We are approaching that time of year where a lot of us are going to be struggling with dry skin because of the cooler temperatures and being indoors more. We’ll be taking hotter showers and sitting in environments with warm air from our heaters hitting our skin. I thought this is the perfect time for me to share my updated fall skincare routine and show you what products I’m currently using and make some suggestions for you.
First thing to note is that you don’t have to use massive amounts of products. Keep it simple if that’s what you want. You can cleanse, moisturize, and wear SPF. Keep it to the basics. However, if you want to have more products in your routine for specific concerns, go for it! Bottom line, do what you feel comfortable with.
Also, the best thing you can do for yourself if you are having major skincare issues is to consult a dermatologist or a skincare professional. Seeing a professional can give you some much needed insight into your skin and it might be an issue that you didn’t even realize that you had.
My Daily Skincare Routine
For my morning skincare routine, it pretty much never changes. However, my night time routine changes almost daily. I exfoliate one night a week. Then I use treatments (retinol) one night a week. The rest of the nights, I’m hydrating and working on my skin barrier. Have you heard the term Skin Cycling recently? This is it!
My Skin Type:
- Combination most of the time, leans towards dry, dehydrated in most areas
- I don’t break out often (I know, I know) but I do have enlarged pores
- I have redness issues (especially on cheeks)
AM SKINCARE ROUTINE
PM SKINCARE ROUTINE
- Cleanse (This first removes my spf and makeup)
- Double Cleanse (This ensures clean skin)
- Treatment (Serums, Masks, Exfoliants: NOT AT THE SAME TIME)
The first step in my routine is to cleanse my face. In the morning this might be with a micellar water and in the evening, I always do a double cleanse. Having a clean face allows your products to be absorbed better and to do their job better. Here are some of my favorite cleansers to use:
I am LOVING this Milky Cleanser
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Wash is what I’ve been using and really loving. It’s super gentle, so great for sensitive skin types. It’s fragrance-free and sulfate-free. No, this cleanser does NOT foam, but it does really do an excellent job at cleansing the skin in a non-harmful way.
The formula contains Prebiotic Thermal Water, Ceramide-3, Niacinamide & Glycerin. To use, wet the skin with warm water (NOT HOT) and work the cleanser on your fingertips and apply to the skin. Rinse. Pat Dry.
I also really do love this Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser from Youth To The People. I’ve used several bottles of this cleanser and I love the formula. Kale, Spinach, Green Tea are the superstars that are one of the many reasons why this cleanser is so good. It’s rich and thick when applying to the complexion, but it doesn’t strip away any moisture from my complexion. I can use this cleanser for both single and double cleansing.
My SIL gifted me this cleansing balm and I’ve been using it ever since. This oil-to-milk cleansing balm does a great job at removing my most stubborn makeup and my sunscreens. The formula features nutrient rich omegas that also help to soften the skin.
I take a small amount of the product and warm it on my fingertips and apply in circular motions on the skin. I tend to focus on my eye area at first and then work the product onto the rest of my face. Then I apply water and work that into the product to help remove the makeup. Wipe and do a second cleanse with my regular cleanser.
Why a double cleanse? You need to remove your makeup, dirt, sunscreen, and oil from your face. Using a Cleansing Balm or an Oil-Based Cleanser is the way to go. Then when you use your regular cleanser, you are ensured a clean face.
A lot of people will tell you that toners are not necessary in your skincare routine, but for me, I enjoy using them. I tend to use a toner that is either exfoliating or one that is incredible hydrating. They take no time at all to apply and I can see the benefits of using them when I’m regularly using one. So why not?
My Go-To Toners
When I was in Ohio, I ran out of my Toner that I brought with me. So I stopped by a Sephora and grabbed the Laneige Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer. It’s supposed to be a two-in-one formula that softens and preps the skin like a toner does, and also moisturizes the skin. The formula is rich in amino-acids so it strengthens the skin barrier, moisturizes and soothes the skin. It’s fragrance-free and does NOT contain any Mineral Oil.
So far, I really like the formula. I notice that when I use it, my skin feels extra hydrated and it glows. I use it AM and PM after I cleanse my skin. I apply a few drops and pot onto my complexion. I will say that this leaves my skin feeling a bit dewy, so if that isn’t something you like, be aware of that. It does a great job of helping to hydrate my skin!
The Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol Free Toner has been a favorite of mine for quite some time (and the one that I finished in Ohio.) I think what I loved about this toner the most is that when my skin was red and irritated, this really helped to calm it down. It also did hydrate the skin, but probably not as much as the Laneige. It’s for sure one of my favorite toners that I have used.
Vitamin C in the AM
In the morning after I’ve cleansed and toned my skin, I always apply a Vitamin C Serum. Since I’ve started including a Vitamin C Serum in my routine, I have noticed such a difference in hyperpigmentation and just the overall brightness of my complexion. I’m 41, so I’m for sure noticing some fine lines and wrinkles, yet another reason to keep on applying a Vitamin C daily.
There are a lot of benefits of using a Vitamin C, which I’ll explain below. Find one that works for your skin type and your budget. I promise you that you’ll start noticing small improvements the longer you are using this product. Again, it takes sometimes an entire bottle before you’ll notice even the smallest difference. Steady wins the race!
My Go-To Vitamin C Serum
I feel like everyone should use a Vitamin C Serum in their skincare routine, if your skin will tolerate it. It’s one of my favorite products that I use because it makes such a difference in my complexion. A good Vitamin C Serum helps to protect your skin from visible signs of aging, Think fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and more. It’s two main jobs are to help promote collagen protection and to help with antioxidant protection.
*I’m going to be testing out some products containing Copper Peptides, as an alternative to VItamin C. Will report back on my findings. I know some people have irritation to Vitamin C.
The best way to use Vitamin C is after cleansing and toning in the AM. I apply a couple of drops of the product and work it into my complexion and my chest, neck area.
I have a couple of different products that I use for Vitamin C ( at different price points)
- SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is my holy-grail. Yes, it’s super pricey, but for my complexion, this has just given me fantastic results AND the bottle lasts me a long time. This formula features 15% L Ascorbic Acid which helps to neutralize free radicals and help to provides anti-aging benefits. There’s also a form of VItamin E in the formula that helps to replenish skin lips. Finally, this product has Ferulic Acid, which helps with the stability of the Vitamin C and also helps with free radical damage.
- Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster is a great less expensive product that is just as good as some of the other more expensive Vitamin C products on the market. This is a 15% Vitamin C with Ferulic Acid again, as well as Hyaluronic Acid.
- Timeless 20% Vitamin C with Ferulic Acid I think this is a great Vitamin C. It’s also under $20.00. I’ve used this several times and I think it works great for all skin types, including a more sensitive skin type. It contains 20% Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin E.
Apply Retinol in the PM
I think the topic of Retinol deserves its own blog post because there’s a lot to talk about. So I’ll go into very little detail with this post, except share a couple products that I have my eyes on or that I’ve used. If you already know that your skin can’t tolerate Retinol, try looking at a product like this, which features Bakuchiol, which is a retinol alternative.
In the evening, after I’ve cleansed and toned my skin, I’ll apply my Retinol. ONE SMALL PEA SIZE DOT for the entire face. I let it sit on my complexion for 30 minutes before I apply anything else. I only use Retinol twice a week right now. I’m working on building my tolerance up. If overused, your skin can become red, dry, flaky and you might even breakout. So I’m starting slow!
I have sensitive skin that tends to freak out with the addition of harsher products, so I started using the CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum because not only does it contain Retinol, but it also contains Ceramides, Niacinamide, and Hyaluronic Acid. It’s a great product to use to ease yourself into stronger Retinol products.
I will share an entire post on Retinol and include lots more information so stay tuned for that. DO NOT USE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR TRYING TO BE PREGNANT. YOU MUST USE SUNSCREEN WHEN USING RETINOL.
For the longest time I thought that since I was oily in certain areas on my face that I didn’t need more hydration. I felt like I was over hydrated. WRONG. I’ve been using Hyaluronic Acid on my complexion for years now and I really love it! My skin was craving hydration and it’s made a huge difference.
Like I said, I’ve been using a HA serum for several years now. I apply after cleansing and toning, and while my skin is still damp. Hyaluronic Acid needs to be applied on damp skin. It’s pulling moisture, so if your skin is dry, it’s going to pull moisture from deeper in your complexion. I spray a mist of this Thermal Spring Water and then apply my Hyaluronic Acid Serum on my face, neck and chest. I use it AM and PM in my routine.
There are other hydrating serums that you can include in your skincare routine, for me, this is just an inexpensive way that I can add some extra hydration without irritating my skin. There are even more concentrated serums at much higher price points that have AMAZING reviews as well. Do some research and find the one that is best for you.
One of the most important steps in your skincare routine will be locking in the hydration. I swear I’m constantly telling people to hydrate. There’s a moisturizer for every skin type. Gel, Cream, Oil. I typically tend to change up my moisturizers quite often depending on my skin and what it’s needing. If I’m going through an extremely sensitive spot, I’ll be sure to use a moisturizer that tackles sensitive skin. If I’m oily and can tell my skin is dehydrated, I’ll use something to help tackle that issue.
One of my go-to’s is Weleda Skin Food. It’s affordable and does a great job at moisturizing the skin. I’ve had so many makeup artists pull this out of their makeup kit to prep my complexion with. There’s also a lightweight version as well.
I’ve been using this moisturizer on my skin for a couple of years now. It’s so, so good when my skin is just freaking out. Redness. Dryness. Peeling. This moisturizer tackles all of those issues beautifully. It’s my go-to along with their Ceramidin Skin Barrier Moisturizer. *I use the Ceramidin Moisturizer on areas where my skin is really experiencing some major dry spots, especially after retinol.*
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Moisturizers Are SO Good
If you haven’t tried La Roche-Posay Toleriane Moisturizers, you my friend are missing out on this drugstore gem. I’ve used three of their moisturizers and each time I’m blown away by the quality and the results. So fantastic for all skin types, including my sensitive skin gals and gents. Perfection.
One of my holy-grail moisturizers that I have on hand at all times is the Toleriane Double Repair. It’s pure gold. It’s an oil-free formula that features Niacinamide, Thermal Spring Water, Glycerin, Ceramide-3 to hydrate the skin for 48 hours, lock in moisture and help repair the skin’s barrier. It’s incredible and I love it so, so much. It’s also fragrance-free, oil-free, and paraben-free. Did I mention it’s under $20.00?!?!? There’s also one with an SPF included!
For those of you with mega sensitive skin, this is a great moisturizer to try. Everything about this product, even down to the packaging, is geared towards those with sensitive skin. Most of the time, those with sensitive skin experience redness, dryness, itching, flaking, stinging, and even feel like their face is on fire. One of the ingredients in this product, Neurosensine, helps to calm the skin and helps to take away the burning sensation.
This moisturizer has the product in an air-tight package, has no fragrance, parabens, alcohol or preservatives. The Shea Butter helps to hydrate the skin and help calm the irritation. So on days when my skin is having a horrible flare up (this happens mostly in the winter time) this is the moisturizer I turn to.
If you’re spending tons on skincare, but not using an SPF daily, you are throwing money away. There’s so many sunscreens that I love and I don’t think I need to go into specifics on why they’re important. Just use them. Daily. After all of my skincare has settled and dried, I apply a sunscreen on my face, neck, and chest. Not forgetting my ears and back of the neck, hands and lips.
Extras: Face Masks, Serums, etc
I LIVE for a good face mask and facial serum. Most of the products I use are geared towards hydration, but every so often I’ll use one for exfoliation.
I exfoliate about one to two times a week, depending on my skin. I really love these First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Exfoliating Pads. They contain Glycolic and Lactic Acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin and promote a bright and smooth complexion.
If you’re prone to breakouts, you might want to try this exfoliant from Paula’s Choice that is loved by so many! It contains Salicylic Acid, which is geared towards helping those who suffer from breakouts. The formula helps to unclog pores and exfoliate dead skin cells.
I’ll be honest and admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Sheet Masks because they’re slimy and I used to struggle keeping them on, BUT they give such fantastic results. I LOVE Dr. Jart+ Sheet Masks and I always have quite a few on hand. Ever since finding this Sheet Mask Holder, it’s changed the way I view and think of wearing a Sheet Mask on my face. Now I throw on a sheet mask, put the sheet mask holder on top, and sit down or do whatever I need to do for the next 20-40 minutes. Easy. You can’t beat them for giving the skin hydration, glow and an instant plumping effect.
Face Masks I Use
I have a drawer (or two ) in my skincare office (AKA Simply Stine headquarters, ha) where I have all of my favorite face masks that I use. These are the ones that I reach for the most, especially in the colder temperatures.
I once took this with me to Disney World because I knew after being in the sun all day, I’d need some hydration. I accidently dropped it and it shattered on the floor. A. Brand. New. Jar. Don’t be like me. This mask is in a glass jar, so be very careful with it. Anyways, this mask is super hydrating. It features Squalane and Hyaluronic Acid, along with Vitamin C. This is also a gluten-free mask! Yes, that’s a concern for some. This mask will give you that glowy, hydrated complexion you love!
I chose this mask because I was hoping that it would help with my redness issues and it does to a point, but the main reason that I love this is because I can slather this all over my face and just leave it on overnight. I wake up to glowing, hydrated skin. Does it help with redness? A bit maybe. However, it’s great at hydrating.
One of my all-time favorite face masks to use on my skin is the Tata Harper Resurfacing BHA Glow Mask. This mask will take your skin from dull to glowing and radiant in no time. If I have a big event or something I want to look extra for, I will slather this mask all over my face. It gets rid of dull skin. It helps with pores. When you take this mask off, you’re left with a radiant, glowing complexion. It’s so good. This Herbivore Mask is similar and pretty good, especially if you deal with breakouts!
Other standout masks I use on the regular:
- Tula Self-Care Sunday Nourishing Face Mask (just finished another bottle of this and already ordered a new one.) I use this before I put on makeup (say twenty minutes or so) and it plumps my skin. Also have used as an overnight mask and loved it!
- Fresh Rose Face Mask is a great mask for plumping and hydrating the skin. Fresh Rose Petals, Cucumber Extract and Aloe Vera are the key ingredients in this amazing face mask.
That’s a long post. I know. I hope that it helps you find some products that you can incorporate into your skincare routine. Remember, start slow if you’re adding new products into your daily routine. Don’t add four products all at once. In the end, always remember that spf is your best friend and drugstore skincare has come a long, long way since back in the day!