My Skincare Routine For Sensitive & Acne-Prone Skin

You can't tell now, but I suffered from serious acne during my teen and young adult years. I mean acne all over my cheeks, on my chin and forehead. I couldn't find anything to get rid of it. During my teen years, I tried several acne care systems, homeopathic treatments, and prescriptions and none of them worked.

I eventually grew out of my teen acne, but it came back in my early twenties. I was able to get rid of my young adult acne using Murad Acne Complex. I used Murad for several years before transitioning to my current facial skincare routine. I have two routines - one for the morning and one for the night.

skincare products for a morning and evening skincare routine
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Morning skin routine

I keep my morning skincare routine simple. Mostly because I'm just getting my skin ready for the day and ready for makeup. The products I use for my morning routine are a foaming cleanser, a washcloth, a toner, a facial serum, and a moisturizer with SPF. Pretty simple. 

By keeping it simple I spend less time getting ready in the morning which is really helpful if I end up sleeping in or have to quickly get ready to head out.

Step 1: Cleanse

I wash my face with Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser or a store brand equivalent from Target or Walmart and my washcloth. I like this foaming cleanser because it gently removes from my skin from anything that may have gotten on my face overnight. Such as hair products that transferred to my pillowcase, saliva, or oil.

I only single cleanse in the morning by putting a dime size on my fingers, running some warm water over them, and massaging the cleanser on my face in a circular motion. Once I've gone over my face a couple of times I rinse the cleanser off using the washcloth. 

The washcloth helps give my skin a gentle exfoliation while I use it to remove the cleanser from my skin. I wet the washcloth with warm water and then wipe off the cleanser. Sometimes Tto make sure all of the cleanser gets wiped off I rinse off the washcloth and do a final wipe over my face.

Occassionally I may opt to do a water cleanse on my face in the morning. I do this when my skin may be feeling dry or I know I'm not really leaving the house and going out that day. When I do this I typically skip down to step four which is moisturize.

Step 2: Tone 

For a long time I didn't use a facial toner. I had some bad experiences with store bought toners and then started making my own facial toners. That worked out well but now I've found the Thayer's toners which my skin likes.

I use a facial toner in the morning to help finish refreshing and soothing my skin.

Related read: My Skincare Routine

Step 3: Treat

To enhance my skincare routine, I apply a facial serum. I apply it while my face is still damp. The serum I use for my daytime routine is the The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. This serum became a part of my skincare routine because I saw it help to control two key issues with my skin - breakouts and oil production.  It's also been great to help lighten up dark spots on my skin.

Step 4: Moisturize

I don't do any toning in the morning, so I skip right to moisturizing. In addition to moisturizing my skin, I also want to help protect it from the sun. So I use a moisturizer with SPF - Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer with SPF 50

This moisturizer doesn't make my skin look or feel greasy. It also doesn't cause my skin to breakout which is an issue I've had with other SPF moisturizers. After moisturizing I let my skin sit for a few minutes before applying makeup. 

Daily evening routine

This routine varies from my morning routine because I'm washing off the makeup I wore that day to ensure my pores can breathe overnight. My evening routine using the following products - a cream cleanser, a washcloth, toner, two facial serums, and moisturizer.

Step 1: Remove makeup

I don't wear a whole lot of makeup every day, but I wear enough that I need to make sure it's all removed before I use my cleanser. I like using a cream cleanser like the Noxzema cream cleanser to do that. I've found I'm able to breakup up the makeup and get more off with the first cleanse then when I use anything else.

I don't do anything special to remove my makeup. I wet my skin and start rinsing off the makeup with water. Then I start massaging the cream cleanser into my skin to breakup all of the makeup. I then rinse the makeup off with my hands and then run a damp washcloth across my face.

Step 2: Cleanse

After removing my makeup it's time for cleansing. I use the same Noxzema cream cleanser to wash my face that I use to remove my makeup. So essentially I end up double or triple cleansing my face to make sure all makeup, dirt, and oil are removed from my face.

To wash mt face a night I get a small amount of the cleanser on my fingers. I massage the cleanser into my damp skin in a circular motion. After doing this for a few minutes I rinse my face using my washcloth and either repeat them and move on to the next step.

Step 3: Tone

Though toners can serve other purposes I like to use them to remove the last bit of makeup and dirt from my face. My current toner of choice is a Thayer's toner. I switch around between them depending on what I'm; feeling when I buy it or what's available in the store. 

To apply the toner I put a few drops on a cotton ball and swipe the cotton ball over my face a few times.

Step 4: Treat

Like in the morning, I do some skin treatments using a couple of facial serums and apply them to my damp skin.. The first is the The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% which I also use at night. 

The other facial serum is also from The Ordinary and is a Hyaluronic Serum. It gives my skin a little more hydration and seals in the moisture from the dampness of my skin. I don't mind doing this even through I have oily skin because it's at night when I go to bed and I don't mind having shiny skin then.

Step 5. Moisturize

Even though I have oily skin I like to hydrating moisturizers in my skin. Even during the day. It helps to give my skin less of a reason to produce oil. 

I also like to make sure that my daytime moisturizer has SPF in it. My current daytime moisturizer is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer. It has SPF 50 which helps protect my skin from the sun. 

What's your skincare routine?