If you follow me on Instagram and see me spam your IG stories with daily skincare faves, you probably know this has been a long time coming. Lots of friends and followers have asked about my skincare routine—spoiler alert: NOT because I have great skin, but because I try a lot of product—but as a result of that constant trial and error, I had never really locked down a set routine to fill them in on.
Lately, however, I've found myself gravitating towards an (admittedly large) group of products that really work. A few years ago, I had oily, breakout-prone skin and severe cystic acne. Now, my skin is definitely more combination, and while I do spot treat blemishes when I get them, my overall skincare routine is about hydrating, replenishing, and brightening my skin—in fact, I don't have any active acne-related products in this huge lineup. I used to spend so much time drying out my blemishes that my overall skin paid the price and looked dull, so now brightening and rejuvenating are my primary focuses.
Read on to check out the products I've been loving, and keep in mind that everyone's skin is different. These are the tried and true must-haves that really work for me.
Round 1: Makeup Removal and Cleansing
On days where I am wearing a lot of makeup, I'll start by applying the Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse Balm to dry skin to start the makeup removal process, that way my cleanser can reach my skin without being blocked by a layer of heavy foundation. I don't always do this, but it's a nice extra step after long days or big nights to make my skin feel as clean as possible. Next up, I'll cleanse with any of a myriad of cleansers, but my top two at the moment are the Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil Gel to really remove makeup and refresh skin, or the Asarai Come Clean Cleanser. Asarai is a brand I'm newly loving, and not just for their gen Z yellow packaging. This purifying gel-to-milk cleanser hydrates and soothes as it cleans; I really recommend a milky cleanser to anyone looking to add extra hydration to their routine. Finally, If I'm using a physical exfoliant that day, I'll opt for the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, which is equally gentle and effective, and great for all skin types.
(Optional) Round 2: Masking
IF I'm masking that night (usually 2-4 times a week for me), lately I've been leaning towards one of these three as my go-tos. The Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Atomic Heat Mask is such a great treat-yourself mask that gives a burst of hydration. When it's time to wash it off, I massage the mask until the heat-activated ingredients kick in and my face gets warm and tingly. It's an odd, unique feeling that keeps me coming back again and again, and afterwards my skin feels crazy soft. The bareMinerals Dirty Detox Mud Mask is my current favorite clay mask for detoxing clogged pores after a long week of heavy makeup. The Asarai Earth Tones Australian Red Clay Brightening/Detox Mask has a super similar feel to the bareMinerals, and I love it to get my skin feeling bright and firm before a big event.
Round 3: Treats and Treatments
After I've cleansed, I want my skin to be as clean as possible, so I go in with a couple more products that have all really made a difference in the overall radiance of my complexion. The IT Cosmetics Miracle Water Glow Tonic is the only micellar water I'll use, and it's gentle enough to take off whatever's left of my eye makeup after cleansing as well. Next, if I didn't use a physical exfoliant in the shower, I use the Glossier Solution, a chemical exfoliant that had my skin looking clearer and smoother in texture after just a handful of uses. At only $24, I can't recommend this one enough! Finally, I love to press the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence into my skin to fight pollution and signs of aging.
Round 4: Serums and Oils
I SWEAR by my Ole Henriksen Truth Serum for a necessary dose of Vitamin C. If you only buy one thing from this post, invest in this or the Glossier Solution to see gorgeous results fast. Next up is the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil by The Ordinary, only on my cheeks and chin. This is a great addition for anyone trying to lighten acne scars, but the brand has been a hot topic lately due to their founder's controversial ways on social media, so if you're looking for a good alternative, try the Mario Badescu Rose Hip Nourishing Oil. Finally, I treat myself to around six drops of the Dermalogica Barrier Defense Booster drops pressed into my skin for a calming, nourishing feel.
Round 5: Moisture and Hydration
The final steps before I'm off to bed! On a normal night, I moisturize with the super silky Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Moisturizer, but if I'm particularly dry I'll do an overnight hydrating mask instead, usually the Huxley Secret of Sahara Sleep Mask. I don't have a nighttime eye cream that I truly love, but I'm enjoying trying out the Neocutis Micro Eyes Rejuvenating Cream. Finally, my routine ends with the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask on my lips, which I've been sampling for a few weeks now and am completely obsessed with. My lips get a little dry in the winter, and overnight treatments are the ultimate way to wake up feeling moisturized.
Hope you guys enjoyed just a few of my faves—and trust me, there are tons more! Let me know what else you're interested in seeing, maybe my morning routine or a roundup of my favorite masks? Happy to do it all and then some! Hope you found some products you want to pick up and try out yourself.