New Year New You ~ How To Build Your Skincare Wardrobe

Just as your sartorial wardrobe is built upon staple pieces that are timeless building blocks, immune to fads and the moving tides of fashion (a great pair of black pants, the LBD, a killer blazer), so should your skincare wardrobe be built with staple pieces, tailor made for your specific skin type.


If you read yesterday’s blogpost on pairing down and thinning out your exisiting products (click here) and hopefully acted on it, now you are ready to build your skincare wardrobe.

This is a list of the building block products that make up a great skincare program. For those who prefer a minimalist approach there is the option to pare down, for those who like me can never have enough products or steps in the skincare treatment plan there is the option to add in.

Where it begins:

1. Eyemakeup Remover
This one lets overlooked far too often. Eyemakeup remover is designed to dissolve and remove all eye makeup products, even the most stubborn waterproof mascara, and do it gently. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest most delicate skin on the body, and the quickest to show signs of aging. Rubbing away at it with the wrong products will make you look older, faster.
You choose.
There are plenty of good ones out there. I use Makeup Forever’s SensEyes because it’s for even the most sensitive of skins, it dissolves everything, and it doesn’t leave a filmy barrier on the skin that stops treatment products from penetrating.

2. Cleanser


You would be amazed at how many girls and women get this one wrong. You need a cleanser specific to your skin type. Which means you need to know your skin type first. Most of us get a little shiney in the T Zone, but this doesn’t mean we are oily – for the most part it means we are normal or normal combination. 
Oily skin is generally oily all over, or has significant oil residue sitting on the surface of the T Zone. If you really are oily then you should use a foaming cleanser. If you are not actually oily, or if you have a normal or dry cheek area using a foaming cleanser can strip your skin and make it super dry.
I love oil cleansers for everyone, and cleansing milks for normal to dry skins. If you really are super dry and don’t want to use an oil cleanser a cleansing cream works well.

3. Toner or Refresher
If you are oily a toner is a great rinse cycle product, if you are normal to dry then a refresher is a better choice.
Toners lift away excess oil while refreshers prepare the skin for the next step. Both lift away any residue from your cleanser.

Daytime products

Katie Bunn by Eric Cassee, makeup by Corinna Cooke

4. Serum
Add in a serum to address specific concerns. Maybe you need help with acne, maybe you’re looking for anti-aging help or a barrier against environmental pollutants. Whatever your skin needs there is a serum for you.
I love Rhonda Allison serums. Actually I love all her products.

5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, shielding the skin from free radicals and environmental damage.
It makes skin healthier and brighter, boosts collagen, increases the effectiveness of your sunscreens and boosts your skin’s defense against UV exposure.

6. Eyecream
The eye area needs it’s own moisture product. If you need less help opt for an eye gel, if you need more hydration around the eyes go for an eye cream.

7. Moisturizer
Make sure your daytime moisturizer is specific to your skin type. Most of us don’t need a really heavy product during the day, but we all need to address the hydration equation.

8. Facial Oil
The greatest thing ever. A few drops of a good facial oil make an incredible diference especially to normal and dry skins. Facial oils make the skin glow and have all kinds of benefits. My favorite is Nude Pro genius Facial Treatment Oil. I’ve used it daily for several years now (read about it here)
I love to put on a couple of drops before applying makeup, to make the skin glow and to make foundation look amazing.

9. Facial SPF
Don’t be tricked into thinking the SPF in your moisturizer or your foundation is sufficient to protect you from melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, sun damage, fast tracked aging of the skin or anythinng else.
There isn’t enough in there and you would have to put a super thick, opaque layer of it on to get even close to the SPF number on the lable, which is typically low.
You need SPF protection 365 days per year, so use a freestanding broadspectrum facial SPF product. I use Neutrogena Dry Touch with Heliopex in the highest SPF the store has, every day of the year. Its has a dry finish that makeup goes on beautifully over.

Night Time Products


Night time is when your skin does all it’s repair work, so it needs a specialized set of products to help it along and to boost the turnover of cells.

The huge advances in skincare all stem from Korea. One of my favorites is the incredible essence products. In fact Korean women, with their absolutely sensational skin, will tell you that essence is the most essential step in any skin care plan.
It is a concentrated formula that treats skin on a cellular level, targeting fine lines and wrinkles, dull and uneven skin tones.
Korean essences have a special ingredient that optimizes the skin’s natural turnover rate (regeneration). You will definitely notice a substantially smoother, brighter, more vibrant skin. 

The Missha Time Revolution Essence is super popular and less than half the price of the $100 SK II Essence. 

Like day time serums, night time serums tackle specific needs. I can never get enough serums! You can go more high tech, super boosted by using an ampoule in place of a regular strength serum.

Retinoids are the gold standard in skincare when it comes to evening out skin tone, reversing sun damae, shrinking pores and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. 
Simply put, everyone needs to use a retinoid.
I’ve written about them often, but for more about retinA click here

Eye Cream
I use the same one day and night, but you can also get specific nightime eye creams.

Night Cream
Unless skin is super young or oily, (or for myself if I am somewhere humid),  I like to use a really enriching, emollient, heavy hitting night cream. I love skin to look glowy with all the extra hydration at sleep time.

Ancillary Products

There are a few additional products that boost and support your main skincare items, but that you don’t use daily.

I don’t care for exfoliating scrubs. I always think they rough up and scratch the baby skin underneath, so I prefer enzyme masks to exfoliate. Ideally you only want to exfoliate every week or two.

Sheet Masks


I love these! When I have the time I like to use them at least once (or twice) per week. You look a bit like Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, but the sheet actually forces the skin to absorb the product better than if you just applied it to the surface.
I often buy the cheapie sheet masks at the asian market – there are so many to choose from, from brightening to tightening, hydrating to collagen boosting. They are fabulous.

On the Aeolian Island of Lipari with Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydrating Lifting Mask

When I really want to feel luxurious I use the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask
I travel with these single serve masks. They breathe new life into tired, dehydrated skin, and work like magic after a long international flight.

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