As a teenager and young adult, I always had oily skin that was difficult to manage. At the age of 23, I had finally got my skincare routine down. By the age of 28, my skin had changed dramatically and became dryer with age. I am now 30 and am content with the products I use to maintain my skin.
Occasionally, I’ll get a breakout, and I have freckles and scarring. My skin scars very easily, so I never pick my breakouts and I select products that help with uneven texture and scarring. The pores around my nose tend to be a bit larger, but I avoid clogging with the following products. I have undereye circles that lean bluer rather than purple. I also have a huge scar under my chin from falling on ice when I was 5 years old, but I don’t think that will ever go away. In a nutshell, my main concerns for my skin are scarring, dryness, and preventing breakouts.
This skincare routine will give an overview of the products I use on a regular basis. There are also products I use every now and then, depending on the weather, makeup, stress level, etc. Those products include masks, under eye patches, and overnight facials. Let me know if you want a more in-depth post with all of that information too!
Products Used and Descriptions
The products I use every day are listed below along with a website blurb about what they do for your skin. I will list them mostly in the order that I apply them.
- Boscia Charcoal MakeUp Melter Cleansing Oil-Balm: A cleansing oil-balm that melts into skin to thoroughly remove makeup, while deeply cleansing and effectively hydrating.
- Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser: This is deeply cleansing and it removes impurities by clarifying with certified organic lemon, cherry and aloe juices. Clears While Hydrates.
- Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic 5% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Toner: It helps tone, firm and tighten the skin. It removes dead skin cells for healthier looking skin.
- Mario Badescu Skincare Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater: Revitalize skin with dewy radiance. This helps revive dehydrated skin anytime, anywhere. It’s a rejuvenating mist infused with herbal and botanical extracts (like Aloe Vera, Gardenia, Rose, Bladderwrack and Thyme) that help soothe and re-energize skin—giving it a healthy, radiant glow.
- The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG: This contains an extremely high 5% concentration of caffeine, supplemented with highly-purified Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (EGCG) from green tea leaves. It can help reduce looks of puffiness and dark circles in the eye contour.
- The Ordinary “Buffet” Serum: This formula targets multiple signs of ageing at once. I won’t list the hard-to-understand scientific words, but this serum is formulated with a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. Feel free to check out a product page for more in-depth information on this one.
- The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This formulation of hyaluronic acid combines varying molecular weights, as well as an HA crosspolymer for multi-depth hydration. This formula has added Vitamin B5 to enhance surface hydration.
- The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalene: Squalane is found naturally in the skin. It is an exceptional hydrator and can prevent ongoing loss of hydration that impairs dermal suppleness. Squalane is non-comedogenic and is suitable for use on all skin types. It can also be applied to hair to increase heat protection, add shine and reduce breakage potential. I honestly didn’t know about the hair idea until right now.
- Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream: This moisturizer helps reduce moisture loss while drawing and absorbing moisture from the air. With continuous moisture replenishment throughout the day, it leaves skin smooth, soft and healthy-looking.
Finding a great cleanser for my skin has been a difficult journey. I find a lot of them are very fragrant, don’t cleanse thoroughly enough, dry my skin out, or leave a residue even after toner. Behold, my two holy grail skin cleansers.
If I’m wearing makeup, I begin my nighttime skincare routine with the Boscia Charcoal MakeUp Melter. I slather this on my dry skin to break up all the makeup–including mascara and liquid lipsticks. When you rinse this off with warm water, it turns the product into this cleansing balm that just seems to suck all the makeup off your face. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed, cleansed, and oddly hydrated. If I’m not wearing makeup, I skip this step.
After the cleansing oil-balm, I wash my face with Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser. I find this cleanser gets deep into my pores but doesn’t dry my skin out. It’s gentle enough that my skin won’t break out but strong enough to get rid of the Toronto pollution from my pores. Some days I use this morning and night, but sometimes I skip this step in the morning if my skin feels particularly clean.
It’s important to double cleanse if you’re wearing makeup. The first cleanse takes the makeup off, and the second cleanse washes your skin. Some people use a makeup wipe for the first step, but I prefer a cleansing balm or oil, and the Boscia Charcoal MakeUp Melter is the best one I’ve tried so far.
Yes, I technically use two toners. The first toner is the Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic, which is a chemical exfoliant with glycolic acid that keeps my skin looking fresh and even. I apply this to my face after cleansing with a cotton pad and let it set before I move on. As you can see in the picture, my Glow Tonic is getting really low. Unfortunately, it costs $45CAD, and I can’t afford to replace it right now, so a friend has picked up The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution for me to try out as a replacement. I hope it holds up to the same results I see with the Pixi Glow Tonic.
After that, I like to use the Mario Badescu toner before my serums and moisturizer so that my serums apply better. This particular toner helps with dehydrated skin and moisture. It also can double as a finishing spray after your makeup for a dewy finish. In very dry weather, I tend to use it after my face is complete but before my long-lasting setting spray.
The Ordinary Serums
The Ordinary has gained quite the following in recent months. With their scientific terms, simple packaging, inexpensive products, and great results, I can see why. There are four serums from The Ordinary that I use on a regular basis. After I use my Mario Badescu toner, I go in with The Ordinary Caffeine Solution on my eye contour. You only need to use two tiny drops for both undereye area (so one drop each). Let that soak in for a minute and then I move onto the other serums. I used to layer my serums, waiting between each layer for the skin to absorb it. In that instance, I would use the “Buffet” Serum, followed by the Hyaluronic Acid, followed by the 100% Plant-Derived Squalene.
As time moved on, I found that I got the best results with hydration when I mix the “Buffet” Serum, Hyaluronic Acid, and 100% Plant-Derived Squalene to my Kiehl’s moisturizer. I pump everything into my hand, mix it between my clean palms, and apply to my face.
If you’re curious about The Ordinary’s regime information, this is a handy guide that I use to determine my steps.
While the Caffeine Solution helps with my eye contour by bringing down the puffiness and the pigmentation, the other serums by The Ordinary help with my dry and sometimes dehydrated skin. They’re wallet-friendly too!
As I mentioned in my January 2018 Beauty Favorites video, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream has been my go-to moisturizer for some time. It helps keep my skin moisturized throughout the day, and I never feel like I need to reapply. I have been buying the large tub of the moisturizer, and you don’t need to use a lot. Now that I mix my serums into my moisturizer, I find I need even less product. This moisturizer is great for sensitive skin and it helps my makeup apply like a dream. I also use this as a moisturizer for my undereye area because it gives such nice hydration. I have yet to find an eye cream that combats dark circles, puffiness, and dryness.
Skincare is a very personal thing. Take note of your skin and what your main concerns are and build a regime from there. Don’t feel like you need to use all products from one range. My skincare regime utilizes five different brands for an everyday routine–that’s not even counting my masks and special products I use. It also takes a long time for your skin to really show how a product is working. Yes, you might see some improvements after a week, but after a month, those improvements might slow down, and you could have a reaction. If you have a reaction to a product and you don’t know which one, try eliminating one product at a time from your routine and see how your skin reacts. Keep track of what product you’re removing and what the outcome is for a few days.
ALWAYS TAKE YOUR MAKEUP OFF. No matter how much I party, work, need sleep, or whatever–I always take my makeup off. Always.
Also, always wear sunscreen. You’ll notice I haven’t listed one here in this post. I have yet to find a sunscreen for my face that I fully endorse. I am open to suggestions for something that doesn’t cost a limb and doesn’t make my face feel greasy. Suggest away.
The bottom line here is that you need to find what works for you. You can listen to tips and trick from people until you’re blue in the face, but everybody is different and will react differently to products. For the most part, you do get what you pay for, but sometimes you can find some inexpensive gems, such as the products from The Ordinary. There are some drugstore options that other people really enjoy that could work for you. You never know until you do your own research and you check them out.
Skincare is where the magic starts. If you want your makeup to look great and apply well, start with taking care of your skin.
*Some links are affiliate links in order to support my blogging and makeup habits. Nothing will ever deter me from giving an honest review and being authentic with people. My authenticity means the most to me.*