Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Skincare Routine

Hey y'all today I wanted to share something a little different and that is my skincare routine.  A lot of people compliment my makeup which has really improved over the years thanks to makeup application videos on YouTube.  But it's not just the makeup, it really starts with your skincare.

I have never been happy with my skin.  I have dark circles and a ruddy complexion and my face was riddled with adult acne.  I tried lots of products including but not limited to...

ProActive, GlamGlow, Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, Clinique, Philosophy, and Peter Thomas Roth.  I've tried drug store brands, high end brands and even brands recommended by my dermatologist.  And don't even get me started on the masks, toners, peels and moisturizers, the cleansing tools and facial wipes...there are just too many to name!  They all had the same result, a temporary fix, and then right back to the same troublesome problems mentioned above.

I was at a loss until one day on Instagram, my friend Melissa mentioned a company I hadn't even heard called Handcrafted Beauty.  She raved that they made a fabulous product which worked wonders on her skin.  I figured, what the heck let's check them out.  So off I went to review their website and skincare line.  I was skeptical because their products are oil based.  I thought, I am fighting oil ON THE DAILY and they want me to put OIL ON MY FACE!?  Isn't that counter-productive to the problems I'm having?  Do I want more oil on top of oil?  I did not think it was such a good idea.  I dismissed the brand and shrugged my shoulders, setting out for another scrub with the useless products in my medicine cabinet.

As I scrubbed my face with the latest trendy face wash at a cost of $60 per jar, I thought back to the Handcrafted Beauty wash which was $12 and wondered...what if it works?  Shouldn't I just give it a try?  What's the worst that could happen?  Another pimple?  Same old complexion?  I decided to give it a shot and purchased a special they were running at the time which included their Almond Honey CleanserRose Water Toner and Moisturizing Oil.

(from HB website)
Almond Honey Cleanser
Handcrafted Beauty’s All-Natural Almond and Honey cleanser takes an oil base and combines it with Organic Castile Soap and Organic Raw Honey to produce a creamy, gentle cleanser that removes makeup and impurities without throwing your skin out of balance. You are going to love how soft, radiant and supple your skin feels after each use.

Rose Water Toner
This gentle floral water, balances the PH of the skin, while delivering intense hydration and antioxidants, to protect from the signs of aging.  Improves the overall tone, texture and reduces the size of pores.

Moisturizing Oil
Rich in hydration and effective to reduce and prevent the signs of aging. Skin is left smooth, fresh and youthful looking.

They came and I was ready to give it a go.  A little leery, I gave the cleaner a sniff...and it was like an almond honey bit of Heaven, right in a bottle.  Shake well to get the ingredients blended and wash.  You splash your face with water, add a quarter size amount to your hands and rub in circular motions on your face.  I use a washcloth with mine.  I scrubbed around wondering if it was really cleaning my face as I felt a little oily after I was done.  But my skin felt clean and really soft.  I thought, hmmm....not so scary after all.  Let's move on to step two!  I patted my skin dry and spritzed on the Rose Water Toner and the smell was AH-MAY-ZING!  It was like a rose garden on my face.  It was cool and not overdrying like many toners can be and I didn't feel like I just sprayed my face with alcohol.  I allowed it to dry before moving on to the last and scariest step....the Moisturizing Oil.

Remember y'all, my skin is OILY.  I live in Florida where the humidity adds to the oiliness.  I did not want to add oil to my face!  But I bit the bullet and I was going full speed ahead, so I added the oil to my fingers and smoothed it around my face, thinking to myself that the next morning I would wake up with a slew of pimples.

But the next morning came and my face showed no new acne.  I breathed a sigh of relief and washed again, following the routine as I had the night before.  As the days became weeks, I continued to see an improvement in the quality of my skin.  The existing acne was fading and no new acne was popping up.  My face was actually LESS OILY during the day.  My makeup didn't slide off before noon.  Could it be that adding oil to my face was just what it needed to clear up?  Did I stumble upon a miracle product that cured the problems I was having with adult acne and ruddiness?  Was this a HOLY GRAIL product?

I used the entire bottle of cleanser and ordered a second as well as their After Glow scrub to give it a try because I was feeling pretty confident in the brand.

After Glow is also an oil based product.  (From HB) After Glow uses the power of activated charcoal and clay powder, to draw impurities to the surface of the skin, while the sugar gently exfoliates it away.

I used a cheese spreader from the kitchen to mix it up and scoop it onto my fingers.  I followed the directions using circular motions to exfoliate and then took a few selfies while I let the activated charcoal absorb the yuckies out of my pores.  After a few minutes, I used my washcloth and washed it away making sure to remove all the product.  Once clean I patted my skin dry and spritzed with my new favorite toner, the Rose Water.

This has peppermint and wintergreen oil which gives your face a clean and tingly feeling as well as removes impurities.  I loved how my face felt after this scrub and decided this would be a staple twice weekly scrub on my skin.

SIDE NOTE: At the time I placed my order, I noticed that HB had a product called Erase Paste which was made in limited batches and was out of stock.  Kind of bummed, I wondered what kind of miracle in a jar it was. 

Thankfully, in March they released the batch of Erase Paste and I ordered mine.  I was so excited to try it I checked the mail every day waiting on its arrival.  When it came, I immediately opened it up and scrambled to the bathroom to try it out.  I was overjoyed!  This product is creamy and gritty and exfoliates differently than the After Glow.  Again I used my cheese spreader to mix it up and add it to my fingers.  I rubbed in circular motions for a minute or two and then washed away.  My skin felt like NEW!  It was soft and the texture felt smoother.  I loved it MORE than the After Glow.  It feels very similar to many of the microdermabrasion cleansers I've tried.  Between receiving it and now I've been using it three times a week and GUESS WHAT!  The scarring from my acne over the years is diminishing.  The ruddiness and rough texture of my skin is literally smoothing out!  This is really ERASING the damage on my skin.

So what's the difference between the Erase Paste and After Glow?  The after glow really absorbs impurities within your pores while it scrubs and exfoliates your skin and the Erase Paste scrubs away fine lines and fades scarring.  I have to say I recommend BOTH products for different reasons.  I also have to say I've been using both products on my skin weekly so is it one more than the other or the combination of both?  I'm not sure and I'm not willing to give one up over the other to see because why harm a great system that is working for my skin for the first time in over 30 years!  

Since using these products, I have noticed a DRAMATIC improvement in my skin.  I get compliments on my face.  People wonder if I'm getting some sort of cosmetic treatments!  Not only that, my makeup applies easier and it stays on longer, even in this hot humid Florida sun!  I really feel like I owe it all to HB!
Handcrafted Beauty was created by two Michigan gals, Lyndsey and Raquel.  Together, they setup shop in their kitchen, YES y'all, in the kitchen and Handcrafted Beauty was born!  The About the Company page described their startup as two women looking for a better way to clean their face and it grew from friends and family to Handcrafted Beauty.  They use REAL PEOPLE as their guinea pigs, namely...their amazing husbands!  I mean, talk about a keeper when you have a man willing to try your face mask before you release it to the general public!  Their skincare plan is Simple, Pure and Effective and it is JUST THAT!  The ingredients are all natural, you won't find any chemicals here and that is the best part.  Skincare that is good for your face!

On top of the fact shopping with Handcrafted Beauty supports a local, women owned business that cares about their products and the people who use them...they don't overcharge you for their amazing skincare line.  Let's review the costs:

Almond Honey Cleanser: $12

Rose Water Toner: $11
Moisturizing Oil: $13
Erase Paste: $15 
After Glow: $16

This is not only an amazing product that has changed my face, I mean LITERALLY changed my face, it's affordable, it's good for your skin and it's supporting local shops!  To say this is a win-win would be an understatement.  This is a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN!!

GET ON OVER TO Handcrafted Beauty today and try them out.  Your face will thank you!  

(This is my personal review of products I purchased, I'm not a paid advertiser, I'm just a gal who loves sharing products that actually WORK)