I’ve always been crazy about drugstore beauty and I’m pretty sure that the first money that I had ever earned were spend at a drugstore.
My younger sister and I had this whole routine, when almost every Saturday (right after I got paid) we would go to the park and somehow we always ended up at Walgreens. We’d browse through the beauty isles and I’ll be the first one to admit that we probably spend very unreasonable amount of money on makeup, skincare and other beauty products. After we were done, we’d have to hide our shopping bags in the basement because we always bought way too much stuff, and once everyone went to sleep, we’d bring that stuff upstairs, sit in our room and unpack everything.
I was around fifteen at the time and we had just moved to the US so I didn’t have a lot of friends yet- all did was go to school and work six days a week and those little trips to the drugstore were definitely a highlight of my week. My mom always joked that I am probably the only reason why that particular Walgreens is still in business.
Ever since then I became a little obsessed with everything that has anything with beauty, I loved reading product reviews in magazines, I loved trying new products myself and that’s what eventually led to me starting this blog.
Today, I wanted to tell you all about a few of my favorite drugstore skincare products. All of these are products that I’ve been using and trusting for a very long time, ever since those days when my sister and I practically lived at Walgreens. :)
Queen Helen Mint Julep Mask was one of the very first masks I’ve used. Since then I’ve used tons of different high-end and affordable masks, and this one is still one of my favorites. It’s great for oily and blemish-prone skin. It helps to dry out active breakouts, shrink pores and control excess sebum. It’s only $5.00 and comes in a huge (8 oz.) tube. It has a thick, cream formula that has a very fresh and minty scent that’s incredibly pleasant. It leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth refreshed.
This was another first for me. I started using Bio Oil long before the whole “face oil” craze began which means that I was incredibly nervous about putting this stuff on my face. I mean my skin was already extremely oily, why would I put oil on it, of any kind? Thankfully right around that time (I think it was around 2006/2007) was when a few beauty and skincare forums started to become popular and it was also around that time that I really became passionate about skincare. I did my research and decided to give Bio-Oil a try and I loved it. It’s this stuff right here, that has helped me heal my skin over and over again. About six years a go, I was on an awful birth control and as soon as I went off it, my skin went nuts.
My acne got so bad that I rarely left the house and every social event that I had to attend caused me to have panic attacks (no joke). It wasn’t just about the way my skin looked, I was actually in physical pain, even when I wasn’t actually touching my face. After I finally got my skin under control, I was left with a lovely set of red, in some cases deep-purple scars. I probably spent a small fortune on spot-correcting treatments; I’ve used everything from Clinique, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Shiseido, and nothing has helped me. Whenever there was a new “spot-correcting” treatment that hit the market, I was the first one to buy it.
I was about to give up when I remembered how much Bio-Oil has helped me in the past. It transformed my skin completely; all my scars have healed and every single red mark disappeared. It’s also great for healing stretch-marks and other scars as well as dry and dehydrated skin. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing and I seriously can’t recommend it enough.
Baby oil is basically mineral oil and fragrance. I’ve been using baby oil for years now, as an all-over moisturizer. I apply it all over my body while my skin is still wet after a shower. I usually use lighter oils during warmer months (like Neutrogena’s Sesame Oil) but during Winter my skin gets really dry- especially on my legs- and that’s when I tend to use baby oil a lot more since it has a much richer, thicker formula and always leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. This stuff really is the best for dry, winter skin.
This is another awesome multi-tasker that I’ve been using for years. It’s basically a mix of Petrolatum, Mineral Oil and Glycerin. I love Vaseline as well, but Aquaphor Healing Ointment has a formula that’s a bit thinner and slightly lighter, which is what I prefer. As a teen I used to work at a deli shop and a bakery, which meant that I had to do a whole lot of dish-washing in scalding hot water. This of course caused my hands and my forearms to get extremely dry and itchy, to the point that they would crack. I started using a little aquaphor to help heal my skin and it worked like a charm I actually really like “sealing” my moisturizer with this stuff at night too.
I apply all my skincare products, and after I apply my moisturizer, I rub a small amount of Aquaphor in my hands and gently press it on my face. It will feel a little greasy for a few minutes, but after I wake up and wash my face, it feels incredibly smooth and baby-soft. If you have dry skin, you HAVE to give this method a try. I also love using this for removing heavy makeup, on my cuticles and to heal small cuts.
Another heaven-sent for blemish and acne-prone skin: Stridex pads. This is an amazing BHA product that will make your pores look squeaky-clean. These pads contain 2% Salicylic Acid and are alcohol-free. They are soaked in treatment and are so potent (meaning, so “soaked”) that I usually cut them in half. These are great to use both for treating and preventing breakouts. They’re non-irritating although you can expect to feel a little tingle when using these, and are extremely effective. If you are in search for an affordable BHA that works wonders, look no further.
Also, if you tend to get a lot of red-bumps and ingrown hair after shaving you might also love this stuff- just apply it right after shaving to prevent any in-grown hair from forming (because it’s alcohol-free, you don’t have to worry about irritating your skin, but I would be careful when using it on areas that are more delicate, such as bikini line, etc.).
What are some of the products that you’ve been using for years?