It’s that time of year again for many of us, when the winter weather starts taking a toll on our skin… leaving it dry, red, and sometimes flaky. I often get emails and comments asking about my personal skincare routine, and I realized it’s been a very long time since I updated my routine on this website. Over the past 1-2 years, as I have tried new products and given them a legitimate, fair test, my preferences and overall routine has changed along the way. This is a great opportunity to focus solely on those who experience dry skin, whether it’s seasonal or year-round. For me personally, I have dry skin all year, but it gets much worse when the weather turns cold.
For those who are new to me and this website (blog), I am 42, and my primary skin concerns are dry skin, anti-aging, and hyper-pigmentation. Many of my skincare choices will tackle all, some, or part of these issues. If you have similar concerns and are age 30 or above, these products will be worth your while to try out as an entire regimen, if you can tackle the combined price tag. Many of these products fall within the “drugstore” pricing range, while others may be a little more expensive. However, I swear by the products I use and believe there are some skincare products that are worth the higher price tag, if you can make it work. I personally would rather spend more money on skincare than on makeup to cover the imperfections.
If you’re under the age of 30, some of the products that I use are too excessive for younger skin. There are some basics that will work great for you, but I’ll save that for a separate article. If you’re wondering which products you can leave out in your teens and 20’s, please feel free to comment below or on my Instagram page. For full disclosure, I started a rigorous skincare routine when I was around 16 years old, often using products that I was told shouldn’t be used until I turned 40 (especially a lot of the Vitamin C products). I credit that decision with my overall skin appearance today. Most people tell me I look much younger than my biological age, an average of 8-10 years younger (of course, they could be blowing smoke up my tail.. who knows). I don’t want younger folks to rush out and spend all their money on products that aren’t absolutely necessary, unless you have the disposable income to do that, but it’s worth noting that the earlier you start a good skincare regimen, the better your results will be.
Before I get started, it’s important to note that this routine is not exclusive to women. Men can and should follow an appropriate skincare routine every morning and night. I always cringe when men tell me they don’t even wash their face with a cleanser each day, or worse, that they apply regular bar soap to their face while in the shower. Nothing will age your skin faster than using the wrong products or no products at all.
With that said, let’s get started. I will focus on my MORNING routine in this article, and I’ll return to publish my updated nighttime routine very soon.
MY BASIC AM SKINCARE ROUTINE
STEP 1 – CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
Always cleanse first with a creamy cleanser. Trash any cleansers labeled as “foaming.” They are drying and will ultimately age you more. I switch daily between a variety of relatively low-cost options. I use some cleansers in the morning and other cleansers in the evening to remove makeup and double-cleanse. It’s not necessary to spend a ton of money on cleanser since it doesn’t absorb into the skin for the most part, and it washes straight down the drain. For best results, combine your cleanser with the use of a Clarisonic.
Here’s some suggestions:
* Neutragena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser Creamy Formula – Walgreens, Ulta
* First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser * Ulta, Sephora
* Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser – I buy from Amazon
* Aquation Gentle Moisturizing Cleanser – Walmart
STEP 2 – EXFOLIATE LIPS
* GlamGlow PoutMud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment
* Jeffree Star Velour Lip Scrubs * (multiple flavors available) BeautyBay (UK Customers), Beautylish, or direct from Jeffreestarcosmetics.com
STEP 3 – ACIDS FOR EXFOLIATION AND TONING
* Lotion P50 – I often combine the original P50 1970 and the P50 PIGM
* After applying the Lotion P50, I follow up with Tatcha The Essence (Sephora)
*A low-cost option is the lip scrub by Milani Cosmetics (drugstore brand)
STEP 4 – ARGIRELINE SOLUTION (topical Botox alternative)
* Apply The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10% to forehead and any areas that are wrinkle-prone.
This is primarily targeted for those concerned with anti-aging and wrinkles. It’s not necessary for your teens and 20’s
STEP 5 – MIX THE FOLLOWING SERUMS TOGETHER IN PALM (3-4 drops each) AND APPLY TO FACE AND NECK.
* Timeless CoEnzyme Q10 Serum
* Timeless Matrixyl® Synthe’6®
* Note: I also use the Timeless Vitamin C 20% Ferulic Acid (the most effective available for skincare purposes). If I’m not going outside that day, I apply this first in the morning after cleansing and acids, but before adding other serums. This help with hyperpigmentation and brightens the skin. If I’m going outdoors in the sun that day, I add this into my morning routine instead. The consistency is very water-like, it absorbs quickly.
Timless is a low-cost brand focused on key ingredients. I recommend following their IG page and watch for sales. During holidays they often run products for 1/2 off when you put $75 worth of products into your shopping cart. That reduces the price significantly, and you can stash most of their products away for several months.
STEP 6 – MIX THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS TOGETHER IN PALM AND APPLY TO FACE AND NECK.
* Drunk Elephant B Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel (2 pumps)
* Belif Hungarian Water Essence (2 pumps)
* Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid (2-3 drops)
* The Ordinary 100% Virgin Marula Oil (2 drops) OR Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil OR Monica Potter Facial Oil with Sea Buckthorn Oil. Sometimes I’ll combine 1 drop of each oil. These absorb quickly and won’t leave your skin greasy.
Wait at least 10-15 minutes if possible before proceeding to next step.
STEP 7 – FINAL MOISTURIZER (select one)
* Olay Regenerist Moisturizer (this has given me amazing anti-aging results within 2 weeks of consistent use morning and night)
* Peter Thomas Roth Cloud Cream Moisturizer
* Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb
* Belif True Cream Moisturizing Bomb
STEP 8 – LET SKIN DRY FOR A FULL 30 MINUTES BEFORE APPLYING MAKEUP
Dont skip this step. If you can’t wait a full 30 minutes, wait as long as you can. Your skincare needs time to properly absorb before applying makeup. If you’re a man, this step obviously doesn’t matter, although you need a few minute to let the shine absorb down.
FINAL STEP – NEVER FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN!
If you don’t put on sunscreen, you’re defeating the ENTIRE purpose of applying any skincare products. DON’T rely on the sunscreen in your makeup products to protect you throughout the day. The average sunscreen in foundation or other products will only last 1-2 hours in the best of circumstances. Find a face sunscreen that works best for you and wears well under your makeup.
* I like the Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50+ Facial Sunscreen. It’s very thin and non-greasy.
* I also like the Bare Minerals Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily Prep Lotion. It has a similar consistency to the Lancome sunscreen for $30 versus the $39 for the Lancome option, although you get a little more fluid ounces in the Lancome product.
Hopefully my morning routine will be helpful for some of you. Again, remember this is focused strictly for the morning routine. It sounds like a lot of steps, but it’s really not once you get used to it. Mixing some serums together can save time, as will other small tricks like cleansing your face in the shower with cool water, i.e., taking advantage of shower time. While waiting on all of your skincare to absorb, that’s a great opportunity to get dressed and take care of other morning prep activities.
One last point I wanted to make is that there are some phenomenal skincare lotions and moisturizers that are perfect for dry skin, but you won’t find them in my morning routine list because they typically don’t wear well under my makeup. If you don’t wear makeup, that won’t matter, so stay tuned for my PM routine that includes some real heavy hitters for dry skin. Also note that this routine doesn’t include special masks, exfoliators, or other peels, which is an important part to healthy skin but not something I do every single day. I will do a separate article on those options.
Be sure to leave your feedback in the comments below or on my Instagram or Facebook pages. I would love to hear what products work well for you and also what topics would be helpful for you to read in the future!
NOTE: None of these products are sponsored. I purchased everything listed here myself. If you’re interested in helping to keep my blog running, please check out my Shop the Blog page (some links are also posted above), and utilize my links to purchase any products you may be interested in. I have links for various stores including Ulta, Sephora, Dermstore, and some options in the UK. Contrary to the larger bloggers, I make a VERY small percentage of any products you purchase via these links (1-2% average), but every single penny literally helps me keep this site running. It’s very costly to be a small beauty blogger. I pay for the products myself (no PR lists), pay for the actual website and hosting services, and other website/photography-related expenses. It all adds up, which is why I truly appreciate your support and consideration when you’re willing to use a link; but never feel obligated to do so!
I am so grateful to all of you. I have amazing supporters and followers. You’re a beautiful group of people, inside and out!