Come on, lazy gal, your skin-care routine can get better

I’ve had a lot of facial treatments lately. Like four in two months. That’s pretty excessive, considering most facialists recommend one treatment every three months or when the seasons change. I may have gone overboard this fall, but I’ve also gleaned a lot of information about my skin type and how to hydrate it and keep it looking supple, smooth and glowy.

Photo by Scott Wilson Photography

It’s not so much about the specific brands (although I do love my personal product stash), but about the ingredients, order of the products used, placement and how much of each product is necessary to reach my goal: to have the clearest, most lit-from-within skin on the block. Just recently, Maybelline lead make-up artist Grace Lee told me I have “see-through” skin, which I’m pretty sure is a huge compliment, so I must be doing something right.

Now, for all my secrets! Many of these were passed on to me by the AMAZING Dermalogica expert Amanda at the International Dermal Institute in Toronto. She encouraged layering of products and gave me suggestions to make my skin the best it can be.

Here, my morning routine for dehydrated combination-oily skin (by dehydrated, I mean lacking in water, not oil):

1. Cleanse once with a gel cleanser such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Avoid scrubbing. Instead, gently smooth the cleanser onto skin and rinse off with cool water. If skin feels tight, switch to a milky cream cleanser. Pat skin dry with a towel. Again, no scrubbing!

2. Spritz entire face, neck and chest with a toner until skin feels slightly wet. I use one that calms redness and promotes hydration: Dermalogica UltraCalming Mist.

3. While skin is still damp, smooth a serum onto face, neck and chest. You can pack a lot of active anti-aging ingredients, vitamins and antioxidants into this layer. It can also be great for locking in moisture from your toner. I’ve been using Kosmea Australia Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum, which is natural and vegan.

4. Next, tap a small amount of eye cream onto the bones surrounding your eyes. Amanda told me to avoid the lid and under-eye area, since this skin is very delicate, and tap with the ring finger since it creates the least amount of pressure. I wanted a product that contained SPF, so she recommended Dermalogica Total Eye Care.

5. Moisturize face, neck and chest. I use Kosmea Australia Replenishing Moisture Cream.

6. Finally, apply sunscreen to all areas of your face, neck and chest including the ears and along the hairline. I do this all year round, rain or shine. This girl’s not getting wrinkles and age spots, thank you very much! I use SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 because I want a high SPF (above 30) and it’s tinted, which means I need less foundation and concealer.

A few other things that I like to do:

1. Cleanse twice at night, once with an oil cleanser such as Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup and a second time with my gel cleanser.

2. Change my eye cream at night to something without sun protection.

3. Exfoliate once a week with Rodial Glamoxy 15% Fruit Acid Exfoliating Pads. Exfoliation is key to helping your other products penetrate the skin.

4. Use masks a few times a week. I like to change it up with a variety of sheet masks, but I also use Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Creme Cleanser/Moisture Mask for extra hydration.

Yes, my routine is excessive (though it actually doesn’t take that long—maybe 5 minutes in the morning and 5 at night, plus a little extra time for masks), but it really does work.

What does your current skin-care routine look like? How do you feel about the condition of your skin?