The Allure of Skin Care Products (and my current routine)

My love of skin care is something that still mystifies me to some degree. Although I am not alone (far from it actually) in my love of researching ingredients and falling down the rabbit hole of Reddit threads on this subject, it continues to take me by surprise by how much of a hold it has on me. Especially considering I have never had particularly bad skin. The main issues I try to combat are blackheads, texture (aka closed comedones if you want the ~techincal~ term), and redness. All this sucks, but it’s also fairly mild and not typically something that drives a person so spend *hours* researching different products – like say cystic acne would.

Part of the allure of skin care for me is the desire to achieve that pore-less baby smooth skin of my dreams. If you look up the hashtag “glass skin” on Instagram, you’ll see I’m not the only one with this pretty much unattainable goal in life. Beauty companies obviously know this and market their products very effectively for the current climate. However, if I’m being honest, that isn’t the only reason I buy so many products and spend so much money. The other reason is just the excitement at trying something new. Every time I decide to purchase a new product in my routine, I am giddy over it. Will this product change my life? Will I have a permanent inner glow on my face like Jennifer Aniston?? Buying expensive skin care (and sometimes drugstore!) gives me the freedom to daydream about what my life would be like if I had perfect skin that, obviously, my regular self with regular person skin issues could never have. So while I do try and curate a routine that will improve the aforementioned troubled parts of my skin, I also just find the process of skincare *fun*.

Which means, although I have a few tried and true products I continue to re-purchase, I look forward to trying something new the second I run out of a product. It’s an interesting balancing act: I don’t want to fuck up my skin with a new product every other month (been there), but I also have an irresistible desire to try the newest serum that promises to perform miracles. The excitement of trying something new is so crucial to my joy of skincare that I don’t think I’ll ever use the same product for years without trying something new. Or at least, have another option – like how I currently have 4 moisturizes in my medicine cabinet…oops. To me, my skincare routine is part of my self-care, and I truly enjoy each and every step of my process.


  • CosRX Low PH Morning Cleanser – I’m slowly trying to incorporate more K-Beauty items in my routine and this cleanser fits that bill. Plus, it’s inexpensive and doesn’t irritate my skin. I’m almost out and will be repurchasing this item. I recently bought the Foreo Luna Mini and have been using it every day. So far so good, but I’m going to wait a few more weeks to do a full review.
  • Ole Henriksen Truth Serum – A vitamin c serum is a must in my routine. My skin reacts so well to it and really helps to even my tone and brighten my dark spots. This one from OH is pretty pricey (you can get good cheap ones on Amazon), but a little goes a long way. It smells amazing, immediately sinks into my skin and the glass bottle makes me feel fancy. I love it.
  • Dr. Jart Ceramidin Moisturizer – This is a solid moisturizer. It does a great job at hydrating my skin and you only need a pea sized amount. But, I don’t think it’s my holy grail. I like my moisturizer to have multiple benefits, not just hydration. Maybe like some anti-redness action or perhaps some ingredients to help with texture. So I think when I run out of this I’ll try something new.


  • Ponds Cold Cream Makeup Remover – I bought this in my quest to stop using makeup wipes. It works well, but always leaves my skin feeling greasy. It’s not a huge problem because I typically wash my face immediately after taking my makeup off, but if I didn’t do that then it would be a huge issue for me.
  • Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser – I already talked about how this was a disappointment for me. However, I will continue to use it until it’s gone and then try something new. I also use the Foreo Luna Mini at night too.
  • Belif Toner or ACV toner – I LOVE toner. Stepping out of the shower and then immediately swiping a cotton round over my face with some toner makes me feel so soothed. I’m finishing up the Belif Problem Solution toner which is okay. I don’t think it did much for me. I also use a DIY apple cider vinegar toner mixed with water when I have some acne spots I’m trying to clear up. Once the Belif one runs out, I am going back to my tried and true Thayers Witch Hazel. Toners are something I tend to have 2-3 of depending on how my skin feels that day and whether I want to target dryness, pores, etc.
  • Sunday Riley Lactic Acid – This shit is a miracle in a luxurious ass glass bottle. I have never used anything that has given me immediate results except for this baby. It’s actually shocking at how effective it is at helping my texture and blackheads. I use this 3X a week and *cherish* it each and every time. Worth its weight in gold.
  • FAB Ultra Repair Cream/Neutrogena HydroBoost Moisturizer – Depending on the night, I use one of these moisturizers. Both are amazing and can’t say enough great things about them. The FAB one is thicker and more of a lotion texture whereas the Hydroboost is a gel formula and sinks into the skin right away. These are, and have been for years, skin care staples of mine.
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – This was my January love letter product because it is amazing. I use this in conjunction with my Neutrogena Hydroboost moisturizer since it’s lighter than the FAB one and the next morning my skin is baby soft.
  • GrandeLash Serum – I’ve been using this every night for two weeks and I can’t wait to start seeing the results! You need to do it for three months so I still have a while to go but I sort of feel like I can already see improvements??? Maybe it’s just a placebo effect though.

I’d love to know what your skin care routine is! Whether is just one step of you are a strong proponent of the K-beauty 12 step routine. Let me know in the comments!

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