Madison Schill's Skincare Routine: A comprehensive List
Full Disclosure: This week has been a tremendously sub-par sejourn for my skincare. For a lot of my daily routine, actually - the US election kind of took my concept of reality and threw it around inside my mind like a baseball until the LAST thing I’d want to think about was moisturizer, sheet masks and the like. For instance, a pimple!? I’d gladly take one of those over the sobering reality that comes with looking into my bathroom mirror and realizing “oh my god, this is real life.”
It wasn’t until two days ago that I convinced myself it was probably time to begin finding my joy again - doing things like, you know, going outside, replying to emails and escaping the library for some much-need social activity. Also, skincare. Along with exercise, it’s one of my greatest daily joys, and after neglecting myself for the past while, this re-introducution reminded me just how important it was.
On my way home from a breakfast with friends this morning, big, fat flakes of snow began falling on and around my bare ankles, eyelids and hairline. This clear seasonal shift is a perfect time to run through your skincare routine for winter, and in that spirit, I've put together a comprehensive list of the products I use each and every day, no ads, gimmicks or favours to be found.
Note: There are a few different kinds of moisturizers and cleansers in the mix, but that doesn't mean you need two moisturizers at home. I'm a huge believer in keeping things unexpected and fresh, so I like alternating between days with a few different kinds of products. I wanted to give you the full story, so I included them all, below. I do have some perennials, however, and I’ll make that known to you all with a * symbol.
*Coconut Oil* - Not only does this variety work incredibly well to remove makeup, but its unbeatable natural ingredients (read: One) and scent are sure to sooth the most sensitive of complexions in this dry, chilly air. I take a single scoop with my fingers, massage it into my skin and rinse off gently with lukewarm water.
Erborian Solid Cleansing Oil - For anyone with a Korean beauty obsession, this is your product. Based on the Korean double cleansing method (so you’ll want to follow up with a foam-based cleanser), the Solid Cleansing Oil combines the performance of a cleansing oil with the gentle properties of a cream. The base is formulated with coconut and sunflower oil and it's enriched with seven Korean herbs—green tea, licorice, Japanese knotweed, skullcap, rosemary, chamomile, and centella Asiatica—that have long been used in traditional Korean beauty rituals. The scent was *also* developed in France, by one of the world’s most renowned family-run perfumers, and there are no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.
A second step to cleansing, if done with a foam, restores PH levels to our skin. I love a foam cleanser that also adds moisture, especially in freezing winter months. I made a friend at a Sephora over the summer who indulged in all of my weird skin questions (Hi, Darren!), and together we came up with a few products for me to try. Here are the ones I've used for the past six months, and have bought consistently since then:
*Origins By All Greens™ Foaming Deep Cleansing Mask*- Part clay-mask, part quick foaming cleanser, this product blends the best of both worlds together for when I only have time to wash my face once. I'll apply it to dry skin with dry hands - the gel-like clay goes on like a mask, and as I massage with water, becomes a luxurious foam. The packaging is ideal, too - it keeps ingredients potent and germ-free.
*Consonant Skincare's All Natural Foaming Face Wash * - A Canadian brand, I adore so much about Consonant. It's the winner of two national awards for best cleanser and best product, and is a fixture on the vanity of both my Mom and University-aged friends. Only 22 dollars, this wash moisturizing and gentle, but still effective enough to trust after a night out. Paired with an oil cleanser, this is an excellent choice for dry winter skin.
Farmacy Rise ‘N Shine Moisture Lock - Farmacy is a brand that doesn't make bad products. Founder Mark Veeden actually teams up with farmers from New York State to source the ingredients for everything they sell, and this alone had me beaming. This particular moisturizer contains Greenenvy; a specialized variant of echinacea purpurea containing the highest known concentration of cichoric acid, known to support natural collagen, normalize the pigmentation process and promote a more even-toned complexion. The watered-down truth, though? My face feels like a moist marshmallow after using this baby. I love it.
Belif Moisturizing Bomb - A Korean beauty staple (seriously - I think one of these sells every 30 seconds!), you can finally find this no-brainer in Canada. Said a friend of mine: "This product is the only moisturizer that works for my skin! A little goes a long way which makes it last for a while. I recommend it to anyone who suffers from dry to very dry skin but it also works for normal skin as well. The consistency has a luxurious feel to it and the hydration lasts the entire day.."
*Glossier Priming Moisturiser* - I love it because it’s gentle, buildable, hyrating and super-absorbant. I generally alternate between this and Flores Boticario’s Pret-a-Repair cream, depending on how I feel.
Fyi: I’m currently testing out Glossier’s new Supers, and I’ll report back once I’ve had enough time to do research and observe my skin over time. Stay tuned!
Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment - The simplicity of this serum’s ingredient list makes me feel good about incorporating it into my routine, especially on the days where I feel like one extra air molecule could cause me to break out. My skin feels prepped and plumped and just dewy enough - it's a perfect compromise between a cream and an oil, and it’s buildable, so you don’t have to worry when you add this into any pre-existing routine.
*Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum* - I’ve been using this for the past several years, and love what it does for providing long-lasting hydration to the skin. It also leaves a bit of a shimmer while absorbing quickly into my face and neck.
This step is even more important to add into your skincare routine as winter rolls around. As a Canadian, I’d been taught from a young age to at least use an oil before I fall asleep, adding it into my day-time regimine should I need extra protection. If I’m spending a day outside, for instance, I’ll usually forgo makeup and throw on an oil before moisturiser, instead.
*The Body Shop Oils of Life Face Oil* - The Body Shop? I know! Full disclosure - who would have thought this 90's haven would be churning out one of the best oils I've ever tried? I’ve been using this for just over one year, and the ingredients speak for themselves. Black cumin seed oil from Egypt, camellia seed oil from China and rosehip seed oil from Chile all pack this powerful, skin-soothing punch.
*Avocado Oil* - Sometime, simple wins. This tip is organic, cold pressed, and straight from my Mom’s beauty regimine. You can grab yours at a local health food store - I love how quickly Avocado absorbs into the skin, though Argan, Rosehip, and almond are other favourites. (Try one which combines both Avo and Rosehip seed Oil - two of my most prized possessions).
MISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro Gel Mask - Once you get past the fact that snail “essence” will be resting on your forehead for several minutes each week, you’ll be as hooked as I am. The secretions a snail emits as it travels over various surfaces is known to heal any cuts along its fragile body - and naturally, these properties can help our skin, too. So. Darn. Healing.
Sephora Brand Lip Masks - I love these. They aren’t hydrogel (which I generally prefer over cotton), but they do adhere to lips beautifully, and the product does a tremendous job to plump and protect. Plus, they’re cheap, and as a university student first and foremost, that's major.
When it comes to sloughing and scrubbing, you can have it two ways; physical exfoliant (those gritty, rough particules to literally scrub away dead skin), or chemical exfoliant, which contains properties that work away at the skin to eat away and lift unwanted debris. I’m currently sticking with physical exfoliant for my body and something a bit gentler for the face, especially as my combination skin heads into winter, making it much less oily and thusly more vulnerable. I need those oils!
Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Treatment Scrub - I would eat this if I could.
*Nip & Fab Glycolic instant fix Mask* - This works. After ten minutes, wash off with a warm towel and expect to see skin flushed and glowy, just like you came from a run.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel - I’ve been substituting this peel with a few other brands, like Fresh’s glycol fruit enzyme peel and Andalou Naturals Pumpkin and Honey mask. All do amazing things for my skin without requiring me to rub, tug or shave off a layer of my epidermis, so you don't have to worry about messing up a few hours before a big event. Check out the ingredients in all three of these, however, to determine what's best for you.
Especially in Winter, I'll use a face mask at least twice a week - particularly of the moisturizing variety. My skin is currently in a particular state of flux; and though it's generally manageable, today it's severely dry in some areas, and acne-prone in others. I'm able to regulate these responses by sleeping as much/efficiently as possible, eating well (and enough), and making sure to exercise, laugh, and adjust my skincare accordingly. Anything with alcohol, especially in colder climates, is off limits for me, and I'll stave picking at any blemishes in favour of having them do their thing. Sometimes, too, I'll let a creamy mask sit on for an hour, until it's almost completely gone, and dab the rest off with a wet Q-tip. Dry winter skin? Hell no.
Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask - This one is so creamy, cold, gentle and effective. I like storing mine in the fridge to chill those morning-after existential crises. Masking, documentaries, and good coffee on the fire escape; the perfect Sunday recipe.
Andalou Naturals Instant Soothing Face Mask - This one is available at whole foods, and it also comes in single-use capsules to test out if you aren't sold on a full-size jar. It's an amazing price and instantly revives your skin to baby-soft status. I highly recommend you try this baby.
Any Andalou Naturals Face Mask, Period - You know that one restaurant that you go to when you want to impress any out-of-town visitor, or the one you keep going back to, because it's consistently, always, phenomenally good? That's Andalou for me. Hands down, it is the one brand I recommend to all friends craving a skincare switch-up, or affordable reset that does the job. Please don't forget that I'm a student who keeps a tight budget, too - I understand the struggle of wanting to give yourself the best while balancing tuition and living expenses. Plus, this brand is available at Whole Foods, which allows for a great two-in-one pickup. Kale? Check. Skin? Double check.
I hope all of these tips and tricks provide some kind of warm winter solace to your wonderful, already beautiful faces. Skincare is such an important part of my wellness ritual - it calms me down, acts as the kicker to a sometimes stressful day, or as a bonus reward to a particularly amazing one. It doesn't have to be fancy, messy, or uncomfortable, so don't feel weird if you use two products or seventeen. Whatever makes you feel good and glow-y, is what you should - and deserve - to do for yourself.
I'm always swapping, sampling, and scrounging for new products, so feel free to email me or follow us on instagram to wait up for more. Love you guys.