I’ve paired my skincare routine down to the following:
- Vitamin C Serum
- Rosehip Seed Oil
It’s a five-step routine I genuinely enjoy going through most days. Below you will find the products I swear by as well as when and how I use them in my day-to-day life. Also worth noting is the fact that I am still breastfeeding so I have not explored any of the less natural skincare options out there that many swear by for anti-aging (like retinol), though it’s on my radar to possibly look into in the future.
Also, please note that this post only touches on my skincare routine. If you’re interested in my makeup favorites please see this post: Recent Beauty Favorites.
My Simple Skincare Routine
Product: Facial Cleanser (Amara Beauty Vitamin C Cleanser + NOW Solutions Clarify + Illuminate Rejuvenating Cleanser)
I’ve been using Amara Beauty Vitamin C Cleanser for 4+ years and began using it when an esthetician encouraged me to use a cleanser containing vitamin-C. Amara Organics Vitamin C Facial Cleanser was the cleanser I found after looking for a product that was free of many common harsh ingredients that also contained vitamin C and I feel like it’s very gentle while still cleansing my skin of makeup, dirt and all that jazz.
I also love NOW Solutions Clarify + Illuminate Rejuvenating Cleanser and consider this one my best effort at selecting a more natural anti-aging cleanser. It uses a clinically-tested, concentrated brown algae extract that, when tested at a 1-2% concentration for four weeks, is shown to help the skin appear more youthful. It also contains marine collagen for its hydration properties, allantoin and manuka honey to help calm and renew the skin while retaining moisture, and extra virgin olive oil to nourish skin and replenish its natural oils. I love the way it makes my skin feel clean without making it feel stripped of all of its natural oils and moisture and have been consistently using this cleanser for more than two years.
Note: I buy the NOW Solutions cleanser through their website — it’s cheaper there! — when I order my rosehip seed oil and other natural food and beauty favorites. You may use my code PBFINGERS for 20% off anything on their site. I do not make a commission off of this code but I do have an ongoing Instagram partnership with NOW Foods.
When I Use It: In the shower and in the evening before bed. (I keep the Amara Beauty cleanser in the shower and the NOW Solutions cleanser by my sink so I use both every day.)
How I Use It: I wash my face in the shower using a soft electronic cleansing brush. (I have a Clarisonic which is now discontinued but very similar to this one.) When I wash my face before bed, I simply use my fingers to massage the cleanser around my face before rinsing and drying my face with a soft towel.
Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Toner is a fan favorite and always has the best reviews — thousands of them! It’s so incredibly refreshing and I love that it contains aloe vera which is naturally moisturizing so the toner doesn’t make my face feel tight or dry. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Vitamin A – great for natural skin brightening and anti-aging. I also find it to be slightly cooling which I appreciate during the warmer months of the year.
Note: For any fellow Thrive Market customers, I order this toner through Thrive because it’s typically 25% cheaper on their website!
When I Use It: Every morning and evening immediately after cleansing.
How I Use It: I apply it to a soft cotton pad and use it on my face and neck every morning right when I wake up, immediately when I get out of the shower and then again after washing my face at night.
Product: Vitamin C Serum (Hyper Clear Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum + Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Brightening Serum)
I’ve developed age spots in my 30s and Hyper Clear Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum is the only stuff that has worked FAST to noticeably lighten them. It’s packed with 15 percent vitamin C and vitamin E to help brighten skin, smooth fine lines and rough texture, and dramatically clear dark spots from hyperpigmentation. IT WORKS and is now an integral part of my skincare regimen.
I also use and love Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Brightening Serum and truly believe is has helped make my skin look more even and a little brighter. This stuff is crazy expensive so I use the Hyper Clear serum more often but still use the Sunday Riley serum a couple of times a week.
When I Use It: In the evening immediately after washing my face and applying toner.
How I Use It: I use my fingers to gently apply it all over my face once I’ve dried it off after cleansing.
Product: Organic Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip Seed Oil is my skincare holy grail! Back in 2016, I wrote a blog post all about the benefits of rosehip seed oil and I’m only more passionate about this product five years later. It’s a natural beauty rock star, praised by many for a myriad of reasons, namely its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, correct dark spots and hydrate the skin in a natural way. I honestly crave applying rosehip seed oil to my skin and looove the way it feels on my freshly cleansed face at the end of the day. It’s inexpensive, especially when compared to a lot of other anti-aging serums out there, many of which primarily rely on rosehip seed oil as their main ingredient.
When I Use It: Every morning and evening.
How I Use It: In the morning, I do not wash my face, but I apply this immediately after I apply toner after I wake up. In the evening (or after I shower), I apply this after washing my face and applying toner and vitamin C serum.
I once read somewhere that if you don’t use sunscreen on your face everyday, you might as well throw all of your other skincare products in the trash. Sunscreen is king and so, so important. It’s something I apply to my face every morning, though the kind of sunscreen I reach for varies a bit. Here’s a brief rundown of my favorites:
- Biossance Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30: When I’m looking for a completely clear super clean sunscreen to apply to my face that won’t clog my pores and doesn’t feel thick and sticky, Biossance Sheer Mineral Sunscreen is a go-to. It’s EWG-certified (so, basically, the cleanest of the clean) and is Ryan’s favorite sunscreen for his face, too.
- Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40: I adore this sunscreen so much and reach for it constantly because I genuinely love the way it feels on my face. It also has a subtle tint that brightens my skin in a way I haven’t found with other sunscreens. This one is a summertime staple for me!
- ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40: This skin tint serum provides the perfect base for days when I want a natural look but don’t want to be totally bare-faced. It offers a bit of coverage in a way that allows my skin to breathe without looking like I’m wearing a ton of makeup.
- MyChelle Sun Shield Liquid Tint SPF 50: When I want a tinted SPR without the dewy look, this liquid tint is what I reach for because it has a gorgeous matte finish. It’s a clean beauty find that I think looks lovely layered under makeup or applied to my face for lightweight coverage. Note: Thrive Market fans, it’s another beauty find you can nab for less on their site
When I Use It: In the morning and, if I shower in the middle of the day, again after showering.
How I Use It: Sunscreen is the last step of my skincare routine. I apply it after rosehip seed oil but before any makeup I might want to wear that day.
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Questions of the Day
What does your skincare routine look like? Any product staples you absolute swear by that we should know about?
Great post! I always love seeing what others are using and loving. I love Drunk Elephant products. I know they don’t work for some, but for me it keeps my acne at bay and my skin looking great! I especially love the Bronzing drops. I mix a few with my morning moisturizer and my face gets a really nice subtle tint.
Also note on those two Vitamin C serums you posted they are pretty close in price when you take into account the fact that the Hyper one is half the size of the Sunday Riley.
I love the Thayer’s toner as well! So gentle and I’ve noticed a difference since adding it to my routine. I use vitamin C serum in the mornings and retinol serum at night! I know retinol is harsh for some people but it doesn’t bother me snd it’s great to tab on any blemishes. Clears them right up!
Yay, I love skincare talk! Always excited to see skin/beauty posts 🙂
My routine is pretty basic, and the only actives I use are lactic acid and salicylic acid (alternating nights), but I love laying a couple different hydrating moisturizers…feels indulgent 🙂 I love and 11/10 would recommend the 10% and 5% lactic acid serums from The Ordinary. At 31 I usually – or used to! – struggle with congested pores, hyperpigmentation from irritation or acne (multiethnic skin, so I mark up super easy), and dehydration that really brings out my fine lines, and consistently using this lactic acid with a good moisturizer has TRANSFORMED my skin. Aside from the occasional hormonal zit, my skin is clear and glowing and my fine lines on my forehead have disappeared. I never have thought that I could get my skin to a place where I no longer wear any foundation or concealer, so I’m even more excited to be able to do it with a skincare routine that’s so budget friendly.
Of course, who knows what will happen when I have kids in the next year or so, since I know pregnancy acne can be a thing…but for now, I’m enjoying the good skin moment!
Okay you have me incredibly intrigued by those serums!! I need to look into lactic acid more for sure.
I love the brightening wash from Revision. It’s made a huge difference for me. I follow a lot of the recommendations from Jordan Harper, NP on Instagram.
I follow her too!!! Her skin is unreal!!
I love some of the same products as you, especially Super Goop and Ilia. One brand of skincare the I LOVE is CocoKind. They breakdown the total cost of the product between packaging, R&D, ingredients, etc. and they are very conscious about their bottling/containers and recycling. My skins texture has improved dramatically with those products
Oh that breakdown is so interesting! I don’t think I’ve seen a beauty/skincare company do that before.
I tend to mix in different cleansers because I haven’t found the perfect one yet but I also love Thayer’s toner! I started using a Vitamin C serum about a year ago and I have been really happy with the one from Honest.
Love this post. As I am 31 now, I have been trying to remember to wash my face more regularly. Actually COVID helped me to nail down a routine on my skincare because with wearing masks a lot in the beginning I was experiencing mask acne. I also started implementing moisturizer with a SPF so I have some sunscreen on my face daily. I’m curious on the rosehip seed oil, does it have a strong scent of roses? Years ago I tried Rose water toner that many people rave about for natural skin care, but the scent was too strong for me.
Not at all!! I found the same thing with rosewater — definitely a lot more fragrant. Rosehip seed oil definitely does not have that smell!
Thank you. I will definitely look into the Rosehip seed oil.
Thank you so much for this post, Julie! I’m also mid-30’s and embarrassed to admit that I really haven’t switched up my skincare routine a ton since I was a teenager. I’ve noticed a lot of fine lines and wrinkles recently, as well as some sun spots, that I’d like to address. Like you, I’m also breastfeeding so staying away from retinoids right now. Does the hyper vitamin C serum also lessen the appearance of freckles? (I love my freckles and don’t want them to fade!) Also, if you had to choose just one sunscreen, which would it be? Thank you!
I’m so excited for this! I was *just* saying I need some skin care so my 41 year old skin doesn’t look so 41. To be fair, I look quite young for my age…but Covid and distance teaching had taken its toll…and it shows. Looking forward to trying some of these suggestions!
janet pole says
I swear by Kiehls which I have been using for 35 years. I like to mix it up every so often as, like shampoo, your break from your regular products tends to make a difference
— Rakuten had an amazing 10% deal back and you got $25 off $85 AND a free fullsize Ginzeng moisturizer. Well, I broke out from the citrus oils and my face is beet red and peeling.
I love TACHA’s “The dewy skin cream” – it shows up on Ipsy a lot and I always get it…that is where I usually mix it up to use products in small sizes to see if returning to Kiehl’s and its price is worth it…it always is (I use the trial IPSY creams and cleaner when I travel and go and stay at my 94 and 95yo parent’s … it’s easy to keep them in my duffle bag so I can leave at the drop of a hat if there is an Alzheimer-related emergency!)
Think I’m going to have to try some vitamin c in my skin care. Thanks for the post!
Danielle L. says
I have been using Amara Beauty’s face wash since you posted about it those 4+ years ago and still love it!! Now I’m eyeing those serums as that is what is missing in my routine. Thank you for the post—Love your recommendations 🙂
Laura Rose says
Julie, thank you for sharing your routine! I have always appreciated your recommendations, and I credit you with getting me hooked on rosehip seed oil. I am currently pregnant and looking for natural / safe-rated products, and may try out the NOW cleanser that you shared here.
One of my go-to favorites for years has been the Pacifica Beauty Dreamy Youth Day and Night Cream, and my esthetician recently got me started with using a hyaluronic acid serum to boost my skin’s natural hydration and moisture barrier.
Tula lover over here! My adult acne finally cleared up after like twenty years. I use all of their products.
This is a great post – thank you! The Vitamin C serum and Rose Hip Oil seem to do similar things – why do you do both? Thanks!
What about moisturizer? Or do you not use one?