What’s Your Skin Care Routine? Here’s What I’m Doing Now

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Skin Care

I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours. 🙂 Every so often I’m asked about my skin care routine, and because I make little adjustments to it all the time, I thought I’d share the process and products I’m using now.


Heya Milkmaid21!

(Love your Twitter handle, BTW)

Although I try new skin care products and techniques all the time, I find myself returning to many of the same core products and tactics over and over again, especially when my combination dry/oily/acne-prone skin goes ballistic.

My Skin Care Routine: The Abridged Version

In the morning…

In the evening…

Then, one or two nights a week…

My Skin Care Routine: The Unabridged Version

Cleansing —In summer, when my skin’s at its peak of oiliness, I begin each day by washing my face with Philosophy Purity Made Simple face wash. It’s my current favorite non-foaming cleanser because it works well for me without stripping all of the moisture from my skin.

During the winter months (like now), when my skin’s at its driest, I usually skip this step and just wash with water alone, or with the very mildest cleanser I can find.

Exfoliating —Since I’m prone to breakouts, I like to use an exfoliator to unclog my pores. After washing (or rinsing, as the case may be), I wipe my face and neck gently with a cotton ball soaked in Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion, a salicylic acid-based toner for dry-to-very-dry skin.

Salicylic acid? Also known as a beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid is a fat-soluble compound (it’ll dissolve in oil but not in water) with anti-microbial properties. Generally well tolerated by most people (but not by everyone) and available over the counter in hundreds of different skin products, it’s able to penetrate pores and exfoliate them from the inside out. To learn more, check out Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids: Which One is Right for You?.

Acne treatment —My acne regimen depends on how much I’m breaking out, LOL! If it’s fairly bad (like around that time of the month, ugh!), I’ll apply about a pea-sized amount of a product containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide to my forehead, chin and cheeks.

Benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria, and over-the-counter BP treatments usually vary in strength from 2.5 to 10% concentration. The higher concentrations tend to be too drying for me, so I prefer products at the lower end, like ProActiv Repairing Treatment , which contains 2.5% BP.

Moisturizing —Around my eyes, I’ve been using the fantastically hydrating Korres Quercetin & Oak Eye Cream, which also layers extremely well beneath eye makeup.

To treat my face and neck, I love, love LOVE Clarins HydraQuench Cream.

Over the years I’ve used a ton of different moisturizers, and that may not be an exaggeration, LOL! But this is the best one I’ve found so far. Not only is it super moisturizing, but it never, ever gives me breakouts. I’ve literally lost count of how many jars of it I’ve gone through. I’m not crazy about the bulky glass packaging, but I’ve never strayed away from it for long. It’s absolutely one of my HG products. Whenever I plan to take pictures of myself for the blog, I’ll use the version that doesn’t contain SPF (the SPF can give me a white cast that’s obvious in flash photography), and when I don’t plan to take pics, I’ll use the HydraQuench Cream with SPF 15.

Because it’s so expensive ($48 for 1.7 oz.), I’ll usually wait for the Sephora Friends and Family Sale to stock up.

Face makeup products —As for foundations, primers and concealers, I typically mix and match depending on the weather (because of how the light coming in through the windows impacts my photography) and how my skin’s doing on any given day. Generally, though, I use these next products in the following order…

MAC Blot, I lurve you!

My night routine —Philosophy Purity Made Simple to remove my makeup, followed up with Korres Quercetin & Oak Eye Cream, Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector (to vanquish/diminish dark age spots) and Clarins HydraQuench Cream.

Lastly, maybe a few times per week, I’ll also use the Clarisonic MIA (for deep cleansing action, yo!) as well as a small amount of Retin A (also referred to as a topical retinoid; frequently prescribed to treat acne or diminish fine lines; for more info, check out Your Skin Care Cheat Sheet: Retinols and Retinoids).

Well there you have it — my CURRENT skin care routine. I hope you find something potentially helpful in it.

Do you feel like sharing yours? Are you a multi-step person like me, or do you prefer to streamline your workflow? Inquiring minds wanna know! 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 80 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Alison says:

    I used to use loads of different things on my skin but have recently got fed up of spending so long applying this and that so have streamlined my routine.

    Cleanser (Morning and Night) – Chanel Precision Mousse Doucour. I prefer a wash off cleanser than using loads of cotton pads.

    Day Moisturiser – Chanel Beaute Initiale lotion SPF 15. It leaves a lovely silky matte finish so if I can’t be bothered to apply foundation my skin still looks nice and shine free and is protected from the UVA/UVB rays.

    Night moisturising treat – Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate. It’s a facial oil based mainly on Argan oil and a few other essential oils which I apply after cleansing. It doesn’t grease up my skin and it leaves it glowing by the following morning and the smell is lovely, which also seems to help me sleep well.

    So thats it really, and my skin has been the clearest ever. I very rarely get any breakouts now.

  2. Mine is:

    Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser for Face and Eyes
    Dermalogica Soothing Protection Spray
    Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum
    Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream
    Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye
    Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF40 sunscreen in the tinted shade
    T. LeClerc Pressed Powder in Banane

    Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover (If applicable)
    Dermalogica Precleanse
    Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser for Face and Eyes
    Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Lotion
    Dermalogica Soothing Protection Spray
    Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum
    Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
    Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye

    2-3 Times a Week (After cleansing with Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser for Face and Eyes at night):
    Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
    Cellnique Intensive Soothing And Hydrating Masque
    – I’d then skip the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Lotion if I do this

    Once a Week (After cleansing with Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser for Face and Eyes at night):
    Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator
    – Followed by my usual night skin care routine
    Stephanie/Yukaeshi recently posted … Merry Christmas

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      WOW! Now, THAT’s a routine. Are you happy with the results? Do you have any problem issues you’re still trying to work out?

      • Hey Karen,

        Yeah haha, on times when I’m feeling sooooo tired (Or rushed in the mornings), I just feel like skipping a few steps! I’ve no problems thus far using this routine since I started it, and it’s been my routine for almost a year already. Though minor breakouts during PMS are not avoidable completely, they’ve lessened in severity and duration, and my skin’s sensitivity has improved 🙂
        Stephanie/Yukaeshi recently posted … Merry Christmas

  3. Saffron says:

    Wow! I could never remember all that ><. Do you have issues with bp bleaching your clothes? of course, maybe most people are more graceful than me and don't rub their foreheads with their sleeves…

    My skincare routine is colored by steps I had to take post stroke – I couldn't tolerate smells at all after it so I discovered clinique, which I use almost exclusively now, and I stopped taking the pill and thus started breaking out like a 12 year old again. My daily stuff:
    Clinique mild soap and acne toner. I know toners are supposed to be a waste of money but I like the ritual of it, plus if I'm in a hurry i just rub down with it as an alternative to an all out facewashing.
    Clinique redness spf cream (if we have sun), comfort on call (if we have blistering dry cold), or redness cream (all the rest of the time).

    If my skin is breaking out, I've found great, if stinky, relief in sulfur products – currently ptr's sulfur mask and philosphy's spot treatment. I also will slap on a lot of neutrogena's fight and fade acne gel, but this stuff goes on like an all day mask and woe be to her who rubs it or tries to apply anything over it, for she will appear to have a face full of congealed oatmeal. But it does clear up a bad breakout like nobody's business.

    I'd love to add a product that did something for puffy eyes, but so far haven't found anything that really brings down the allergy-related swelling effectively.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Saffron,

      I do have some issues with BP bleaching bedtime clothes and bedding, like the pillow covers, which are all mottled from bleaching. Yep, that’s one of the often overlooked drawbacks to using BP products, but the stuff just works so well for me that I accept the tradeoff, at least for now.

      The sulfur products sound intriguing. I really want to give those a try. For your puffy eyes, have you tried the old ice cube trick or chilled spoons?

      • Saffron says:

        cold spoons? I never thought of that, what a good idea! I use the end of my spoon dipped in a cup of hot water as a cheapskate’s zeno, this will end me up with the most spoon-intensive beauty routine ever. 😛

  4. vonnie says:

    clarisonic brush with korres milk proteins foaming cream cleanser
    clinique dark spot corrector serum
    lumene vitamin c moisturizer
    mac studio sculpt foundation

    elf makeup remover wipes
    clarisonic brush with korres milk proteins foaming cream cleanser
    clinique dark spot corrector serum
    korres thyme honey moisturizer
    vonnie recently posted … Friend Friday – 2011 Blogging Resolutions

  5. Katrina says:

    I’m so bad. I don’t even wash my face every day or it gets dried out. But I use the Clinque three step skin care routine, but I usually use the moisture surge moisturizer instead of the dramatically different. I only sometimes use the toner…eye cream, I haven’t found one I really like yet, so nothing yet. Whatever I do seems to be working though, I always get compliments on my skin! I think I just got lucky there

  6. Wow these make my skincare routine look so minimal

    splash of water then, Face lotion with sunscreen

    Cetaphil Face wash and ponds moisturizer

  7. I use a mix of drug store and higher end products. I’ve yet to really find a moisturizer that I’m in love with. I have combo skin, that occasionally breaks out in the T-zone. I’ll take suggestions!!!! I’ve been thinking about going to the derm for some Retin A . Do you see a big difference?

    -Cetaphil face wash
    -Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle
    -Clean and Clear Acne Spot treatment as needed
    -Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue
    -Olay of Oil Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid / Ponds beauty cream (in the winter)

    -Cetaphil face wash
    -Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM or Peter Thomas Roth Firmx Growth Factor -Neuropeptide Serum
    -Clean and Clear Acne Spot treatment as needed
    – Ponds beauty cream (in the winter)

    Once a week or every 2 weeks
    -Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque (right out of the shower so my pores are open)
    -Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Peel
    -Peter Thomas Roth Radiance Oxygenating Masque

    – L’Oreal Studio Effects Primer
    -Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
    -Cargo Concealer
    -Used to use Bare Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil but I think I’m allergic to it. Any replacement suggestions?

    • Amy says:

      Just my two cents, but after trying many different moisturizers, my dermatologist recommended trying Cerave (drugstore) and I love it. It comes in a lotion that I use in the summer, and a heavier cream that I use in the winter. I also started using the Cerave cleanser per her suggestion as well. Absolutely no breakouts from any of these and I tend to be prone to breakouts. They are both fragrance free. I tried Cetaphil but it just didn’t work for me.
      I use Retin-A every night and it seems to work well but mostly I stick with it keeping my fingers crossed for long term results- like no lines when I’m 50- ha!
      Also, regarding the Mineral Veil, I had the same reaction when I tried using BE. I switched to Jane Iredale powder foundation and set with Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder. I highly recommend both!

  8. So you guys love the clarisonic? Is is gentle enough to use everyday?

    • Caitlin says:

      I’m obsessed with my Clarisonic! When I first got it, I was using it everyday with the delicate brush head, but it did kind of irritate my skin. Now I use it a few times a week!

    • Cassi says:

      I LOVE my Clarisonic! When I first started using it, my face peeled. It was horrible! I have very sensitive/rosacea skin and was trying to use it twice a day with the normal brush head that came with it. Then I switched to once a day with the sensitive brush head. That worked better but was still a little too much.

      Then they came out with the delicate/rosacea brush head which is magical for me. I use the brush every night with no extra sensitivity. I used to have breakouts all the time. Now, I only have break outs during that time of the month and even then they are drastically reduced.

      Sephora has a great return policy. Try it out. If it doesn’t work for you, just return it. I think that every girl should get a Clarisonic brush when they separate the boys and the girls in 5th grade to do sex ed. Its just that good!

  9. Caitlin says:

    I just started a course of Accutane and had to cut down on the products I was using, which I think is helping a lot. It’s hard not to get caught up in using a bunch of products, but for me using less is proving to be really beneficial!

    -Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser for Oily Skin
    -Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
    -Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
    -Neutrogena Oil-Free SPF 15 Moisturizer

    -MUFE Green HD Primer
    -Smashbox light concealer
    -Bare Minerals powder
    -NARS Orgasm blush
    -MUFE HD Microfinish Powder

    -Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser for Oily Skin
    -Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
    -Prescription Ziana gel
    -Cetaphil Advanced Hydration Moisturizer
    -Prescription Bencort Lotion

    Twice A Week
    -The Body Deli Blueberry Fusion Scrub (this stuff is amazing!!)
    -Clarisonic with Cetaphil wash

  10. Amber says:

    -cold cream in the mornings at the gym or Purity Made Simple for mornings at home
    -Nude cleansing oil or PMS in the evening

    -PTR Un-Wrinkle peel pads 3x week
    -Poetry in Lotion retinol treatment (warm weather: after the peel pads. cold, dry weather: non-peel nights)
    -Perricone Face Finishing Moisturizer on non-retinol nights

    -Josie Maran Protect sunblock
    -Too Faced Shadow Insurance
    -MUFE Full Cover concealer on red areas
    -Studio Fix powder foundation
    -Prep & Prime finishing powder

    My husband ordered me a Clarisonic for xmas! Can’t wait to use it with PMS!
    Amber recently posted … The bucolic life

  11. Raquel says:

    La Mer the cleansing gel
    Creme de la Mer
    Shiseido SPF 55 face sunscreen mixed with a dab of La Mer the treatement creme foundation in #6 (honey)

    La Mer the cleansing gel
    Creme de la Mer
    About 3x/ week – Dior toner (the blue one)

    Occasionally, Aquaphor around the eyes when there’s extra dryness!

  12. Raquel says:

    *whoops I mean foundation #6 (tan!)

  13. Katie says:

    Isn’t it surprising how much we slather on skin? I simplified my routine after asking myself that two months ago. Of course, it all goes down the tubes unless I drink/eat/exercise/sleep right!

    1) Clinique Liquid Facial Soap with the Clarisonic Mia or just plain ol’ Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (Peppermint). My acne-prone/scarred, very oily skin has improved A LOT since I got the Clarisonic a month ago. Best investment ever (knock on wood).
    2) Dickinson’s witch hazel. All natural, cheap, and infinitely better than any toner I’ve used.
    3) Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer SPF 15 (with zinc oxide for sensitive skin). I’ve been diligent with this product since I was a high school sophomore!
    4) Revlon Colorstay Foundation (and other makeup) for school or going out.

    1) Ponds Deep Cleanser Cold Cream and/or olive oil for makeup removal.
    2) Clinique Liquid Facial Soap or Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.
    3) Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. I hated using moisturizer because of my oily skin, but this was surprisingly the best product of their 3-Step program. It is a godsend in the winter.
    4) Spot treatment varies since products lose their effectiveness after a few months. It’s usually just hormonal, so I use nothing most of the time and let the zits be. The best I’ve used are Retin-A Micro and Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10. My doctor just prescribed Benzaclin, so I’m waiting to see how it works.
    5) Once a week, I indulge with Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque before bed.

    For body, it’s even simpler. I occasionally use Eucerin Aquaphor (dry lips, hands, elbows, heels), Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub, and Gold Bond Extra Strength Body Lotion (this is the only body lotion I use).

  14. Nina says:

    my routine is pretty simple:


    in the shower, I wash with Philosophy MicroDelivery Exfoliating Wash and cold water.

    after shower, I apply the ff:

    Clnique All About Eyes Rich – eye area

    Murad Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Gel – to 3 spots in my face where i have sun spots

    Clinique City Block Face Cream w/ SPF 50 – all over my face and nek.


    remove makeup w/ Kirkland Makeup Remover Towelettes and a spritz of Kracie Cleansing Oil (Olive Oil formula) or Mandom Cleansing Express Moist — both are Japanese brands that i lovelovelove.


    wash face w/ Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple and cold water.

    apply Murad Pigment Lightening Gel again and follow it with Philosophy Help Me.

    When needed (eg my face feels really tight/dry), i spritz my face with Philosophy’s Deep Sea Mist.

    before bed: moisturize w/ Hope in a Bottle and apply some Neosporin Night Treatment on my lips.

  15. ever since my skin acted up almost a year ago, i’ve really simplified my skincare routine.

    – cleanse with a mixture of lush’s buche de noel & the body shop’s cucumber milk cleanser
    – tone with lush’s breath of fresh air
    – moisturize with either estee lauder’s daywear creme, origins’ mega mushroom cream, or korres wild rose 24-hour moisturizer (one of the best products i’ve purchased/used this year). i’ve just recently finished the daywear and mega mushroom moisturizers and i’m running low on the wild rose so i’m looking into what moisturizer i’m going to try next. or i may stick with the korres since i love it so much.

    – cleanse with lush’s coalface cleanser (for a deeper cleanse)
    – tone with lush’s breath of fresh air
    – moisturize with josie maran’s argan oil moisturizer. i’ve just started using this and i’m loving it so far. my dry skin feels well moisturized but never oily and a little bit goes a long way.

    one of my beauty resolutions is to stick to more natural skincare since it’s been working well for me these past few months.

    makeup-wise, it’s kind of always different and really depends on my mood. if i’m in a liquid foundation mood, i’ll go with revlon colorstay. i i’m in a mineral foundation mood, i’ll go with the laura mercier powder. i’ll almost always use mac’s pinch o’ peach for blush though. then i’ll apply a wash of mac’s naked lunch eyeshadow all over the eye and again, depending on my mood, i’ll either: apply numerous coats of tarte’s lights camera splashes! mascara or just line my eyes with black eyeliner (revlon colorstay for liquid & UD zero for pencil).

    also, glad to know you use strobe cream! i recently tested it instore and it looked lovely. i’ll need to purchase a tube for myself one of these days 🙂
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … NOTD- Rimmel – Burgundy Flirt

  16. nice post! at some point, I’ll have to do an unabridged version, but here’s the list.

    In the morning:
    DHC Olive Oil Soap (the roundish bar one)
    Kiehl’s Cucumber Toner
    Lancome Bienfait Multivital SPF 30 Lotion
    Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
    Skin Food Salmon Dark Circle Concealer Cream
    Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Exfoliating Lip Salvation

    In the evening:
    Lumene Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover
    Lancome Absolue Eye Premium
    Lumene Sensitive Touch Comforting Night Cream
    Shiseido Therapind Oil Balm (as a nighttime lip treatment)
    Retin-A Micro Tretinoin Gel 0.1% as needed

    Once a week:
    Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

  17. Phyrra says:

    Right now I’m using:

    The Body Shop Seaweed Purifying Cleanser
    mark For Goodness Face Antioxidant Skin Moisturizing Lotion in SPF 30
    One Hand Washes the Other Lip Butter – lips

    Clarisonic Mia with The Body Shop Seaweed Purifying Cleanser
    Avon ANEW Rejuvenate Night Revitalizing Cream
    One Hand Washes the Other Lip Butter – on lips and around eye area to lock in moisturizer

    To remove makeup:
    Neutrogena Night Calming Make-up Remover cleansing cloths

    I have sensitive skin, so it tends to be best for me to keep it simple.
    Phyrra recently posted … SkincareRX Coupon for 20 Off

  18. Cassi says:

    This is a great thread. I love reading what other people are doing with their skincare routines! It has taken me a long time to get a routine that I am pretty happy with. I am 33 and I think my skin might be going through a transition so I might need to try some new things soon. 🙁

    -Philosophy MicroDelivery Exfoliating Wash
    *if I feel I need more exfoliation, I use Skinceuticals micro-exfoliating scrub instead
    -Murad Vitamin C Toner
    -SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX (recent addition to help with aging)
    -Boscia Moisturizer

    -Clarisonic with delicate brush head
    -Shiseido Purifying Foaming Cleanser
    -Murad Vitamin C Toner
    -SkinCeuticals Eye Cream
    -Boscia Recharging Night Moisture

    -SkinCeaticals Clay Mask

    -Being True Essential Radiance Skin Polish
    *or SkinCeuticals micro-exfoliating scrub if I feel I need more exfoliation

    I had skin cancer a few years ago so I also use various sunscreens. I have not found one that I love yet though. So far, SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 is the best one I have tried. Or a spray but I feel like that’s cheating! 🙂

  19. yvette says:

    has anyone tried renee rouleau’s products? i am 29 with adult acne that drives me crazy, and nothing works on it except being on the contraceptive pill. i have to be so careful with what i use and i’m hesitant to try anything new in case it breaks me out. right now i use cleanser, BP and moisturizer from acne.org which works ok (but nothing miraculous). all the derms have told me my acne is hormonal…

  20. Melissa says:

    I have oily/acne prone skin and had to go to the derm for my annoying adult acne. Here is what works for me.
    Cetaphil cleanser
    Lush Eua Roma toner (winter) or Tea Tree toner (summer)
    Proactiv Oil Free Spf 15
    Mac Cleansing Oil for mu removal
    Cetaphil cleanser
    Lush toner
    Differin Gel
    Benefit Dear John (winter) or Cerave PM (summer)

    Once a week I use Kate Sommerville Exfolikate for 30-60 seconds

  21. Kate & Zena says:

    I have, I think, the world’s most simple routine.

    Sunscreen (summer; I use tinted moisturizer w/SPF all year. Summer I use a sunscreen with a higher SPF, that’s all)
    Neutrogena Oil-free Moisturizer

    Etsy seller’s Amethystsoap’s complexion bar
    Differin Gel

    Once a week, if I remember, I’ll either use a Biore pore strip (if I feel like torturing myself) or the Holy Grail of Pimple and Black Head Removal–Jurlique Intense Recovery Mask ($49, ouch). I only put the mask on my zits and nose though.

    I have Salicylic Acid to keep my nose clean after my nose has been blackhead vacuumed. BP and two sulfur-containing products (the names escape me at the moment) for the zits. Stubborn zits get the sulfur products, regular ol’ zits get BP. I really HATE zits.

    A quick tip for people who find they get blackheads the day or two after they remove them, you must put an acid exfoliator AND using antioxidants to KEEP THEM CLEAN. That means, salicylic acid and using a scrub like Biore Daily Detoxifying Scrub or a moisturizer with antioxidants. If you use a product like Differin, you absolutely need to talk to your dermatologist.

  22. Tiffany says:

    I love love love this post! I think I need to find an eye cream myself, I might try yours, I want to try that concealer too!

    Here’s my rundown:

    L’oreal Skin Genesis Micro-Smoothing Wet Cleansing Wipes
    MAC Strobe Cream or SUPER by Perricone Hyper Hydrator with Coconut Water, depending on mood
    Primer (a glowy one if I didn’t use MAC Strobe Cream, a regular one if I did use MAC Strobe)
    Revlon Age Defying Spa Concealer
    Make Up For Ever Face and Body Foundation

    L’oreal Skin Genesis Micro-Smoothing Wet Cleansing Wipes
    Almay non-oily makeup removing pad (for eye makeup)
    Clarisonic Mia with Purity Made Simple by Philosophy
    Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum
    Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream

    I also try to remember to do a mask at least once a week: Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask is a current fave

  23. BeckBeck says:

    I have tough-to-describe skin. I have always identified as combo-dry and often feel dry and tight, but I have SUPER oily eyelids – non-waterproof eyeliner will not stay on me. I have mild to moderate acne on my chin that didn’t start until after I was 25 that responds well to retinoids (benzoyl peroxide just makes my blemishes turn purple and flake, I wish it worked for me like it works for some people). Here’s what I do, with comments:
    Lancome Clarifiance cleanser (I love this stuff, my mom hooked me on it when I was really young – like, 12 or so – and nothing else has worked for me)
    Lancome Tonique Douceur alcohol free toner (I miss the discontinued Clarte formula, Douceur is nice but sometimes I feel like I want something more refreshing, but the newer Radiance is way too harsh and drying for me)
    La Roche Posay Toleriane Fluide moisturizer (I like this all right, it’s not perfect like Lancome Aqua Fusion was for me, but since they went and discontinued that…)

    Lancome Bi-facil eye makeup remover (I have to use waterproof liner and mascara or I have major smudging issues, and this gets it off without hurting my eyes)
    Clarifiance and Tonique Douceur again
    La Roche Posay Toleriane regular cream (I’ll use this at night if my skin is feeling super dry – in the summer I use the lighter Fluide formula morning and night)
    Either Clinique All About Eyes or La Roche Posay Hydraphase eye cream (my main eye area issue is dryness – sometimes my brow bone looks flaky – and both of these help with that without being so heavy that my eyelids feel slimy in the morning)
    Differin lotion every other night (I tried several Rx retinoids and this seems to be the best answer so far)
    If I wear foundation, I use Dermalogica Pre-cleanse before the Clarifiance to get it off; it works well as a makeup remover but I’m not so down with the forest-y smell. I only wear foundation for very fancy dress occasions, though.

  24. Marian says:

    My routine is very simple.

    I cleanse morning and night with Cetaphil. I remove eye makeup in the evening with Lancome Bi-Facil

    Morning, I Neutrogena Dry Touch sunscreen under my makeup.
    Bobbi Brown creamy concealer.
    Lancome Dual Finish powder foundation.

    Night: I alternate.
    After cleansing, I use Retin-A
    the next night, I use Alpha Hydrox Souffle

  25. snoopysteph says:

    I have dry/very dry skin in the winter and dry/combo in the summer with no regular acne issues.

    Wash face with water only
    Clinique Repairwear Day SPF 15 Intensive Cream (winter)
    Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30 (summer)
    Clinique All About Eyes Rich or Repairwear Intensive Eye Cream

    Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive Skin
    Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream Night (contains retinol) (4-5 nights per week)
    Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer
    Clinique All About Eyes Rich or Repairwear Intensive Eye Cream

    This is pretty much my HG skincare routine. I haven’t changed anything in over a year and my skin looks great. I’d really recommend the Neutrogena retinol product to everybody – it’s very mild but I started seeing great results after a month of regular use (my forehead wrinkles are barely noticeable & my skin seems clearer with less splotchiness).

  26. Alka says:

    Great post! Here’s my current process (I change things up in the summer because of the high heat and humidity where I live):

    AM: Cleanse with Purity, moisturize with Olay Complete sensitive skin SPF 15, Olay Definity Eye cream

    Foundation Routine: NARS Makeup Primer, NARS Sheer Glow, currently use MAC Studio Fix Foundation Powder to set but looking for a better option. Recently sampled NARS Illuminating Cream – very nice. Is this similar to MAC Strobe Cream?

    PM: same as AM but looking for a good night cream with retinol

    Weekly: exfoliate using either Olay Definity scrub or St. Ives Salicylic Scrub

    Monthly: Phytomer Peeling Vegetal and Phytomer Oligopur Shine Control Purifying Mask

    Love, love, love the Phytomer products and NARS primer and foundation!

  27. Kacey says:

    My general philosophy is to keep it simple and adjust as my skin sees fit on a day-to-day basis – more or less moisture, prep for special occasions, etc. I use prescription meds (including antibiotic pills) for acne, as prescribed my derm. I’m mostly clear nowadays, hooray!

    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or, if special occasion, Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser
    -occasionally follow with Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque for special occasions or to
    pamper myself
    Duac (prescription)
    Clindamycin lotion, if skin feels dry (prescription)
    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch sunblock SPF 70
    Vichy Dermablend corrective liquid fndtn mixed w/moisturizer – instant, custom-coverage tinted
    moisturizer! 😀
    Vichy Dermablend corrective liquid fndtn as concealer. This stuff is majorly pigmented!
    Silk Naturals Perfecting Powder

    Sonia Kashuk eye makeup remover
    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or S&G Fab Pore Hot Cloth cleanser if wearing lots of makeup
    Clindamycin lotion if dry

    I’m still on the fence regarding a simple, inexpensive moisturizer to use to sheer out my foundation and hydrate my dry, hormonal, acne-prone skin. Any recommendations are welcome!

  28. Emma says:

    Wow, i feel like my routine is too simple!

    Here is what I used to do before it all got discontinued:
    AM: Bobbi Brown Rich Cleansing cream applied to dry skin and washed off in the shower.
    Moisturise with Nivea Visage Aqua.
    PM: Same as above but wash off with a face sponge and apply moisturiser to damp skin.

    Now, they have both been discontinued so I’m trying Say Yes to Carrots Cream face cleanser, Day cream and eye cream. I don’t find the day cream quite moisturising enough so I’m going to add the Say Yes to Blueberries serum over the winter.

    I also exfoliate with Skin Food Almond Exfoliator on the days that I wash my hair 🙂

  29. saby says:

    Ok so I feel I must share 🙂
    My beauty routine is : cleaning milk, vichy water mist, and creme de la mer now that it’s winter, alternating with cocoa butter (amazing for dry skin) and weleda almond cream 🙂
    That, alt least 3 times a day !
    Much love for everybody 🙂

  30. Alice says:


    To remove makeup it’s either

    DHC Deep Cleansing Oil followed by Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion OR
    Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap followed by Olay Toner (I think there’s only one? with witch hazel and aloe) followed by Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

    Before I go to sleep, I put Retin-A on my jawline and forehead.

    The weird thing is, I never used to have problems with my forehead. Then I started Retin-A and decided to put it all over my face and now, if I skip a night or two of Retin-A on my forehead, I get tiny red bumps popping up. Not pimples, just bumps.


    Olay Toner, then in the shower I use the Olay Daily Thermal Mini Peel. I only leave it on for between a minute and two minutes.

    • Alice says:

      Do you ever experience that with the Retin-A, Karen?

      • Alice says:

        Another reply to myself! I forgot, in the morning I use the Garnier Refreshing Gel Moisturizer or whatever it’s called, in the little glass pot. And once or twice a week, I use the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask for about 30 minutes, just on my cheeks and jaws, after I take my makeup off.

      • Kate & Zena says:


        Having used a loooooooooot of prescription acne gels/creams, I can tell you when you first start out, you can experience bumps, more acne, peeling and dryness in the first eight weeks. This is completely normal. It means that the medicine is doing its job. The red bumps are all the gunk that’s been in your skin.

        What’s not okay is if your face swells, your skin cracks and bleeds, excessive peeling and dryness, et cetera.

        • Alice says:

          Well I’ve actually been on it for several months, lol. Since March, at least. I think I’m past the purging bit, and I never really experience any peeling or excessive dryness. It’s silly to say this but it’s almost like my forehead’s addicted to it, haha.

          • Kate & Zena says:

            Your skin could still be adjusting. Not everyone experiences all those symptoms. I didn’t experience any of those on any of the multitude and bijillian of prescription meds I’ve been on (I’m not counting the Retin-A Micro thing. That….that wasn’t pretty. That was an allergic reaction from Hell. The dermatologist had never seen anything like it. Yea, not fun).

            Now that I’m looking at your regimen, it could be caused by your skin being too dry from your toner and those bumps are tiny acne spots. You don’t actually need toner, especially when you’re on a retinol. It dries out the skin too much, even if you apply a moisturizer. It’s basically overkill to your pores. Toner cleans out your pores through chemicals or natural oils like witch hazel; Retinol cleans out your pores through chemical exfoliation. I would suggest to go without toner for two to three months. You might break out at first, but your forehead spots may disappear.

          • Alice says:

            I’ll give up the toner for a while and see how that goes, though I do love it so. I never really have dry skin (only when I do the glycolic peel and retinol and forget to slather on my Cetaphil, that leads to some flakey cheeks but very rarely happens) but if it works, it works. Thanks for the advice. 🙂

  31. Lee says:

    You gals all must have beautiful skin with all those products you’re using!

    For me, it’s

    1. DHC washing powder
    2. Moisturizer w/spf

    1. Face/makeup remover wipes (currently using the one from Costco)

    When I breakout
    1. Origins 10 minute mask as a spot treatment overnight.

  32. steph b says:

    Cerave Hydrating Cleanser
    Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge (retinol, SPF, & color)

    Eye makeup remover (varies) if wearing cleanser-resistent liner
    Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser (better at removing makeup than the hydrating cleanser but a bit drying – would love a gentle replacement)
    Olay Mature Skin Therapy Total Effects Moisturizer (my winter moisturizer – love that 38 is “mature”)

    Twice a week I’ll use my Clarisonic with the gentle brush
    Paula’s Choice Benzoyl Peroxide as needed to control monthly breakouts (I also have mottled pillow cases)

    I used to use a few more expensive BHA and moisturizing products but find I can simplify since I’m having such fantastic results from the $$$$ Peau Vierge

  33. Kelsey says:

    I recently (about a month ago) started using Purity Made Simple based on your recommendations on this blog, and I am in love. I wish that I’d found something like this sooner! It took me 12 years to realize that although my skin is acne-prone, it is also very sensitive, and this stuff keeps my pores clear without overdrying or irritating my skin with harsh ingredients or medications.
    I still get breakouts around that time of the month, but the overall tone and clarity of my skin looks a lot better, and it actually glows a bit! I’ve never had “glow” before! 😛
    After having such success with this, I am thinking of trying the Clinique Mild Clarifying lotion, which you also seem to really like and recommend on your blog.

  34. Heidi says:

    Okay, here’s what I’m currently doing for my combination skin. I’m really happy with everything except I’m not totally in love with the eye creams. Think I’m gonna try that Korres one Karen mentioned:

    Morning: derma-E Glycolic Cleanser, Mychelle Fruit Enzyme Mist, Lumene vitamin C Brightening Nectar, derma-E Hyaluronic Acid Day Cream, Clinique City Block Sheer spf 25, derma-E Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream

    Evening: Mychelle Honeydew Cleanser, Mychelle Fruit Enzyme Mist, derma-E Hyaluronic Acid Serum, derma-E vitamin A wrinkle cream, derma-E Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream

    Once a week: Skin Effects Glycolic Peel Pads
    Once a week (different day): a mask, depending on what my skin needs, either Mychelle’s Cranberry Mud Mask or Mychelle’s Hydrating Cactus Mask.

    If my skin is having those lovely monthly breakouts, I swap out the moisturizers and use instead derma-E’s Vitamin E and Tea Tree Oil Skin Cream until things clear up, which usually just takes a day or two with this cream.

  35. LRW says:

    AM: Cera Ve Hydrating cleanser
    Kiehl’s Ultra Facial toner
    Estee Lauder Day Wear Plus moisturizer
    Kiehl’s Avocado eye cream
    * 1 x weekly Clinique 7th day scrub

    PM: cold cream to remove makeup
    Kiehl’s Ultra Facial toner
    Cera Ve cream

  36. Carrie Flora says:

    I’ve changed my skincare routine dozens and dozens of times. I always found myself believing the advertising/hype behind just about any product on the market. From neutrogena to Clinique to Chanel, I’ve used everything in between. I finally discovered my skincare mecca when I visited the dermatologist for a checkup. This was a new Dr, and I discovered that they did microdermabrasions and chemical peels in office. After my first microdermabrasion I was hooked. The Nurse practitioner suggested products for me that are only available in a Doctors office. Now I buy 80% of my skincare from my dermatologists office (although some are sold in spas and places like Sephora). I figure where better to purchase products for my skin?? I should state that I have pretty dry and somewhat sensitive skin. Its mucho expensive, but here goes:

    -Glytone daily facial cleanser (contains glycolic acid)
    -Glytone toner
    -Obagi Vitamin C Serum
    -Avene Hydrance Optimal Hydrating Creme SPF 25
    -Obagi Elastiderm Eye Gel
    -Korres Oak Facial Primer and/or Mac Eye primer
    -Neutrogena Tinted Moisturizer w/ SPF 30 (this product I believe has recently been discontinued… this is the one I’ve been using the longest, so I’m in search of a new one. So far Stila seems to be ok).

    -Splash of water
    -Neutrogena facial wipes
    -Cerave gentle cleanser (I only use this if I have on a lot of makeup)
    -Glytone toner
    -Avene Retrinal Cream .1% (highest form of Retinol available w/o a prescription)
    -Skinceuticals Emollience Cream OR (for REALLY dry days) I use the old tried and true Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream
    -Chanel Eye makeup remover

  37. Debbie says:

    This is such great help, I wish I had your flawless face!

  38. Nicolle says:

    I love seeing everyone’s routine! I am always changing things up, but there are two that always stay the same-
    Pevonia moisturizer for problematic skin
    Jane Iredale pure matte powder applied with the Handi brush ( used Mac blot powder for years then tried Jane and will never go back)

  39. Allison says:

    I am always changing things up but for now:

    Skoah exfloliating cleanser
    Paula Begoun Moisture boost Cream
    BM foundation as I cannot find a good SPF that does not make me breakout….AHHHH

    Eminence Organics Lemon Cleanser
    Eminence Organics Stone Crop Cream
    Clean and Clear BP 5% when I breakout

    I want the Clarisonic…saving my pennies

  40. joseph g. says:

    Morning: VMV Hypoallergenics Toner for combination skin
    Vitamin E moisturizer
    Mac Charge Water / Fix Plus
    Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation
    MAC Lightful ultracharge foundation

    Night: Johnson Milk Soap
    and finally Vitamin E moisturizer

    this is my very basic everyday routine. BTW, the foundation changes depending on my mood, I also do like Dior Extreme Fit foundation topped with YSL mat powder foundation… =)

  41. Jennifer says:

    I don’t exactly have a routine becuase I haven’t yet found my HG prducts but right now I’m loving the Tri Derma Facial Redness Cleanser, and Rose Witch Hazel from Whole foods.

  42. Katie says:

    UD Pore Primer

    Lancome Bi-facil eye makeup remover

    That’s it. 🙂

  43. Mel says:

    It’s amazing to see what everyone uses! I’m so glad that you posted this! I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older, I have to make small tweaks in my skin care routine. I’ve suffered from acne since I was a teenager and in the last few years I noticed some flare ups.

    Morning Routine:
    Basis Cleaner Clean Face Wash
    Neutrogena Rapid Clear Pads
    Pur Minerals Tone Up Eye Serum
    Pur Minerals Mineral Moisture Complex
    Revlon Colorstay Foundation
    L’Oreal True Match Powder

    Evening Routine:
    Basis Cleaner Clean Face Wash
    Neutrogena Rapid Clear Pads
    Pur Minerals Tone Up Eye Serum
    Pur Minerals Mineral Moisture Complex
    **I mix a small amount of vaseline into the Moisture Complex for added hydration – my skin is soft and GLOWS in the morning**

    A few times a week I use a Buff Puff to exfoliate and give my face a deep cleansing
    Once a week I use Pur Minerals Mineral Mudd Masque – this stuff is serious!

  44. Lucie says:

    Wow. 🙂

    That’s a pretty detailed skin regiment you have going there.

    It’s pretty maddening when you regularly have to adjust your skin care routine depending on how it feels like acting. Sounds like you’ve come up with something that works well for you, and it’s a credit to you being able to understand your skin so well.

    Great job, and great blog. You’ve earned yourself a new reader.


  45. RachelG says:

    Weleda Wild Rose cleansing milk
    Clinique Mild Clarifying lotion
    Argan oil from Makeup Artist’s Choice
    Clinique All About Eyes Rich

    if I wore makeup, Clinique Take The Day Off Balm
    Weleda Wild Rose Cleansing Milk
    Avene Cleanance K (exfoliator for breakout prone skin)
    Either argan oil from MUAC or the MUAC shea butter cream
    Clinique All About Eyes Rich

    The Wild Rose cleanser smells amazing and is balancing for combo skin. I’m hoping to try some of the other Wild Rose products in the line. I’m wanting to go all natural with my face care like I have with my body care (highly recommend Giovanni for hair)

  46. Karen says:

    Thanks for all of the great ideas, ladies! 🙂

  47. Melissa says:

    Benefit’s Foaming Clean Facial Wash
    Sothys Hydroptimale THI3 Light Cream
    Benefit’s Foaming Clean Facial Wash
    Benefit’s Total Moisture Cream
    Benefit’s Eye Potent Eye Cream

  48. Amy says:

    I have dry, sensitive, acne prone skin.

    Clarisonic Mia Senstive Brush w/ Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
    Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner
    Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Sensitive Skin
    Neutrogena 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment

    Clarisonic Mia Senstive Brush w/ Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
    Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner
    Pond’s Dry Skin Rich Hydrating Cream
    Neutrogena 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment
    Neutrogena Spot Gel (acne)

    I have had my Clarisonic for about a week and so far it’s working pretty well. My skin isn’t clear yet but it’s only been a few days. Hopefully I see good results or better as the ones described by others!!

  49. Kayci says:

    My routine is something I work on all the time, but I have a few brands that I just love!

    Purity Made Simple Cleanser
    Ole Henriksen Balancing Cucumber Mist
    Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
    Philosopy Hope in a Jar Moisturizer
    Clinique All About Eyes

    Purity Made Simple Cleanser
    Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliator
    OH Balancing Cucumber Mist
    OH Truth Serum
    OH Invigorating Night Gel
    OH Nurture Me Moisturizing Creme
    Clinique All About Eyes

    Ole Henriksen is really a wonderful brand. I recommend it to everyone.

  50. serena says:

    I’m constantly changing up my routine to find something better, but this is what i’m using now

    Boots no7 gentle foaming mousse
    Olay spf 30 sensitive skin

    Boots foaming mousse
    olay moisturizing creme for sensitive skin

    Once or twice a week i use the body shop blue corn scrub/mask, and I dab tea tree oil on any blemishes

    Seeing everyone else’s routines on here is insane lol. I couldn’t imagine using that many products on my face at once, i’ve got crazy sensitive/allergic prone skin, I can hardly find products that don’t break me out

  51. shiela@Houston dermatologist  says:

    I’m more of a Pond’s product user. This has been my secret to a youthful glow.

  52. Allison says:

    I’ve seen Proactiv mentioned a few time in the comments on this website, and one reader used it as the main part of her regimen. I just have to ask if it really works…I ordered it the other day and am nervous that I’m giving in to the ads too soon.
    My skin is very acne prone, especially around “that time of month” and I guess is what you consider combination skin. Any suggestions?

  53. Pinks says:

    My skincare routine:-

    Body Shop Foaming Tea Tree Face Wash
    Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream (Vitamin E Night Cream on evening)

    Body Shop Extra Virgin Mineral Compact Make-up
    Benefit Dandelion Blush
    Boots No 7 Mascara (mainly with voucher/points)
    Body Shop Tinted Lip Balm in Tin (Cranberry Joy)

    Body Shop Tea Tree Concealer No 1 Light when needed
    Lily Lolo Mineral Eyeshadows for evenings out or special occasions

  54. alchemilla says:

    When I’m in a hurry, I simply cleanse, tone, serum and moisturize, and I exfoliate at least once per week (usually 2 or three times). Most times I include a treatment oil at night. In the morning I often need a soothing eye gel and when I’m having a soak in the bath I usually give myself a deep cleaning (if I’m hormonal) or nurturing mask (just to make myself feel special!). I use all-natural products, always. I believe in feeding real nourishment to my body temple – not slathering chemicals all over it. I’ve followed the same routine since I was 12 or 13 years old (obviously I started very young) and have excellent skin for a 40+ mom who lived most of her life in the hot, dry, sunny, ozone-layer challenged Western Australian climate!

  55. Yamumay says:

    One of my recent favorites are natural oils especially grape seed oil, maracuja (passion fruit) oil, and argan oil. After washing with aveneeno brightening wash or cetaphil, I use maracuja for my face then after it absorb i pat lightly then put some moisturizer (natural product from etsy). They are awesome! My skin is less oily. I have pigmentation and I saw online about sample glycolic peels and bought it at MUAC and it even out my skin but I still have a little bit left from dark ones on my chin.
    I like physicians formula and maybelline products, and revlon for my budget since I buy a lot of my art supplies. 🙂 I really want to get a good concealer and saving up for the Mac one and foundation. ^^,

  56. mary b says:

    I have used Cetaphil for oily skin in the past but wanted something to help mattify my skin better. I now use Citrus Clear’s Control Moisturizer – its thicker than what I had in mind for a facial lotion, but I don’t care because the product delivers what I need. It absorbs quickly and is a good primer before I apply my concealer and foundation. I stay shine free all day

  57. Angela says:

    Hey gals…loved reading everyone’s routine for facial care–I’m older than most of you on here, so I have a virtual drugstore in my bathroom of things I loved and some that I spent so much money on but can’t bring myself to throw away 🙂 Right now, I am loving loving loving Phytomer’s XMF Perfection cream–I truly believe this was a gift from God–no kidding…it has made a major difference in my skin–lines are lessened, skin is toned, just some amazing stuff. Last night I used a really inexpensive sleeping facial mask by Sephora and it was up to par with some of my more expensive masks and to be honest, the Sephora mask OUTPERFORMED the more expensive masks–it was the ginger root one. Now one thing that I have seen on here that really tugs at my heart is all of you girls dealing with ACNE issues. I have twin teens, a boy and a girl, who have been battling this for quite some time. My sons acne is just kinda spotty and just average, but my daughter! bless her heart! It was this huge cystic painful type of acne. And it was just horrible. Not only the scar that it leaves on your face but on your soul. And I’ve tried and did everything–spent lots and lots and lots of money at doctors, at spas and etc…then one day–MIRACLE! I love watching Wayne Goss and he has a video on youtube called “IF YOU HAVE ACNE WATCH THIS”…so I did. And he talked about his teenage years of battling cycstic acne and what he found worked for him. AND IT WAS ONLY THREE THINGS–1) Cetaphil Cleanser (or something similar), 2) Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment Cream (at least 2.5%) and 3) a good Sunscreen. Yes, he said that he had a lot of down time for the first week because of the peeling but then by the next week, his skin was much clearer and then by the third week, he was only using the peroxide a few times a week. So I thought, why not? I went to the drugstore and purchased this for my kids…and said “Use it and use it exactly how I tell you to.” And yeah, there was a little bit of flakiness and slight peeling the first week, but then by the next week–their skin was transformed! I was floored. and then by the third week their skin (especially my daughters) face was totally cleared. IT REALLY REALLY REALLY WORKS. Now you have to keep your hands off of your face, wash your bedclothes regularly as well as your makeup brushes. but this does work. Please check out his video. and just follow what he says to do. My son’s skin is totally clear and my daughter will have a little bit of break out every now and then, but nothing like it was. And I will tell you that she has lightened up a lot on the treatment. If she feels like it, she does and she has gone to bed with her makeup on several times, so 🙂 But please check out Wayne Goss video on youtube about his battle with acne…I am sure that it will be of great help

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