My Affordable Skincare Routine & Giveaway!

I get asked a lot about my skincare routine. I'm 43 and my skin is clear most of the time, but I do get pimples and breakouts, either due to trying out new products or hormones (I'm guessing). You would think at this age breakouts would be done with, but they just don't ever seem to go away. I used to exclusively use Derm Exclusive which was from Beachbody, however the line has been discontinued and I was left trying to replace my entire routine. I loved that did wonderful things for my skin and it truly looked better than ever with minimal product. I've tried quite a few things trying to replace the steps and while I went through some hits and misses, I have a fairly consistent routine now, although I'm still trying to find a good eye cream, so if you have one you love, please feel free to leave a comment below. Keep in mind, these are all more affordable products - no high end stuff. Everything can either be found at the drugstore, Walmart, Costco or Amazon. My skin is combo/oily with the occasional dry patches.

1. Cetaphil - a drug store standard. I always saw this on the shelf and never tried it out, being swayed by the flashy new products always coming out. Once I finally gave this a try, I was pretty much hooked. It's simple and no-nonsense. Ingredients are minimal, there's not really a scent and you can use it with water or without (I use with). It's a fairly thin consistency and doesn't foam up, but it does feel gentle on the skin while still leaving it feeling clean with no residue. I buy the big 1L jug with a pump at Costco for only $16.99. It does go on sale every now and again, so chances are you can snag it for even less. If you want a smaller bottle, 500ml at is 13.57 or at Target for $9.49.

2. OZNaturals Ocean Mineral Facial Cleanser - I haven't strayed from Cetaphil in a couple of years but I was swayed a bit into testing this one out. This face wash claims to help eliminate breakouts while nourishing the skin with a rich combination of ocean minerals and spirulina without stripping your skin. I really liked the scent and it's made in Canada, so I decided to give it a try. I've been using this for a couple of weeks and I actually really like it. The consistency is similar to Cetaphil but it feels a little smoother going on the face. As I mentioned, it does have a scent which I think might be a love it or hate it one, but I actually really enjoy it. To me it smells fresh and I enjoy using it on my skin. OzNaturals claims to be 99% all natural, cruelty free and cold pressed, which they say is better for your skin. So far I'm liking it and have been using it consistently with no breakouts or irritation. You can find it on for $20.11.

3. Kirkland Makeup Wipes - I will admit to this...I'm sure there are better makeup wipes out there, but you really can't beat the value of the Kirkland brand makeup wipes. These get a fair amount of use in our house between myself, my 23 year old daughter and my tween daughter. They are great for quickly taking off makeup, especially when travelling. The wipes take off all my makeup easily and they don't irritate my eyes or my skin. I get no breakouts from them and I also love that the box has normal sized packages for home use and also provides two smaller packages for travel. These do leave behind some residue, but it doesn't seem to affect my skin. When at home I follow with micellar water (more on that coming) to remove any traces, but when travelling (or lazy), I haven't had any issues just following up with my normal creams. A box is about $20 at Costco, but you can usually snag these on sale for $15.99.

4. Garnier Micellar All in 1 Cleansing Water - The bottle says this is for all skin types including sensitive. It's supposed to remove makeup, clean and soothe with no rinsing. I love this stuff. It's actually fairly new to my routine, but I don't know what I did without it. My skin has been changing lately. I think just from aging and I've been finding myself oilier than usual. I find I use this a lot in the mornings in place of cleanser for a quick pick me up and it's nice and gentle on my skin. While I almost always wash my face at night, if I'm tired and I know it's not going to happen, this is something quick I can do, so I at least know I have a clean face. I really can't say enough good things about this micellar water. If you tend to wear a lot of waterproof makeup, you can also look at the blue bottle instead. You can find this almost anywhere - drug store, grocery store or Walmart for around $7.99 in Canada or $6.49 in the US.

5. Eco Tools Konjac Sponge - I use this to wash my face instead of a regular facecloth or sponge. This sponge is made from natural konjac root and you can find it just made simply with that or with added bamboo charcoal which is good for a deeper clean, those with oily skin or even those prone to acne. I've used both and most recently have been using the charcoal one to help with my oiliness. The sponge is hard and rough, but as soon as it soaks in water it becomes soft and gentle, while still exfoliating your skin with each use. There are different brands available. I've been using Eco Tools lately because I was lucky enough to find some on clearance at our local store. In Canada, one will run you about $8 - $12 and in the US they are less expensive at about $3 - $5.

6. Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream - They have two different formulas - one for dry skin and the one that I use for combo/oily skin. This is an inexpensive product, but I love the way that this feels on my skin. I use this in the mornings after cleansing and it feels light and cool on the skin. It soaks in quickly and doesn't leave my face feeling oily or greasy at all, even throughout the day. I find that this gives me a nice boost of moisture that also works great underneath my primer and foundation. In Canada this is about $10 and in the US, it runs just over $6.

7. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Advanced Time Complex Capsules - This is part of my skin routine before bedtime. These are little capsules that you twist open to squeeze out an oily serum. This does feel quite oily going on your skin and it doesn't seem to soak in, even if you leave it for a few minutes. This actually worried me the first time I used these, as it was my first time using an oil of any type. As soon as your put your normal moisturizer or night cream on though, it soaks right in. I've found this really helps give my skin a boost of moisture at night without looking or feeling overly greasy. This is crazy expensive to buy through Elizabeth Arden and I know I said this was affordable. I buy these at Costco in a 2 pack (60 capsules each) for $34.99, which is a really great value for what you're getting.

8. Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex - This is the cream I use at bedtime following the serum capsules. To be honest I'm not a fan of the scent. It does remind me a bit of a 'grandma' type cream smell, but the truth is, I can tell the difference in my skin when I don't use this. This cream really helps lock in the serum and moisturize my skin. It gives me a good moisture boost, which even us oily skinned girls need. I find I don't need a lot of it to fully moisturize my face and neck and it lasts me a while. I also buy this at Costco in a 2 pack, which costs $39.99.

9. Kirkland Borghese Intensive Eye Serum - This is what I have been using the last few months, so I wanted to include it, BUT I don't really recommend it. It's a nice feeling cream. It doesn't irritate my eyes at all (which is a big thing for me as my eyes are fairly sensitive). It's smooth and a nice weight and soaks in well. Initially I thought my eyes were nice and moisturized, but after using this for a while, I've noticed that my under eyes have really just dried out, which in turn just emphasizes fine lines and wrinkles, which is the LAST thing you want from your eye cream! This was about $24.99 for a 2 pack at Costco.

10. Taza Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask - I can't even tell you how much I love this mud mask. I use it once per week - usually Monday or Tuesday while I read in the bath. I find a little goes a long way as well. I only scoop out a small amount and leave a thin layer across my face by gently rubbing in circles and then use the remainder on my neck. I read for about 20 minutes while it dries down and then gently wash it off with my konjac sponge. You can feel it tightening and drying down, but it doesn't feel overly tight like some masks do. The Taza Mud Mask is made in Canada, cruelty free and 99% natural. It has ingredients such as dead sea mud, kaolin clay, shea butter, grapeseed oil, papaya extract and more. While this is good for all skin types, my combo/oily skin just loves this mask. It feels like a 'reset' for my skin each week. It really feels as if all the junk was just pulled from my skin, leaving softened and refreshed skin. I follow this with my evening skin care routine. You can find this on Amazon for $22.99.

11. Taza Microdermabrasion Scrub - This is such an important step that many people skip. If you find you have dry, flaky patches or your foundation isn't sitting right or your skin is looking dull, exfoliating helps with that. This comes in a small jar, but I just have to use the smallest amount of it. It's a thick, white moisturizing cream with small pumice granules to exfoliate the skin. I very gently and slowly use circular motions across my face for a few minutes, making sure to get everywhere. The important things with a scrub like this is to use gentle pressure and go slow so you don't damage the skin. Make sure to keep it away from your eyes, even when washing it off. I again use my trusty konjac sponge to gently wash it off. Even after using this for months, I'm still always surprised at how soft my skin feels afterwards. I usually do this once a week on Thursday or Friday - so a couple of days after using the mud mask. You can use it a couple of days a week, but I wouldn't recommend more than that as you can start damaging the skin and achieve the opposite effect you're going for. I follow this with my bedtime skin routine, making sure I use the serum capsules for extra hydration. You can find this on Amazon for $17.99.

12. Loreal Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads - I mentioned above how important exfoliation is. In addition to a physical scrub once I week, I've been trying out these peel pads. I was using the Derm Exclusive ones up until recently, so I don't have too much of an opinion on these ones yet since I've only been using them a couple of weeks. I do know that I like the Derm ones better, BUT those aren't available anymore and I did really feel I needed a replacement for them. I notice a difference in my skin almost immediately if I don't use them. The pads contain glycolic acid which helps reveal new skin and stop you from looking dull and uneven. I use these every other day (not on days that I use the mask or scrub). If needed, you could use them every day, but I find this gives my skin a good balance. If I overdo it, I can start to feel like I'm drying out - even with oily/combo skin. These are about $14 at Walmart Canada or $17 at Target (US). This is for 30 pads, so it will last you at least a month or two months if you use them like I do.

13. Milani Keep it Sweet Lip Scrub - I didn't want to forget the lips! Exfoliating your lips can be an important step, especially if you wear lipstick or liquid lips. It makes for better application and a smoother look. Lip scrubs are easy to make yourself with just a few ingredients, but if you want to pick one up, I do like the Milani Lip Scrubs. They are nice and balmy, so you feel moisturized still and it helps to move around the sugar and give you a nice, gentle exfoliation. The flavour is simply amazing too, with a vanilla so yummy, it will make you want to lick your lips! I use this once or twice a week and use a good lip balm afterwards. I couldn't find an online link for this in Canada, but you can pick it up at some Walmart locations. In the US, you can grab it at Target for around $8.

And now for our GIVEAWAY!! While this post wasn't sponsored in any way, the nice folks over at Priya Spa that make the amazing Taza Naturals Skincare products have provided me with $30 gift certificates to give away to 6 people to use on selected products (including some of my faves) over on

There are two ways to win - either on Facebook or Instagram (or both for extra chances to win). I will be giving away 3 prizes on Facebook and 3 on Instagram.

FIRST way to enter:

1) Visit and 'LIKE' my The Raving Redhead Facebook page

2) LIKE the Taza Giveaway post, COMMENT which Taza product you are looking forward to trying out (you can find their store HERE) and TAG 2 friends. You can enter multiple times by tagging extra friends, but they must be on a separate comment (each 2 friends is one entry).

3. ALL of these steps must be completed for an entry.

SECOND way to enter:

1) Visit and 'FOLLOW' me on Instagram @theravingredhead

2) LIKE the Taza Giveaway post. COMMENT which Taza product you are looking forward to trying out (you can find their store HERE) and TAG 2 friends. You can enter multiple times by tagging extra friends, but they must be on a separate comment (each 2 friends is one entry).

3. ALL of these steps must be completed for an entry.

You can enter on both Facebook and Instagram for more chances to win! Contest closes December 26, 2017 at midnight EST. Winners will be notified December 27, 2017. Gift certificates must be redeemed online by December 31, 2017. The Raving Redhead and Priya Spa/Taza are not responsible if gift certificates are not redeemed in time. Gift Certificates must be redeemed on on specified Taza products. This contest is open to Canadian residents only and is not affiliated with Amazon, Facebook or Instagram.

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© 2017 by The Raving Redhead & Allyson Grabish.

Ontario, Canada