When my alarm wakes me brutally early to get my day going, the one thing I look forward to is my skincare routine. And this routine is something I am not willing to sacrifice no matter how early it is, how tired I am or how little time I have.

I started using legitimate skincare quite early, I believe I was 13, and my mom is the one who taught me about it and made sure I integrated it into my morning and night routines. It all started with the classic 3-step skincare routine from Clinique and to be honest, I have not really strayed far from the brand since!

As a teen, I had your typical “thanks to puberty” acne and made it worse because I was a popper and a picker (sorry, TMI haha). Light makeup is what got me through it. By the time I was 18 or 19 my acne changed. Instead of being texture issues, I had invisible, terribly painful bumps under my skin. Sometimes so sensitive that I could feel pain when I smiled. At age 20 I had my first facial after a stressful exam week, that visibly had stressed out my skin. This is when I learned that I did not have combination, but very dry skin. So dry, that it caused those painful, yet invisible pimples out of stress! I changed my skincare, made sure to sweat more and since then I have been perfecting my routine!

Recently, I have found a routine that seems to really work for me and brought me back to trusty old Clinique. My skin is by no means perfect, I still get the occasional breakout and have some discoloration from past acne scars, but it’s nothing that I cannot manage with the use of a little makeup and the proper products.


Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser

This cleanser is a light-weight, super sudsy, gentle option to get surface grime off and also take off makeup. As it is so gentle I do not solely depend on this to get my face perfectly clean, but in combination with my other Clinique products, it gets the job done perfectly!

Pep-Start™ 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser

This cleanser is one of the newest additions to my skincare routine. It is definitely much more aggressive than the Rinse-Off Foaming cleanser as it has little exfoliating granules in it. Initially, I was worried that this would be too harsh on my skin for daily use, but I actually really love it. My skin is very soft and radiant after using it and ready for my remaining skincare.

Acne Solutions™ Clarifying Lotion

This toner is perfect for my acne prone skin. It helps reduce the blemishes that I may currently have and prevents others from coming on. This too is a rather aggressive product that does strip the skin of some of its oils, so I do use a very little amount and it gets the job done. Just be sure to take the time to moisturize after!

Clinique Pep-Start™ HydroRush Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

One of Clinique’s newest products is this moisturizer! It is the perfect daytime, on the go, moisturizer as it contains SPF. Although I have been using skincare for years, I rarely cared about SPF, unfortunately. As I try to pay more attention now, this is a great product for me as it lays the base for my makeup, while protecting my skin at the same time.

Pep-Start™ HydroBlur Moisturizer

This is my favorite product to use at the moment! The consistency of this moisturizer is a 10/10 and feels so good on the skin. It sounds strange, but I truly feel like it blurring my skin and making it appear almost flawless! I use this as my nighttime moisturizer and it keeps my skin nourished until the next morning.

Pep-Start™ Eye Cream

In the last weeks, I decided it was time to add an eye cream to my routine. As a glasses wearer, my eye area does tend to get a little dry and this eye cream refreshes and hydrates almost instantly. I, fortunately, do not have issues with bags under my eyes (yet) but, it does give off a cool sensation that I am sure would only be beneficial!

Acne Solutions™ Clinical Clearing Gel

This product is truly a godsend for my occasional breakouts. I apply this after I applied my moisturizer, both day and night or anytime in between on any spots causing an issue. Whether I feel a pimple coming on, am trying to tame one that surfaced, or am trying to heal one, this stuff works magic.

EOS Visibly Soft Lip Balm & EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm

I have a slight addiction to lip products… From the moment I saw EOS balls, as I call them, I knew I needed them in my life. The formula is thick and nourishing, so much so that I often wake up with some still left on my lips. I use one of them every night before bed and my lips are rarely chapped!

Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm Stick with Kokum Butter

Onwards with my lip product obsession… Burt’s Bees is another favorite. Whether or not I am wearing a lipstick throughout the day, I always prep my lips with a little bit of this lip balm. Alone, it adds a subtle sheen to my lips, but it also helps lipstick go on smooth and keeps my lips hydrated!


I work out in the mornings, but I love using my skincare before a workout too. It really helps me wake up. So these are the products I use at this time of day:

  1. Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser
  2. Acne SolutionsTM Clarifying Lotion
  3. Whatever moisturizer I have yet to use up. This is when I test out a lot of the little samples that I get when purchasing products. If I don’t like it, it’s ok because I will sweat it off and wash my face again after my workout

After my workout, I shower and wash my face again. Most days this is also when I apply my makeup unless I am having a no makeup day. This routine leaves my face feeling fresh and ready for makeup and does not give me issues with any of my makeup products.

  1. Rinse Off Foaming Cleanser
  2. Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion
  3. Pep-Start  HydroRush Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20
  4. Pep-Start Eye Cream
  5. Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm Stick with Kokum Butter

At the end of the day, I like to double cleanse my face. For one, I have been out and about throughout the day and really want to get that grime off of me, but I also want to get all of the makeup off. I NEVER skip washing my face at night because waking up with a breakout is just zero fun and totally preventable if you take a few minutes to care for your skin.

  1. Rinse Off Foaming Cleanser (if I wore makeup, this is what I use to take it off first)
  2. Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser
  3. Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion
  4. Pep-Start Eye Cream
  5. EOS Visibly Soft Lip Balm & EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm

Skin is the biggest organ on our bodies, but often times the last one we think of caring for. Thankfully, my parents instilled in me the value behind great skincare. My dad suffers from some major skin issues that I luckily have not inherited. For this reason, I choose to care for my skin, even more, in a preventative manner. Yes, this is not inexpensive, but again, it’s the largest organ of my body. I watch what I eat and drink, so why not give skin the same care?

What are some of your favorite skincare products?

With love,

Lena Marie

*Disclaimer, this post is not sponsored.

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