I’m breaking this post up into my morning skincare routine and my evening skincare routine but both are quick and easy and don’t take much time out of my day or night.
My Skincare Routine
Morning Skincare Routine
Get ready for a really short skincare routine. Everything below takes less than 90 seconds from start to finish. For me, morning skincare is all about ease, efficiency and prioritizing products I believe make a difference for my skin. Here are the products I use every morning, in order of application.
It’s taken me 38 years to realize I will not wash my face in the morning (unless I take a morning shower). If my plans for the day do not include a workout or a shower first thing, there’s a zero percent chance I’m going to wash my face. That’s where these facial pads come in! I use them every single morning right after I wake up to gently remove dead skin cells, improve skin tone and texture and give my skin a brighter appearance while increasing my skin’s natural cell turnover. They’re the ONLY product I’ve found that I’ll stick with when it comes to morning skin pseudo-cleansing.
Okay this is where I get a little ridiculous. I’ve been a huge believer in vitamin C for skincare for years. It’s a product I swear by because of its ability to brighten skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. I have two vitamin C products I use regularly — one is fancy schmancy and one is much more affordable. NOW Solutions Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid is the less expensive vitamin C product I use and it’s the one I use most often. It’s also the vitamin C serum I’ve been using the longest and believe in wholeheartedly! (Note: NOW is not sponsoring this post but I do have a code for their site if you’d like to use it! PBFINGERS will save you 20% off anything on NowFoods.com all year. I do not receive any commission from purchases made but feel it’s important to note that I love NOW and occasionally partner with them through Instagram collabs.)
A couple times a week, I use SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic which is the vitamin C serum that always seems to get a lot of love from dermatologists and beauty gurus… and the price reflects this 100 percent. It’s basically a bazillion dollars but I was convinced to give it a try after following a dermatologist (@derm.talk) who said vitamin C products are not created equal and said it’s a product she splurges on every time. She highlighted SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic as the most-studied vitamin C serum on the market and called it her “holy grail” and I was sold. I hate to say it, but I have noticed improvement in my skin since incorporating it into my skincare routine, even as minimally as I have. You better believe I am stretching out my billion-dollar bottle as long as possible!
Hailey, my go-to local aesthetician at Meraki Aesthetics (and the woman I trust completely with my skin), highly recommended adding hyaluronic acid into my skincare routine to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. I use it as a moisturizer in the morning and apply it after my vitamin c serum dries. I love the way it makes my face feel plump and hydrated.
Another benefit: It can help reduce scarring and since I’m at the age in life where picking a zit means I’ll have a scar on my face for the rest of my days, I appreciate this benefit a lot!
The love I have for Dr. Brandt’s Liquid Sun Shield Daily Brightening Mineral Sunscreen knows no bounds. This stuff is a dream for your face. It is so smooth and lightweight and DOES NOT feel like sunscreen. We’re talking no thick, sticky mess and it glides over my skin almost like a makeup primer. (Truth be told, I feel like this stuff makes my makeup look even better when I apply it over this sunscreen.) It leaves absolutely NO white cast and goes on completely clear. I am a stickler for wearing sunscreen on my face — something I wish I took more seriously when I was younger — and love the SPF 50 protection from this mineral sunscreen. I even have Ryan and my dad hooked on it, too!
One note: I’ve heard some complaints about the dropper in this one and found this video SO helpful if the dropper in your bottle is giving you trouble.
Evening Skincare Routine
My evening skincare centers are around cleansing and moisturizing before bed. The below products are listed in application order.
It took me a long time to find an evening skincare routine I genuinely enjoy but I’m finally there. I think my lack of enjoyment related to evening skincare centered around washing my face and the pool of water I’d find myself in at the bathroom sink. Enter: ELEMIS Pro Collagen Naked Cleansing Balm. The application process for this cleanser is unique and, to be honest, the whole process feels oddly luxurious and relaxing. (Important note: I prefer the “naked” version of this cleansing balm as it’s unscented.)
To use this cleansing balm, you rub it all over your face and then use a damp wash cloth to wipe your makeup and the dirt of the day away. (It comes with a soft wash cloth for you to use.) There’s zero watery mess around your sink and using this cleansing balm before bed feels nourishing, hydrating and lovely. Applying the balm feels almost spa-like and as someone who finds washing my face tedious, it’s nice to have a product on hand that I genuinely look forward to using at the end of the day. I still prefer regular cleansers in the shower (I regularly rotate between this one, this one and this one) but the cleansing balm is my go-to for washing my face at my sink at the end of the day.
My shower time varies day-to-day depending on workouts and when I can squeeze it in (and whether or not I want to wash my hair — ha!), so the time of day I use one of these cleansers is all over the place. I’m adding it to the evening section of today’s post but I truly grab a shower at any point in the day. If I shower in the evening, I do not use the ELEMIS cleansing balm above but opt to use one of three cleansers in the shower: Botanic Tree Vitamin C Brightening Face Cleanser, Amara Beauty Vitamin C Cleanser or NOW Solutions Clarify & Illuminate Cleanser. I use all of these interchangeably and, perhaps most importantly, I double cleanse in the shower to make sure I get all of my makeup and the dirt of the day off my face. Lately I’ve been reaching for the Botanic Tree Vitamin C Cleanser most frequently (Ryan actually ordered this first when he saw it on sale on Amazon because he knows I’m all about vitamin C for my skin) but I truly love all of the cleansers mentioned and have used Amara Beauty and NOW Solutions cleansers for years.
I double down on hyaluronic acid every day and use NOW Solutions’ Hyaluronic Acid PM Moisturizer before bed every night because why not increase my skin’s exposure to anti-aging products!? Plus, this moisturizer feels like a big gulp of hydration for my skin at the end of the day and I love the way it easily absorbs into my face, neck and chest.
If I had to eliminate every single thing from my skincare routine and could only keep one product, rosehip seed oil would be my winner. It’s been the backbone of my skincare routine for more than seven years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. (You may see a blog post I wrote back in 2016 dedicated to this natural beauty rockstar!) I truly believe this is a gift to my skin (it is known for its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, correct dark spots and hydrate the skin naturally) and the joy I get from rubbing this oil all over my face and neck at the end of the day is on another level. I make myself look like a glazed donut before bed every night and I love it so much. It’s also, hands down, the BEST makeup remover I’ve found, especially when it comes to stubborn mascara and dark eye makeup. Nothing else compares!
While this doesn’t exactly fall in the skincare category, I wanted to mention Beauty By Earth Self Tanner Tanning Drops here as well because I mix them with my rosehip seed oil twice a week before rubbing the combined products all over my face. I love the way the tanning drops give my face a little boost of natural-looking color, especially this time of year when any tan I had over the summer is long gone.
Questions of the Day
Skincare! Let’s talk about it! What does your skincare routine look like? Any “holy grail” skincare products out there to share? I’m also loosely interested in adding a retinol to my skincare routine and would love to hear your recommendations and/or first-hand experience with incorporating retinol into your skincare regimen.