Casual Friday: My Skincare Essentials

January 8, 2021

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Mid 2019, my skin tanked. It broke out everywhere–the photo below was when it was just ramping up. It was related to my thyroid medicine that I had to be one for 6 months before I insisted THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER WAY! It was physically and mentally painful and I have spent the last year or so really nourishing my skin back to health and clearness. I still have some scarring that is fading gradually, but I have learned so much about what my sensitive, acne prone skin likes. I used to think oils and moisture would instantly cause a breakout, but it’s actually the opposite. The right serums and moisturizers have done WONDERS for my skin and it’s when it’s dry that I get a zit.

I shared my makeup routine here recently, but my real passion is skincare–it’s my me-time and I thoroughly enjoy going to bed with a glassy face. I broke down all my favorites below!


1. GlyMed Plus Vitamin C Cleanser $32 I keep this in the shower and it is a very refreshing face wash that leaves me glowing. A little goes a long way–I’ve had this one bottle for about 6 months.

2. Beauty Counter All Bright Serum $79 I use a dime size amount of this in the morning and I love how it brightens my skin!

3. Facial Roller $28 to get rid of any puffiness. It feels so wonderful first thing.

4. Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream $68 I love this lighter moisturizer for daytime. It’s dewy and not too heavy.

5. St. Tropez Bronzing Face Mist $30 Two spritz of this to build a gradual bronze-y glow


evening: (I put these in the order I use them)

1. Rootanicals Soothing Eye Cleanser $22 I’ve been a garnier micellar water user forever, and don’t get me wrong, that stuff works! But I recently came across this and it’s invigorating and wipes off all my makeup with minimal effort. I really love it.

2. GlyMed Plus Gentle Facial Wash $31

3. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution $8 I was spending so much on a fancy pants toner and guess what–this one is better. It’s SO good.

4. The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA $6 Another must for acne-prone skin

5. Face Reality Hydrating Gel $24 I’m almost done with this and since it is a hydrating gel, and I use so many other serums for hydration, I’m actually going to try and skip this. It has served me well for over a year though.

6. Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate $52 I really love this oil. I love the smell and how it really calms my skin. If I have a blemish popping up or irritation or facial pain–I put a few drops of this all over my face and the redness is gone and pain melts away over night.

7. The Daily Essential Co. Skin Bae Glow + Hydrate Serum $45 I asked for this for Christmas and Santa delivered. I had a stubborn cluster of tiny bumps right below my mouth on my right side for as long as I can remember and within 5 days of using this–it’s gone. (I don’t think you need both the Kiehls CBD and this so if you don’t suffer from TN or neuralgia then this one would be perfect!)

8. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oat & Hemp Seed Dry Oil $34 For me, a dry face is just asking for a pimple, so for the dry Idaho winters, I layer on all the moisture. This one has a lot of the same properties as the Skin Bae and Kiehl’s combined! (Although, it didn’t get rid of that cluster for me–I layer both the skin bae and this but you could definitely get away with just one, I think!)

9. Tan-Luxe The Face Tanning Drops $49 A few times a week, I mix 2 drops of these facial tanning drops in with my night-time moisturizer and they add the perfect glow.

10. Beauty Counter Ultra Renewal Eye Cream $69

11. Beauty Counter Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream $89 This cream is THICK, which is what I like for nighttime. It kind of seals everything in place.

12. RevitaLash Advanced Eyebrow Serum $58 There’s a bit of a brow transformation between the two photos above as well! I just swipe this serum on each brow very last in my nightly routine and it has really helped them fill in.

13. RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Serum $98 my favorite lash serum! I’ve tried so many and this is the only one that supports volume as well as length.

14. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask $22 I can’t live without this lip mask. I put it on before bed and I wake up with plump, moisturized lips that are still silky and shiny.

15. Biotin, Collagen, & Keratin $25 Lastly, I have these vitamins on subscribe and save so I never miss a dose!



1. Oliglo Facial Steamer $76 I got this steamer for my birthday and I’ve made it a ritual to do a 15 minute session every Sunday. But honestly, the results are so major–instantly refreshed skin! That I’m going to fit it in once more during the week.

2. Dermalogica Hydro Masque Exfoliant $60 If you do have dryness, don’t try to put makeup on before addressing it! This 3 minute mask (3 minutes!) instantly exfoliates and hydrates–it’s heaven sent.

3. The Ordinary Buffet $14 This serum is all the good stuff. I only use it about 3 times a week but you can use it every day.

4. Beauty Counter Charcoal Facial Mask $49 My favorite deep cleansing, pore refining, get all the crap off my face and start new mask.

5. Foreo LUNA Face Scrubber $119 I actually use this every night but I forgot to add it to the list so it’s at the end.

And as always–don’t forget your wristbands when you’re washing your face. No more water running down your arms or wet sleeves EVER AGAIN! Happy Friday!

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What do you think?

  1. Kiki says:

    Your skin is lovely! Do you have a sunscreen recommendation?

  2. Margaret says:

    Biotin can cause breakouts! Sounds like you’ve got things under control, but it can a big breakout trigger for some people.

  3. Tara says:

    Thank you so much for this. I bought a last serum I *think* on your recommendation but it’s a different brand (Grande Lash MD). Worked like a charm but now I wonder how I really found it!
    I know your girls aren’t old enough for this, but mine are 12 & 13, and we’re dealing with acne. I wish there were a list like this for young, tender skin. As an aside, my 13 year old consistently does a Manuka honey mask, maybe 3-4x a week, and her acne has greatly improved. However, there is still a lot to deal with, and skincare just isn’t my forté.

    • Amanda says:

      Florence by Mills and Glossier are perfect for tween-teen skin!

    • HH says:

      Online commenter about to give unsolicited advice. Props to you for being involved in your kids’ skincare. My sister and I had horrible teen acne and body issues, and my mom was very passive about all of it.

      When I finally got myself on accutane in my 20s and it FINALLY resolved most of my skin issues, I have never been so angry with my mother for not giving me that support for years when I so badly needed it. Accutane was literally the biggest thing that finally helped me take control of my body and my health (positive convos about birth control etc). My sister feels the same. It is serious medicine, it’s expensive and hard to deal with etc, and it might feel extreme bc there are risks, but it’s worth a conversation that could bring you closer as a family. It saved my sanity and helped me become a whole person and that could have happened a lot sooner for me.

      A healthy body image ripples into mental health and every aspect of life, and everything is amplified when you’re a teenager —it’s easy to say “it’s just skin, you’re beautiful inside” — but this was a big deal to us and there was a solution all along. This aggravated other trust problems we had with our mom that took us both years to find peace with.

      All this to say, kudos to you, stay close to this! Your girls need you. Please don’t be afraid to give them all the options, even the seemingly scary ones (they aren’t that scary). If my mom had simply done that for us, it would have led to a lot less heartbreak and emotional baggage in our family. ❤️

      • Coleen says:

        Both my son’s were on Acutane; their skin cleared up so fast! We were careful to get their blood tests every month.

  4. Holly Graff says:

    Thank you so much. As a 51 year old who still gets breakouts, I too have taken steps to address these issues.

    You don’t mention it as part of your morning skin care routine, but I’m assuming that you also use sunscreen? I have been told by my aesthetician that all of the good work can be undone by sun damage, especially when we are using some of the Vit A & C products that help with breakouts & aging.

    Personally, I love SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 which is a slightly tinted moisturizer that I apply after my complete morning routine.

  5. K says:

    I went through your skin care highlight on Instagram a few weeks ago to see what skin care products you were using. The GlyMed looked interesting, so I clicked the link to purchase the product (which is linked to Amazon). After reading several reviews I decided against it and emailed the company directly. They do not sell their products through Amazon and do not recommend purchasing off of any site. They said they would get me in touch with a local sales rep instead. Just wanted to let you know that Amazon might not be the actual product. I ended up trying out Curology instead. I’d still love to try GlyMed but I haven’t heard back from them yet.

  6. Lou says:

    Can i ask what you did to remedy your thyroid problem? I suffer from a thyroid condition and would love any suggestions.

  7. Megan says:

    Thank you for sharing all of this! I would love to know how you ended up with this as your routine… trial and error? Recommendations? An aesthetician? I am interested in learning more about serums and taking cate of my skin as I get older, but am pretty scared to just mix random things together! So I’m interested in your process of getting to where you are. Thank you so much!

  8. Sarah Hina says:

    When can we expect ProperTee to come out with Homebody wristbands???

  9. Betsy says:

    So curious. You really have a 15 step nighttime routine? I barely get my face washed, eye cream and lotion on my face, and I don’t have kids, either. But I am also lazy!! I’ve read a lot of great comments on GlyMed products. I see you use several of them in your routine. I’m going to have to check into this more.

    I’m 47, and noticed a huge change in my facial skin several years ago. Start of hormones dropping I assume. For me, I have found that less is more in the anti-aging department. I wanted everything with acids in the ingredients. Glycolic, Hydrolauronic, etc. But of course that was overkill, and my face paid for it. But this inquiring mind wants to know about your night time routine a little more!

    • Rae says:

      I’m the same age as you are and you don’t need to put this many products on your face if it doesn’t work for you. Cleanser, a retinol, and a serum and/or moisturizer is all you need at night. It also doesn’t need to be expensive. Cleanser gets washed down the drain, don’t use an expensive one with active ingredients like Vit C etc as it’s pointless. Sign up for a Curology prescription for the retinol. La Roche Posay has some nice moisturizers which you can pick up at Target. Timeless skincare has a wonderful Matrixyl serum that’s less than $30. I get annoyed at the skincare industry telling us we have to spend hundreds of dollars :) Oh, and for the morning use the Timeless Vit C + E + Ferulic acid serum. About $30 and very effective. No need to spend any more.

  10. Allison says:

    My naturopath said she would look into this further, but I thought I’d share. I was previously using the ordinary mandelic acid, and agree it worked wonders for clearly acne that was even brewing below the surface of my skin. But…when my naturopath did a full blood work up for me, my mandelic acid levels came back much higher than normal. She was confused because that’s normally only seen in people who microwave their food in plastic or drink hot water bottles regularly out of their car, those were her two examples. Again, I’m not sure the correlation or health impacts, but it was weird enough for me to stop using it.

    • PJ says:

      This is so interesting!! I’ve been using The Ordinary products for about a month and although my skin is improving your comment makes me curious. I have not been to my naturopath due to Covid but I’m going to keep this in the back of my mind! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Kelly Kestler says:

    If you could do a post on how you organize your products for your morning & evening routines, I would love to see how you keep everything in order!

  12. Thanks for sharing! I noticed a difference in your under eye puffiness. Do you credit your eye cream? face roller? something else?

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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