January 7, 2015

my 5-step skincare winter routine

*Product samples were received for review. Please see full blog disclosure policy, here.

As we trade our Summer wardrobe for Winter coats, our skincare routine also must change. Our skin have to deal with the crazy cold temperatures and the dry air from our heaters giving us dry, dull skin. Different beauty articles will tell you to look for creamier face wash, thicker moisturizers, add face oils and serums, etc. Do check what your skin type before jumping on the beauty-bandwagon, as some may not agree with your skin. This season, I am excited to share you my Winter Skincare Routine since I have never seen my skin looking healthy and hydrated even through a bad cold and the stressful Holiday! 
A small quick disclaimer and to be very honest here, I am also under medical prescription, Spironolactone, to help with my imbalance hormones. Without this, I would still be breaking out that no OTC nor topical creams could treat (*Yes, I have tried them all!). My dermatologist has also given me a retinoid prescription, Tazorac, which will help to lighten up my acne scars and other discolorations in my skin, and to stop any future breakouts. Though I am under these medications, my skin do still need some TLC to give me a healthier glowing skin, and so this is where my 5-Step skincare regimen comes in.

About the products
Tula was just launched recently, last Fall 2014 on QVC. This is a skincare line that uses a patented complex of probiotics and nutritious ingredients to protect, nourish and revitalize the skin . Tula means "balance" in Sanskrit. Dr. Roshini Raj, a gastroenterologist and one of the Tula founders, believes in embracing a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She believes that feeling great on the outside can improve how we feel on the inside.

"TULA’s Probiotic Technology defends against harmful external bacteria with a proprietary blend of important ingredients: probiotics, including yogurt and milk extracts; nutripeptides from hydrolyzed rice; Vitamins A, C and E; antioxidants, including turmeric, white tea and blueberry extract; and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids derived from wild flax oil. All TULA products are gluten-free and also free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, propylene glycol and petroleum. No TULA products are tested on animals." 

Clinique Sonic System is a cleansing brush for all skin types. Dermatologist-developed and Swiss engineered. This brush works with any cleanser and offers deep cleaning yet gentle to the skin. The Angled tip targets the T-zone and any hard to reach areas to lift up makeup, dirt and oil that hand washing may not. This retails for $89.50 at Clinique.com, Sephora, Macy's, and at all other retail stores that carry Clinique products.

My Regimen + Thoughts

STEP 1: TULA Purifying Face Cleanser + Clinique Sonic System (AM + PM)
image from QVC.com
The best way this works for me is to apply the cleanser on my skin by hand first, then use the Clinique Sonic brush to massage the cleanser to my skin some more.

I do love this cleanser! It doesn't leave my skin that dry feeling after washing and it really removes all makeup. If you don't mind rubbing it on your eyes, it will take off that waterproof mascara as well better than an eye makeup remover. The brush has super soft bristles, super gentle on the skin! The angled tip do works well as I go on my T-zone. The bristles are firmer for this one. The battery on this lasts really long, I have only charged this twice since I have gotten this 6 weeks ago. The second time I charged it is because I was going away for the weekend. I love the simple look of it and the color. A few problems I have with it are, there are no beeps in-between to let you know to move to the next area. The brush stops at 30secs. There's only an On and Off button so there is only one speed to it. The booklet suggests to cleanse for 30seconds the first few days, 5sec on each cheek and 20secs on your T-zone then do a minute total once your skin is used to it. If you're like me and you start thinking about your mental list during this time, then head counting is not an option!

STEP 2: Toner (AM + PM)
I use a witch hazel toner from the drugstore since an alcohol based one just dries up the skin. During Winter, try to avoid using an alcohol based toner this will just worsen the dry skin problem. 

STEP 3: TULA Illuminating Face Serum (AM + PM)
"Discover the ultimate daily dose of radiance, designed to help even skin’s tone and refine skin’s texture by diminishing the appearance of pigmentation and promoting a youthful glow."
image from QVC.com

I have noticed my skin has that radiance and has diminished some discolorations, that I have no problem walking out with no makeup at all - out to the drugstore or post office; to meet friends or go to an event is a different story.

STEP 4: TULA Revitalizing Eye Cream (AM + PM)
Image from QVC.com
While I wait for the serum to sink in, I grab my eye cream and gently pat this under my eyes.
This product claims to hydrate, tone and minimize the appearance of fine lines and dark circles, and puffiness. I have not seen any improvements with my fine lines but it does keep the puffiness away and hydrates my undereye area. I haven't gotten a lot of sleep lately but it's so surprising how my eyes aren't as puffy as I thought!
This has a gel-like consistency but looks likes a cream so under makeup it isn't that heavy. It sinks in to the skin really well as it keeps it hydrated.

STEP 5: 
Sunscreen moisturizer (AM)
I use a creamier moisturizer/ sunscreen, Derma E Evenly Radiant Day Creme with SPF 15, during the Winter to defend myself from the cold, windy day. This is too heavy under makeup though so I wouldn't recommend using it if you wear makeup everyday. This is great on no-makeup days when I am mostly indoors since it protects my skin from the dry air.
Image from DermaE.com
 Retinoid prescription, Tazorac (PM)
I apply this all over as what my dermatologist has recommended.
Retinoids have been known to improve skin's texture, wrinkles and diminish brown spots.

STEP 6: TULA Hydrating Day & Night Cream (PM)
"Like a multivitamin for your skin, this rich, age- defying moisture cream delivers intense sustained hydration and complexion-fortifying antioxidant protection to visibly reduce fine lines and help improve skin’s smoothness, suppleness and youthful appearance." 
Image from QVC.com
 It's non-greasy to the skin as it sinks in to the skin really well. Though this is an AM and PM cream, I do think my sunscreen moisturizer is enough in the AM so I skip this step in the morning.

Overall, the TULA Probiotic Skincare Discovery Collection is a hit in my skincare list! I am really amazed on how hydrated and radiant my skin looks during these cold, snowy days. I totally agree with the American Academy of Dermatology when they have called probiotics as "the next big thing" as I see the great improvements it is doing to my skin. A great anti-aging, acne reducing product, soothes rosacea and other skin problems because of it's antibacterial properties.
The collection retails for $49 on QVC.com, which is a great deal since individually these products are on the pricey side. Just click on the images above if you would like to read more about each product.

My apologies for the very long post, I can talk about skincare products and regimens all day, and I really do have more to share with you but after many editing, I really should end our convo here for now.
So what's on your Winter skincare routine? What have you added or changed to help your skin adapt to the cold temperatures outside?

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