Good Morning Beauty
Now when it comes to routine, my morning skincare is very important. I am not a morning person and have never been a morning person, so having a ritual in the morning that makes me feel fresh and ready for the day helps me to feel awake. No matter how groggy I am, as long as I can stumble to the bathroom and through these steps, I find that my eyes are more open and I have (marginally) more energy.
I usually always start with a good face washing. A damp (usually cool) washcloth on my face first thing really helps bring me to life. My favorite morning cleanser of all time is TonyMoly’s Ferment Snail Foam Cleanser. I know…it sounds gross. But my seven-month stay in Korea (tour life) really turned me on to snail goo…mucus. (Stay with me.) Snail filtrate has a plethora of anti-aging properties, helping to encourage the production of collagen and elastin, protect the skin from free radicals, and repair any already damaged tissue. It also has a great soothing quality and adds a huge amount of hydration to the skin. It is packed with nutrients such as allantoin, hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein, proteoglycans, and antimicrobial and copper peptides - all of which help to protect skin from damage and dryness. This cleanser contains 5% gold fermented snail mucus (more on the gold later), is very silky in texture, and creates a nice, light foam that I find very refreshing upon waking. It also doesn’t burn your eyes (!), so you can rub it in every crevice and get out any leftover/gathered gunk from the night before. Once I have dabbed and lathered and wiped, my face is left feeling smooth and clear and ready for some hydration.
After cleansing, I apply my newfound favorite product - Vitamin C Serum! I have been wanting to add one to my routine for so long, but most of the serums out there are crazy expensive and I just haven’t been in the place to afford it, or justify the cost. I was thrilled, however, when I happened upon a fabulous Vitamin C Brightening Serum at Costco (of all places)! I’m not sure if Costco carries this brand permanently, but, at the time, they were offering it at nearly half off typical asking price - what a steal. In doing some research post-Costco trip, the Perricone MD serum can be found for $69 at Sephora and Ulta, and $62 on Amazon Prime. (Still, a great deal compared to other brands that generally run over $100.) This 1 fl oz bottle will also last you a while, as you only need a few drops to get the desired effect. Vitamin C Serum is good for smoothing, brightening, and evening out skin tone. It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles and aids in hydration. (Are we sensing a theme?) When applying this post-wash, I literally feel my skin soaking it up and engulfing all the benefits. It also leaves a nice, dewey feel on the skin and smells delish!
While waiting for things to dry and seep in, I’ll do the regulars - insert contacts, apply deodorant, brush teeth, etc. (you definitely want to make sure these are a part of your daily routine as well *wink*). Once the serum has set, my face is ready for some more goo! I have sensitive skin that certainly requires ample hydration, but I also tend to get very shiny and oily throughout the day (especially in the summer, and especially if I’m going to be applying makeup), so I don’t like to use a thick moisturizer in the morning. TonyMoly’s Intense Care Gold 24K Snail Cream is the perfect consistency and leaves my skin feeling quenched and plump, but not greasy. With this 65% snail filtrate formula, the cream provides many firming and brightening qualities, along with protection from environmental damage. I always have to find this product through other online sources, however, as I can only find the cleanser on TonyMoly’s website...but it is offered at varying sites (here's another one) for a very reasonable price and will also last you a while. A little bit goes a long way.
I, too, wondered why the snail cream and the cleanser contained gold flakes, so you are not alone. It turns out that gold is also able to slow down collagen depletion and increase skin’s elasticity, along with the other brightening qualities of the filtrate. The ions in gold help to stimulate the cells and improve blood circulation as well. Plus, it looks fancy. I have been using these snail goo products for over three years now and I truly feel like it has improved the texture and quality of my skin.
After smoothing this literal liquid gold all over my face, I roll over it with jade - another fad I wasn’t sure about until I tried. Using a jade roller (I got mine at Marshalls) helps to provide a little massage of the face and is incredibly soothing. The upward motion and slight pressure improves circulation and lymphatic drainage, leading to glowing, puff-less skin. The actual stone, jade, is all about nourishing and purification. It also generally runs cool in temperature offering both stimulation and anti-inflammatory effects. (You can also pop it in the fridge the night before for an extra cool wake up in the morning, which feels great!) I’ll use the larger end on my cheeks, neck, and forehead to massage and press in my previously-applied products simultaneously, and then I’ll follow behind with the smaller end underneath my eyes and on my brow line. It truly changes my morning.
Once my eyes have been de-puffed and purified, I go in with a super creamy eye paste to top off my morning membrane meditation. I love Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich (they also offer a more lightweight gel option). This eye cream has got all the goodies! It diminishes dark circles and fine lines, de-puffs (of which you can never have enough), calms, and moisturizes - strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier. I scoop a little bit onto my ring finger and circle it around the socket both morning and night.
Pampering and protecting our skin is imperative. It’s the only skin we’ve got, and it travels through life with us - through all the ups and downs. By getting into a routine, you’ll find it’s easier to keep your skin clean and moisturized. You’ll also certainly start to see and feel the many benefits over time. I encourage you to find some products you like, or are curious about, and experiment. Pick up samples wherever you can! Eventually, you’ll find just the right combination for you, your skin, and your morning.