Skincare Routine Part I – Morning Routine

Skincare is the most important part of my daily regimen, so I thought it would be useful to share the products that have produced great results for me over the years.

I have oily/combination skin – my T-zone is super oily and shiny all the time, while the area around my eyes and cheeks are perpetually dry. Most of the products that I use address oily skin as well as acne issues. I’ve had mild to medium acne since high school, and it’s been getting better ever since I started using a combination of products that works well for my skin, although I still do get the rogue pimple here and there when stress hits hard (like now….*sigh).

Morning Routine:

1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser (for normal to oily skin)

I LOOOVE this cleanser. It’s super mild, but it cleanses really well and does not strip the skin of moisture. I hate the tight feeling you get from using a cleanser that’s TOO cleansing. On the bottle it says, “this effective yet gentle facial cleanser was originally formulated for dermatologists to keep normal to oily skin clean and healthy…Removes surface oils, dirt and makeup without leaving skin tight or overly dry, Rinses clean without leaving any pore-clogging residue. Gentle enough for everyday use.” I’ve only used this cleanser for the past three months, but I absolutely love it. Love the price tag too…only $14 for 16 fl oz.

2. Proactiv Revitalizing Toner 

I’ve been using the three step Proactiv regimen for the past year and a half now consistently and I must say that it definitely works better than I had anticipated. I tried Proactiv the first time in middle school and that was just a waste of time because I was so inconsistent with it, and I got discouraged after only a month of not seeing any results. This time around, I decided to stick with it day and night, and I have seen substantial results.

The Revitalizing Toner is really good, it takes off all of the excess dirt and grime that did not come off the skin with just regular cleansing. The toner is alcohol free, and it refines and purifies pores. Also, it has glycolic acid which exfoliates the dead skin off the surface of the skin, and helps to unplug pores. Proactiv also says that it’s, “botanical-rich formula soothes and hydrates acne-prone skin.” I don’t know about the hydrating part since it’s just toner, but I do like the way it makes my skin feel, like it’s ready for serum and moisturizer.

3. Clarins Vital Light Serum (dark spot correcting, age repairing)

So….I actually used the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector for two years before switching to the Clarins one. I should probably mention that the Clinique serum is absolutely amazing (I’m just not a big fan of using the same thing for too long…I love to try different brands). I used to have horrible hyperpigmentation on my cheeks from past acne, and using the Clinique serum completely lightened those marks – I’d say around 90% lighter. Definitely try out the Clinique one, because it works. Period.

I decided to try out the Clarins serum because I love Clarins products, they never fail to impress. This serum is, “an age repairing concentrate that restores deep luminosity with a targeted action on the dermis layer of the skin, while correcting dark, age spots.” I haven’t seen any substantial results yet, I’ve only been using this serum since September, but I LOVE the way it feels on the skin. Only one pump is enough to cover the entire face and neck, and it has a really fresh fragrance that goes away after a few moments.

4. Kiehl’s Abyssine Eye Cream (anti-wrinkle defense cream with survival molecules and Corallina Extract)

UUUUBER moisturizing eye cream! I’ve always been kind of fixated on the little wrinkles under my eyes, so when I go shopping I always look for eye creams to try. I wanted to find one that I could use both day and night so that I wouldn’t need to get two separate products. I love Kiehl’s, so it was the first place I looked. The sales lady suggested this eye cream because of the formulation, which is great for protecting against environmental pollution. It also helps with reducing the look of fatigue, a must for me at this point. It contains, “the Abyssine 657 survival molecule” a polysaccharide found in the ocean. It’s derived from microorganisms discovered near the Galapagos hydrothermal vents 3,000 meters under the sea where the algae adapts itself to the harshest conditions.

5. Proactiv Repairing Treatment 

The active ingredient in this acne treatment is benzoyl peroxide, and personally, I’m not sure how much this lotion contributes to clearer skin, but it’s definitely proven itself to me as part of the three step system. The consistency is more like a gel than a moisturizing lotion, so I have to use another moisturizer over this one to get the adequate amount of hydration that my skin needs. Although benzoyl peroxide works for me as an acne treatment, I would have to say that one downside to using this is product is that it bleaches all of my towels white. I like colorful towels…but now some of them look like tie dyed towels with all of the white patches on them.

6. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion (ultra lightweight formula for all-day hydration for normal to oily skin)

I purchased this oil-free face lotion at Nordstrom in April this year and have been using it since then nonstop for the past SEVEN months and I STILL have half a bottle left of it….I should probably start lathering my whole body with it if I want to ever get to use more moisturizing lotions for Cali “winter.” But yeah what can I say? It’s really ridiculously great for oily skin such as mine. Oh I forgot to mention, I use this specifically on the drier areas of my face (cheeks mainly) as well as my neck. NEVER forget to take care of your neck….EVER. The neck ages faster than anywhere else, except maybe your hands.

7. Chanel UV Essentiel (multi-protection daily UV care SPF 50)

MY FAVE SPF for the face!!! It took me a lonnnnnng time to find sunblock that would be suitable for my oil slick of a face. I hate the greasy feeling that most SPFs impart on the skin the second you put it on. This Chanel one melts into the skin and is just an invisible veil of amazingness. Since sun exposure is the #1 source of skin aging, SPF is a crucial part of anyones beauty routine. I would dare say THE most important thing you could do for yourself in terms of maintaining a youthful complexion is to use abundant sunblock everyday, even on cloudy days. Oh and definitely don’t forget your Neck/Décolletage/Hands.

In the summer I also use Kiehl’s amazing Creme de Corps body lotion with spf 30 to make sure I don’t leave any skin exposed to the elements…

That concludes my morning routine. My nighttime routine will be coming up in the next post!

Hope this was helpful!!

~ Deb


  • Reply November 18, 2011


    Does the Cetaphil foam up when you use it with the Clarisonic? I remember I accidentally bought the Cetaphil ‘all purpose cleanser’ and it didn’t foam at all. I love the original Cetaphil face wash though but the foam-ability is a personal must.

    PS: Do you love how I am posting this question on your blog instead of just asking you? Hahaha

    • Reply November 19, 2011


      Thanks for reading my post!!! I actually use the Cetaphil in the morning and I just use my hands. After using the Clarisonic for three years I’ve found that using it twice a day makes my face really sensitive, I think I might’ve been over exfoliating my skin… So now I just use it at night with the proactive face wash for a deep cleaning and use the Cetaphil in the morning for a lighter cleanse. Oh and the Cetaphil I use is just the non-lathering one. I must say the ability to lather used to be a bigger deal to me, but now i’ve found that I like the feeling of cleansers that don’t strip the skin of too much moisture and I’ve found cleansers that lather tend to have that affect on me more.

      WE MUST have a jewelry making/brainstorming day!!!

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