How Adventurous Are You with Your Skin Care Routine?

Published in: Just For Fun, Skin Care

While my tubby tabby was holding down the fort on MBB this afternoon (thank gawd he can type!), I partook of something near and dear to beauty addicts everywhere: retail therapy!


I swung by Sephora to do some therapeutic window shopping and to return a few things. I didn’t expect this, though — when I got to the checkout counter, the cashier told me about something called the Sephora Skincare Challenge. Have you heard about this?

They’re running a rewards program through the end of the year where if you buy four full-size skin care products, they’ll give you another one free! The best part? You don’t even have to buy all four at the same time. If you’re a Sephora Beauty Insider (a free membership, like Borders Rewards), they’ll keep track of your purchases and let you know at the register when you qualify for a freebie.

They let you choose from a few different products. I went with the 6.7oz Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash (a $22 value), which I mostly picked because I think the bottle’s cute (be still my beating heart — is that Helvetica Neue Ultra Light!?).

It’s for exfoliating and cleansing and contains rose hips, chamomile and passion flower, among other less pronounceable things

As soon as I got home I gave it a try, and you know what? It’s not bad! It’s got a light beachy scent, and the little exfoliating scrubbies feel great. I think it’s a solid cleanser, too (hope it doesn’t break me out!). It made my face feel clean after I used it but not tight.

Washing with it I got to thinking about skin care routines and how I don’t really have a rigorous long-term one. There are one or two products I’ve been using for years, like Philosophy Purity Made Simple, but I do try other cleansers, makeup removers and lotions all the time.

How about you? How adventurous are you with your skin care routine? Lemme know…We can swap tips and recommendations in the comments.

How adventurous are you with your skin care routine?

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Sorry I haven’t really been myself lately, but I guess it just happens sometimes… I think I’m starting to feel like my old self again.

Miss you. I hope you’re having a good week.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Keerthi says:

    I’m very acne-prone, so now that I’ve finally found something that keeps my skin clear, I think I’m too nervous to ever stray!
    .-= Keerthi’s last blog post… swatch: nails inc. hollywood =-.

    • Sarah says:

      What did you find, if you don’t mind me asking? I’m acne-prone but it seems that most of the products for acne-prone skin make my skin super, super dry and flakey or really red and irritated 🙁

      • Keerthi says:

        I use a generous amount of’s 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel every night – I find that if I ramped up the dosage gradually and used a gentle scrub a few times a week (I use Alba Botanica Sea Enzyme Facial Scrub) I was able to avoid flaking. For the rare occasions when my skin does flake, I use Cetaphil cream (the kind in the jar).

        For cleansers, I use Cetaphil for Normal/Oily Skin in the a.m. and Basis Sensitive Skin Bar (does a great job of removing m/u) at night. And I should add that I’m on Yasmin, which made a HUGE difference in any hormonal acne I had… the BP took care of the rest.

        I hope that helps! 🙂
        .-= Keerthi’s last blog post… swatch: nails inc. hollywood =-.

  2. Catherine says:

    Aw. Hope you’re feeling better! Retail therapy almost always works for me haha.

    Oooh nice! I really want to participate but Sephora keeps discontinuing all my favorite skincare items (read: DDF sunscreen) so I don’t know if I’ll make enough skincare purchases. I used to be REALLY loyal to my routine, but lately my skin has undergone some changes and I’ve been having a lot of issues with acne, so I’ve been more adventurous in trying to find new stuff that works.
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… FOTD: NARS Torrid & Chanel Egerie =-.

  3. Amy says:

    I don’t know – I would like to stick to products that I like, but if I try new ones, they are either of the brands that I have been using and liking, or the ones which get really good reviews from people. I do really, really love skincare samples though! Right now I am at the point where I have so many samples it is just hard to go through all… sometimes they come in really big sizes!

  4. Lindsay says:

    Aww I hope you feel more like yourself soon!
    .-= Lindsay’s last blog post… Friday Favorites =-.

  5. Kate & Zena says:

    No, no, no , no. NO. I am not adventurous with my skin care. You cannot be adventurous if you have acne-prone super hyper-sensitive combination skin. If it works and I’m not allergic to it, it stays. The worst thing that could happen is if one of my products were continued or didn’t work out.

    I’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty. I basically had a few panic attacks because there was just so much stuff to choose from.

  6. Hyzenthlay says:

    About two or three years ago high stress and the skin care I was using caused my skin to flare into eczema. I hadn’t had eczema before, and it took me quite a while before I went to the Dr. to find out what was going on. I tried a few different lines, but some of them didn’t help my eczema. Then I bought a starter set of Philosophy stuff. For over a year now, I’ve been using their stuff (PMS, MDS, HIAJ (until two weeks ago, when I switched to their newest moisturizer), Help Me (until I ran out and switched to Clinique Even Better Clinical)) and I don’t know that I’ll try any other skin care any time soon. Last July I bought the mega-bottles of PMS and MDS and I’m somewhere between a quarter and a third of the way done with them. They may have cost a lot up front, but MAN, do those things last! I want to buy Amazing Grace body wash and lotion in the same size containers, but I have so many other body care things I can’t bring myself to do it.

  7. I used to try lots of different products on my skin… but since I’ve been on Accutane and my skin’s cleared up, I try and stick to the same products. The stuff I buy is a bit spendy (Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm and Foaming Cleanser, and Shiseido SPF 55+++ lotion), but I know it works for me and I don’t waste time and money trying new things that might make me break out!
    .-= Marilyn @ Lipgloss and Spandex’s last blog post… Booo. It has been a long week. =-.

  8. retail theraphy does wonders! Yeah, I remember getting a couple of emails from them about this, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. I do remember the bright colors and superhero drawings though! I’m pretty set with my skincare routine, so once I find products that work for me I keep using them. I do try new things too because there could always be something better out there, but generally the stuff I use stays the same (quick runthrough of what I can remember: Kose toner (the green one) or Kiehl’s Cucumber toner, Lumene radiant dual serum, still looking for a staple ‘heavier’ moisturizer for winter, Lancome Bienfait sunscreen, I use DHC soap to wash my face and it works great. err I think that’s it)
    .-= makeup morsels’s last blog post… Fave Face Brush =-.

  9. amy says:

    I definitely have items I have used for years and I know it works. They become my stand by skin care regime. I do like to experiment on the side and every once in a while i come across something I love and I would stick to it for a while. I would stick to it for at least a season to test it out to see if the new products work for me long term.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… FOTD Chanel Birds of Paradise Les Ombres À Paupières Quatuor Sheer and Natural Yellow, Green and Orange with MAC Pearlglide Intense Liner Black Line =-.

  10. gio says:

    I’m very adventurous with my skincare routine and like to try new things all the time. I think that may be because I’ve never found anything that worked so well for my skin that made me wanna stick to it yet. There are a couple of products that I keep going back to every now and then though.
    .-= gio’s last blog post… New Collections: YSL Solaris, Laura Mercier Sun Drenched and Stila Summer 2010 =-.

  11. Kim says:

    Well, I said I was not at all adventurous, but then I realized that wasn’t true. I’m actually moderately. I’m acne prone but also have dry patches (and I’m not a spring chicken anymore, so anti-aging is also a concern). I also run daily and if I don’t wash my face immediately before and after, it’s break-out city. All that said, I use Cetaphyl (Normal to Oily, NOT for All Skin Types) in the AM and pre/post workout. It is a bit drying but works fine when following up with moisturizer (Clinque dramatically different is still my fave, but I’m open to suggestions). At night I use St. Ives Timeless Skin Daily Microdermabrasion scrub, which I tried on a whim about a month ago and it has worked out great. I love that it’s a drugstore bargain, especially after years of trying Proactiv, Clinique, Murad, etc. I still find the Proactiv mask to be a good spot treatment and am a fan of occasionally using MaMa Lotion – though it can be pretty drying. I won’t get into the many eye creams I’ve used, mostly since I haven’t found a WOW brand yet. 🙂

  12. Nina says:

    Hang in there, and we miss you too! 🙂

    Im pretty set in my current skin care routine (eg the microfiber cloth and weekly exfoliation and masks) BUT … im open to changing my facial cleanser every so often. Ive always thought its kinda like shampoo – you need to swtich the products around or they will stop working.

    Im currently using Biore Ice blemish fighting cleanser but because I got a sample of the LUSH coal face cleanser, I use that every Wednesdays and during the weekends…. no breakouts so far.

    If I get my car back today, im going to the mall after work to pick up a few essentials. Ill check that cleanser out …. and maybe fall in love with it. I hope I can charm the Sephora SA into giving me a teeny sample! 🙂

    Its good to have you back, K! 🙂

    • Lee says:

      Hey nina, i have 2 say out of all grocery store brands i like biore cleanser the best, ive used it 4 a while b4 but usually only buy it when i run out of my clinique blemish wash and cant get 2 Myer ( our department store ) 2 get clinique…its really good and smells nice and fresh hey 🙂

  13. Emma says:

    my skin is dry, but if overloaded with moisturizer, i break out! its a problem! so i use a heavy night moisturizer, an exfoliator every other day, a gentle cleanser, and a light moisturizer with SPF and salicylic acid for the day. it pretty much works! im always looking for new products though–i just bought a mask that is heaven for breakouts!

    p.s. feel better!! we all have those days 🙂

  14. dallasbrowneyes says:

    Hang in there, Karen! I have been going through a tough time also. We will both make it!!

  15. hey karen 🙂 looks like your week is looking up a little bit! hope you feel better!

    i generally tend to stick with a few things i can’t live without – LUSH celestial & ultrabland, clinique moisture surge extra extended thirst relief (a mouthful, i know), and nivea gentle toner – but i’ll go out and try new things and add them to my routine – recently it’s been burt’s bees radiance eye cream & biotherm aquasource non-stop gel-gream in place of the clinique.

    cha cha says “mrrrrrrow” to tabs <3

    ps – i got lychee luxe and nymphette on your recommendation. LOVE! now that i'm venturing into warmer colors, nymphette isn't so gold anymore – i can say that i'm pretty obsessed. we should form a coalition so that LL, nymphette and prrr never get d/c'd.
    .-= ines + cha cha's last blog post… Product Review: Marcelle Hydra-C Complexe 24h Hydrating Fluid =-.

  16. Resha says:

    That Fab Foaming Face wash has been a part of my daily routine for almost 6 months and you can barely tell. I love how long it lasts and it’s such a gentle yet thorough cleanser. You may fall in love with it as much as I have.
    .-= Resha’s last blog post… Smashbox Giveaway!!! =-.

  17. Jessica says:

    I picked the Bliss cleanser as my reward too. I looove the way it smells!
    Glad to hear your feeling better!

  18. Sandy says:

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. I am new to your blog and really enjoy it. Take Care.

  19. Amber says:

    I like to try new things on occasion, but I’m fairly superstitious about my proven products! I’m cool with trial sizes of new things, but I find it very difficult to commit to a full size of anything I haven’t used before, especially if it is over $15!
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… Smoothie of the week: blueberry whatever =-.

  20. knownever says:

    I actually just reviewed that Bliss face wash and it doesn’t foam! I agree that it still works pretty well but with foaming in the name you would think it would be more pronounced…although i have a theory that the dispenser cap on the full sized bottle contributes to the foaming action, which I didn’t have.
    .-= knownever’s last blog post… Murad’s Lustrous Loser =-.

  21. Frances says:

    I have used Bliss’s fabulous foaming facewash before, and it’s ok. It does not beat my purity made simple.

  22. Marce says:

    Skin care is a difficult subject for me, I’m currently on a dermatologist approved routine since I have such sensitive skin! I’m using Clinique’s soap bar (which is so mild compared to that awful and harsh liquid version) and Avene creams, one for day and one for night. Now I have to start applying warm chamomile compresses too!
    I do try out makeup cleansers, I usually don’t have problems with that. Luckily! 😀

  23. Amanda says:

    (I’m noticing a theme here)–I, too, have finicky, acne prone skin so I don’t change much. On occasion I will try a something new, but I’m pretty cautious, especially with cleaners. I’ve tried lots of eyemakeup removers and acne spot treatments before, and am finally pretty happy with the ones I”m using (Bliss and First Aid Beauty, FYI). That said about the cleaners, I did pick up a travel size Bliss Foaming face wash several months ago and I really like it. I only use it once or twice a week, since it has exfoiliating beads. 🙂 Hope you feel better soon. Don’t feel pressure from “us” (the blog readers)….I think we all know that you are a “real” person, and can’t be up all the time. Everyone has down patches!

  24. Rachel says:

    I break out if I look at the wrong cleanser so I have to stick with ProActiv. I know it’s harsh on my skin, but it’s the only thing that really works for me. I tried using Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple a few months back, and I’ve never broken out so badly. Sad face. I really want to use something less harsh, but alas, it’s not in the cards for me.

    I heard about this skin care challenge a while ago, and unfortunately, because I can’t be very adventurous, I can’t participate (that is unless I want to buy overpriced moisturizers and sunscreens, but I think I’ll skin with my neutrogena and Aveeno poducts for less than half the price!)

    Good luck with the purchases!

  25. Deb W says:

    I’ve been using the oil cleansing method for about a year, and it’s the only thing in my whole life that’s ever kept me from breaking out worse than a teenager. I still break out a little, but it’s under control. (And yes, I saw doctors about it – this works better than prescriptions.)

  26. mkdallas says:

    I’m “of a certain age” so I don’t use any kind of foaming or soapy cleanser; sticking with the old-lady cream cleansers even though I still get the occasional honking big zit. Lovin’ that you swooned at the font on the bottle…you were definitely meant to be a writer, lol! Glad to hear that your days are smoothing out a bit, Karen.

  27. Perri says:

    Just recently I went to Sephora & purchased the kate sommerville 9!! kit and another one of her products. I will have to refill my products so I’ll definitely get the free gift by the end of the year. I just have to make sure that I keep getting good results from the skincare system.
    I tried the Murad system via starter kit about 4 years ago and it was the worst thing I’ve ever done for my skin. I got huge scabby wounds on my face from the combination of medicines in the kit. I went to the dermatologist immediately and got different Rx stuff. My mom uses Murad and loves it, go figure!
    I like to be very careful when choosing products for my skin but I am willing to try new things every couple months.
    .-= Perri’s last blog post… perridactyl: Follow @karenmbb and RT to Win a MAC Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker in Sunset =-.

  28. lexi says:

    Yes, I enrolled in this Skincare Challenge. The first product bought on this challenge: Philosophy’s Help Me retinol serum. Happy to say that it has indeed lighten up my acne blemishes a bit. They haven’t disappered entirely but it’s getting there thankfully. The moisturizer i absolutely adore is Chanel’s Hydra+ line. My skin is uber sensitive (i have rosecea/eczema issues i have to deal with) so if I find something that doesn’t make my face freak out I stick to it like white on rice! Unfortunately the products I just love are the most expensive I’ve ever paid for!

  29. pinky33 says:

    I would love to be more adventurous with my skincare but since I have SUPER sensitive skin (rosacea) I really can’t stray too far from my “old trusties”. I will every once in awhile try something new in an attempt to find some HG products. But only after I stalk the ingredients list. Thanks for letting us know about Sephora’s new program!

  30. Jen says:

    Whoa… that’s a great way to save some cashish! Love it! Lately, I haven’t been too adventurous. Sticking with philosophy mostly, as I’ve been impressed with the results!
    .-= Jen’s last blog post… MAC To The Beach Collection! Summer 2010 Launches on May 28th! =-.

  31. Megan says:

    Karen – you definitely don’t need to apologize …we all have rough times. You will get through it. We’re all pulling for you.

    And I am so not adventurous with my skin care. I’ve used moisture surge for at least 16 years..and the last time I tried something new was about 3-4 years afo when I started using Bliss’ Steep Clean Mask which I use probably once a month and love.

  32. wincy says:

    im on my 3rd jar of nars aqua gel… it’s a mask, but like a lot of ppl, i use it as a moisturizer… a thin layer for humid summer and a thick one for my dryer skin in winter… it’s not the best, but when switching to other ones, i realised i always have to go back to it.. so i guess it’s the best so far… another thing that i have stuck to is benefit’s toner, which is in a pink bottle, i think they are only available in asia and it’s the very very best formula ever!! it’s gel like and go on your skin smoothly and leave it pumped with water and baby soft!! the scent is def an extra too!! as for cleanser, i love my shisedo gentel cleanser, very foamy and gentle!! finally, the ONLY thing i used to remove makeup…bioderma water, the red one… it’s kinda troubelsome compared to cleansing oil.. but it really works wonder.. and since u use cotton pads to wide ur face, u know exactly when ur face is completely makeup-less…

  33. Megan says:

    I am not adventurous in the least as far as my skincare goes! Between my rosacea on the bottoms of my cheeks and my combination-but-mostly-dry skin I’m afraid to stray from the products I know work for me. Thankfully, my go-to brand, Biologique Recherche, has really wonderful face milk cleansers and creams that work perfectly for me :). Every one and a while feel the desire to try something new, but I tend to psych myself out and stick to what I know works.

  34. Gloria says:

    YAY to the skincare challenge!!! I even get GUYS to sign up for Beauty Insider cards since they’re always coming in to buy skincare!

    Ladies, do note that it’s only for facial products – cleansers, treatment (eye cream, serums, etc), moisturizers, and sunblocks over $20. Although some products that are $18ish qualify as well, which confuses me.

    Regardless, it’s such an easy way to get a actual almost-full size product practically for free.


    btw Karen – I saw a girl who looked just like you in the Century City store here in LA. I did a double take, and told the girl to check out MBB to see her twin! LoL
    .-= Gloria's last blog post… March Giveaway!! =-.

  35. Christine says:

    My current skincare routine involves washing my face with dermalogica’s Clean Start – Wash Off, Body Shop’s Seaweed toner, treat my face to a prescription gel (to stop me from breaking out), waiting for that to sink in, and then moisturizing my face with Korres’ Yogurt Cream followed with Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion on any trouble spots. Whew! And that’s just night time! In the morning, I use my Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser and then follow that up with dermalogica’s Clean Start – Welcome Matte SPF15. I follow this with the daily slatherin’ on of the ole war paint.

    I’ve been pretty happy with this routine so far. I just recently started using the Clean Start products that dermalogica has put out. I recently started seeing a dermatologist for my breakouts (I’m 24… I’d really like to stop the acne train and see it cut down to perhaps just plodding along in a horse and buggy) and needed something that wasn’t going to be so harsh. The mattifying agent in the moisturizer didn’t particularly make me matte all day but it did cut down on the frequency in which I had to blot during the day. I know when I am having a huge reaction to something if I start breaking out all over my chin and little bumps start forming (which I know are my pores getting blocked) and that hasn’t happened.

    Another product I really like is the Kiehl’s Daily Pore cleanser. It’s a mild exfoliator so I can use it every day without fearing that it was going to sand my face down. It also foams too so you get that satisfying feeling that you’re cleaning out your face. Ahh… I could go on and on about skincare.

  36. Kat says:

    I really swear by Clinique’s skin care. It works so well for me that I’ve never really been tempted to use anything else!

  37. Adrienne says:

    the fabulous foaming facewash is a pretty good product! although i personally do not use it, i recommend it to clients (i work at Sephora!)
    From personal experience, trying too many things at once isn’t good for your skin for more reasons than one.
    I quite like the Dermalogica line (not sold at Sephora)…you should take a look at Clean Start by Dermalogica which is sold at Sephora…it is for people with mild problematic skin and is good for people with sensitive skin. I’m a fan of it!
    Another line is try is Korres…i am in love with their stuff, especially the mask for oily and dehydrated skin!
    .-= Adrienne’s last blog post… PRETEND-COACHELLA =-.

  38. Michelle says:

    Dermalogica is an Excellent line to look into.

    You can get your online consultation and buy products a Beleze online.

    Well worth the time and outlay.

    Give it a go, your skin is worth it !!!

  39. Jennie says:

    Great product details. I was recommended this face wash by after analyzing my skin type and results are great.

  40. Sarah says:

    I normally love to be adventurous, but I’ve decided within the last week to specifically stop being adventurous for the sake of my temperamental skin! For now, it’s Purpose wash, a 2% BHA/2% AHA toner, basic moisturizer, and SPF 30 (Banana Boat Dri-Blok). Being adventurous is SO much more fun, but my face looks like it has had enough adventure for the time being, so I’m going backwards, I suppose…
    .-= Sarah’s last blog post… meditation for music appreciation sunday =-.

  41. skinsavey says:

    Hey jennie, i was also recommended this cleanser form system! My skin is clear, soft, and the redness is gone. If you are struggling with acne, buy this now, you won’t be sorry!

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