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I Just Learned A New Way To Care For My Face, And My Skin Is Actually Improving β€” Here's What I Did

As a woman in her 30s, this was long overdue.

Hi, I'm Krista, and I recently decided it was time to revamp my skincare routine because...

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...This is what the cabinet under my sink looks like. I'm embarrassed to admit that I spend way too much money on skincare items that don't work out for me and all of them end up getting tossed into this collection. 😩

Photo of tons of makeup products under sink.
Krista Torres

So, as a 33-year-old, I knew it was finally time to talk to a credible skincare expert who can help teach me how to properly take care of my skin.

VH1

I sat down with Nicole Caroline, who has been a licensed aesthetician for 20 years β€” she is known as the skin whisperer!

I talked to Nicole about what I would like my skin to look like, how I would like it to behave, and my skincare concerns. "One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is doing too much. I prefer you do a simple routine rather than try every trend and everything that comes out because that can actually be damaging," she said during our Zoom meeting.

Zoom

Nicole also said that there is too much information out there about skincare and it makes people confused (I wholeheartedly agree with this). So, her mission is to help simplify the process for people and help them find products that work for their specific needs. "The way I work is not determined on one factor, it's all-encompassing and I truly believe our skin is a reflection of what we're doing inside, outside β€” everything," she said.

After our meeting, I sent her close-up photos of my skin so she could determine which type of products would be best for me. For the sake of me trying to help you all on your skincare journey, I am sharing some of the most unflattering photos of myself to date. You are welcome.

Krista Torres

EXTREME CLOSE-UP BEFORE PICS:

Krista Torres

After evaluating the pics of my skin, we decided it was best for me to work on pore size, hyperpigmentation, getting an overall ~glow~, and anti-aging/prevention. Here are the products Nicole had me use:

FACE CLEANSERS:

Photo of the two products

MOISTURIZER + FACE RETINOL:

Photos of the two products
Krista Torres

These were two recent products I had bought that I actually liked and Nicole said they were good products to keep using. I bought Earth's Cure Nano-Peptide Moisturizer for $36 and the Vitality Institute Retinoic SerumΒ was an aesthetician-recommended product after a facial β€” you need a prescription to purchase online.

OTHER PRODUCTS:

Krista Torres

The Le Mieux Skin Clarifying Pads are $44, the Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment is $88, the Reality Hydrabalance Hydrating Gel is $25, the CAVIPLLA Promoter Repair Eye Serum is $85, and the Bio-Therapeutic bt-sonic 2.0 microscopic facial cleansing brush is $68. Nicole also provided me with some eye firming pads, sheet masks, and a facial ice set.

I know it's a lot of products and it gets pricey, so I'll list my favorite ones that I think are definitely worth it at the end!

Here are the daily skincare routines she gave me:

cleansing routine showing cleansing with oil and milk cleanser, followed by hydrabalance and eye cream
Krista Torres

This video shows you how to double cleanse if you've never heard of it before (I hadn't)!

At first, I was thinking "Wait, I thought you said we would SIMPLIFY my skincare routine!" I was overwhelmed by all of the steps, but after the first week, I had it down pat and it was easy.

morning routine photo consisting of rinsing with cool water and applying niaciminide and sunscreen
Krista Torres

OK, so on to the results β€” I took photos of myself in the same spot, under the same light, each week for a month.

WEEK ONE:

Krista Torres

After the first week, the biggest thing I noticed was that my skin felt more hydrated β€” like it was finally absorbing the moisture it needed. Thankfully, I didn't have a reaction to any of the new products and my skin seemed to adjust well to them all.

WEEK TWO:

Krista Torres

During the second week, the biggest thing I started to notice was that those brown age spots on my cheeks and forehead were starting to fade! I was really loving that Peter Thomas Roth discoloration treatment.

WEEK THREE:

Krista Torres

OK, if you think my skin looks a little bit ~more tan~ this week, it is because it is. I had put a facial self-tanner on, and to my surprise, it didn't make me break out with these products I was using. At this point, I was really used to all of the steps and I was simplifying the nightly process by doing double cleanse, hydra balance gel, retinol every other night, and my moisturizer. In the morning, I was washing with cold water and using the discoloration treatment, followed by sunscreen.

WEEK FOUR:

Krista Torres

After doing this for a month, I had the steps down pat and I was really loving where my skin was at. I actually felt like, "OK this is something that I can keep up with." If I had to suggest which products I thought helped the most, I would definitely say the double cleansing with the oil and the milk. I think I had been using too harsh of daily cleansing products on my skin, and so this gentle method helped restore my skin. My other two favorite products were the hydrablance gel and the niacinamide discoloration treatment.

As you can see, my skin definitely looked and felt more consistently hydrated after doing this routine.

Krista Torres

I don't know how to describe that leather-ish skin texture on my forehead in the before pic, but the fact that my skin seemed less ~aged~ was what I was really most happy with.

Krista Torres

I would say that this skincare routine was a success for me β€” but I would also like to point out that I had a personal consultation about what was best for MY SKIN. Everyone's skin is different, so please talk to a dermatologist or aesthetician to see what products may be best for you.

Let's end with Nicole's lasting advice for age prevention: ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN! "Makeup is formulated to be makeup β€” not sunscreen, so the sunscreen in makeup will provide a little bit of protection, but it's not doing the job that actual sunscreen will do," Nicole added.

Special thanks to Nicole for gifting me with most of the products I needed to get my skin where it needs to be! If you are interested in learning more, you can visit her website or follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.