my skin routine

skincareFor my birthday this year, I bought myself a few new skincare products. I had the basics of cleanser, moisturizer, and toner covered, but I hadn’t yet tried serums or anything geared at anti-aging. But this spring I started swimming laps, and noticed my typically combination/oily skin was a bit more problematic than usual, and dry.

I found Caroline Hirons’ handy guide though and was intrigued. (Her writing style is really cheeky, by the way. I had to read aloud certain passages to my husband, despite it being about the proper way to wash your face, I was that amused).

So this is my new routine. It seems kind of long and involved, but it’s not bad!


I use a few cleansers. In the morning I use Philosophy Purity. Sometimes I switch to Murad Clarifying Cleanser in anticipation of my period, since I do get hormonal breakouts. In the evenings, and after a swim, I’ve started using Josie Maran Cleansing Oil. I’m obsessed. In the past six months I’ve become oddly into rose scents, and this stuff has a very nice rose fragrance. It also just feels fantastic; you apply it dry, then add water to create this thick but pleasant wash. And there’s no residue left over.


I have a relatively new and full bottle of Dior toner, and while it works pretty well and is alcohol-free, it’s missing some of Caroline’s recommended ingredients like glycolic acid. Hopefully by the time I use it up, the Pixi Glow Tonic will have made its way to Target!

ETA: I checked the ingredients on my toner, and I think it’s worthwhile: the second ingredient is peony root extract, which is an astringent, and the third ingredient is hyaluronic acid, a skin plumping agent. Still no glycolic acid however.

Hydrating Mist

This is by far the most frou-frou, self-consciously silly part of the whole deal. But I love it. I got the Josie Maran Rose Water spray, and Mario Badescu has a rosewater mist for half the price. Just mist yourself after toning. You can use it throughout the day too.

Eye Serum

In the morning I use my Clinique rollerball eye serum. It feels very soothing and cool, and allegedly de-puffs, though I can’t say I’ve noticed too much of that.

At night it’s Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream. I don’t follow Gilt sales very closely anymore, but they used to have fairly frequent sales for Mario Badescu.

This is the step I’m not utterly convinced of, so if you have a killer eye cream, I want to know.

Face Serum

One of my new additions is Korres Wild Rose Serum. I’ll be perfectly honest and admit I got it because it held promises of rose fragrance and wasn’t $100 like many of the prestige brand serums. Sadly, the fragrance is quite fake and strong, but my skin has been behaving better in terms of congestion and blemishes.


I’m still doing the teenage girl thing with Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizer. I’m curious about using an Argan Oil moisturizer, but alas, I have a half-full bottle of Clinique to get through first. The Clinique does its job though; it’s non-greasy and absorbs quickly.


Obviously just for the day, I use either a tinted moisturizer with SPF or a Clinique SPF. The Nars tinted moisturizer is by far my favorite, but Stila BB cream is pretty good too (wildly different texture, of course). I haven’t found a non-greasy drugstore plain ole SPF, so if you’ve used one, tell me!

As you can see, I don’t have any major anti-aging night masks or scrubs, or you know, La Mer. Biting the bullet for a serum was hard enough for me. I’m still in my 20s, so I’ll just hold off on that frenzy despite what Eva Chen might say. (Aside: I might actually buy Lucky mag for the first time in my life with Ms. Chen becoming EIC. She is the best).

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