What My Skincare Routine Actually Looks Like

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Beauty Routine for Best Combination Skin

It’s been a while since I shared what my skincare routine actually looks like. Routine posts are some of the most requested, and yet they can be surprisingly hard to write, because I tend to test products all the time and rarely commit to a proper regimen. These past several weeks I’ve been pretty consistent though, so I thought I’d share what I use on an average day.

This particular routine is fairly gentle. I had to stop using retinoids and harsh acids for a while since my skin is having a hard time recovering from them lately. I haven’t been sleeping well, and the food I eat is far from healthy, so right now the gentler the better.

A quick skincare profile:

  • Combination/dehydrated
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Fine lines
  • Enlarged pores

Beauty Routine for Best Combination Skin


First thing in the morning I cleanse my face with DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Brightening Daily Cleanser ($36). It has been my go-to for the past month or so, and I plan to use it up until the bottle is empty. The cleanser is super gentle and registers around pH5.0 when mixed with my tap water.

I also started using hydrating toners – anything to keep my face from flaking like crazy – and Dr. Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion ($34) is a good one. It’s hydrating and doesn’t sting, plus it does exactly what it says – provides relief to stressed skin. This is one of the best toners on my recent memory, because it’s not just overpriced water and it actually does something.

One of the biggest surprises so far has been the discovery of Skin Deva 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum ($19.99). It’s a dupe for a popular Skinceuticals serum that retails for $165 per bottle at a fraction of the cost. I mix a few drops of the serum with a pea-sized drop of PIXI Rose Caviar Essence ($24) and together they cover my antioxidant needs for the day.

I wrote about NeoStrata Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum ($100) before in this blog post, so I’ll be brief. It’s an exceptional product, especially for severely dehydrated skin. It helps amplify the hydrating effect from my toner and the previous two serums, and keeps my skin supple throughout the day, yet it never feels sticky to touch. As you can see, I am about to finish the bottle, because I love it and use it every single day.

My current eye cream of choice is DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Eye Souffle ($68). It’s one of those gentle, whipped products that looks thick in the jar but goes on surprisingly light. Plus, it doesn’t flake off and pill when I apply makeup on top, which is always a good thing.

I’ve been skipping the moisturizer lately, for some reason the routine seems to work just fine without it. Instead, I’ve been using Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF40 ($32), which also works as a makeup primer. It helps keep my combination skin matte and protects from the sun, so for me that’s a win-win.

Beauty Routine for Best Combination Skin


In the evening I cleanse the skin with Kakadu Daily Cleanser, since it can completely remove my makeup most of the time. When I wear waterproof or long-lasting products, I usually double up with Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil ($15.99). It emulsifies, so it’s very easy to wash off with plain water.

My skin doesn’t do well with exfoliants right now, but it can tolerate a quick swipe of REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic ($35) in the evening. It’s the same idea as PIXI Glow Tonic, except instead of Glycolic Acid, this one uses much milder Lactic and Azelaic acids that cause less redness.

I let the AHA Tonic sit on the skin for a couple of minutes, then swipe it with a cotton ball soaked in Mega-Mushroom Lotion and add a few drops of Tri-Therapy Serum on top. On the days when my skin is feeling particularly parched, I also use DERMAdoctor Kakadu C High Potency Evening Oil ($74). It contains powerful antioxidants Vitamins C, E, and Ferulic Acid, and several natural oils to soften and protect the skin.

Finally, I apply Kakadu C Eye Souffle and Susan Ciminelli Calming Cream ($125). This moisturizer can magically soothe my skin even when it’s irritated and red, and as you can see, I’m about to empty the jar.

Beauty Routine for Best Combination Skin


I could end the post here, but there were a couple more products worth a mention. They were part of the routine as a whole, even though I didn’t use them all that often.

I had to reach for Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm ($64) a few times when stubborn makeup didn’t want to come off with my regular cleansers. This balm always gets the skin so clean, but I don’t like using it too often because it needs to be removed thoroughly, and I didn’t have the time for that lately.

Bonvivant Botanical Mellow Clay Mask ($25) is from Memebox, and I am just trying  to finish up the jar. I only use clay masks when my pores become congested, which can sometimes happen from using certain makeup products.

REN Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial ($48) is an overnight Lactic Acid treatment, less potent that Sunday Riley’s Good Genes but similar. I wish I could use it more than once or twice a week, unfortunately my face is too sensitive right now for more frequent use. Maybe when things calm down a bit I’ll be able to use it more often, because I love the way it makes my skin glow in the morning.

I keep a jar of Fresh SUGAR Lip Caramel ($18) on my night table and use it when my lips are particularly dry. I don’t really like the wide jar packaging, but the balm itself is fantastic.

Finally, iUNIK Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Peel ($10) is one of those magical products that makes the dead skin cells roll off in flakes. Have you tried one of those yet? They are so fun and satisfying!I use it whenever I want to scrub my face, but I know that scrubs are bad, so this is the next best thing.

And that’s it for my routine! I did change a few things since I drafted this post, but this particular regimen worked well for me when I used everything as described above.

How many skincare products do you use every day? Which products are essential for your beauty routine? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S.: I want to thank everyone for keeping my family in your thoughts and prayers. I received so many emails and DMs – more than I ever have! – with words of kindness, support, and encouragement, and even a few personal stories. Unfortunately, at this point the doctors can no longer do anything to help, so we just want our final days together to be happy ones. After all, the best part of life is the journey, not the destination. 🙂

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