Overhauling & Investing in My Skincare Routine

If you’ve been around for a while, then you know that I have combination oily skin and my ultimate skincare goal is to have radiant, glowing skin, without the shine. Usually, I’d go for skincare products that are trendy, with nice packaging, and clean-ish ingredients but I’m ready to switch things up. I’ll be 29 this month, yes 1 year away from 30, and although I’ve dabbled in “anti-aging” moisturizers and eye creams, it’s time to kick things up a notch and incorporate more active ingredients and products like retinol, acids, peels, etc. I’m overhauling my skincare routine and investing in some new (to me) science-based products and at-home beauty devices to jumpstart my anti-aging routine. If you’re in the same boat as me, chasing the glow and a stop-watch for your skin, keep on reading to see the changes/additions I’m making to my skincare routine.

High-Powered Beauty Tools

I love my Jade Roller but it’s not doing enough. As I mentioned in my first weekly recap, I discovered Shani Darden and microcurrent skincare technology in the same week and that’s what kicked off this renewed love for skincare. I then found out about a sale happening on SkinStore and promptly ordered the NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device and a backup of the NuFACE Hydrating Leave-On Gel Primer. It has just arrived and I’ve only used it a couple of times but I’m excited to experience the magic of this at-home microcurrent device. From the reviews I’ve read, I can expect an instant facelift, a contoured jawline, and less prominent necklines. I have very high expectations for my new pricey device and I will be sure to let you know if it lives up to its claims.

I also am awaiting the arrival of another skincare investment: the facial steamer. You can read all about how to use a steamer and why you need one here but basically I’m trying to achieve a spa experience at home while caring for my skin. I also want to try some LED light tools but those are really expensive, so I’m taking baby steps for now.

Active Ingredients

I feel like I’ve been playing myself when it comes to the products I’ve been using. Some of them boast active ingredients that are supposed to help slow down signs of aging and boost radiance but none of them have the concentration levels needed to see a real difference. If you couldn’t already tell, I’ve been doing some serious research when it comes to skincare and it’s reinvigorated my love for it. It’s so cool to learn about all of these powerful ingredients and how to pair them to get the results you want to see. I’ve become so passionate about skincare (more on that later) and it’s led me towards trying new ingredients and tools that I was hesitant to try before. Below are some of the ingredients I’m excited to start incorporating in my routine.

Vitamin C

I’ve been interested in Vitamin C ever since I learned of its magical brightening, free-radical fighting, and collagen-stimulating benefits but I never found the right one. I already use the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil and Glossier Super Glow Vitamin C + Magnesium Serum and although I love that they are gentle and nourishing, I’m now on the search for a more concentrated Vitamin C treatment that is stable (Vitamin C is known to breakdown quickly, rendering it useless once it hits the air or light), suitable for combo/oily skin types, and contains a high-enough percentage where I will see a noticeable difference. I’ve read good reviews on the Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA, so I’ll try to get samples of that and let you know my thoughts.


I’ve heard so much about Retinol, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but it’s been the ugly that has made me steer clear of it for so long. I think that my recent research has made me less afraid of the powerful over the counter Vitamin A derivative and I’m finally ready to dip my toe in the Retinol pool. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that increases cell turnover to reveal smoother and clearer skin. It is the go-to ingredient for those who want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, and texture.

I’ve used the Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum and I haven’t had any reaction to it but Retinol is really low on the ingredients list, which means there’s a really small percentage of the ingredient in this product. I’ll continue using it for now but I recently purchased the Shani Darden Retinol Reform serum from the Sephora sale to amp up my dosage. I know a lot of people experience dryness and flaking when first using a Retinol so if you have sensitive skin and want to try Retinol, maybe start with a gentler formula like the Elizabeth Arden one to see how your skin reacts to the smaller percentage. I wouldn’t say my skin is sensitive, so I don’t think I’d have a problem with a higher percentage, however, I will start slow with using it once a week and work my way up as I gauge my tolerance.


There are many different acids for different skincare concerns. There’s a great breakdown on Paula’s Choice if you want to learn which acid could be right for you but I will be focusing on Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid to start. Both are AHAs that are meant to exfoliate your skin to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells. I’ll be including more chemical exfoliation with ingredients like these to remove dead skin and help my other products penetrate the skin and work better. I’m also awaiting the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Universal Daily Peel in my order from the Sephora sale and will be adding it to my routine as a weekly at-home peel.

As you can see, I basically want to look like I just came from getting a facial with a celebrity esthetician but like, every day. Hopefully, these changes in my routine will help me achieve this. I’ll, of course, start slow with one product at a time as to not irritate my skin by using too many new things at once. What are some changes you’re making to your routine? Let’s chat in the comments below. xx