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Once I Hit My 30s, I Rehauled A Lot Of My Skincare Routine — Here's What Changed

There's been a lot of trial and error along the way.

Hi! I'm Kathleen. I'm a 35-year-old mother of two little kiddos with a true love of skincare. (I promise I'm so much more than that, but skincare is what we're talking about here. 😘) Here's a picture of me, low-key hanging out in my bathroom, with messy hair + morning skincare applied + lip balm + a little mascara.

The author trying her best not to feel too ridiculous while taking a selfie in her bathroom

My skin concerns? Yeah, pretty on par for someone in her mid-30s.

A meme featuring Ali Wong that highlights all the anti-aging efforts women go through versus men

Discovering and trying new skincare has been a bit of a journey — and there has definitely been some trial and error involved.

Take it from me: Introduce new products one at a time! If your skin has a reaction to something, you want to make sure you know which product to avoid. 

I often find new products through Instagram. When I can, I try and support eco-friendly brands in my household — and that includes beauty brands with recyclable packaging and sustainable practices. Because that's important, too! 

I also recommend consulting with a dermatologist, if you have access to one. They always seem to have the most amazing skin (makes sense), and they're always happy to share their secrets and knowledge, while keeping in mind what your specific skin may (or may not) need.

And while there are SO MANY products out there, there are ways to save time and money while you find what works for you.

The author shows off some skincare samples.

OK, here are my holy grails! 🏆

There are always other products that I'm sampling and trying out for fun, but these are the ones that I'm consistently head-over-heels for.

1. First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Firming Collagen Cream: My absolute favorite moisturizer, which I've repurchased MANY times already.

2. The Ordinary's Caffeine Solution: A super-affordable eye serum for mornings when my eyes need a pick-me-up — just like my brain. 🙃

A jar of the Ordinary's Caffeine solution

3. Laniege's Lip Sleeping Mask: An overnight lip "mask" that you can slather on before bed, and know that by the time you wake up, your lips will be oh-so-soft.

4. Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Gel Cream: A tried-and-true drugstore staple for when you need reliable, fragrance-free moisture.

5. Glow Recipe's avocado retinol eye cream: Another before-bed staple that has been gentle enough for me to use every night.

A small jar of the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask is nestled into an actual avocado.

6. Garnier's micellar water: A comes-in-every-size drugstore gem that gently wipes away makeup and leaves my face feeling fresh and clean, not dry or tight.

Garnier micellar waters in every size

7. SkinCeuticals' Vitamin C serum: A splurge-y serum that I gave myself permission to buy after my dermatologist (and seemingly, the entire internet) recommended it.

A bottle of the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum.

8. Supergoop's mineral sunscreen: Because this list wouldn't be complete without the one skincare product that arguably makes the most important difference for just about anyone. Sunscreen!

Supergoop's matte screen, a 100% mineral broad spectrum sunscreen.

I hope you found this list helpful! What are your favorite products? What are you on the lookout for next? Let me know your recs and tips in the comments!