6 Ingredients You Need for a Perfect Beauty Sleep

There are literally not enough hours in the day to get everything done on your tidy task list. Because of this, sometimes our skin care routines can be pushed to the bottom of the list and sometimes forgotten altogether. Our neglected skin can become dry, dull and clogged with yesterday’s makeup if we don’t take a few minutes out of our day to practice good skin care.

Take back your skin care routine by investing in products with ingredients that do all the work for you while you sleep. The below six ingredients are proven to help you get a perfect beauty sleep and wake up flawless!

Aloe Vera

Every day our skin has to fight against harmful environmental factors including the damaging UVA & UVB rays, wind, makeup, pollution and much more.  To help counteract these damaging factors,  you should invest in nighttime skin care products with an Aloe Vera base. Aloe is naturally age-defying, moisturizing and can help the skin fight against harmful free radicals. Aloe Vera also acts as a cosmetically active carrier enhancing the performance of other cosmetic ingredients making your skin care products more effective in treating your skin concerns.

Learn more about how amazing Aloe is on our blog post “5 Ways to Use Aloe Vera.”

Hyaluronic Acid

As we get older, our skin starts to lose the ability to retain moisture resulting in less firm and plump skin. Hyaluronic acid is the perfect skin care ingredient to fight this phenomenon. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, something that retains moisture like a sponge. When used in skin care, Hyaluronic acid draws moisture from the air allowing it to be absorbed by the skin. Once absorbed, the skin may regain elasticity and look and feel softer. When shopping for a nighttime product with hyaluronic acid, look for a rich cream that can give you a maximum moisture boost.

Try Key West Aloe’s Optimal Results

Retinol

Retinol, more commonly known as vitamin A, is an antioxidant that diminished the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by encouraging healthy cell growth and exfoliation to help skin appear younger. It also enhances collagen production, helping erase the fine lines and wrinkles we all get from aging. This ingredient is best used at night because the sun can break the product down.

Try First Aid Beauty Skin Lab Retinol Serum

Cucumbers

If you’re like us, you’ve tried ever beauty trick in the book including the cucumber over the eyes trick. While this does work wonders for your eyes, sleeping with cucumbers on your eyes is harder than it looks. Luckily, there are products out there with cucumber as the main ingredient that can give you the same results. Cucumbers are rich in vitamin C and folic acid. The vitamin C will stimulate new cell growth while the folic acid will protect your skin from environmental toxins that can make eyes appear tired. Popping on a skin care product will cucumber at night will make it look like you got the full 8-hours of sleep you intended to get instead of the 4 your actually got.

Try Key West Aloe Cucumber Under-Eye Gel

Squalane

Plant-based squalane is an amazing moisturizing ingredient to use at night. Our bodies naturally produce a form of squalane and know exactly how to handle this ingredient so instead of looking like a greasy mess we can have better skin elasticity by increasing the skins moisture retention and nutrients.

Try Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask

Alpha Hydroxy Acid & Beta Hydroxy Acid

AHAs & BHAs are a nonabrasive group of naturally occurring acids found in various foods that are good for exfoliation. AHAs, great for thickened, sun-damaged skin, will dissolve the surface of the skin uncovering a smoother complexion. On the other hand, BHAs can penetrate into pores, exfoliating the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore helping reduce the occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads.

Try Key West Aloe’s Solution

Are you using any of these products already? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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Face Masks 101

Photo by Isabell Winter on Unsplash

If you have a new skin concern or are just looking for an additional boost consider adding a face mask to your skin care routine. Face masks are quick, affordable and easy to use. With such a wide variety of face mask to choose from, there is a mask that will fit your specific needs.

Not sure where to start? Check out our guide below to become a mask-a-holic.

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Types of Mask

There are 4 types of facial masks: clay masks, cream masks, sheet masks, and gel masks. Each mask works for a certain type of skin and addresses specific skin concerns.

Clay Masks

Clay masks are facial masks that contain skin-purifying clay and other great ingredients that can help minimize blemishes and unclog pores. While clay masks can be used on all skin types, people with normal to oily skin will benefit most from a clay mask. Clay masks can help detoxify the skin, tighten pores, boost circulation, reduce inflammation and evens skin tone. Popular clays used in these masks include kaolin clay, bentonite clay, fuller’s earth clay, french green clay, and rassoul clay.

Cream Masks

If you’re feeling a little dry and dehydrated, this is the mask for you. Cream masks are made with replenishing oils and moisturizers to help normal to dry skin bounce back.

Sheet Masks

Sheet Masks are amazing for all skin types and are fun to use. Depending on the formula you pick up, your mask can help bring back life to dry skin or can help fight the battle against wrinkles. The best part about sheet masks, no rinsing required. In fact, to get the most out of your mask, we suggest rubbing the leftover mask directly onto your skin.

Gel Masks

Like the cream mask, the gel mask is formulated to hydrate and nourish the skin. The coolness of the gel is perfect for sensitive skin types but works on normal to dry skin types as well.

 

Target Your Main Concern

For When You’re Feeling Greasy

… try a mask with kaolin clay as the main ingredient. The clay will naturally absorb the excesses oil and sebum on the skin and within the pores. Compliment the kaolin clay with a moisturizing ingredient like Aloe Vera to help balance the drying effects clay can have on the skin.

Try: Key West Aloe’s Marine Mud Mask

 

For When You’re Feeling Dry

… try a mask with hyaluronic acid as a key ingredient. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that draws moisture from the air. It can be absorbed by the skin and once absorbed the skin may regain elasticity and look softer. 

Try: Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hydrating Overnight Gel Mask

 

For When You’re Feeling Clogged

… try a mask with bentonite clay as the main ingredient. Like kaolin clay, bentonite clay is super absorbent and acts as a magnet drawing out impurities in your pores. It’s also can help reduce swelling and soothe inflammation.

Try: Aztec Healing Clay

 

For When You’re Feeling Dull

… try a mask with enzymes as a key ingredient. Fruit enzymes from papaya and pineapples offer gentle exfoliation that can remove dead skin cells revealing bright, radiant skin.

Try: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

 

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Add a Face Mask Your Routine

If you already have an established skin care routine, adding a face mask will be an easy addition.  Once you’ve selected what type of mask and which ingredients to use, everything else will fall into place.

  1. Start with a cleanser
  2. Following the directions on your particular mask, apply the face mask smoothing in on in an upward motion.
  3. Wait the required amount of time.
  4. Rinse (unless you are using a sheet mask). Use lukewarm water and do not scrub, gently pat the mask away.
  5. Moisturize and seal in all of the mask goodness.

Now you know almost everything there is about face masks. What mask should you use based on your skin type? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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Spring Clean Your Skincare Routine

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Spring is here are we couldn’t be happier. While Florida experiences sunshine year-long (they don’t call us the Sunshine State for nothing), spring happens to be our favorite season because the days are long and the weather is just right for beach days. We’re ditching our winter clothes and pulling out our spring dresses and new swimsuits. While we’re at it, we’re also transitioning our skincare routine.

During the winter months, our skin is exposed to cold, dry weather resulting in dull, flaky skin. Spring is the perfect time to revamp your beauty routine to reveal smooth, radiant skin that’s been hidden by heavy moisturizers and scarfs all winter.

Don’t forget to pick up a new sunscreen. Photo: Key West Aloe

Here are 5 changes to make to your beauty routine this spring:

  1. Toss out Moisturizers/ Makeup with SPF that you bought last spring – SPF begins to become less effective after one year, so it’s important to update your skincare regime with new sun protection. Make sure you get a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or above to have the best protection.
  2. Purchase oil-free moisturizers – Heavier skincare products are great for the cold, winter months but during the warmer weather, you want oil-free products that won’t clog pores or just sweat off your face. Try our Day Moist Fragrance-Free for a daytime moisturizer that can also be used as a primer.
  3. Exfoliate all over – Remove dead skin cells built up from dry skin with a nice exfoliation. Use our Key Lime Salt Scrub for the body to give your skin a fresh, healthy glow. For the face, we suggest a chemical exfoliate that will gently remove dead skin cells to reveal smooth skin.
  4. Try out new products – Spring is a great time to have a fresh start! Focus on your skincare regime and try out new products that make you look and feel refreshed and cleansed. Try doing a weekly pamper night with a face mask to freshen up your skin or try our anti-aging hydrating mist Too Cool
  5. Hydrate – During the harsh, winter months, hot coffee and tea can be the only thing getting you through the day, but beware, caffeinated drinks can dry out your skin. Swap your hot drinks for a cool cup of water to keep your skin moisturized inside and out.

Looking for more skincare tips? Check out our Pinterest to see the latest skincare tricks and subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest on Key West Aloe. 

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A Roadmap to Your Best Skin + Giveaway!!

Photo by Bruce Mars from Pexels

We don’t know about you, but one of our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions is to work on our skin care routines. Like most people, we make a goal at the beginning of the year and slowly but surely we forget about our pledge.

This year will be different. This year, we are going to follow through and achieve our best skin yet!

Identify your skin type

If you’ve been using the same products forever and you’ve noticed they stopped working, you may be using the wrong products for your skin type. Like the rest of our body, our skin type will change over time. In fact, most people’s skin tends to switch from oily to dry as they age. This is due to many factors including the environment. Check out our post on skin types to determine if you have oily, combination, or dry skin.

Figure out the products that work best for your skin.

Once you’ve identified your skin type, the next step is to select the best products for your skin. If you have oily skin you may want to swap out your cream moisturizer for a gel one and if you have dry skin you may want to try products with Hyaluronic Acid. Of course, these are only guidelines. You must try out

Enter our Better Skin Giveaway to win a Daily Aloe Facial Essentials (value $90.50)

Create a realistic skin care routine you can stick to.

Below is a general roadmap we put together to help you figure out what products you should be using and when. Creating a realistic skin care routine will involve trial and error. It can take up to 3-8 weeks to seen proper results, do give your new routine sometime before switching it up.

Reach Your #SkinGoals with Key West Aloe's roadmap to your best skin.
Reach Your #SkinGoals with Key West Aloe’s roadmap to your best skin.

We hope you’ll join us on our skin care journey.

Share your 2018 skin resolutions in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks and don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win $90 in KWA Product!

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18 Healthy Habits to Start This New Year

It’s the beginning of the year and that can only mean one thing– it’s time to make your New Year’s Resolutions. We’ve compiled a list of 18 healthy habits for you to consider adding to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2018.

  1. Wash your face every day and never go to bed with makeup on.
  2. Commit to getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
  3. Never leave home without applying sunscreen. An SPF will help protect your skin (head to toe) from harmful UV rays.
  4. Start every morning with a tall glass of water and a lemon to rehydrate your body and jumpstart your metabolism.
  5. Speaking of metabolism, start working out regularly.
  6. Put your phone down and lose yourself in a book.
  7. Eat more fruits and vegetables and never skip breakfast.
  8. Sign up for an online class or learn a new skill.
  9. Take time for self-care.
  10. Stop picking at your skin.
  11. Cut out excess sugar and sweets from your diet.
  12. Use the right skin care products for your skin type.
  13. Try Meatless Mondays.
  14. Switch to satin sheets to help maintain skin & hair’s natural moisture level.
  15. Trim your hair every 4-6 weeks.
  16. Swap out coffee for green tea.
  17. Visit a dermatologist.
  18. Track your new healthy habit progress by keeping a journal!

These 18 habits may seem minor in the grand scheme of life, but when added together can result in a healthier YOU.

Tell us what your New Year’s Resolutions are for 2018 in the comments.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Holiday Gift Guide

Is it too early to start Christmas shopping? We don’t think so. In fact, we suggest you start crossing people off your list now so you’ll feel less stressed later this season.

We took care of the list making for you and created some fun and useful gift guides. Check them out!

Gift For The Skincare Obsessed Friend

We all have that one friend that’s always trying new skincare products. If you’re reading this blog, you may actually be that friend. Help them find skincare routine peace by gifting a few items from our gift guide for the Skincare Obsessed Friend. Tip: If your friend is worried about wrinkles, make sure to get them our Skin Matrix and a satin pillowcase. Together, they will work to fight the signs of aging.

1. Key West Aloe, Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser
2. Sephora, Foreo Luna Mini
3. Key West Aloe, Skin Matrix
4. MAC, Makeup Bag
5. Key West Aloe, Too Cool
6. Savvy Sleepers, Satin Pillowcase
7. Key West Aloe, Cucumber Undereye Gel
8. Key West Aloe, Environmental Defense SPF 15
9. Amazon, Jade Roller

Gifts For The Beach Bums

The best gift for a beach bum is something they can use when the weather warms up. Grab one of the gifts from our Key West Aloe certified list. Trust us, any beach bum will love to unwrap one of these gifts.

1. Key West Aloe, Sunsorb Lip Balm
2. Macy’s, Beach Bag
3. Warby Parker, Sunglasses
4. Key West Aloe, Save A Tan
5. Roxy, Beach Hat
6. Bed, Bath & Beyond, Beach Umbrella
7. Key West Aloe, Sunsrob SPF 50+
8. Target, Beach Chair
9. Key West Aloe, Aloe Max 100

Gifts For The Hostess

The holiday season is just a fun way to say dinner party season. Don’t show up to your friend’s house without an appropriate gift. Our below gift guide is a great place to start when shopping for your hospitable hostess. Stock up on a few, universally appealing gifts so you’re never caught off guard. (Tip: if they have a puppy, they’ll love you if you bring a gift for their fur-baby.)

1. Ikea, Vase
2. Target, Marble & Wood Cutting Board
3. Key West Aloe, All About Coconut
4. Amazon, Cookbook
5. Key West Aloe, Pampered Pup
6. Wayfair, Throw Blanket
7. Key West Aloe, All-Natural Soy Candle
8. Key West Aloe, Aloethera Shower Essentials
9. The Meadow, Salt Set

Gifts For The Workout Friend

Whether they currently workout or are planning on a lifestyle trend at the start of 2018, any of these items will delight your friend who likes to go to the gym. The gym bag and water bottle will let your friend stay stylish as they enter the gym and the skincare products will keep they stylish as they leave.

1. Key West Aloe, Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser
2. Target, Wireless Earbuds
3. Target, S’well Water Bottle
4. Fabletics, The Shift Bag II
5. Key West Aloe, Mango Bath & Shower Gel
6. Target, Yoga Mat
7. Key West Aloe, Marine Mud Mask
8. Key West Aloe, Mango Shampoo & Conditioner
9. Key West Aloe, Aloethera Intensive Body Moisturizer

Gifts For The Manly Man

Searching for a gift for the men in your life is not an easy task. We created a list of items any man would enjoy getting. Tip: Gifting your guy hot sauce could be a great way to get him to cook for you.

1. Key West Aloe, Quench Anti-Aging Moisturizing Gel
2. Straightrazors.com, Straight Razor
3. Modcloth, Socks
4. Whisky Stones, Whisky Stones
5. Key West Aloe, Zele Aftershave Gel
6. Thoughtfully, Hot Sauce
7. Key West Aloe, Sensitive Skin Shave Gel
8. The Two Guys Bow Tie, Wooden Bow Tie
9. Key West Aloe, Key West For Men
10. Macy’s, Leather Wallet

Need more gifting options? Check out all of our Aloe Vera based skincare gifts on our website. Also, consider signing up for our newsletter to get the best deals on your favorites.

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Exfoliation 101: The Best & Worst Times to Exfoliate

There are certain parts of our skin-care regimen that come pretty easy. We know when to cleanse and moisturize to focus on the intensive stuff at night before bed and focus on SPF during the day. But where does exfoliation fit? Should you exfoliate in the morning to start your day or at night before bed?  Many people want the specifics on the best time to use an exfoliant, so here’s our take on this matter.

The best and worst time to exfoliate is really dependent on you (sorry, we know, not much help!) But, if you wear makeup every day, exfoliating at night would help remove makeup particles from your skin and open up your pores to more of a cleansing. Yet, if your face is duller or if you have oilier skin, exfoliating in the morning would be best to provide your skin with a fresh glow to start your day.

So, there’s no better or worse time to exfoliate, it really just depends on your skin type and preference. You should concentrate on exfoliating once or twice a week on average. You can up the frequency,  just make sure you pay attention to how your skin reacts to the exfoliation so you do not irritate your skin.

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With face scrubs, you get more control on the exfoliation because you can vary the pressure you apply when applying the product. The best way to utilize a facial scrub is to make circular movements all over your face when you scrub.  Some days you might want to do harder pressure with less frequency of those little circular movements while other days you might want to focus on lighter pressure with more frequency.

If a physical exfoliation is too harsh for your skin, consider swapping it out for a chemical exfoliating product like our KWA Solution. Don’t let the chemical part intimidate you, a chemical exfoliate will gently remove dead skin cells with harmless chemicals like alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs). In fact, in most cases, chemical exfoliators are considered better for you skin especially if you are sensitive or acne-prone. If you do go the chemical route, you should only use that product at night and limit your exposure to UV rays by wearing an SPF during the day.

Whether you chose to exfoliate in the morning or night, with a physical or chemical exfoliant, it’s important to remember to always moisturize your face and utilize SPF during the day!

Need more fall advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Coffee Naps, Do they really work?

Feeling stressed and fatigued by your hectic schedule? Try a caffeine power nap this International Coffee Day!

I love Coffee
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With the hustle and bustle of life, late night parties, (And, in our case, early wake up calls courtesy of the Key West roosters)it is easy to feel a bit run down this time of year.  A simple solution? Coffee + Power Nap= Caffeine Nap.

Yes, we know caffeine is no substitute for 8+ hours of sleep. We also know that daily life doesn’t always give us a full 8 hours for sale. Sometimes we need a quick fix.

While there are many variations to the Caffeine Nap, the basics are quite simple.

Drink a cup of coffee, and immediately take a 20-minute nap.

This phenomenon has picked up steam on the internet in the last few years, but the science behind it dates back more than ten years to research from Loughborough University in the UK. Researchers tried several different treatments on sleepy drivers to determine the best method to stay awake, thus cutting down on fatigue-related accidents. It takes about 15 minutes for caffeine to kick in, or at least to begin to keep one awake, so in theory, should make you feel more alert following the power nap. As with regular power naps, the point of a caffeine nap is not to legitimately fall fast asleep; simply dozing with one’s eyes closed is enough to clear your brain of adenosine, the chemical that makes us feel cloudy and tired. The coffee adds a one-two punch that should have you up and feeling refreshed.

Some tips:

A “cup” of coffee is just that.  A standard cup. Skip the extra tall $7 white chocolate mocha and save it for when you can actually enjoy it. Even if you don’t like regular coffee, trust us. It works the best and doesn’t involve the inevitable sugar crash that comes with fancier beverages.

 Don’t overdo it. Don’t nap longer than 15-20 minutes, or you will wake up feeling groggy and defeat the whole point.

Throw in a pain reliever. If your fatigue is accompanied by a mind-splitting headache, mix a packet of headache powder like Goodies into the coffee. Yes, it will taste nasty, but again, good taste really isn’t the point here. The aspirin will begin to work on the headache while you nap. (Obviously, know the precautions of aspirin and your tolerance to it.)

Best Added Boost? If you STILL need an extra boost, keep a stash of Key West Aloe Cucumber Undereye Gel cold in the fridge, and apply liberally around your eyes before you nap. Not only will it immediately soothe tired and sore eyes, its high concentration of aloe will draw moisture into your skin, and you will wake up looking refreshed, and not like the undead.

Think of it as an emergency wake-up kit. Most of us find ourselves in that situation sooner or later. But seriously, the preventative approach-getting a decent night’s rest on a regular basis-should be our first priority. Now if we could only get the roosters to understand…

Need more fall skincare advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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What’s My Skin Type?

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Have you walked into the skin care section of a store and just aimlessly stared at all of the different product options. There are 20+ different types of cleansers, exfoliators that also cleanse the skin, moisturizers that are a gel, cream or even a combination of both and advance products that reduce the appearance of pores. It’s very easy to get lost in all of the options.

If you feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to skincare, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Before heading to the skin care aisle, we suggest starting with the basics by figuring out your skin type. Knowledge is power and when it comes to skin care, knowing your skin type gives you the power to choose the right products and routine for you.

Generally, skin can fall under one of four different categories.

Having normal skin means you have a good balance of moisture, have barely visible pores, and have an even and smooth complexion. Most people are lucky enough to have normal skin, but if not maintained, skin can fall into of the other categories listed below.

If normal skin had a great balance of moisture, dry skin does not have enough natural moisture. People with dry skin often have dull and flaky skin. There are many reasons your skin is dry. You could naturally have dry skin, the weather can be drying out your face or you are taking a new medication that creates flaky skin. Whatever the reasoning, using a gentle cleansing face wash and a rich moisturizer can help hydrate the skin.

If you have oily skin, you probably know it. People with oily skin have an excess of oil on the face and if allowed to build up can result in a shiny look. This skin type is most common in youth, especially after puberty hits, but can affect any age. Many people with oily skin notice more oil in their T-zone, also know as the forehead, nose and chin area. Your first instinct may be to avoid moisturizers, but we don’t suggest it. Instead, find an oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer to help keep your skin soft with that added greasy feeling.

Combination skin can be a little trickier because it’s a combination of both oily and dry skin. Usually, the T-Zone is oily and the cheek area remains dry. People with combination skin often have to use a variety of products to properly care for their skin. If you have combination skin, it’s important to determine which parts of your face is oily and which parts are dry.

Do you fall under normal, oily, dry or maybe a combination? Use these three steps below to determine your skin type.

  1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry.
  2. Wait a few hours for your skin to return to its natural state.
  3. Examine your face in the mirror paying special attention to the T-Zone — the forehead, nose and chin areas.

What do you see?

If your skin shows no signs of flaking or oiliness and feels smooth, you’ve got normal skin. Try a lightweight moisturizer like Day Moist to maintain your smooth complexion.

If your skin looks shiny and feels slick to the touch, you’ve got oily skin. Try a gentle exfoliator like Oatmeal Facial Scrub to remove oil build up.

If your skin feels tight and has flakes in some areas, you’ve got dry skin. Try an intense moisturizer like Night Moist to give your skin an extra boost of hydration.

If all of the above applies, you have an oily T-Zone but everywhere else is normal to dry, you’ve got combination skin. Try a pH-balanced cleanser like Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser to wash your face without drying out your skin.

Remember, your skin type will change over time so it’s good to revisit this post to make sure the products you’re buying are still working for your skin.

Share your skin type with us in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram and we can help you build the perfect skincare routine.

Need more fall skincare advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.  

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