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The Best Skin Care Routine and Skin Care Products

Updated on January 29, 2015

A simple Skin Care Routine and Skin Care Reviews


Getting into the routine of properly carrying for your skin and face is imperative to prevent signs of aging and to maintain a healthy and clear complexion. This five step skin care routine is quick and easy to follow. One of the biggest challenges in establishing a skin care routine is knowing what products actually work and which ones don’t. Over the years, I have tried many different skin care products. I have found that certain drug store brand products work just as effectively as products from the beauty counter. On the other hand, other products are totally worth the splurge. Having a fair competition and very sensitive skin, I understand why it is important to take care of your skin and to avoid using facial products that could potentially damage or irritate your skin. I know everyone does not have the same skin type so it is hard to do a one size fits all approach to skin care. Although, many products that work well for sensitive skin seem to universally work well for all skin types . Your skin type also changes as you age so what works for you now may not necessarily work for you later in life.

vibrant fuchsia orchids
vibrant fuchsia orchids

Five Step Skin Care Routine

The five step skin care routine outlined below should be completed every morning and every evening for best results. A shopping guide to my favorite skin care products can be found below to purchase your yourself and also make great gift ideas for a friend.

Skin Care Routine Step One: Remove Make-up and Dirt wit Make-up Removing Wipes

Before you wash your face, you should remove all make up and dirt with a make-up wipe or make-up remover. I like to use the make-up removing wipes because they also remove additional dirt and residue. Removing your make-up is important because it prevents your pores from being clogged. You Should never go to sleep without removing your make-up or cleaning off your face. If for some reason you are not able to complete your entire skin care routine before you go to bed, at least clean your face and remove your make up with a wipe. Keeping a package of the cleaning wipes in your night is helpful because you can grab one easily. I also keep a pack in my gym bag for a quick clean and pack them in my carry-on bag during long flights. My favorite brand of make-up removing wipes is Neutrogena or a generic version of the Neutrogena brand such as Kirkland from Costco or Target’s brand. These wipes work really well in removing all of the dirt and make-up from your skin, even waterproof mascara.The wipes are super gentle and do not cause any irritation.

Make-up Removing Wipes
Make-up Removing Wipes

Skin Care Routine Step Two: Wash and Exfoliate Your Skin with a Clarisonic and Gentle Cleanser

I splurged on a Clarisonic cleanser recently and absolutely love it! I bought the Mia 1 Cleanser with the exfoliating brush head. The Clarisonic cleanser works great to really deep clean your pores and also exfoliate your skin. If you don’t use a Clarisonic cleanser, you should use an exfoliator on your skin once a week. Exfoliating skin is important because it removes any dead skin cells that could potentially clog your pores. After I started using the Clarisonic, I noticed my skin felt a lot more smooth and my pores appear to be smaller. To use the Clarisonic, put a dime size dab of your face cleanser on the brush and rotate the brush around your face and neck. The brush is on a timer so your know exactly when to stop. The Clarisonic face cleanser charger lasts a really long time. I only have to plug the face cleanser in to charge about once a week. What I really love about the Clarisonic is that you can use it the shower. This streamlines my morning face washing routine.

In regard to face cleansers, I have found that most drug store brands work just as effectively as the more expensive brands. There is really no reason to splurge on a pricey face cleanser. I recommend using a gentle or mild cleanser because it will not strip your skin of natural oils. If you use a cleanser that is to harsh, it will dry out your skin and even make your oil glands work overtime. I also avoid using cleansing bars because they tend to dry out my skin. If you have acne prone skin, I recommend using a cleanser with a salicylic acid in it which has been proven to reduce acne. I have been using Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser for a while and really like it. Another tried and true favorite of mine is Cetaphil. Cetaphil is probably the most gentle cleaner on the market and is wonderful for people with ultra sensitive skin or anyone with skin problems

Mia Clarisonic and Neutrogena Face Cleanser
Mia Clarisonic and Neutrogena Face Cleanser

Skin Care Routine Step 3: Apply a Toner

After you wash your face, pat it dry gently with a clean towel and apply a toner. Some toners are spritzed on while others should be applied with a cotton ball. I prefer the ones you spritz on. When applying the toner, you should spritz it on about 6 inches away from your face. After you apply your toner, wait a minute or two for it to dry before applying anything on top of it.

The purpose of a toner is to balance out the Ph level of your skin. When buying a toner, I recommend using one that is alcohol-free so it will not dry out your skin. I really like Dermalogica Multi-active Toner because it is really hydrating.

Dermalogica Multi-active Toner
Dermalogica Multi-active Toner

Skin Care Routine Step 4: Apply a Face Serum

A face serum works to make your skin appear more radiant and also has additional anti-aging properties. Face serums are highly concentrated with potent ingredients so only a few drops are needed. After using a serum twice daily, I have noticed my skin is more even toned and less red. I also notice that fine lines appear to be more subtle.

Morning Skin Care Products

I use an anti-oxidant face serum during my morning skin care routine. The serum I have been using is Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum. This serum is a bit pricey but works really well. I like that it is Paraben free. Another great and less expensive alternative is Trader Joe’s Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum. This serum also works great and has a lovely citrus smell.


Evening Skin Care Products

I use a face serum with a Retinol in my evening skin care routine. Retinol is derived from vitamin A and is the only ingredient on the market that is scientifically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and increase collagen production. Please note, Retinol is different from Retinyl Palmitate which is found in a lot of drugstore anti-aging products. This ingredient is also derived from Vitamin A but is not as affective and is highly controversial.

Some people experience some irritation when starting to use a Retinol serum. Retinol serums and creams come in different strengths so you can try using a lower strength serum or apply it every other day. I use Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum every night and have definitely noticed results. I have had no issues with my skin being irritated after application.



Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum and Origins Plantscriptions Anti-aging Power Serum
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum and Origins Plantscriptions Anti-aging Power Serum

Skin Care Routine Step 5: Apply a Moisturizer

The final step to your skin care routine is to apply a moisturizer. Applying a moisturizer is beneficial to your skin because it helps to make sure your skin is properly hydrated by locking in water. If your skin is properly hydrated, it will be healthier and can perform more effectively.

Morning Skin Care Products
I always apply a face moisturizer with SPF in the morning. Applying SPF every day is probably the most important step in your skin care routine. Sun damage is the #1 cause of skin aging. Not wearing sunscreen on a daily basis substantially increases your risk of developing skin cancer. You should always use a face moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15. My favorite face moisturizer is Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer with White Tea. Origins face moisturizer is great because it is not greasy and feels really light on your skin.

Evening Skin Care Products
In the evening, I use an eye cream around my eyes that includes caffeine to reduce puffiness. I love Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream because it helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles and is made from coffee beans and Ginseng. Instead of using a night cream on the rest of my face, I slather on Egyptian Magic. Egyptian Magic is amazing. I cover my entire face and neck with it every night. It is an all natural skin cream you can pretty much use for anything. I have used it on rashes, as a body balm, and in my hair to tame hair frizz . It is great for anyone with sensitive skin because it all natural. It is made from olive oil, bees wax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, and bee propolis. A little goes a long way so use it sparingly to avoid a greasy pillow cover.


Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream, Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer, and Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream
Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream, Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer, and Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

Skin Care Products Shopping Guide

  • Face Make-Up Remover Facial Towelettes can be purchased at Target
  • Clarisonic Mia Face Cleanser can be purchased at Ulta or Amazon
  • Clarasonic Replacement Brush Head for Deep Pore Cleansing be purchased at Ulta or Amazon
  • Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser can be purchased at Target
  • Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner can be purchased at Ulta
  • Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum can be purchased at Sephora
  • Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream can be purchased at Sephora
  • Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum can be purchased at Target
  • Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea can be purchased at Sephora
  • Egyptian Magic can purchased through Amazon

Other Important Factors to Maintain Healthy Skin

Skin care products are only part of an effective skin care routine. To really see results you need to:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Avoid or limit processed food and sugar
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Have a consistent sleep schedule
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water
  • Form healthy habits to cope with stress which can prematurely age your skin
  • Avoid the sun during peak hours
  • Apply SPF to all areas of your skin daily and repeat throughout the day

Skin Care Tips

  1. Keep a packet of face cleansing wipes in your nightstand
  2. Avoid the sun during peak hours
  3. Reapply SPF every few hours
  4. Where sunglasses when you are driving
  5. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  6. Carry hand cream that has SPF with you
  7. Apply moisturizers and serums to your neck

Readers Poll

How often do you put on sunscreen?

See results

© 2015 Mary Ellen Block

I would love to hear from you! Do you have any suggestions or tips based on your own skin care routine??

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