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My Skincare Routine – Morning & Nighttime Edition

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Millersville chapter.

Before I get into all the article is going to detail, I want to preface that this will be a bit of a longer read but I truly want to write about this correctly because it has been so important to my skin health and my overall happiness! A lot of personal research went into all the things I do so I would recommend making sure you do professional research before figuring out what works for you! Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy :)

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So, about a year ago I got really serious about my skin care routine. However, for a few months I fell off the wagon and I have been getting back into it because it really is so important. You live your whole life in your skin – we need to take care of it! There are millions of products ranging from hair to skin to makeup and while we love them, they can take a toll. I have a morning skin care routine and an evening skin care routine. I did a lot of research when I first began, watching YouTube videos, researching products, and taking skin quizzes to understand my skin type. Here are my personal routines that could act as a guide, starting point, a refresher, or just a relaxing article to read.

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My Skin Type:

I have combination skin. This means that my skin is dry and oily at the same time – mostly dry…like really dry…like the Sahara dessert is lucky kind of dryness. My skin is a little oily in my T zone. Your T zone is the space between your eyebrows and down your nose. My skin type greatly affects my routine and the products I use since they are catered to my skin types. I also, thankfully and I mean REALLY thankfully, really do not get acne. I’ll get a pimple only if I am super stressed. I also am only going to be really talking about//linking the product brands that I specifically use which are Garnier, CeraVe, Thayers, La Roche-Posay, Kiehl’s, EOS, NIVEA, Softlips, & Lush. However, you can find alternatives to what I talk about in many other brands based on your preference, price points, etc.

*Note: in some sections I’ll give alternatives for other skin types & take into account those who do get acne in case you want to explore*

Here is a skin type quiz that I really enjoyed that you could take before reading or after in order to understand your skin type! Once I knew mine my research began and I had so much fun figuring out what products, brands, and needs fit me!

Skin Type Quiz: https://askthescientists.com/skin-type-quiz/

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Morning Skincare Routine:

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Step 1: Take Any Makeup Off

Now you may be thinking “Maddie…why would I have makeup on in the morning?” This is a great question. Sometimes you just have one of those days and go to bed with makeup on. However, this could be anything that could be on your face from the previous day or the during the night. Dust, dirt, makeup, dead skin, etc. needs to come off before product goes on. No matter the situation you need a bare face to being.

I use the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (All-in-1 Brightening with Vitamin C, Yellow Bottle). I love this because it takes EVERYTHING off your face but is really gentle. There are so many different types, and they are great for all skin types because it’s such a basic solution; you can try different kinds out to figure out what works best!

Link to product: https://www.amazon.com/Garnier-SkinActive-Micellar-Cleansing-Brighten/dp/B08KQMXZFB

Price: $

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Step 2: Cleanser

Cleanser is probably the most important step aside from moisturizing. This is the step where you are actually washing your face. Cleansing feels really amazing, and I think that finding a good cleanser is key to skincare. I use CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser (Green Bottle). This works really well for my combination skin because it’s lightweight but very hydrating! I also just love how it feels, it pumps super creamy but when you add water it gets super bubbly and foamy. I first wet my face with warm water, then rub in the cleanser, and finally gently wash it off with warm water.

  • If you have more oily skin: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser (Seafoam Bottle)
  • If you have acne: CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser (Teal Bottle)
  • If you have neither dry nor oily skin: CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser (Light Blue Bottle)

Link to the product: https://www.amazon.com/CeraVe-Hydrating-Cleanser-Hyaluronic-Fragrance/dp/B08CQDF382/ref=sr_1_2?crid=29SRF07GSI7WO&keywords=cerave+cream+to+foam&qid=1695410831&s=beauty&sprefix=cerave+cream+to+foam%2Cbeauty%2C86&sr=1-2

Price: $-$$ (depending on bottle size and kind)

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Step 3: Toner

The main job of a Toner is to even out your skin. It reduced tightness in your face, minimizes your pores, and evens out your skin tone. It also feels amazing on your face. Toner is pure liquid so I put it onto a facial cotton pad (mine are round & can be found in most stores) to rub onto my skin. The facial toner I use is Thayers’ Cucumber Facial Toner, or sometimes I use the lavender scented one as well! Thayers’ is an amazing, all-natural, alcohol-free brand with a large list of other products to explore. Cucumber relaxes me no matter what and I love the smell, but there are tons of other scents or an unscented option as well. **Toner is optional, but I highly encourage it**

Link to the product: https://www.amazon.com/Thayer-Cucumber-Witch-Formula-Facial/dp/B001BR97A0/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=2GJYVD749QXSR&keywords=thayers+facial+toner&qid=1695412004&s=beauty&sprefix=thayers+fac%2Cbeauty%2C100&sr=1-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1

Price: $

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Step 4: Serum(s)

I was not really into serums when I first started. For, me they didn’t really do much or seem to be worth it enough to include an extra step. However, my mom did give me this Vitamin C Serum from La Roche-Posay that I do absolutely love. The vitamin C serum gives me brightness, extra hydration, protects from sunburn, and helps with an even tone! It also feels so nice to rub in; since serums are basically thick liquids you usually need some type of roller, but you can use your hands if desired! **Serums are a totally optional step and are really dependent on your preferences**

Link to the product: https://www.amazon.com/Roche-Posay-vitamin-renovator-radiance/dp/B07PM79MSC/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2UWH8FZRKXFNM&keywords=la+roche+posay+vitamin+c+serum&qid=1695413044&s=beauty&sprefix=la+roche+posay+vitamin+c+serum%2Cbeauty%2C93&sr=1-5

Price: $$

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Step 5: Moisturizer

This is the most important step aside from cleansing your face! This is my favorite part of the skin care process I have. Moisturizing gives my skin hydration and breathes new life into it every time I put it on! Moisturizer also restores and protects your skin barrier, making is an essential step of any routine. I use CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 included. This is a lightweight moisturizer that really helps combat my dry skin without causing my T zone to be super oily. The AM lotion comes in a set with PM lotion that I’ll dive into later! You do not have to get a moisturizer with a sunscreen already inside, but it does help you skip a step (step 5 ½ to be specific). CeraVe has moisturizing lotion or cream, the cream is heavier while the lotion is lighter. If you have skin that gets rough patches of skin, then CeraVe SA Lotion (Light Blue Bottle) would be better than the standard moisturizers.

Link to the product: https://www.amazon.com/CeraVe-Facial-Moisturizing-Lotion-AM/dp/B00F97FHAW/ref=sr_1_2?crid=7P75C626WS2Q&keywords=cerave+am+moisturizers&qid=1695413850&s=beauty&sprefix=cerave+am+moiustizers%2Cbeauty%2C110&sr=1-2

Price: $

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Step 5 1/2: Sunscreen

This step is not needed if your morning moisturizer already has sunscreen in it. However, if you have a or go with a moisturizer without SPF, then a sunscreen of some kind is essential to the health of your skin. Before I had my AM moisturizer and was using CeraVe’s standard lotion, I a rubbed in Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Sunscreen, SPF 30, (little white and red jar). This was also hydrating and super creamy, sometimes I even add this over my AM lotion to have extra protection. You do not need to apply a lot of the sunscreen since it is very thick and gives great coverage! No matter how you get your sunscreen on your face – just make sure you get it on your face!

Link to product: https://www.amazon.com/Kiehls-Ultra-Facial-Cream-Sunscreen/dp/B01N788Z2A/ref=sr_1_12?crid=2MHNKO24Y5Z87&keywords=kiehls+sunscreen&qid=1695414490&s=beauty&sprefix=kiehls+sunscreen%2Cbeauty%2C98&sr=1-12

Price: $$

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Step 6: Lip Balm

Lip balm is an optional step, but I find it really important as someone with dry, cracked lips, epically in the colder months. This doesn’t have to be fancy; I usually throw on an EOS, NIVEA, or Softlips brand lip balm. For this step, the scent and texture are more important than anything else for me. I need a lip balm that is super smooth and smells amazing! For an EOS brand lip balm my favorite scent is the BOOST Mango Melonade. For a NIVEA brand lip balm my favorite scent is the Vanilla Buttercream. Finally, for the Softlips brand lip balm my favorite scents are in a three-pack including Watermelon, Tropical Coconut, and Peach Passion!

Link for the EOS: https://www.amazon.com/eos-2040411-Flavorlab-Lip-Balm/dp/B0898F71DP/ref=sr_1_21?crid=JOARHWO6CGGL&keywords=eos+lip+balm&qid=1695414861&s=beauty&sprefix=eos+lip+balm%2Cbeauty%2C105&sr=1-21

Price: $

Link for the NIVEA: https://www.amazon.com/Nivea-Lip-Van-Buttercream-17-Ounce/dp/B07F865NJZ/ref=sr_1_6?crid=2TO2WP01CF6GZ&keywords=nivea+vanilla+buttercream+lip+balm&qid=1695415157&s=beauty&sprefix=nivea+van%2Cbeauty%2C99&sr=1-6

Price: $

Link for the Softlips: https://www.amazon.com/Softlips-Limited-Tropical-Flavors-Set/dp/B07L51SLXL/ref=sr_1_4?crid=16L4461QFQKB0&keywords=soft+lips+lip+balm&qid=1695414739&s=beauty&sprefix=softlips+lip+balm%2Cbeauty%2C88&sr=1-4

Price: $

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Step 7: facial tonic/facial mist

For the last step of my skincare routine in the morning is to spray my whole face with facial tonic or facial mist. Usually, I use Thayers’ Witch Hazel Facial Mist, Rose Petal scent. It feels amazing on my face, and I spray it on my face throughout the day if I can. However, I picked up a random facial tonic at TJ Maxx that I have been using recently. It is by a brand called Pearlessence, it’s a brightening Pineapple Enzyme Facial Tonic. I love the smell, but it seems to be a random one-and-done kind of find since it’s only available to eBay now. Once it is out, I’ll go back to my Thayers’ mist. I just feel like the mist wakes up my face after putting all these products on and gives it a dewy finish!

Link to Thayers’ mist: https://www.amazon.com/Thayers-Natural-Remedies-Alcohol-Free-Facial/dp/B07CF525NG/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1H8R27V3VTQHF&keywords=thayers+facial+mist&qid=1695415651&s=beauty&sprefix=thayers+facial+mist%2Cbeauty%2C81&sr=1-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1

Price: $

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Nighttime Skincare Routine:

Step 1: Take Any Makeup Off

**Same as step 1 from the morning routine**

Step 2: Cleanser

**Same as step 2 from the morning routine**

Step 6: Facial Tonic/Facial Mist

**Same as step 7 from the morning routine**

All the above steps are the same from the morning to night, however, the below are differentiated versions for the morning routine that I tweak for the nighttime!

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Step 3: Milky TOner

Now, this is where the routine is slightly different for me. I still use Thayers’ brand toner, but my night toner is the super hydrating Thayers’ Milky Toner. This is a fragrance-free product that has snow mushroom and hyaluronic acid in it. It literally has the color of milk and is a similar consistency to a serum. I still use a facial pad to apply this, and it feels amazing on my face. I enjoy using this at night because it strengthens, smooths, and hydrates my skin as I sleep.

Link to the product: https://www.amazon.com/THAYERS-Mushroom-Hyaluronic-Natural-Sensitive/dp/B0BQCRH6D8/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=3D9OMWBKAF3S8&keywords=thayers+milky+toner&qid=1695416954&s=beauty&sprefix=thayers+milky+toner%2Cbeauty%2C96&sr=1-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1

Price: $

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step 4: Moisturizer

This is generally the same as step 5 for the morning but instead of an AM moisturizer with the SPF, I use the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. Before I got the AM & PM set, I would use a standard CeraVe moisturizer and just not add the sunscreen from step 5 ½ to it!

Link to the product: https://www.amazon.com/CeraVe-Facial-Moisturizing-Lotion-Lightweight/dp/B00365DABC/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1RSWMLQCYM889&keywords=cerave+pm+facial+moisturizing+lotion&qid=1695418065&s=beauty&sprefix=cerave+pm%2Cbeauty%2C99&sr=1-2

Price: $

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step 5: Lip Scrub & Balm

This is also the same as step 6 for the morning, however, before I apply lip balm, I put on some sugar lip scrub. I love Lush brand because it’s all natural, vegan, and doesn’t test on animals. I am currently using the Lush Golden Pineapple lip scrub but that is a seasonal one I got for a holiday. Usually, I use either the Lush Honey lip scrub or the Watermelon Sugar lip scrub. These scrubs smell amazing and are made of real sugar and real ingredients, so you literally lick off the excess! This scrub gets all the dead skin off my lips and makes them feel really soft. Then I put on a one of my classic smoothing lip balms to top it all off!

Link to the Lush Honey scrub: https://www.lush.com/us/en_us/p/honey-lip-scrub

Price: $$

Link to the Lush Watermelon Sugar scrub: https://www.lush.com/us/en_us/p/watermelon-sugar-lip-scrub

Price: $$

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Here are some product links to other things I use//have used during my skin care routine that are helpful or just enhancing!

  • Round Cotton Facial Pads: this is what I use to rub in my toner; they are simple, sound, cheap facial pads.

Link for the product: https://www.amazon.com/Swisspers-Exfoliating-Distinct-Textured-Re-closable/dp/B00CEJJNWQ/ref=sr_1_5?crid=RVYZLY169SO3&keywords=cosmetic+pads+round+for+face&qid=1695415577&s=beauty&sprefix=round+fac%2Cbeauty%2C102&sr=1-5

Price: $

  • Jade Roller: this is what I use to rub in my Vitamin C Serum, the mineral properties in the jade stone are cooling and good for your skin. There are also other kinds/colors!

Link for the product: https://www.amazon.com/BAIMEI-Roller-Massager-Treatment-Routine/dp/B08RD6S5HF/ref=sr_1_5?crid=16LUGVO5Q9H5N&keywords=facial+roller&qid=1695415599&s=beauty&sprefix=facial+roller%2Cbeauty%2C126&sr=1-5

Price: $

  • Facial Steamer: this is such a fun product, and it sprays a mist-like steam onto your face. I fill the clear top with cool water (you can also do warm) and then press the button to steam my face. It is simply just fun!

Link for the product: https://www.amazon.com/GIVERARE-Rechargeable-Moisturizing-Hydrating-Extensions-Blue/dp/B08LFWCCFQ/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1GXH5IRU8WFVF&keywords=facial+mister&qid=1695415624&s=beauty&sprefix=facial+mister%2Cbeauty%2C98&sr=1-6

Price: $

  • Spa Bow Headband: I have super long hair so pulling all my hair back when doing my skin care is super important. These headbands are thick, super soft, have a big bow on the front (my boyfriend LOVES bows for some reason) and come in tons of different colors/patterns.

Link to product: https://www.amazon.com/Spa-Headband-Facial-Makeup-Washing/dp/B085HNPL8G/ref=sr_1_13_sspa?crid=1T2LD0E3FO0ZW&keywords=spa+headband&qid=1695419875&s=beauty&sprefix=spa+head%2Cbeauty%2C87&sr=1-13-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9tdGY&psc=1

Price: $

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If you have made it this far then you are a TROOPER and must be in dire need of some skin saving! I love talking about important aspects of my life and my skin care routine has been so important for my happiness, health, and gives me time every day to really pamper myself. Plus, I have truly seen a difference overtime and when I stopped my skin became so dry again. Therefore, we are re-vamping the routine and focusing back in on the relaxing self-care! I hope you enjoyed this article, and hope that it might give you some inspiration to start your own skin care research/journey!

Until Next Time,

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Maddie Engleman

Millersville '24

Hello! I'm Maddie Engleman; A bit about me: I am a super senior at Millersville University this year, graduating spring '24. This fall is my 7th semester writing for HC which is so cool! I am an Early Childhood Education major and am minoring in General English. I absolutely love kids, writing, reading, cooking/baking, and crafting with my Cricut. I also enjoy spending time around animals! I love being a part of such an empowering platform and get to write pieces that impact people anywhere. HCXO ~ Maddie "Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic." - Albus Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling)