Updated: Sep 6, 2021
With the popularity of skincare on the rise, many new products, routines and rituals, and esthetic services have emerged on the cosmetic scene. These innovations have allowed a much wider audience to access information on how to keep their skin healthy, young, and glowing from the comfort of their homes.
This new age of skincare captured my attention and is part of what led me to enroll in cosmetology school several years ago. I wanted to learn as much as I could about what products to use, when to use them, and how. My main takeaway from my education, personal research, and consumer experience was that one of the secrets to achieving healthy and radiant skin was to create a morning and evening routine; these routines needed to be made up of the right products to cleanse, hydrate, and protect my skin. Timing (AM or PM) and product application order DO matter!
Having learned about skincare and why it's important changed not only my personal habits, but also my professional makeup applications and philosophy as a business owner in the cosmetic industry. I love sharing what I've learned, and have put together a basic AM and PM routine for you to follow! Whether you are just getting in to skincare or looking to update your current practices, I hope that you will enjoy these skincare routines as much as I have! I will also preface this by saying that these product referrals are in no way sponsored by said brands, and these products are listed purely from my personal experience of them. I hope that these product recommendations and skincare tips find you well, and that they will help point you in the right direction on your skincare journey.
1. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse!
"A lot of people think they don’t have to wash their face in the morning because they just did it at night. But it’s actually really important. Your pillow case can accumulate oils from your face and hair, as well as bacteria and dust—it all builds up while you sleep." -Clinique
Cleansing in the morning is the first and arguably most important step to your skincare journey. Morning cleansing not only is refreshing on a sensory level, but also removes oil which helps free your pores, washes away excess bacteria that can be blemish causing, and generally gets rid of anything else that may have accumulated on your skin. Cleansing allows you to begin the day with a clean canvas for your skincare and makeup!
One of my best tips for healthy, glowing skin, is to double cleanse morning and night. While it may seem complicated, double cleansing is just like it sounds- however, it is important to understand why this is necessary and to pick the right products. To begin, you'll want to wash first with an oil-based cleanser which will gently remove oil-based impurities such as sebum, SPF, and other pollutants. You will then follow with a water-based cleanser which will help aid in ridding your skin of sweat and dirt. As one size does not fit all, if you find that double cleansing for both your morning and evening routine is causing any unwanted changes in your skin, try double cleansing at night and adjust to using only your water based cleanser in the morning. As always, be sure to tailor these routines to your needs!
Below I will attach some of my favorite water and oil based cleansing products and provide options so that you may pick the best one for your skin type. Whichever products you pick may be used for both your morning and evening routines! ⤵
Oil Based Cleansers
1. Dermalogica Precleanse
2. Avene XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil
3. Tatcha: The Camellia Oil 2-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser
Water Based Cleansers
1. Caudalie Vinoclean Gentle Foam Cleanser
2. La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser
2. Tone it up, baby!
After you have double cleansed (or single cleansed depending on the needs of your skin), you're now ready to tone. Toner is an awesome tool that helps to balance your skin's pH. Skin that has a healthy pH tends to be less prone to excessive dryness or oiliness + may help your skin ward off infection.
"It [toner] brings your skin back to its natural acidic state, sweeping impurities away and helping your skin absorb your skincare products. Your skin is like a dried-up sponge. If you put a thick cream on a brittle dry sponge, it won't accept it and it isn't 'prepped' for moisture. But if you wet the sponge, the cream will sink in more easily." -Allure Magazine
Toner is safe to use twice a day, meaning during each routine after cleansing but before moisturizing. Watch your skin closely during the first few days practicing your new routine; if you find that your skin is feeling dry or irritated, try toning once a day in the evening or once every other day. Below are some of my highly recommended toning products ⤵
1. Paula's Choice SKIN RECOVERY Enriched Calming Toner
2. Avene Gentle Toning Lotion
3. Dermalogica AGE Smart Antioxidant HydraMist
3. Moisturize and Protect
When it comes to the third and final step of your morning routine, you can certainly get creative. My favorite way to 'moisturize and protect' is to first apply a Vitamin C serum to protect my skin from harmful free radicals. Lastly, I will apply a moisturizer that is formulated with broad spectrum SPF to protect my skin from UV and blue light throughout the day! ⤵
Vitamin C Serum
1. Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Fresh Day Serum
2. Revision Skincare® C+ Correcting Complex 30%
1. CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
2. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer SPF 30
Yes, it is that simple! In just 3 steps, you now have created your perfect skincare routine for the AM. And, would you believe me if I told you that the PM routine was just as straightforward? Let's jump in to it ⤵
1. Double Cleanse
For this step, you can use the same products as in the morning! Begin with your oil based cleanser to remove any leftover dirt, oil, or makeup from the day, and then follow with your water based cleanser.
Same situation here! You can use the toner that you applied earlier if toning twice daily does not irritate your skin. If you find that your skin is irritated, shift from toning in the morning to toning at night only, and if needed, once every other night.
3. Repair and Moisturize
For your PM routine following your double cleanse and tone, I like to apply a retinol serum with a moisturizer on top to wrap up my day of skincare. Retinol is an amazing product for increasing collagen production which in turn may help improve skin tone, fine lines, and wrinkles. Be careful to not combine skincare products such as Vitamin C serum and retinol at the same time. The 2 products are safe to use separately in your morning and evening routines as outlined in this blog!
1. CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum
2. Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair (2 piece)
3. La Roche-Posay Pure Retinol Face Serum with Vitamin B3
1. Avene Cicalfate + Restorative Protective Cream
2. Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream
3. Tatcha: The Water Cream
And there you have it! These are my most loved AM & PM skincare routines. These products + routines are not a huge time or financial commitment but deliver such noticeable results! I'd love to hear how these products worked for you / if you found this blog helpful! Drop a comment below ⤵
For more Vanity House content, make sure to connect with me on my socials
Facebook: Isabelle Trachtenbroit