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Skincare and self-care go hand in hand for me. I’ll start at the beginning: as a girl, the one “glam” thing my Mom really invested time in was always her skin. She had brands constantly sending her products to try, and she always had a ton of products out on her sink and would try out regimens one by one. I was fascinated watching her apply the creams and tonics, the ampules and emulsions. Whenever she was shooting a movie, I would ask the makeup artists tons of questions about what skin products they liked best. As I got older and my hormones started chiming in, my skin went through a bit of a roller coaster. I still don’t know what was ultimately affecting it, but in my late teens and early twenties, I got really bad cystic acne. It would pop up mostly in my cheeks and chin areas, and it REALLY affected my confidence. Especially because I was an actress at this point and the last thing I wanted was to be auditioning in front of producers and directors with bad skin!
I ended up going on Accutane, and while this ultimately cleared my skin up enough, I felt like it gave me a litany of other issues. It’s such a harsh medicine and it really messed with my liver, not to mention it gave me super dry skin! I ended up being on the medicine for about a year before transitioning off of it. My skin continued to have ups and downs, but with good products and regular facials, I got it to an okay place in my mid-twenties. I would still break out every month around my period. When I got pregnant with Marlowe in my late twenties, my skin broke out worse than it ever had. I’d sob because I felt so embarrassed and defeated. Nothing was working. Plus, there is only so much you can do when you’re pregnant!
I knew it was due to so many hormonal changes but it still got me down so much. At that time, one of my best friends in LA introduced me to Shani Darden, a facialist who changed my skin. She really knows her stuff, and she eliminated so many products from my routine– getting it down to a simple and effective system. She now has a whole line of incredible products of her own! My skincare journey continued, but I was always very cautious about introducing new things into my routine. My routine has evolved a bunch since those years, but some products have remained the same. I love trying new products, but it takes a lot for me to keep products in rotation once I finish the bottle.
Today I’m sharing my current skincare routine, weekly and monthly masks included! I will make sure to update it if any significant changes incur. The products are listed from morning routine to night routine, with masks and body products at the end. I’ll also note that this is my routine for spring and heading into summer. Check back during the colder, dryer months for edits and additions! Let me know if you have any questions.
iS CLINICAL Cleansing Complex
I’ve been using the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex face wash for over a decade. It’s simply the best, and I’ve tried them all! It really deep cleanses without stripping. I use this in the morning and as the second step of my evening cleanse.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (Pitera Essence)
This facial treatment essence totally transformed my skin, but it is definitely a splurge! I believe it’s worth it. I glow when I use this! I apply a splash or two to my palms and press the essence into my skin morning and night after cleansing.
Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome™ Fermented Sake Hydrating Spray
This hydrating spray is the best dupe I’ve found to the skii and also has ingredients derived from sake. I’d try this one FOR SURE if you’re looking for a toner-type product. Used after cleansing also. You can also use this as a makeup refresher spray during the day!
iS CLINICAL Super Serum Advance+
During the day, after toning, I press a few drops of this serum into my skin. It’s amazing for diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, healing the skin, and providing UV photoprotection.
Supergoop! Superscreen Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++
I use this sunscreen daily! It feels really hydrating but never clogs my skin. Plus it has SPF 40! It also performs really well under makeup.
Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40 PA+++
This morning eye cream has been a game-changer for me! I love that it’s giving me extra SPF for that delicate under-eye area, and it has little particles in it to reflect light and help me look more awake!
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
This is my favorite lip balm! I find it so hydrating and slather it on morning and night.
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
I always use this cleansing balm as step one of my two-step nighttime cleansing ritual. First I rub a dollop of this into my face, then wet my hands, and create a creamy cleanser with the balm. Then, I gently wipe my face with a warm, damp face cloth. This removes makeup so well, and without stripping my skin! I follow it with the iS Clinical cleansing complex as the second step.
Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform
Shani Darden Retinol Reform has been a game-changer for me! It’s amazing at warding off fine lines and wrinkles and improving my skin’s texture over time. Plus, the retinol isn’t harsh on my sensitive skin! I use this every other night, after cleansing and then toning with the SKII or Drunk Elephant spray.
iS CLINICAL Active Serum
iS Clinical Active Serum is my holy grail product and the one that changed my skin all those years ago! This serum (though it is more watery than a typical serum, FYI) is amazing for keeping skin clear, and fading discoloration. I use it on the days I’m not using retinol. I put a dropper full in my hands, and then gently press into my skin all over, including my neck.
Shani Darden Skin Care Lactic Acid AHA Exfoliating Serum
Once a week, I swap out one of the two main serums I use for this Lactic Acid AHA Exfoliating Serum. This helps to gently exfoliate on a cellular level and to reveal the glow underneath. Plus, it helps keep my skin clear!
Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer
After applying my serum, I love this Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer! It feels super hydrating but doesn’t clog my pores.
First Aid Beauty Hydrating Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid
At night I’ve been loving this super simple but effective First Aid Beauty Eye Cream as my last step. It has hyaluronic acid in it to plump up and protect my under eyes and doesn’t feel greasy.
Necessaire The Body Essentials Set Eucalyptus
For body care, I have been loving this Eucalyptus scented trio by Necessaire for years. The Body scrub and lotion in particular are so so luxurious and make my skin feel fantastic. Plus, it’s totally unisex so Ian and I can share it comfortably!
Have you ever tried Peter Thomas Roth
24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches? I went into a Macy’s and the woman working suggested them for my super intense dark circles. You leave them on for 10 minutes and my jaw dropped when I took them off. My under eye bags went from a dark color to red and any puffiness was gone instantly! It blew my mind so I splurged ($75 for a 30 day supply, but I don’t use them daily) and I’ve been obsessed ever since!
OMG, I’ve been using SKII facial essence for about a month now and it is transforming my skin! I love it and will never stop using it! ?
Isn’t it crazy how well it works?! Very addictive
Super late, but just read the update. If you’re looking for the same quality at a lower price point, do try TATCHA The Essence. Totally love. Switched from SKI-II because of the parabens in the formula. My sensitive skin reacts really well with it and I feel better knowing that it is paraben-free!
I love this post as I am also obsessed with clear skin! Have
you ever tried IPLs or mirco – needling? Have you found any non evasive procedures to help keep
your skin tight and clear? Xx
I haven’t! Besides this routine, I get a facial once every few months wit a glycolic peel but it’s just with an esthetician, no downtime or anything.
Love your blog and website 🙂 your beauty advice is always full of great recommendations! I fell in love with the grey robe you are wearing! I did not find it in your Style Posts.. could you please share its brand? 🙂
Thank you, thank you, for the skin care routine and products! I’m 49 and I have the skin of a 16 yr old , prone to breakouts due to hormonal changes! I can’t wait to try everything and get back to being au naturael! I’d love to not have to wear make up! I’m going to track my progress with the products before and after! I want that bare skin confidence again ! Thank you Eva!
Curious if your husband has a skincare routine. Does he?
Have you tried IRIS eye massager (FOREO) for the skin around the eyes? I’ve bought it a few weeks ago and it’s really relaxing. It’s supposed to mimic Asian tapping massage. It also helps with the absorption of creams and serums.
They have the SKII 11oz bottle at Costco for $189!
Thanks for sharing your skincare regime with us! I wasn’t able to source some of your products from Australia (thanks to COVID, AND the only Australian suppliers being extortionists grrr), but I went with a couple of alternatives by Shani.
We should totally get together on a couple of the products…I can get the
SK-11 for AU$100 and send it to you (as it’s more expensive in the US), and you could get me the IS Clinical Active Serum (as I simply couldn’t source it at all) and send it to me haha (but seriously….no?)?
I hope my purchases help, Sydney’s winter has been a cold, harsh, windy one and my skin is suffering! Dry AND oily with some breakouts! We kinda skip Spring here and will jump straight into the harsh conditions of a hot summer soon enough too…so here’s hoping I see some improvement??
Sorry, put my comment in this reply section by mistake?
Except as you’ve noted with the retinol product, would you feel comfortable using this regimen when pregnant?
No, I wouldn’t– check out my Pregnancy safe beauty routine post for what I used while pregnant! But of course, always check with your own doctor as well to assess their thoughts.
Do you know if these same products would be safe while breastfeeding? I would assume that would be the same as pregnancy….thanks!!
They’re not all safe– check out my pregnancy-safe beauty routine post instead!
Hi! I’m currently pregnant and my skin is a mess. What products are safe to use during pregnancy? Is the SKII facial essence? Thanks!
You have beautiful skin. I took the leap and purchased the Sk11 Facial Treatment Essence. For those interested, it is discounted now on Macys.com. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your routine!
I just wanted to say I was checking out your Instagram story and thought “Omg her skin is to die for, I wonder what she does”. You have made your site so incredibly user friendly. I was able to find your skincare products super quick, get a great rundown of each, and even put a few in my Amazon cart! Great idea to link that!!! Kudos! Xo
Thanks Rachel! So happy you’re finding the site easy and useful to navigate! xo
omg i’m so gad you mentioned no retinol during pregnancy. i have found that i’m forgetting a lot of No-Gos during this pregnancy… too busy chasing a toddler around and just trying to survive. haha
I was wondering what scar treatments products would you recommend? I’ve used Bio Oil and nothing changed and even rubbed vitamin e capsules on my skin. I’ve heard of Scarguard’s lightening serum and repair liquid. Have you ever used that?
I tried the Vichy pink mask and loved it! Thank you so much for the recommendation, otherwise I would have never tried it/know about it. And I’ve used their products for a while.
I’m also very excited about getting facial next week where they use and sell the IS Clinical line!
This was perfect! Thanks for sharing the details and making it easy to purchase. I realize it’s an old post but clearly still referenced years later. The step by step with the product key and visuals is exactly what I loved! I never know what order i should use stuff.
Your skin looks really nice. I’m not much of a skin care type of person but I would love to that kind of skin. =))
My 18-year old is really struggling w acne, and we’ve tried everything. She is using a prescription retinoid, but still breaking out along her cheeks and jaw a lot. What of this routine would you recommend for her? Thank you!
In particular the cleanser and the active serum are game changers for acne skin. I’d also recommend the daily sunscreen bc of the fact that she’s using the retinol. She should be really careful with sunscreen! This one is really light and doesn’t make me break out.
Thank you – this is so helpful. I love my Shani Darden retinol reform. I’m curious about facials. I’d like to add that to my routine. What kind to you get? Do you still get IPL (I have melasma) and any thoughts on microcurrent facials?
I usually try to find a great facialist and then do a custom facial to what I need. That said, I’ve found that Hydrafacials always give me great results. I haven’t needed to do IPL again since I wrote about it, but I do LOVE a microcurrent facial!
Do you go for Botox in Westport? Do you have a recommendation?
I’ve actually never done botox but my favorite place to go for my lip filler is Dr. Dolder at Greenwich Point Dermatology. She also does botox. My friends go to Dr. Sarah Medical for botox and love her!