simple & effective (mostly) clean skincare routine

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with taking care of my skin. Or at least making an outwardly conscious effort to take care of it as best as possible. Maybe it’s the increased number of beauty + health podcasts I’ve been listening to or blogs + articles I’ve been reading that have made me more aware of products’ ingredients and just how good a consistent and clean beauty routine can be for your skin. To me, skincare is a routine. It’s something that has to be done day in and day out and takes a bit of patience (i.e. learning what works and what doesn’t, too). My AM and PM routines are something that I look forward to pretty much every day. Truthfully, I can’t wait to get home most days and just take my makeup off and apply ALL my products. It’s so relaxing to me.

So what sparked this skincare routine anyways? A few months ago, my skin was having a major freak out. Whatever I had been doing for years, suddenly stopped working. So one day I planted myself in front of my computer and did hours upon hours of research. I did a clean sweep of my beauty products and decided to start over. Disclaimer: there are still a few products that I’m hoping to add and swap into my routine but I’m getting there! Skincare is definitely an investment, I’m not going to lie. But there’s nothing more satisfying than finding products that you love and love your skin back.

Here are the products I’ve found work for me as well as the routine I follow pretty much every single day:

AM routine:

1. Cleanser. I start each morning off with this gentle cleanser from Aveda. It leaves my skin feeling super clean and fresh.

2. Peel pads. This is a step that I recently incorporated into my routine when I did my product sweep. I’ve found that this step has made a significant difference in my complexion and brightness of my skin. Plus, these pads are clean!

3. Toner. This Indie Lee toner feels so good on my skin. I add two or three spritzes to a cotton pad and wipe all over my face. Indie Lee is another clean brand so I love it even more!

4. Serum. For the AM, I use this Indie Lee Vitamin C serum which is supposed to help with overall brightness and reducing redness of your skin. I just recently switched between using the same serum for night and day so I don’t have any results to report back just yet! But, I can say that my makeup feels much better sitting on top of this serum during the day.

5. Eye cream. I’m a chronic dark-circles and bags-under-eyes-sufferer. I read somewhere that it’s genetic so don’t feel too bad. I have found, however, that a good eye cream can significantly reduce puffiness and leave under your eyes looking brighter. I was gifted this VIIcode T2 Oxygen Eye Cream and it does just the trick! It’s perfect for during the day since it protects against pollution, UV and radiation. Plus, it’s light enough so your makeup doesn’t feel cake-y underneath.

6. Moisturizer. Unfortunately, nothing too exciting to report here. Currently, I’m using CeraVe moisturizer with SPF (because turns out the sun and our skin are not friends). Protect that skin, ladies! CeraVe works for me because I have super sensitive skin and it’s sensitive safe. I’m looking to switch it up to a clean product so once I have that – I’ll be sure to update!

7. Facial spray. After applying my makeup, I add a spritz or two all over my face of this rosewater + aloe spray for extra moisture.

PM routine: My PM routine is pretty much the same as above with a few added steps and product swaps.

1. Makeup remover. To not over complicate things, I use Trader Joe’s Jajoba Oil as my makeup remover. It’s cheap and effective! I picked up this tip from @lcs_studio on IG!

2. Double cleanse. There’s nothing worse for your skin than sleeping with makeup on so I like to double cleanse every night. First, I use the above cleanser from Aveda then, I exfoliate gently with this scrub from Aveda to ensure all excess gunk from the day is off.

3. Peel pads. I repeat the peel pad routine at night, as well.

4. Toner. Same for toner. Repeat, always.

5. Serum. For the night time, I use this Caudalie natural salicylic acid serum which is amazing! I strongly believe that ever since I started using this – my blemishes have pretty much disappeared. They’ve become way more far and few between. Plus, it’s natural which is amazing since salicylic acid can be super harsh on your skin.

6. Treatment. If a blemish pops up, I apply this Mario Badescu drying lotion a few nights in a row and it disappears within those few days. Even though it’s a drying lotion, with the combo of my moisturizer – my skin rarely dries out while using! My bottle is almost empty so I’m looking to swap out for the Indie Lee one since it’s the clean version.

7. Eye cream. For the night time, I use the same eye cream as above – VIIcode T2 Oxygen Eye Cream. I love it for the night because it leaves a bit of a cooling effect. When I forget to apply at night, my eyes definitely look rough(er) in the AM.

8. Moisturizer. For the night time, I like to apply a thicker moisturizer to really give my skin extra moisture while it sleeps. I’ve been using this Origins one and it’s definitely thick and leaves a cooling sensation after it’s been applied so it feels really fresh for night time! Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure it’s not a face-specific moisturizer but I use it like one and it works just fine!

I’ll also always add a mask to my routine at least once a week. Depending how my skin is looking/feeling, I may add masks 2-3x a week. I love Karuna face masks but I recently tried Patchology and saw pretty much instant results. For wash-away masks I love this peel-off one from Origins and this clarifying one from LUSH.

What’s your tried and true skincare routine? I’d love to hear it!