My daily skincare routine

Wow- two posts in one day, a record for me! This post is for Miranda who requested an outline of my daily skincare routine. My routine is fairly simple and it changes depending on the season and if I have had (or planning) a peel or other treatment (microneedling and Resurfx are my go-to maintenance treatments).

The products are in the order of application unless otherwise stated. In general you should apply thinner (serums) products first and use moisturizers last. The exception are medicated products – which should be applied first (except Retin A can be put over other products to decrease intensity).

My Daily Routine

Early AM (Pre workout)

Splash water then Skinceuticals Retexuring Activator serum OR Elta AM Moisturizer

Morning (Post workout)

Splash water in the shower,  Finacea foam (for rosacea prevention), Neocutis Journee Bio-restorative Day Cream with Broad spectrum SPF 30 (workday) OR EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 (weekend). If my face is feeling dry I will add Neocutis Biocream after the Finacea. If my complexion needs a little smoothing I’ll add a little Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation.

My morning routine involves 2-3 products. I wait a few minutes between applying the products. In general you want to put on medicated products or serums first.


Wash with Perfect Cleanser or Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser , Finacea foam, Neocutis Lumiere Eye Cream, Neocutis Biocream.

2-3 days per week I use Skinceuticals retinol (.5 or 1 %) OR Perfect A (prescription strength Retin A with Vitamin C). I apply retinol under the moisturizer because it is not as strong. I apply the Perfect A over the moisturizer to decrease intensity.

For body cream I use Cetaphil (in the tub). For hands I use Cetaphil or Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Formula. I use Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser as body cleanser.

This routine changes occasionally when I am trying a new product or after a treatment (then I use only Cetaphil cleanser and biocream or even vaseline).

If you have seen my purple product sheet in the office- be assured I have tested/used all the products.

Hopefully this is helpful, thanks for the idea Miranda!


Where to splurge and where to save (on skincare products)

A benefit of my job is getting to try new (and free) products. But these are not the products that I use everyday. Just like everyone else, I chose which products to spend (money) on and which ones to save on. These are my splurge and save categories:

Where to save your money:
1. Face cleanser. Cleansers don’t stay on the skin very long and the bottles tend to go fast. Here are a few inexpensive washes that I like.
Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser: I always use for my kids and for my face during the winter or after procedures like laser or a chemical peel.
Neutrogena creamy salicylic acid cleanser: A gentle acne wash

2. Body cream and lotion. I don’t like scented body creams so all are non scented and come in a large size.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Vanicream Moisturizing Cream

3. Hand cream. Again, I prefer non scented. These all hydrate and don’t leave hands greasy.
Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Formula
CeraVe Therapuetic Hand Cream

4. Shampoo and conditioner. I wash my hair EVERY day, so these go fast.
L’Oreal sulfate free line- they are all great, though some have strong scent and others are fine.
Neutrogena Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
John Frieda line

And now for my Splurge products:
1. Serums. There are millions of serums, some are good, some are not. Serums spend time on your skin. I started using serums around age 30 and I think it has helped my skin age gracefully. I use an antioxidant serum in the morning and a glycolic serum at night. Sometimes I add a vitamin C serum for brightening or a vitamin B serum for extra moisture.
Skinceuticals CE Ferulic or Phloretin CF
Skinceuticals Retexuring Activator
Skinceuticals B serum
Perfect C Serum

2. Eye Cream. I have tried many eye creams and the only two I will use:
Neocutis Lumiere
Skinceuticals AGE Eye Cream

3. Moisturizers and day cream. I have very sensitive skin and am prone to breakouts, so I chose this category carefully.
EltaMd PM Moisturizer
Neocutis Journee with SPF 30 (I use every day)
Neocutis Biocream (great in dry weather and post procedure)
Neocutis Biogel (great in dry weather and post procedure)

4. Sunscreen. I splurge on face sunscreen and save on body- again because my skin is sensitive and breakout prone. I use the Neocutis Journee on indoor days and one of these on more outdoor days.
EltaMD UV Clear (good for breakout prone skin)
EltaMD UV Physical (a lightly tinted no chemical sunscreen)

5. Retinols and Retin A. These are the most important anti aging product, so if you only spend in one place- do it here. A prescription generic cream will probably cost 60-100 and last 6-12 months.
The Perfect A (.1 percent tretinoin and vitamin C)
Super 3 retinol

6. Bleaching creams. Some work, most don’t. Here are a few that work well.
Perfect Bleaching Cream (hydroquinone and kojic acid)
Neocutis Perle (non hydroquinone option)

I hope this post helps you determine where to save and where to splurge. Most people don’t need products from all of the splurge categories (so don’t get overwhelmed). If you are my patient reading this and still need or want help, my wonderful medical aestheticians (Amy and Rene) provide complimentary skin care consultation, so ask for an appointment when you call (206-860-4605).