The Full Routine

I’m back! Turns out, my fun holiday giveaway plan turned into a great way to organize my thoughts and semi-frequently sought advice.  I will be writing about products, places, routines, and who knows what else.

Mid OG Favorite Things, my amazing sister asked me to detail out my full skincare routine. I, an ever responsive sibling, am finally doing so months later.

Like so much of America, I got really into skincare in 2016; if you can’t control your environment, maybe you can control your face! However, I’ve been fairly into skin products for about six years, mostly discovering from Birchbox or listicles.  I must admit that I haven’t actually gone to a Sephora (or similar) to browse in more than 10 years. Those places stress me out. Plus, I cannot say no to an attractive woman with a promising serum so it is also DANGEROUS.

Obvious disclaimer: everyone has different skin, and to discover your own secret lotion potion, sample, sample, sample. Many companies allow you to choose a few free samples at checkout. Sometimes you might need more than one sample to figure out if it’s worth it! Purchase travel and trial sizes if they’re available. You don’t want to be left with $80 worth of serum that does nothing for you, even if everyone online raved about it.

With all that, here is my routine:

Cleanse! Morning and night 

I talked in this post about my cleansers, which are:
Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser
Face Shop Natural Rice Water Light Cleansing Oil,
Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser,
GLYTONE Acne Self-Foaming Cleanser

Mornings are almost always dedicated to the Good Morning Cleanser, and  I wash my was in my morning shower.  In the AM, you’re not washing off pollutants or make-up (probably lol), and you might have used some great serums on your skin the previous night that you don’t need to scrub off, so a simple cleanser is a perfect start.

I use the cleansing oil is used at night when I am wearing a significant amount of make-up, and I almost always double cleanse when I use it. I try and use the GLYTONE at night 2-3 times a week, more in the week before my period or if I am getting breakouts. And the Cerave is my default and everything else cleanser. I use it when I am traveling, when I am lazy, when I need something simple, or if nothing is making sense.

Recently, upon advice of Twitter skincare guru Nicole Cliffe, I bought Clinique’s Take the Day Off. It’s great, but I am still on the fence about it being worth the money. Same thing with Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip, which I only get when it makes Good Genes a better deal.

Exfoliate daily

I usually exfoliate in some way daily. Most days, I use a lactic acid product, which you typically leave on the skin. I frequently use The Ordinary’s 5% Lactic Acid. This is a great daily leave-on exfoliant, and uses the same acid as the ridiculously expensive Sunday Riley Good Genes.

I wish I could sit here and tell you Good Genes isn’t worth it. It brings me so much shame to admit that I love a product that costs more than $100 an ounce. But it makes me look sooooo good. I kid you not- every single day I include Good Genes in my routine, someone tells me I am beautiful or that I look so young. It is uncanny. It transforms me! I look filtered IRL. But, as I cannot afford it on the daily, so I ration it out for special occasions, and typically buy it as part of a product set.  The Ordinary

For a little more serious exfoliating, I turn to the Neogen pads I wrote about previously. I am also a huge fan of Real Chemistry’s Luminous 3-Minute Peel. If you ever have problems with dry patches or flakes, this (sadly another budget buster) is worth it. And about twice a month I turn to Dr Jart+ Pore Medic Bubble Peel, which is now discontinued and I am on my last batch. The replacement product is a one-step cleanser, not aimed at exfoliation. We shall see when I finally run out.


I love a good sheet mask to refresh and moisturize, and a deep-cleansing cay mask to clear the filth. Innisfree Pore Clearing Mask with Super Volcanic Clusters rips absolutely everything out of those pesky pores. You don’t even have pores when you’re done using this. But seriously- be ready to moisturize immediately after. Speaking of…


Wow this is already a lot of info…also moisturize a lot!

For daytime, I use Cetaphil Pro Oily Skin or Olay Moisturizing Face for Sensitive Skin. At night I use the previously discussed Cerave, or CORSX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask, which I discussed briefly here.

Toner, Serums, Acids, and Retinol

I religiously use Thayers Unscented. You probably should use a toner to restore your face pH after exfoliating, after cleansing, in between other steps etc.

SNAILS- I use this snail mucus every morning after cleansing. It sounds weird but I look better now than I did when I was 22. You decide.

Also daily- I use the Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% for additional moisturization.

Retinol- I use both The Ordinary 2% and Sunday Riley Luna. I try and use a retinoid 3-4x a week. Will probably increase as I age. I switch between the two based on how luxurious I am feeling.


As previously discussed, many of these products strip your skin down to the baby skin cells. All cells need to be protected, but especially your baby cells. What are you doing without a daily sunscreen?? Seriously. Daily. Then reapply.

I feel poor and ridiculous now. I might write another post on products that have disappointed me.