Skincare Essentials

Say goodbye to makeup-remover wipes and heavily-fragranced cleansers! Until recently, my skincare "routine" included the same products my mom had originally picked out for me when acne first hit. While these products do the job and my skin has never been terrible, I've worked to personalize my skincare and make sure my skin doesn't flare up during quarantine (I'm looking at you maskne). I've spent lots of downtime learning about quality skincare products that can protect and improve the health of my skin. One of my favorite resources has been skin care specialist Hyram on YouTube, so check him out!

This blogpost provides a general overview of the appropriate order to apply your skincare products in, as well as the products I've recently incorporated into my routine!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a skincare professional or dermatologist. Contact your provider for specific recommendations and know that everyone's skincare routine and products should be extremely personalized. This is simply what has been working for me. Try out new products to find out what works for you!

In reality, your skincare routine can be slimmed down to cleanser/moisturizer/sunscreen in the morning and cleanser/moisturizer in the evening. However, as I've been trying to improve the appearance and health of my skin I've incorporated these specific products into my routine.


  1. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser: Recently I've been trying to be better about quickly washing my face every morning. Beyond cleaning off any treatment from the previous night, this habit also helps to wake me up in the morning! I use the same cleanser morning and night, but I love this particular one because it cleanses the skin without stripping it of essential moisture. Ceramides and hyaluronic acid help restore the protective skin barrier.

  2. Paula's Choice SKIN BALANCING Pore-Reducing Toner: A toner is the first leave-on skincare step meant to hydrate and treat your skin. Over time, toners can positively change the appearance and tightness of your pores. Toners prime your skin for the skincare steps to follow. Once all impurities are removed from your skin through cleansing, the beneficial ingredients in toners can get to where they're needed. This is the only product I haven't tried out yet, but it is currently on the way to me! The Ordinary toner is not meant to be used in the morning (or even every night in some cases), so I was in search of a hydrating toner to use regularly. I'm excited to give this one a try!

  3. Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream: My biggest skincare "insecurity" is dark circles. As I started my deep dive into skincare, I searched for treatments that would combat this and allow me to worry less about always covering under eye darkness with concealer. I've been using this product every morning and I appreciate the moisture and wash of bright yellow color it provides. This eye cream is made to improve concealer wear, so you don't have to worry about layering products. It also targets fine lines and wrinkles to revive the area over time.

  4. CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion: Although I'm still learning, I think I've determined that I have combination skin (both oily and dry). With ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this product helps restore the skin's moisture after cleansing and before applying makeup. The formula is lightweight and fragrance-free.

  5. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen: Although it's not the most fun, I've committed to applying face sunscreen every day (when I'm leaving the house). It really is an important step! The CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen is a mineral sunscreen (zinc oxide) that incorporates ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to provide additional skincare benefits. This sunscreen does have a decent white cast, but the ingredients and affordability makes up for it in my opinion (although I would NOT suggest it for anyone with a darker skin tone).


  1. The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm: I only include a cleansing balm in my skincare routine if I've worn a lot of sunscreen or makeup that day. If I have, a cleansing balm is necessary to remove dirt and oil from the skin. Cleansing balms lift makeup and impurities from the skin while also restoring moisture. Your skin is then ready for a cleanser to wash everything away. The Inkey List's Oat Cleansing Balm uses colloidal oatmeal to reduce redness and irritation. With its low price tag and spectacular results, it makes sense that this cult-favorite product is constantly out of stock!

  2. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser: If I had a no-makeup day, cleansing is the first step of my nighttime skincare routine. Otherwise it follows up my cleansing balm. In either circumstance, the role of a cleanser is to gently remove pollutants (makeup, dead skin cells, oil, dirt, etc.) from the skin. Once this cleanser runs out, I'm looking forward to trying CeraVe's Renewing SA Cleanser. This cleanser harnesses salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and clean the skin. It is able to deeply penetrate the skin and dissolve any debris that is clogging your pores. Because of this, it is the perfect cleanser for combatting breakouts.

  3. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: The Ordinary's toner provides mild exfoliation with glycolic acid. This product is recommended for use at night and no more than once a day because of the prevalence of alpha hydroxy acid. Do not apply to broken or compromised skin, but a tingling sensation is to be expected.

  4. The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum: Serums are essentially skincare boosters. They deliver high concentrations of specific active ingredients to the skin. Retinol is a powerhouse ingredient for skin renewal as it targets signs of aging and uneven skin tone. For my treatment/serum I chose The Inkey List's Retinol Anti-Aging Serum in hopes that it will treat my dark circles and uneven texture over time. This product is lightweight and non-irritating. Note- It is important not to mix Vitamin C (as in the eye cream I use in the morning) and Retinol. Cleansing in the morning prevents this.

  5. CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion: As previously mentioned, this is a simple tried-and-true moisturizer. I love applying moisturizer as my last step before bed!

I have no doubt that the skincare products in my routine will continue to change as time goes on. With this newfound interest in and passion for skincare, I hope to write more blogposts on the topic! Let me know if this post taught you anything and/or if you'd be interested in reading more about skincare in the future. Thanks for reading!

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