My Summer Skincare Routine

When I was a teenager, I was zitty. I cleared it up with acne-fighting cleanser, toner, and moisturizer – all bought from the drugstore. As an adult, I was afraid to steer away from this regimen, but now that I’m starting to see signs of aging, I feel it’s time to switch things up.

I’ve been experimenting over the last few months. Here’s what’s been working, and what is not. Click through to help support the blog via affiliate links – none of this is sponsored (though some of the products are gifts).

Summer skincare routine



Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil. In the past I’ve used Dermologica and Shiseido’s versions of this pre-cleansing step. Sephora’s is a wee bit cheaper, and easier for me to find. This is the only way I can get the layers of makeup off from being in front of the camera – if I skip it, I will see gross things on the cotton pad.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. I can’t quit this stuff! I’ve been using it for decades (since the Jennifer Love Hewitt days) and just don’t feel like I’m getting my face CLEAN without it. Advertisement brainwashing works.

Purlisse Pur-Delicate Cleansing Cream. My friend Jennifer Yen founded this company so I use A LOT of their products. I switch between this and the Neutrogena – usually I use this one on days when I don’t wear any makeup, or when I’m traveling and don’t want anything too harsh on my face.

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion. I bought this because the packaging was pretty and the price was right. It’s a little TOO gentle for me – it never removed makeup, even when I washed my face twice with it.


Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner. It’s alcohol-free and does a really good job of picking up the last few traces of dirt after washing my face. Despite the fancy packaging, the top of mine fell off.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water. You’re supposed to use it as a makeup remover, straight up, but I like to use it as a toner (even though it isn’t one, technically). It does a really thorough job of removing eye makeup (especially after wearing false lashes), cake-y foundation, and red red lip color that won’t budge.


Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask. I already blogged about this before, but I just want to report that it’s been such a happy part of my morning routine. The sad part is that the second I stop using it, a zit finds a way to surface. (FYI you can recycle the activator.)

Purlisse Blue Seed Mud Mask and Exfoliant. Two in one! Right away you feel it working – and part of me loves a traditional mud mask where you can’t move your face. My skin really feels like a (much brighter) baby’s butt after using this weekly.

Purlisse Blue Lotus and White Tea Treatment Sheet Mask. You look like a horror film putting this on, but man oh man does it feel good on your face. Also, when you’re done, you get to pat in all that good stuff. I actually can feel my dry skin gulping it up, getting quenched.


H20+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment. This is the perfect summer moisturizer, when my skin gets oily. It’s really soothing and cooling – and the blue gel reminds me of something from the future.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma Sub-D. I really wanted this neck cream to work. I’ve been noticing some jiggly double chin forming, and an infomercial with Courtney Thorne-Smith convinced me this was magic in a jar. I’ve used it pretty much every single day for several months, and see zero difference.

Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40. It’s weird to say I like the way a sunscreen feels, but this one glides on like silk. I prefer this tinted SPF – the other formulas require a lot of rubbing in. ¬†Also, it’s totally free of preservatives, chemicals, and oils.

Origins A Perfect World SPF Eye 20 Eye Cream. One of the places I’m starting to see a lot of wrinkles is around my eyes. This is the only SPF that doesn’t bother me during the day – plus there’s a little shimmer in it (or am I imagining that???) which brightens up the entire area.

Purlisse Eye Cream. I told you I use a lot of Purlisse! A little bottle of this goes a long way – I’ve dabbed it on every single night for almost a year now (and think I have a quarter left). It’s also not greasy, so I can wear it under makeup.

Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar. I really love the way this smells and feels, but unfortunately it made my face break out. I’ve been using it on my chest and neck instead.

Other Stuff

Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel. I don’t know if I’m using it correctly, but whenever I feel a zit brewing I douse it every 4 hours with this stuff. I swear it goes away much faster.

Face Facial Bar. I almost don’t want to share this place, for fear it will be difficult to get an appointment. Basically, it’s $55 facials – the costs are low because you’re in a room with other people. I had three giant monsters on my face that my aesthetician got rid of, and I GLOWED for days.

Instagram Beauty Filter. That’s what I used in the photo at the top of this post. It works every time.



2 thoughts on “My Summer Skincare Routine

  1. Wenjun Zhao

    Although I don’t make up, I am still happy to know more about you. You are beautiful as always!

  2. Viola

    I gave up on Perricone ages ago when absolutely nothing I ever tried from them did anything. Nothing! Such a disappointing line. And I’m not one to eschew all pricey things; I LOVE Creme de la Mer (the original one, not the soft cream or the lotion or anything).

    I’ve been very curious about micellar water. I don’t actually use any cleansers on my face at all, except that I use Lancome Bifacil eye makeup remover on my whole face if I’ve worn sunscreen and/or foundation. (I never actually buy it though! My mom gives me all her GWP mini bottles, ha!). But I wonder if the micellar water is kind of like that?

    I also swear by the Alpha line, even though it’s annoyingly hard to find. It used to be Alpha Hydrox till a couple years ago when it got rebranded and of course the bottles/jars got smaller and the price jumped. Grrr. But the 14% serum is a bloody miracle in a bottle for me.

    SPF in an eye cream terrifies me; I have such a thing about it getting in my eyes! I was once driving as my sunscreen started sweating into my eyes and it burned like a, well, you get it. So big sunglasses for me at all time!

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