My PM Skincare Routine

My Skincare Routine

Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in the near future, as my PM skincare routine has changed quite a bit since this article was originally written and after I’ve had an opportunity to experiment with more products. Stay tuned to the blog for the update soon!


Skincare has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager. I’ve always invested a lot of time and attention to my skincare products, but I wasn’t always smart about going out in the sun without sunscreen. I watched my sister suffer horribly with acne throughout her life, and my mother always appeared far beyond her biological age. I was and still am determined to maintain clean, healthy, radiant skin and avoid the issues that my family members experienced. I’m 41 now (shhh don’t tell anyone), and it’s even more important to take good care of my skin and slow down the damage that time and the environment can inflict on my appearance. Night-time is my “me” time, where I take time out to de-stress after the end of a long day at work.

A proper skincare routine is important regardless of your age, although the steps will vary depending on your specific skin concerns, skin type, age, and goals.  Skincare is never “one size fits all” for everyone.  It’s important that you identify your individual skincare needs and select products that are appropriate for your specific skin. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend visiting a dermatologist or facial specialist at a med spa where a professional can evaluate your personal skin type, your specific concerns, and address those concerns with a targeted treatment plan. While this may sound expensive, it’s not quite as expensive as it may sound, and it could save you some money in the long-run. Consider how much money you routinely spend on over-the-counter skincare and makeup products that may not currently meet your needs.

I recently completely overhauled my entire skincare routine. Your skin changes over time, and so should the products that you use.  On average, your skin needs change every 10 years, more frequently if you have any medical issues.  Some of the products I personally use are excellent for people in their 30’s or older, while other products are perfect for people of any age.  After visiting a professional at my local med spa, I incorporated some prescription-grade treatments into my routine that are proven to make a difference in aging skin.  I also had a Light Laser Peel (with no down-town or pain), in addition to Botox treatment and lip augmentation (lip fillers). I’ll discuss that in a separate blog.

With all of that said, let’s dig into my PM Skincare Routine! This will be long, so buckle up, grab some tea, and let’s get started!

My Skin Type: Mostly dry with some areas that are normal. I do not typically have sensitive skin or acne issues, outside of an occasional hormonal breakout.

Info To Know Before Starting:  I often do not use the same exact products every single night, but I choose to switch up the same type of products in different brands occasionally to ensure my skin stays fresh and doesn’t get “too used to” one certain product. I just find this works better for my skin personally. Therefore, I will present the steps I use and outline the various products that I rotate thru on various days in each step. Unless noted, select only 1 product per step. My favorite or preferred product will be indicated with a *


Step 1 – Remove Makeup (Select One)
Step 2 – Exfoliating Cleanser or Exfoliating Treatment Mask
  • GlamGlow YouthCleanse Daily Exfoliating Cleanser (not the mask but the cleanser) *
  • GlamGlow FlashMud Brightening Treatment (contains gritty exfoliating ingrediants) *
Step 3 – Final Cleanse with Self-Toning Cleanser (w/Clarisonic Device)
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser * Ulta
  • Neutragena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser Creamy Formula * – Walgreens, Ulta
  • Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel – Ulta, QVC
Step 4 – Exfoliate and Scrub Lips
  • GlamGlow PoutMud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment *
  • Jeffree Star Velour Lip Scrubs * (multiple flavors available)  BeautyBay (UK Customers)
  • Milani Keep it Sweet Sugar Lip Scrub (Walgreens)
Step 5 – Acids for Exfoliation and Toning
  • Lotion P50
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads * (QVC)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads – Macys, Ulta, QVC
Step 6 – Water Essence or Vitamin Spray

Prescription Retin-A cannot be applied until skin is thoroughly dry or else it can absorb more deeply and rapidly than desired and cause complications.

Step 8 – Retin-A / Hydroquinone / Vitamin C Cream (Prescription Only) – Use every 2 to 3 Days ONLY
  • Retin A (tretinoin), combined with pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C and Hydroquinone. * This is a cream that the doctor at my Med Spa prescribed for me, and it’s specially formulated at the local compound pharmacy. Many large cities/suburbs have at least one compound pharmacy nearby that can provide a service such as this. You can certainly get a prescription for Retin A (tretinoin) alone, and add the other components individually as needed. However, the compound pharmacy was able to compound this formula together for less of a cost than a tube of Tretnoin alone. This formula must be refrigerated to maintain stability, as Vitamin C is known to be a very unstable ingredient that is susceptible to light.  The Hydroquinone is an ingredient used to lighten dark areas of skin pigmentation (sun spots, freckles, other dark areas of the skin related to hormones or other factors, etc.). This compound is effective for 30 days when stored properly in the refrigerator, and I paid $70 for a 1 ounce tube (versus around $75-100 for Retin-A/Tretinoin alone).
  • NOTE: My physician said that Retin-A stays in the skin for up to 72 hours, so it’s unnecessary to apply it every single day. If you do, it will probably dry out your skin and may be too harsh.  It’s important to know that your skin can take 4-6 weeks to adjust to Retin A, and it will cause dry, flaky skin during that period. Heavy moisturization is required to combat the dryness during that time.
  • On alternating days, I use the following product:
Step 8b – Retinol (Use alternate days when above prescription isn’t used)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM  OR  Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream
Step 9 – Allow Retinol / Retin-A Dry for 30 Minutes Minimum Before Proceeding
Step 10 – Hyaluronic Acid/Moisture Serum
  • Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel * – Sephora
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum – Ulta, Sephora
  • Ceramidin Liquid – Sephora
  • Farsali Rose Gold Elixer (beauty oil)
Step 11 – Final Layer of Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Days Requiring Extra Moisture / Treatment Overnight (OPTIONAL / AS NEEDED) 
  • Nassif MD Hydro-Screen Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides (found at HSN) *
  • Dr. Denese Hydroshield Serum (QVC)
  • Both of the above products are VERY thick, clear serums that feel like a thick oil but dry down within 10 minutes to a matte finish. These are both excellent products that provide intense moisture, without leaving your skin greasy after drying.
Step 12 – Final Moisturizer Cream
  • Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream* (Sephora)
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream * (Sephora, Ulta)


Whew! I didn’t realize how long my routine was until I typed it all out. As I mentioned previously, this is time that I make for myself to take care of my skin properly. You may not need all these steps and products. Please evaluate your skin type first to determine your unique needs. This is the routine that is currently working wonders for my dry and aging skin, especially during the harsh winter months. If you’re in your teens or 20’s, you can eliminate the prescription retinol products and Vitamin C serums unless you have issues with acne (Retin A) or want to use these for preventative maintenance.

This blog is NON-SPONSORED.  I paid 100% of the cost of the listed products. The opinions above are my own and are honest based on my personal experience. Some links are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission on any products you purchase through my link. Any commission is used to continue the support of this blog, and I appreciate your consideration.

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  1. Cristina Risso
    December 7, 2017 / 7:08 am

    Question: do you use acids to exfoliate even during “Retin A” nights?? (hence before the Retin A?). Very interesting to know that the active ingredient will be active for 72 hours. I am still looking and looking and looking and trying to discover what is the golden standard use of Retin A for antiaging (some says that 0.05% is more than enough when used every day while others says that one should aim to use the 0.01% ). Very confusing. C

    • My Beautiful Flaws
      December 7, 2017 / 1:13 pm

      Hi. Those are really good questions, and I know this is all a very confusing process. For some people, it’s trial and error, but I’ve definitely learned a lot from my doctor and my own mistakes. When first starting out using a prescription-strength Retin A product, I do not recommend using acids on the same day. I rotated them out, using one on one day and another on the second day. Slowly let your face adjust. I made the mistake of doing too much at one time, and my face literally started peeling off, got really inflamed and required medical treatment for a week. As time goes by, you can change and build it up. The gold standard to start with Retin A or the generic version Tretenoin is 0.05%. Some people work their way up to 0.1%, but after almost 1.5 years, I haven’t done that nor do I find it necessary.

      Eventually you can get to the point where you apply an acid in the morning and your Retin-A at night. However try not to do both at the same exact time. If you do, wait several months into treatment, try it once over a weekend when you don’t have anywhere to go, and have a little Cortisone cream handy just in case you get too sensitive. Hope that helps! 🙂

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