Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Sensitive Skin

Image of Rachel Sheldon
Rachel Sheldon

It's been a while since I updated this blog on my everyday skincare routine, and a few important things have changed.

I've been through several iterations of an everyday (morning and nighttime) routine over the past year or so, and I think I've finally settled on a set of products that work amazingly well. My acne has been mostly under control - minus a few hormonal-related breakouts - and I haven't had any rashes or other sensitivity from products in a while. 

Of course, my routine will probably shift and change over time but for right now I'm really happy with where I'm at!

Take a peek into my daily morning and nighttime skincare routine (plus a few bonus weekly items):

Morning Routine For Acne-Prone Sensitive Skin:

1. Cleanse with water

2. Tone with Thayer's Rose Water Witch Hazel (Amazon)

3. Apply a mixture of 1 pump Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Day serum + 1 pump Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration serum (Sephora + Sephora).

(Review alert! Check out my full reviews of both the Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum and the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra serum for more in-depth information.)

4. Moisturize with REN ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream (Dermstore)

5. Apply Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme (Sephora)

For a while, I was using up a sample of the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide cream, while is a nice lightweight moisturizer without too many frills. I'll be posting a review of that product soon, as I think I would repurchase it again. For the time being however, I'm back to my trusty REN ClearCalm Gel Cream.


Nighttime Routine For Acne-Prone Sensitive Skin:

1. Remove makeup with Boscia MakeUp BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil (Sephora)

2. Cleanse with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (Amazon)

3. Apply Glossier Super Pure Serum (Glossier)

(Budget dupe: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum - The Ordinary)

4. Moisturize with Teddie Organics Rosehip Seed Oil (Amazon)

5. Apply Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (Sephora)

skincare products on shelf

My medicine cabinet with (almost) all my everyday favorites

About 2-3 times per week, I'll apply the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos night serum before my facial oil. (Sephora) Check out my review for the T.L.C Framboos serum. It's my ride-or-die night serum for absolutely incredible, glowing skin, so even though the price is painful, it's definitely worth it.

Another great product I was using religiously during the winter is the REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm - this is a lifesaver for dry, sensitive skin in the cold winter months and it feels amazing on the skin. I'll put it away for the summer, since my skin is more combination during those months, but it will definitely be coming out again. Check out my full review of the REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery balm for more thoughts.

I usually use a face mask about 2-4 times per week, depending on the week. My favorite face masks of the moment are:

  • Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask (Sephora) - check out my review here
  • Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay (Sephora)
  • Fresh Rose Face Mask (Sephora)

And that's it! I find that keeping my routine as simple as possible, while incorporating active ingredients like AHAs and Vitamin C, plus soothing ingredients like niacinamide and zinc keeps my skin happy, clear, and glowing.


UPDATE 2021:

Since writing this post, my skincare routine has changed significantly and I've made amazing progress on my acne journey. I've written about it in this updated blog post, though I do still stand by all the products mentioned in this post.

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