My basic skincare routine

While I encounter most people via writing interests, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I get asked about my health and beauty routines. I am a 44 year old woman but I look much younger which is sort of a double edged sword as a professional. I am grateful in the sense that I seem vital, but looking younger isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be, but that’s for another post. My goal is to look and feel more vital rather than “younger”. Personally, I love being in my 40’s and getting older but I don’t want to look or feel tired.

My beauty routine with regards to products is very simple on a daily basis. That said, I do rotate through masks and treatments especially when I am stressed out and want to relax. I believe how I look has a lot to do with how I feel and how eat and move, so I will make other posts addressing those things.

AM Routine

In the morning, I wash my face. I know some people don’t feel it is necessary, but I find the quality of my skin better if I cleanse using a gentle cleanser and warm water in the morning using only my bare hands. I then gently pat my face dry. I just use a normal towel, nothing special.

After patting dry, I apply 4-5 pumps of a light moisturizer. Even in the winter, I use a light moisturizer, preferring to use a mask or other treatment if I need more moisture. This seems to keep my skin taut and allows my SPF or makeup (if I use it) to go on more smoothly and not be all cakey or slippery.

After allowing my moisturizer to sink in, I apply SPF if I’m going to use it. The moisturizer I currently use does come in a version including SPF but I prefer to use the night version and add a separate SPF, if I use one at all. During the winter and fall, I don’t use SPF. I need all the light I can to reach my skin because I live in the Pacific Northwest, and I spend most of my time inside reading and writing. To be honest, I never used SPF, except for the minimal amount included in makeup, until I was in my early 40’s and I’ve never had a wrinkle but if I moved to a sunny place I would 1000% use an SPF all the time. That’s it for my morning routine. If I’m using makeup, I’ll let the SPF dry down before applying foundation. Although lately, I’ve found myself more and more either not using makeup at all or using a tinted SPF which often blurs and perfects the look of my skin while appearing completely natural.

PM Routine

In the evening, I wash my face again just like the morning. The primary difference is that if I wear makeup or SPF, I use a combination of cleansers. This isn’t complicated or anything. If I’m wearing makeup I will first use an oil based cleanser, rinse that off, then follow up with the cleanser I used in the morning, just to make sure to remove any oil residue from the oil cleanse. I know plenty of people who use my oil based cleanser who don’t do this second step but I recommend it. Personally, I want to gently remove any unnatural barriers to my skin so that my treatments can penetrate the skin more effectively.

After patting my face dry, I mix 4-5 pumps of the same light moisturizer I use in the morning with a pea sized amount of retinoid cream and a pea sized amount of retinoid blender. I gently rub this on my face. Some doctors suggest you avoid the eye area with retinoids while others say it’s okay. In any case, that’s something you should discuss with your doctor and you should always be careful with retinoids, more is not better. I’ll write another post specifically about my 20+ year experience using retinoids.

So that’s it, that’s what I do every day. The moisturizer I use most of the time is very cheap but the retinoids and blenders can be both expensive and prescription. The retinoid I use (Retin-A), is prescription in the U.S. but in other countries it is over the counter and cheap. I fill my prescription in Canada to reduce the cost, but there is a non-prescription retinoid available which I used it for years when it was still prescription. Honestly, I didn’t use the blender until I was in my 40’s and while the one I use is prescription, there’s a non-prescription version made by the same brand and comes highly recommended. If I had to subtract one thing out of my routine, it would probably be the blender BUT I really do notice a difference and I have to use so little that it’s worth it for me. What my routine comes down to is: gentle cleansing, moisturizing, protecting, and instigating faster cell renewal. Below is a list of my basic core items. Some are cheap, some aren’t (the Osea is definitely a luxury but I love it so much!). I rotate my cleansers because I like variety and I use my beauty routine for self-care both emotionally and physically. I will make another post on the masks and treatments I use, but I get the vast majority of benefit from this basic routine.


La Roche-Posay:



Clinique (oil based):




La Roche-Posay (untinted):

Cotz (untinted):

MyChelle (tinted):

Non-prescription Retinoid:


Non-Prescription Retinoid Blender:


*Full disclosure, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The links above are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission from you clicking on my links. This costs you nothing, and all the products I link to are ones I personally use or are non-prescription alternatives. All opinions in this post are my own. I’m not a doctor, just a 44 year old author sharing resources. I hope you find my suggestions helpful. I very much appreciate the clicks. Thank you!

2 Replies to “My basic skincare routine”

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