My Current Routine

For the sake of documenting a moment in time, and perhaps to reflect in five years to ask myself “why on Earth did I use that?”, I wanted to list some of my current skincare favorites. I recently went on a short trip, which is always great for forcing yourself to decide on which products are truly must-haves (and also useful in those moments where you think to yourself, “why did I forget to pack that?!).

Now, of course, I don’t use all of these every single day, but everything listed is in heavy rotation. All of these products have been in my routines for a minimum of five months — some have been in my routine for over six years. I can say that all of these have maintained or improved my sensitive, acne-prone skin. Everyone’s reactions are different, but if I had to recommend products to someone with skin issues, these would all be included in that list.

AM Routine

  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray
  • Melano CC Gel (although I’m not 100% sold on this one yet…)
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
  • Rohto Skin Aqua Super Moisture Milk SPF50

PM Routine

  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (I obviously love this)
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray (same with this, I would spritz this every hour on the hour if I could)
  • Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner

PM Exfoliant Options:

  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA
  • The Ordinary 5% Lactic Acid
  • Epiduo
  • Derma-E Anti Wrinkle Eye Cream

PM Moisturizer Options

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
  • Cerave PM

PM Heavy Moisturizers — “Last Step”:

  • Bio-Oil
  • CosRX Honey Ceramide Cream
  • HadaLabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Solution

Makeup

  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination – Medium
  • Maybelline Stick Corrector Concealer (under eyes, and on/around eyelids with careful blending)
  • NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Brown
  • L’oreal Lash Paradise
  • Physicians Formula Eye Booster Pencil Eyeliner
  • Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls in Bronze (used as bronzer)
  • Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in Molten Rose Gold

COSRX Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream

Finally, a CosRX product that is compliant with my skin, and one I’m in absolute love with! If you’re looking for a heavy moisturizer, I very heavily recommend this one.

My story about this moisturizer begins with another, the coveted Cerave-in- a-Tub. At the height of my cystic acne, I wanted so bad for Cerave to be my HG, second-to-last step moisturizer, convinced that the weight of it was locking in a supreme amount of moisture which would help my skin recover from all the retinol and benzoyl peroxide I was applying to it. Maybe this was the case, but it was SO difficult to work with. It never played well with any other products, and the whitecast was difficult to rid of. I woke up the next morning feeling sticky, moreso than hydrated.

A couple other heavy creams came after this one, but this CosRX honey ceramide cream ended up ticking off all of the boxes, and being everything Cerave was not – the only gripe being the ridiculously small amount in the package for the price ($17), and perhaps a slightly shorter listing of ceramides in the ingredients.

This alcohol-free, odorless white cream spreads very easily into the skin, and you don’t need to go overboard on product – a few pea-sized amounts should do. It won’t pill with any other skincare product you have underneath, unless you apply it too soon in succession. I use this exclusively at night due to it’s weight, but I did try it once with makeup, and it didn’t make too much of a mess – obviously, the longer you wait between application, better. Immediately after application, I feel like my skin was bouncier. When I wake up in the morning, my skin STILL feels hydrated. This being my first honey cream, I was under the impression that the honey would make me feel sticky, but it didn’t.

As a bonus, this did not cause me to break out! I suppose I had pictured honey clogging every single pore in existence and causing a mess, but it absolutely did not. I felt, in fact, my pores had shrunk a bit overnight. All in all, this stuff is great. This is a new HG for me, and I’d recommend even those with sensitive skin give it a try. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4.75/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes