Alright everyone, brace yourself for a long blog post. The length of this post shows you how important this topic is for me mostly because I never really loved my skin till now and I want to share my honest experience with you. Keep in mind this is NOT medical advice but rather products I love through my own trial and error. If you have complicated skin issues, you should see a dermatologist.
This is my story: for many years my skincare routine consisted of barely taking off my make up and hoping into bed. I was never happy with my skin and yet didn't dedicate any time to care for it. To make matters worse, I had teenage acne. I tried everything you could possibly imagine to clear my skin without any success. I spent hundreds of dollars on over the counter acne treatments, DIY home remedies, crazy products that weren't even meant for your skin but people swore by, antibiotics, perscription retonoid creams and the list goes on and on. After struggling with acne for quite sometime, my dermatologist pulled the big guns and I committed to a long and challeneging period of Accutane. It took MONTHS to finally reach the clear skin I've always wanted and at that point I knew it was time to take better care of my skin because there was no way all my work would go to waste.
After Accutane your skin is especially brittle and sensitive so a lot of care had to go into planning my new rotuine. I started to slowly add products to my routine hoping to avoid any irritations because I was terrified of a breakout. I did a lot of research and really loved the reviews I read about the CeraVe line with cermacides. The products had great ingredients and were within my humble budget at the time. I decided to keep my products to a minimum and give CeraVe a try. My routine started with:
1) Taking off my make up with the CeraVe foaming cleanser
2) Applying CeraVe PM Moisterizing Facial Lotion before bed
3) Applying AM Moisterizing Facial Lotion with SPF 30 every morning underneath my make up
I really loved this line and it worked well for me. I always had hydrated skin and more importantly, I didn't have any new breakouts. For a low budget, this was a great skincare routine to maintain my skin. However, this routine didn't help renew my skin. I still didn't like my skin's texture, post-acne red undertones and the dark circles that were starting to form below my eyes (no thanks to sleepless nights spent studying). I knew I wanted to change my rotuine but with the hundreds of skincare options I felt completely overwhlemed.
For my 24th birthday, my roommate got me a giftcard from L'Occitane. I've walked by this gorgeous store situated in my favorite Manhattan neighrborhood hundreds of times but never went in, honestly, because it looked WAY more than I ever wanted to spend. There was nothing more I loved than exploring new products (hello hours spent on YouTube video reviews) and this fell into my lap at the right time so I was thrilled to walk to the Flatiron District and spend my afternoon finding a new skincare line. As expected from a French company, everything in L'Occitane was spectacular. The smells, textures, the natural ingredients and the customer service. I got a thorough explanation of their different skincare lines and because of my age and my needs, the L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Line was the final recommendation. This line was based on the Immortelle flower which "is known as the everlasting flower: it never fades, even after it has been picked. Its organic essential oil is rich in molecules offering unique anti-aging beauty results." This line is considered a "mild" line for the "first visible signs of aging". That means it's perfect for your 20s, the best time to develope a skincare routine that will delay signs of aging before they even begin.
I decided to spend my giftcard (and a little more of my own money, which I didn't intend to do but was convinced I should) on a cream. This Immortelle Precious cream was part of a larger skincare routine but I wasn't ready to commit to spending more at that time so I decided the cream would be a good place to start. I used the cream nightly for the next few months and absoloutly loved it. It smelled delciioous and kept my skin moisturized. I was so afraid of using all of it, I would alternate between the Precious cream and my CereVe PM cream. When my skin felt especially dry, I knew to reach for my Precious cream because it was the only thing that would keep my skin hydrated enough in the dry New York winters. After months, I started noticing better skin texture and I was really happy with my results. I wanted more.
In April of 2017, I went to Europe to visit my sister who was studying abroad in Denmark. We spent a few days in Paris and boy did I indulge in the L'Occitaine experience. After all, it was French and there wasn't a more appropirate place to learn more and buy more. I finally made the plunge and purchased the entire Precious routine. My new routine consisted of:
6) CeraVe AM Moisterizing Facial Lotion with SPF 30
I used these products religiously. Every day after hours of wearing make up and spending time indoors studying or with patients, I couldn't wait to get home, take off my make up and use my skincare line. This routine became a method to not only rejuvinated my skin but also give me a relaxing pre-bed ritual which I loved. My skin quickly started reeping the benefits with better overall even color, smoother texture and of course it never felt dry. I used these products daily and my biggest trick to adhering to this routine is keeping everything on a nightstand right next to my bed. When I get into bed, everything is within an arms reach and I have NO excuses. It takes 5 minutes to massage the products into my face and it's the perfect pre-sleep wind down routine.
After months of using the L'Occitane Immortelle Precious line (literally, it took 5 months to go through the products), I decided to upgrade to the next step up: the Immortelle Divine line. I did this because, well, we always want the better product. The Immortelle Precious line was incredible but now that I am in residency my skin is taking more torture and I wanted to give it a fighting chance with their more intense line. My new skincare routine looks very similar to my previous one with new products:
6) CeraVe AM Moisterizing Facial Lotion with SPF 30
7) Burt's Bees Make Up Remover Eye Pads (only used occasionally for heavy make up)
I still use my CeraVe AM cream every morning before I apply my make up because I've become very comfortable with it and love the higher SPF 30 daily on my face. So what's my final verdict? Yes this line is more than I imagine I would spend on skincare but I am so glad I did. L'Occitane is not the cheapest skincare line but it's also not the most expensive. There's a ton out there that's way more expensive and I haven't been able to find out exactly why. I love this line and for the price I think it has a lot to offer. Your face is often what represents you and I didn't want to take any short cuts. Skin can make or break your confidence. After years of embarrassing skin I wanted to love my skin and do everything I could to really care for it and L'Occitane has allowed me to do so. I have been using this line for a couple of weeks now and I really do love the results. My skin feels even more hydrated, the texture is incredibly soft and the new scent is to die for.
Below you can find both the Immortelle Precious and Immortelle Divine lines linked. There is a Immortelle Divine starter kit that is a better deal. To read a deeper description of every product, scroll to the bottom. If you're in your 20s and looking to start your skincare routine early to avoid having to do damage control too late in the game, start with the Immortelle Precicious line. If you were like me and weren't sure if you are not ready to commit to the entire line, I recommend you give the Precious Cream a try first and use it every night before bed. If you're older or just want a more intense set of creams, give the Immortelle Divine line a try. Don't compromise on your skincare, after all, it's the first thing anyone ever sees. I hope you love these products as much as I do!
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1) L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cleansing Balm
The first cleansing ritual step of the Immortelle Divine range! The Immortelle Divine Cleansing Balm effectively removes makeup and impurities while enveloping the skin in softness with its balm-in-oil texture. It melts deliciously on the skin to dissolve all types of makeup, even waterproof, without drying out the skin. Its balm texture transforms into an oil on contact with the skin, and melts on the face to provide comfort and suppleness. Enriched in Immortelle essential oil, known for its anti-aging properties, and Vitamin E, it leaves the skin looking smoother, clear and luminous.
The second cleansing ritual step of the Immortelle Divine range! The Immortelle Divine Foaming Cleansing Cream effectively removes makeup and impurities while enveloping the skin in comfort with its cream-in-foam texture. On contact with water, this rich cream transforms into a dense, generous foam. When applied to the face, it forms a "cushion" between the skin and the fingers, to cleanse the face without drying or damaging the skin. Easy to rinse, it effectively rids the skin of impurities. Enriched in Immortelle essential oil with anti-aging properties, the Immortelle Foaming Cleansing Cream helps to smooth and revitalize the skin. Perfectly cleansed, the skin regains a feeling of suppleness, looks clearer, feels fresh and glows with beauty. The skin looks clear from impurities, makeup, and traces of pollution. Skin feels fresh and appears more radiant.
3) L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil
NEW FORMULA! Reveal a youthful glow with organic Immortelle essential oil. The Immortelle Divine Youth Oil helps fight visible signs of aging for a skin texture that appears replenished, as if plumped from within. Apply alone or before your moisturizer. Warm a few drops of oil in the palm of your hand, then apply on the face, neck and décolleté. For best results, use in the evening, when the skin is least exposed to environmental stresses and conditions are most conductive to cell renewal.
4) L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Eyes
Our Immortelle Divine Eyes helps to fight the visible signs of aging and enhance the beauty of your eyes better than ever before. This fresh, creamy eye gel helps smooth the appearance fine lines and visibly reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. It combines the organic Immortelle essential oil, rich in active molecules that deliver unique anti-aging beauty results, with a complex of active ingredients from natural origin. Apply morning and evening. Gently dab 2 pumps of cream for both eyes onto the eye contour. Smooth in, working outward from the inner corner of the eye. Discover our application technique specially developed for the Immortelle Divine Eyes on the box insert.
5) L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream
Our best-selling, award-winning Immortelle Divine Cream helps fight visible signs of aging. With a 5th patent pending*, the luxurious, yet miraculously lightweight Divine Cream is now better than ever. It combines the organic Immortelle essential oil, rich in molecules that deliver unique antiaging beauty results, with a complex of 7 ingredients of natural origin to give skin the youthful, radiant glow you've always wanted. * In France
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