I am both blessed and cursed to live close to TJ Maxx. On one hand, it’s not particularly helpful for my wallet, especially since I’m trying to bulk up my saving’s account. On the other hand, I have found some adorable products that I have loved adding to my collection.
My current collection of bath/skincare products is also a cultivation of things I’ve bought at Ulta, made myself, or purchased through a small business! I’m so excited to share everything with you, and I have to say, my skin has been looking FIRE since adding these changes to my routine.
Acne has been a fairly prevalent part of my life since middle school, and I believe the addition of having quite oily skin and mild PCOS (among other hormonal imbalances) has accentuated my acne. I’m certainly not a skincare expert, and what works for me might not work for someone else, but I have found a personal routine that is improving my skin hugely. Just look at how different my skin looks now as opposed to last summer. I do still have a bit of acne, but the redness and bumpy texture of my skin is clearly so much better than it used to be. In fact, my skin is so leveled out, it almost looks blurred. There aren’t any filters or blurring effects on the right picture: that is a real flash picture of what my skin looked like after I finished my night routine. So let’s get into it!
Hyalu Melon Smoothing Milky Wash | Garnier Green Labs | $8
Just to be clear, I don’t use three different cleansers every single day- I rotate them depending on the time of day and what I feel my skin needs. For day-to-day cleansing, I use this product by Garnier. I was actually inspired to buy it because my roommate whom I share the shower with had it in her caddy, and I thought it sounded really cute and refreshing, so I decided to order my own on Ulta. I think this is a great product for folks like me, who have oily/sensitive skin, because it’s a very simple product that isn’t too scented or intense. Foaming cleansers are generally not good for the skin (it can dry you out,) so this is an excellent, almost jelly-like product that glides on easily and doesn’t cause too much irritation. I definitely foresee myself buying more of this in the future.
Egg Cleansing Foam | Esfolio | $4 (at TJ Maxx)
This is another cleanser I sometimes use at night to get off remaining stubborn makeup, but because it is classified as a “foaming” wash, I don’t use it as often as my other cleansers. I was mostly drawn to this product because I thought it was adorable. I have been really into Korean and Japanese products/aesthetics lately, and since this product was so cheap, I decided to give it a try. It is a bit more scented than the Hyalu Melon cleanser, but it feels really good on my skin and I love how supple my skin feels after I use this. I really think Korean skincare is onto something.
Seaweed Cleansing Soap | Mario Badescu | $14
I’m sorry, I know I seem like I’m going overboard with the cleansers. But like I said, I don’t use them all at once, and I primarily stick with my Garnier one. However, for the nights when I’m feeling extra ∼boujee,∽ I do whip out this cleansing soap by Mario Badescu. I’ve been using Mario Badescu products for years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience with the brand. I particularly like their Drying Lotion, which is great for folks with stubborn acne, so I was really excited to give this product a try. Similarly to the egg face wash, my leading factor in purchasing this was the aesthetic, but I also genuinely wanted to give this a try and add it to my budding collection. It is extremely thick and creamy, and it feels so luxurious after sweating it up under my mask at Starbucks all day. Although it’s probably the heaviest cleanser I own, it does make my skin feel the softest.
Exfoliating Body Scrub | Body Prescriptions | $5 (at TJ Maxx)
I don’t know if I’ve ever said this before, but I am literally obsessed with coconut anything. Candles, soaps, scrubs, hair products- if it has coconut or it smells like coconut, I want it in my home immediately. I wanted to buy a body scrub because I find that shaving/avoiding ingrown hairs is much easier if I exfoliate before shaving. Doing so can open up your pores and make it easier to get a smoother, cleaner shave. This feels especially luxurious on my legs after I shave them, and like I said before, the fact that it smells like coconuts makes it 5000 times better. This is definitely something I’ve been going through so quickly.
Witch Hazel Facial Toner | Thayers | $10
Thayers, like Mario Badescu, is one of those iconic, staple brands I’ve been loving and trusting for years. Particularly for folks like me who are prone to redness, natural witch hazel is a great way to soothe your skin and keep it looking evenly toned. I use this product twice a day- once in the morning and once at night after I have cleansed my skin. This witch hazel also comes in a variety of scents, such as rose water, cucumber, and lavender! I’ve used the rose water scent in the past and loved it, but currently, I’m using the equally-soothing lavender witch hazel.
Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer | Derma E | $20
Throughout my research on skincare, I have learned that Vitamin C is an essential ingredient to add to your skincare routine. Some people prefer to get their Vitamin C through serums and toners, but for me, I found the best solution was through moisturizer. Moisturizing is extremely important, even if you have oily skin and you think you don’t need it! Just like cleansing and toning, I use my moisturizer twice a day. Not only does it keep my skin feeling soft and replenished, but the added Vitamin C helps my skin to feel (and look) more brightened and radiant.
Wildflower Honey Bar Soap | Homemade
As for other bath/body products, I’ve been getting more into bar soap these past few weeks. One thing I have discovered I love to do is make my own bar soap! I made this wildflower honey soap using real honey, glycerin soap base, and a bit of added color. I love that it has a subtle yet sweet smell, and it gets SO bubbly, which makes it great for lathering up and shaving. If you’re interested in purchasing some of my soap (in other scents as well!), I will leave the link here.
Coffee Scrub Bar Soap | Good Minds Soap Co. | $10
If you enjoy supporting small businesses, you should definitely check out Good Minds Soap Co. I went to high school with the girl who makes these products, and I was so happy to support her shop and purchase a bar of coffee scrub soap. I love the gentle grittiness of the coffee grounds; it almost feels like a massage. I also think this soap is so aesthetically pleasing in my bathroom, and I enjoy reaching for it every day. She has several other scents on her website, including grapefruit, rosemary, and lavender. She also sells zero waste cat toys- what could be cuter than that! Anyway, I’m really loving the soap I ordered and the zero waste packaging it came in. If you’re interested in supporting her shop and browsing her products, click here.
That’s everything I’ve been loving on my skin lately. On top of using high-quality, more natural products, I’ve also started removing my makeup with a reusable makeup cloth instead of trying to rub it off in the shower with my cleanser. It’s a small step, but I think not rubbing the product into my face when my pores are open in the shower has been making a huge difference and I HIGHLY recommend taking off your makeup before you shower! That just about summarizes everything I’ve got for you today. Remember to check out Good Mind Soap Co. for some awesome handmade soap, and if you’d like to support my personal shop as well, pop over to Sugarbeet Goods!