Self-care is so important these days and as I’ve grown older, investing in my skincare is my favorite form of self-care. In this post, I cover my entire AM + PM skin care products, how to layer correctly, and the best skin care products for every price point. You can easily curate the best skin care routine without breaking the bank. Sure, it’s nice to splurge every once in a while but the majority of products I use are very reasonable.
You must always stick to the cardinal skincare rule when it comes to layering, “layer thinnest to thickest” if you can remember that you’re already skincare natural!
While all opinions and recommendations are always my own, my content on this blog post may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. This means I get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking one of these links at no additional cost to you. As always, I am so thankful for your support and will continue to offer free resources!
BELOW IS MY CURRENT ROUTINE IN ORDER OF APPLICATION
BEST SKIN CARE ROUTINE AM
Cleanser in the AM
You should only wash my face in the morning if I truly need it (extra oily). Or if you have acneic skin. Otherwise, I would simply splash my face with cold water and start with the essence or face mist below. If you are looking for a gentle cleanser the Tula Cult Classic is my favorite!
Fresh Antioxidant Facial Treatment Essence
Adding essence to your routine is helpful to fight against pollution. Also, your Vitamin C Serum and Hyaluronic Acid penetrate better into your skin when using an essence. You always want to apply both of those products to a damp face. I’ve been using this one for a few weeks now and already see a difference in the texture of my skin.
ItCosmetics “Bye Bye Lines” Hyaluronic Acid
There are so many benefits to using Hyaluronic Acid. The main ones being increasing moisture of the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve been using the ItCosmetics Hyaluronic Acid for a few months now and have not only fallen in love with the quality but the $29 price doesn’t hurt the bank! It has peptides and B5 included in the serum as well.
PRO TIP: You always want to apply HA to the skin when it’s damp. I like to spritz my face with Tula Signature Glow and then apply my HA. You’ll see the plumpness in your skin right away!
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Serum (SPLURGE)
Adding a Vitamin C Serum to your routine is vital as you get older. It has so many benefits that I actually wrote an entire blog post on it. Check out “Vitamin C Serum Benefits: The Best Ones to Buy“.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this serum as being the holy grail of serums. Even though it’s very expensive I can attest to the fact that it is worth every single penny. I’ve been using Vit C for years to diminish one dark spot on my cheek. I even went as far as getting a laser treatment (that cost well over $200) to get rid of said spot and nothing seemed to work. Then I started using Skinceuticals and within weeks the spot has diminished so much that I don’t even notice it anymore. If you struggle with dark spots try this serum and you will not be disappointed.
Maelove “The Glow Maker” Vitamin C Serum (SAVE)
If you want a more affordable Vitamin C Serum then Maelove is your girl. I used this for years before my SkinCeuticals obsession.
EltaMD Renew Eye Gel
Being that I have very dark circles under my eyes (thanks genetics!) I’ve searched high and low for a good daytime eye cream to help reduce the puffiness. Well thankfully, I found the EltaMD Renew Eye Gel. The gel is lighter than an eye cream so it makes your skin glow while reducing puffiness.
Elta MD daily moisturizer with SPF
The holy grail of daily moisturizers that is dermatologist-approved! If you’re not using a daily SPF then you need to buy this product right now and never look back. It’s the most important part of this routine and if you can only choose one, let it be this.
This moisturizer leaves your skin protected with SPF 40 and also nourishes you for the day. I don’t leave the house without it. Finally, it would absolutely be my desert island pick if I could only choose one of these best skincare products to bring. Yeah, it’s THAT good. Shop Elta MD here!
BEST SKIN CARE ROUTINE PM
I always triple cleanse when I wear make-up so this routine is based on that. If you are not wearing any makeup I still suggest double cleansing because SPF is a heavy product. So scratch the micellar water if you’re not wearing makeup and just oil and gentle cleanse.
La Roche Posay Micellar Water
It’s best to triple cleanse your face when taking off makeup and this cleansing water is the first step. Dab some micellar water on a pad and wipe clean. You don’t need to get fancy with your Micellar Water. You can grab this one at any drugstore, Ulta, or shop it here!
Biossance Oil Cleanser
After removing your makeup I love to really get a solid clean with an oil cleanser. It takes off the additional makeup left behind from the Micellar Water. Finally, the Biossance Oil Cleanser is rich in anti-oxidants and helps remove impurities, and restores skin moisture.
Tula Cult Classic Cleanser
I’ve been using the gentle cult classic cleanser by Tula for two years now and it’s easily my favorite cleanser I’ve ever used. It’s super gentle, packed with pre and probiotics, and leaves my skin feeling fresh and balanced. Don’t forget to use my code “LETRAVELSTYLE” for 15% off any Tula products.
Farmacy Deep Sweet Pore Cleansing Toner
I love this toner because it’s alcohol-free, has BHA to lightly exfoliate, and deep cleans pores. It also helps to balance out the skin after having makeup on all day and braving those elements.
Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum
If you’re going to invest in anything for your nighttime routine, make sure it’s this. Once I started using a retinoid 3 years ago my skin has been thanking me. Below are the benefits of using a Retinoid:
- fights the signs of aging
- improves the look of congested skin
- improves the appearance of damaged skin
- balances and soothes skin
- calms the appearance of redness for a more even-toned complexion
Pro Tip: If you use it daily, you very much need sunscreen during the day because it makes your skin much more sensitive to sunlight.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream
I love ending my skincare routine with this product. It firm restores and hydrates the skin locking in that moisture before bedtime. It is the most expensive on this list but it’s so worth it in my opinion. I have seen such results by adding this moisturizer to my nighttime routine!
Caudalie Resveratrol Moisturizer
A new addition to my PM routine and I have been reaching for it more than the Elemis one! It’s a great option for a night cream especially if your main concerns are aging skin.
Other Best Skin Care Favorites
These are products I add into my routine as needed. It’s important to note that on the days I don’t use retinol I will use either an exfoliant or AHA/BHA. You don’t ever want to mix these three ingredients at the same time; always choose one
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel
This two-step exfoliant helps to give your complexion a radiant and healthy glow. It’s been on the bestseller list for some time and it most definitely lives up to the hype. used at night and I use this product if I’m not using retinol that night. It works wonders when you’re skin is in need of an exfoliant aka that tie of the month. DO NOT USE RETINOL OR AHA/BHA WITH THIS PRODUCT.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Exfoliant
This exfoliant is non-abrasive and only has 2% BHA liquid. This stuff will do all kinds of miracles – unclog diminished enlarged pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth wrinkles, brighten, and even out skin tone. It combats redness, wrinkles, aging, enlarged pores, & blackheads. I use this after I wash my face. DO NOT USE RETINOL OR AHA/BHA WITH THIS PRODUCT.
Ancient Indian Healing Clay
Indian healing clay has been used for centuries to beautify and refresh when used as a facial mask. It’s used in many spa treatments and is great for deep pore cleansing. I use this mask once a week and it’s so simple and easy to use and did I mention it’s like $8?! Such a STEAL!
- Add a little apple cider vinegar and mix it up in a plastic bowl with a plastic utensil
- Lather it on your face for 10-15 minutes or until the entire clay dries a light green
- Wipe off gently with warm water and a washcloth
Gua Sha is a face scraping technique that has many benefits. It stimulates the lymphatic system, which in turn increases circulation and promotes detoxification. I love to Gua Sha at night with my Elemis Face Oil – it’s one of the best skin care products that has upped my nightly routine. I purchased my stone from Wilding and they have amazing tutorials on how to properly Gua Sha.
Thank you for reading my “Best Skin Care Routine + How to Layer Correctly” post! I hope this was useful to you and are motivated to up your skin care routine. If you have any questions at all please feel free to drop a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts if you use any of these products as well.
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