Side note before I begin this post: Sephora is having a 15% off sale right now, so it’s a good time to stock up or try some pricier skincare items!
About six weeks ago, I shared that I was trying out some new skin care products and a lot of you have asked me to share an updated skin care routine. I like to use products for a while before giving a verdict so I can truly know if I love and would repurchase them – so thanks for your patience!
Most of the skin care items I’m sharing here today are at a higher price point. I had some sticker shock when purchasing these myself, but as I turn the corner to 35, I figure investing in my skin now is worth it in the long run. I’m also going to share some less expensive options at the end of my post as alternatives that have similar ingredients.
It all started with an elephant – a drunk elephant, at that. I purchased two mini Drunk Elephant skin care sets (for day and night) because the brand gets rave reviews online, has a cult following and several bloggers I follow have been touting it as the best skin care they’ve ever used. What I love about this brand is that they’re focused on using nontoxic ingredients that work.
Any time a product has a ton of four and five star with comments like “this product changed my skin!” or “best vitamin C serum I’ve ever used,” I want to get on that ship and sail through the ocean. Truth be told, I hadn’t really heard of Drunk Elephant until a few bloggers I follow professed their love for the brand (which subsequently led me down an internet rabbit hole of reading reviews on multiple sites – when I’m spending that kind of cash, I read all.the.reviews). I’ve mentioned before that I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to experience a lot of skin care brands because of the PR packages I’m sent, but I still do my own research and purchase products on my own on a regular basis (seriously though, if Drunk Elephant wants to call me, I’m answering!)
Before I get into the products, I’ll talk briefly about my skin. My skin is combination (oily t-zone and normal cheeks) with some fine lines, unevenness, sun damage, redness and marks from a breakout tend to take a long time to fade. My goals for my skin are to reduce fine lines, make my skin glow, brighten and even-out my complexion and to reduce redness and pigmentation.
So with that in mind, here are the products I’m using, morning and night.
C L E A N S E
Most often, I’m reaching for La Roche Posay Effaclar cleanser. However, I’m also using Dermalogica’s special cleansing gel in the shower and Aveeno’s redness-reducing gel cleanser. I like gel cleansers because I feel they remove makeup well and the consistency seems to work for my skin.
M O R N I N G
After cleansing, I use a cotton pad to apply Lotion P50 W, a product by BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE. This is another gem I found out about in the Instagram world (thank you Lindsey and Bridget) and also (surprise) has a cult following. Based on the product description, it exfoliates, hydrates, and balances the pH of the skin (basically preps the skin for the next skin care items that will be applied). Everyone I know that uses this product has glowing, clear, smooth, bright skin. Word of warning – this product smells…odd. Slightly menthol-y, slightly sulfur-y. It’s hard to explain, but does anyone really care what their skin smells like if it’s glowing? I can deal with the smell (it dissipates). Lindsey sees a facialist that uses the entire product line and she does Jennifer Aniston’s facials, so…
I brush my teeth as I wait for the Lotion P50 W to dry and then I apply Drunk Elephant’s vitamin C serum, C-Firma (also available here with 2-day shipping). I follow this with Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen (it has an SPF 40, is clear and has the consistency of a primer). Then, I apply my foundation, which has an SPF 50 + great skin-helping ingredients. I’ve also considered purchasing Drunk Elephant’s sunscreen, which has a physical sunscreen in it – but I love the Supergoop one thus far!
Pretty simple, right? I should also mention if my skin is feeling extra-dry, I add either Drunk Elephant’s B-Hydra intensive hydrating gel (also here — I have some left over from the duo kit I purchased) or Elemis superfood day cream. Usually though, I don’t have to add moisturizer on top of my c-serum and sunscreen since my foundation is quite moisturizing.
(above is the order I apply the products in)
N I G H T
I use this or this eye makeup remover on flat cotton rounds to remove my waterproof mascara. Then, I use the La Roche Posay Effaclar cleanser to remove my makeup. After patting my skin dry, I apply Sunday Riley’s Good Genes to my skin. Y’all. This product, which also has rave reviews and a cult following is truly amazing. It’s a lactic-acid based exfoliator that helps make skin bright, even and glowing. The other product I love is Drunk Elephant’s Framboos (also here), which is an AHA/BHA based exfoliant(I got in in this duo kit – a great way to try products before committing to the full size – though this line is so good, I truly believe you can bypass the trial size because I know you’ll love it and see results).
Since using Sunday Riley, I stopped using the DE Framboos (you don’t want to layer chemical exfoliants), but I can vouch that both products are excellent. If my skin is feeling extra dry, I’ll either add DE’s Marula Oil or Elemis Superfood night cream (full disclosure – Elemis did send me their line to try, but as always, I only work with brands I truly like and only mention gifted products when I actually use them). For breakouts I use Mario Badescu Drying lotion (I usually get a couple before my cycle) and for dry spots I use Elemis superfood oil or DE Marula oil.
W E E K L Y T R E A T M E N T S
I’m using my GloPro microneedling device about 2-3 days per week. The benefits of microneedling include increased collagen production (plumper looking skin) and reduction of fine lines. I’m really glad I got this device because I think that with consistent use, it does make a difference. It also helps your serums absorb deeper into your skin, which is key.
I use Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Baby Facial treatment mask (also here) once a week (usually on Friday or Saturday night). It’s no surprise that Baby Facial is regarded as one of Drunk Elephant’s hero products – it’s like a gentle chemical peel for your skin. It’s formulated with AHA & BHA that helps remove dull and dead skin cells and give your skin improved brightness and clarity. It also makes your pores tiny. When I wash if off, my pores are visibly smaller – it’s unreal. Also, your skin will be baby-smooth after using this – product name on-point.
Following Baby Facial, I use Drunk Elephant’s Marula oil (also here)– it contains antioxidants and tons of other moisturizing ingredients that help hydrate skin and give you a glow. I was always against facial oils, but they’re not all created equal. This one does not cause breakouts and it’s described as “rehab for your skin” by the brand – it reduces wrinkles, blotchiness and increase elasticity, all while being naturally anti-microbial.
Other masks I use and love are: Peter Thomas Roth rose stem cell mask, Tata Harper resurfacing mask, Fresh rose mask, Colleen Rothschild clay mask, Tata Harper moisture mask and Dr. Jart sleep mask.
WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Products I still want to try: Dr. Dennis Gross alpha beta peel pads, Skinceuticals vitamin C serum.
I also ordered Drunk Elephant’s C-Tango eye cream and am waiting for it to arrive — so excited to try it since I haven’t used an eye cream in ages!
For more budget-savvy skin care options, check out The Ordinary.
Disclosure: Products in this post that were gifted to me include Elemis, Colleen Rothschild, Fresh and Tata Harper. However, I only mention and share products I actually use a love, regardless of whether they were gifted or I paid for them myself. All other products mentioned, I paid for.
Do you use an eye cream? Or do you feel like you don’t really need one?
yes- I just ordered this one, but it hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t review 🙂 https://rstyle.me/~cz-aqdyQ
I’ve been waiting for this post- thank you! I have been using the Drunk Elephant trial size duo for about 5 weeks now and I think I might be the only one who has not seen any results! I just ordered a couple The Oridnary products to try, so I’m going to tinker with my routine and see if I can’t figure out a better plan for my post-pregnancy crazy skin.
Hi Nicole! What are your skin concerns? I never really used any skincare until I stopped nursing and was a year postpartum because those hormones can really affect your skin. I hope you find something that works!
Meredith N Gadoury says
I’ve been on the fence with the GloPro and just haven’t pulled the trigger. I turned 35 last year and have been on a hardcore skin care kick since then, something about that age I guess. I have a daytime eye cream I love but came here looking for a night recommendation. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Drunk Elephant one when it comes in.
I’ll be sure to share an update! I used it for the first time last night!
I love The Ordinary Marula Oil and at $10 for a bottle you can’t beat it. I don’t think DE’s is worth the price tag. But marula oil has been a game changer for my skin! I use it in the AM with a vitamin C serum.
You use the oil under your makeup?! I may try the ordianry marula oil next time since it’s a lot cheaper and not something I use daily.
Ashley M says
Try the skinceuticals CE Ferulic. It is truly life changing! I switched to a bunch of their products over the last 6 months and have been loving the results!
HI there, curious as to why you stopped using the Rodan and Fields regimens?
Because I started to use prescription grade retinol so I didn’t see the point in using a lesser percentage of retinol that cost more.
Hi! I’m curious how you incorporate your prescription retinonl in your routine. I’ve recently started using tretinoin with the goal of staying young forever 😉 and I’m nervous about other products with it. Would love your insight!
Lindsay- I can’t hse retinol along with the other chemical exfoliants I use so I stopped using it for now to see the results of the other products.
You made a comment today after seeing pictures of Toronto today and how happy you are to have married a Texan. How inconsiderate. Thousands are without power. Trees are falling into homes and cars. The number of deadly accidents is insane. We are now facing a serious risk of mass flooding. What a horribly insensitive comment to make.
Obviously I was not aware of any of this. My friends from Toronto were posting photos of snow covering their yards on Facebook so I was joking with them and they were saying at times like this they wish they lived in the south too.
As you know, we survived a massive hurricane in August and I’ve personally donated to help relief efforts and know people who were affected. My heart is always in the right place when it comes to issues like this- but I was not aware that anything was happening beyond just snow falling. Had I been, I would not make light of it.
Are you still using the Clarins double serum? I actually bought it after one of your last posts about your skincare routine and I am loving my results after 2 weeks. I’m curious why you stopped if you did?
Thanks for asking! I still do have it and it’s a fantastic product! I’m sent a lot of products and also purchase many on my own. In order to give a fair review, I like to use them for several weeks if not months. So sometimes I’ll stop using one cream or serum so I can use another one exclusively for a longer time period.
Just wondering if you are liking the DE products better than the Dermalogica? How do your results compare? Thank you 🙂
Hi JENNIFER! I still use Dermalogica products! The products are made for different purposes so I can use them in combination.
Hi Veronika! I also love Drunk Elephant products so much and just got the eye cream during the VIB Rouge sale. I’ve used it three nights so far and love waking up and seeing the darkness under my eyes is much lighter. I hope you love the results too! I feel that I’ve had so much luck with DE products because I notice the difference immediately…especially as you stated, with the DE Baby Facial.
Thanks so much for sharing this post! 😍 I just turned 36 and I’ve been researching and trying tons of different skin care products for the past year. If you had to pick your top 2 fav. items from this post, what would they be?
If I had to pick two, it would be the vitamin C serum and the P50 W by biologique reshersche. If I picked a third, I would do the good genes or framboos for night time.
Thanks! For the P50 W Lotion the website mentioned removing it after you put it on with another one of their products. Do you leave it on or wash it off after applying?!?😊
i leave it on and layer my other products over it. I think you only wash it off if your skin can’t tolerate it.
Teresa Strey says
I’m curious about this article as you have stated you stopped Rodan and fields because you were looking for other products less pricey with same results however I only added up some of your routine and it totalled over $400???? Are you gifted these products because this is much more pricey and a lot more steps?
Most of the products in this post were purchased with my own money – as I indicated/disclosed in my post, the Elemis products were sent to me.
R + F is expensive for what it is – a three-step system that is part of an MLM business model.
I’m not trying to tout this routine as more affordable, I simply think the products are better quality and address a larger diversity of skincare needs. I also notice better results with these products that I’ve now used for a much longer period of time than when this post was published. In short, I’d rather purcahse these than a R + F three step system.
I came upon your blog via a Google search: GoPure vs R&F. Although you don’t mention GoPure, I was equally interested in your complimentary review of R&F. However, I’m a bit confused as to why you no longer use it/include it in your skincare routine. (Is it because you’re a beauty blogger and, consequently, must try numerous products…?) As an adult, I took good care of my skin–childhood, not so much. I’ve been lax over the past few years, and, at age 60, I’m ready to ‘get back on the wagon.’ What are your recommendations for older skin?Thank you. 🙂
Hi Lynne! As I shared in my review, I feel there are other products that are better in quality and efficacy. You can read my current skincare routine linked in this post.
For more mature skin, I would consult a dermatologist and get prescription retinol cream if that is what they recommend for you. Retinol is the “gold standard” in skin care and for wrinkle prevention and repair, is what my dermatologist told me.
You can also look into other cosmetic solutions such as botox and filler, but those are temporary and costly (though I do love botox and will continue to get it).
Hi I just got the GloPRO, but I’ve been using P50 for a while. would you recommend using p50 before GloPRO, after or not at all when doing the micro needling? Thanks so much
I only use the lotion P50 in the morning!
Does the drunk elephant Day and night serum have retinol in it? I have been buying parts and pieces to your regimen until I can get all of them. Also I see you use sunscreen in your night regimen
I don’t use sunscreen at night – sorry if anything was unclear! I am due for a new post since I try new products regularly. The drunk elephant c firma does no contain retinol.
The DE Framboos also doesn’t contain retinol – it’s AHA/BHA based.
Can’t wait to see your new update!!
Marie McPherson says
Wow I am both excited and a little overwhelmed by your extensive knowledge. Thank you so much for helping those of us who don’t know jack about jack! So my question is this: I have been using R&F redefine for 8 weeks, with good results but not exceptional life changing results that I read others have achieved. I don’t see enough improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. I am 41 and would like to look a little less..hmmm.. haggard? If you had to pick a few stellar, must haves out of your current regimen for fine line/wrinkle reduction, which would you choose? (I am oily and can be prone to breakouts in response to certain products) Again, thank you so much for sharing your research. I am grateful 🙂
Theresa Griffin says
I have recently started using r and f redifine regime with my glo pro. My consultant keeps asking me to purchase their microneedling device. What is the difference? Also r and f seems ok. I need more moisturizer. What do you recommend. Also, does r and f really work? I would like to know before ive spent thousands of dollars on products that dont deliver.
There is a ton of better skincare on the marker than R+F. Look into drunk elephant, skinceuticals and biologique rescherche.
This is such a great list! Could you please share how long some of these product last? I consider this greatly when trying to balance cost and quality.
Was reading your reviews and have a few questions: I believe you mention good genes in your day and night routines.
Do you use it twice a day?
Do we need to apply serum during day and night?
Are any of these products for face also ok for neck? To tighten skin, I mean.
Btw, I’m 58 and never used any skin products 🤭
I might have missed any vit a ingredients mentioned but have you ever used Tretinoin or prescription level retin-a? Where in line up/ would it be necessary to include or what would you drop from this routine if you had retin-a? I ask because I literally just started it but am interested in a good overall routine. Thanks!