I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only mom who barely has enough energy to wash her face at night and slap some moisturizer on, since I’m so darn tired I just want to brush my teeth and hit the sack.
Yes, the 30 seconds it would take me always seems like 30 seconds too long. Let alone the time I can spend in the mornings. Yeah, nope.
So as you can imagine, the idea of sticking to an actual skincare regimen twice a day for 10 days — like, not just washing but using actual serums and ointments — seems pretty unlikely to me. But when our sponsor Sephora (did you know there are ones right inside JCPenney?) put me up to the challenge, I committed to giving it a shot.
Besides, hello, 40! Time for me to take better care of my skin the way I’m trying to take better care of my body.
If you’re considering stepping up your own skincare regimen, but want something easy, check out the one they recommended for me — and the results, complete with my actual before and after photos after just 10 days sticking with it.
Updated for 2023
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About Kristen’s easy new skincare regimen
I started by sitting down with Nic, my awesome Sephora Beauty Educator, for a free SkinCare Basics Makeover. You can get your own for free too! It takes just 15 minutes. Or there are plenty of other services available.
At my request, I wanted a new anti-aging regimen for dry skin, and so Nic recommended these products, which I was more than happy to try considering how great my face had looked and felt after the SkinCare Basics Makeover I got at their Garden City, Long Island store a few weeks ago.
1 Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior2-in-1 Plumping Moisturizer + Hyaluronic Serum
2 Algenist Triple Algae Eye Renewal Balm Eye Cream
3 Sephora Organic Cotton Rounds
4 Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day Face Sunscreen SPF 50+
5 Caudalie’s VInoclean Cleansing Micellar Water
6 Sephora Collection Lip Balm and Scrub
– More details below! –
Now, keep in mind that these were picked specifically for me and my needs, so I highly recommend you head over for your own makeover to insure you’re getting the right products for your skin type, which they can determine for you if you’re not sure.
I will say that having very sensitive skin, I am thrilled that after 10 days on this new skincare regimen, I’ve have had absolutely no issues with any of these products. Phew.
1. Clean your face.
Clean your face with a gentle Micellar cleanser like Caudalie’s VInoclean Cleansing Micellar Water using your favorite cotton pads. (Note that this product I first used is no longer available, but Caudalie is an outstanding brand, or try Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water.) The best part: It’s soap free and no-rinse, so no water required. Perfect for busy moms like me who want as few steps as possible.
2. Apply a moisturizing serum.
Apply Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior2-in-1 Plumping Moisturizer + Hyaluronic Serum all over after cleansing. And don’t forget your neck!
3. Work in a gentle eye cream.
Apply Algenist Triple Algae Eye Renewal Balm Eye Cream to hydrate the eye area and work on fine lines, by patting it gently under your eyes using your ring finger. (Good trick for all products when you’re dealing with the sensitive skin around your eyes.) This cream can also be used on your eyelids — which I learned is not the case for all eye creams.
4. Use sunscreen. Yes, even in winter.
Apply the Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day Face Sunscreen SPF 50+, which allows me to skip a second application of moisturizer, since step #2 already covered me there. It’s great under makeup and gives your skin a nice, natural glow.
5. Take care of your lips.
I hadn’t really thought of my lips as part of my daily skincare regimen, but Nic suggested I finish with Sephora Collection Lip Balm and Scrub to keep lips exfoliated, smooth, and moisturized, all without rough scrubbing. The coconut water is nice if you prefer more natural lips, but they also have tints like cherry, lychee, dragonfruit and rose.
5 things I learned when I stuck with my simple skincare regimen for 10 days
The promised no-makeup before/after photos! Look at my eyes!
My results: My skin is less puffy overall, evidently including my hair (ha), and it looks and feels tighter. It’s softer too, but if you want proof, you’ll need to come visit me to feel my face.
1. Just washing my skin every night was definitely not enough.
I’ve always had pretty good skin, so I guess I’ve just become a little lazy in thinking that I could skip nightly face washing and moisturizing, especially if I hadn’t worn makeup that day. Boy, was I wrong.
I am amazed at the stuff I was wiping off my face, even in the morning. Even on days when I wore no makeup! (Cue dirty cotton pads.) Turns out that even if I am wearing just a light BB cream or tinted moisturizer and some blush, it can take a full two to three washings to fully remove it from my skin.
I shudder to think what I was leaving on my face all these years. But that ends now.
2. A good daily skincare regimen does not have to take more than 60 seconds.
I’m not quite sure why I thought that a good skincare routine would take so much time; I had imagined spending a good 5–10 minutes, morning and night, wiping things on and off my face. And yes, there are other regimens that include dual washes and rinses which do take longer.
However, I actually timed myself completing this entire daily skincare regimen, and even with the time it took to pull the products out of my vanity drawer, the entire routine took less than a minute.
Imagine giving up one whole minute scanning through your Twitter or Facebook feed in the morning and evening and there you go! You’ve now got your time to take care of your skin.
3. An easy ritual can become a kind of zen start and end to my day.
After a few days, I discovered that my little skincare regimen each morning and evening actually helped bookend my day in a nice way, with emotional benefits I hadn’t expected at all.
Certainly it’s no meditation or yoga, but I found that taking just 60 seconds for myself to start and end my day helped to center me and get me ready to tackle my day; or on the flip side, bring it to a close.
Now I feel like properly cleansing and moisturizing my face each morning and night are essential to my daily routine — which makes it much more likely I’ll actually stick with this regimen. Plus, we busy moms all deserve a little time to ourselves, even if it’s just one blissful minute at a time.
4. Good eye cream is no joke.
I was an admitted eye cream skeptic until I started seeing legit results on the bags that I mistakenly thought were a new permanent fixture on my 40-year-old face, thanks to the Algenist Triple Algae Eye Renewal Balm Eye Cream I used for 10 days.
I truly thought eye creams were just overpriced little containers of moisturizer, but it turns out that finding the right one for your skin can make a noticeable difference. I’ve also felt less need to wear under-eye concealer on a regular basis.
Oh, and regularity? That’s the key for pretty much all of this, really, so don’t just use a product I’m recommending twice then give up on it!
5. My skin looks so much better! Oh yes it does!
Okay so duh, of course my skin looked better after having an in-store skincare makeover from a professional. But what really surprised me is how much better my skin looks now that I’m doing it on my own — even after just two minutes a day for only 10 days.
I really, truly imagined that in order for me to see big differences, I would have to spend a lot of time and energy on all sorts of treatments and facials and super spendy masks and single-use serums to get results.
Turns out, that really, when you have the right products for your own needs, all you need are a few simple steps and not much time at all. Which is perfect. Because I’m a mom of four and a small business owner. And I have exactly…not much time at all.
Thanks so much to our sponsor Sephora Inside JCPenney for their recommendations. If you want to get your own free makeover with a Sephora consultant, walk-ins are often available without an appointment. Just show up!