My Skincare Routine


On this episode of Sarah Says, I talk about my tried-and-true skincare routine that I’ve used for years. The products are a 50/50 mix of drugstore and department store brands, and I’ve had a lot of luck with them over the years.

The funny thing is that since I’ve radically changed my diet and lifestyle, I’ve been contemplating moving towards organic skincare brands. I’ll keep you posted on that search (any recs would be appreciated), but for now, here is my skincare routine.


Olay Daily Facial Cloths for Sensitive Skin

Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle, Anti-Blemish Clear Skin Cream

Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 Night Cream

Cerave PM Facial Lotion


Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Olay Complete Daily Defense SPF 30

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

In my quest to check out other skincare products, I just bought this collection of skin and hair oils from Sephora. I will say I am loving the Maracuja Oil from Tarte, but don’t just take my word for it, check out the reviews!

  • Lauren

    January 23, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Skincare! You are speaking my language. Over the last year I have tried switching my everyday products to something more natural with relatively good luck. I love oil cleaning and my fave has been One love organics, removes all my make up and smells amazing. I also adore the Fresh sugar exfoliatior scrub, and use that a few times a week. As for a decent moisturizer with SPF, my search continues. When you did your last skincare post a while ago I searched for the Olay with SPF but apparently we don’t have it here in Canada (cause we don’t get sun, pfft) Thanks for this post, I love a good skincare recommendation :)


    • whoorl

      January 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Does the One Love remove your eye makeup too?

      • Lauren D

        January 23, 2014 at 9:54 am

        Sure does and it smells like a piña colada, so theres that!

        • whoorl

          January 23, 2014 at 10:00 am

          Nice! Okay, so do you apply anything afterwards in the evening?

          • Lauren

            January 23, 2014 at 10:37 am

            Serum and or moisturizer (I like andalou organics brightening moisturizer and plain ol’ rose hip oil) Keep in mind I live in a super dry climate so all this moisturizing may or may not be necessary for you.

  • Erin

    January 23, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This is great. I just went off Accutane (crazy strong and NOT natural), but now that I’m done with it and my skin has been great for months, I’d like to switch over to natural products, at least for moisturizer. It weirds me out to put something labeled acid on my face – even though it works. I’ve heard good things about Tata Harper, but it’s pricey, I want to go to Sephora and examine it in the store. Would love to know any natural products you find!

    • whoorl

      January 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Will check out Tata Harper, thanks!

    • Jen

      January 24, 2014 at 12:21 am

      Accutane is no fun, but makes a huge difference. I took it 20 years ago, and now in my 30s I find the best maintenance for my skin includes a bit of exfoliating, like a retinol or glycolic and kojic acid. Most products don’t peel (especially not like with accutane) and there are ones for daytime and night.

  • Kara

    January 23, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Does this mean you don’t use a Clarisonic anymore?

    • whoorl

      January 23, 2014 at 10:01 am

      No. (shrinking away quietly) I’m just too lazy.

      • Liz

        January 29, 2014 at 7:06 am

        I am THE MOST lazy and I just put the clairsonic in the shower next to my Cetaphil and do it in there (or whenever I actually get a shower because let’s be honest, it isn’t always daily). Anyway I started using the delicate brush on there too and switch it almost never, like waaaaaay longer than the recommended time.

  • Traci

    January 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Hooray for Olay! I’m very loyal to Olay products; they always work the best for me. My other skincare secret is to drink lots of water and eat lots of avocados. :]

  • Stacey

    January 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Great post. I love that there are so many drugstore options in this list too! I’m always on the search for a great serum…How did you end up with the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic in your regime?…is it solely based on your friends’ recommendations and great skin like you mention in the video?

    • whoorl

      January 23, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Word of mouth and user reviews. :)

  • Jennie

    January 23, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Love this! I know you said you have sensitive skin, but how would you describe your skin type (dry, oily, combination)? Just wondering if these products would work for me, or if we might have different skin issues.

    • whoorl

      January 23, 2014 at 10:02 am

      My skin is sensitive to chemicals and sunlight, but I would say the “type” is normal – meaning it’s not oily or dry.

  • Ashley

    January 23, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Hi! I just ordered most of your recs, super excited to get started with a new routine! Wondering, what about eye cream? Do you use one? Thanks!

  • J.Mill

    January 23, 2014 at 10:41 am

    If you want to know what’s in your face products, maybe you could DIY some (like you did during your honey-face-mask series?)

    To exfoliate at home, I use some coconut oil and baking soda smooshed into a paste. I don’t even have to use moisturizer after I scrub with that.

    Otherwise I cleanse with Cetaphyl face wash and moisturize with Olay Daily Sensitive formula. I’m like you – I need few chemicals and sensitive formulas! I’ve started using Ponds night cream because of the extreme cold here (Hello, Chicago!).

  • Danielle

    January 23, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I recently decided that my daytime SPF moisturizer had to be chemical free, so I asked for recommendations for a zinc-based option. A friend of mine recommended MyShelle. It’s SPF 17 and available at Whole Foods and I REALLY REALLY like it. It goes on smoothly, there is no white residue, and I love that it’s not a chemical-based sunscreen. One other reco if you love the wipes at nighttime, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Yes to Blueberries anti-aging cloths. They come wet, so you don’t suds them up with water like your Olay ones, but they work great, they remove makeup, they smell lovely, and they are mildly moisturizing too so if you are super wiped out at night, you can handle your full nighttime routine in a snap without the multiple steps.
    OH! And my new favorite thing is Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. It’s a powder you shake into a wet hand and it gets all foamy and oxygeny and makes your skin feel soooooo great.

    • michelleLG

      January 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Wootwoot for yes to blueberries cleansing cloths! My faaaaves by far. Also the first anti-aging skin product (I’m only 31 but the wrinkles are starting!!)

  • Heidi

    January 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I’m sensitive to many sunscreens, but one I love is by Everyday Coconut and I buy it at Whole Foods. You get a giant bottle for les than 10 bucks. I also use the spray toner from that line, as well as the night cream. (I’d use that during the day because my skin is so dry.) It’s great little company, too… they promote fair trade/ sustainable ingredients and employment. You can read about it here: http://www.everydaycoconut.com/shopEDC/

    Ive used the Everyday Shea line from the same company, their body wash is amazong and again, you get a giant bottle for cheap!

  • Shawna

    January 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    ACURE ORGANICS! (There are not caps big enough to express my love).
    I’ve been using their products only for 2 weeks (along with my Clarisonic Mia for the cleanser), and I went from looking every bit of my 39-almost-40-years-old to, well, maybe 35? I’ve never had BAD skin, at least not all the time, but now I GLOW. Seriously, people comment on my skin. It’s weird. And somewhat creepy.

  • KJS

    January 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Josie Maran SPF is the best and I know SPF isn’t all that “natural” but I can’t live without it in CA. I also like the oil cleanser. I suppose coconut oil would work well too?! I just need a more routine schedule, I’m too lazy!

  • Emily

    January 23, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve been loving Origins GinZing moisturizer, as well as the eye cream that goes with it. Organic and great for sensitive skin! Plus is smells like straight up oranges.

  • Torrie @ a place to share...

    January 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    i’ve mostly switched to all-natural face-care products (w the exception of face wash, that i’m using up~ purity made simple)… 100% pure (coffee eye cream, & have used both argan & nourishing facial oil)… i use this sunscreen~ http://www.truenatural.com/true-natural-caribbean-coconut-sunscreen-spf30.html/ (and in spring/summer~ their self-tanner… should be using it NOW, as i am quite white). working on a diy vitamin c serum… & still trying to figure out the retinol component.

  • Lauren D

    January 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Oh oh, I forgot to ask about your lovely bracelets in the video?? So pretty!

  • Andi

    January 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I’ve recently switched completely to Artistry. It is all natural and in the top 5 prestigious brands with Clinique, Chanel, etc. but I can get you wholesale pricing if you are interested in trying it out.

  • Tiera

    January 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    No suggestions but try this app to scan bar codes on product to get breakdown of toxicity, allergens, carcinogens. Thinkdirtyapp dot com

  • sarah k

    January 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks! This was great. I had a sample of CE Ferulic this summer and fell in love…but oh my word the price!!! Then I discovered that Paula’s Choice has a knockoff:

    I think it works about as well as the CE Ferulic for a fraction of the cost. If I could afford the CE I would go with that…but I am so happy I found this other option! Also, from reviews I’ve read, I also got the impression that the CE Ferulic needs to be used up within a few months to avoid losing its potency…just a thought.

    Thanks for sharing your routine!

  • whoorl

    January 24, 2014 at 9:16 am

    You all have such great recommendations, AS ALWAYS. Pumped to learn more about these brands!

  • Kristiina

    January 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to give us the details—and for sharing your tried and true products, not just something you started using two weeks ago from your latest birchbox ;). I have been a loyal Origins fan for 12 years…their “clean energy” is an oil cleanser that I can’t live without. And the high-potency night-a-mins has been a staple for years…..but I live in a cold dry climate (and have dry skin). I went out and bought the murad cleanser and want to try the Neutrogena serum, too. :)

  • julie

    January 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I like the Quench Organics line (can buy on Amazon) although I do use Neutrogena’s daily moisturizer for the day. Super inexpensive but really works!!

  • Liz

    January 29, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I watched a couple of videos on YouTube by on the Hot and Flashy channel – I’m only 37 and not in menopause like she is but she does a bunch of skin care videos and product reviews on there.

    On her recommendation, I found this Vitamin C serum on Amazon that she recommended and I think is a knockoff of the Skinceuticals. I’ve used it since December and I like it – and like the price:

    Also – I’ve started using a Boots Organic facial oil at night because my skin is crazy dry and itchy in Dallas this winter. It got some great reviews on Makeup Alley – great price and it feels sooo nice on my skin. I was going to try Josie Maran but the price of this is much better and available at Target.

    I’ve just become obsessed with my skincare since November because I started seeing a few teeny lines around eyes and realized I was doing a terrible job taking care of my face. Since then, I have been reading a ton and trying to learn about what to do with my skin. Here’s another awesome article I found online that I found helpful (as far as steps I should be doing) and I’m going to give those Dr. Gross peel towelettes a try soon I think:

  • Odds and Ends – Beauty Edition | whoorl

    January 31, 2014 at 8:25 am

    […] out all the brands here.) This came at a perfect time because I had just mentioned to you guys that I was thinking of changing up my skincare routine, so I’ll keep you posted. I’m trying some Tata Harper samples this week.) Also, I met […]

  • sara

    February 1, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Love this! Thanks for the recommendations! You’re so pretty, please do a tutorial on the make-up you used in this video.

  • info

    March 4, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Spectacular issues completely, you just acquired the latest viewer. What can you recommend relating to your send that you designed a 1 week earlier? Any kind of optimistic?

  • Fran

    April 5, 2014 at 2:50 am

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  • Hannah

    April 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Way late to the comment party, but I wanted to tell you how much I’ve loved that Olay moisturizer. I was looking for something that contained sunscreen and was safe for sensitive skin, plus I was able to find it pretty easily! I live in southwest Ohio so I don’t know if it will work well for the winter, but for spring/summer/fall it’s perfect. Thanks!

    If you are wanting to try a new cleanser I would highly recommend Purity by Philosophy. Seriously, it’s magical. It’s super simple and basic, but is very effective at removing make up(even eye make up) and keeping skin looking great.

    Love the videos!