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8 Skin Care Products I Can't Live Without (And What I Really Think of Eye Cream)

Posted on Jan 04, 2018
Melanie Elturk

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If you've been here for some time you know I'm a total skin care junkie (I've filmed not one, not two and my latest here! Oh and don't forget this gem). Needless to say, my skin care routine has changed a TON over the years and a bout with acne really made me revisit the products I was using. I decided to go back to the basics and only use products that are essential with nothing extra. That said, here are the products I now use (and have been using for the past year and a half or so) that have really helped my skin. 

Morning Routine

One || Two || Three || Four || Five

Cleanser: To start my morning off, I use the same cleanser I've been using since college - the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. It does the job and whenever I've tried other (more expensive cleansers) I never felt they were any better so I stick to this classic.

Toner: I still use the Neutrogena Toner and because it's alcohol-free, your skin won't be stripped of its natural moisturizers. (Fun fact: You need a toner to balance out your pH levels after cleansing).

Serum: I alternate between the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Serum and the Algenist Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C protects your skin from aging and is not only necessary for collagen production and maintenance, but is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals in the skin.

Moisturizer: A no-fuss basic SPF moisturizer is CeraVe Facial Lotion AM. Not only is it affordable, but it includes everything your skin needs and leaves out everything that will damage your skin (like fragrance and the bad types of alcohol). The active ingredients ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid repair and restore your skin's natural protective barrier and build collagen. It also includes an SPF 30 which is a non-negotiable when it comes to AM moisturizer - win win all around!

Night Routine 

 One || Two || Three || Four || Five

Cleanser: See above

Toner: See above

Serum: At night I use an AHA/BHA as my serum and my favorite one is by Drunk Elephant. Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids are natural exfoliants that refine and resurface the skin overnight to reveal a smoother and more radiant complexion, while enhancing the performance of other products by clearing the way for maximum absorption. The reason I don't use harsh face scrubs anymore is because they can potentially damage and break down the outer layer of your skin. Not cool.  

Moisturizer: I alternate between the CeraVe PM Moisturizer as well as Fresh Seaberry Face Oil. Again, these products have everything you need and nothing that could potentially harm your skin. The main thing I'm looking for are active ingredients that moisturize and are packed with anti-oxidants rather than anti-aging claims that aren't well substantiated and could potentially be doing more harm than good. 

My Deal With Eye Cream 

I've been using eye cream since college - but when reading up on skin care since I revisited all my products, I found out that an eye cream really isn't necessary. Here's what Paula from Beautypedia.com has to say. 

Why You May Not Need an Eye Treatment: There's much you can do to address signs of aging around your eyes, but it's not mandatory to use a product that claims to be special for the eye area. Any product loaded with antioxidants, emollients, skin-repairing and skin-brightening agents, and skin-soothing ingredients will also work well in the eye area. Those ingredients don't have to come in a product labeled eye cream, eye gel, eye serum, or eye balm—they can be present in any well-formulated moisturizer or serum.

Most of the products designated as exclusively for the eye area are not really necessary because they contain nothing special for the eye area, they come in packaging that will not maintain the effectiveness of their key ingredients, and/or they are poorly formulated.Just because a product is labeled as a special eye-area treatment does not mean it's good for the eye area, or for any part of the face; in fact, many can make matters worse.

It's staggering how many eye-area products lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye-area products don't contain sunscreen, which is a serious problem because it leaves skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage—and that absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse! Of course, for nighttime use, eye-area products without sun protection are just fine. If you opt to apply an eye cream without sunscreen during the day, be sure to apply a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater over it.

Any product you use in the eye area must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes. You might prefer to use a product specially labeled as an eye cream, but you might do just as well by applying your regular facial moisturizer and/or serum around your eyes. Experiment to see what combination of products gives you the best results.

So - as Paula suggested - I experimented. I got rid of my eye cream altogether and started using my moisturizer under my eyes and guess what - I saw no difference! The only difference was I wasn't squandering $70 or more on eye cream and now I was actually getting SPF under my eyes where I really need it! (Finding an eye cream with SPF is almost impossible).

Full disclosure, Fresh gifted me an eye cream that I started using but it's hella expensive and again, I haven't seen a huge difference in my undereye area, so... the choice is yours really. Experiment and see what feels right, but definitely make sure you're getting SPF under your eyes. So important!

There you have it! Questions? Leave them below ;)


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