Ok, I have to admit that my headline is a bit misleading here as I haven't actually done any Marie Kondo-ing in my own household. The idea of narrowing down my over crowded beauty products bin simply does not bring me joy. But, if I was to be a good little organizer, these are the five face products (all purchased locally) that bring me joy day in and day out, and would absolutely be worth saving from any theoretical cleanse.
As much as I wish I could get facials every month, it isn't in the cards on a journalist salary. But these one-minute exfoliating pads sure are. Use on clean, dry skin. The pads are made with glycolic and salicylic acids to help cleanse/reduce pores and minimize fine lines, but the chamomile and lavender are soothing so that your skin isn't left raw and red after exfoliation. The pads leave your skin looking dewy and feeling tingly (in that good, clean kind of way), smooth and firm. While I typically use these pads at night after I've cleaned my face, I love that they are gentle enough to be used before you put your makeup on without having to worry about having red, aggravated skin. These are gentle enough to be used daily, but I would work up to that; I typically aim for three-four times weekly.
Available in all Bluemercury stores and online; $28 (10 treatments), $62 (30 treatments), $110 (60 treatments)
Now I've used a loooooot of masks in my time, and this is the only one I'll ever need again! Before you freak out, this is not one of those charcoal masks that peels off your face and leaves you screaming like a banshee. Simply apply it to clean and damp skin (put a warm washcloth over your face first to open the pores), let it dry for 15-20 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water. The bamboo charcoal in the mask absorbs oil on the skin to improve dull looking skin, while the white China clay flushes out toxins and dirt to cleanse/reduce pores. My skin has never felt as smooth, soft and supple as it does when I use this mask. I aim to use this mask once a week, and typically try and align it with whatever night I take a bath, so that it has time to fully sit on my skin.
Available at Sephora or Ulta stores, and online; $13 for 1 oz and $26 for 2.5 oz
The next three products I fished out of a long-forgotten gift bag from some event as I was purging before a recent move and thank goodness I did as they've radically changed my skincare routine. I've had multiple people, friends and strangers alike, compliment me on my skin lately (not something that has ever happened to me before) and the only thing I've changed are using these three products daily. First up, this lightweight facial oil is infused with ginger root, sunflower oil and tamanu oil, and using just a few drops every morning will brighten dull skin and even out patches of redness on the cheeks. The antioxidants will also protect your skin from free radicals. For those hesitant to use an oil, don't worry, it is lightweight and does not leave your skin feeling greasy. I use this oil daily on clean, dry skin a few minutes before I want to apply my makeup.
Available at Kiehls and Sephore stores, and online; $47 for 1 oz, $73 for 1.7 oz and $123 for 3.4 oz
The best part of this nightime facial oil is the smell! The lavender essential oils and the primrose instantly make me feel sleepy and help me wind down for the night. Similar to the previous oil, this product will smooth and firm skin and boost radiance overnight. You'll definitely want to be posting all kinds of #WokeUpLikeThis selfies when you see your new glowing skin. Again, it is a lightweight product and absorbs easily so you don't go to bed with sticky feeling skin, but remember that just a few drops goes a long way. This should be used at the end of your nightime skincare routine, on clean, dry skin and can be used alone or in combination with your moisturizer.
Available at Kiehls and Sephore stores, and online; $27 for .5 oz, $49 for 1 oz, $75 for 1.7 oz and $125 for 3.4 oz
Finally, we have a Vitamin C serum. I was never much of a serum girl until I actually started using one regularly and saw the results for myself. My biggest skin issues have always been discoloration/redness on the cheeks, dull looking skin and enlarged pores. Serums help with almost all of those. I know you're supposed to start using anti-aging products around 25, but I probably didn't regularly use any until around 28, so I have three years to make up for. I love this serum because I can gradually see it reducing my light forehead lines, while simultaneously giving my skin an improved texture. I aim to use this serum twice daily -- in the morning with the reviving concentrate and at night with the recovery concentrate.
Available at Kiehls and Sephore stores, and online; $22 for 15 ml, $65 for 50 ml, $84 for 75 ml and $107 for 100 ml