Skin Care Routine: Holy Grail Products You Need In Your Life

Everyone wants to love the skin they’re in (in a physical aspect) but that isn’t going to happen if we don’t take the steps to nourish and take care of it. I have had my fair share with problematic skin, but I think I finally have a skin care routine that I am happy with and has led me to see results. Investing in your skin is something that should be started sooner rather than later, so I thought I would share some of the products that I’ve been loving and swear by!

A lil background and history of my skin: Like most teens in middle school, this time was the worst my skin had ever been. At about 13, I made a trip to the dermatologist and this helped wonders. Not only was I sick of my skin looking the way it did, but I also was tired of not feeling confident and constantly insecure. By high school, my skin was pretty clear for the most part. Like normal I got a few blemishes here and there but it wasn’t anything compared to what I had dealt with before. Back in August, my skin took a turn. I think it was due to the stress of college, moving, and especially because of the change in water here in the city. Thankfully, I was able to take control and clear up any problem areas. Winter break definitely helped this considering I was back home using the water my skin was used to and decreasing the stress of classes. Now, my skin isn’t perfect, but I feel like I have it on the right track. As I get older, I find myself focusing on keeping it as youthful as possible & finding products that help brighten my complexion. **For reference I would consider myself to have combination skin, so please take that into consideration when reading about my favorite products. I am no dermatologist and just because they have worked on me doesn’t mean they will work on everyone!

M o r n i n g   R o u t i n e 

  • Gentle Face Cleanser
    In the morning, I like to freshen up with face cleanser that is pretty simple in ingredients and gentle on my face. Since I don’t have makeup on when waking up in the morning (hopefully) a cleanser that is just enough to get any left over ‘junk’ is perfect. My favorite to use is Purity Cleanser by Philosophy! I truly feel like it cleanses deep without stripping my face. Another alternative that I use often is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.  This is perfect if you’re on a budget! Either one will essentially get the job done and won’t leave your face feeling dried and dull.
  • Serum
    This is definitely a step that everyone should do and specifically this product is one that you want to invest in! The Ole Henriksen Truth Serum has taken my skin to next level. Not too long ago I always thought taking care of your skin consisted of only taking off your makeup, washing your face, and preventing blemishes. This product is a game changer. It hydrates your skin even before your moisturizer and leads to a brighter and more even look. Plus it smells absolutely amazing! (Check out the two other ‘little wonders’ I talk about in my night routine!)
  • Moisturizer 
    When it comes to skincare I like to keep it pretty simple. That’s when I see the best results. So, likewise I like to use a moisturizer that gets the job done without leaving my face feeling greasy especially before I put on any makeup! My favorite is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream because it is the perfect consistency and the exact amount of moisture that my skin needs for the day. You can actually get a mini double pack which are perfect for traveling or if you just want to try it out!
  • SPF
    Even though I’m guilty of forgetting/ignoring this step sometimes, I still try to make the attempt to wear sunscreen even in the winter. This protection for your skin is necessary! Just do it! Pretty much any spf will do. I prefer ones without oil or added fragrances. Also, some foundations/moisturizers already have spa which is always a plus!
  • H2O Spray
    I use the Mario Badescu Rose Water Spray at least twice a day. It gives you an extra boost of hydration whenever you feel you need it. You can spray it before or after your makeup, before you go to bed, or even when you’re feeling a little dry. I’ve gone through three bottles and will probably have to purchase a new one in the near future.

N i g h t   R o u t i n e 

  • Removing your makeup
    My night routine is a little more complex when it comes to the amount of products I use. However, this step is probably the most important to do and these next two products I use every single night. First, I use the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. This is seriously the best thing you’ll ever use. Not only does it melt away every ounce of makeup, but it also hydrates at the same time. There has been so many makeup removers that leave me feeling like a prune until I wash my face and complete my skin routine-this does not. To remove the balm you can wash it away with warm water, but I actually prefer to use a Neutrogena Makeup Remover Towelette to ensure that my makeup is gone before I go in with a cleanser. There is something about seeing the white face wipe change colors that makes you sure that you’re taking it off. I don’t do this step every night because I don’t wear makeup everyday, but if you do, don’t forget to do this. Your face wash isn’t enough to unclog your pores!
  • Face wash
    At night, I prefer to use a face wash that is a little more potent in ingredients. I do this because it then has time to work overnight rather than just slapping on makeup like I may do in the morning. My favorite that has been in my life since 8th grade is PanOxyl. This creamy cleanser has benzoyl peroxide, a chemical that is made to kill bacteria that causes acne, which works way better for me compared to salicylic acid. You can get it with either 4% or 10% benzoyl peroxide in it depending on your preference or need! I recommend only using it at night because it is more drying than a typical face wash due to the benzoyl peroxide. Also, if you’re just starting out using this product that you use it every other night so you’re skin can adjust. You should for sure pick this up if you’re having problems with complexion, breakouts, or texture. Although PanOxyl has been in my life forever, I decided to switch it up by trying the Clean&Clear Continuous Control Acne Facial Cleanser. This has benzoyl peroxide as well and gives an awesome cooling sensation! They both work well, but if you do have problematic areas I would start out with PanOxyl considering my dermatologist recommended it to me!
  • Toner
    This step is one that I have used on and off and I can truly say that it’s one that you need in your life. This is just another step that not only gets rid of left over makeup, but it also ensures that you’re getting rid of unwanted bacteria, oils, & blemishes.  You can pretty much pick up any toner. I got mine from target.
  •  Night Serum
    This product is like the Truth Serum’s side kick. The Ole Henriksen Night Gel reduces texture, evens your skin tone, and the best part is that it does this all over night. I don’t use this every single night, but when I do I notice a difference in my skin when I wake up!
    IMG_2694_Facetune_08.02.2018-16:34:21 2
  • Moisturizer
    Continuing on the Ole Henriksen trend, The Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer is the last product in the Three Little Wonders Trio which is another must have! This weightless moisturizer  gives a radiant look to the skin while eliminating discoloration. Not to mention it leaves your skin feeling extra hydrated. I typically use this at night, but I switch on and off between this and my  First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
  • Eye Cream
    Not only do eye creams help prevent potential wrinkles, but some also brighten and hydrate the under eye. A couple of my favorites are the N°7 Beautiful Skin Rich Hydrating Eye Cream & the Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream
  • Spot Treatments
    This isn’t something that I do every night because 1) I don’t always have blemishes to treat and 2) Using these constantly can result in super dry skin. But my favorite ones to use are–
    >>Benzoyl Peroxide spot treatment (Clean & Clear, Up & UP, etc): I started using this so long ago and have had it on hand since. This spot treatment + the PanOxyl  face wash are an iconic due and will help clear up your face in no time — at least it did for me. Just be careful to not over use these products because they have super drying ingredients.
    >>Mario Badescu Drying Lotion: This is a recent discovery of mine, but it’s already one of my favs. It truly does what it says. Drys up any blemishes pretty much overnight. I don’t really have a bad word to say about this! #Lilskintip: Don’t actually shake the bottle before you use it. Simply take a Qtip and dip it into the pink sediment and dab it directly on the skin
  • Face Masks
    This is something that I use when I feel like my skin needs it or I just feel like pampering myself. Here are a few of my favorites!
    >>First Aid Beauty Red Clay Mask: This peel off mask reduces the size of pores, purifies the skin, and unclogs pores & my favorite part…peeling it off. It’s so satisfying!
    >>Lush Fresh Face Masks: These pretty affordable beauties are beyond amazing! Every time I go to Lush I have to pick up a new one! They carry so many different kinds that target different needs for your skin: purifying, soothing, detoxifying, brightening, the list is endless! It’s also nice to know that the ingredients are natural and ones that your skin will love! My favorites are Oatfix & Cosmetic Warrior!
    >>Sheet Masks: If you haven’t tried one of these yet you will be amazed when you learn how easy and convenient it is to throw on/off. It seriously takes a total of 30 seconds. One of my favorite brands is actually by Sephora. They have so many options to choose from! Make sure to try any eye/lips masks as well!
    >>Aquaphor: This isn’t necessarily a face mask but it is amazing to heal dry/cracked skin. Especially during the winter, my face tends to dry out, so a trick I found is to put a thin layer on the affected area over night. I wouldn’t recommend applying this in the morning since the it’s pretty thick and somewhat greasy.


  1. If you are struggling with your skin, don’t get too frustrated. It will take time, but I promise it will eventually become the skin you love and want to have.
  2. This one is something that my mama taught me awhile ago. Bring pretty much all your skin products down to your neck. It sounds silly now, but that is one of the places that ages the fastest. Also, apply in a upward motion (bottom of your neck and towards your face) This prevents any sagging in the future.. LOL #gmalife
  3. Be gentle when applying any product on your skin. Especially around your eyes! This will help avoid early wrinkles! Use one finger around your eyes and don’t tug on them. Better to start being cautious now than being sorry later!
  4. NO MATTER WHAT always try to take off your makeup at night at least! I know there are nights where we forget, are too tired, or we find some other excuse. Do yourself the favor and at least wipe off your makeup. It is awful for your skin to sleep with it on all night & it will cause dullness, wrinkles, and blemishes in the long wrong (or even over night).
  5. If you’re struggling with acne, try benzoyl peroxide instead of salicylic acid & vice versa if one isn’t working for you!
  6. If you can’t get your skin to where you want it to be on your own, go see a dermatologist. It can’t hurt!
  7. You are what you eat! This even applies to you skin’s complexion. I have noticed that when I eat foods full of processed sugars, crazy amounts of sodium and grease, my skin back fires! So, try to avoid this much as possible! Also, dairy is another huge cause of breakouts.
  8. Pore strips are your bffs & moisturizer!
  9. Exfoliate!! (2-3 times a week) If you have some extra money, I would recommend in investing in a Clarisonic! These are awesome for making sure you’re actually cleaning your skin and exfoliate your skin at the same time.
  10. Drink a lot of water! You can keep your skin hydrated from within as well. Sometimes it’s not your lotion that isn’t working, and it’s simply a lack of hydration/h20.
  11. Keep your hands off your face. There is so much bacteria on your hands that you collect throughout the day. Even leaning your head on your hand can cause a breakout. Also, make sure your hands are clean before you wash your face.
  12. These seems pretty obvious, but even though I just shared what works for me in my skincare routine, doesn’t mean these products will work for you. It’s a process of trial and error so don’t get too frustrated!

Thank you for reading!

Lillie Jane

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