SELF-CARE: My Morning Skincare Routine

There’s something about starting the day caring for yourself that just feels right. I know to some that might sound vain, but in all honesty, if I don’t feel like myself, everyone and everything else around me do not get my best. And I’m not in the business of half-assing my day.

This is not a new thing for me to talk about. Since moving to NJ, I’ve been on the prowl for something that works. For some reason, my Philippine skincare routine didn’t work for me here. After some time, I have found that this combination has been working well! At least for the summer.

(And I mean for the summer because fall is around the corner and I’m pretty sure my skin would be like LET ME THROW YOU A WRENCH AND COMPLETELY CHANGE THINGS AROUND, so until then, I’ll go ahead and enjoy this for now.)

Side note: Some links below are affiliate links. I earn a small commission for each purchase made thru that link. It will not cost you any extra fees whatsoever. It’s just a little something to help me keep creating content for this site. No pressure to use these links, they’re just there for your convenience. Thank you.

My Morning Routine

First and foremost, I would like to give a special shoutout to Susan Yara, James Welsh and Lab Muffin Beauty Science (among others). Because of them, I’ve also learned to explore other resources (I’m looking at you, Paula’s Choice) and make a more educated decision for my routine.

Mornings for me are a bit of a rush ever since I gave birth. I’ve learned that mornings are focused on protection, even if I have been working from home for the longest time now.

Step 1: Water cleanse. Nothing else, just a splash of water. If I’m feeling extra clogged, I dampen a reusable cotton round with tepid water and swipe across the face gently.

Step 2: Rehydrate with Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner (Sokoglam, Amazon). I particularly love this toner because it’s just cool and slightly fat. A few drops on my palms, and I pat it on to my skin.

Step 3: A little pamper with Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (Kiehl’s, Sephora, Nordstrom) as my Vitamin C and Naturium’s Niacinamide Serum 12% plus Zinc 2% (Naturium, Amazon). I’ve recently been enjoying this combination even though in the past I have avoided mixing the two. In the past, I’ve had a reaction BECAUSE I DIDN’T READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CORRECTLY (yes, I mixed The Ordinary’s niacinamide and Vitamin C in one routine, and yes, it destroyed my skin for a good two months). I’ve only upped my Vitamin C concentration after using Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C drop for at least 6 months. Naturium is also a recent discovery and unlike The Ordinary, it has a much better texture and dries down with a slight dewy finish.

Heads up though: the Kiehl’s concentrate is a bit warm when applied and has fragrance. If you have reactive skin or sensitive skin (or both), it might be best to look for an alternative.

Step 4: Moisturize with The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (Deciem, Sephora, Ulta). I love this product. When I feel extra dry, it’s easy to layer it on. Plus, it doesn’t just sit on top of my skin. My skin actually likes this formulation and just gobbles it up. It’s a good bang for my buck too!

Step 5: Protect with Missha Soft Finish Sun Milk SPF 50+ PA+++ (Missha, Amazon). This is probably my third favorite sunscreen because it doesn’t give a white cast on my face and dries down matte, so I look a little more collected than I actually am. It layers nicely with my moisturizer too.

So yeah, I know no one asked (LOL) but I’ve been giving myself a little extra love since getting pregnant and so far, it’s been paying off.

How about you? How do you kick off your morning?

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link. It’s not going to cost you anything, but I do earn a small commission when you purchase from the links on this post. It helps me keep this site running and creating content for you.


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