Beauty, Skin Care, Uncategorized

My Daily Skin Care Routine, Morning And Night

keiko lynn skincare routine

Prepare yourselves: it’s time for my long-awaited, daily skincare routine. You may be wondering why I haven’t posted about my skin care regimen in so long, since it’s one of my most requested posts. Here’s the reason: it changed about a million times, until I found what worked for me, longterm. You see, I used to have nearly perfect skin, and my biggest concern was merely keeping it that way. I settled into a lovely, lazy girl routine – one of those all inclusive skin care subscriptions that are tailored to your needs – and then they shut down the company (and kept charging my credit card, but that’s another story). On my quest for a new ritual, I started experimenting with all of the products that were sent my way…and it got a little out of control. I was a skin care hoarder and piler-on-er. Some things were great, some were lackluster, but my skin was still looking fine, for the most part. Then, about a year ago, my skin started looking not so hot. A cystic blemish would pop up here and there and seemingly never go away, my texture changed, and the slightest irritant would send my skin into a downward spiral of blotchy, bumpy disarray. My friends and family told me I was crazy, that my skin looked fine, but I wasn’t used to this new skin, and it felt awful, unhealthy, aggravated. I even photographed full makeup tutorials and then wouldn’t post them because the lighting amplified my skin’s minor issues. Forgiving lighting and a strategically placed hand became my best friends. It sounds SO silly, but it made me horribly self conscious. I made it all through my teens and most of my twenties without any skin problems, so dealing with it at nearly 30 came as a shock to me, no matter how minor it seemed to friends on the outside.

So, I did what any paranoid, desperate person would do: everything, all of it. I used all of the products and did all of the things. In my effort to fix it, I made it even more angry and irritated, and took okay skin and made it a mess. My skin just couldn’t take it anymore: all of the piled on products and poking and prodding were making it worse and worse. After one particularly horrible facial (not with my regular facialist, mind you), I came home in slight hysterics. My skin was bright red, bleeding, polka-dotted with irritated lumps from harsh extractions that I never really needed in the first place. That was my skin’s rock bottom. Here I was, almost 30, with the skin of a hormonal teenager. Not into it.

The second I got home from said facial/massacre, I desperately searched for a dermatologist who could help me fix what I broke. This was all done beneath my newly erected sheet fort, which I buried myself beneath while crying, “I’m never leaving my bed, ever again!” Poor Bobby. He has to deal with so much drama. Let’s also note that by “desperately searched for a dermatologist” I mean that I called the one who is literally across the street from me. Like I said, drama. I merely called one doctor, made an appointment for the very next day and then walked across the street, but it gives a better visual to imagine me tearing through the yellow pages and scouring the city for a doctor, you know what I mean? But the sheet fort was totally real; it was a low moment for me and I felt like living in a tent on my bed was the only appropriate solution.

Upon tearfully explaining my situation to the dermatologist, she reassured me that we could fix my skin in no time – and she was [thankfully] right. First things, first: I cut out my entire product cabinet, to eliminate anything that was contributing to the irritation. I had to pare things down and add things in over time, to figure out what does and does not work for my skin. Second: I got a mild chemical peel to help reverse the damage, repair the texture, and fade the scarring – and did a package of them (spaced out over time) for maximum results. I’m actually going to do a separate post about what other treatments I do for my skin, because it’s too much to go into in one post (it’s already a novel and I haven’t even gotten into it). It has been a good, long time of being back to clear, silky smooth skin, so I finally feel confident in sharing my current daily routine with you. Please keep in mind that I am absolutely not a skin care expert, and that what works for me might not work for you. But if you want to give my routine a shot, here it goes! Excuse the novel…this needed a backstory. Continue reading after the jump, for my morning and nightly skin care routines with descriptions:



Morning Routine:

Step 1: I use Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion, which I apply on dry skin and remove with water and a clean, damp muslin cloth (these are my favorite cloths). I take my time when applying, massaging my face and neck, which helps me wake up and gets my blood flowing. Since I have TMJ, I also spend extra time massaging my jaw and sometimes apply a hot compress to loosen my muscles. Here’s why I love Avene cleanser: it’s beyond gentle, yet breaks down impurities/makeup/sweat and leaves you feeling clean without stripping it. Don’t expect any foaming – in fact, stay away from anything with the word “foaming” in the description, in my opinion!

Step 2: After cleansing, I dampen a cotton pad with Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 and wipe my face and neck with it – dampen, not soak, since this stuff is expensive and it’s potent enough that a little can go a long way. This cult favorite is an exfoliating acid toner, and preps the skin for what lies ahead. It also helps with discoloration, blemishes, texture, etc.  If you want to skip this step during the day, you can absolutely swap it out for a less expensive or milder toner, but I’ve found that it isn’t too much for my skin to use this twice a day and so I choose to do so. I order this from (it requires a quick and painless registration) and it always comes with a generous amount of Biologique samples – a couple of which smell too awful for me to use, no matter how incredible everyone says they are. The Masque Vivant is supposed to be wonderful, but my gag reflex kicked in before I finished applying it and I had to remove it, so I’ll never know its wonders. But back to Lotion P50: I use the newer formula – regular Lotion P50, not the P50V, P50W, or 1970. I used to use Lotion P50 1970 (the original formula), which contains Phenol. I liked it but didn’t love it, and it made my face bright red and had a slight numbing, immediately after use. It smelled like Robitussin, or as Bobby claimed, “toy soldiers.” I temporarily swapped it out for other toners, and eventually tried the newer version, which is twenty times better for my skin. It has a slight vinegar-y smell that doesn’t bother me at all, but I thought I should note it for anyone with a sensitive nose, and though it’s gentler on my skin, its results are brilliant. And yes, it is expensive, but one bottle lasts a long time…and this skin is all you have. Take care of it. If you want a less expensive alternative, skin care guru Caroline Hirons suggests cult favorite Pixi Glow Tonic Beauty Elixir. I recently started alternating with Glow Tonic, to try it out!

Step 3: The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate is my current eye cream (well, it’s not really a cream) of choice. It’s more like a serum, and it rolls on with a metal ball applicator that has this instant cooling effect that feels amazing and smooths out/de-puffs the skin under my eyes.

Step 4: Clyndamycin topical gel. I apply this all over my face and jawline. It’s a lightweight, topical antibiotic that kills bacteria. My dermatologist prescribed this for me, so you’ll have to talk to your doctor and see if it’s a good fit for you. I can be admittedly lax about washing my brushes on a daily basis, use things like the (amazing) beautyblender (which I do wash daily but it can still hold bacteria),  and live in a big city, so this is really helpful. I definitely noticed a difference when I introduced this to my routine – no more clogged pores on my cheeks, where most of my product was concentrated (bb cream, blush, highlighter, contour powder!).My derm had me applying morning and night to get my skin under control, but then cut it back to a few days a week. Note: A reader recently commented that this can lead to your skin developing an antibiotic resistance, with overuse – something I definitely want to look into, since oral antibiotics can lead to the same.

Step 5: Avene Skin Recovery Cream. I love this moisturizer: it’s rich without being heavy, glides on like a dream, and a little goes a long way. Heads up: it contains mineral oil, which some people are adamantly against. You can read myriad arguments for and against it, so read up on it and make an informed opinion. This happens to be one of the very few moisturizers I can use on my face without irritation (and with good results). The funny thing is, I can put loads of acid on my skin with no issue, but “gentle” moisturizers can make it feel like it’s on fire. The Skin Recovery Cream makes my skin sing, rather than singe, so I won’t argue against it.

Step 6:  La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. Crucial. I consider this the ultimate anti-aging product in my arsenal: SPF. I apply it all over my face and neck, and this is the last topical step before I apply any makeup. The SPF 60 isn’t entirely necessary – it’s not twice as effective as SPF 30 (more like 2%, really) – but this formula is my favorite for my face. It’s extremely lightweight, and has no overt scent or residue. And much like the other products I swear by, a little goes a long way.


Night Routine:

Step 1: Since I’m usually wearing makeup (or at the very least, SPF), during the day, I cleanse twice. I usually start with an oil that breaks down my makeup and SPF with ease, such as The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil  or Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing OilIn a pinch (aka when I’m traveling), I’ll either cleanse twice with Avene (using a cotton pad to remove makeup) or use a wipe to remove the bulk of my makeup…but this is the absolute exception to the rule. I try not to use wipes unless I don’t really have another option, aka I’m on a road trip and it’s all I have in the car.

Step 2: I switch between two cleansers, using each one every other night: the Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion (same one I use in the morning), and Glytone mild gel wash, which contains Glycolic acid. It might seem excessive to wash twice, but it’s essential to break down that SPF and remove any traces of makeup and dirt before treating your skin, or else you’re just locking in grime and bacteria.

Step 3: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 all over face and neck. I skip this on nights when I swap out the Avene for Glytone, since both the wash and lotion contain acid and I don’t want to over-exfoliate.

Step 4: The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate or eye cream of choice. The reason I apply this first is because I want it to penetrate that delicate skin around my eyes, and anything I apply after would just create a barrier.

Step 5: Small amount of Clyndamycin topical gel on face and jawline.

Step 6: Every other night, I switch between Avene Skin Recovery Cream (on nights when I use Avene cleanser) and Glytone Step 1 Exfoliating Lotion  (on nights when I use Glytone wash). The Glytone combo is has a great exfoliating effect, and I wake up looking like I had a mini-peel, minus the flaking skin.

Extras: I’ve been slowly re-introducing serums in my nightly routine (after clyndamycin and before my moisturizer),  and I love a sheet mask, especially when I’m traveling. During the winter, I sleep with the Dr. Jart Water Fuse Water Max Sleeping Mask on top of everything, which seals in moisture and keeps my skin from drying out from the central heating. Other than that, I’ve been hesitant to try out new products, too often…I don’t want to mess with a good thing.

That’s about it! I hope you didn’t find this too overwhelming – it’s actually pretty simple, once you get into the routine. I know it may look like a lot to remember but it’s a very similar process, with a few minor tweaks between day and night.


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    • Thank you! I fully believe in investing in skincare (both in time and $), if you can afford to, but I don’t think that means buying the most expensive brands on the market. There’s a happy medium! Sometimes, you’re just paying for fancy packaging and a name, with the same ingredients…and sometimes, you’re paying for a quality, incomparable product. It just takes some research to be able to tell the difference. I’ve actually found that several high end products wreak havoc on my skin, so more expensive doesn’t always mean it’s better:)

  1. I almost always double cleanse at night, too. It just doesn’t feel completely clean unless I remove makeup first, then wash!

    Skin care regimens are so tough to get just right. I have pretty good skin, but I’ve never had perfect skin. I always have a pimple here or there. It’s hard to figure out whether it’s your skin care products, your diet, lifestyle, that’s causing problems.

    I also use The Body Shop’s cleansing oil, and I really liked it! However, I couldn’t stand the pump, and my bottle kept leaking everywhere! I want to repurchase it because it feels lovely and it works brilliantly, but I don’t know if I can deal with the mess again.

    • When I don’t double cleanse, I see it all over my P50 soaked cotton pad – it picks up the leftover makeup! That’s what made me realize that I needed a second go around. I’m not super picky about cleansing oil, since I’m immediately removing it, as long as it doesn’t irritate. The Body Shop’s oil is a nice price point (in comparison to the other I mentioned) but I agree about the pump! I actually switched it into another, clean & empty body shop bottle (the eye makeup remover) that is a simple flip cap and squeeze…it’s easier to control the amount you dispense.

  2. Thanks for sharing your skincare routine, Keiko, and for being so honest about your previous difficulties, although I think your skin has always looked gorgeous! Finding skincare products that work can be a lot of trial and error so it’s always great to hear other people’s recommendations. I definitely have minor scarring and pigmentation due to past skin troubles, so I’m looking forward to hearing more about the treatments you used.


    • Minor scarring and pigmentation were my main issues, too…even if I had a blemish for a day, the color would stay with me for months. My pale skin showed every imperfection. I’ll go more into detail in the next skincare post, but mild chemical peels and fraxel completely transformed/repaired my skin, in conjunction with my regimen. Now, I just do the occasional peel for maintenance – it feels less invasive than a facial, oddly!

  3. Your post is fantastic Keiko! I especially love that you have educated your readers to stop being so overly aggressive. As a facialist one of the most common issues I encounter is clients who get so trigger happy to try any and all new products (especially on problematic or blemished skin) that they end up doing more harm than good. So thank you kindly for spreading the word on being kind to the one face we all have! 🙂

    • It’s so tempting to try and fix the problem with a million products, but it almost always ends badly. Lesson learned!

  4. I have the same problem with redness staying for months after a blemish. So frustrating! I’ve really like Kiehl’s midnight recovery serum. It smells great and makes my skin look less red in the morning. It’s really helpful to read a skin routine from someone who has sensitive skin too! I’m definitely going to try some of those cleansers.

  5. Very thorough routine. Thank you for the insight. It makes me want to take a look at the lack of what I’m doing as far as my routine goes. I’m….34 (gulp) and my skin is just awful these days. May I ask what lipstick you’re wearing in the picture above? It’s gorgeous! Thank you!

    • I’m pretty sure it’s just Too Faced “Perfect Pink” lip liner mixed with lip balm and then smudged with my finger!

  6. A skincare fanatic since my teens — so happy to see you post about it. A great aesthetician once told me “don’t expect your makeup to do your skincare’s job.” I always have and still do spend way more time on skincare than makeup even with my granny skin! Good girl for the SPF. I shared my recent sun-related skin cancer story on my blog a few weeks back — pile on the SPF kids and stay out of the sun whenever possible. Your skin is magnificent!

  7. Roberta Guariglia says:

    When I lived in Brazil I had combination skin. When I moved to the US, because of the A/C and central heat (which I never had in Brazil) my skin became super sensitive and dry. So I started putting whatever I could find on my skin. Result= acne. Plus when I turned 30 my skin definitely changed. My dermatologist told me not to use anything with oil, so I threw a lot of my products away. I started using a clinique oil-free cleansing lotion and Vichy moisturizer. I am very happy with these products. He also prescribed me clyndamycin but I never got it. He did not even take the time to explain me about it. I am going to look for another dermatologist. I feel he did not care about my most important issue, which was to prevent wrinkles and lines….

  8. Thanks for such a thorough rundown of your skincare regimen! I’ve always been amazed at how flawless your skin looks, so it’s great to get insight into how you get it looking that way. I’ve always had such an issue with ever-present blackheads and minor skin discolorations, so I’d be interested to hear if you’ve ever had to address those types of issues (or how you’ve prevented them).

  9. Thank you so much Keiko for writing your experience and routine! I’m 32 and have battled acne most of my adult life. I recently started seeing a dermatologist who prescribed me oral antibiotics and two topical medications (one for day and one for night). I also get regular chemical peels. I have noticed a world of difference! For the first time in a long, long time, I have clear skin that I don’t have to worry about. It’s so funny when I am lazy about my routine (which is often), my skin will revert back almost immediately. So while my doctor has my acne under control, I still have no cleansing or moisturizing routine, so your post was so helpful! I’ve already ordered a few of the products to try them out and see how my skin reacts. Looking forward to the next post about your treatments, as I still have scarring as well. Thanks again!

  10. Can you share the name of your derma & place where you purchased the facial package? I SO understand where you’re coming from — I had gorgeous skin and then now as I’ve hit 30, for the past few months its been ridiculous. It really makes your self-esteem take a dive when you’ve never had skin issues! I have a very, very minimal routine now, which makes me think that I need to take some serious steps by way of a derma/prescription/facialist. Appreciate the info!

    • Are you in NYC? I go to Dr. Holder in Park Slope. If you’re looking into peels, you can probably get a better price elsewhere, but I do really like her and appreciate how convenient her location is!

  11. Hi there. I’m new to your site – love your tutorials! I just want to caution you about Clyndamycin. It worked great for me for about a year, and then I developed antibiotic resistance to it from over-use and my skin was worse off than before. My experience with dermatologists is that they have a knee-jerk impulse to write increasingly stronger prescriptions for antibiotics, and I don’t think that’s healthy in the long run. You might want to try to wean yourself off the Clyndamycin once your skin is clear. There are some other products out there that focus on balancing your skin rather than killing all the bacteria on your face. Natural apple cider vinegar can help do this (mix w/water to form a toner…more information is out there on the interwebs about this…) Good luck!

  12. I feel you on the adult acne!! Mine got really out of control after I had kids. I’m almost 30 as well and didn’t realize how aging really slows down cell turnover. I was on prescription retinol for a year and it only made my skin worse. I was sent Exuviance’s Evening Complex as a PR sample and was super surprised that it worked. It’s an AHA and PHA exfoliant. Thought I’d share since you’re into acids ?

  13. Hello!
    I just would like to say that your blog is beautiful! It is very interesting and easy to read!
    I have blog of my own and just recently I decided to make a new section which is “Beauty”. I posted my first post just today. If you have an interest then please check it out!


  14. Hi, i love your site, thanks for sharing your routine, any chance you could tell me the lipstick your wearing in the 2 pictures at the top thanks you!;)

    • I have so many that I use…as far as face makeup, I usually stick to bb creams (I use Dr. Jart and Too Faced).

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  16. Sara (no H) says:

    As a fellow TMJ sufferer, I am so going to take a leaf out of your book and start the day with a hot compress. I can’t believe that hadn’t occurred to me before!

  17. Rose Ann Selvana says:

    the difference is really huge, I was not aware that skin care goes deeper than just applying beauty products all over one’s skin. It has to be done in a timely manner as well. Thanks for this great post, I cant believe I have been doing it wrog all this time

  18. Great post! I’m looking into trying out the La Roche-Posay myself. I currently use Tizo sunblock, but am looking for something more lightweight. Maybe if it’s light enough I’ll be able to convince my husband to try it out because he unfortunately refuses to use any face products right now!