Here's How I Edited Down My Skincare Routine and Got the Best Skin of My Life

Lately, I've been all about keeping things minimalistic in every place in my life, from my home to my beauty routine. Now, keeping my skincare routine simple used to be a real challenge for me because it is my job to learn about and try new products for a living. But my skin, unfortunately, bore the brunt of all of the new products I was trying at the same time. Fortunately, as I've learned more about my skin and the science of skincare, I've given up using one too many products before I've even finished the one I just opened.

For my combination, sensitive skin less is always best or more, as the saying typically goes. My skin enjoys gentle hydrating formulas as well as actives like vitamin C and retinol, along with a biweekly chemical exfoliation treatment. Below, I will share the current products I paired my routine down to for now. However, I do want to note that I don't use all of these at the same time—I just keep them in my beauty closet at all times. But, when I feel like I want to switch a product up after I've finished one, instead of reaching for something I've never tried before, I reach for my version of a tried and true.

Now, let's get to it!

I love a balm cleanser, especially on days when I wear makeup. This creamy cleanser melts the day right off without leaving a greasy residue behind or causing breakouts. I always use this with a muslin cloth to make sure I remove everything.

I have always struggled with finding a cleanser that doesn't irritate my skin or cause unwanted breakouts. I was introduced to this marine peptide, chamomile, and ginger root-infused cleanser by esthetician Rio Viera-Newton and have been using it every morning since.

With actives like lactic and malic acid acids, the formula is mild and never causes my skin to get overstimulated. Not to mention it removes oil and makeup amazingly.

I couldn't get enough after one wash when I first got my hands on this. Because this formula offers exfoliation, I only use it once a week, and my skin gets all of the brightening, decongesting benefits.

Now and then, I get so tired from the day that washing my face just doesn't happen. Admittedly—and this is a rarity—I'll reach for this and a cotton pad before bed.

I used to think eye cream was an overrated skincare addition, but after this one was recommended, I started to see why eye creams are necessary, especially after a long night.

I have been using this serum for years as a nighttime treatment for anti-aging benefits but found that it has helped my hyperpigmentation in a big way. My skin soaks up every drop and it never clogs my pores.

You may be thinking a clay mask is a clay mask. If you have combo skin that is prone to overdrying, which leads to irritation or breakouts, this hydrating yet purifying formula never disappoints. I also love that it's a multitasker, as it makes an excellent overnight spot treatment.

The honey-like texture of this retinol-based serum is a healthy treat for my easily sensitized skin.

I've used quite a few hyaluronic acid serums, and I always return to this one. This product is formulated with calming and hydrating ingredients like green tea, leaf water, aloe juice, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin—my skin thanks me every time I use it. Niacinamide is my skincare superhero. I can tell the difference in my skin when I'm not using it. I love that this formula is infused with peptides as my skin looks and feels plumper after each use.

Niacinamide is my skincare superhero. I can tell the difference in my skin when I'm not using it. I love that this formula is infused with peptides as my skin looks and feels plumper after each use.

My hyperpigmentation and overall skin texture have benefited so much from the consistent use of this investment vitamin C, and it lasts for months.

If you're a brown-skinned girl, you know the struggle of finding a sunscreen that doesn't leave a white cast. Not only does this one not leave you looking like a ghost, but it also has a brightening ingredient—vitamin C—and the formula plays well under makeup.

I don't always make time to steam my face each week with my self-care facial, but I put this beauty tool to use at least once a month.

My weekly facial has this treatment at the center. I've been using this for over a year, and it has continued to smooth my skin without overstimulating.

I used to be so bad at overdoing it on the exfoliation, and my skin would not only break out, but it would hurt. This brings me to this sheet mask. It is the only one I reach for if my skin is irritated.

As you can see, I love this brand of sheet masks. After an exfoliating treatment or clay mask, this honey extract, hyaluronic acid, and calendula-infused mask is my go-to.

I've always had dark circles under my eyes, but they've become more noticeable lately, mainly under makeup. So before applying concealer for an event or night out, I use these for added hydration and brightening.

I consider my primer a part of my skincare routine and even wear it on makeup-free days. When I apply this one, it always feels like my skin is taking a big sip of water, and it visibly smooths the skin sans silicones.

I always have a hydrating mist on hand in my purse, and this one is my new favorite. I use it to set my makeup or for a midday refresh.

I apply this balm to my lips every night before bed because lip care is skincare, and my lips tend to be on the drier side because of lip licking.

Next, I'm in My 60s, and This Is the Winter Skincare Routine That's Saved My Skin