My Skincare Routine

Although my skincare is forever evolving, there are a few staples that are almost always in the rotation even when I am trying something new. 

That 'something new' at this moment is the 'Redefine' regimen by Rodan + Fields. I honestly just had to see what all the hype was about. I tried the 'Soothe' regimen for facial redness and irritation and I loved it, but I also felt I could do without it for the summer. My redness and irritation typically calms down during the summer.

A few months ago I had my mother start on the 'Redefine' regimen which was formulated to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores. She turned 66 this year, and I knew that she really needed a good skincare regimen. This would be an easy step-by-step routine to follow, and something that she would hopefully actually remember to use. Not too long after beginning the regimen my mom went to visit family. My cousin (who never calls me) actually took my sister's phone and called me to rave about my mom's skin! She had seen her just a few months prior, but she couldn't believe the improvement in her skin and how great she looked. She thought I was doing office procedures for her and she wanted to learn more. I thought for a moment and I realized the only thing that had changed was that she had started that regimen 2 months prior!

And that, along with glowing reviews from others and extensive research on the formulations, compelled me to purchase it for myself. I had to see what was so special about this regimen. I am not using it exclusively, and I do plan to make it last longer than the 2 months that is typical for these Rodan + Fields products because it's not cheap. 

This is my current regimen in a nutshell, morning & evening included.

This is my current regimen in a nutshell, morning & evening included.

Now let me get back to explaining my own full regimen, which is pictured above. I do double cleanse because on most days I do wear makeup. One of the staples that I simply cannot live without is my Palmer's cleansing oil. I began using this about 2 years ago. It's my first evening step; I use one pump and apply it to my dry skin to gently remove my makeup (especially my mascara). I rub this in a circular motion all over my face and lashes and then I rinse it off. If I don't have makeup on that day then I skip this step. I initially purchased this at Target, so when I went for a replacement and I couldn't find it I settled for a different oil cleanser that was on sale. I hated it! It made my eyes burn like crazy when I rubbed it in to remove my mascara. No joke, I threw it in the trash can, then ordered my beloved Palmer's oil cleanser online. It has a very gentle smell of rosehip seed which I have grown to absolutely love. 

The 'Redefine' regimen contains 3 steps, which includes two step 3 moisturizers (one for morning use and one for evening use). The first step is the cleansing mask which is a white paste that contains kaolin clay along with an array of ant-aging peptides. Kaolin clay gently exfoliates and removes excess oil from the skin. Because I don't think it's necessary to exfoliate twice a day (or even every day for that matter) I only use the cleansing mask in the evening 4-5 days per week. I allow it to dry for 2 minutes then rinse it off. In the morning I will skip this exfoliating mask and instead I use a gentle foaming cleanser by Cerave. I will also use this a couple of evenings during the week when I want to give the exfoliating mask a break. 

Step 2 is the toner, which is what I was most excited to try. I apply a small amount to my entire face using a cotton round. I have very large pores and this is supposedly a magic potion to diminish the appearance of them. It contains lactobionic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is rather new and apparently hard to find (trust me, I searched!). Because of its slightly different chemical structure lactobiotic acid is more hydrating than glycolic acid (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2010, source: FutureDerm). Studies have found it to be more tolerable than glycolic acid as far as skin irritation is concerned,  and it's also been found to brighten the skin over time (FutureDerm). 

In the morning I will follow the step 2 toner with another beloved staple which I have been using daily for about 3 months now, rosehip seed oil. I received the above pictured Julep rosehip seed oil complimentary from Influenster and I let it collect dust on my vanity for about a year! For some reason I was concerned that I may have some sort of hypersensitivity reaction to it, and it just never seemed like a good time to take that risk and try it. When I finally did try it I fell in love with it. Rosehip seed oil contains essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids) which are super hydrating and also helps to combat acne, hyperpigmentation and inflammation. It's also rich in rock star antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, all of which complement each in order to shield skin cells from sun damage and therefore protect the skin's health and appearance. Plus, I already mentioned I am a fan of the gentle smell of rosehip seed oil. I am almost positive I will repurchase this one when I run out! 


After I apply my serum I go ahead and apply the step 3 AM moisturizer which contains broad spectrum SPF 30. I know I'm not the only one who hates the smell of sunscreen, but that definitely won't ever deter me from applying it to my face every single day. Fortunately this one smells really nice! And it has some other great ingredients such as hyaluronate sodium (think hyaluronic acid i.e. lots of hydration plus collagen synthesis), and resveratrol which is a promising anti-aging and UV protecting antioxidant (PubMed). After doing more research into the ingredients listed I'm a big fan, and I only wish there were more product!

Step 3 AM (above): Triple Defense Treatment with SPF 30  Step 3 PM (below) Overnight Restorative Cream

Step 3 AM (above): Triple Defense Treatment with SPF 30

Step 3 PM (below) Overnight Restorative Cream

Now switching back again to the nighttime routine. As I mentioned previously I will use the 'Redefine' cleansing mask most evenings, and occasionally replace it with a gentle cleansing foam cleanser by Cerave. Next I apply Differin (Adapalene) which is a prescription-strength retinoid that is available over-the-counter.

Retinoids not only work to unclog pores and reduce inflammation associated with acne, but they also cause high cell turnover which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discoloration. I have been using Differin for about a year and a half now. 

Lastly, I apply the step 3 overnight restorative cream. This contains tetrapeptide-21, an anti-aging peptide that has been found to significantly improve skin quality and wrinkles while also increasing procollagen production (PubMed). It also contains niacinamide which is a B vitamin and antioxidant that improves hyperpigmentation, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which also helps hyperpigmentation, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), and retinyl palmatate which is a combination of retinol and palmitic acid (basically a milder form of vitamin A/retinol). 

So that's the bread and butter of my skincare regimen! Of course, here and there I will change things up. When I am trying new products I typically minimize what I use so that I can avoid irritation. Do you use any of the above? I would love to hear thoughts, especially on the 'Redefine' regimen. Personally, I love it! I have noticed that my pores look smaller and my skin just looks healthier overall. You can purchase the R+F Redefine regimen by clicking here. To read about some more affordable alternatives to Rodan + Fields click here.