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Step by Step: A 19-Year-Old Student and Klog Intern Shares Her Three Minute Morning Skin Care Routine

Welcome to Step by Step, a new series where influencers, beauty professionals, Klog readers, and Soko Glam staff will be sharing every step in their current skin care routines. Have someone you want to be featured, or think YOU should be? Let us know in the comments below!

At 19 years old, I’m still technically a teenager, which means my skin is still going through changes. I’ve swapped products in and out of my routine over the past few years, trying to find the perfect combination to keep my oily skin under control without clogging my pores and causing breakouts, and finally, after many, many cases of trial and error, I’ve found the perfect skin care routine to keep my skin satin-y smooth, bright, and clear- at least for now.

My AM Routine

As a student always on the brink of exhaustion, I like to sleep until the very last minute in the mornings, meaning my AM routine is very go go go. I would rather get an extra five minutes of sleep than spend an extra five minutes on my makeup or skin, so I’ve learned to consolidate my routine down to just the essential products to keep me glowing and fresh through the day. My morning skin care routine takes me less than three minutes, and with my makeup routine clocking in at five minutes, I can head out to my 8 AM class without looking like I just went to bed four hours earlier.

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But between classes, extracurriculars, and social activities, I’m usually out from morning until evening, meaning the products I apply in the morning have to last me until the nighttime, as I won’t be stopping back home to reapply or remove my makeup and do my skin care routine afresh.

I have very oily skin, so keeping my oil levels under control throughout the day has always been my #1 priority. I used to think this meant I had to strip my skin of its oils so there wouldn’t be any to leave me shiny, but (thank goodness) when I started working at The Klog I was informed otherwise. Since I’ve started double cleansing, I’ve been way less oily at all hours.

I use the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [BHA] and the Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water to double cleanse, and in the weeks I’ve been using the pair, they’ve worked like a dream. The Benton water cleanser is super refreshing, and I think it even makes my skin look more bright and awake in the mornings thanks to the formula’s tea tree extract.

On days I remember or in which I feel like I need some extra skin care, I also apply Son & Park Beauty Water after cleansing. It helps my face feel more hydrated and evens out my complexion a bit before I put on my makeup, so I truly have a smooth, fresh canvas on which I can apply the next product.

For a moisturizer, I use Ole Henriksen Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator. I’ve been using it for almost two years now, and for oily skin, it’s an airy, lightweight dream. It’s the thinnest moisturizer I’ve ever used and actually feels more like an essence, so I have no issue moisturizing because I don’t feel like it’s clogging my pores at all, and it doesn’t leave behind a thick or greasy residue. It smells like peppermint and even has a bit of a cooling effect, too, so I make a point to moisturize every day, even if I’m staying in all day or just going to the gym and not applying any makeup at all.

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After moisturizing, I apply my makeup—a quick layering of brow gel, concealer, blush, mascara, and lip tint—and use the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray to set my face and get some added hydration without any oiliness. To top it off, I use the Thank You Farmer Sun Essence to get sun protection without feeling like I’m putting a thick, slimy layer of product on top of all my other products. I usually hate sunscreens because I feel like they’re oily, pore-clogging, and leave a white cast, but since being introduced to sun essences—lighter-weight versions of sunscreens and SPF moisturizers—I can actually protect my skin from sun damage without ruining my makeup and feeling slimy all day.

My PM Routine

With my schedule, I usually end up wearing my makeup for 12 or more hours before removing it. By the end of the day, my makeup is no longer matte, my skin feels heavy and oily, and I’m dying to take everything off and give my skin a thorough cleanse so I can actually feel my pores being cleared of makeup, dirt, and sweat.

I start my nighttime routine by removing all my makeup with Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and then I go back in with the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil and Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water for a deeper cleanse to remove everything from my pores. Even after these steps, my skin already feels squeaky clean—like, there is literally no makeup or dirt residue on my face by this point, which is what I like, because I know I won’t wake up with any dirt-induced breakouts the next morning. 

Some nights I’ll triple-cleanse by using the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub, which acts as a physical exfoliant formulated with salicylic acid and small granules without being too harsh on my skin. I prefer physical to chemical exfoliants because I like to feel the product actually penetrate my skin and seep into my pores, so anything with a bit of granules in it is ideal for me, and this scrub contains salicylic acid to rid my skin of any potential blemishes and breakouts.

I then apply the Mamonde Pore Clean Toner to balance my complexion and bring my pH levels back to normal after the thorough cleansing. This toner is formulated with purifying mud to absorb excess oil while I sleep and keep me mattified through the next day, and heartleaf extract prevents blackheads that I used to get around my nose. 

I don’t mask as often as I’d like to, but during the few occasions where I do mask, I either use the Glamglow Gravitymud Firming Treatment Mask (it’s super powerful in tightening the skin and it’s glittery!) or a refreshing and soothing sheet mask with tea tree or green tea extracts in it, like the Manefit Natural Gift Green Tea Pore Care Sheet Mask. After that, I use the Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum on the lower parts of my face, as that’s where I tend to have breakouts, and then moisturize with my custom Curology formula that I’ve been using for almost two years (my formula has 4% azelaic acid, 1% clindamycin, and .25% zinc pyrithione, and I truly haven’t had a real pimple since I’ve started using it). 

My nighttime routine is topped off with a COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch or a dot of Mario Badescu Drying Lotion on any tiny bumps that appeared from excess oil throughout the day, and then I apply Glossier Balm Dotcom in the Birthday Cake flavor to my lips for extra moisture and hydration.

Lastly, I spritz my face with Mario Badescu Rose Water Spray to seal in all the products I’ve just applied and to give myself that last, soothing bit of refreshment, and then it’s off to bed, and I wake up with soft, smooth skin the next day! 

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