Basic Five-Product Skincare System

25 Jan


click photo for close up!

As an Esthetician I always have a hard time convincing people just how important it is to take great care of your skin at HOME.  A skincare regime will help to prolong your facial results, and just plain keep your skin in good shape! It’s the same advice I give to all my girlfriends; I’m ALWAYS insisting to them that it’s imperative to take care of your face!  Our faces just aren’t a great place to skimp since we don’t live in a society where covered faces are the norm… 

Now, I’m not suggesting that you need to spend hundreds of dollars on your skincare regime, I’m not even insisting that you need 15 different products to care for your skin; but what you do need to do is make some thoughtful choices about AT-HOME skincare if you want to keep your skin looking and feeling nicer, for longer.

After 12 years in the skincare industry, I feel that I have a fairly good grasp when it comes to what the most important products EVERYONE should own are.  Below is my tried and true basic system that I feel even the lowest maintenance, busiest person can do.

 In my opinion you should spend a little more on certain products, although even a cheaper version of those mentioned is so much better than nothing!  This is not what I would call a “comprehensive” skincare regime, but it’s a great start for those who don’t currently have one, and a good foundation to build on for those beauty mavens, like me.

The Basics:

 1.     A DEEP CLEANSER: Your deep cleanser should be appropriate for YOUR skin type.  If it’s on the oily side, get a gel cleanser, if it’s dry choose a creamier version. The point is, you want something that will deep clean for YOU and help take off the daily grime without stripping! Expensive cleansers are not that important (in my opinion), cleansers just aren’t on your skin long enough to REALLY make a huge difference, but picking the right one for your skin IS very important.

2.     A GOOD HYDRATER: This is a moisturizer that you can use both day and night if needed.  Some of you will prefer a thinner oil-free version and some need something richer.  You might have to change this depending on the season but you DO NOT want this to contain SPF because you may need to use it at night.  I don’t care what type of skin you have, whether it’s acne-prone or sensitive and beyond, moisture has gotten a raw deal when it come to skin problems and it is a step that should not be avoided!

3.     A GOOD SPF: For everyday, my personal opinion is that for MOST of us SPF15 is just fine, and it’s usually found in most of our foundations.  However, it is important to have a great SPF30 in your skincare arsenal.  I personally don’t believe in SPF’s that are higher (I know, there’s a gasp heard round the world).  There are a lot of people who disagree with me here, but I believe higher SPF provides both a false sense of security when you’re in the sun (you need to reapply or get the heck out of it!), and opens you up to irritation and/or breakouts. There are tons of options out there, from powders to creams; I’ve tried both and think they both work well, but I generally spend a little more for something that won’t cause problems for my skin, even if it’s at the drugstore.

4.     A GOOD EXFOLIATOR: Exfoliants are often found in 2 different forms, either a manual scrub (one with beads present), or acids (such as AHA’s or BHA’s).  I exfoliate every single day, which is fine for some but not for everyone! Most people find their exfoliation-sweet-spot somewhere between 1-3 times weekly. Exfoliation is my big secret in combination with hydration, so do not skip this! Exfoliants are what make your skin look bright and clear!

5.     A CORRECTING PRODUCT AKA TREATMENT: This is generally some sort of serum, which you might want to change fairly regularly, or seasonally depending on what’s going on with your skin. Correcting products generally contain retinols, glycolics, anti-agers, or other high-powered ingredients aimed at targeting whatever might be going on with your skin at any given moment.  This one is gonna be the most expensive because you need it to do the most work, and that often costs money!


There it is!  Again, this is very basic; you don’t want to even know what I have in my skincare cabinet!  I’m happy to help anyone with more specific questions or concerns in the comment section as time permits.  What I want my readers to take away from this article is that facials are important, regularly, or seasonally to help get your skin in great shape.  Think of facials as maintenance for your face; however, at-home-skincare is even more important because it’s something you do every single day! (And that’s from me, an Esthetician, who wants you to come in for facials telling you that what you do at home is even more important!)

 Products: Most can be found at


1. Purity by Philosophy, great at deep cleaning but not too drying!

2. Yonka Lait Nettoyant Cleansing Milk ( Perfectly gentle for dryer sensitive types, and on of my favorite Estheticians favorite cleansers!

3. Josie Maran: Argan Cleansing Oil: I LOVE cleansing OILS! These are good for everyone if you pick the right brands, but really great for dryer types! Do be scared of OIL!


4. Hope in a Jar by Philosophy: I love this cream, it’s great for normal and combo types, and they have one called “When Hope is Not Enough’ for even dryer types.

5.Peter Thomas Roth: Ultra Lite Oil Free Moisturizer: This is great for skin that is prone to breakouts or gets very oil, it can always be boosted with a serum if you need a touch more hydration!


6.Dermalogica Super Sensitive Sunblock SPF 30: This travels well, soaks in, and is great for men!

7.Jan Marini Anti-Oxidant SPF 30: This is my go to EXTRA sunscreen; I take it with me to the pool, to the beach, or on a day in my convertible, and REAPPLY people!

8. Kiss My Face: SPF 30: Great for sensitive skin, water RESISITANT, and a lot cheaper than the other ones… this goes traveling with me too!


9. Jurlique Enzyme Exfoliator: Smells great, feels great, good for just about anyone!

10. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish: This is the one I use every single day.  I’m not recommending you do it that often, but this one is just lovely!


11. Clear Skin Ultra Gel (Bloom Skincare, Los Altos): Around here we call this liquid gold.  I have just about all my favorite people in the world using this to help curb breakouts (clears you up without drying you out!).  It’s not crazy expensive and it lasts a LONG time.  Perfect for adult breakouts… I wear mine daily under my moisturizer.

12. Cell Youth Actif (Bloom Skincare, Los Altos): Ok peeps, I begged my boss to get this.  We all tried it and loved it!  It’s got all sorts for new anti-agers, plumpers, and brighteners in it and it’s a great time to start using it for a wonderful glow.  This is a PERFECT example of what a treatment product should look like! But it will cost you!

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