Skincare Products + Routine

Hello All!

This skin care post is long overdue, but it is finally here. It took so long because I was still searching for the right products that work for my skin. Finding what works for your skin takes a long time and as painful as that sounds it’s worth it once you get something that actually works. For any new skin care users, my advice would be figure out your skin type – are you oily, dry or combination? Are you acne prone? How does your skin feel in the summer versus the winter? What kind of makeup do you wear afterwards? All of these things and the environment you live in affect how your skin reacts and how the products work. For me – I am oily skin mainly in my t-zone but can be dry on the cheeks so products that target oily or combination skin are what I look for. In the winter, I need extra moisture because while I am oily my skin does dry out! In the summer, I need a light moisturizer and a sunscreen that won’t make my skin greasy. I am prone to blackheads and the occasional time of the month pimple from hell! There are other things I like to focus on too, such as my under-eye areas.

Decide what is important for you and do some research on what skin care products to buy before you purchase. I am guilty of making the mistake of buying something and then it makes my situation worse, so definitely ask for samples when you can.

Here is what I use on and off on a daily basis depending on the season, how tired my skin is and what time of day. While this looks like a pile of products, it is what I typically use over the course of a year. So no, I do not use this entire set of products on my face in one day that would be ridiculous. The full list with links is at the end of this post.

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First step no matter what time of day or night it is, I ALWAYS WASH MY FACE and take off my makeup. I cannot stress it enough to just wash your face before bed at least! In the morning is optional, but I have found it to improve the look of my skin. Morning: I rinse with Kiehls Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash because I am targeting clogged pores. Night: To take off my makeup, I always use Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for oily skin. Then go in with a cotton round and use the Lancome Eye makeup remover, then wash my pores with my Clarisonic and Kiehls Calendula Deep Cleansing Face Wash. Why so much cleansing? Because my makeup routine is dense and I get really oily after the day and I need to make sure my pores are cleaned! When I travel I take my makeup off with the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil or Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. Both are superb at taking off makeup without stripping off your face. All products I use are super gentle on the skin.

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Next, I go in with this new product I am trying out because I moved to New York City and the pollution has changed the way my skin feels and reacts to the air and I needed something to combat that, so the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Face Treatment Essence has been doing the trick. It smells amazing and fills my skin with moisture and calms it. This can be mixed in with any facial routine as it does not disrupt any other products that are acting on your skin. I use this day and night right after cleansing!

Afterwards, I use products that treat my clogged pores and blackheads and random pimples. Glossier Skin Solution has been doing the trick even though it took a few months for me to notice a difference. Because of the combination of acids I only use this at night. In the day, to protect my pores I started using the Caudalie VinoPure serum and I’m loving the way it handles my oiliness throughout the day and maintains pre-existing pimples from getting bigger. If you aren’t acne prone at all but what to keep pores clean Glossier has a set of serums called Supers that are amazing. I use all three at different time depending when I see my skin needing them.

After treating my face, I always finish with a moisturizer. I am always looking for a moisturizer that will not make my skin greasy, but add the necessary moisture I need and help prep for makeup. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream has been working for me for a year now, I am almost out! It’s really light and I only use a nickel-sized amount.

Before moving anywhere else on my face, I apply sunscreen. While sunscreen is meant to be applied every so hours, it’s better to apply it than not at all! Especially if you use any acne products during the day. I also never tan my face, even in the summer I always wear a hat on the beach or at the pool. Sun damage is hard to reverse so I would rather have a face that’s 10 shades lighter and correct it with makeup than sun damage. Glossier Invisible shield is what I use in the summer because it is streak free, light wearing, smells great, and fits seamlessly with my moisturizer. In the winter, yes you need to wear sunscreen all year, I use the Lancome BienFait Multi-Vital sunscreen moisturizer. Because it is a two-in-one, I don’t apply the Kiehls moisturizer. This is much thicker than the Glossier SPF.

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For when I am extremely tired from school or travel, I always use a little face oil to rejuvenate my skin at night. Kiehls has two fabulous oils that have worked for me personally. The Midnight Recovery Concentrate and the Daily Reviving Concentrate bring back life into my stressed skin. These can also be used to moisturize your skin!

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I never forget eyes and lips! For me, my under eyes are something I am very insecure about and I have gone through so many products and natural remedies to lighten and remove the dark circles under my eyes. Sadly, it is hereditary and there is nothing I can actually do to make them go away. I wear three different makeup concealers to cover them up so no one would ever see them (I was bullied for them in elementary and middle school). On a good day with a restful sleep, they are better. When I am sick or haven’t slept, they are purple! So looking for the perfect eye cream that battles everything including wrinkles and that actually worked for me took a few years. Until a friend introduced me to Rodan + Fields Redefine Eye Cream. This small pot is expensive but I use about 1.5 containers a year, so it lasts a very long time because you do not need to apply a lot. I have seen this erase wrinkles and brighten up my under eyes! I use it morning and night.

For lips, when they are dry and flaky I use a lip scrub from MAC that smells so good I could eat it and it leaves my lips feeling supple and soft. After brushing my teeth every morning and night, I always apply Glossier Balm DotCom in unscented. I love these balms so much they are wonderful! I have one in the Rose flavor as well.

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For any major pimples, I use Mario Badescu Drying Cream. I simply apply an amount to cover up the pimple after using moisturizer. It is the last thing I do in my routine before bed. I do not use this in the morning. It dries up pimples overnight although it may take a few nights depending on how oily or dry your skin is. Benzoyl Peroxide does not really work well for me to fight pimples it just agitates my skin. If that works for you, then great! You are on the way to battling those pimples! 🙂

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This is all I have for right now. I will cover other products I have to treat other types of skin issues. For now, these are my go-tos! I wish you guys well on your searches for the right skin products. Or if you already have what works for you, great!

Don’t forget to wash your face before bed! And apply SPF in the daytime!

List of Products:

Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Clean Foaming Face Wash

Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Midnight Recovery Botanical 

Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence

Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Serum

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Daily Reviving Concentrate

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Chamomile and Lavender

Mario Badescu Drying Cream


Clarisonic Mia(TM) Skin Cleansing System

Mac Cosmetics Lip Scrubtious

Glossier Super Pack Serums

Glossier Rosewater Spray

Glossier Invisible Shield SPF

Glossier Solution

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Glossier Balm Dotcom





Photos by Sophia Kountakis.

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