Can you believe I am about to celebrate a ONE YEAR OLD’S BIRTHDAY? I just cannot believe Knox is about to turn 1. This time last year, I had a massive pregnancy tumor on my finger (It’s a thing!!!) I was convinced was just a blood blister… and was SO OVER BEING PREGNANT that I would cry on the floor of the shower every night. In case you didn’t hear about my Pyogenic Granuloma… AKA Pregnancy Tumor… I had it removed surgically 3 days before my due date and was waddled to the plastic surgeon across the street because my meant-to-be 30 minute procedure was almost two hours in and they couldn’t get my finger sewn back together… You just can’t make this crap up y’all.
Anyways… This year has been full of laughs, joy, a whole lot of sleepiness, and tackling new unknowns by the day. One of the unknowns I wasn’t expecting, and frankly just didn’t have on my radar, was how on-going my postpartum recovery would be and what that could entail. You guys… the first lady cycles after so long of being without… WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF?
Listen, I ain’t gonna sugar coat. It sucks. The most pain I have been in in my life was labor. Second most painful experience… first few periods postpartum.
I stopped breastfeeding at 6.5 months, and then started my period just a week later. (TMI… sorry, y’all. I don’t know how to share about this without just saying it like it is haha.) With this came even more crazy hormone changes and, alas, insane breakouts. I have had worse skin the last three months than I did when I hit puberty, y’all. It’s been so frustrating, and I have felt my confidence plummet. Let’s just be real- when our skin is dry as the Sahara and full of blemishes… it’s hard to feel confident. I finally invested, after months of attempting to doctor it with my usual extra basic skin routine, in a true skin regimen. And you guys… my skin cleared up in a matter of days.
I want to share what I have used to hopefully help you and so you get to skip the hours of research I found myself stuck in. You’re welcome… ha.
Before heading to Sephora, I read lots of reviews online about what to get. Every big name brand… I have read about them now. To be honest, until my skin freaked out, skincare has been the least of my worries and I haven’t invested in healthy skin. So researching felt a lot like reading a foreign language, and before doing so I couldn’t even name off 5 good skincare brands. But, I am turning 27 this year and I need to seriously start taking care of my skin and being proactive. I wanted to go into Sephora with a plan, because I felt so overwhelmed by all the options. And I knew if I didn’t go in with a plan… I would either leave frustrated with nothing or I would leave with $500 worth of stuff and I would be murdered by my husband. 😉 (This is very much my personality… anybody else with me?)
So all that to say, here’s what I discovered:
The Clinique 3-step acne routine was consistently a top rated (and, thankfully, affordable!) one that multiple sites had as their best-seller. The one month’s trial kit was only $28, so I decided that I would give it a shot. The other options I was looking at were about 3x’s this price… so I thought if this one worked then it’s a win-win situation.
Then, because my skin was so horribly dry from OTC spot treatments and lotions that seriously messed me up, I desperately needed to add a serum and hydrator.
I got the Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. I am OBSESSED. It was a game changer.
Then, I got the Sunday Riley LUNA Night Serum. (I bought the smaller one!) This was my biggest investment, but it’s a game changer and the reviews for it were too good to not trust.
Lastly, I also use what I call the Unicorn Mask (The Kefir Probiotic Mask) from Tula once or twice a week. I have had this a few months, so it wasn’t new but it’s definitely worth noting! It has been so helpful.
All in all, I left Sephora for $110 and in three days my skin was TOTALLY CHANGED. Compared to the $300+ regimens we were preparing to spend a pretty penny on… $110 for proper skincare was honestly not only good… but it was a RELIEF. I wanted to cry day 2 when I woke up and could see a drastic change in the feel of my skin.
- Wash with Clinique’s Step 1 Foaming cleanser (morning and night)
- Tone with Clinique’s Step 2 (morning and night)
- Apply LUNA Night Serum (At night only)
- Apply Clinique’s Step 3 of All-Over Treatment moisturizer (Morning only)
- Apply Clinique’s Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly
- Tula’s Kefir Probiotic Mask (Twice a week!)
I did just buy Drunk Elephant’s Rise and Glow Duo regimen to mix up my morning routine (particularly once I really feel my breakouts are under control). I have yet to use it, but I am pumped to test it out. I will update how I feel about it.
I also purchased the Protini Polypeptide Cream from Drunk Elephant, because my girl Lauren Sims said it’s the best! I will likely rotate this one with my Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly.
So these were my first investment in proper skincare, however I have the following products on my must-buy/Christmas lists to mix up my routine and test out. All the bloggers I read from to learn about what they use said they switch between different regimens daily for best results, which actually shocked me. I figured you should stick to one thing but most really don’t.
Sunday Riley’s UFO Face Oil- I almost purchased this instead of the LUNA night serum. But, I had to make a decision and decided to go with a night oil first. This evidently helps a lot with breakouts and dark marks for an over all even tone. I said “no” to this item in my first trip to Sephora since I chose to try the 3-step acne treatment from Clinique. However, I am excited to test this one out after I finish that regimen.
Sunday Riley’s Good Genes- This one evidently is fantastic post-breakout. It helps with dark marks, and I plan to purchase this soon.
Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial– This is a mask that I would switch back and forth between with my Tula Kefir Mask. I have read great reviews, and it’s at the top of my Christmas list!