My Current Skincare Regimen at *almost* 45 Years Old

Three things I could chat about all day: decorating, books, and skincare. In the past 10 to 15 years or so I’ve become somewhat of a skincare ingredient nerd. I follow a handful of dermatologists and aestheticians on Instagram and love to soak up all of the information they share! Since I’ve been getting a lot of skincare questions in my DMs lately and it’s been a while since I’ve shared my full skincare regimen here on the blog, I thought today it would be fun to do an update! At almost 45 years old (I have a birthday later this month), it takes a village. 😉

my skincare regimen at 45

I don’t use all of these products at one time, but I do use all of these products every week.

my skincare regimen at 45

Before I jump into my morning and evening routines, I feel like it’s important to touch on a few key notes because skincare isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing and apart from personal skin-related concerns we might all have different philosophies when it comes to taking care of our skin.

At this point in my forties, my biggest skincare concern is combating hyperpigmentation/melasma and evening out my skin tone. (I really wish I’d been more diligent about daily sunscreen and reapplying sunscreen throughout the day in my youth….but I digress.) I’m personally less concerned with wrinkles and have never gone down the Botox path (no judgment from me if you have). But I have had a few Moxi laser treatments which help to reduce hyperpigmentation while also boosting collagen. Although, it’s been almost 2 years since my last treatment.

I really hate the term “anti-aging”. Don’t we all want the honor of growing old? I’m grateful to be aging, and my hope is to do it gracefully.

Ingredients really matter to me, both from a safety standpoint and with regard to efficacy. And I view my morning and evening routines as sacred rituals. Those 15 minutes or so at the start and end of my days are just for me, and I really enjoy taking that time for myself. So, a multi-step routine works for me. This is one part of my day when I’m never in a hurry.

I feel like…

my daytime routine is pretty simple.

daytime skincare routine

I mean, for me, a 6-step routine is breezey. 😉 I don’t use a cleanser in the morning and instead opt to just splash my face with water and pat dry.

1. Then I follow with Beautycounter’s All Bright Triple Acid AHA Toner. This toner is great for both brightening and exfoliating. It’s a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids plus niacinamide, so it aids in cell turnover and diminishes the appearance of dark spots. If you’re new to exfoliating acids, this toner is a good product to start with as it’s gentle but very effective.

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2. Next, I use Pillowtalk Derm’s Major Fade Hyper Serum. This serum targets stubborn dark spots and improves uneven skin tone. The key players in this serum are alpha arbutin, kojic acid, and niacinamide. Pillowtalk Derm is a fairly new skincare line that was created by Dr. Shereene Idriss, a board-certified dermatologist I love to follow on Instagram. Dr. Shereene’s own skincare concern is melasma, so this line was created out of her personal experience.

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3. I let that serum fully absorb, and then I layer on Beautycounter’s All Bright C Serum. I’ve tried so many other C serums, and I always come back to Beautycounter. The 10% blend of two stable forms of vitamin C in Beautycounter’s serum is non-irritating and the camu camu extract in it instantly brightens skin. In my opinion, vitamin C is as essential to a skincare regimen as sunscreen. It’s a powerful antioxidant that also aids in the natural production of collagen. I wish I’d started using it in my twenties!

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4. Once the C Serum has been absorbed, I layer on one pump of Pillowtalk Derm’s Major Fade Active Seal Moisturizer. This lightweight moisturizer actually has vitamin C in it, but I still prefer to layer it over Beautycounter’s C Serum. It’s the 4-butylresorcinol in this moisturizer that makes this one a winner for me as it fades discoloration.

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5. Next up is my all-time favorite mineral sunscreen, Beautycounter’s Countersun Daily Sheer Defense. It’s sheer, leaving no white cast, and never feels greasy. Plus, it doubles as a makeup primer! I’ve tried just about every mineral sunscreen on the market, and I’ve yet to find one that I like better than this one.

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6. Last, I use this line-filling eye cream from Alpyn Beauty that is formulated with bakuchiol and caffeine. I love to layer it under my concealer for the smoothest finish!

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My nighttime skincare regimen is a little more complicated…

as I don’t follow the same routine every night. Some nights (about 3 nights a week) I follow an exfoliation routine, and the other 4 nights I do my retinoid routine.

On exfoliation nights…

exfoliation night

I always double-cleanse.

1. So, I start with Beautycounter’s Cleansing Oil which removes makeup, even eye makeup, and breaks down sunscreen. One or two pumps are all it takes. One bottle of this cleansing oil lasts me an entire year!

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2. Then I use the Counterstart Cream Cleanser to remove any residual makeup and really cleanse my skin. I’ve found double cleansing to be the key to keeping my skin clear and my pores unclogged.

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3. Once my skin is dry, I layer on 2 to 3 pumps of Pillowtalk Derm’s Major Fade Flash Mask. This mask is like the holy grail for exfoliation with 15% glycolic acid and 3% lactic acid, but what makes it incredible for evening skin tone is the added tranexamic acid! If you’re new to exfoliating acids, you’ll want to take it slow with this product. Starting out just once a week and slowly moving up to 3 nights a week. There is such a thing as over-exfoliating, so more than 3 nights is probably overdoing it. I leave this mask on for about 15 minutes and then rinse it off.

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4. I follow with Pillowtalk Derm’s Major Fade Hyper Serum, which I mentioned above.

5. And then Pillowtalk Derm’s Major Fade Active Seal Moisturizer.

6. Then I layer on Beautycounter’s Countertime Soft Lotion. While it’s not a great idea to use a retinoid on the same night as the exfoliation mask, the Countertime Soft Lotion is formulated with bakuchiol, which is non-irritating but yields retinol-like results. So this is kind of a way to beat the system if you will. 😉

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7. Next I use Versed’s Smooth Landing Advanced Retinoid Eye Balm. I know I just said it wasn’t a good idea to use a retinoid on exfoliation night, but this eye balm is made with granactive retinoid, which is a very gentle retinoid, and I’ve never had an issue.

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8. My lips have never felt better since I started using this Overnight Lip Mask.

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9. Honestly, I can’t really tell if this lash and brow serum is doing much. I think might go back to using the one I really liked from Kosas.

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On Retinoid Night…

retinoid night

I double cleanse, so I…

1. Start with the Cleansing Oil and follow with

2. the Counterstart Cream Cleanser.

3. Then I use the AHA Toner from Beautycounter. This is a chemical exfoliant, but it’s pretty gentle. So I have no issue using it on retinoid night. But if you’re brand new to either retinol or exfoliating acids, you may want to use a toner that doesn’t have any exfoliating acids in it on the night you use a retinoid.

4. Once my skin is dry, I use Major Fade Hyper Serum.

5. Then Major Fade Active Seal Moisturizer.

6. And then I use my prescription retinoid. I find that layering my retinoid between two moisturizers helps to keep my skin from experiencing any redness or peeling. Creating a “moisture sandwich” seems to help me to better tolerate using a retinoid.

7. Beautycounter’s Countertime Soft Cream pairs well with a retinoid. Bakuchiol’s skin-soothing properties enhance the skin’s ability to tolerate retinol.

8. And this Retinoid Eye Balm with a granactive retinoid also helps me to tolerate using my prescription retinoid near my eye area without any irritation. I love how it feels on too! It’s so soothing to the eye area with its Vaseline-like consistency. And the under $20 price is definitely a bonus!

9. I use the lip mask every night.

10. And then follow with a lash and brow serum.

So, that’s my current skincare regimen in a nutshell. 😉 I know it might seem like a lot, and honestly, it is. But I really enjoy pampering my skin, and it never feels like a chore to me.

What does your skincare regimen look like? What are some of your favorite products?

Questions? Leave them in the comments below!


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