My Skincare Routine for Dry / Sensitive / Acne-Prone Skin

Skincare can be tricky. There are so many factors that go into finding the right products for your skin. On one hand, you might be unsure of your skin type. On the other, you might be completely overwhelmed by the sea of products on the market and not know where to start. I know I used to [and still] fall into the latter. It has taken me years of research [and frustration 🙃] to find products that work for my dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin that are also somewhat “clean.” In addition, I knew I needed a simple routine so that I would actually follow it. [I’m still not great at washing my face every single night and I’m trying to get better and turn it into a habit.] I mean I love an extensive, luxurious facial like the next girl, but for day to day…#AintNobodyGotTimeForThat.  

SKIN TYPE

Let’s start with skin type. I have dry / sensitive skin that is prone to redness and acne on my chin and upper cheeks. I think it’s so critical that you understand what kind of skin you’re working with before starting to try different products. A moisturizer that works wonders for oily skin could prove a nightmare for dry skin. Once you know your skin type, you can start exploring the different products that are available.

If you’re struggling with figuring out what type of skin you have, you can find a dermatologist in your area that subscribes to the “Skin Type Solutions” methodology. It was developed by cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Leslie Baumann, and is a science-based approach that diagnoses your skin type and then gives you a list of products that have been tested and proven effective for your skin. [This is no an ad and I’m not sponsored by Dr. Baumann.  I found her and approach online through my own personal research.]  I ended up seeing one of the doctors in Dallas who uses this method to confirm my unique skin type and also give me some direction on the products I should be using for it. He diagnosed my skin and gave me a list of recommended products.  [I was nursing at the time so I didn’t end up using the eye cream or retinol but am excited to try them out one day in the future.]  

For the most part, I was on the right path in terms of my skincare routine, which was very reassuring.  At the time of my appointment, I already knew I had started to figure it out because my skin redness started to calm down, the acne on my chin reduced significantly and my skin was glowing and hydrated after each time of using my “lineup.”  I share the products that I use both morning and night below.  

If you’re having a hard time determining your skin type and what products to start with, finding a doctor that follows this approach in your area is a great place to start!

SKIN CARE ROUTINE

Now onto the fun part…to all my girls with dry/sensitive skin, I have the dewiest / glowiest [yes I realize these are not real words, but stick with me here…😛] skincare routine just for you. I think it would even be great for normal skin that gets dry during the fall / winter months and needs some extra TLC. [Oily gals, I’m sorry to leave you out of this one but I don’t think this routine will give you what you need because it’s all about bringing hydration and moisture back into the skin, specifically with products formulated for dry / sensitive skin.

MORNING ROUTINE

Below is my morning skincare routine in the order I use the products:

  1. Eminence Organic Coconut Milk Cleanser: I found this cleanser through Annie Lawless’ post about her dry skin routine.  It is so rich and creamy and hydrates my skin after every use.  It’s one of the first cleansers I’ve used that does not strip my skin of its natural oils and does not leave it tight or dry [the worst feeling!!] It is specifically formulated for dry skin and it actually works! Bonus: it’s made of organic ingredients and is not formulated with any of the bad stuff [i.e. parabens, phthalates, etc]! 
  2. Belli Beauty Acne Spot Treatment: Although this is not the strongest acne treatment on the market because it’s safe for pregnancy and nursing, it works great on my skin.  The second I stop using it, I see my redness flare up and some small pimples start to form.  I use it on my chin, upper cheeks and forehead, almost like a serum post-cleanse.  [I blogged about it here.]
  3. FAB Ultra Repair Sleeping Cream: Another Annie Lawless find! I love this brand and all of the products that I have tried from it.  They only use clean products [there are 1300 products on their list that they exclude] and are known to cater to sensitive skin.  This cream is so moisturizing and my skin drinks it up.  
  4. Pura D’Or 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil: To seal in the moisture, I apply this argan oil.  I think that if I had to pick one product that has been the most effective for my skin, it’s this one.  The argan oil is what really seems to clam down the redness on my chin and cheeks. It is also so moisturizing and once I’m done with this step, my skin is dewy and glowing!
  5. EltaMD Sunscreen for Sensitive / Acne Prone Skin: I have used this sunscreen for years, per my dermatologist’s recommendation and I love it.  It has never irritated my skin and is a great last step before applying make-up.  [It doesn’t pill and has worked well with any foundation I’ve ever used.]  

NIGTHTIME ROUTINE

Below is my skincare routine at nighttime:

  1. Garnier Micellar Water or Neutrogena Hydrating Wipes: Micellar water and wipes were all the rage as the first step in a double-cleansing routine for several years.  Then they got a bad rap from beauty editors and bloggers for not being the best for skin cleansing.  I personally use them to clean off my eye makeup from the day.  I’m sure I could use the oil in step 2, but I don’t personally like to rub oil over my eyes.  Therefore, these hydrating wipes do a great job without irritating my skin.  I will sometimes follow up with the micellar water on a cotton pad to get the final remnants.  
  2. DHC Cleansing Oil: Ahhh, when I put this oil on my face, I sometimes want to just leave it on because it feels so soothing on my skin! Of course I do not because this is the oil I use to remove my makeup from the day. 🙂 It is so hydrating, so soothing and does a wonderful job of getting off all of my makeup.  I remove it with a face rag.  
  3. Eminence Organic Coconut Milk Cleanser: I follow up the oil with the cleanser and use a rag to remove the face wash as well, to get any last traces of makeup off my skin.  Steps 4 – 6 below are the same as above!
  4. Belli Beauty Acne Spot Treatment
  5. FAB Ultra Repair Sleeping Cream
  6. Pura D’Or 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil
  7. Laneige Lip Mask: At night, I apply this lip mask and it has the consistency of a super glossy, thick lip gloss. I love it because its so nourishing and I still feel a very light layer on my lips in the morning when I wake up.  

WEEKLY ROUTINE

  1. Fresh Sugar Face Polish Exfoliator: I use this every Sunday night to exfoliate my skin for the week.  If I’m ever experiencing a lot of dry patches for whatever reason, I might use this a second time throughout the week as well.  It’s mad with brown sugar, strawberries, plum seed oil and grapeseed oil, and is free of parabens and phthalates.  It’s such a gentle, yet effective, exfoliator that leaves my skin dewy and glowing.  
  2. FAB Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration: While this is not something that I put on my skin or neck, I use this cream on my body whenever my hands get crackly or my knees/elbows/feet need some extra TLC.  It’s so rich and creamy and does wonders for very dry skin.  I usually put it on at night before going to bed.  

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You might’ve noticed that I excluded any toners, serums and retinols from my routine. I have personally tried various toners over the years [even those that say they are hydrating], but they do not work for my skin.  They tighten and dry it out and I have decided that they are not for me.  

I don’t use a serum at the moment because of pregnancy but I do hope to incorporate a Vitamin C [or other targeted serum] once I’m done with nursing.  Similarly to the serum, I will bring in a retinol for anti-aging purposes post-nursing!

Have you tried any of these products and have they worked for you? Or do you have any other favorite items that are effective for dry / sensitive skin? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Shop the Post: Eminence Organic Coconut Milk Cleanser // Belli Beauty Acne Spot Treatment // FAB Ultra Repair Sleeping Cream // Pura D’Or 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil // Laneige Lip Mask // EltaMD Sunscreen for Sensitive / Acne Prone Skin // Garnier Micellar Water // Neutrogena Hydrating Wipes // DHC Cleansing Oil // Fresh Sugar Face Polish Exfoliator // FAB Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration // Robe (old, same brand shorts pajamas, same brand pants pajamas

Photography by: Angie Garcia 

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