The Simple Skincare Routine That Saved My Skin

By Rosariana Lubrano

Nothing is more disappointing than dishing out hundreds of dollars for hyped up products labeled “life-changing," only to see no results. For the past five years, I’ve struggled with both acne and sensitive skin. I had tried everything from Proactiv to a 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine and nothing worked long-term. Most of the time my skin would only become more red and irritated. 

Last year I became very conscious of the ingredients of what I was putting on my face and body. Many products that claim to cure acne contain harsh detergents that strip the natural oils from your face, which actually causes your skin to produce more oil to compensate, which leads to more acne — yikes! So, I stumbled upon a website called, which allows you to type in any makeup, skincare, or hair product and gives you a description of each ingredient, how likely it is to cause acne, and how safe it is. Using this website, I fine-tuned and simplified my skincare routine. 

Below is my 5-step skincare routine:


  1. 1. Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser — $12.99

    Cleanser has always been a tricky thing for me to buy. For years, I would buy any cleanser that was labeled “acne clearing” only to be left with dry, flaky skin. This simple cleanser is non-toxic and made without synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and parabens (basically free from all skincare no-no’s). I use it both morning and night, and it thoroughly cleanses my skin without leaving me with a tight, “squeaky-clean” feeling. Also, the price is unbeatable! 

    Buy it here!

  2. 2. Kate Blanc. Cosmetics Aloe Vera Gel — $9.99 

    After cleansing, I use about a dime-sized amount of pure aloe vera gel all over my face. Aloe has both soothing and antibacterial properties that make it perfect for healing both acne and irritated skin. Be sure to buy it in its pure form! Natural, pure aloe isn’t the thick gel you buy at CVS when you have a sunburn. It has a very watery consistency and almost no detectable scent. This has been the biggest game-changer for my skin. Within a week of introducing aloe into my skincare routine, I noticed that my skin was much more even, and clear! If you were to buy one product after reading this article, this one would be it! 

    Buy it here!

  3. 3. Trader Joe’s Spa 100% Australian Tea Tree Oil — $6.00

    Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil that contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties. I use this as a spot treatment after I apply my aloe, or mixed with my moisturizer before applying makeup. Don’t be afraid of putting oil on acne-prone skin! The right oils will trick your skin into producing less oil, which equals less acne. When using tea tree oil, I notice my pimple is less red and inflamed in as little as two hours! 

    Find it at your local Trader Joe’s! 

  4. 4. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream — $32.00

    As most of you acne-prone girls know, a moisturizer that will hydrate your skin, but won’t break you out is hard to find. I have been using this moisturizer for two years and I don’t think I will ever switch. This moisturizer feels rich, but it’s fast-absorbing. I slather it on at night and use a little during the day underneath makeup. This moisturizer contains colloidal oatmeal, which relieves minor irritations (like acne) while simultaneously curing dry patches. Though this moisturizer is the most pricey product on my list, a little goes a long way! Disclaimer: it goes for only $15 on Black Friday! 

    Buy it here! 

  5. 5. TreeActiv Anti-Acne Pillow Spray — $14.95 

    Though this isn’t technically a skincare product, if your pillowcase isn’t laundered regularly, the accumulation of oils and dirt can lead to breakouts. This spray is a great product to kill acne-causing bacteria when you’re a bit behind on your laundry! 

    Buy it here! 

Though unfortunately, my acne is most likely genetic, this simple skincare routine is both safe for my sensitive skin, and effective on my acne. These five products have helped me feel much more confident in my skin! 


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