Skincare Routine: Morning and Night

After many years of trying to find a regime, I think I have finally figured out what works for my skin and makes me feel my best and brightest. My routine is pretty affordable considering the quality of products I use and very, very easy to follow each day and night. Check out below to see how I found what works for me.

A little about my skin type–I am half-Japanese and half-European, with my skin type following more closely to the Japanese side of my family. I have combination skin, and if you are unsure of what that means or what your skin type may be, check out this super helpful article here. A year ago I finally realized the source of the problem and did a lot of research on skin kits that will address my main concerns of redness and acne breakouts. After my research, I decided on Clinique Acne Solutions. From there, my routine continued to develop and now I have finally found the secret combination of products that keep my skin under control.

My regime is broken into two time frames: Morning and night, with a description of how I use each product and why.

Morning Regimen


Every morning I thoroughly rinse my face off with only water at slightly colder than room temperature, luckily this product is free! The chilled water wakes me up and helps my skin begin to depuff from sleeping. I only use water because at night I put on most of my stronger skincare products so I do not want to begin the day by adding more products and further drying my skin. Water is an effective way of starting the day off with a clean slate.

Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion

I follow the first step by applying Clinique’s Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion, which is a mattifying exfoliating lotion with the consistency of a toner. I just pour very little on a cotton pad and gently sweep the cotton pad over my face and neck. I have found a huge difference in my complexion after using this lotion twice a day (Morning and night).


About three times a week I will apply this serum in the morning following the toner. I use a very little amount because the formula is a little thinner. The Truth Serum is a powerful antiaging serum which helps brighten, visibly firm, and deliver all-day hydration. It is enriched with orange and green tea extracts which also work to reduce redness and even the complexion. This serum has helped my skin heal scars much faster than it normally does and I do notice that I have a more balanced complexion.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream

After rinsing my face and applying the toner, I apply a light layer of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream. This product is a great in-between during the hot summer days and cold, drying winter cold.


Nighttime Regimen: Makeup Removal

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water

This is my absolute favorite for removing my face makeup or even if I want to clean up a bit after the gym. The Dermaclear Micro Water is made with 85 percent hydrogen mineral water which removes impurities without drying out the skin. I just pour some on a cotton pad and swipe over my face until my makeup is removed.

Sephora Collection, Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

I only wear waterproof mascara on my eyes and this is the only formula I have found that removes waterproof eye makeup and is gentle. I literally almost cry when I lose eyelashes and I found that most other eye makeup removers dry out my lashes and cause them to become brittle and fall out. This formula is powerful but also not drying.


Nighttime Regimen: Cleansing Routine

Murad Clarifying Cleanser

Holy crap, do I love this stuff. I have literally had this same bottle since I first purchased it in January 2018 and if you can see in the photo, I am still only half-way through it. A little amount goes a long way and I use this cleanser every single night. The cleanser is a gel consistency and can be easily applied using a kojnac sponge, my favorite is Boscia’s Kojnac Cleansing Sponge, or with your hands. This is found in the description on Sephora’s website, the cleanser “is formulated with two types of salicylic acid: a free form that starts treating immediately and an encapsulated form that continues treating even after rinsing. Green tea extract helps soothe and calm irritation for healthier-looking skin.”

Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion

Same process used as I had explained above.

Clinique Acne Solutions All-Over Clearing Treatment

After I apply the clarifying lotion, I apply a very thin layer of the All-Over Clearing Treatment. This product is the third step in the Acne Solutions system and works to create a barrier against acne-causing agents, control excess oil, and soothe the skin. It is a little on the thicker side so I only apply this once a day right before I go to bed so I can let the treatment work its magic while I sleep rather than run around during the day.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream

Same process used as I had explained above.

GrandeLash – MD Lash Enhancer

I stumbled upon this product when it was first released in Sephora some time ago. I have tried Shiseido’s but I didn’t like the application brush and I didn’t like how you had to apply the formula directly onto your water line. GrandeLash’s is a bit different where you just apply a single line above your lash line just like eyeliner. GrandeLash’s serum is infused with vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids to promote naturally longer, thicker-looking lashes and is reported to show results in just four to six weeks, with full results in three months. I have been using this for about three weeks now and I do see a noticeable different in length and less fallout.


As Needed:

Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel

This product is pretty powerful, its formula is a four-in-one clearing system with salicylic acid to start clearing blemishes instantly and help prevent new ones from forming. If I can see a blemish starting to form, I will spot treat using a dab of this clearing gel. I will only use this a couple days in a row so that I do not end up over-drying the spot and then promoting scarring.

Lush Chocolate Lip Scrub

My absolute favorite lip scrub. It is all natural and edible so after applying some on your lips, you can actually just lick the product off. The best part is that it genuinely tastes like chocolate. The scrub is a little finer but still powerful so I only exfoliate my lips 2-3 times a week and always follow with a Burt’s Bees lip balm.

GLAMGLOW Supermud Activated Charcoal Treatment

I fell for the hype… but I do not regret it. I began using this mask about a month ago, 3 times a week, and I noticed a huge difference in my complexion. I also have a much easier time with keeping my skin under control. The mask is amazing for lifting dirt and drying oil without stripping away the oils my skin needs. While it is a bit pricier, it has lasted me awhile because a little amount goes a long way. I recommend getting the Mask Treatment Set to find which GLAMGLOW mask works best for your skin needs.



That’s it! Seems like a lot, I know, but I mainly repeat products for different steps and some of the things I mentioned are only done a few times each week. Again, do what is right for your skin but hopefully you were able to take away a few ideas to integrate into your own routine (:

Caitie Santo

Hi, my name is Caitie Santo. I am a 22-year-old living in Chicago, Illinois. I was born in Fremont, California but later attended school at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. I graduated with a degree in marketing and I am currently working for a business management consulting firm in Chicago. 
I was exposed to the arts at a young age, and my appreciation grew as I pursued a professional career in ballet several years ago. Although that career path ended during my first year in college, my experience is still deeply intertwined with how I describe myself, whether it is the music I listen to, the things I do, or the things I wear. I hope to continue developing my artistic expression through the various projects I work on including this blog, where I will share whatever comes to my mind.

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