My Skincare Routine

My skincare routine. Let’s do this.

A little about this skin of mine. It’s usually pretty happy, except for occasional sensitivity or a rosacea flare up. (What is rosacea? Everything you need to know is right here.)  When I do experience rosacea, it usually manifests itself as redness and a few skin-colored bumps around my nose and cheeks. I know many of my fellow rosacea-prone readers have been asking about my routine, so here it is, but I do want to clarify that my rosacea is definitely on the mild end of the spectrum, so I don’t know how your skin would react to these products. [End disclaimer.]

I’ve always been a 2-step skincare girl. Cleanse and moisturize. The end. However, now that I’m entering my late thirties (37 next week! Eeek!), I’ve added a few more products to my arsenal. Exfoliaters and serums, to be exact. Exfoliation is key, ladies! Especially for us old hags! We need to rid ourselves of old skin cells and let our fresh skin shine through.

I’ve tried many, many skincare brands from the cheapest ones to very high-end. Luckily for my wallet, most of my very favorites are drugstore brands.

1. Olay 2-n-1 Sensitive Daily Facial Cloths – I love these cloths. LOVE THEM. Just add a little water and they effectively clean all makeup (including eye makeup!) off my face without causing any redness or irritation. However, I only can use the fragrance-free ones for sensitive skin. The ones made for “normal” and “combination/oily” skin types make my skin very angry. Of course, the sensitive skin ones are harder to find (my local Target or drugstore chains NEVER have them), so when I do find them, this is the result:

Anyway, Olay 2-n-1 Sensitive Daily Face Cloths. I use them every night before I go to bed. Love ’em. (Although, while I’m rambling on, I really wish the first ingredient listed on these cloths wasn’t PETROLATUM. In fact, if you know of an organic facial cleansing cloth that takes off eye makeup and has no scent, PLEASE DO TELL.)

2. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Clear Skin Cream – I’ve talked about this cream in the past, and I still love it years later. Now, I’ve never been plagued with acne, so I originally didn’t consider this product for my skin. I am so glad I tried this stuff out. It is THE perfect moisturizer for me. Not too heavy, not too light, it absorbs very quickly and keeps my rosacea completely at bay. The secret is salicylic acid. Saclicylic acid has been proven time and time again to prevent blemishes – and although my rosacea bumps aren’t your typical “blemish,” the salicylic acid keeps my skin healthy and without flare-ups. The retinol isn’t half bad for erasing fine lines and wrinkles, either. (Remember! Old hag over here.)

I apply this moisturizer every night after washing my face with the Olay cloths. And that’s my typical two-step, nighttime routine.

The next three products are what I use every morning.

3) Clarisonic Mia – I wrote about it here. Everyone loves it, it’s amazing, blah blah blah. Get yourself one.

4) Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – This is a great complement to my Clarisonic. I just wet my face, smooth a pump or two of the cleanser on my face, and let my Clarisonic work its magic. If you are planning on trying this for the first time, please be aware that this cleanser does not foam at all. In fact, if you are a I-need-suds-to-feel-clean person, this will take some getting used to, but remember, you don’t need bubbles to clean effectively!

Another option I’ve been using as a daily wash is the Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash. I do like this wash a lot. It’s a little more gel-like in consistency, so I feel like it stays on my face while using the Clarisonic (the Cetaphil is pretty slippery, and can feel like it’s sliding off while using the Clarisonic). I like that it’s free of sulfates, but it’s relatively pricey. I’m not averse to dropping some cash on skincare, but only if the product proves itself to be much more effective than the cheaper alternatives. The Kate Somerville wash is $32 for 4 ounces, and the Cetaphil cleanser is $10 for 16 ounces, and I don’t see that much of a difference between the two in regards to my skin. So! Cetaphil wins this battle for now.

5) Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer, SPF 30 – If Olay stops making this sunscreen, I will weep for weeks. Months! My face does not do well with certain chemical sunscreens. For instance, Avobenzone and Homosalate are pure torture. Seriously, if you are looking to pull some Hunger Games action on me, just put me in the arena with those sunscreens thrown all over my face. I WILL DIE. WHILE HOWLING FROM THE STINGING AND BURNING. Listen, I love me some Neutrogena products, but their SPF moisturizers usually contain those chemicals, so no thanks. Olay Complete Defense’s active ingredient is zinc oxide, which makes my face very happy.

The last two products are used a couple times a week.

6) Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment – This is a great exfoliating treatment for sensitive skin. It’s strong enough to lift dead skin cells, but doesn’t make my skin all red and pissy.

7) Skinceuticals Serum 10 AOX+ – This serum defends against environmental damage and helps to prevent premature signs of aging, and it’s totally ideal for sensitive skin types. I should actually put this on every morning, but I’m lazy. Are any of you all using Skinceuticals products? I’m really interested in many of their serums, but am afraid to pull the trigger due to the price. I’d love to hear your experience.

So, there you have it! My very favorite skincare products. What do you all use that you just love? (I could talk about this stuff for hours.) Any rosacea treatments that I need to know about? What about your favorite anti-aging products and serums? Lord knows I need to hop on that train full bore in the coming years…


  1. leslie

    October 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Delurking here to get in on the eye cream recs. Murad wrinkle reducing eye cream is amazing. Not cheap but with eye cream you get what you pay for. Used it for years and not a crows foot in sight :)

    • whoorl

      October 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm


  2. Torrie @ a place to share...

    October 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I’ve come to the same point. Need good products, don’t mind spending- if it’s truly worth it, but have often found drugstore products that work equally well. I use a lot of Boots products (from Target)… I had heard great reviews on this brand, and tried for myself last March. I’ve been really happy with the results, and LOVE the prices. Here’s what I use…

    -Clarisonic (every other day… totally agree with ya- LOVE IT, and well worth it)

    – Purity made simple (such a good cleanser, but open to spending less- tried this out since I got a good discount, and have read so many great reviews)

    – Skin brightening toner(using, but still not sure if I really NEED a toner)

    – Protect & Perfect Eye Cream (first time using a serum or an eye cream- love)

    – Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum (love this too)

    – Time Resisting Day Cream SPF12 (use their night cream as well)

    (Or sometimes Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer- had issues with the packaging (explodes in different altitudes and temp changes… so much wasted product, and it’s a good product, but I’m still on the fence about tinted moisturizers)

    (I use a filler too- Mac- but will try Boots next, and see which I prefer)

  3. Christen

    October 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Eye cream recs:

    Origins “Eye Doctor”

    Mary Kay (I KNOW, but you have to get past all the pinkiness of everything) Firming Eye Cream

    Neutrogena Healthy Skin Eye Cream

    My skin is SUPER dry and very sensitive (plus I wear contacts so I’m prone to irritation) and I’ve used all of these with great success. The Neutrogena is probably the lightest, but still good.

    • whoorl

      October 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      That’s 2 votes for the Neutrogena eye cream. Going to check it out for sure. Thanks!

  4. Heather B.

    October 28, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Love ExfoliKate! That is all. I also want a new Mia because mine is boring white and now they come in green and pink and purple! Might as well jazz things up a bit.

    • whoorl

      October 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      I should have known you use Kate Somerville! Always ahead of the curve, girl…

  5. The One True Sue

    October 28, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Baby wipes work just as well as the more expensive facial wipes. My mom and I have been using them for years and they work wonderfully. I use Nature Babycare Wipes – you can buy them on Amazon and are 100% biodegradable. I love Cetaphil. I wish I could find an eye cream that wasn’t so dang expensive! RACKET.

    • whoorl

      October 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      Good point. We can’t live without our Seventh Generation wipes for the kids…I bet I could use those on my face in a pinch!

  6. Misty

    October 28, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I’m shocked I didn’t see any Dermalogica mentioned! I love the daily microfoliant and the gentle cream exfoliant is amazing for sensitive or oily skin. The cream is just like a mask, wipe it off with a washcloth and boom, perfect smooth skin, shrunken pores, and oil is sooo much better. I’m going to have to try the Mia, keep hearing good things.

    • whoorl

      October 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Do it!

  7. sizzle

    October 28, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I l-o-v-e that Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Clear Skin Cream. It’s AMAZING.

    • whoorl

      October 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm


  8. Yukie

    October 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Ah, I’d be willing to give on my kidneys to get rid of those stubborn blackheads/Oily Skin.
    I used to use Roc Purif-AC but for some reason no stores carries it anymore where I live.

  9. janet

    October 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    your routine is similar to mine. however, i’ve been curious about salma hayek’s line at cvs. have you heard about it? anyone uses her products??

    • whoorl

      October 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      I haven’t heard about it, but I do know Jessica Simpson is coming out with a line of skincare and I’m supposed to receive some samples next week. I’ll be sure to post my thoughts!

  10. janet

    October 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    she was on some show the other day talking about her line and made the products sound wonderful and that very day i ran out to cvs but the cream i wanted was out of stock. well, i look forward to hearing about jesica simpson’s products and if i try salma’s, i’ll be sure to fill you in:) thanks for all your wonderful tips! you and your family are just beautiful!!!!

    • whoorl

      October 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks, Janet!

  11. Amti'b

    October 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Love the comments! Eye cream ideas always needed.

  12. Annette

    October 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve got to say that clarasonic sounds like something i’d be willing to try one day…

    had to comment because of how similar your routine was to mine before. i tried the olay 2in1 wipes for sensitive skin and they made my black heads worse, other than that i would have really liked to keep using them. the neutrogena made my rosacea worse, so maybe i had bad luck. on the other hand i absolutely love cetaphil.

    i was born with terrible skin luck and have a combo of rosacea/eczema/dermatitis/acne that pops up at different times so i’ve gone through a fair amount of stuff too.

    eye makeup remover, always vaseline. 2-3 times a week a gently baking soda scrub followed always with a splash of apple cider vinegar and then moisturize. cleaner and moisturizer, obviously cetaphil. once a week an oil cleansing using jojoba oil.

    i never realized how natural my routine had to get (and simple, and cheap) to be able to deal with all those issues. it lets me get away with more makeup mistakes than other routines thats for sure (read: sleep in makeup by accident). just wanted to share in case people were lurking for ideas.

  13. christina

    October 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I have tried to look for the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Clear Skin Cream since you first raved about it, but I can’t find it anywhere!! Where do you get it? Also, does anyone have any recs for skincare for a 25 year old with sensitive/oily skin and mild redness (not sure if it’s rosacea or not)? I know I should be doing things to help “prevent” aging, but I’m not sure what?!

    • whoorl

      October 29, 2011 at 10:09 am

      Amazon.com! I buy two at a time. However, I do see it at Target and Rite Aid occasionally.

  14. EmilysHollow

    October 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Your timing is perfect! I am running out of my old skin care stuff (Philosophy) and cannot really afford to restock. I’ve never had luck with much drug store stuff – my skin is crazy sensitive. But I never thought of using the cetaphil cleanser. Rad.

  15. Moriyah

    October 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I believe I remember reading at some point that you get the little bumps on your arms. Is this rosacea too? I just recently started getting these, and I am looking for something to keep them at bay. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • whoorl

      October 29, 2011 at 10:16 am

      Nope, that’s Keratosis Pilaris, and honestly, that’s a whole post in itself. However, I’ve really found that everyone is different in how to treat KP. For instance, what works for my son doesn’t work for me and vice versa. You can’t cure it, but you can help lessen the bumps with exfoliation and certain lotions. My skin responds well to AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion, and my son does well with Eucerin Smoothing Essentials Lotion. (You can click on those products to see…)