Planning My Skincare Routine

skincare routine

I am finally getting a post up on this side of the blog. I had been struggling to pick the ‘right’ first topic, when I was inspired by my friend Kristen (@planningwithkristen @withkristen) who has been talking about skincare in her streams. She has been talking about the importance of investing in your skincare, which I completely agree with.

It then hit me that the perfect place to start the beauty side of my blog, would of course be skincare. I truly believe the best beauty products are those that make you feel the most comfortable in your own skin.


I have always had a love for beauty products and can remember in my early teens loving the makeup aisle and wanting to grow up so I could buy all the makeup I wanted. I loved makeup but I equally loved skincare. I loved face mask and having beauty nights with my friends. Back then I was a Noxzema girl (do they even still make that stuff?) And although my skincare routine has changed many times over the years, it has been in the past couple years that I have spent the time researching skincare and really trying to develop a solid routine. Why? Well I am getting older and am realizing sleeping in my makeup for most of my early twenties did my face no bit of good. But also because the more I fall in love with makeup the more I strive to be more comfortable wearing less makeup, and I want to have beautiful, glowing skin.

So I thought that since skincare in my opinion is the most important category of beauty products, and if you already read the other side of my blog on planning, you know I love to plan, it made sense that my first post be on how I planned my skincare routine.

Because this post is already super long, I am going to split this post into two parts. I am going to have this post focus on my morning and night routine, and I will do a separate post on masks, spot treatments, lip care, etc. Also please recognize that although I have a deep love for skin care, I am not a expert and not formally trained, any opinions I express are my own and are from my own experiences.

How I Developed My Skin Care Routine

Why I Decided I Needed A Skin Care Routine:

Although I am not new to skincare (I have used cleansers and moisturizers and even toner for years), what I hadn’t used was eye creams, serums, and treatment oils, so once I fell into that rabbit hole it was clear that I needed to come up with a routine.

My skin has also changed in the past five or so years. Not only do I now suffer from cystic acne outbreaks, but have combination skin, so I can be dry and patchy in places, and oily in others. I also have tons of texture, and redness, so as I started to add in more products to help my skin, I realized that I needed to create some organization to my skincare so the products could work together and keep my skin balanced.

Below is my skincare routine which I have broken into morning & night. I will talk about why I chose each product and how I developed my routine.


Step 1: Cleanser

philiCleanser- I wash my face twice a day. I used to just wash at night with cleanser and just rinse my face with water in the morning. Thinking back now I can’t imagine not using cleanser in the morning.  I was worried that I would dry out my skin more by washing it in the morning. Although I have dry skin I was getting oily in certain areas during the day, and was blaming it on my makeup. After washing with cleanser in the morning I realized I was getting oily from not washing excess oils off my face in the morning. However since I tend to get dry, I choose a cream lotion face wash that doesn’t dry out my skin.  In the morning I wash with Philosophy Made Simple Cleanser. It is super gentle on my skin. I like using a mild cleanser in the morning, my night routine takes care of the deep cleaning. Listen to your skin, it knows what it wants. Start a skin journal to keep track of how your skin is reaction to products or certain parts of your monthly cycle.

Step 2: Toner

clarifI have used a toner for years. If I had to give up everything else in my skincare routine I would probably give up my cleanser before my toner.   Once I have cleaned my skin I always go in with a toner. I used Clinque Mild Clarifying Lotion as my toner for the past ten-ish years but they just recently  discontinued it and replaced it with Clarifying Lotion 1—It is not the same! I am not in love with it and will be soon switching to something new. Toner re balances the PH of your skin, plus it unclogs pores and since I do tend to get oily during the day in my tzone, I will use a toner to help avoid that. Also toner will help remove any left over traces of cleanser if you didn’t wash it off well and that will prep your skin for the next step.

Step Three: Serum

truthI have been using serums for about a year and bit now. I wanted to add in serums to my routine because as I said, my skin has changed in the past few years and I have issues I wanted to address with my skin, such as uneven skin tone. If I had known about serums years ago, I would have been using them as preventive measures, but now I am using some for correction, and some for preventive. I chose to use a vitamin C serum because it is known to  brightening  dull skin. I use Ole Henriksen Truth Serum. It helps with dullness and adds moisture. I like a serum that absorbs quickly and this stuff smells  of citrus and is nice in the morning. I usually will give this stuff a minute or so to really sink in.

Step Four: Moisturizer

moistuBefore I became obsessed with finding the perfect serum, I was obsessed with moisturizers. I have tried many over the years, and for many years used the Clinique Redness Solutions, but in the past year or so I have fallen in love with Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation  and it my go to now. I think I am on my fifth or six bottle now. It isn’t super moisturizing for my dry skin, but I prefer to use a light moisturizer that will work well under my makeup and then use a thicker moisturizer at night, or a moisture mask, so it can sink in. It is suppose to even skin tone and and uneven texture as well which is a goal for my skin. I let this moisturizer sink in for about ten or fifteen minutes before I start my makeup. Although I am usually in a hurry in the morning, I still spend the time letting my products properly absorb into my skin.

Step Five: Eye Cream 

freshWhen I first added an eye cream into my routine, I added in one specific designed for night. However as I get older and I am developing a few more lines, I have added in a morning eye cream. Also my under eye can get dry and dry = aging. Most recently I have been using the Ole Henriksen Fresh Start Eye Cream. (It doesn’t seem to be available from Sephora anymore). It is really creamy and moisturizing and works well under concealer. My only complaint would be that it is in a jar and not a tube, and that means every time you open it, you are exposing it to light and it will break down the important ingredients in the product more quickly, especially since this is such a large jar.

Step Six: Lip Balm 

I will talk more about my lip care routine in a separate post, but I make sure to add lip balm on every morning after I brush my teeth.


Step 1: Makeup Remover (if I can give one piece of advice to live by when it comes to skincare, Do Not Sleep in your makeup)

takeoffI could rave for days on how amazing my makeup remover is. Usually if a friend gets me talking about skincare this product is the first one out of my mouth (followed quickly by my product from step 2.5) For years the only makeup remover I used was for my eyes. I thought that my cleanser would be enough to take off my makeup and maybe back then it was. Back before the world of foundation, and powder, and blush, and highlighter. With my makeup routine growing, my skincare routine did as well. I don’t know how I could live with out my makeup remover. I just went on vacation and it was the only skincare product I forgot and I couldn’t believe the difference in my skin. Clinque Take Off The Day Balm is amazing. It’s a wax like putty that turns to oil when you rub it on your face. It takes off every bit of my makeup and gets it ready to be cleansed. If you don’t use a makeup remover and aren’t happy with your skin, try out a makeup remover, it may make the difference.

Step 2: Cleanser

When I was developing my skincare routine I decided on two cleansers. I know for a lot of people one cleanser works, but for my combination skin, I find that two is better then one. I keep it the same for my morning routine, but for nighttime cleanser I switch between two. My current two I have been using for a while. The Philosophy Made Simple Cleanser (from my morning routine) and First Aid Beauty- Face Cleanser. I switch between the two depending on the feeling of my face. As I said I have dry skin so I can only use a foam cleanser- which is what the First Aid Beauty Cleanser is- a couple times a week at most. I originally switched from a foam cleanser (Vichy- ProEven) to the Philosophy one because the foam one was drying my skin out badly, at the time I was blaming it on the product but then I figured out that because of my combo skin. This is why I suggested the skin journal and listening to your skin, my skin was telling me that it needed both cleansers.

Step 2.5: Cleansing Tool

foreoOne of the biggest changes I made when developing my skincare routine was adding in a cleansing device. This along with makeup remover changed my skincare game. The Foreo Luna Mini in case you haven’t heard of it is a cleansing device that you use with your cleanser. This silicone brush has completely changed the texture of my skin.  It does say to use it twice a day, but at this point I have only been using it once a day to really cleanse my skin, and gently exfoliate. When it comes to investing in skincare, this product is definitely an investment. Before investing in this device I was using a manual silicone cleansing brush which I liked as well. So if your budget can’t allow the Luna check out this tool (this is the replacement to the original version I had and there seems to be changes made, but it still has good reviews)

Step 3: Toner

clarifOnce I have cleaned my skin I always go in with my toner. The toner will take off any bits of makeup that are left and if I didn’t get the all the cleanser washed off. I use it on a cotton pad and make sure to get my whole face and neck. My neck and chest I always neglected but recently I have made sure to include my neck and chest in my routine.


Step 4: Serum

After I let my toner dry (takes a couple seconds) I then will use a serum and/or oil. This is the part of my routine that took a bit more planning. Serums have higher concentrates of active ingredients and are great for targeting specific skin issues. I picked serums that target redness and skin texture/tone because those are my main concern. As I get older I will also add in anti-aging products.

I switch between the following serums

nightOle Henriksen Invigoranting Night Transformation Gel. This serum helps dullness and uneven texture. It has AHAs  (including glycolic and lactic acids) to smooth texture and also has anti aging properties. I use this serum a couple times a week but in the winter sometimes I have to use it less as it is quite drying to my skin.

truthOle Henriksen Truth Serum (from morning routine). This serum is my go-to,  I use it most nights and with its antioxidant properties it helps support natural collagen which helps keep your skin glowing.

rednessFirst Aid Beauty- Redness Relief Serum I bought this to try to correct some of the redness in my skin however  I haven’t seen much change. It is suppose to use caffeine to reduce skin redness. I do however like how moisturizing this serum since it is in lotion form. If you have a suggestion of skincare products that help with redness I would love for you to comment down below.

lorealL’oreal Texture Perfector– This serum is to help tighten pores and reduce lines. I like this serum again because it is a lotion serum and is moisturizing. I like how this serum makes my skin feel so I have continued to use this in my routine a couple times a week, but even when I was using it daily, I didn’t find it reduced my pore size. Once this is gone, I will look to replace it with another product that concentrates on pore size.

Step Five: Moisturizers

moistuAfter I put on my choice serum, I then will go in with a moisturizer. I have been using the Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation, the same as my morning routine. Although I plan to add in a night cream, I have yet to find one I like. Instead I have been using my daily moisturizer and adding in a sleep mask a couple times a week. It adds a moisture boost to my skin.

IMG_0835 I love the Sephora Creamy Night Mask. I bought it because it was on sale for half price(just $12) and love it. It claims to be moisturizing and plumping and it makes me skin look amazing in the morning. It does look like it has been discontinued I am hoping it is going to get replaced, but I absolutely love this for my skin.
Step Six: Eye Cream 

Midnight Recovery EyeI have tried a few different eye creams in the past, but most of the time besides giving a bit of moisture, I didn’t find they helped with much else. Until I met Midnight Recovery Eye from Kiehl’s. Using this nightly has changed my under eye.  I didn’t suffer from super pigmented dark circles, but I was slightly dark and this has taken them away. Plus this one is in a dark tube keeping all it’s active ingredients safe inside.


Step Seven: Lip Balm 

Like I said I will go into more detail on my lip care routine in another post, but I did want to mention the lip mask/balm that I love. The Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask  feels so nice on my lips at nice. It keeps them super hydrated and I love that all the ingredients in it are food grade.



Wow! Ok so that was longer then even I predicted it was going to be. If you have made it all the way to the end, thanks for staying with me. I hope that you enjoyed my first post for this side of the blog. I am not sure what my posting schedule will be for the beauty side of my life, but I have started an IG: beautybyreview to give short reviews of beauty products I am trying out. If you have any questions about my skincare routine, or would like suggestions on products, please leave comments down below or feel free to contact me via my email contact.



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