Everyday Skincare Routine for the 20-Something

Happy Sunday!

A couple months back, I shared my first beauty-related posts, My Work Week Makeup Routine and my favorite Wearable Work Lipsticks. Although I'm a huge makeup lover, makeup only looks as good as the base you put it on!

Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite skincare products and how I integrate them into my daily skincare routine.

In my early 20s, I didn't think too much about my skin. I definitely wore SPF and would wash my face at night, but I didn't know anything about serums, active ingredients and why would you need an eye cream?!

Now that I'm more than half way through my 20s, I have started to care more about anti-aging and keeping my skin youthful for as long as possible.

In this post, I've included a couple different options for each step, so it will probably seem like a lot of steps and products, but I don't use every single product every day! The whole routine only takes about 10 minutes or less.

Everyday Skincare Routine for the 20-Something


I cleanse my face both in the morning and at night, but if I haven't worked out in the morning, I will just wash my face with cold water. After a workout, in the shower, or at night, I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. In my opinion, cleanser doesn't have to be expensive. I like very mild cleansers that can be used to take off eye makeup as well. 

If I am wearing a full face of makeup, I will use a Micellar Cleansing Water on a cotton round to take off my eye makeup and do a quick pass on my face to get most of the makeup off before going in with the Cetaphil. This is a method of double cleansing. I'm always surprised how washing your face just once really doesn't get everything off!


Next, I move onto toning my skin. For this step, I keep it super simple. I use any brand of Witch Hazel (a natural astringent) with a cotton round. This helps get any last traces of my makeup off and preps my skin for serums and moisturizer. 

I also love to use a rose water spray in both the morning and evening. I use it mostly because it feels super refreshing to spritz my face first thing in the morning and it relaxes me before I go to bed. I also was just reading that rose water balances the skin's pH levels, has antioxidant and antibacterial properties and adds moisture back into the skin. My favorites are the Lush Eau Roma Water and Mario Badescu Facial Spray.


A few times a week, I exfoliate my skin between cleansing and toning. I have used St. Ives scrubs  since I was a teenager. My original go-to was the Apricot scrub, but I love the smell of this Green Tea scrub. I have also been trying this Origins Modern Friction exfoliator that I got in an Origins holiday set. This is another type of product that I don't splurge on, although there are lots of fancier chemical exfoliators out there.

Active Ingredients

Now this is the area of skin care that freaks most people out. Retinol, Retinoids, Reti-what?? 

I am still learning a lot about active ingredients in skin care, but I learned about the skincare brand, The Ordinary. Their products are extremely affordable (and all of the product titles are very science-y) but their website was very informative, so it was easy to take a chance and try out a few of their products.

I selected the 2% Retinoid Emulsion (a creamy serum) and a 23% Vitamin C Suspension (more of a lotion). 

Vitamin C can help balance out uneven tone and combat signs of aging, resulting in a brighter complexion. Personally, I like to alternate using Vitamin C and the Retinoid every other night to avoid skin irritation. This Vitamin C does tingle since it is high potency, but it isn't irritating and it goes away after about 10 minutes. 

Retinoids help improve signs of aging and can help smooth out skin texture irregularities. I use both of these products only at night since sun exposure can cause irritation.

Hydrating Serums

After I let my active ingredients soak in, I'll follow with a hydrating serum. This Kiehl's Midnight Recover Concentrate is a cult favorite and it does not disappoint. It is a little bit pricy, but one bottle lasts me more than six months with every day use. 

The Buffet by The Ordinary is a water-based serum that has hyaluronic acid, probiotics and several amino acids to refresh and lock moisture in the skin. 


I finish off my daily routine with a moisturizer to seal in all of that goodness. Most nights, I go with the Cerave Moisturizing Lotion (this is a Walmart equivalent), but I also have this basic moisturizer from the Ordinary that I picked up with my first order. 

Although I typically keep it pretty simple and affordable with moisturizer, I am always open to trying samples of more luxurious night creams. I love this Rose Deep Hydrating Face Cream by Fresh and the Origins High Potency Night-a-Mins. 

Fresh and Origins are two higher-end skincare brands that I have actually gone and purchased their full-size products after trying out samples.

Eye Creams

I use an eye cream in both the AM and PM. I am obsessed with this Origins GinZing eye cream. It has caffeine in it, so this is a must after a long night! It brightens everything up and I swear it makes me feel more awake. 

Typically for my PM eye cream, I have a sample eye cream laying around that I've gotten as an add on with a Sephora order or in my monthly Sephora Play! subscription box ($10 per month for 4-5 makeup, skincare and hair product samples). I never invest in a skin care product until I've tried it out for a few weeks, so these monthly subscription boxes are perfect for trying products with less commitment. This Belif moisturizing eye bomb is one of those sample products and I've enjoyed it!

If you are interested in seeing what you get in the beauty box each month, I have begun unboxing my Sephora Play! box on my Instagram Stories! 

Masks & Miscellaneous

I am not a huge mask fan, but if I am taking a bath or having a spa night, I'll throw on a detoxifying mask. Both the Boscia and Sephora clay masks came from my Sephora Play! box, but if you are looking for a very affordable and effective clay mask, the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask is a no-nonsense classic. It is literally less than $3, the smell is amazing, and it tingles and tightens up your pores. Hard to beat!

Lastly, I have a few miscellaneous products that I like to keep around. These Olay daily facial wipes are wonderful for traveling and removing your makeup. They are dry and when you wet them with water they lather up. One wipe takes off all of your makeup, cleanses and exfoliates your face. 

If I ever have a blemish, I will dab on some Tea Tea oil to dry it out. 

Every single night, I have to put this Cocoa Butter vaseline on my lips before I go to bed. Best lip balm ever and this tub has lasted me literally four years. 

For my daily SPF, I like products that multi-task, so I usually find a BB cream or tinted moisturizer to use as my foundation that also has a high SPF, like this Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm with SPF 45.

Ok after writing all of that, it does seem like a lot of steps, but honestly I really enjoy taking 10 minutes out of my day to truly relax and pamper myself. There is no better feeling to going to bed and waking up with hydrated skin! 

I hope this post gives you a few ideas if you aren't sure where to start on building your own skincare routine!



  1. This is so helpful! I've really been trying to perfect my skin care routine, and I am definitely missing a couple steps!

  2. Thank you for sharing this! I think this is so helpful!

  3. Skincare is SO important! Will definitely need to try out your products!

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