of this and I thought I’d only get one or two uses out of it. The TINY sample lasted me almost an entire month, and I knew I had to buy the full size. Hyaluronic Eye Cream containes aloe vera, safflower extract, plumps and soothes and hydrates. This is one of those products you see results from almost immediately. Tap on a TINY bit under your eye area, following from the inner corner to the outer corner BOTH morning and night. Even my Sister (who is so low maintenance when it comes to her beauty that it makes me doubt we are related) LOVES this product. I gave her some for Christmas and everytime I talk to her she tells me how much she loves it. So good for tired eyes. The price is a little steep for such a small container-but I fully expect mine to last an entire year or more.
Masks/Treatments/Oils: My favorite masks from Mario Badescu are the Enzyme Revitalizing Mask, Super Collagen Mask, Rose Hips Mask and the Flower and Tonic Mask. Absolute favorite mask is the Aztec Secret Healing Clay. Mix it with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and its the best detoxifier around. I can’t use it more than once a week- but its the best bang for your buck totally natural mask around.
Even if you suffer from oily/acne prone skin you should be putting some type of oil on your face to balance it. My favorites are Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (which I usually buy on MAJOR sale from QVC) and any brand of 100% Pure Rose Hip Oil (Rose hip oil is FANTASTIC for acne scars, dark spots, and oily skin. It’s also way cheaper than Argan Oil because it’s far less rare.) You can add a drop of oil to your moisturizer or start out slow and massage it directly into bare, clean skin.
On the go: A recent new favorite all natural/squeaky clean skin care line of mine is called COCO Kind. I always have their Matcha Moisture Stick in my purse. Its a great lip balm, you can put it under your eyes, and anywhere on your face that needs a quick de-puff or moisture. (and no, it doesnt come out green on your face.) If you’re looking for a natural serum/moisturizer their Facial Repair Serum is also a long-time favorite of mine. I can’t live without Pure Haven Essentials Boo Boo Stick. I keep it in my purse, too. For blemishes, burns, scars, bug bites, I’ve even put it on my face under makeup when I desperately needed some help with a huge dry patch on my cheek.
Spot Treatments: Small Blemishes are no match for this world famous Drying Lotion. I’ve been purchasing this since my early high school days for good reason. For hormonal skin freakouts, buffering lotion works fantastically. For fading dark spots/blemishes the gentle, natural way Coco Kinds Turmeric Stick works wonders overnight, too.
That’s it, friends. It may seem excessive and I certainly don’t use ALL of these ALL the time- but I can personally vouch for each product and the results it delivers. As far as the cleaners/toners and moisturizers from Mario Badescu, I DO use those every single day and night.
MONEY SAVING TIPS:
If you purchase directly from the Mario Badescu website you can pick 3 free samples of any product with any purchase and its a great way to try before you invest in them. You can also save money ALL the time by signing up for emails from their website, you get a $10 dollar off coupon on your birthday, and there are unbeatable sales almost monthly. Badescu sells sample kits which include 4-5 products for you to use for around 2-3 weeks to see how your skin reacts. You can find these kits at Ulta/Ulta.com for around 30 bucks. There are Brightening, Combo/dry, Combo/oily, Anti Aging, and Acne regimens. It’s a great way to try cleansers, toners, a moisturizer, an eye cream and a mask. Mario Badescu Starter Kits <— Check them out for yourself. I can’t say enough good things about the products (I currently have around 12 of his products in my bathroom.)
Remember, it’s a CRIME not to invest in yourself- and to take a tiny moment out of each day to do something just for you. No matter how exhausted you are, no matther how many kids you have, no matter how demanding your job/career/relationships are- your skin needs some love.
Hopefully there is something on this list for you, and that you’ll love too!