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Post in Clean Beauty


I have sensitive skin, dry patches on my cheeks and I have a tendency to break out or turn red. 

I'm looking for a solid evening skincare routine. No more than 5 steps that focus' on anti-aging, brightening, and hydration. Anyone willing to share their routine and how they're liking their products? 

Thanks in advance! 


@Adia310  I have combo skin that’s dry everywhere except my nose area (very oily) and my forehead (“normal” in warm weather, slightly dry in cold weather). I also have some surface redness and large patches of hyperpigmentation, and I’m in my late 40s. Here are a few products from my routine that might help you; I’ll narrow it down to 5 steps, excluding lip care. 


Wash: I use Paula’s Choice Hydralight Cleanser at night. This low-lather gel cleanser cuts through my daytime sunscreen and cleans my oily zone without stripping my dry zones. I also use Paula’s Choice RESIST Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser, which is a no-lather cream cleanser; that’s my usual morning wash, but of course it can be used at night. Sometimes in the morning I use The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm 5 oz/ 150 mL instead; it’s an oil-based cleanser that’s very gentle, and it can double as a soothing 10-minute face mask. 


Tone: This is arguably an unnecessary step, but I use it to add hydration to my skin immediately after washing. At night I alternate between e.l.f. Hydrating Water Essence (has lots of niacinamide which is a great skin tone brightener; also full of great hydrating and moisturizing ingredients with no drying alcohol—but if your skin’s sensitive to fragrance, note that fragrance is listed as this product’s last ingredient; it’s a very light scent that doesn’t linger) and Cosrx Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner (contains centella asiatica, aka cica, which can calm and reduce redness). Lately I’ve been using them both: e.l.f. as a toner and, several steps later, Cosrx toner as a hydrating mist directly before applying my moisturizer. 


Exfoliate: I do this 1-3 times a week, usually at night bus sometimes in the morning. Since I also use retinol to encourage faster skin cell turnover, I like to remove dead skin cells to reveal all that newer skin. When I first started chemical exfoliation, I used First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads 60 Pads which are VERY gentle. I still use them whenever my skin’s having a bad reaction flare and I still need to exfoliate—though it’s not a good idea to exfoliate irritated skin. I now use stronger exfoliants (First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid 10% AHA 1 oz/ 30 mL, Paula’s Choice 10% AHA which also contains 0.5% BHA, and The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 1 oz/ 30 mL) 1-3 times a week. Paula’s Choice has some gentler AHA exfoliants... one is 8%, another is 5% I believe. Might be worth checking out. 


Serum: One of my favorite very new finds is Cosrx Pure Fit CICA Serum, which contains lots of centella asiatica and several of its components. This serum is great at reducing my surface redness. For hydration, I still love The Ordinary "Buffet" 1 oz/ 30 mLBuffet for all its peptides (which help hydrate skin) and hyaluronic acid. If you need a big dose of skin-brightening niacinamide, consider The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 1 oz/ 30 mL (I haven’t used it but it has good ingredients) or Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster (this one I do occasionally use). 


Moisturizer: Right before this step, I spray some kind of hydrating mist on my face. That could be the Cosrx cica toner I mentioned, or Youth To The People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist with Peptides 4 oz/ 118 mL, or even plain ol’ water. It’s important to give a moisturizer some hydration to seal into skin. My usual cream moisturizer is Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid 2 oz/ 60 mL. Sometimes I layer a facial oil under it—either Herbivore Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil 1 oz/ 30 mL or Flora + Bast Age Adapting CBD Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL because CBD oil does wonders for my inflammation issues. Or sometimes I use e.l.f. Nourishing Facial Oil which is loaded with antioxidants. I really treat all these facial oils as moisturizing serums, applying just a very thin layer—just 1 or 2 drops rubbed between my palms and gently pressed into my skin. 





One product I would highly recommend is Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Stress Rescue Super Serum with Niacinamide 1 oz/ 30 mL if you break out/have redness. It’s for stress induced acne, however I apply it all over my face. It works amazing. You can apply day or night and apply a moisturizer over top. 


I have sensitive-ish skin that's normal to dry. I don't know if I can get my nighttime routine down to 5 steps, but I'll try.


1. Double cleanse (I really like the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm 3.4 oz/ 100 mL followed by Youth To The People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser 8 oz/ 237 mL the cleanser is especially nice because its non-drying).

2. Face mask (First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask 3.4 oz/ 96.4 g can be nice a few times a week for calming and a little bit of hydration; I'm still hunting for the ideal brightening mask though)

3. Actives (AHA/BHA, retinols etc) (for retinol a good starter is the SUNDAY RILEY Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil 1.18 oz/ 35 mL, the blue tansy helps with redness too; still trying to find an ideal acid routine)

4. Face and Eye Moisturizer (I've been liking the LANEIGE Eye Sleeping Mask 0.8 oz/ 25 mL and the fresh Lotus Anti-Aging Night Moisturizer 1.6 oz/ 50 mL, although if you're sensitive to scents you'll want to avoid the Fresh product)

5. Sleeping Mask (SUMMER FRIDAYS - Jet Lag Mask is holy grail, helps with moisture and brightness)


Good luck, @Adia310!!

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