Since I was in my early 30s, I went totally crazy with skin care, all because the stress I was experiencing at the time was starting to reflect in my skin. I was going through such a difficult time that I lost a lot of weight at once and my skin seemed to become temporarily saggy, and I got a new wrinkle under each eye. I thought for sure I was now aging way too rapidly (I write this with a smile on my face, as my skin is great at age 37 and my anxiety wasn’t warranted). But ever since, I have spent probably a few thousand dollars over the years on creams and other anti-aging skin care devices and tools.

Luckily for you, that means I can share all the skin care products that I feel has worked wonders for me. I will keep this article updated if I find new recommendations.

My skin type: Fair, slightly oily T-zone sometimes, but otherwise not really dry or overly oily. I sunburn easily but it turns into a tan. Not much acne except for around my period. I do not wear foundation but I do wear concealer.

Routine: Wash my face 2x per day. Immediately after I apply toner (a moisturizing toner, not a drying one), serum, essence, emulsion, and finally moisturizer. Important to note: I got this multi-step skin care routine from Korean skin care practices (and products). Do I think it’s worth it? Absolutely, or I wouldn’t have been doing it for this long (trust me, I’m all about optimizing my time in the day). However, if I’m too busy to do all of that in the morning, I will keep it simpler and focus more on it at night, since our skin regenerates at night.

Don’t want to do all those steps? I would say if I were to choose any to cut out, it would be the essence and emulsion. They are both moisturizing formulas of varying degrees of thickness. Serums and essences are basically the same, but both will vary in thickness and moisture depending on which you buy. I focus on the moisture for my skin, so I layer on both (not to mention they both come in a kit that I buy, as you’ll see listed below).

I’ve found overall that toner and serum have really made a difference, which surprised me, as I always was skeptical about the idea of toner in particular or the whole multi-step process in the first place. But now, I don’t want to go without either.

Emulsion is basically a more lightweight moisturizer. It is water-based, so it won’t leave any greasy feeling on your face. My face actually feels plenty moisturized after using emulsion and all the others. The only reason I apply an additional moisturizer afterwards is for sunscreen.

I NEVER go without a moisturizer with sunscreen on my face, ever. That is what I would say the most important factor in anti-aging: avoiding damage from UV rays.

Alright, so let’s get to the products shall we? Keep in mind, I am narrowing these down after trying TONS of products over the years.

1. Favorite Cleanser: TATCHA The Deep Cleanse.

Worth every penny; this cleanser really feels like it CLEANS. It’s exfoliating while being super moisturizing. I don’t want to use any other cleanser as my main, ever.
Grab it on Amazon here.

2. Favorite Exfoliator: Skin Script Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub/Mask.

Another one that’s worth every penny. Fantastic for anti-aging and really helps even out the texture of your skin. I trust this company’s products in general.
Grab it here.

3. Favorite Toner: TONYMOLY Timeless Ferment Snail Essence Toner.

It feels like a hydrating toner and I would not go without it! In fact I use their whole line of their Snail Essence and Emulsion, so you will see them again below.
Grab it on Amazon or TonyMoly’s site.
Note: I have not seen this toner by itself without being in a kit as shown in the link above.

4. Favorite Serum: Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum.

Lightweight yet moisturizing, and feels super soothing on my face.
Grab it on Amazon here.

5. Favorite Essence: TONYMOLY Timeless Ferment Snail Essence as shown in the kit in #1.
The description from their website says: Enriched with 80% Gold Fermented Snail Mucus, this intensely restorative essence nourishes the skin with potent anti-aging benefits, serious hydration, youthful radiance, and resilience that helps skin stand the test of time.

I use this to add an extra layer of moisture to my skin.
Grab it on Amazon or TonyMoly’s site.

6. Favorite Emulsion: TONYMOLY Timeless Ferment Snail Essence Emulsion as shown in the kit in #1.

I LOVE THIS STUFF! It is SO moisturizing without feeling greasy whatsoever.
Grab it on Amazon here.

7. Favorite Moisturizers: I’m going to have to name more than one here as I have found a couple seriously good ones lately.

BEST MOISTURIZER WITH SUNSCREEN: Andalou Naturals Perfecting BB Balm Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30. I have been using this forever. It feels super soft on your face and has great ingredients, which is key when finding a moisturizer with sunscreen.
Grab it on Amazon here.

BEST HYDRATING MOISTURIZER: Eminence Organic Skin Care Apricot Whip Moisturizer. I got this in one of my skin care beauty boxes, and I fell in love. It is so moisturizing, not greasy, and smells INCREDIBLE. I honestly think it is my favorite moisturizer ever. Check out their ingredients list — it is PACKED full of good stuff.
Grab it on Amazon here.

ANOTHER FANTASTIC MOISTURIZER (Cheaper): Pyunkang Yul Nutrition Cream. Effective, moisturizing, clean ingredients, and great if you are on a budget. While it feels fantastic on your face, it’s not as thick or as moisturizing as the Eminence Organic Skin Care Apricot Whip Moisturizer. I prefer thicker moisturizers especially for night time, but if you’d prefer something more lightweight, this would be your best bet.

8. Favorite Products Containing Retinol: Retinol Murad Youth Renewal Serum.

Alright, Murad is a pretty well-known and reputable company, and I can honestly say that I notice a difference when I use this stuff. This is their serum which is pretty moisturizing, but they also have a version of it that is night cream, and I haven’t tried that. But, I have a lot of faith in this line of their products.
Grab it on Amazon here or on Murad here.

My other favorite? Good ole’ Retin-A, which you can get prescribed to you at the doc. 🙂

That’s it for now, folks! I hope this helped you in some way. I’m going to finish off this article with a couple of tips for you:
If you are acne-prone: Don’t use anything with oil in it! No matter how good the product seems. And wash your face TWICE each time in the morning and at night.
If you wear makeup: Also consider doing a double-cleanse on your face at least at night.


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