• carson presley

Self-Care Routine: Quarantine Edition

Hi there!! For anyone who is new to my blog, let me introduce the whole crew here. I’m Carson Presley, and I write the content behind Girls & Dogs, Oh My. I’m graduating college this May (err--sort-of, just not traditionally because of the Coronavirus).

The luckiest person in the world, I have two adorable Labradoodles! Scout, who is two-years-old, and Ryder, who is just 9-weeks-old. My better half, Spencer, is the most amazing dog mom who helps me keep a handle on our two wild fur babies.

Together, we love traveling. We love packing up our Jeep and exploring new places. We’re also (until recently) first-time dog owners. In other words, we’re young and make a lot of mistakes--which is where the inspiration for this blog came from!

I want to be able to share all of our journeys and dog mom lessons with you all--especially our mistakes--so that you all can have the best possible experiences.

Every Monday I post new content with our latest adventure, traveling advice, dog mom tips and tricks. Sometimes I post more than just Mondays, so make sure to look out for the bonus content ;)

Good morning, angels!

Today we’re going to start off with a couple quick facts about your skin that you probably didn’t know!

~Your skin begins to age once you turn 20-years-old. Yes, 20-years-old. At age 25, your collagen levels begin to decrease. But what is collagen? Where does it come from? Do I need supplements?

All good questions!

Collagen is the primary protein that makes up connective tissue (which includes skin) and makes up about one-third of the total proteins in your body. Awesome.

When you eat produce and protein-rich foods, you are setting yourself up for success with regards to collagen! Here are a couple reasons why:

~Your body takes the produce and protein-rich foods and breaks them down into amino acids, which your body then breaks down into collagen.

~These foods also provide your body with antioxidants! These help your body fight off the stress that produces wrinkles.

The science behind collagen supplements varies from source to source. You should consult your doctor, dermatologist, or other medical professional to determine if collagen supplements are right for you!

That being said, some studies claim that collagen supplements do have health benefits! Some of these benefits include increased skin health as well as increased hair and nail health!

Taking collagen supplements may reduce dry skin as well as increase the elasticity of your skin. It may also increase the strength of hair and nails while encouraging faster growth.

If you and your medical professional agree that collagen supplements may be the right option for you, there are a bunch of options, including these, these, and these.

Now that we know what collagen is, let’s keep learning about our skin!

~Sleeping in a position that results in your face resting on the pillow all night can cause premature wrinkling as well. If you normally sleep on your side or stomach, try switching to sleeping on your back!

~Sun damage begins to show relatively early in life, making it vital that you wear sunscreen on your face! There are countless options of face sunscreens--the key is that they are at least SPF 15 or higher.

~When it comes to skin aging, nurture outweighs nature! That’s right--sun damage and your daily habits have a greater influence on your skin aging than your genetics do.

This is a huge part of the reason why it’s so important to take care of your skin!

Last quick note before jumping into my daily skin routine!

If you’re unsure what type of skin you have, read through this article and double check!

Knowing your skin type is important so that you can choose the type of cleansers, lotions, and other products you need based off of your skin.

I have fair, normal/combination skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, so I can use pretty much any product and not have a seriously adverse reaction. I do have break-outs occasionally, but they’re normally due to diet and lack of water intake.

With that, let’s jump into my daily routine!

Morning Routine

Up until recently, I would rinse my face every morning, then continue through my normal routine. I stopped rinsing my face in the mornings and started at the next step...

I'm joking, I don't actually do this. But if you do that's ok too, go ahead and do it girl.

1. Toner!!

If you are not using toner, YOU NEED TO.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you especially need to listen up! Toner helps to do an extra cleanse of your skin, which may help clear up your breakouts.

Aside from simply cleansing your skin, there are countless other benefits!

~Toner shrinks your pores, which helps protect it against impurities you might encounter throughout the day.

~It helps to balance your skin’s pH levels.

~It refreshes your skin.

~It helps prevent ingrown hairs.

Like I said--countless!

What I use:

There are two different toners that I use regularly. I have used them for years and they have never done me wrong. They are highly rated everywhere!

~Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner for $6, 8.5 fl oz

I love this because it doesn’t dry my face out at all. As I said before, I have combination skin, so any overuse of products can throw my skin off balance. This product is amazing because I can use it every day without it causing any sort of dryness or greasiness!

~Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner-Rose Petal for $8, 12 fl oz

I also love this product! It makes my skin feel so clean and it’s as though I can literally feel my pores shrinking. Some people don’t like this, but I personally love it.

If I use this once or more every day for an extended period of time, I do experience some dryness; however, nothing severe.

They are both worth the price because they are high quality and will last you for forever. I use them daily and I seriously don’t know the last time I bought either one of them.

They're also super easy to use.

I use a cotton round, pour some of the product onto the surface, then wipe it around my face. That easy.

I would recommend letting it dry completely (about 30 seconds) before moving onto the next step.

2. Eye cream

Isn't this only for old people? Nope!

The skin around your eyes is ten times thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, which means it can dry out much more easily.

This is the one I use, and I love it.

It's $13 per tube, and completely worth it.

I have zero complaints about this product. It seems expensive for how much you are buying; however, it lasts you months. One tube has lasted me for around 8 or 9 months!

You just put some around your eyes and gently rub in. It is a super light product so you don’t even notice that you put any product on.

3. After I put toner and eye cream on, I'm ready to put on some lotion!

Lotion is a MUST. It is most important to moisturize after you shower and/or wash your face because the water (especially hot water) and face wash strip the moisture and oils off of your skin.

Rehydrating your skin helps protect it against the environment as well as aging.

I use CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion. I use it every single day so I buy the 12 oz container.

St. Ive's and Nivea used to be my go-to lotion; however, a friend introduced me to this last summer and I'm still obsessed with it! I have had less breakouts since I started using it and it makes my face so soft.

4. Sunscreen

After you put lotion on, you need to put some sunscreen on and protect your skin against UV Rays! Your skin is constantly exposed to the sun--yes, even on cloudy days. The UV rays still touch your skin and leave you at risk for sunburn and cancer.

Putting on a light face sunscreen at the beginning of your day will help prevent the harmful effects of UV radiation.

I have used Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen for about five years now and have never switched. It is light, has a clean smell, and doesn't make me break out.

There are a wide variety of SPF levels available that you can choose, including 30-100+. I use SPF 45 because I am rather fair-skinned.

If you're wondering what SPF you should choose--or you're considering going for the 100+ because you think it will make you bulletproof, let me drop some SPF facts quick.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and measure the approximate duration of protection against UV rays. It is a common misconception that SPF 100+ makes your skin impenetrable.

The truth is that SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays.

So what does this mean for you?

A couple things. To choose the SPF level that is right for you, you need to consider some different factors. For instance, if you have a deeper skin tone, you don't need as high of an SPF level as someone like myself, who is fair-skinned.

Also consider how often you will actually reapply the product! I only put it on once a day unless I am intentionally going to be spending an extended amount of time outside. This applies less in the winer months, when the sun here hides.

For example, last summer I spent a couple weeks in Texas and had to reapply my face sunscreen in the middle of the day to prevent burning. When I was in Texas in the winter, I didn't need to reapply during the day.

It may seem confusing or complex or even just a lot of information. But until you find out what product is perfect for you, it's better to start somewhere and adjust as needed!

The most important part of protecting your skin is simply to just start!

Before we move into the nighttime routine, let's take a moment to debunk some common myths about your skin!

Night Routine

I shower every single night and almost always make sure to use face wash!

After being exposed to a variety of bacteria and pollutants throughout the day, it's important to cleanse your skin with some sort of face wash.

Using a face wash that exfoliates your skin will help remove impurities and keep you glowing every day!

My current favorite is St. Ives Energizing Coconut & Coffee Scrub. It's only $5 but is high quality.

If you don't like a deep exfoliator, there are different smells with a lower level of exfoliation.

After I get out of the shower, I repeat my morning routine of toner, eye cream, and lotion, except we add a step!

Before putting my lotion on, I add a couple drops of Vitamin C serum! Why, you ask? Because...

~remember our friend collagen? Vitamin C helps promote the production of collagen!

~it helps protect against sun damage.

~it reduces the dark circles under your eyes and overall discoloration.

~it hydrates your skin and helps you glow!

This one is amazing.

It is $13 but so worth it.

I didn't do research before picking this one out (rookie mistake), so when I got home I decided to look into the product. The first review I read was absolutely horrible.

She hated the product. I was scared.

I read a couple more reviews and literally all of them are outstanding. I was hesitant but I had already taken the seal off of the product so it was too late.

I mixed in two drops with my lotion and rubbed it in. I couldn't feel any difference immediately--no tightness and no oiliness, so we were off to a good start.

In the morning, I noticed a dramatic difference in my skin! My skin looked so supple and dewey--I loved it. I continued to use two drops every other night.

Extra mix-ins

Although I've walked you through my normal skin routine, there are extra things I do throughout the week to help support healthy skin!

One of the most common things I do is use face masks. I don't use anything fancy, I normally just pick up a few from Target whenever I go. Que Bella is a great brand and the majority of what Target carries.

They're only $2-3 per mask, so you can pick up a couple before your next spa day!

I personally do face masks about 2 times per week, so buying the masks as singles can get expensive. I opt for a container of face mask instead, to keep the price down a little.

I've rotated through a couple different masks--some fo them I love, others I don't recommend! My top recommendation is this mask, and the only mask I would strongly recommend against is this one.

The Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Bright & Radiant Face Mask is only $13 and lasts you for at least 10 applications! It is a rinse-off mask, not a peel off mask, but I love it. It helps make your skin glow almost immediately!

I don't recommend the face mask from Yes to Tomatoes for a couple reasons. I initially chose that one because I thought the application would be easy and that it would make for an awesome quick in-shower mask.

I was rather disappointed.

To put the mask on, you squeeze the bottle and rub it all over your face--easier said than done. I didn't have any adverse effects once it was on (no burning or anything), which was nice.

It claims to be a peel-off mask, but definitely is not. I rinsed it off and it took forever. Within days I started breaking out. I read other reviews to see if I was the abnormality, but I wasn't.

Most people had the same issues I did and mentioned that it took forever to dry and forever to peel off.

I would save your money and stick with a more highly rated product.

Deep Conditioner

All my long-haired angels this is for you!!

I have had long hair for practically my whole life and have become rather protective of it. I use a deep conditioner twice per week to make sure all my locks stay hydrated!

There are deep conditioners with varying purposes, from hydrating to repairing damage from heated styling tools. If you have color-treated hair, it is especially recommended that you use a deep conditioner to help maintain healthy hair.

I don't have a go-to deep conditioner to be honest. I normally just pick up a random one whenever I go to the store. I currently use Garnier's Whole Blend Honey Treasures Mask.

I have heard outstanding reviews about Olaplex and their products, so I'm tempted to try their mask next. Their hair mask is the Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3.


Y'all are NOT READY for how much I'm about to change your lives.

About two years ago, I tried out Jergen's Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer and loved it! I wasn't ready to commit to a real self-tanner but also wanted a little color on my skin. If this is you, then this is a great option for you!

It's super easy to apply and you really can't mess it up. You simply rub an even layer across your entire body after showering but before drying off. Then you can dry off and continue your day or night as normal.

Fast forward two years and I decided to try a self-tanning mouse...and I fell in love.

I stayed with Jergen's and tried out their Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mouse. I love this product and recommend it for every single beginner self-tanner out there. You can mess this one up if you don't apply it correctly, but it is also forgiving if you aren't an expert yet (me!)

Their mouse is only $11 and is rated around 4.5 stars everywhere you look!

Courtesy of Whitney Simmons, I ordered a new self tanner. It is the Dripping Gold Luxury Tanning Mousse by Sosu! It is $24 but she swears by it and I trust her.

With 'Rona still hanging around, shipping times are delayed so I'm still waiting on it to come in the mail, but I'll give you angels an update as soon as it gets in!

As I mentioned earlier, self-tanner can become very problematic very fast if you are unsure of how to properly apply it.

If you've never put on self-tanner, get ready to take some notes. Without applying self-tanner properly, you can end up...well...

So how do we avoid this?

1. Exfoliate!

Get in the shower, grab a pair of these nifty gloves or your favorite exfoliating scrub, and start exfoliating.

Exfoliate head to toe. Wash away all that dry and dead skin.

2. Shave.

Shave whatever you normally shave, head to toe.

3. Shower

Do your normal shower routine! Face wash, deep condition, watch YouTube videos and play WordScapes.


Yes, go back and re-exfoliate! I do this just to make sure that I have completely cleaned off all of the products from my skin.

5. Moisturize.

I use Jergen's Wet Skin Moisturizer. It's the same as their tanning moisturizer, just without the tanning aspect! Just rub it on when your skin is still wet, dry off, and you're good to go!

Once I'm dry, I apply my CeraVe lotion to my armpits, elbows, bikini line, knees, and ankles. You want to apply lotion in areas that get dry very easily, such as these.

If you don't give those areas a little extra love, they will absorb all of the tanning mouse and be orange or discolored in comparison to the rest of your body.

6. Applying self-tanner

This is the super important part!

When applying self-tanner, you want to begin at your legs and work upwards. If you go from head to toe instead of toe to head, you will get creases on your stomach when you bend over. Yikes!

Start by using a tanning mitt. This will keep your hand from turning orange. Put one pump of mouse onto the mitt and rub it into your skin evenly.

Repeat this process in this order:

~legs (don't forget those glutes!), stomach, lower back, upper back, chest, arms~

When I go through this process, I bring the product all the way up to my jawline so that I don't have any weird lines on my neck or chest!

Read the instructions for the specific tanning mouse you use. Some of them require a short drying time (60 seconds for my Jergen's mouse!) and others require a little more time.

You want to ensure the product has fully dried before you put clothes on so that you can prevent the mouse from rubbing off.

7. Get dressed.

Now that your new tan has dried, put on some full length, dark, loose clothes! I normally use self-tanner before bed so that I can throw on some old pajamas and head to bed.

If you have white or light-colored sheets, I would advise wearing pants and long-sleeve shirt. Some of the product will rub off in bed and you don't want to stain your sheets!

8. Time to tan your face!

If you have never self-tanned before, I'll fill you in on a little secret: you don't want to put your body mouse on your face... ever... trust me.

Instead, you want to snag some face tanning drops. I use the "THE FACE Illuminating Self-Tan Drops" by Tan-Luxe and they are insane! I love them. I'm obsessed.

The bottle is $50, but seriously worth it. Why? Because the bottle will last you an incredibly long time. Seriously, you use 2 drops every couple days--that's it. If the price is the only thing stopping you, don't let it.

I mix two drops of the product into my normal CeraVe lotion and evenly moisturize my face. They don't make you feel oily or greasy and the product has almost a raspberry smell!

I would start with a small amount of product the first couple times you use it, then add more later if you need to. I do rinse my face the morning after I put the tanning product on just to rinse off any extra that didn't soak in.

Then apply your toner, lotion, and sunscreen and you're ready to go!

Teeth Whitening

I love coffee. I mean I love it. But, I have noticed my teeth slowly becoming stained as time goes on. Not horribly, but I notice it and it bothers me.

I've used Crest Whitening Strips sporadically throughout the last couple years, but not consistently and monthly like you're supposed to, which brings me to my personal review of them!

They are super easy to use. You open the individual pack, peel off the top strip, apply it, and repeat for the bottom strip.

For the first week of using them, you repeat this process daily for 30 minutes. After that, you repeat the process for one hour every month for 6 months.

I personally do not prefer this set up. They are user-friendly but very easy to forget about as time goes on. I also didn't notice an extreme difference in the color of my smile, which was disappointing.

They are not a bad product and I wouldn't recommend against them, but I probably will not be spending money on them anymore.

Instead, I have turned to whitening that uses LED lights! I found Novashine through social media and was hesitant at first. Like I mentioned, I'm very obsessive over my teeth and I don't want to do any damage.

So I did some research. Their product uses LED lights, which are safe for your teeth. People also have not reported any sensitivity when using the product, which is a bonus.

I ordered their Whitening 3 Month Supply Bundle (Kit & Refill). It's normally $90 but is currently on sale for $73.99. When you sign up, they give you 10% off on top of that! Basically I lucked out with the timing of this purchase.

They have super cute his and her bundles (none for the gays and non-straights for now, but we can hope for the future).

I'll definitely be reviewing the product so check back here or check out my Instagram!

Taking care of your skin is an investment--literally and figuratively. The cost of products may seem daunting at first, but they are worth it. Investing in quality products that protect your skin will save you a lot of money later and help you feel more beautiful along the way!

Did you guys try out any of the products or my routine? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo, carson

About Carson Presley

I'm a dog mom of two and travel enthusiast! I graduated from college this year and am running this blog part-time while I start my new career.

Read More or shoot me an email!

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