It’s been over a year since starting Hey, Beautiful and that means it’s time for some updates.
Last year, I detailed my full AM and PM skin care routines and while much of it has stayed the same, a lot has changed. I decided to do a little update today. You don’t NEED to do what I do or use exactly what I use or have as many steps, products as I do but this can be a little guide on how to tackle certain concerns or suggestions on the order to apply products in. A little warning that, if you haven’t noticed, I am a product junkie. I love products so I have things I use interchangeably but for the most part your skin LOVES routine and will respond best to using the same products for at least a few months.
Let’s get started.
Every day, I splash face with cool water and pat dry. I don’t cleanse in the morning because my skin doesn’t need it. If I do feel like I need to cleanse right after I wake up, I use a gentle hydrating cleanse like Glossier Milky Jelly.
I spritz on or take a little into my hands and pat into my skin gently to hydrate and help the next ingredients I apply to penetrate deeper.
Some favorites: Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Toner or Skin & Co. Truffle Therapy Radiant Dew Mist in summer. These are both light and balance oil production for hot, sweaty months. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, Wander Beauty Glow Getter Mist and Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence can be used all year. Kiehl’s Iris Activating Treatment Essence is amazing for dry, winter skin.
I’ll never leave the house without sunscreen, which is always your last skin care step before makeup. I’ve been into Coola Mineral Face Matte Tint Moisturizer SPF 30. Since I need to use a mineral sunscreen, I like this tinted one because there’s no white cast.
I double-cleanse starting with Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil or Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser to get all of my makeup, sunscreen, oil out of the way to be able to go in and cleanse my skin. I either rinse dry or (like the British) use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe it away. Then, I wipe off any excess eye makeup or lip stick with Beauty 360 Gentle Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (CVS’s version of Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover aka one of my favorite bottom drawer beauty products.)
My second cleanse (which works to cleanse my skin and get deeper into pores now that all that oil and makeup is out of the way) changes almost every night. Here are my favorites: Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser, Fresh Soy Cleanser, Korres Greek Yoghurt Cream cleanser, Tatcha The Deep Cleanse, The Better Skin Co. Better Skin Gel Kleanse, Dr. Brandt Clean Biotic Cleanser, Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser or Bioselect Naturals Face Foam Cleanser 3-in-1.
Acids and retinoids should be done a few times per week and on alternating nights from each other. Too much can cause irritation, redness or even disrupting of your acid mantle aka angry, red skin similar to a sunburn combined with breakouts.
This is where order gets funky. I layer my skin care products based on concern and consistency. Skin care should be applied in order from thinnest to thickest: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, oil. Things get dicey when you’re adding in acids since they can come in several different forms from liquids to serums to creams.
Depending on the acid’s fluidity, I might use a toner before it or I might use it after. For instance, Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment (my holy grail) is a LIQUID formula with AHAs and BHA. I cleanse and, then, wait a few minutes until my skin is completely dry (even after you dry with a towel, there’s still moisture in your skin. Moisture drives products deeper and with acids, that can cause irritation.) Then, I put Knockout on a cotton round and wipe it in upward strokes on my face. Then, I wait for the acid to get to work for a few minutes before using toner and continuing with my routine.
On the other hand, Herbivore Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion has a serum consistency. Farmacy Honeymoon Glow Resurfacing Night Serum is even a little thicker. When using these, I cleanse, tone and wait until toner is absorbed and skin is dry (same irritation concern) then I will apply either of these products.
Skin care has some hard-and-fast rules but texture is key when layering product. As far as retinoids, it’s a similar procedure. Cleanse, (wait,) apply retinoid, moisturize and go to bed. I like Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream.
See above on the order but, typically, you cleanse then tone. See my AM routine for my favorite toners — I just use one of them again.
Skin care changes with the seasons and I love to use Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme or one of my day moisturizers in the summertime. In winter, I reach for Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream, Youth to the People Adaptogen Moisture Cream or Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream.
Ole Henriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme has been a miracle for me. It contains a retinol-alternative called bakuchiol which mimicks the effects of retinol but it super, super gentle. One of the perks is that it can be used along with acids without any irritation. This cream also contains hydrating ingredients so it replaces a night moisturizer for me.
OIL IS ALWAYS LAST. (Unless it has a retinoid in it — then, see retinoids step above)
I press oil into skin for my final step. If it’s a day where I am feeling very tight or dry or my skin feels very angry I will just cleanse, tone and put on an oil and go to bed.
I mask whenever I need to with what will target my concerns. I like to mask after double-cleansing at night to ensure the ingredients get to work. If it’s a weekend no-makeup day, I will just hit my face with a wipe or micellar water to give it a clean slate. If planning for an event, certain masks are better for certain days.
These dry out existing breakouts/bring my breakouts out from deep in my skin. It’s a “gets worse before it gets better” moment. I DO NOT do this the day before or of a big event. I do these about a week before to give my breakout time to cycle through and heal.
Similar to above, these masks and treatments will help to slough away dead, dull skin and usually contains some sort of exfoliating acid. I use these a few days before an event for glowing skin the day of.
i pop on a moisturizing mask the day of an event for plumped, hydrated skin. Eye masks make my undereyes tight, hydrated and SNATCHED.
My favorites are Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask, Summer Fridays Jet Lag and R+R masks Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask and Laneige Water Sleeping Mask; and Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Mask
I’ve gotten into facial tools over the past year. Some help to get a deeper clean and some help with lymphatic drainage which reduces puffiness. I’ve also gotten relief from headaches and facial tension from sinus issues by using these products.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT