Happy new year! I hope you had a wonderful New Years Eve and I wish you all the best for the year to come.
I don’t do regular favorites posts but I really feel that in the last year there have been a boatload some standout products that have really impressed me or just made me happy. Now, you know I can tend to ramble on just a wee bit and since I figure if you wanted to read a novel you wouldn’t be here, I’m going to split this into multiple posts. You’re welcome.
I don’t often mention skin or hair care products but that’s mostly because they aren’t fun to take pictures of. So let’s start with the one hair care item that I feel I love enough to call it my favorite product in this category. Coconut oil.
I know, I’m sick of hearing about all the miraculous ways that coconut oil will change my life too. It’s definitely been in the spotlight in the blogosphere. I do cook with coconut oil (seriously, use this the next time you make boxed brownies. O. M. G. That’s some tasty stuff right there) but mostly I use CO as a weekly hair treatment. I have dry, color treated hair and anything I can do to make up for some of the damage I inflict on my poor poor strands is a good thing.
Body Skin Care
I’ve been using Monoï oil for at least four years. It’s a blend of coconut oil and tiare (Tahitian gardenia) flowers. I find that this oil absorbs slightly better than other coconut oils. You can purchase this product here and while I’ve tried many different scents, vanilla is my favorite. In the summer I use this after I shower but before I dry off and in the winter I use this after towel drying and typically only at night because it does leave you a bit greasy. I’ll gladly deal with the grease factor though because this keeps my super dry skin from being itchy. Plus, it smells SO GOOD.
Speaking of smelling good, güd Body Butter in Orange Petalooza, smells like summer time in a tub. This lotion makes my skin incredibly soft and comfortable and if I layer it over the monoï oil (did I mention that I have the driest skin in the history of ever?) It smells like Giorgio Armani Sí. It’s delightful.
Face Skin Care
I have a moderately involved skin care routine but at the moment I only have a handful of products that I would venture to call favorites of the whole year.
I struggled for a long time to find an eye makeup remover that didn’t sting my eyes and when I finally found sweet almond oil, I never looked back. This does cloud my eyes mildly for about a minute after use but not as badly or for as long as coconut or olive oil. Plus, almond oil is really good for the skin around my eyes and as I may have mentioned, mama’s got some dry ole’skin up in here so I’ll take all the help I can get.
I’ve been using argan oil for about five years and while it’s not enough moisture all by itself, it really has done wonders when added into my routine before my regular moisturizer.
A few years ago I decided to try using a retinol serum every day. Holy guacamole, my whole face was trying to abandon ship. It was an incredibly unpleasant experience and for a while I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to ever correct the damage I had done to my moisture barrier. Then I saw a video by Tarababyz and she mentioned that she uses honey in her skin care routine. Now, I was a desperate woman at this point so I would have tried about anything to get my skin to stop flaking. Well lo and behold, honey actually did the trick! I mix honey in with my eye cream both morning and night and I mix it with my moisturizer about twice a week or any time that I use any sort of acid treatment. Yes, my face is sticky. No, I do not care one little bit.
This is one of the few sunscreens that I have found that contains only a physical sunscreen (both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). If your skin has an unfavorable reaction to chemical sunscreen, this is worth trying. It does leave a white cast but I’m pale anyway so it isn’t too noticeable on me. I buy this at Walgreen’s.
I love face masks. I love clay masks and paper masks and peel off masks. I love them all. But this is the mask that keeps my pores clear. I can see an enormous difference in my skin if I haven’t been using this. I use this every two weeks, once a week if I’m experiencing an extreme breakout, but that’s rarely necessary. If I’m diligent in using this twice a month, I don’t get spots at all. It’s great stuff. I will say that although this says it is for sensitive skin, when this dries, it can pull at your skin to the point of being uncomfortable. I’ve found that to avoid skin irritation, I must rinse this off the moment it dries otherwise my skin is uncomfortable for a few hours.
I love reading about other people’s skin care routines and I hope you enjoyed reading about mine. If you have any questions I’m happy to try to answer them. I also feel the need to state that just because something works well for my skin, it may very well not work for anyone else’s.
I’ll try to remember to link to the subsequent end of year favorites posts here once they’re up but I make no promises. Most day’s I’m lucky if I remember to put on pants. Just kidding. I have never unintentionally left my house sans pants.
What were some of your favorite skin and hair products of 2014? I’d really love to know!