My skincare routine

Every once in a while I get a comment that asks how I keep my skin so smooth.

And it makes me laugh, because if this blog took place about five years ago, you wouldn't have any reason for asking that.

Like so many teens, I had acne. It took years to make it go away, thanks to a retinol cream my doctor prescribed, and just simply growing out of it, which I really thought would NEVER happen, at least not when I was still so young. Retinol is used in acne treatment and anti-wrinkle creams because basically it speeds up the turnover of your skin, producing collagen and sloughing off dead skin cells, so they don't clog your pours. It doesn't dry out your skin like other acne treatments do, it nourishes it.

I stopped using the cream about a year ago and instead of using anti-acne cleansers and creams, I decided to try a gentle routine, mimicking the retinol cream, something that provides nourishment.

Here's my list of skincare products:

Cetaphil For normal to oily skin (I buy the generic version from Walgreens.)
Pond's dry skin cream
Pond's cold cream

That's it. No toners, no scrubs, no weekly masks, just the classic, gentle stuff.
Every morning I wash my face with cetaphil, and LUKEWARM water. This was one of the best tips I ever learned, using warm instead of hot water. Hot water dries out the skin, and that's just no good.

After patting dry, I massage the ponds cream on my face, it only takes a little since it's so rich, but I do use a bit more in the winter when my skin is prone to dryness.
Then I let the lotion work it's way into my skin for about 20-30 minutes before applying makeup. I use:

M.A.C. StudioFix Fluide, with spf 15
Covergirl undereye concealer
Coty loose powder

Foundation applied with a sponge, concealer under my eyes and around my nose, then a dusting of powder.
At night I remove eye makeup with Ponds cold cream, wash my face with the same cleanser I used in the morning, pat dry, and massage a thin layer of the same cold cream all over my face.

So there you have it! My own skincare routine. Everyone has different skin needs which depend on genetics, climate, and health, but I do urge you to try something gentile, without alcohol or fragrance if you are having skin troubles. Sometimes taking away all the harsh unnecessary chemicals can do just the trick.


Dee said...

I'm a chronic skincare junkie and I have about 867 million products that I chop and change. Lately I've been seriously considering simplifying dramatically, but first I feel like I need to use up the 867 million products!

I was a teen in the 80s and used Ponds Cold Cream to cleanse my makeup - everybody did. I only recently discovered it was still around!

Samantha said...

You do have very smooth skin! I never really paid attention before. I'm a teenager struggling with acne and my dematoligist gave me a similar routine to yours! Gentle face wash morning and night, and at night put on Cerave moisterizer (awesome stuff) and Tazorac. Its so much more simple than every other 3-4 step acne treatment!

Candace Lynn Grubbs said...

ugh i have acne still and i'm 25! ive used almost everything! i also wash my face in the morning and at night after i take all my makeup off. i change it up a lot bc my skin gets use to it. i have oily skin so that doesnt help. i havent tried cetaphil yet but i think i will next!

A said...

I would be lost without my Ponds. I use it every night before bed. Another oldy but goody I use when my skin is dry is to use Noxema like lotion and not remove it (naturally I use less so my face is not ghostly looking)

Radio said...

Thanks for this! I was also on Retinol cream, and though my acne is beginning to subside, this really helps a lot!

Kelley Anne said...

Thanks for doing this post. I've changed my routine to involve less soap and more nourishing treatments too over the past few years. I might just have to try Cetaphil now for my face. Their hand lotion has been a God sent since last winter when my hands were in a dreadfully dry condition.

Anneke said...

i'm a bit jealous of your skin. mine is acne-prone hyper sensitive combination skin, so you can tell it gets difficult... all the normal drugstore brands would just irritate it more, and so far the only cleansers or moisturizers that do anything for me are lush products. i als recently found a facial soap that doesn't completely dehydrate your skin! it's a swedish soap with eggwhites and lanolin, and when you use it as a facemask every few days, it literally draws all the dirt out of your pores without the dry tight flakey feeling afterwards...

The Red Velvet Shoe said...

A perfect example of "less is more".
I was in the employ of Estee Lauder & Co. for years and sampled/sold a slew of skincare products. But I must admit my skincare routine is very similar to yours....right down the the Pond's cold cream, the Coty powder (love the scent) and I even use the same concealer!
(It's also good to change your pillow case every day if you're skin isn't behaving).

Tilia said...

Thank you for the Cetaphil tip. I bought it today and after the first try my skin feels good. Hopefully my skin improves. I have acne since I was 10, I'm almost 25 now. I guess you can imagine how sick of it I am by now. I've tried everything even Accutane (worked temporary). It's been years since I've searched professional help but on Monday I'm seeing a dermatologist, hopefully he'll help. Maybe he can advice on daily permanent skincare too.

Summer Skye said...

Great post! my boyfriend uses cetophil and it works wonders on him. I usually use aveeno sensitive skin facial soap bar and boots cold cream (at night.) The cold cream has helped my skin tremendously! I use a thin layer and wipe it off with a wet cloth. If any of you ladies haven't tried cold cream, I definitily suggest it.

LRC said...

Hi! I'm a new reader :) I just recently started to look into different skincare options. I was using Philosophy products for a while, and I noticed that my skin just wasn't doing any better, and I began breaking out a whole lot earlier this year after what seemed like an acne remission. A few weeks ago I started with Biore's 3-step system and have seen the exact opposite of what I want--major breakouts! It's horrible.

I think that I am going to try out this gentle routine. A friend of mine has used the "Cetaphil" (Walgreens version, too!) for years and her skin is gorgeous, too. I should have just done that! And just the other day an elderly woman with beautiful skin was on TV talking about how she's used Pond's for years!

Jillian said...

Thanks for the tips! My skin has always been decent, though oily (or so I thought). Last winter, it got incredibly dry around my eyes and lips and I started breaking out (I'm 31). I switched to Cetaphil and the Ponds dry skin cream, and that completely fixed the problem. Eventually, I went back to harsher cleansers, but I think I'm going to switch to your routine.

Unknown said...

I am not a famous blogger like you, but I get comments about my skin from people I run into here and there and I tell them the same thing. I use gentle, tried and true stuff. I also use Cetafil and Ponds (at night.) During the day I use Neutrogena with SPF 15. I recommend it for anyone who uses make up without SPF. I love your blog, keep up the fab work.

Marjorie P. said...

Any over the counter retinol creams you can recommend?

I still suffer from acne and am in my late 20s. It is a pain. And I have tried like every over the counter treatment there is, even some fancy Lush and Clinique and even Proactive...I haven't tried Cetaphil or Ponds yet though, and will be buying those on my next Target shopping trip.

Thanks for the tips, Solanah. Love your blog.

PinkBow said...

oohh i love to see what products people use. i really love the packaging of the coty powder & i have always wanted to try cetaphil but i've never come across it in the uk

Gianna said...

I'm suffering from acne since teenage and to get rid of it I have tried a number of products from the market but they are not so effective. Then from online shopping I got the name of Himani BOROPLUS Anti-Acne Cream which is an herbal product. I'm using this product for about 2 month and I got a quite good result from it. It helps in reducing the effects of acne scars and in cleaning skin of all painful blemishes.

Casey said...

My mom has sworn by Cetaphil for years, and I think after reading your post I'm going to have to stop by Walgreen's and pick some up tomorrow! I still suffer from break outs, although frustratingly they had cleared up when I was still living in VA (with the more temperate, less humid climate)--Florida heat has taken a toll on my skin! :p I like that you keep it simple, which has always been my gut feeling about skincare--plus, it's more pocket book friendly (which leaves more $$ to spend on vintage ;)!

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com

--- said...

I'll have to try the ponds/Cetaphil. My skin gets so dry in the winter and early morning. Thanks for the tip!

matty blanca said...

I have incredibly sensitive skin that is very easily irritated by all different types of ingredients and products. While I am NOT a fan of PONDS, I did find a better brand called "Made from Earth" and they have a Vitamin C Moisturizer. I found this one to be agreeable for my complexion. The consistency of the cream is very rich and smooth, and I like the way it felt when I applied it. It is a very soothing, cooling sensation when you rub it in, particularly at the end of a long day. I like that the scent is very light, as well. It does not have a fragrance, and my face still felt clean after I applied it.

Unknown said...

I have been a Cetaphil user for years too and it really does wonders to my skin because of its gentle ingredients. I have no special beauty regimen except an occasional trip to my derma but I manage to maintain a smooth and fair skin. -Cadence