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My Morning Daily Skin Care Routine

Click photo for product details if you want 'em! You can find them below, too.

Who else is more obsessed with skin care than ever before?? My mama got me started with serums and a proper skin care system back in the day. (Anybody else use the Clinique 3-step skin care line in the '90-'00s?) She always preached the importance of washing my face and moisturizing, and got me on eye cream years ago.

But over the past few months I've been researching skin care on my own, like a grown-up, figuring out which products I should absolutely be using, and in what order. That's been much more complicated than it should be with all the conflicting, competing information out there. That's why I want to share my daily skin care routine with you today just in case you've had similar difficulty trying to figure out your routine, too. I consulted my esthetician, Jenna, on this and she approved it so you can trust that this isn't all hogwash :D

These are the skin care products I use on a daily basis in under five minutes start to finish. It's tailored to wintertime to give my skin an extra boost of moisture. When you start using retinol- and acid-based products your skin will start to slough off, so making sure you exfoliate and moisturize is super key. (Trust me, I found that out the hard way when my makeup looked flaky, patchy, and downright R-O-U-G-H!) Also, most of these products are Prime eligible or found at Target! AKA effective and budget friendly (*inserts daps*).


A.M. skin care routine

Exfoliator // StriVectin SD Instant Retexturizing Scrub. I used to use the Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream and found out it had oils in it that made me prone to breakouts. I switched to this StriVectin exfoliator and my skin instantly improved. I use this about every other day in the shower to get rid of excess skin that's sloughing off from my other products (especially important in the beginning as your skin acclimates to the new products/serums).

This particular product may have been discontinued -- it seems harder to find than usual -- but I've always bought mine at Belk and now it looks like Walmart carries it online.

Face Wash // CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser. Dermatologists swear by this entire skin care line, available at Target and drug stores everywhere. I use this cleanser day and night time, winter or summer. In fact, you'll see several CeraVe products on my A.M. and P.M. skin care routine rundowns.

Toner // Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner, Rose Petal. I totally goofed and didn't add toner to my skin care routine until last month. What a difference! I swear my skin feels smoother and softer. Toner gets rid of trace makeup and oil while shrinking pores and binding moisture to the skin. Since basically every skin care product is trying to get your skin to maintain prime moisture levels, this is a must-do step in your routine. And this toner is under $10 at Target.

Vitamin C Serum // Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C, along with retinol and acid, is part of the skin care royal triumvirate. It is crucial. Its main power is promoting collagen production to lessen the appearance of wrinkles, and fading hyper-pigmentation (those discolored spots) to brighten your complexion. This brand makes just about every best-of serum list and it's under $30. I have seen my sun spots lighten and my complexion improve. Will be buying again.

Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Serum // Bioelements Moisture x 10 Hydrating Serum. The main ingredient in this serum -- hyaluronic acid -- promotes hydration in your skin and makes your moisturizer more effective. I LOVE this product. A little goes a long way and makes your skin instantly feel smoother and softer. I may not use this during the summertime but I'd say it's made a HUGE difference to my skin during the cold, dry months.

Eye Cream // Chanel Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream. There seems to be a larger debate on the efficacy of eye creams but I'm a true believer. I've been using this forever and love it. It smoothes line, reduces puffiness, and helps with dark circles. It's not cheap but it lasts a long time. Tip: if you want to try it out before committing to the full product, go to the Chanel counter and ask for a sample of it if you're shopping for another one of their makeup or skin care products. Never hurts to ask and then you'll know without the full price commitment.

Moisturizer // CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30. Another great CeraVe product you can get at your local drug store or Target. Full disclosure: it does have a little bit of that SPF smell. Not bad, but it's there. Also I'll admit I didn't start using this every day until Jenna said daily SPF is super important regardless if it's cloudy or you're inside most of the day. So there's that! She recommends the Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen -- it's an SPF 40 moisturizes that's also a makeup primer!



(I'm not including makeup per se in this post but since these have SPF/skin care benefits I wanted to share them.)

CC Cream or Foundation with SPF // Chanel CC Cream SPF 50 OR Chanel Vitalumière Foundation SPF 15. I've been using Chanel's foundation/base makeup forever and would never switch I love it so much. These products do different things and look different when applied. The CC Cream combines skin care benefits with makeup coverage and SPF 50. It's a great option for daytime and your casual, everyday routine. The foundation is a luminescent, moisturizing base makeup that gives skin more of an even, glowing look. If I'm going out or getting photographed this is what I wear every time. It's got SPF 15.

*Note: when I wear either of these products I still use the SPF moisturizing lotion!


Other Ways To Improve Skin

You know what they say, "beauty radiates from the inside out." "You are what you eat." Our skin definitely tattle tales on us when our diets are poor and our sleep is bad. I had not idea how aversely my holiday diet affected my skin until I got back to better eating habits and suddenly my skin was less splotchy, softer, and brighter. On that note, a few things and habits that will help your skin look its best:

  • Collagen Peptides: Nutritionists are loving this supplement to boost collagen from the inside, promoting healthy hair, skin, bones, and joints. I mix two scoops into my coffee in the mornings; it has an odd taste in the beginning but you get used to it really quickly. You can also add it to smoothies, oatmeal, etc. NOTE: this product is sourced from bovines so may not be suited for vegetarian or vegan lifestyles.

  • Girl, wash your face. No, I'm not talking about the book, I'm talking to you! Don't ever go to sleep in your makeup. Your skin, like the rest of your body, uses your sleep cycle to repair itself. It's also the time when our skin absorbs all these products most efficiently. Wouldn't you rather it absorb helpful products instead of environmental toxins, dirt, and oil?? My recommendation: always have micellar water on hand! It takes ten seconds to pour some on a cotton pad, remove your makeup, and cleanse your skin.

  • Drink plenty of water. Have you noticed how many of these products are just trying to keep our skin hydrated?? Clearly we have to do our part by drinking plenty of water. It flushes out all the bad stuff, too.

  • Sweat it out. There's more than one way to flush out the bad stuff. Getting a good sweat out will not only increase your blood flow but also stabilize your cortisol levels. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to acne breakouts and the break down of collagen which leads to -- gasp! -- wrinkles.

  • Invest in skin treatments. Under the guidance of my esthetician, I have and will get various dermatological treatments/services to augment my skin care routine. So far I've tried dermaplaning, an intensive exfoliating procedure that gets rid of dead skin and tiny hairs on a deeper level than any at-home product can do. It also makes your skin care products more effective because they don't have to fight through the gunk to penetrate your skin. I really liked it! Other pros to dermaplaning: there's no downtime (AKA red tomato face) and your makeup looks even more amazing afterwards!


If you're interested in some next level skin treatments, be sure to watch my Instagram Stories today, Tuesday, March 5th, for some big time behind-the-scenes dermatology action. I'll be getting a big sun spot and some broken capillaries lasered off my face and I want y'all to be in the mix and see how it's done and what it's like!

Why am I getting it done? Because I'm tired of focusing on these flaws every time I look in the mirror. All the products in the world can't totally get rid of them, especially the capillaries. I don't want to look half my age or plastic by any means. But I do want to get rid of these particularly noticeable marks on my face to boost my confidence...especially when I don't wear makeup which is a LOT of the time these days!


As always, I'm beyond grateful for you taking the time to visit my blog today. I'm always hopeful that you'll share any content with your friends and family if you think they'll find it valuable!

See y'all soon! Thinking of talking spring trends for the every day girl in my next post...




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