For years I had been a firm believer in a consistent skincare routine, I went through the same steps with the same products religiously. Recently I've had a realization; why am I giving my skin the same things every day? My skin is definitely not the same every day. Since this moment of enlightenment I've decided to make a change. As a proud skincare junkie, I have at least 40 different skincare products sitting in my bathroom at all times, but have been limiting myself to the same handful of products. This isn't to say I think that you should use different products constantly or keep an absurd amount in rotation, but perhaps consider the idea of finding what really works for whatever skin issues you may have and just give your skin what it needs on that particular day. I've listed the 10 main products that I keep in rotation, and use in different combinations depending on how my skin feels.
Normal (day) | Glossier Priming Moisturizer
When my skin is behaving and I just want to slap something on real quick, this is my absolute go to. Cute packaging aside, this is a great moisturizer. It's buildable which is essential for those extra dry areas, and it doubles as a primer so it's the perfect step before your makeup application. It's just a no-fuss moisturizer that does the job, and I love it.
Dryness/hyperpigmentation (day/night) | Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream (c/o)
Let me just start off by saying that this is magic in a jar. The first time I used this cream my face instantly looked hydrated, plump, and radiant. After continuous use I noticed that any hyperpigmentation on my face started to fade away, and my skin had a lot more bounce to it. This cream will seriously hydrate your skin and make you glow. I can't recommend this enough for those with dry skin, but it is made for all skin types. I love the gel-cream formula, it really soaks into the skin beautifully. I mainly reach for this at night, but it could definitely work during the daytime. If you're planning on using this during the day and applying makeup after, I would let this sit on the skin for at least 5-10 minutes before your makeup base (or it could get a little greasy).
Dehydration/dullness/firming (day/night) | Tatcha Deep Hydration Firming Serum (c/o)
Lately my skin has felt a little lack luster and my smile lines were becoming more noticeable, so I started playing around with this serum. Some important things to keep in mind while using this serum are 1) shake gently before using, 2) make sure your skin is completely dry before applying, 3) let it sink in a little before going over with your moisturizer. This will make your skin glow (it's literally made with gold) and deeply hydrate your skin. The formula can feel a little tacky and it's honestly not my favorite to apply, but it really does make your skin look gorgeous. I've been using this pretty consistently under my moisturizer during the day and as needed depending on my skin mood at night.
All the things (day/night) | Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment
Anytime my skin is freaking out and I don't know what to do, this is what I turn to. You could essentially keep this, a moisturizer for day, and an oil for night on your shelf and you would probably be good. I've spoken about Good Genes so many times, you're probably so over hearing me yammer about it, but it really is that good. It's pricy, but if you're only going to splurge on one thing; this is it. It really does it all: brightens, fights hyperpigmentation, works as an anti-inflammatory, repairs the skin barrier, plumps fine lines, increases epidermal firmness and thickness, and renews skin. And the best part? It's instant. So if you have a special event that you want your skin to look perfect for, this is your entire prep work in a bottle. Just make sure you follow up with a moisturizer or oil. Honestly if this wasn't such an expensive product I would probably use it daily, I once used it every day/night for two weeks and have never been happier with my skin. (Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle does not have the same ingredients but is a fraction of the price with some similar benefits, jump on the acid train!)
Dehydration/puffiness/firming (day/night) | Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Eye Serum (c/o)
I use an eyecream day and night, but sometimes even my favorite creams aren't sufficient. I've used a few eye serums in the past, and this is by far my favorite. It's a light creamy serum with a ceramic tip applicator, I apply it with the ceramic tip or fingertips depending on how much time I have (using the applicator takes a bit more work, but is such a luxurious experience). It's amazing how just a little bit of a serum can completely revitalize your undereyes. If you're experiencing fine lines around the eyes from dehydration/aging, or puffiness, this is a lovely addition to your routine. I typically use this in the morning when I need that extra jolt, but this can also be used at night.
Dryness/dehydration (night) | Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
This is one of those products that does one thing but does a damn good job. I used to use this 3-4 times a week when my skin was super dry, but now I just use it as an overnight treatment whenever I really need that extra boost of moisture and hydration. Side note: this smells heavenly, and you can also use it anywhere your body needs it.
Blemishes/blackheads (night) | La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
I swear I've had the same tube of this for at least three years, you really need the tiniest amount. Dab where needed and wake up with clearer and less irritated skin. This product works with almost any type of blemish, but I like to use this for blackheads and also those pesky little red headless bumps that like to show up every now and then. Depending on your skin type, this can dry you out a bit. This is a white cream texture that disappears into the skin and is totally undetectable which is always a plus, and you don't look super crazy.
Spots (night) | Kate Somerville EradiKate
You will look super crazy with this on. I've been using this on and off for years now and it's one of my holy grail products. When I have one of those gross red spots with a head, I apply a thin layer with a Q-tip (completely submerge through the clear liquid into the pink sulfur) onto the affected area and the size and redness is significantly reduced by the time I wake up. Sometimes it's gone all together! But keep in mind, this can dry out your skin so try to only get the product on the actual spot and maybe keep it in rotation with other spot treatments that are less drying.
Ghost pimples (night) | Smile's PRID Salve
I've only had to use this twice, but both times it has completely saved me. This can be used on any spots, but I would really recommend just using it on ghost pimples that like to hide under your skin for a really long time and create a weird lumps and sometimes feel sore to the touch. Basically you just dab a little of the salve onto clean skin, and immediately cover it with a band aid. Apparently it does some crazy homeopathic magic and draws out whatever is causing those ghost pimples! Sometimes it doesn't completely get rid of it after one use (but will definitely get rid of most of the swelling), so I'll use this two or three nights in a row.
Pore reduction/wrinkles /calming (night) | Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
Another gem from my girl SR, this is actually a staple in my night time routine. No matter what is going on with my skin, this goes on as the last step in my regimen. The trans-retinol (which is incredibly gentle unlike normal retinol) fights the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, loss of skin elasticity, and blue tansy heals damaged skin and contains strong anti-redness properties, while German chamomile treats inflammation and irritation, and avocado seed oil plumps fine lines as well as anti-redness properties. This stuff keeps my skin silky, smooth, and happy. Don't let the blue tint scare you, once you start massaging it in it disappears. It's especially great for those who are just entering the world of anti-aging products, but also wonderful for those who are pore conscious.