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 (they are no longer in JC Penney, but you can find Sephora in Kohl’s!) 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 2024
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An easy skin care regimen for busy women: The products that worked for my 40-something skin

About my simple new skincare regimen

I started by sitting down with Nic, my awesome Sephora Beauty Educator, for a free Skin Care 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.

6 easy, no-fuss skin care products for aging skin recommended to me by a beauty consultant | cool mom picks

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 (It’s now back!)

– More details below! – 

Keep in mind that these products were selected specifically for me and my needs, so I recommend you get your own skincare makeover to ensure you’re getting the right products for your skin type. They can even determine that for you if you’re not sure.

I will say that having very sensitive skin, I am thrilled that after 10 days on my easy skincare regimen, I’ve have had absolutely no issues with any of these products. Phew.

Here’s what goes into my easy skincare regimen

Caudal Vinoclean Micellar Water: Great for dry skin, and busy women who want a fast no-rinse makeup remover

1. Clean your face.

Clean your face with a gentle Micellar cleanser like Caudalie’s VInoclean Cleansing Micellar Water using your favorite cotton pads. (You can also try Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water if you’re on a budget; it’s half the price.)  The best part is that it’s soap-free and the no-rinse formula means no water required. Perfect for busy moms like me who want as few steps as possible.


Simple skin care regimen: Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior2-in-1 Plumping Moisturizer + Hyaluronic Serum

2. Apply a moisturizing serum

Apply Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior2-in-1 Plumping Moisturizer + Hyaluronic Serum over your face after cleansing. And don’t forget your neck! This serum is highly rated for good reason.


Simple skin care regimen: Algenist Triple Algae Eye Renewal Balm Eye Cream

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. It’s a good trick for all products when you’re dealing with the sensitive skin around your eyes, by the way. This eye cream can also be used on your eyelids — which I learned is not the case for all eye creams. (I also didn’t realize that an eye cream could be part of an easy skincare regimen — more on that below.)

Simple skin care regimen: Dr. Jart+Every Sun Day Face Sunscreen with SPF 50+ under makeup for a nice natural glow with sun protection

4. Use sunscreen. Yes, even in winter.

Next, I apply Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day Face Sunscreen SPF 50+, which allows me to skip a second application of moisturizer. (Step #2 already covered me there.)  This sunscreen is great under makeup and gives your skin a nice, natural glow. And if you’re going for an easy, simple skincare regimen then you want products that let you skip steps!

Simple skin care regimen: Sephora Collection lip balm and scrub keeps lips moisturized, smooth and gorgeous

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 Moisturizing Lip Balm to keep lips smooth, and moisturized. Note that this product was gone for a while but now in 2024 it’s back, and the coconut scent is amazing, and the balm is colorless. If you prefer a bit of a tint, check out Watermelon, Raspberry or Cherry.

If your lips need a little help staying moisturized, try the Sephora Collection Exfoliating Lip Scrub, which exfoliates without rough scrubbing; you can apply it before the balm or right before any lip color.

(Editor’s Note: Exfoliating is a good tip if you like long-lasting lip color like Nars Powermatte, which is fantastic but can be drying over time.)

Related: Yes, this celebrity-fave face peel is as good as they say it is. For a change.

5 things I learned when I stuck with my easy skincare regimen for 10 days

10 day skincare regimen before and after: Kristen Chase of Cool Mom PicksThe 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 feel my face. Here’s what else I learned:

1. Just washing my face every night was not enough “skin care” for me.
I’ve always had pretty good skin, so I guess I misjudged skipping 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.) It 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 the cosmetics from my skin.

I shudder to think what I was leaving on my face all these years. But that’s behind me now.

2. A good, easy 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 be so time-consuming. I had imagined spending a good 5–10 minutes, morning and night, wiping things on and off my face, which is not the case. Of course  there are excellent regimens that require dual cleansing and rinses, which are great, but they do take longer.

I actually timed myself completing my new daily skincare regimen, and even with the time it took to pull the products out of my vanity, this entire routine took less than a minute.

Imagine giving up one whole minute scanning through your social media 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 helped bookend my day in a nice way. This created some emotional benefits I hadn’t expected at all.

Certainly it’s no meditation or yoga session, but I found that taking just 60 seconds for myself at the start and end of each day helped to center me and get me ready to tackle my day — or bring it to a close.

Now, properly cleansing and moisturizing my face each morning and night feels essential to my daily routine — which makes it much more likely I’ll 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 thought had become a permanent fixture on my 40-year-old face. I credit 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.

5. An easy skincare regimen only works if you stick to it.
Stopping and starting will not yield results. Consistency is the key for pretty much all of this,  so don’t just try a product I’m recommending twice, then give up on it. Give it some time!

6. My skin looks so much better!
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 with just two minutes a day for the first 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 when you have the right products for your own skincare 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 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!