As I mentioned in an earlier post, once I learned that my skin was not oily, but actually dry/dehydrated, I overhauled my skincare regimen. It took a few tries, but I’ve finally figured out a combination of products that works for me.
I thought I’d write about my morning skincare routine to give an idea of what a skincare routine could look like for someone with dry/dehydrated skin in their late 20s. I also have finicky skin (not a technical term), which means that many of the products I have tried in the past have broken me out, so all that remains are products that my skin seems to be happy with.
Currently, I have an eight-step routine, which is absurd by most standards (unless you’re a YouTuber, in which case this is perfectly normal). Honestly, if you’re in your 20s, the main products you should use in the morning are cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF (and maybe a serum if you have a specific concern you’re trying to address). Any good moisturizer can double as your eye cream. I’m just extra AF.
Disclaimer: What works for me might not work for you. These products are more of a guideline for what you could use if you have finicky skin. And as always, none of these links are affiliate links. Instead, these links are for your convenience.
Step One: Cleanse: Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash
I love Kate Somerville products. She literally wrote the book on skincare, and if you’re new to her brand, then her cleansers and moisturizers are the best place to start. Jackie Aina follows the 60-second cleanse rule, and so do I (I’d link the video where she mentions this, but I’ve honestly forgotten – sorry about that!).
Step Two: Toner: Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner
Toner is supposed to restore the pH balance in your skin after cleansing. Alas, this appears to be discontinued (I think it’s being replaced with the Exfolikate toner), so I eventually will replace these with the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, because I find them milder than the Exfolikate toner. Usage: Saturate a cotton pad and apply around your face.
Step Three: Essence: Blithe Vital Treatment 5 Energy Roots
For the differences between essences, ampoules, and serums, see Glow Recipe’s very helpful video. Again, I’m extra AF, so I use all three, even though all three are not necessary. I’m probably overcompensating because I feel guilty for basically torturing my skin for the last decade or so. If your skin leans more towards oily, I’d just use essence and then moisturizer. Usage: Just pour a bit of it out onto one of your hands, rub your hands together, and pat it into your face.
Step Four: Ampoule: Leegeehaam Grow Vita Propolis Ampoule
I used to get the Blithe essence above and this Leegeehaam ampoule from Glow Recipe’s website. Glow Recipe has since discontinued carrying K-Beauty products with the exception of their own products. Sadness. I’ve never ordered Leegeehaam through Amazon before, but when I eventually have to reorder, I will let you know how that goes (I’ve heard that ordering beauty products through Amazon is hit or miss). Usage: I place two drops on one palm, rub my hands together a bit, and then press my palms to my face until the product absorbs. (Note: There’s going to be a Glow Recipe sample sale if you’re in NYC)
Step Five: Serum: Sisley-Paris Global Perfect
Imagine if Benefit’s POREfessional was a skincare product that you could layer under moisturizer. This is a bougie splurge and completely unnecessary. But this is also my go-to for no-makeup days, and I’m not looking forward to the day I have to reorder this. Usage: Use half a pump, at most, to cover your T-zone if your pores are a concern.
Step Six: Moisturizer: Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream
I have strayed from this moisturizer more than once, and each time, the moisturizer I have used instead has made my face turn redder than it normally is (these include Biossance’s Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer, Ren’s Evercalm Serum, Ren’s Evercalm Cream, Belif’s Aqua Bomb, Origins’ Mega-Bright SPF 30, Drunk Elephant’s Protini and LaLa Retro creams, and plenty of others). I will not stray again, and I will never stop recommending this (unless it gets reformulated and is no longer amazing, but why would Kate do that to us? WHY?).
Step Seven: Eye Balm: Kate Somerville De-Puffing Eye Balm
Honestly, any good moisturizer can double as your eye cream. I bought this because I was curious about it and wanted to try it out. It’s a nice extra level of hydration and has a cooling sensation to it. Does it de-puff? I can’t tell. Will I repurchase? Meh, probably not.
Step Eight: SPF: Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++
I used to use the Farmacy Green Screen (now Green Defense), but now I use Murad’s City Skin SPF and I will never go back to anything else. Was I sucked in by its claims to protect against blue light? Yes, definitely. But this SPF also has a bit of a peach tint to it, which has helped with some of my redness. There are plenty of times I leave my apartment having only used this SPF, mascara, and lip gloss for my makeup.
There you have it! In total, this probably takes about fifteen minutes. It’s extra, and only steps one, six, and eight are the ones I would absolutely recommend if you’re looking to revamp your routine. If you skin still feels a bit dry, then I’d start including additional steps. But for most people in their 20s, cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF is all you need. I do each of these steps every morning because it’s what YouTube recommended (I’m so easy to influence), but it’s really been working for me, so I’ve stuck with it.
What’s your skincare routine? Have you tried any of the above-mentioned products?
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