My Skin Type
My face is sensitive and I have mild rosacea. I have combination skin (dry cheeks and relatively oily t-zone), and I'm also prone to the occasional hormonal breakout.
I try to keep things simple. My morning skincare routine consists of 3 steps: cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen. I then apply foundation and go through my usual makeup routine. In the evening, I also go through 3 essential steps: removing my makeup, exfoliating, and using a serum (and moisturizer on top of it). In addition to this daily routine, I also like using a mask once or twice a week.
Cleanser: I use a gentle cleanser in the morning, and not my usual makeup remover. I prefer something that doesn't make my face feel dried out; gel cleansers typically make my face feel tight and dry after using them, so I avoid those although there are exceptions. I also don't use anything like soap (including liquid Dr. Bronner's, pH of 8) to wash my face. Currently using Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser which works great for me in the winter. Burt's Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser has also worked well for me and is inexpensive.
Moisturizer: I generally look for something that's hydrating and doesn't clog my pores. I've recently gone back to using Lush's Celestial (reviewed here) which is super-moisturizing and has worked great for my sensitive skin in the past, but I'm starting to feel like the Cocoa Butter, Almond Oil, or Cetearyl Alcohol might be too much. I'm on the hunt for a new moisturizer. Pai and Acure seem to have some good moisturizers I might give a try.
Sunscreen: I wear sunscreen under my foundation every day, with an SPF of at least 30 -- you can read my post about the importance of sunscreen here! Right now I'm loving John Masters Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen.
Makeup Remover: For this step, I generally use a cleansing balm or a cleansing oil. This removes all of my makeup without drying out my skin, and leaves it feeling clean and soft. I'm currently switching between the Elizabeth Dehn Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil and Corpa Flora's Beauté Divine. Both have a Sunflower Oil base.
Exfoliator: I only use chemical exfoliators and no scrubbing beads. Two common options are Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid. Lactic Acid is somewhat more gentle, and a product I would recommend is Silk Naturals 8% AHA Toner. Right now I'm using the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner.
Serum: This is often the last step of my evening routine. I'm currently using Mun's No. 1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum and totally loving it! Stay tuned for my review.
Mask: I'm a huge fan of Ren's Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, but lately I've been using the Pacific Exfoliating Moisture Mask by True Nature Botanicals and absolutely loving it.