Skincare Add-ons

I've done posts on both my morning and evening skincare routines here and here, but I didn't talk about things I add into my routines here and there as I feel my skin needs them.

If my skin starts feeling so congested that even my Pixi Glow Tonic doesn't seem to fix it, I like to use a gentle manual exfoliator rather than a chemical one.  For this I use the Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub.  It's a lovely creamy cleanser with small, smooth scrubbing beads suspended in it. Manual exfoliators tend to make my skin red and inflamed, but this one is gentle enough that I stay out of lobster territory.  If my skin is feeling like it's in dire conditions I may use the Lush Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub, but I usually reserve this to use as a body scrub.  This is a lot more abrasive so I have to be very gentle with it, but it leaves my skin feeling very clean and refreshed after use. I really like using this on days when it feels like I have blemishes just brewing beneath the surface of my skin, and I feel like it helps get rid of them before they do surface.

If I don't feel like using a scrub, I'll use a purifying mask.  I love the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. I've had the small size for about two months and it doesn't even look like I've made a dent in it.  A thin layer over the skin is still very effective.  The active charcoal draws out impurities and leaves skin feeling thoroughly cleansed.  To avoid stripping my skin, I tend to only use this on my T-zone and chin, as my cheeks are usually a bit drier and don't need the effects of the mask.  A cheaper alternative that I also really like is The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask.  This one is cooling as well as purifying so it feels very refreshing.

Another kind of mask I love using is a hydrating mask.  Again, my favorite is from Origins.  The Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask is just amazing.  It smells great, like peaches, and it sinks in beautifully to plump and nourish the skin.  I actually had a reaction to a purifying mask that had expired, and layering this mask over my irritated cheeks really helped get my skin back to normal.  Again, there is a cheaper alternative I love from The Body Shop - the Vitamin E Sink-in Moisture Mask.  It does almost as good of a job as the Origins, but I prefer the smell of the Origins mask.

I love adding in these extra steps to my routine to make it a little more luxurious and relaxing.  What are your favorite skincare "extras?"