My Skincare Routine

I’m a skincare fanatic, but I wasn’t always fanatical about my routine. Now I’ve found a rotation of products that WORKS and my skincare steps have become an immutable part of my day.



Special Treatments

Wedding Heavy Hitters

Look! Progress!

My skin was at its worst two years out of college: zit-city and covered in blackheads. Exfoliation and regular (but gentle!) cleansing have made all the difference. Getting to a good spot with controlling breakouts allowed me to start experimenting with brightening and retinoids recently. Now I hardly ever get massive zits or the kinds of blackheads I was dealing with two years ago. Routine below!


My morning is all about brightness and skin protection!

I kick it off with an Ole Henriksen cleanser to control oil, an Innisfree green tea toner for evening out skin tone, and then the Inkey List vitamin C serum to brighten. I let all of that sink in, then follow with Kate Somerville’s Anti Bac benzoyl peroxide treatment (which apparently plays well with vitamin C), The Ordinary moisturizer, and finally sunscreen.

The heavy hitters in this lineup are definitely the vitamin C serum and the sunscreen. Vitamin C has really upped the wattage on my face, while the sunscreen ensures any discoloration from breakouts isn’t worsened by the sun!


My focus at night is detoxifying and exfoliation.

I cleanse with micellar water after work, then spray my face with the SOS spray that I think helps with skin irritation (from being under a mask for some of the day or going through a breakout).

Before bed, I apply the La Roche-Posay Adapalene gel, which is a gentle OTC retinoid that helps combat acne and fine lines. Then I finish with a richer cream, since the adapalene can make my skin peel sometimes. I cycle through different night moisturizers depending on the season, but currently rely on a La Roche-Posay sensitive skin formulation.

Special Treatments

Once a week I do a full spa day with an exfoliating mask followed by a moisturizing one (currently Peter Thomas Roth and Kiehl’s, respectively).

When my skin feels especially congested, I use an Ole Henriksen scrub in the shower. I also rely on The Specialist from Chemist Confessions, which is a gel mixture of multiple acids that help clear up blackheads/oiliness/general grossness when used as a spot treatment or mixed into my nighttime moisturizer.

For extra moisture, I’ll add the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate or the Belif sleeping mask to my nighttime product rotation.

And sometimes I switch it up and do my nighttime routine in the morning and my morning routine at night. When I do that, I moisturize with Fenty Skin after the adapalene because it has SPF and niacinamide, which help keep my skin protected as the chemical exfoliation works its magic.

Wedding Heavy Hitters

I went for an “elevated natural” look at the ceremony and reception. I wanted my skin to look good, and to use products I was familiar with (I did my own makeup). Top performers were:

  • Belif’s moisturizing mask in the days leading up to the wedding (linked above).

  • The Specialist oil and acne control gel mixed into my moisturizer the night before to zap away any lingering spots (linked above).

  • Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir sprayed on after my morning shower to tighten pores.

  • AG’s conditioning hair mist to help detangle my hair and give it gloss and shine.

  • Grande Lash MD, to give my eyelashes oomph since I wasn’t going to wear falsies.

  • Botanics facial oil massaged in with a cool facial roller to depuff the morning of.

  • No.7 primer that helped my makeup stay in place.

  • Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue tinted gel cream as foundation, which provided good coverage and glow.

  • Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray to set everything after I did my full makeup.

My favorite skincare resources that taught me a lot:

  • Into the Gloss’s Top Shelf interviews and their monthly product roundups

  • Chemist Confessions Instagram account with tips, ingredient list breakdowns, and general knowledge (they also just released a book!)

  • Literally any skincare brand site that offers a quiz about your skin and spits out a recommended routine based on your answers. Taking a bunch of the tests and picking up on the patterns was super helpful for me!

What about you?

Skincare is the new makeup, as they say, so I know some of you must already be on a similar journey with caring for your skin. What products have totally rocked your world?

And on a hair care note, anybody have some tips for this frizzy/fine-haired girl? Forgoing regular haircuts during the pandemic plus getting highlights right before the shutdown have made my hair frizzier than I’ve ever had to deal with before. Hair care tips appreciated!

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