De-Stress With A Skin Care Routine

As college students, stress is something we struggle with. It is part of our human nature and something that’s hard to get rid of; it is what makes us people.

One thing that keeps me grounded after a long, stressful day is my skin care routine. The feeling of literally wiping the day off of me is so refreshing and the products I use make me feel like a brand new person. It feels like I am washing that stress right down the drain.

During winter quarter, dry skin is a huge pet peeve of mine. The weather just kills my skin and brings out the acne that I do not normally struggle with the rest of the year. Even though acne is something we all probably struggle with, it does not define us as people. Part of why I am making this list is because a huge cause for acne is stress, which is why having a daily routine will assist you in avoiding it or stopping it before it gets worse. 

I wanted to put together a list of skin care products that I use and skin care products that will not break the bank either. I have tried to put together products that are for every type of skin, whether it is oily, combination, or dry.

All opinions in this article are my own, and are not product ads or endorsements by CWU Hype or Central Washington University.

Milk Jelly Cleanser
Brand: Glossier
Cost: $9

Don’t let the name brand fool you. Glossier is known for being slightly more on the expensive side, but this cleanser has changed my whole skin care game! You can get it for $9 on Glossier’s website, and it comes in a six ounce bottle. As that might seem pretty small, you only have to use a drop. I usually rub it all over my (dry) face before a shower, and then wash it off while I am there. It is a clear and cool jelly like substance, which goes on your skin so nice and easily. If I want to remove my makeup after I have worn it, I wet my face and then proceed to wash it all off. Depending on how much makeup I wear, I only put on one to two drops of it. It does not leave a residue or glossy feeling, but more of a clean and fresh face. I usually never have to use a makeup wipe with this! This would definitely be a first step in a skin care routine.

Rose, Aloe, and Herbs Water Spray
Brand: Mario Badescu
Price: $7

I promise I wouldn’t lie to you about that price! This spray not only smells so good but it does wonders to your skin. I personally struggle with skin that gets red over everything. Too hot out? Red. Too cold? RED. Too much air in the atmosphere? RED! I have struggled with this my whole life. It’s like my body is trying to turn me into human tomato. After my shower (which also causes my face to get red), I like to spray this bad boy on my face and just let it soak. It feels so refreshing after a hot shower because the water has a cold feeling to it. Rose water is not only good for reducing redness, but it actually is good for healing scars, preventing infections, and get this: relieving a sore throat! I definitely am not telling you to put this spray down your throat as I am not a doctor, but this will be a wondrous product to add into your routine. Aloe is also used to treat sunburn, so putting this in your lake bag is a great option. To shock you even more: This is also a setting spray for makeup! Who would have thought?

Zinc Serum: Super Pure
Brand: Glossier
Price: $28

I will apologize in advance for this price. Thirty dollars is not something we as college students should throw around lightly since we need to eat, take care of ourselves, and use it for textbooks and other college materials. Although, with taking care of ourselves, comes letting ourselves splurge a little. Treating yourself is a big way to relieve some stress throughout the day and doing so is a great way to show ourselves a little loving! Something I like to splurge on food wise is a yummy bowl of Poke and if I want to go beyond that, I buy myself something nice. I purchased this on a whim and I will probably have no problem purchasing it again. On days where I do not want to wear makeup, this is my “foundation.” It gives my skin a dewy look and does not feel oily or heavy. Glossier has multiple different types of serums depending on what type of skin you have. I have combination, so I like to put this on my T-Zone, which is extremely dry.

B-hydra Intensive Hydration Serum
Brand: Drunk Elephant
Price: $48 for a large one, $23 for a gift pack

I was extremely hesitant adding this because of the whopping price tag, but I thought “why not?” because who doesn’t like a face that feels beautifully hydrated? This is another serum I like to put on my face along with my Super Pure because it is a nice mixture of controlling that dry skin and redness that comes with it. It is also smart to buy this in a gift pack because it is so much cheaper and you get a variety of options. If you are going to buy the $50 one, it is worth the money because so much comes with it. Again, treat ‘yo self! Let’s get back to the cheaper skin care products now…

Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Cream Wash
Brand: Neutrogena
Price: $8.49

Our Street Team Coordinator Trevor gave me a recommendation for a great product that is for people who get acne when they are stressed. I know I do! Homework, tests, quizzes, oh my! The acne just literally jumps out of my skin when those due dates pop up. This product is affordable and great for avoiding the days when your skin feels full of dirt and grime. It is always a refreshing feeling to come home from a day in class and to wash all of your worries away.

Rose Water and Collagen Mask
Brand: By Nature
Price: $4.95 for three masks

Collagen is SO good for your skin! We overthink it a lot and I used to be grossed out by it for some reason, but we literally are made of it! Collagen is a huge part in the makeup of our skin and using products with collagen in it, or even taking supplements, is known to slow down aging and repair skin. Stress is also a huge part of aging and there is a lot of stress in college. We tend to pull at our skin, rub our temples too hard, and do other things to ourselves that our skin does not deserve. I wish that we did not have to go through the hardships of life, but they make us better people! We learn and grow from life and learn to better ourselves. This is a great product to use after a day of studying or on a Sunday night when we are putting our armor on for the week. It also causes a good laugh when you look at your silly face in the mirror.

Priming Moisturizer
Brand: Glossier
Price: $22

This. Product. Works. Wonders. To end my skin care routine, I finish off with this product because it hydrates and oxygenates my skin. It works on all skin types and definitely deserves a gold medal for whatever the heck it does to skin on a daily basis. This seriously gets me ready for the day or prepares me for a good night sleep because of its relaxing tendencies and smooth feeling. Am I biased for Glossier products? No, but I recommend them because they work on all skin types and are so gentle. You only have one face, and it deserves to be taken care of.  Also, it is definitely worth the price. I have had mine for about 6 months and I have not made a dent in it. Remember: For a lot of these products, a little goes a long way!

Galaxy Lip Scrub
Brand: Lush
Price: $12.95

Lip scrubs are great for chapped lips during the winter time. I like to finish my routine with this product because it gets rid of all of the dead skin from the wretched chapped lips of a cold winter day. I used to take a medication called Accutane and one of the side effects was MAJOR lip dryness and this lip scrub saved my life. It comes in many different flavors and get this: it’s EDIBLE. Who doesn’t love a good skincare product that you just eat after usage? Plus, for such a cheap price, it actually lasts you a really long time. I got mine around Easter last year and still use it to this day. I would not recommend using it every single day because it is more of an exfoliator, and it could be a little harsh if used too often. Apply your favorite chapstick afterward and finish off your routine.

Indian Healing Clay Mask
Brand: Aztec Secret
Price: $7

This mask is probably something you could do with your roommates late at night, watching Disney+, and getting ready for the weekend. It doesn’t take much to make it, and you’ll be laughing and making Shrek jokes in no time. It needs Apple Cider Vinegar, water, and the mask mix to start you on the road to your pores being squeaky clean. I used this the week before my sister’s wedding and it completely got rid of a breakout that I just could not tackle. It dries out your skin so you will have to apply a moisturizer afterward. It is the cheapest on Thrive Market, so make sure to save some extra dollars and purchase it from there instead. 

Witch Hazel
Brand: Thayers
Price: $8.49

This is a great product to put on a pimple or zit to dry it out. It smells so good and toner should be added to your routine for so many reasons. Toner is known to remove environmental toxins that we come in contact with everyday and invade our pores. It is good to clean these out as they cause breakouts and blackheads. It also causes your pores to shrink so you can remove dirt and shrink your pores. Also, why not add another product that smells like beautiful red roses? 

I hope you have gotten some ideas of what you could possibly add to your routine or use to start a routine! It took me forever to figure one out and it was definitely something that I had a lot of trial and error with. What is so fun about developing a routine like this is that is causes us to learn a little more about ourselves. Taking care of ourselves is  HUGE because we deserve to unwind and relax after a stressful week/day is key to avoiding a lot of health issues like stress and anxiety. Both of those are NORMAL, but controlling it and doing tasks that help keep us busy and stress free will be so good for us in the long run. I hope you found some tips that could possibly help you start somewhere and start on the road to a healthy lifestyle! 

For other self-care tips or ways to reduce stress, we recommend stopping by the CWU Wellness Center in SURC Room 139. They have professionals on staff that can provide you with tips to de-stress. They also host Mindful Mondays throughout the quarter where students can participate in activities that help with mindfulness. Past activities have included making gratitude journals, stress balls and lavender-scented heating packs.


BIO: Samantha is a Junior at CWU and is studying Digital Journalism. She loves to make charcuterie boards, play video games, watch Star Wars and ski. She is a Street Team Coordinator at CWU Hype.