After many years of bad skin and good skin, and spending way too much money on skincare, I wanted to share my favorite beauty products that I use in my morning and night routines. Because for me, good skincare is self-care.
I used to have absolutely awful skin. Like cystic acne as well as small whiteheads all over my skin. And it was awful. I would have major anxiety about any plans and often would end up backing out last minute because I couldn’t get my makeup to look good with all the bumps underneath. I just wasn’t taking care of my skin enough.
After going to a dermatologist, I was able to get the worst of it under control, but I still had bad breakouts. On top of that, I still had lots of texture and scars from my old acne.
That was when I decided to dedicate more time (and money) to my skincare routine. I’ve tried many different types of beauty products and various routines, so I decided to share my skincare routine! Spending time on my skincare has been a great form of self-care for me. It’s a set routine every morning and evening that I look forward to, and by taking good care of my skin I’ve been able to improve my self-confidence.
Morning Skincare Routine
When I first wake up I immediately wash my face with water. I only use soap to clean my face at night because I’ve found that my skin does not like to be over cleansed. No matter what my day looks like, I make sure I am using these products:
- Hyaluronic acid serum. This should be applied immediately after washing or wetting your face. Hyaluronic acid works best when
- My favorite is the SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier and I can never go back.
- In the past, I have also used PCA Skin’s Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum that is just as great, just not as much bang for your buck.
- Vitamin C serum. Another must-have in your routine, especially once you hit your 20s as preventative care.
- Again, SkinCeuticals really is elite. It’s expensive but goes a long way and is super effective. Their C E Ferulic serum has a bit of a funny smell, but I got used to it quickly. I almost enjoy it now because I associate the scent with how great my skin feels after.
- Additionally, I have this second serum that I rotate depending on what I’m doing, as this one is also quite expensive. I use Dior’s Capture Youth Serum Collection only when I need an extra boost of “glowy-ness.” Making sure you look extra glowy is a great example of how skincare is self-care.
- SPF Moisturizer. If you’re not doing anything for your skin daily, THIS what you need to be starting. An easy way to make sure you’re putting on SPF every day is buying “two-in-one” items. SPF moisturizer, SPF foundation, SPF setting spray. Get it in every chance you get, and your skin will thank you.
- My favorite SPF moisturizer is the Image Skincare’s PREVENTION+ Daily Matte Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 32. It smells like bubble gum (at least to me) and doesn’t leave a white cast.
- Bronzer Drops/Tinted Moisturizer. Depending on what coverage level I need, I have different products.
- The lightest coverage I’ve used is the Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution drops mixed in with an SPF moisturizer. It’s super lightweight and gives your skin an extra layer of protection.
- If I need to cover up any redness, I use the Tik-Tok viral Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment. It has SPF 32 – dual-action, baby!
- When I want a bit more coverage, I use Elta MD’s tinted moisturizer. Again, SPF!!
- Under-eye cream. 25+ readers, take note.
- My go-to for morning eye cream is Tula’s Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm. It seriously feels like it was put on straight from the fridge every time I use it. Puffy, tired eyes from anxious crying? We don’t know her.
- I also still occasionally pull out my Olehenriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème. It layers well under makeup and helps if your under-eyes are looking a bit dark.
Evening Skincare Routine
My evening skincare routine definitely has more variation, because some of my steps have a rotation of products that can’t be used the same night. My evening skincare routine used to be quite intense because I had been trying so hard to get rid of my acne, but would often over-treat and therefore dried out my skin, which caused more issues. I eventually learned that less is more, and learned what products made my skin happiest, which made me happiest!
Remember: skincare = self-care.
- Makeup Remover. If I wear makeup, I ALWAYS take it off. Even if I’m exhausted. I always feel so much better in the morning knowing I took my makeup.
- My go-to for removing makeup is the Makeup Eraser cloths. You can sometimes find these at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls for a better deal. They truly remove ALL of your makeup with just water!
- If you prefer an actual product for removing makeup, especially for your eyes, I love this cleansing balm by Clinique.
- Face Wash. Even if I was not wearing makeup, I try my best to wash my face every night. I keep one bottle by my sink and one in my shower so I don’t have an excuse.
- My favorite face wash is IMAGE Skincare’s Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser. It smells like a freshly opened orange and makes my skin feel so soft afterward.
- Another favorite of mine is the Dr. Dennis Gross Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel. I tend to use it if I wore a full face of makeup that day, and it doesn’t dry out my skin like a lot of cleansers do.
- Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Hydrate that skin!!
- I use the same H.A. Intensifier in the morning as I do at night, but it is not cheap. A great alternative is The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid.
- Exfoliant. This is where my variation changes. I rotate the following items every 4 days, skipping the 4th day to let my skin take a break. This is just the rotation that works for me, but you might find you need to do it more or less.
- Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni Retinol Cream is the only retinol I’ve kept in my rotation frequently
- Another retinol I have tried was Sunday Riley’s Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil. I think this is a great option, I just didn’t love the smell.
- Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel is great when you have some discoloration or acne scars (hello! me!).
- Physical Exfoliant.
- If my skin is feeling a bit flakey, I use Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate® Intensive Pore Exfoliating Treatment. It can be quite intense though so I try not to use it too often.
- Moisturizer. Lock in that moisture you’ve worked so hard to achieve!
- During colder weather months, I use PCA Skin’s Collagen Hydrator. It is a bit heavier but is great when you’re feeling extra dry.
- For a cheaper/lighter moisturizer that I can use year-round, my favorite is CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.
- Eye Serum. I’ve tried many different nighttime eye creams and serums, and usually only because they were given to me for free, but these are the creams I would actually buy again.
- Verso Super Eye Serum. This was given to me in my FabFitFun box recently and I feel like my under eyes wake up looking perky and plump, so definitely will buy again when this runs out.
- Even though it is not technically an under-eye cream, in the past I’ve used Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex and it is great for fine lines.
- Face Oil. MY FAVORITE STEP.
- I received Sunday Riley’s Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Facial Oil in a FabFitFun box about a year ago and I’m already on my second bottle. I love this stuff. Honestly, I could write a whole post on how much my skin loves this oil.
- Another great alternative is Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil.
- Aquaphor. The G.O.A.T.
- I put Aquaphor on just about everything, but recently I started putting it on my face to lock in all of my products, and my skin has been SO happy. I use maybe a nickel’s sized amount, rub it between my fingers, and then spread a thin layer over my whole face and neck.
Do What Works For You
Now, obviously, I am not a dermatologist or esthetician, so my suggestions are purely based on my personal experiences. The steps that I choose to apply my skincare are also purely based on both my personal research, as well as what I’ve noticed makes my skin happier. What is most important to take away here, is figuring out what works for you, and consistently making it a part of your daily routine. Just know that no matter how many steps you have or what products you use, skincare is self-care!
Skincare Is Just One Form of Self-Care
The biggest reason taking care of my skin has become a form of self-care, is because it has helped me develop a routine. It also made it easier to add other steps to my morning routine like my go-to smoothie recipe, going for morning walks, or taking care of my plants.
My challenge for you is to create a routine that you know:
1. Works for your lifestyle/day &
2. Is realistic. Start with one step of your routine and once you’ve nailed that down, take it from there.
You got this!
The Anxious Shopper 😘
Love that you lay out all of the products you use and how you use them!! Thank you! This is very helpful!