Skincare Favorites – 2012

Its been quite some time since I last posted about skincare. I’ve since found some amazing products that I want to share! My total annual cost is less than $350, not including masks (haven’t bought new masks in a long time!).

*Note: One of my favorite sites that I refer to often in this post is I get many products from their site, including the Dior serum and Darphin Aromatic Oils mentioned here, and the hair products I use from Redken, Aveda, etc. If you are interested, they have a referral system and offer 15% off through this link.  There’s also a google offer going on now for $50 for $25 (can’t be combined with other offers). Don’t forget the 4-10% off through ShopAtHome (referral), Mr. Rebates (referral) and Ebates (referral)!!


Cleanse (AM/PM): Clinique Facial Soap – I’ve been using this soap for years and years. I get the oily skin formulation, despite the fact that my skin isn’t as oily as it used to be. One day I may venture to a different formulation if my skin gets too dry. But at this point I love that the soap takes off my makeup and leaves my skin feeling clean. And at $13 for a bar that lasts 6+ months, I can’t complain.

Tone (AM/PM): DHC Skin Softener – I’m on my second bottle of this stuff and I love it. I use a little bit on a cotton pad and swipe all over my face. It really does help tone and soften my skin without giving me any irritation. I switched from a toner with salicylic acid because I was getting small bumps and a few breakouts, and within about a week my skin became more clear and noticeably less irritated. I think I’m getting to an age where my skin is changing and becoming more sensitive, so I really have to avoid putting any harsh ingredients on my skin. The only downside to this toner is the price. $35 for 3.3 oz is quite expensive. It does occasionally go on sale, though.

Moisture (AM): Dior Capture Totale One Essential – In the morning I use the same Dior serum that I’ve been using for years. Nothing has compared to this serum, and I’ve always gone back to it. When I use this serum my skin actually appears firmer with smaller pores and a more even skin tone.  Its quite expensive stuff, but if you get the 1.7oz bottle during a sale (or with that google offer!), plus use rebate sites for cash back, it becomes much more reasonable. I calculated it at about $0.60 per day.  See how I justify these things?

Moisture (PM): Darphin Aromatic Care – These are the most amazing oils I have ever used. I was so nervous when I initially started using these (oils on normal/oily skin with irritation & breakouts?), but they have proven to be pretty darn awesome. My favorite oil I’ve tried is the Jasmine, which is for “mature skin.” It has helped with the tone of my skin, as well as with my fine lines I seem to be getting from stress and lack of sleep (…or age?? Can’t be.). And it seriously smells amazing. The best place I’ve found to get it is here. Its slightly cheaper and the site frequently has sales running (I just got 20% off). The google offer and rebate sites mentioned above are excellent deals! I also love the Tangerine, which is for the “first signs of aging” (only get it if you don’t mind the smell of tangerines!!), and am thinking of trying the 8 Flower Nectar, which has had such amazing reviews. These little bottles last a really long time. I use about 3 drops per night (and sometimes a tiny drop in the morning around my eyes) and my bottle that I got 4-5 months ago is a little less than half full yet.

Exfoliation (PM): DHC Renewing AHA Cream – I use this once or twice per week in lieu of the Darphin Oils. Its a “gentle” lactic acid exfoliant and keeps my skin clearer and brighter. I have yet to have irritation or breakouts from it, and it gets wonderful reviews from many sites (I usually check out makeupalley for more honest reviews).

Masks: I’m not big on masks because I rarely make time to use them, but here are some that I’ve bought and enjoyed:

Has anyone else tried these products? I’d love to hear what you think of them 🙂