This 14-Step Skincare Routine Rescued My Skin

January 13, 2023

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Over the years, I’ve gone on a journey with my skincare. I do a lot to keep my Hashimoto’s at bay, but in 2019 my skin took a turn for the worst. It was partly due to the thyroid medication I have to take and also the fact that I have really dry skin. The acne was physically and mentally painful to endure, and I just knew there had to be another way! Up until then, I had a basic skincare routine consisting of a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, but once I became devout with products that work for me, and a consistent regimen, I’ve been able to keep skin flare-ups to a minimum. Here’s what my evening skincare routine looks like today!

Before getting into all the products I use, I have to talk about this mirror. Somebody I follow raved about this mirror, and although my bathroom isn’t short on mirrors, the lighting on this mirror beats any harsh overhead bathroom lighting by far! I also noticed that once I got a well-lit mirror, I naturally started taking better care of my skin. You can see everything.

My 14-Step Skin Care Routine

Shop Skincare

Before I get into what I actually put on my face, let’s talk about what I put into my body. Along with avoiding dairy, gluten, and sugar, I take a tablespoon of this collagen every night before I take all my vitamins. I keep it in the fridge (it’s better cold), and I do a little swig straight from the bottle. The taste took some getting used to but I really like it now. It has made the biggest difference in the brightness and hydration of my skin!

I’ve also been taking these Flo vitamins to help with hormonal acne, and they help keep all the PMS symptoms at bay!

About four months ago, I went and got a facial, and the technician recommended this makeup dissolved to me! I have used a cleansing balm and hated it, so I used micellar water to take off my makeup. I really love this product! It requires minimal rubbing, plus it’s super gentle on the skin and eyes!

I will say it’s pretty pricy, and although I love using it, I think once I run out, I might try the micellar water again for a side-by-side comparison. I have a feeling I’m going to miss it and will likely end up rebuying it!

When we lived in Idaho Falls, I started using this gentle facial wash that an aesthetician recommended. It’s been about 3-1/2 years, and I don’t think I’ll ever use a different cleanser! It’s gentle and non-irritating and has played a huge factor in clearing up my skin. I don’t ever want to be without it.

After removing my makeup and cleansing, I use this magical toner! It’s gone viral on TikTok multiple times for being such a life-changing, budget skincare product! It’s also gone out of stock multiple times, so grab it while you can!

It has Glycolic Acid, which is an AHA, so it deeply exfoliates the skin without any abrasive rubbing. That, along with the low PH level, really helps to replenish any dull/rough skin areas. I tried going without it at one point, and my skin started breaking out. Fortunately, it’s so inexpensive so I’ll be using it forever now!

All I do is put some on a cotton pad and dab it on, all over.

One tip I learned from TikTok is to put it on your dry, cracking heels, followed by a moisturizer and socks, and sleep in them! It sloughs off all the dry skin!

I’ve tried a lot of different retinol products because I know they can really help with fine lines and wrinkles, but I didn’t really love anything until I found this! For nine months, I’ve been using two pumps and applying all over, and it’s the best. It’s gentle, super effective, and doesn’t burn! Just be careful to avoid the eye area!

It’s definitely more expensive than other retinol products that I’ve tried, but it’s also so much better!

Since I avoid putting retinol around my eyes, I like using this retinol alternative for under-eyes. Since using it, my under-eyes feel so much firmer! I love seeing the untouched before and after pics on their website of fine lines minimizing in just 10 minutes!

In full transparency, I had a procedure called ultherapy done a couple of years ago, and it did wonders for my under-eye bags. I had incredibly dark circles and puffy bags below my eyes, and the ultherapy stimulates collagen production (which helps with skin elasticity). This moon dew product has really helped prolong the results, and thank goodness because I never want to have it done again. It hurt so bad! (incredible results though).

I’ve been using a serum for lash and brow growth for years now! Other (less expensive serums) seem to really irritate my eyes, so this is my serum for life. The growth I’ve seen is insane.

Since my brows don’t need as much help to grow, I use this inexpensive brow product that works well! If you have thinner brows and need more help with growth, I recommend you use the revitabrow serum instead.

Before moving on to moisturizing, I take a couple of minutes to clean my Invisalign in a dental pod and brush my teeth for two minutes. I like to give my retinol a bit more time before sealing everything in with the final product.

This is definitely my longest-used skincare product! I’ve been using it for seven years since living in Rexburg, Idaho! I’ve tried other moisturizers, using up the whole container, but I always go back to using this product! To me, this is the most moisturizing cream I’ve found, and the Hyaluronic acid is the key ingredient that helps increase skin moisture and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Really good for my dry skin, but also recommended for all skin types!

A couple of times a week I mix these tanning drops in with my moisturizer, and it does such a good job of brightening my overall complexion! I’ve tried a couple of other face tanning products but they make me break out. Not this! Lately, I’ve been trying to apply it with a brush as a contour and I think it’s working! Still perfecting the method.

Recently, TikTok taught me how to gua sha, and I’ve been doing it for 8 weeks every night! It’s a shaping tool that helps drain inflammation from the face and it works! Because of my autoimmune disease, I carry a lot of inflammation in my face especially (called moon face) and this has enhanced my jawline and cheekbones!

Chris is the guy that will always buy the best of the best. So when I asked for an LED mask for Christmas and sent him our gift guide, he took it into his own hands and splurged on this one. I’m not mad about it.

I use this when I’m laying down in bed to watch a show, for 10 minutes, 4x a week. I use the wrinkle setting on my neck, and the acne & wrinkle setting on my face. I can’t really give a full review yet, but the placebo is in full effect!

Before dozing off with a show, I put on this lip mask. I really struggle with dry lips and this is ultra-nourishing and hydrating!

My morning skincare routine isn’t nearly as intense! I keep it simple with a vitamin c cleanser after the gym, use a moisturizer + primer in one, and a foundation with sunscreen!

For me, skincare has evolved into something I crave and look forward to every night. I love taking my makeup off at the end of a long day, getting my face all slick, and climbing into bed. I would say my biggest advice to somebody who’s either just starting a regimen or wants to expand into more preventative skincare, figure out which skin type you have and what conditions you’re prone to, and research which ingredients can help! A dermatologist is obviously recommended, but I also put a lot of personal research into what I’m slathering on my skin. This NY Times guide on building a skincare routine is so educational and insightful and a great place to start.

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What do you think?

  1. Tara says:

    Hello, Any suggestions on SPF and how you fit that in to your morning routine?

  2. Carly Berry says:

    Thanks for sharing not only the products, but your whole routine! I’ll definitely look into adding some new f these. I’m curious about the FLO vitamins, do you take them everyday? Or just during certain times of the month?

  3. Adrienne says:

    This is super interesting! I learned long ago that it was better (and in the end, cheaper) to take good care of my skin than to buy fancy makeup to cover blemishes. I’ve heard good things about lots of these products before–I’ll have to try some!

  4. Jody Mc says:

    I also have Hashimoto’s and a few other autoimmune diseases. My skin changed when I went to a clean beauty routine that included face oil and make sure I use sunscreen religiously from the time I get out of bed! I use True Botanicals mainly, but think there are a lot of good clean products available now.

  5. Laura Wood-Smith says:

    Check out this website/Instagram The registered dietitian also has Hashimoto’s and may address your health needs.

  6. Kristy says:

    A little off topic… what do you do about self tanner on vacation? I find that chlorine and salt water really accelerates the exfoliating process leaving me all splotchy really quick!

  7. Kate Miller says:

    Curious, have you done Botox or fillers? Sometimes I feel like that might be easier than me a nightly regime which exhausts me….but I’m too scared to start the Botox regime too. Thoughts?

  8. Angela says:

    Yay for recommendations that work! I started showing signs of rosacea when I was pregnant with my second, 12 years ago. It got severe over time and really hit my confidence hard. After much trial and error, I finally found a very simple routine that keeps my skin happy (if I eat right) thanks to a great dermatologist and word-of-mouth recommendations. However as I approach my 40s, I now need new products that will check aging but won’t send my hyperreactive skin into overdrive. Will try some o yours! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad your journey is leading you to a happy skin place!

  9. Caitlin says:

    Any reason why you use a different cleanser in the morning vs night? Which one would you recommend more to use for both morning and night?

    • If I had to choose only one, I would recommend the gentle facial wash! It’s really calming and gentle, yet effective. The vitamin C cleanser (also great) is really great for brightening skin, and is typically recommended for morning use!

  10. Jess says:

    I love reading skin care routines! I don’t think this seems that crazy, considering how many steps aren’t actually products on your face. I recently have tried some products from Cocokind and Good Molecules that I’m really enjoying.

  11. KL says:

    I love Avene Tolerance Extremely Gentle Cleanser for a micellar water replacement – I found out from a dermatologist that micellar water leaves residue behind on your skin if you don’t rinse it off (and the whole point is no-rinse, right?). The Avene cleanser can be used no-rinse in the same way, with a cotton round, and doesn’t leave any residue.

  12. Erin says:

    Love this post! I’ve been working on revamping my skin care routine and sticking to it every morning and night. When do you use the Gua sha tool? After you’re routine or before there are products on your face? Thanks!

  13. Danielle says:

    Oh gosh, as a (very) long time reader this does not sit well with me. I’ve always appreciated your style and recommendations, I love to watch your spaces develop, and have seen you progress in your taste, professionalism, and influence over the years. But weirdly this particular post has left a bad taste in my mouth :( This routine would cost almost $2500. Even taking out the incredibly expensive LED mask it’s still almost $600, or over $700 if you add the morning routine in too. I’m all for a selfcare splurge but that is SUCH a lot of money for the majority of people. Anyway, I don’t like to be all negative in peoples comments… I just really miss that more down-to-earth content.

    • Brooke says:

      Hi Danielle- Next time, just skip it! :)

    • Renee says:

      I too have been a long time follower and I’ll venture to say Julia isn’t sharing this post to brag about how much she spends on skincare or to tell you that you should buy every product she uses. These posts are helpful for people who may be looking for a really good retinol or need a recommendation for a great toner. Maybe you’ve never heard of a light therapy mask and you’ll buy a cheaper version that will help your skin glow! Or you have the money to treat yourself and buy this version. Either way, the point of this post is that Julia has sensitive skin and has worked hard to find products that work for her. I think it’s great she’s sharing what she loves and that she wants to help others. I think we should cheer her on and be happy for her (and maybe try a product or two that she recommends!)!❤️

    • Megan says:

      Danielle, no person or blogger can please everyone with every post. Julia has some very specific, health related skin issues that have been challenging for her. General, mainstream beauty advice doesn’t address these issues very well, and I am sure people in a similar situation are grateful for advice or tips. It isn’t Julia’s fault that retinol is expensive. The products she recommends here are not egregiously expensive for their category (ok, with the exception of the mask). I appreciate her authenticity in sharing things specific to her. Authenticity means it is not going to be universally applicable. But everyone could get something from this post. Like, huh, maybe I should add collagen to my skincare routine. You don’t have to buy the $55 one she recommends, Neocell has a $22 one on Thrive that looks very similar. Or maybe try both and see which you like better. Julia found what works for her, you can too. Personally, I can be inspired by this routine without copying it.

  14. Nicole Mangum says:

    I’m glad you have found some products that work for you! I feel like it’s such a trial and error thing to get the right skin products, but once you do, there is no going back.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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