Updated Skincare Routine

It has been quite a while since I've done a full update on my skincare routine. I have to start this by saying that skincare is very personal. What works for me and anyone else may or may not work for you. I've tried lots of products over the years and I have refined my routine down to what works for me. This post is pretty long but I want a comprehensive list of everything I use in one place. That seems easier to look back on than several posts! 

My skin is on the drier side and can be highly reactive to so many things. My main goals in my skin routine is to add moisture, even skin tone and prevent aging. As you change or add any products it is important to observe how your skin reacts. I recommend to only change up 1 or 2 products at a time. That way you can see how each product affects your skin.

Over the last year, I have been trying to change many of my products to cleaner versions. I am slowly making some swaps but know not all of the products I share below are clean. 

I've grouped the products I use by their purpose and steps so the different options are explained together. I’m trying to go fairly in depth on each step of my routine to show you my thought process on why I’m using each product and what benefits I see. I am not a doctor or esthetician so what I know has come thru my own research and trying out products to find what works for me.

My routine changes day to day based on what my skin needs. At the bottom of this post I've listed a couple versions of my day and night routines as well. By no means do you need this many products or options to have a good skincare routine. If you are starting out or if this post seems overwhelming, start with a cleanser, serum, moisturizer and oil! Concentrate on one or two main concerns of yours! You can always build from there. Routine is key with skincare so it is better to have a simple routine you do every night than an elaborate routine you only apply every once in awhile!

The first step in any skincare routine is to clean off makeup, oils, bacteria etc. 

Elemis Cleansing Balm - I don’t have a big problem with acne but I do struggle with blackheads on my nose. If I have a lot of makeup on I will start with this Elemis cleansing balm. You take a small amount of the balm and rub it on your dry face. Once you’ve worked it in, you rinse with warm water. This balm, and other cleansing balms, are great for dry skin because they cleanse but don’t strip your face of natural oils. Even if you have oily skin you can use this!

Credentials Deep Purifying Cleanser - If I have worked out that day or if I’m washing my face while I’m in the shower I will use this cleanser instead. It is a gentle exfoliator with that really cleans your pores. If you have dry skin I don’t recommend using it every day.

Mario Badescu Cleansing Gel - A basic refreshing face wash. If you aren't acne prone and just need something to wash your make up off, this does the job. 

Exfoliating Pads - A few times a week I’ll use an exfoliator. I like a product that has both a physical and chemical exfoliator. These pads are pretty gentle and can be used a couple times a week. One side of the pad is gentler to the other so you can decide how much exfoliation you need.

Exfolikate - Every other week or so I will use a more intense exfoliator like this Exfolikate. You leave it on for a few minutes and then scrub it in to your face before you wash it off. It is one of the best exfoliators I have used.  Because of it's strength, you don't have to use this product very often to see a benefit. I especially love to use this product a day or two before a nice event so my makeup goes on smoother.

Versed Daily Brightening Solution - On days I don’t exfoliate, I sometimes use a toner. This has become one of my favorites. When I feel a break out coming or if my skin feels congested, I'll apply it with these reusable pads. I will even spot apply it to certain areas of my face if my whole face doesn't need it. My trouble areas are typically my chin and nose. 

Once my skin is cleansed, it is time for treatment! Many people call this the active part of  a skincare routine. This is where you can focus on what your skin needs and your skin goals. Dry, oily, aging, brightening, dark spots etc… My personal goals are adding moisture, glow and to prevent aging.  I have several serums and creams that I use to do this but I’ll only use one at a time. I’ll reiterate that you don’t need this many serums or products but I want to share all the ones that I use and have found beneficial.

Retin - A -I have a prescription for a Retin-A product from my dermatologist and use this cream twice a week. Retin-A  and retinoids are one of the top products for anti-aging. I’m not an expert on these products but here is a great article on them. When I use a Retin-A product I make sure that I use a gently cleanser, don’t exfoliate that night and add lots of moisturizing products after.

Maelove Glow Maker Antioxidant SerumI’ve just recently started using this serum and am already a big fan. The ingredients focus on hydrating your skin while evening skin tone and targeting fine lines over time. What I really like about the serum is that it absorbs quickly so I don't have to wait long after application before applying makeup. 

Beauty Counter Overnight Peel  - This peel is great for anti-aging, exfoliation and creating a glow. Overtime your skin texture will improve as well. It proves that clean products can be just as effective ad other products.  Apply a small amount of this serum to your face and neck after you cleanse and let it do its magic.

Beauty Counter Tripeptide Radiance Serum - If Retin-A or retinoids are too strong for your skin or you want a clean option, this serum is a great anti-aging product. It works on fine lines, provides moisture and improves elasticity. 

After I’ve using a treatment/serum/active my next goal is to lock in that product and add moisture.

Weleda Skin Food –This is such a good moisturizer. It isn’t stick and soaks in quickly but really moisturizes my skin. It is one of the few clean products that works and is at a great price point.

No. 1 Vitamin C Oil – I love love love this oil. I’ve written about it several times on the blog including here. It is one of the first products I recommend when someone asks for skincare suggestions. It is the skincare product I am most loyal to. If I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to do my entire skincare routine I will cleanse my skin and then just apply this oil!

Vitamin C is a great ingredient for your skin. It brightens skin, helps even complexion and helps your skin glow! It also adds moisture to your skin. Don’t shy away from oils if you have oily skin. You just have to start small and just use a few drops at a time. You can even add this oil to your night cream or moisturizer.

These items don't really belong to another category but have enhanced my skincare routine. 

Versed Vitamin C Powder – I mentioned before how great Vitamin C is for your skin. I have just started using this powder to try to get more Vitamin C into my skincare routine. The powder can be added to any moisturizer before you apply it to your face. It tingles just a little bit but other than that you won’t notice it in your cream. I've been adding it to Weleda Skin food.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – To spot treat any blemishes I have, I will use a q-tip to put a small amount of this drying lotion on them. It is very drying so only apply to the actual blemish.

Zit Stickers - For the underskin zits or more major breakouts, I love to wear these zit stickers overnight. I think they get product under the skin and can help flatten and shrink blemishes. 

Glowscreen Sunscreen - Last week I did a whole post on this item (here) so I'll be short. This is the perfect sunscreen to apply after your skincare but before your makeup. It has a primer built in and 

Once a week I like to do  a mask to target any current concerns. I have tried so many over the years but these are the few I have repurchased.

Ren Clearcalm 3 Acne Treatment Mask - By far my favorite mask, this is what I use the moment I feel a break out coming! After I clean and tone,  apply to any acne prone areas and let sit for 15 minutes. This one can be too harsh to apply everywhere so I use it more as a spot treatment mask.

Arbonne Detox Face Mask - After traveling or when my skin feels congested, I'll apply this mask to clean out my pores. It is gentler than the Ren mask so I can use it over my whole face and it won't dry me out. 

BeautyCounter Balancing Charcoal Mask - This well rounded mask purifies, dries up excess oil and balances skin. It also gently exfoliates and it only takes 10 minutes. I've bought this one for years and is one of my top recommendations for many skin types. 

Colleen Rothschild Hydrating Mask - Deep hydration is the goal of this mask! This one can be applied and then the excess wiped off after 20 minutes but I actually like to apply a think amount before bed and let it soak in overnight. 

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask - This mask is with me amy time I travel. If my flight is over 2 hours, I'll take off my makeup and apply this mask. It helps combat dry airplane air and will soak in by the time I land. It is also great for anytime your skin needs a little extra hydration. 

Night Routine Options

(2x a week)
Retin A

(2-3x a week)

(Other nights)

Morning Routines

Splash of Water

Splash of Water

Kara Krittenbrink

New Obsession: Supergoop Glowscreen Sunscreen

We all know that we should be wearing sunscreen everyday.I am always good about applying it when I'm going to be outside for a long period of time. What I am not as good at is making sure it is a part of my everyday routine. I've tried several moisturizers with sunscreen and even an oil but have never found a product I really love.  

Supergoop is a sunscreen brand I love and use so many of their products. I've featured several of their products on the blog including this Glow Stick and  Refreshing Mist. I trust that they are safe and not only protect my skin but the products are good for my skin too. Supergoop formulates their products to be clean and to contain other beneficial ingredients, depending on the product. They have so many different products to cater to how you wear sunscreen. When a new product comes out I am quick to try it and the Glowscreen Sunscreen is the product I have been waiting for!  

Glowscreen Sunscreen is a skincare/makeup hybrid! The prouct is a mix of a primer and sunscreen with a pearl finish. It is  It is meant to be the last step in your skincare routine before you put makeup on. The finish of it on your skin is glowy and pearlescent without making you look greasy or too shiny. Even under foundation and concealer your skin will have a subtle glow to it. Since it is part primer it also helps your make up last through the day. But it doesn't feel as heavy as many of the primers I've tried.

While it is meant to go under your foundation, I've found that I love wearing Glowscreen Sunscreen without foundation as well. It is the best product for a no makeup look but you'll still have a glow. It is now my favorite product for days I'm running errands or heading to the gym first thing. It makes me feel confident while also taking care of my skin. I know this summer, when I am outside more and more active this will be the first product I grab in the morning. 

Kara Krittenbrink