My (Current) Skincare Routine

The last post of skincare week is my skincare routine. In case you haven’t noticed, I love skincare and trying new things so my skincare routine is always changing. Here is a round up of the products I’m currently using.

I have two vanities/sinks in my bathroom and since I have it all to myself, I use one for makeup and one for skincare and hair. I have some of my skin on this spinning tower thing and the rest of it in the Instagram famous mini refrigerator. Let me be the first to tell you that putting your eye cream, sheet masks, oils, and moisturizers in the refrigerator will change your life. The products feel so good going on my skin. I refuse to use room temperature products ever again. It’s $20 well spent. Also, I like the spinning tower thing, but I kind of want to upgrade to this one.


  1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Micellar Water–I don’t wash my face, I just use a little of this on a cotton round.
  2. It Cosmetics Confidence In A Gel Moisturizer–Hydrating, absorbs quickly, makes my skin feel so soft & smooth, anti-aging, here for all of it.
  3. Origins Gin-Zing Eye Cream–I don’t use an eye cream every morning. Honestly, I forget half the time, but if I do, this is my favorite. It’s hydrating and brightening.
  4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen Lotion–SPF is necessary, end of story. I love the scent, feel, and hydration of this one. I just ordered this one to try out too.


  1. Makeup Remover
  2. Cleanser
  3. Tone
  4. Serum
  5. Eye Cream
  6. Moisturizer + Facial Oil
    • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness + Rose Hip Oil–I’ve been mixing a few drops of rose hip oil in with my moisturizer for an added bit of hydration. I linked the Rose Hip Oil that I use, I got mine at TJ Maxx.


That’s a wrap on skincare week, I hope y’all liked it and maybe learned something. Back to regularly scheduled posts next week!

Product 411

So far we’ve covered skin types and ingredients and now we’re diving into products before we move onto routines.

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What does each product do? How do I know which products I need? Keep reading to have all of your questions answered,

Makeup Remover



  • Removes built-up skin for clear, renewed, smoother, and younger-looking skin
  • Physical
  • Chemical
    • Diminish the appearance of wrinkles and improve the look of plumpness and firmness
    • Certain formulas can minimize pores
    • Clarify dull, uneven skin tone; smooth rough, bumpy skin; unclog pores; increase hydration
    • Formulated as Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
    • AHA
      • Better for dry skin and advanced signs of aging
      • Improves moisture content for extra smoothness
      • Exfoliate the surface of the skin
    • BHA
      • Better for oily skin with clogged pores
      • Skin-calming and hydrating
      • Relieve clogged pores and white bumps
    • My skin doesn’t respond to chemical exfoliants. I used the beloved Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid religiously for months and saw no changes.
    • I keep my skin clear and my acne at bay with physical exfoliants. I use a more intense scrub, the dr. Brandt, once a week and a gentle one, the Hydro Boost, daily. If I don’t use the Hydro Boost, I mix in the Bare Minerals in whatever cleanser I’m using.
  • Generally, you use exfoliators one or two times a week, but frequency depends on your skin.



  • Lightweight, hydrating liquid to help prepare the skin for moisturizer
  • Primes the skin to absorb serums and moisturizers
  • Don’t apply with a cotton round, pat into the skin with your hands
  • I’ve never used an essence so I don’t have on to recommend, but my friend Christine recommends the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Antioxidant Essence. She has awesome recommendations so check out her blog!


Eye Cream


Facial Oil

  • Good to use if you have dry, dehydrated skin and moisturizer just isn’t enough. Also good to use for seasonal dryness.
  • Conflicting opinions on whether or not to apply before and after moisturizer. I’ve done both, up to you. You can also mix it in with your moisturizer.
  • Help to lock moisture in
  • Try to avoid fragrance oils
  • Recommended oils–coconut, jojoba, grape seed, rose hip, argan
  • I got a rose hip oil at TJ Maxx for $5 and it does the job. As long as it’s 100% pure, you’re good. No need to spend a lot of money on oils.
  • I can tell a big difference in my skin when I use an oil at night. When I wake up, my skin feels so hydrated and plump.
  • Drugstore/Affordable: The Ordinary 100% Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
  • High End: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate



  • Supporting role in a skincare routine
  • Clay 
    • Absorbent
    • Draw out debris from clogged pores
    • Leaves skin matte, but not dried out
    • Temporarily tightening
    • Apply after cleansing, but before the rest of your routine
    • Apply, let dry, rinse off
    • Don’t use more than twice a week
    • Drugstore: LOreal Clear & Comfort
    • High End: GlamGlow Supermud
  • Peel Off
    • Remove a thin layer of dead surface skin
    • Leave skin feeling soft and smooth
    • Don’t over use or it will dry out your skin
    • Apply after cleansing, but before the rest of your routine
    • Apply, let dry, peel off
    • Drugstore: Aveeno Pre-Tox
    • High End: GlamGlow Gravity Mud Firming
  • Sheet 
    • Part of Korean skincare
    • Saturated with skincare ingredients that you leave on for 10-20 minutes to allow the ingredients to soak into your skin
    • Massage remaining product into the skin
    • I don’t know that sheet masks have a lot of skincare benefits, but they’re a great way to relax and they leave my skin so soft. I stick mine in the refrigerator before I apply it and it feels amazing.
    • Drugstore: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrogel Mask
    • I don’t have a high end recommendation because these aren’t something to spluge on.


  • Jade Roller
    • Smooth stone, cool feeling
    • Best benefit: reduce puffiness
    • Jade itself does not have any specific, special properties that benefit the skin
    • I got mine at TJ Maxx for $10ish, no need to spend a lot on these. Amazon has good ones too.
    • TJ Maxx, Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta
  • Konjac Sponge
    • Cleansing exfoliator made from konjac root
    • Very gentle and safe to use on sensitive skin
    • Works to gently exfoliate and cleanse better than just using your hands alone
    • Toss after a month, not self-cleaning or anti-bacterial
    • Different colors signify different active ingredients i.e. red sponge has red clay
    • 100% biodegradable
    • ecotools, Boscia, Julep
  • Sonic Cleansing Brush
    • Leaves skin soft, smooth, and CLEAN
    • Allows dead skin cells to exfoliate faster
    • Remover oil and debris that are clogging pores
    • Cleans deeper into pores than your hands/fingers can
    • Overuse can disrupt skin’s pH, irritate, and cause redness and inflammation
    • Skin issues like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis–be careful not to use a brush head that’s too rough
    • Clarisonic, Foreo, PMD, elf
      • The rubber bristle ones like the Foreo, PMD, and elf work better for my skin. I have a love the elf. I haven’t used it because the battery died and I’ve been too lazy to change it. #honest
  • Manual Cleansing Brush
    • Don’t need to use every day, could lead to over exfoliation
    • Stimulate circulation, removes dead skin
    • Cleanse deeper than just your hands/fingers
    • Sephora, BareMinerals
  • I had a Clarisonic, but the brush heads were just too rough for my sensitive skin. Yes, even the sensitive skin brush head. I’ve had better luck with manual brushes, but I don’t use

Now that we’ve covered products and tools, let’s move on to what order you apply all of the aforementioned.

As I said earlier, I don’t use an essence, but if you want to, you use it after toner. I also added in exfoliator after cleanser since you only use it a few times a week.

Ingredients from A to Z

Again, not an expert here, but I’m sharing what I’ve found from researching several common ingredients. I got information from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and Paula’s Choice (PC).

Paula’s Choice is a great resource for all things skincare and their Ingredient Dictionary is super helpful. PC also gives each ingredient a rating of GOOD, BEST, POOR, or AVERAGE that I will include with each ingredient.


  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
    • Improve signs of aging, dry skin, and uneven skintone
    • Can increase sun sensitivity, be sure to wear an SPF
    • BEST


  • Bentonite
    • Type of clay
    • Used as an absorbent
    • Good for oily skin
    • Can by drying
    • GOOD
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
    • Anti-acne
    • Can reach and kill bacteria that causes acne
    • Considered the most effective over the counter acne treatment
    • 2.5-10% concentration, start small
    • BEST
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
    • Exfoliates skin
    • Soothes skin
    • Used in acne products to improve breakouts and blackheads
    • BEST


  • Ceramides
    • Improves skin texture
    • Suppleness
    • Replenish and restore
    • BEST
  • Cica (Centella Asiatica)
    • Soothe and repair irritated skin
    • Treat acne
    • Calm sensitive skin
    • Brighten skin
    • Increase hydration
    • BEST


  • Dimethicone
    • A type of silicone
    • Emollient ingredient in moisturizers
    • Gentle & effective
    • Forms a permeable barrier that works to prevent moisture loss
    • Silky feel
    • Considered safe as used in cosmetics products
    • GOOD


  • Formaldehyde
    • Preservative, prevents mold and bacteria from growing in and spoiling your products
    • Skin irritation is a common side effect
    • CIR says it’s safe at levels that don’t exceed established limits


  • Glycerin
    • Skin-replenishing and skin-restoring
    • Defends against dryness
    • Maintain skin’s moisture level
    • BEST
  • Glycolic Acid
    • Shed dead skin cells and renew skin’s surface
    • One of the most effective forms of AHA
    • Softens the signs of aging
    • BEST


  • Hyaluronic Acid
    • Boosts skin moisture
    • Good for all skin types
    • Helps skin retain moisture
    • Skin feels softer, smoother
    • Improve appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
    • BEST


  • Kaolin
    • Clay mineral with absorbent properties
    • Good for oily skin
    • Can be drying if used too frequently in high amounts
    • GOOD


  • Mica
    • Mineral used to add shimmer and sparkle
    • GOOD


  • Niacinamide
    • Improve appearance of large pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, and dullness
    • Reduce the damage caused by environmental factors
    • BEST


  • Parabens
    • Used as preservatives in cosmetics
    • No FDA rules on preservatives in makeup
    • CIR says they’re safe in cosmetics
    • No info (at this time) showing that parabens, as used in makeup, have an effect on health
    • GOOD
  • Peptides
    • Skin-soothing and skin-restoring
    • Improve the appearance of wrinkles and smile lines
    • BEST
  • Phthalates
    • Group of chemicals used in different forms of personal care prodcuts
    • CIR says safe for us
    • No evidence to show phthalates, as used in cosmetics, pose a safety risk
    • FDA monitors phthalate levels in cosmetics


  • Retinol
    • Stimulate production of new skin cells
    • Wrinkle-smoothing
    • Firming
    • Antioxidant
    • BEST


  • Salicylic Acid
    • Exfoliant, help shed dead skin
    • Reduce breakouts
    • Calm aggravated skin
    • Minimize appearance of uneven skintone
    • BEST
  • Silica
    • Used as an absorbent powder and thickening agent in cosmetics
    • Certain forms prevent pigments from settling in makeup
    • GOOD
  • Squalene/Squalane
    • Natural emollient
    • Lock moisture into the skin, help prevent fine lines and ease dry patches
    • Squalene–more helpful for extra-dry and mature skin
    • Squalane–better for acne-prone and oily skin
    • BEST
  • Sulfates
    • Cleansing agents that remove dirt and oil and makes soaps and shampoos lather
    • Can irritate the eyes and skin and be drying to the hair
    • FDA says there’s not enough science to indicate harm
    • CIR found it to be safe for use in rinse off products
    • GOOD
  • Synthetic Colors
    • Dyes made from a variety of synthetic chemicals used to change the shade of a product
    • Risk skin sensitivity and irritation, can clog pores
    • Can contain carcinogens
    • A few have been banned by the FDA


  • Talc
    • Used to absorb moisture, prevent caking, make makeup opaque, or improve the feel of a product
    • FDA considers granted talc (GRAs) a safe ingredient
    • CIR deemed safe
    • Talc in cosmetics doesn’t present a health hazard
    • GOOD
  • Tea Tree Oil
    • Antioxidant
    • Skin soothing properties
    • Improve skin concerns such as breakouts
    • Potent
    • Concentrations of 2.5-10% recommended
    • GOOD
  • Titanium Dioxide 
    • Protects from UVA and UVB rays
    • Good in sunscreen for sensitive skin
    • Used as thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient
    • BEST
  • Tretinoin
    • Used to treat acne
    • Start with small percentage and build up
    • Prescription strength retinoid


  • Vitamin C
    • Brighten uneven skin tone
    • Skin-restoring and soothing
    • Improves signs of aging
    • Maintain healthy-looking and radiant skin
    • BEST
  • Vitamin E
    • Antioxidant
    • Occurs naturally in the skin
    • Moisturizing
    • BEST


  • Witch Hazel
    • Antioxidant
    • Can be drying and sensitizing
    • Short term solution, on-going use is likely to cause problems
    • POOR


  • Zinc Oxide
    • Protexts against UVB and UVA rays
    • Sometimes used in makeup to increase pigment/opacity
    • Used as a thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics
    • BEST


This then That


My back up box is constantly overflowing for a few reasons. One, I don’t like running of products I love and use regularly. Two, I love to test and try new things. If I see a product I want to try, for instance a micellar water, I’ll buy it and stick it in this box to use once I finish up the one I have open. Here’s a peek into my backup box and to see when I finish this, then I’ll use that.

PicMonkey Collage

Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Micellar H20 // Neutrogena Hydro Boost Micellar H20

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream // It Cosmetics Confidence In An Eye Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser // It Cosmetics Confidence In A Cleanser

Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer // Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask // Catrice Lip Oil

Lush Santa Baby Lip Scrub // Colour Pop Lip Scrub

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Express Hydrating Spray // elf Keep Your Balance Hydrating Toner

Mask Monday: Cosmedix Detox Activated Charcoal Mask

–Draw out pore-clogging dirt, oil, and daily impurities
–Does the dirty work with gentle, effective ingredients
–Not over drying
–Exfoliates to help smooth skin texture
–Cleanse away pollutants
–Ideal for even the most sensitive skin

–$54 at

–Cruelty free
–Gentle enough for sensitive skin
–Leaves skin soft and plump

–Full size is expensive
–Not readily available :: online or select spas

Final Thoughts
I got this in a Boxycharm and it is a good mask. It’s not overly powerful for drawing out impurities like my beloved GlamGlow, but it’s more gentle than GG. I will use this one up, but I wouldn’t buy the full size.



Trash Talk II


I’ve shared empties posts a few times before, but if you’re new to empties, here’s the skinny–these are products that I completely used up. I give mini reviews and tell whether or not I would repurchase. It’s a good way to sort the good from the bad and see what’s worth buying and what you can skip.







  • Up & Up Cotton Rounds
    • Necessity for me
    • Repurchased
  • Large Cotton Balls
    • I prefer cotton rounds, but somehow ended up with these
    • Would not repurchase, prefer the rounds
  • Leopard Print Q-Tips
    • Wish I could find the leopard print aging, but I haven’t seen any since I bought these
    • Repurchased plain boring ones
  • Daylogic Solid Brush Cleaner
    • My favorite affordable brush soap
    • I can only find it at Rite Aid and their stores are closing
    • Would/will repurchase when/if I can find it
  • Rubbing Alcohol
    • Use this to clean my brushes, helps break down product that is caked and built up in the bristles
    • Repurchased
  • Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser
    • Loved this, worked really well
    • Would repurchase
  • Dial White Tea Hand Soap
    • Love the scent and it’s cheap
    • Repurchased
  • Contact Solution
    • I always buy the store brand. I think they all work the same.
    • Repurchased
  • Crest 3D White Toothpaste
    • Always buy some kind of Crest whitening toothpaste
    • Repurchased







  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders
    • I know so many people RAVE about these powders, but I found them to be too glittery
    • Would not purchase
  • Sephora Collection Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Cream
    • Did the job, but didn’t knock my socks off
    • Would not purchase
  • GlamGlow Dream Duo Overnight Transforming Treatment
    • I’m going to assume that this a product you have to repeatedly before you notice a difference
    • Expensive
    • Would not purchase because of price
  • Beauty County Rejuvenating Day Cream
    • Really liked this–hydrating, but not too heavy or emollient
    • Expensive AF
    • Would not purchase because of price
    • I really want to try more Beauty Counter products but it’s all so dang pricey
  • Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil
    • Awesome makeup remover
    • Similar, more affordable products that do the same thing
    • Would not purchase because of price
  • belif Aqua Bomb
    • This moisturizer is very similar to my beloved Neutrogena Hydro Boost. Obvi, the Neutrogena is my favorite and is so much cheaper
    • I like this, but prefer my Neutrogena
    • Would not purchase because of price


You can read other Empties posts here, here, and here.

Mask Monday: Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure


–Eliminate impurities
–Instant complexion perfection
–Clear clogged pores

–$6.99 for 3.4 oz at Ulta, Target, and
–$2.99 for 1 oz at Ulta & Target

–Ingredients :: salicylic acid, bentonite
–Easily accessible
–Doesn’t claim to be hydrating, but I found it to be
–Skin felt clear and clean without feeling stripped
–Packaging :: squeeze tube, mess free

–Don’t love strawberry scented things
–Cruelty free status unclear

Final Thoughts
I loved the slight tingle and heat, it made me feel like it was working. My skin felt so plump and hydrated after rinsing. I was really impressed with this mask and would love to try more products from the line. I purchased the travel size to test and I wouldn’t buy the full size because of the scent, but the actual product is good!