The Complete Guide To Layering Acids In Your Skincare Routine

by Gio
how to layer acids in your skincare routine

Error: skincare overload! Skincare overload!

Remember when the mere thought of putting acids on your skin made you run in the opposite direction? Now you can’t get enough of them.

Glycolic acid. Lactic acid. L-Ascorbic Acid. You’re using all of them and then you’re wondering why your skin’s all dry and flaky all of a sudden… 🙄

Acids are powerful. They work. They give you results. Fast. It’s easy to get addicted.

But this is one case where more ISN’T better. Go overboard with acids and you’ll destroy your skin (literally).

Acids do have a place in your skincare routine. You just need to know how to mix and match them to get the best results without the irritating side effects.

I’m here to help. Here’s the complete guide on how to layer acids in your skincare routine:

how to layer acids in your skincare routine 01

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What Types Of Acids Are Used In Skincare?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

A family of water-soluble exfoliants that work by dissolving the glue that holds skin cells together so they can slough off. With them out of the picture, your skin is softer, smoother and brighter. Plus, they hydrate skin, too. The catch? High concentrations can dry out and irritate skin. The most famous members of the family are glycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid.

Best picks: 

Related: Glycolic Acid VS Lactic Acid: Which One Should You Use?

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)

Salicylic acid is the only BHA used in skincare. Unlike AHAs, it’s oil-soluble. This means it does double duty: it exfoliates the surface of the skin AND gets inside the pores, unclogging them from within. Plus, it has one more trick up its sleeve: it has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness and irritations.

Best picks:

Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is The Key To Spot-Free Skin

niod multi-molecular hyaluronic complex

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is technically a sugar. A super hydrating one. Hyaluronic acid acts like a moisture magnet that attracts water from the air into the skin. It’s so powerful, it binds up to 1000 times its weight in water! All that moisture makes skin softer, plumper and brighter.

Best picks: 

Related: Why You Should Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Skincare Routine

L-Ascorbic Acid

A weak acid, L-Ascorbic Acid is the pure form of vitamin C. It fights free radicals, brightens skin and boosts collagen. But it’s unstable AF. It goes bad super quickly when exposed to light, heat and air. High concentrations also sting and irritate skin. That’s why lots of people prefer to use Vitamin C derivates. They’re less effective but gentler on the skin and last way longer too.

Best Picks:

Related: 5 Anti-Aging Superstars You Should Add To Your Skincare Routine

medik8 ce tetra vitamin c antioxidant serum

Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs)

A family of exfoliants that’s as effective as Alpha Hydroxy Acids but with a larger molecular structure. Translation: they exfoliate skin just as well but are less irritating. The most famous members of the family are gluconolactone and lactobionic acid.

Best Picks:

  • Exuviance Retexturing Treatment ($42.00): available at Dermstore
  • Neostrata Renewal Cream 12 PHA ($63.00): available at Dermstore

Retinoid Acid

Retinoic acid is the only form of Vitamin A your body can recognise and use to treat wrinkles. It fights free radicals, speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliating process and boosts the production of collagen. But it’s super harsh on the skin. It can cause severe dryness, peeling and irritation. That’s why it’s prescription only. OTC forms of retinoids, like retinol and retinaldehyde, must be converted into retinoid acid to work their magic. They’re gentler but less effective.

Best Picks: 

Related: What Form Of Retinoids Is Right For You?

how to layer acids in your skincare routine 02

How To Layer Acids In Your Skincare Routine

Can You Layer Exfoliating Acids?

This is the number one mistake I see people make in layering acids. Everyone wants to use Pixi Glow or The Ordinary Glycolic 7% Toning Solution but then you’ve heard that lactic acid is the new awesome kid on the skincare block and, wait, I have a few blackheads so why not throw salicylic acid into the mix too?

Because too much exfoliation is gonna strip your skin raw and irritate it as hell. Dead cells are there for a reason: to protect the newer cells that aren’t ready to come to the surface yet. Removing the most superficial layer makes your skin smoother and brighter. Removing all the layers leaves it red and sensitive.

For the love of your skin, stop adding all the “cult” exfoliating products into your skin. Just pick the one acid that works for you and stick to that:

  • Dry and sun-damaged skin: glycolic acid
  • Oily and acne-prone skin: salicylic acid
  • Sensitive skin: lactic acid or PHAs

But let’s say that your skin could really benefit from more than one type of acid. Maybe you have oily but sun-damaged skin that needs both glycolic and salicylic acids or it’s dry and sensitive and a combo of AHAs/PHAs suits it better than a high concentration of glycolic acid. What do you do in this case?

I recommend you pick a product that has both types of acids. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum ($90.00), for example, has both glycolic, lactic and salicylic. These products are formulated so the overall ratio of acids does the exfoliating job without irritating skin.

Layering 3 acid products from The Ordinary may be cheaper but more risky. You may get an overall concentration of acids that’s too strong for your skin, destroy its protective barrier and be left with a red, flaky, painful mess.

When it comes to exfoliation, less is more.

Related: AHAs VS BHA: Which One Should You Use?

peter thomas roth retinol infusion pm night serum 01

Can You Layer AHAs, Vitamin C and Retinoids?

So many of you are worried that layering AHAs, vitamin C and retinoids can make them ineffective. This isn’t really an issue. Even when these ingredients work best at different pHs, they never deactivate one another completely to make them useless.

Nope, the real risk here is irritation. If you have sensitive skin, layering AHAs, vitamin C and retinoids is a sure way to get an irritation. But even if your skin is more resistant, it’s best to start slow and introduce these superstars into your skincare routine slowly.

I recommend using vitamin C in the morning under sunscreen (it boosts its effectiveness) and alternative AHAs and retinoids at night. 

Another trick is to use products that contain two or more of these superstars. Some reason as the acids. They’re formulated to give you the most benefits with the fewer side effects.

Related: Mix And Match: The Skincare Ingredients You Should Never Use Together

Can You Layer Salicylic Acid With Benzoyl Peroxide Or Retinoids?

Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful acne fighter. It kills P.Acnes, the bacteria that causes acne. But it’s harsh on the skin (it’s a killer, after all). It can cause redness, flakiness and peeling. That’s why it’s best to use it as a spot treatment only.

As it’s so harsh on its own, it’s not a good idea to use it together with salicylic acid or retinoids. But, that doesn’t mean these two can’t be part of your anti-acne routine, as well.

Just use them at different times. I recommend you put on benzoyl peroxide in the morning and use salicylic acid and retinoids at night. Or you can use salicylic acid every morning and alternate benzoyl peroxide and retinoids at night. Whatever works best for your skin.

Related: Benzoyl Peroxide VS Salicylic Acid: Which One Should You Choose?

medik8 hydr8 B5

Can You Layer Hyaluronic Acid With Other Acids?

Yes! Yes! Yes! You can layer hyaluronic acid with everything. In fact, I recommend you do. Especially if you’re using anti aging superstars like retinol, glycolic acid and Vitamin C.

These antiaging superstars are harsh on the skin, leaving it dry and sensitive. Adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine helps counteract their drying effects.

Hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates skin, leaving it softer and smoother. If your retinol is leaving your skin feeling tight, reach for a hyaluronic acid serum pronto!

How do you layer your acids in your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments below.

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188 comments

Crissy Anderson January 19, 2019 - 5:01 pm

Gio,
Thank you so much for this blog. There are so many others out there that are so confusing and they all say something different it’s just so nice to be able to come here and know you will definitely take the time and answer questions. I was hop ing to get your advice on my routine. I’m 47 years old with dry skin,redness on cheeks, dark spots, wrinkles and crows feet.
AM:
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Timeless Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid
Cosmedica Hyaluronic Acid
Ordinary Buffet
Elemis Peptide Eye Recovery
Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream
EltaMD SPF 46 Sunscreen
PM:
CeraVe
Ordinary Granactive 2% Retinoid (Alpha 14% AHA alternate night)
Hyaluronic Acid
Buffet
Elemis Peptide Eye Cream
Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream
Elemis Peptide Night Recovery Oil
I’ve been using the following products for several months now and although my skin is soft and maybe a few wrinkles have diminished other than that I haven’t really seen any other results. I wanted to add products from The Ordinary possibly or maybe something what do you think?

Gio January 24, 2019 - 7:51 pm

Crissy, thanks for your nice words. They mean a lot.

I think your skincare routine is already wonderful as it is. You’re using all the right actives for your skin. The only thing I’d change is the Granactive Retinoid. I think at this point, you should be ready to increase to the 5% version. Retinoids are what really give you results, so increase your dose gradually for ever better results.

Aisha January 23, 2019 - 2:52 am

Gio, thanks for this post and for responding to us all!
I’d love to get your advice on my routine as well. I have combination skin, hyper pigmentation, and some very light forehead wrinkles that I’d like to get under control. From your other replies it looks like I should add niacinamide, salicylic acid and potentially retinol into my routine. Could you advise?

AM:
La Roche Posay Toleriane Face Wash for Oily Skin
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Sunscreen

PM:
La Roche Posay Toleriane Face Wash for Oily Skin
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Gio January 25, 2019 - 8:30 am

Aisha, are you experiencing breakouts? If so, you can definitely switch from glycolic acid to salicylic acid. If not, stick with glycolic. If something ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

I definitely recommend adding retinol to your night time routine. You can alternate it with glycolic acid at night.

Corina January 23, 2019 - 7:26 am

Hi Gio!
Recenrly started adding The Ordinary serums into my skin care routine for oily/ combination skin that is prone to acne. I bought: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%,
Hyaluronic Acid + B5, Natural Moisturizing Factors, Buffet, and Caffiene Solution + EGCG. Also looking to incorporatea salicylic acid. What order can I use these in to add to my AM and PM routines so nothing is too harsh or cancels something out??
Your help is greatly appreciated!

Gio January 24, 2019 - 8:59 pm

Hi Corina, in the AM use hyaluronic acid, natural moisturizing factors and caffeine solution. In the ebbing, buffet, niacinamide + zinc and caffeine solution.

Andrea January 25, 2019 - 2:11 am

Hi I am currently experiencing a lot of texture along with hormonal breakouts. I was wondering if it’s okay to use a Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash at night, and then a vitamin c+ hyaluronic acid+ collagen serum in the am ? (After cleansing with a mild face wash of course). Also I have the sensitive alpha beta peel pads from dr. Dennis gross as well as good genes serum from Sunday Riley and was wondering if I could incorporate either of those into my routine as well? Thank you!!
-Andrea

Gio January 25, 2019 - 8:06 am

Andrea, yes you can use vitamin c+ hyaluronic acid+ collagen serum in the am.

I’m not a huge fan of benzoyl peroxide face washes as they tend to be dry. You’d be better off with a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment applied only on the active breakouts. Also, you definitely need salicylic acid but not from Dr Dennis Gross pads as they’re NOT sensitive at all. I recommend you check out one of Paula’s Choice BHA exfoliants or the ordinary salicylic acid. They’re effective but gentler.

Didi January 27, 2019 - 12:53 pm

Gio, thanks for this post. Really good job. I’d love to get your advice on my routine as well. I also have combination skin, hyper pigmentation, and sometimes acne. Recently started adding The Ordinary serums into my skin care routine for my combination/rough skin that is prone to acne, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%,The Ordinary Azelaic acid suspension 10%, The Ordinary Ascorbyl glucoside solution 12%,Sunscreen The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, Boots Intensive night cream, L’oreal pure clay &detox cleanser.
Also thinking of trying out either of Alpha Lipoic acid or Lactic acid. What order can I use these in to add to my AM and PM routines so nothing is too harsh or any advice to drop anything.
Your help would mean so much. Thanks

Gio February 8, 2019 - 4:13 pm

Didi, don’t get the lactic acid and don’t use glycolic either. Your skin type needs salicylic acid.

AM: Cleanse, vitamin C, azelaic acid, sunscreen.
PM: cleanse, (L’Oreal mask once a week), salicylic acid, Niacinamide and night cream.

Maxine February 9, 2019 - 3:43 pm

Why are you saying she doesnt need lactic or glycolic acid? When has salicylic acid ever been a substitute for the AHAs?

Gio February 15, 2019 - 12:49 pm

Maxine, what makes you think that every person on the planet needs AHAs? AHAs and salicylic acid are both exfoliants. They both remove dead cells on the surface of the skin. So if you want to decide between them, you have to look at what other benefits they have. Glycolic and lactic are hydrating, whereas salicylic acid can clear up the pores and treat acne. Which of the two do you think it’s best for her?

As for antiaging, NOT every AHA boosts collagen production. Glycolic acid does, at 10% and higher concentrations. So 99% of glycolic acid products out there won’t do much for your wrinkles.

Lily-Rose Sharry January 31, 2019 - 12:20 am

Thanks for the article! Hi!
I have very combination and sensitive skin – oily / blemishes on t zone and sensitive dry on cheeks. I purchased the ordinary azealic acid, salicylic acid, retinol squalane and also have pixi glow tonic (glycolic acid). I’m confused on how to implement these products – I probably shouldn’t try them all at once and I don’t know how to experiment with them without irritating my sensitive skin. Any tips? Thank you 🙂

Gio February 7, 2019 - 5:31 pm

Lily-Rose, start with salicylic acid every other morning. That should help with the blemishes. If this isn’t enough to keep your oily skin under control after 3 weeks, you can introduce azelaic acid.

What percentage is the retinol? as for glycolic acid, you do NOT need it.

Lee February 2, 2019 - 12:55 pm

GIO your blog is fast becoming my skincare bible! You explain things so well & I love reading it!! Thank you so much.
I just have a question regarding the order of products… feeling a bit confused… I have closed comedones, congestion & possible fungal acne. I’ve tried to strip back my routine to a very simple one, yet I’m not sure if the order is correct:
AM
Spot treatment with Benzol Peroxide (5 mins)
Cleanse
Hado Labo Lotion
Moisturise with few drops of squalane
PM
First cleanse to remove makeup
Spot treat with BP / Sulfur Mask alternating
Cleanse
Hado Labo Lotion
BHA (slowly introducing this into my routine as I’m wary of reacting)
Moisturise + couple of drops of squalane

Thank you!

Gio February 8, 2019 - 4:05 pm

Lee, thank you! Glad to hear you like the blog. If you have congestion, salicylic acid is the only thing that can get rid of it. After you introduce that, you’ll see a big difference. If you indeed have fungal acne, try Cosrx Blackheads Liquid or Stridex pads.

I’m not sure why you’re washing off BP? If you apply a tiny amount on pimples only, you can leave it on for longer.

Kim February 2, 2019 - 7:58 pm

Hi Gio – thank you so much for clarifying and cleaning up (pun intended) all the skin care urban legends. I would like your advice on beginning a skin care routine for a very lucky, mature woman (I’ll be 60 next month) who has never had any problems with her skin. At this point, I am experiencing a big of sagging, a few wrinkles and some mild hyper pigmentation. I’ve just recently begun using Kiehl’s products, mostly for moisturizing and have, in the past used Roc products sporadically. I’m interested in The Origins, as it seems to be reasonably priced and well reviewed. Where to start to help prevent further aging as much as possible? Thank you in advance for your help!

Gio February 8, 2019 - 3:58 pm

Kim, I’d love to help but I’m not sure what your skin type is. But you can try this routine with a tweak: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/regimen-remove-sun-spots/

Instead than hydroquinone, use something gentler like alpha arbutin on the pigmented areas. Hope this helps.

Jamie Mufson February 6, 2019 - 6:15 pm

I recently ran across your website because of the article about layering acids. I started using more skin care and I love it but also am terrified I’m going to mess it up.

I was hoping you could help me decide when to use what product.

I’m 28 with combination skin and currently dealing with acne on my chin and cheeks. I’m obsessed with makeup but I’m also really good about taking it off at night.

My AM routine:
Son & Park Beauty Water – I just dab on my face bc I don’t like to wash my face in the morning
Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum
Ordinary Niacinamide + zinc
Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex eye serum
Drunk Elephant Protini moisturizer

My PM routine – this is where I struggle because I have a lot but don’t know what to use when
Olehendriksen oil control toner
Ordinary Rose Hip Oil
Ordinary Marula oil
Ordinary Azelaic acid
Drunk Elephant Glycolic night serum
Drunk Elephant C Tango multi vitamin eye serum
Ordinary Retinol
Ordinary Salsidic Acid
Ordinary Lactic Acid
Ordinary AHA 30% BHA 2% peeling solution

Any suggestions you have would be amazing!

Gio February 8, 2019 - 10:32 am

Jamie, you have too many products for the night and not all are suitable for you. Let’s go back to basics:

Cleanse:
Salicylic acid (either the Ordinary or Drunk Elephant Glycolic) 3 nights a week
Ordinary Retinol 3 nights a week (in other words, at night alternate between salicylic and retinol)
Drunk Elephant Tango
Rosehip oil

Michele February 7, 2019 - 5:21 am

Hi Gio, thanks for taking the time to reply all the comments here! I’m 25 years old and I have dry skin. Currently, am facing issues such as blackheads on my nose, bigger pores around cheeks and white bumps around my face as well. Noticed that if I were to only cleanse my face in the AM and not apply anything after, my skin & t-zone feels tight and slightly oily. My goal would be to achieve even textured skin, smaller pores and supple skin.

My AM routine consists of:

1. Fresh Soy Cleanser
2. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
3. Stratia Liquid Gold
4. Sunscreen

PM Routine
1. Clinique Balm to remove makeup
2. Fresh Soy Cleanser
3. Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion
4. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
5. SK-II R.N.A.Power Airy Milky Lotion

I am keen to start incorporating Vitamin C and Acids into my routine but am not sure where should they go in between my routine and which products would be the best at helping me with my skin issues. Appreciate your advice on this! Thank you!

Gio February 8, 2019 - 10:21 am

Michele, you definitely need salicylic acid. Both The Ordinary and Paula’s Choice has some great exfoliants with it. Use it after cleansing in the evening. You can use a vitamin C serum like Paula’s Choice C15 Booster after cleansing in the morning.

Susana February 7, 2019 - 10:31 am

Hello,
My current routine is:
AM:Cleanse + Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA + makeup
PM: Cleanse + Hyaluronic Acid 2% +100% Plant-Derived Squalane + Retinol 0.2% in Squalane 3 + Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
I would like to use the Latic Acid 5% (3xweek), because I’m starting to get some fine lines in my forehead, but I’m not able to figure out how to do layer with my night routine… My thoughts are:
PM 2x week: Cleanse + Lactic Acid 5% + 100% Plant-Derived Squalane + Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
Also how to use the Lactic acid? Do I leave it, do I wash it off?
Thenk you for your answer,
Best Regards
Susana

Gio February 8, 2019 - 10:17 am

Susana, you can use Lactic Acid three nights a week after cleansing. But lactic acid is for exfoliation, not wrinkles. If you want to get rid of fine lines, slowly up your retinol dose instead.

Lili Filipou February 10, 2019 - 2:04 pm

Hi Geo,

I suffer from breakouts around my chin and neck area but also fine lines, I therefore need something to clear my acne, red patches left after spots and also wrinkles. I recently introduced Ordinary Salicylic Acid into my routine at night after i cleans followed by a moisturiser but I’d also like to start using Glycolic acid (purchased Pixi Glycolic toner and exfoliating pads). Can i use a toner in the mornings? Really confused when and how often to use these products, i do some kind of exfoliation as i have dry patches around my nose are and forehead.

Thank you

Lili

Gio February 15, 2019 - 12:42 pm

Lili, I don’t recommend using salicylic and glycolic acids together because they both exfoliate the surface of the skin, leaving you more prone to over exfoliation. But after salicylic acid has cleared up your can, you can turn to glycolic to clear up the spots. But it won’t help you with wrinkles. You need at least 10% glycolic acid for Anti-Aging purposes.

Lau February 10, 2019 - 11:19 pm

This post is just what I was looking for!
I am currently bothered by my developing fine lines and continuous acne… i have hormonal and adult acne, yay. I have oily skin.

I currently use
AM –
Salicylic face wash
Light Moisturiser
Heliocare SPF50
(I don’t have much time in the mornings and like to keep it simple!)

PM
Avene Matifying cleansing foam
Miceller cleanse
Pixi Glow or Salicylic cleanser
L’Occitane Immortal Divine moisturiser
Neostrata Intensive Eye Therapy

Weekly – Hyaluranic Face Mask
Monthly – Hydrafacial treatment followed by Dermalux light therapy.

Gio February 15, 2019 - 1:17 pm

Lau, get rid of the salicylic acid cleanser and Pixi Glow and use a leave-in salicylic acid exfoliant after cleansing. Salicylic acid needs to be left on the skin to treat acne.

Joji February 12, 2019 - 9:35 pm

Hello Gio
I have very deep dark spots on my cheeks although I have a normal to dry skin .
I need to try to peel the discoloration sto be able to whiten the skin.
My skin doesn’t react to any whitening product
I have some molluscum on my chin
My routine is
AM C plus super serum truSkin naturals
Vitamin E pure oil Dr organic
Followed by not daily by Atoderm Bioderma ( when my skin is feeling super dry)
PM salicylic Acid pur form
Then followed by Atoderm Bioderma
My face is not peeling and I don’t feel any change

Gio February 15, 2019 - 1:36 pm

Joji, have you tried hydroquinone or alpha arbutin? They’re good at fading away dark spots.

Sammy February 13, 2019 - 3:01 pm

Hi! Thank you so much for this article – it was super helpful. Could you also provide your input on my skincare routine? I am having a hard time knowing if what I am doing is correct!

PM:
-Cleanser (Cetaphil)
-Rose Toner
-Tatcha Violet C Brightening Serum
-Good Genes All in One Lactic Acid Treatment (Sunday Riley)
-Rose Face Lotion (Fresh)

AM:
-Cleanser (Cetaphil)
-Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum
-Rose Face Lotion with Super 7 Complex (Fresh)
-Sunscreen (Shiseido)

My main concern is if I am using too many Vitamin C serums and if I am allowed to mix the Good Genes with the Tatcha Serum.

Thanks so much!!

Gio February 15, 2019 - 1:33 pm

Sammy, I always recommend not to overdose on actives. Pick one vitamin C serum and stick to it. It’s also best to exfoliate with good genes first and then apply vitamin C on top.

Patricia February 17, 2019 - 4:59 pm

Hi! Thank you for this article:
This is my current routine:
AM: AHA
Firming Eye cream
PM: tretinoin cream .025% (RX Retin A)
anti aging eye cream
A friend of mine with beautiful radiant skin (she’s 62) told me to add Hydralonic serum mixed with 100% organic aloe and 4 drops of lemon juice to my AM and PM routine. What do you think? With that counteract the AHA? Put that on after the retina A in my PM routine? Appreciate you advice. Thank you!

Gio February 20, 2019 - 5:42 pm

Patricia, don’t add lemon juice! It’s irritating and disrupts your skin’ protective barrier!

Claire February 19, 2019 - 4:40 pm

Hi
I kind of chop and change my products but currently use:
I am 39 with normal skin but really now looking to fight signs of aging. Any comment would be really appreciated.
Am
Neutrogena gel wash
Ordinary Vitamin C
Ordinary Hyluranic acid
Olay moisturiser with SPF
Make up

Pm
Clinique take the day off cleanser
Nip and fab glycolic pads
Retinol
Hylauranic acid

Thanks
Claire

Gio February 20, 2019 - 5:52 pm

Claire, this is a wonderful routine, you’re already using the best Anti-Aging actives. The only thing I’d add is sunscreen. Moisturisers with SPF don’t provide adequate protection.

Lyndsey Allsopp February 20, 2019 - 10:49 am

Hi, I don’t use any of these products and desperately need to start!! I’ve hit 40 and have no real skin care routine – bad I know!! I have fine lines around my eyes and my skin is starting to sag a bit and want to try and prevent it getting worse. What’s the best way to go?

Gio February 20, 2019 - 6:26 pm

Lyndsety, start by figuring out your skin type. If you don’t know that, you can buy the wrong acids/ingredients and make things worse. This article explains how: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/determine-your-skin-type/

Joy February 20, 2019 - 2:07 pm

Hi Gio!
I have combination acne prone skin with some hyperpigmentation that has been under control with the occasional hormonal break outs. I recently broke out on my forehead and I’m not sure what was the cause but my usual routine doesn’t seem to be clearing it out. I also recently purchached The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, and Noxzema Anti-Blemish Pads Salicyic Acid 2% but I’m not sure how to incorporate them into my routine.
AM:
SulfaCleanse 8/4
Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum
L’Oréal Collagen Moisture Filler
Sunscreen

PM:
SulfaCleanse 8/4
Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Adapelene Gel 1% (only problem areas)
L’Oréal Collagen Moisture Filler
Kate Somerville EradiKate spot treatment (when necessary)

Gio February 20, 2019 - 6:17 pm

Joy, you DON’T need 3 acids. Lactic acid is useless to you so return it if you can. For your skin type, salicylic acid is all you need. Use it every morning after cleansing.

If hyperpigmentation is a concern, AFTER you’re cleared up your acne, you can substitute glycolic for salicylic to help the dark spots fade away faster. But until then, use salicylic acid ONLY.

ETP February 20, 2019 - 2:27 pm

Loving this thread. I’d love your feedback on my routine. I’m 40 and have hormonal acne – oily skin and cystic acne mid-cycle, but relatively normal skin otherwise. I also have sun damage and dark acne spots, plus signs of aging around my eyes. I currently use prescription Tretinoin + suncscreen in the morning, plus an OTC glycolic acid + hyaluronic acid + C eye cream at night. No peeling, I tolerate it just fine. I add in a salicylic acid wash at night mid-cycle. I’m experimenting with adding in spearmint supplements. I’m also considering experimenting with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc PCA 1% and rotating in The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (either alternate nights with the glycolic, or alternate mornings with the Tretinoin). I used Azelaic Acid (Finacea) after pregnancy to help clear melasma and was happy with it, but I was breastfeeding at the time and didn’t have the same hormonal swings, so I’m hesitant about cutting out the Tretinoin entirely at this point. Thoughts?

Gio February 20, 2019 - 6:24 pm

ETP, I would recommend switching from glycolic to salicylic acid a week before your period to avoid breakouts. Adding nacinamide + zinc in the morning, will definitely help keep oil production under control. Yes, you can switch from Finacea to the ordinary Azelaic Acid and see which one you like best.

Thais February 20, 2019 - 8:09 pm

Hi Gio! I’m 30 and have been using so-called natural skincare products for the last year, mainly Weleda. I have combination skin, bigger pores and sometimes small blackheads in my nose, which also tends to be a little red. Also, my t-zone tends to get oily and my skin is dull, and I’m starting to notice some wrinkles, especially around the mouth. Recently I got the following The Ordinary products, whichi I’m wondering how to fit in my routine: Glycolic acid 7% toning solution, Lactic Acid 10% HA, Hyaluronic Acid 2% B5. I would also really like some advice on how to lighten the skin above my lips, which is darker even though I waer sunscreen every day.
PD: I live in a VERY humid city, round 80/90% humidity most of the year.

This is my current routine:
Weleda One-Step Cleanser&Toner
A homemade toner (distilled water, camu camu vinegar and vegetable source glycerin in a 10:2:1 proportion)
Raspberry seed oil
Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream
Naghab Sunblock (shea butter, copoazú butter, wheat germ oil, olive oil, maca extract, titanium oxide, zinc oxide, decyl glucoside , cetearyl alcohol, vitamin E, chamomile essential oil, potassium sorbate)

Night:
Weleda 2-1 Cleanser&Toner
Homemade toner
Jojoba oil or Passionfruit oil

Thank you for any advice!!

Gio February 28, 2019 - 6:46 pm

Thais, I understand you like natural skincare, but please keep in mind that using too many oils can clog pores. As long as you’re dealing with large pores and blackheads, stay away from glycolic acid and lactic acid. What you need is salicylic acid after cleansing. Hope this helps.

Shanelle Valencia February 21, 2019 - 7:41 pm

Hi Gio!
This is what I’ve been wanting, a specialist to tell me if I’m putting too much or possibly missing products on my skincare routine! I have sensitive and combination skin. All my teenage years I’ve had cystic acne and now that I’m 26 I still get acne and I also have texture scarring from previous years. My current skincare routine is:

AM – Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser Oil Control
SK II Treatment Essence
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster Vit C
Clinique Pore Refining Solutions
Elta MD sunscreen

PM – Cerave foaming cleanser
Clinique clarifying toner with Salicyclic acid
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Curology with 1% Clindamycin, .25% Zinc Pyrithione and 4% Zinc
Origins super spot remover for on the spot acne
I also use LUNA sleeping night oil from time to time and Laneige water sleeping mask

I’ve tried incorporating glycolic acid with my skincare such as using The Ordinart Glycolic Toning and Neogen Green Tea Peel but it broke me out more than usual.

Am I putting on too much? What are the main products I should be using?

Thank you so much for this article and for your suggestions!!!

Gio February 28, 2019 - 5:50 pm

Shanelle, do NOT use glycolic acid! And throw away lactic acid and the Clinique toner with salicylic acid. Your skin only needs salicylic acid, but in a little higher amount. Switch to the ordinary salicylic acid 2% or Paula’s choice BHA 2% liquid instead. If you need more help with your skincare routine and would like a full consultation, I’d be happy to help you out. You can book here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Nancy Zijlstra February 22, 2019 - 7:25 pm

Hi Gio, I am Nancy from the Netherlands, I am 39 years old and I have a combination acne skin.

My AM routine:

1. Cleanser
2. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% +zinc 1%
3. The ordinary hyaluronic acid 2% + B5
4. The ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

PM Routine
1. Cleanser
2. The ordinary Salicylic acid 2%
3. The ordinary Rose hip seed oil

Is this a good routine? and which products would be the best at helping me with my skin issues. Appreciate your advice on this! Thank you!
Dankjewel😘

Gio February 28, 2019 - 5:34 pm

Nancy, this is already a good routine. If you’re seeing results, don’t change anything.

lianaj.. February 22, 2019 - 10:22 pm

Hi.. I love your tread so much.. I’m 33 years old with mix normal to oily skin.. My skin has blackheads on the nose,oily on the t zone, few dark spot due to previous acne (on and off small breakout acne upon menstrual ) and damage due to sun (my facial skin appeared dark and red compared others).. . I didn’t know the important of suncreen before..

My skin routine
Cleanser clinique 3 steps for oily skin or cetaphil gentle cleanser (depends on my skin mood)
On and off pixi toner
Clinique dramatically moisturiser gel
Biore Sunscreen spf 50

Pm
Cleanser clinique 3 steps for oily skin or cetaphil gentle cleanser (depends skin mood if feel too oily will use clinique)
Pixi toner glow most of time – previously clinique 3 steps toner no 2
Estee lauder lauder advance night repair serum
Clinique dramatically moisturiser gel

I would like to stop estee lauder in my routine due slightly pricey.. And didn’t make much difference to my skin

I plan to add on bha salicylic acid 2% from ordinary to be use alternately with pixi toner until my blackheads and dark spots gone and maintain with pixi toner later..

I also bought ordinary Hyaluronic acid & ordinary Niacinamide recently
And would love to choose 1 of the vitamin c ordinary also. (but still considering which one is okay)
The thing is I don’t know how to add on and integrate this 3 new things in my routine..
I appreciate your thoughts so much..
Thanks..

Gio February 28, 2019 - 5:33 pm

Hi Liana, you can use salicylic acid in the morning right after cleansing instead of the pixie toner. If you use salicylic acid, pixi toner becomes redundant. Follow it with vitamin C. You can use hyaluronic acid in the evening before moisturiser. If you need more help in putting together your skincare routine, I offer skincare consultations. You can book yours here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Julie February 23, 2019 - 8:15 pm

Hi Gio,
I recently bought the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution because I really needed a toner, but I already had the Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%. I also have the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. The lactic acid and the retinoid emulsion I use in the evening and the hyaluronic acid in the morning. How can I implement the Glycolic acid toner in my daily routine and do I have to change the way I already use the other products? I apologize in case of bad grammar, I’m not English. Thanks in advance!

Eve February 25, 2019 - 2:37 am

Hi Gio! Thank you for taking the time to respond to all these comments! I’d really appreciate your feedback on my routine.

I have combination skin and get frequent blemishes. I’ve been using a glycolic acid for the past few months in an effort to fade acne scars and it’s been pretty effective so I’m considering switching to salicylic acid now. Also, I was wondering if you could recommend a sunscreen to use? I’ve been nervous that they will make me break out. My current routine is as follows:

AM:
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Tamarind
Valjean Labs Vitamin C and Magnesium Serum
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream
The Ordinary Squalane Oil

PM
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream
The Ordinary Squalane Oil

Gio February 28, 2019 - 6:29 pm

Eve, yes I think switching to salicylic acid now is a good idea. Or you could use something like Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum, which has both glycolic and salicylic acid. You can check out my sunscreen recommendations here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/what-are-the-best-sunscreens-for-oily-skin/

Sumaya February 26, 2019 - 7:44 am

Hi Gio, thank you so much for this blog, it has really cleared things up for me, however I would love your advice on the product and order I use will use them. I have normal skin, with dark eye circles, sun spots, blemishes and visible pores. Thanks

AM
Salicylic Acid 2% Solution 30ml
Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG 30ml
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 30ml
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA 30ml
SPF 50 sunscreen Eucerin

PM
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution 240ml
Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% 30ml
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% 30ml
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA 100ml
100% Plant-Derived Squalane 30ml

Gio March 1, 2019 - 9:39 am

Sumaya, I would take out the glycolic acid. You’re already using salicylic acid so glycolic is redundant. Everything else is fine, but do introduce only one new product at a time in your skincare routine. If you use everything at once and something doesn’t work, you won’t know what that is.

Sofina March 5, 2019 - 8:53 pm

Loved the article and I’m trying to get into TO skincare. I’m specifically targeting hyperpigmentation and skin brightening, in general. How does this regime sound (haven’t started yet!)

AM
Cleanse (Cleanser)
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (Water Solution Toner)
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA (Water Solution Serum)
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (Water Solution Serum)
Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution in Vit. F (Oil Solution Moisturizer)
Sun Protection (Sun Screen)

PM
Double Cleanse (Cleanser)
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (Water Solution Toner)
Lactic Acid (Water Solution Serum)
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA (Water Solution Serum)
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (Water Solution Serum)
Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution in Vit. F (Oil Solution Moisturizer)
Azelaic Acid 10% + HA 2% (Suspension Cream-Gel)
Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone (Suspension Cream-Gel)

Any order change or too many acids? Also, would you add TO Rose Hip Seed Oil to the end of the PM list?

Thank you!

Gio March 8, 2019 - 5:04 pm

Sofina, you are doing way too much. If you keep this up, you won’t brighten skin, you’ll strip it dry and raw.

Use only one exfoliant (glycolic or lactic) once a day (night), vitamin C only in the morning and choose between azelaic acid and alpha arbutin.

If you need more help, you can book your bespoke skincare consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Maria E Carrillo March 6, 2019 - 6:20 pm

Hi thanks for your blogs,I am happy because you may help me 😊,I am so confuse about how to use all the product I just got,I am 32 yo,my skin is dry but I use to get some hormol pimple and blackheads around my my chin and checks,and have son wrinckles around my eyes,some acne dark scars, I just got a bunch of products. A sample o the DE retinol cream,the DE protini cream,the ordinary lactic acid,the pixy glow tonic, the Kate somerville exfoliakate exfoliating treatment,face wash and cream, summer fridays hidrating mask,caudalie vinoperfect night cream 😁,I know I went crazy, but I have not started using them because I dont know how. I currently use
Am: a clinique cleanser
Lancome confort toner
Clinique all about eye rich cream
DE Vitamin C firma,
DE PROTINI
Spf 35 lotion
PM:
Cleanser
Lancome toner
Clinque all about eyes rich cream
Rosehip oil
I want to even my skin tone and get ride of the breakouts ,and start antiaging procese

Gio March 8, 2019 - 4:59 pm

Maria, thank you for your comment. Due to the amount of comments I receive, it’s become impossible to keep up with everyone’s request and provide the in-depth advice people need. To make sure I give the best possible advice for everyone’s particular circumstances and needs, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Just a quick tip: DON’T go crazy with exfoliants! If you have breakouts, lactic acid and pixi glow won’t do. You only need ONE exfoliant with salicylic acid in it.

Jade Valmonte March 7, 2019 - 5:46 am

Hi Gio,
I switched to a new skin care routine about a month ago. I have combination oily/dry skin with hormonal breakouts. I have acne scars and hyperpigmentation due to products I have tried that made my breakouts worst. Here is my current routine:
AM
Bioderma foaming gel cleanser
Paula’s choice BHA salycylic acid
The Ordinary hyaluronic acid
The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc
Bioderma Hydrobio Gel Moisturizer
Paula’s choice wrinkle free Sunscreen
PM
Bioderma foaming gel cleanser
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2%
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid
Bioderma Hydrobio Gel Moisturizer

I found that in the first two weeks i noticed a differenxe but then the breakouts started to get worse.
My aesthetician is recommending:
AM
Salycylic Acid
Vitamin e&c serum
PM
Mandelic Acid serum

Im not sure which routine to use now. Please if you could give me some guidance. Thank you.

Gio March 8, 2019 - 4:53 pm

Jade, thank you for your comment. Due to the amount of comments I receive, it’s become impossible to keep up with everyone’s request and provide the in-depth advice people need. To make sure I give the best possible advice for everyone’s particular circumstances and needs, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Melia March 7, 2019 - 3:22 pm

Hi Gio! Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into all these blog posts!! I find them super helpful and interesting to read however, I am a little stumped and overwhelmed on which products to incorporate into my daily routine!! If I could get your input I would greatly appreciate it!!
I’m 28 and for the past 4 years have been suffering from adult acne- mainly on my cheeks and a little on my chin and jawline. I went and got 2 FSR treatments, 2 silkpeels and a microneedling treatment. My scarring is lessened and my hyper pigmentation from scarring has also decreased. I am not getting many active acne outbreaks (still a few around my chin region) but my skin is not as vibrant and I do have lots of little red dots from previous acne.
Right now my routine is:
AM
Skinceuticals LHA Cleanser
Skineceuticals LHA Toner
Skinceuticals Blemish and Age
SPF moisturizer
PM
Same cleanser and toner
Nature’s Aid gel

I was using a retinol 3x/week but stopped while I am having all these treatments in order to reduce redness. I would like to know how to incorporate TO hyaluronic acid B5 as I was recommended to use skinceuticals B5 gel (I live in Canada and it has been very dry lately- I have some flakiness and dry skin), as well as perhaps the salycilic acid and the ferulic acid as I was also told I could get some benefit from the Skinceuticals CE ferulic but I don’t want to pay the high price tag as these treatments are costing me a lot of money!

Any input into what I could be doing different or incorporating?? Thank you SO much!!
Melia

Gio March 8, 2019 - 6:18 pm

Melia, you’re already using salicylic acid. It’s in the Blemish And Age. You can add hyaluronic morning and evening before moisturizer. I’d say skip CEF Ferulic until your skin has healed as it may irritate sensitive skin.

If you need more help with your skincare routine, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Chloe March 13, 2019 - 12:41 pm

Hi!

I’ve been using The Ordinary Products for coming up to a week now and I think I’m starting to notice a big difference. My skin feels smoother and pores are starting to look smaller. I’ve had quite a lot of tiny hard pimples pop up but they disappeared quickly and I’ve not had any other new spots crop up around my chin and mouth area as I normally do! I know it’s early days so I’m not sure how long this is going to last but I’ve currently got no spots, and even some of my red scars & blemishes are starting to fade and smooth over.

I’ve read so many articles on how to layer, and everywhere seems to say something slightly different.

Currently this is my routine.. am I doing this right?

AM:

– Nivea MicellAIR Cleansing water for sensitive skin
– The Ordinary Hyaluronic 2% Acid
– The Ordinary Salicylic 2% Acid
– Olay moisturizer

PM
– MicellAIR Cleanser again
– The Ordinary Glycolic 7% Acid Toner
– The Ordinary Hyaluronic 2% Acid
– The Ordinary Salicylic 2% Acid
– Olay Moisturiser again

This seems to be working but as it’s early days I’m not sure if I’m missing something somewhere or whether it’s going to come to a grinding halt after this first phase. Should I be adding anything else to this routine at all? I’m on a tight budget hence all these fantastic products from The Ordinary, I’m conscious of spending a fortune on one single product that doesn’t work!

Thanks 🙂

Gio March 15, 2019 - 4:52 pm

Chloe, why are you exfoliating 3 times a day?! That’s a recipe for trouble. Use salicylic acid after cleansing in the PM and that’s it.

If you need more help with your skincare routine, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Ashley March 13, 2019 - 8:14 pm

Hi Gio! Just discovered your blog and I am finding it so helpful! I recently turned 28 and decided to start taking my skincare seriously. I have dry skin with dark spots/acne scarring as well as a few blackheads. Also, would you suggest implementing anti-aging products? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

Here’s my current routine:

AM:
Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser
The Ordinary Buffet Serum
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors

PM:
Garnier Micellar Water to get rid of makeup
Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser to cleanse even further
Pixie Glow Mud Cleanser (for gentle exfoliation & 5% glycolic acid)
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro-Exfoliant Astrigent
The Ordinary Buffet Serum
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors

Gio March 15, 2019 - 4:48 pm

Ashley, it seems you’re using redundant products. 2 exfoliators and 2 cleansers? Pick one of each!

If you need more help with your skincare routine, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Ash March 18, 2019 - 5:45 am

Hi, I have oily-combination skin, clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, cystic acne, and hyperpigmentation. I use kate Somerville eradikate cleanser which mostly keeps the cysts away and just purchased a bunch a ordinary products. Hyaluronic acid 2% b5,
Niacinamide 10% zinc 1%
Caffeine solution 5% egg
Resveratrol 3% frolic acid 3%
Salicylic acid 2%
Lactic acid 10 %
Glycolic acid 7% toning solution
Vitamin c suspension 30% in silicone
And natural moisturizing factors ha
Advice on which products I should be using and when? Thanks!

Gio March 21, 2019 - 1:59 pm

Ash, use only salicylic acid! you don’t need glycolic and lactic too. Overexfoliation only makes acne worse.

f you need more help with your skincare routine, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Maralie March 19, 2019 - 4:02 pm

Hi Gio!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of our questions so thoughtfully!
I’m 28, I have dry, fairly sensitive skin with some light to deep pink hyper-pigmentation splotches (from when I used to have hormonal acne), as well as clogged pores and blackheads in my t-zone. Also some uneven texture. I’m starting to notice some of the signs of aging, especially with a blueish line under my eye that is getting deeper and darker over time.

This is the routine I have been doing, but only for a few days so far, I want to check that it’s OK

AM:
-Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
-Thayer’s Alcohol-free Witch Hazel Toner
-IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Cream (Vitamic C, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid and caffeine)
-Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ulta-Clarifying Face Oil (1.5% Salicylic Acid, plus Tea Tree, Black Cumin Seed, and Cucumber Seed Oils, Milk Thistle, Chamomile)

PM:
-Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
-The Ordinary 7% Glycolic Acid Toning Solution
– IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Cream
-Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil ( lavender, evening primrose, and squalene)

*Once a week in PM, skip toning solution and do 10 min mask of The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, follow with Kiehl’s

Gio March 21, 2019 - 4:15 pm

Maralie, stop exfoliating so much! Use only salicylic acid. Glycolic and the peeling solution are probably contributing to your dryness. If you need more help with your skincare routine, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Rachael March 20, 2019 - 5:48 am

Hi Gio, I recently found your site, and have gone down a rabbit hole reading through the archives. i would appreciate your feedback on my current routine which could use some improvement. I am 48, have brown spots from teenage acne scars and sun damage. I have enlarged pores and some congestion with no visible breakouts. I have signs of aging -lines and wrinkles around the eyes, and sagging around the mouth. My skin isn’t flaky or shiny, but can sometime be bumpy. My skin is fair, with sometime red cheeks – no pattern to occurence, It is not sensitive.

AM:
Philosophy purity cleanser or Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
Pixi Glow Tonic
Kiehls Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment
Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II and Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II
Drunk Elephant C-Tango™ Multivitamin Eye Cream
Glow Lab Moisturiser
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dry Touch SPF50

PM is almost the same:
Philosophy purity cleanser or Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
Pixi Glow Tonic
Kiehls Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment
Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II and Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II
Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

2-3 times a week when my skin looks dull and and tired I use St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub in the morning or Summer Fridays Overtime Mask in the evening (2-3 times total not each). When I use the overtime mask, I use the Summer Fridays Jetlag Mask and leave it on overnight. My skin looks and feels great in the morning.

I have recently been gifted The Ordinary Buffet and Granactive Retinod 5% in Squalane by a friend who loves them. Where would I best benefit from adding these in or should I not?

The Estee Lauder ANR and St ives are both about to run out, so I am open to changing them out. The Ordinary products are not yet open.

I appreciate any feedback from you.

Thank you

Gio March 21, 2019 - 4:10 pm

Rachel, don’t use the apricot scrub, it’s too harsh! Granactive Retinoid goes in the evening, as close to clean skin as possible.

If you need more help with your skincare routine, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Allison March 20, 2019 - 1:29 pm

I am so happy that I found this website and it is so kind of you to reply to everyone. I am trying to implement these products into my skincare routine and would love your advice. My skin is combination, but on the drier side. It does breakout, so I have dark spots from old blemishes. I am 40 so I definitely want to include anti-aging products. Thank you!!

Gio March 21, 2019 - 4:03 pm

Allison, I think this would be a good skincare routine for you, but with a tweak: use salicylic instead than glycolic acid and lighter moisturizers: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/best-skincare-routine-dry-aging-skin/

If you need more help with your skincare routine, I’ve created a bespoke skincare routine consultation service. You can book your consultation here: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/skincare-consultation/

Alu March 20, 2019 - 6:30 pm

Hey Gio,

Love this. I’m 40 and have congested combination acne prone skin, with an oily t zone, my cheeks are generally normal, forhead is oily and congested, my chin is acne prone and congested. Thankfully I don’t have too many established wrinkles. Daytime I use hylaronic acid, Pixi Phenomenol Serum and sunscreen. At night I cleanse with Hylamide High Efficiency Cleanser, I use The Ordinary Retinol 0.2 in Squalane around my eyes and I apply Salicylic Acid 2% solution directly to spots and on my oily forehead. Anything else I could add remove, or use differently?

Gio March 21, 2019 - 4:13 pm

Alu, that really depends on how this skincare routine is working for you and if you’re seeing results. But I’d add an oil-free moisturiser in the evening.

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