My Skin Care Journey!

*Note: All links provided are strictly for my readers’ benefit. This post is not sponsored, and only contains my own thoughts and opinions. I purchased these products personally.**

Beginning about a year ago, I began to really become more interested in and want to invest more into my skin care routine and products. Since hitting the teenage years, I have been pretty good about keep my face clean but now that I’m hitting the mid to late 20s mark, I have been adding in more products and spending more for skin care. I also have been a much bigger researcher of new products and trying to find the best combination for my skin. I don’t even want to think about all the hours I have spent reading reviews and watching videos (it is so easy to fall down the rabbit hole!)

By no means is my skin care journey finished, but I wanted to share where I am at in the hopes it may be interesting to some and that I may also get some good ideas for the future.

Before delving into the products and steps in my routine, here is the down and dirty on my skin as it currently stands.

  • 25 years old
  • Oily T-zone
  • Combination skin type: dryness has been a major issue all of a sudden this winter!
  • Pores!! They seem to just get larger and larger
  • Occasional pimple during that time of the month

My concerns as I began and continue my skin care journey:

  • Anti-aging; it’s never to early to start
  • Finding the best products that work for MY skin
  • Minimize my pores
  • Keep my skin clear and bright

And now for the good stuff….products I use and my thoughts. I am going to group items by category/step.


Currently I am working with a total of 4 cleansers: 3 gentle cleansers I rotate for my morning use and a more deep clean cleanser I have added to my evening routine. I also have a cleansing oil I will add to the mix for a double cleanse on the rare occasions I wear heavy make-up.

Morning cleansers:
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (I have a whole review on this),

Ole Henriksen’s African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser is a nice gentle cleanser, foams nicely and has a pleasant smell especially for first thing in the morning. It claims to be a “revitalizing anti-oxident facial cleanser”. I have been using this off and on for about a month, and can’t say I have seen any miraculous change in my skin but I haven’t had any reactions or breakouts

First Aid Beauty’s Pure Skin Cleanser is a newer addition to my routine, so can’t say too much yet. According to the bottle, it “removes surface oils, makeup, dirt and grime” and contains FAB antioxidant booster. This is very gentle and I enjoy using it when my skin is  feeling more sensitive or if I have done recent treatments or peels.


My night-time cleanser is the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser. This is the daily foaming cleanser that I have found to be a nice deep cleanser, but not too harsh or drying. It is formulated with AHAs, pumpkin enzyme, papaya enzyme and pineapple enzyme. I do notice that this is having a nice cleaning effect on my pores, and slowly starting to diminish their size 🙂


The cleansing oil I use when needed is Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil with Coconut and Argan oil. This is my first venture into cleansing oils, and its okay. It does a nice job removing makeup but does make my eyes cloudy, which is a pain since the most stubborn makeup I want a cleansing oil to remove is mascara and eyeliner.


Toners are tricky for me in that some made for “oily skin” are too harsh and strip my skin which then makes the dryness even worse.

I have been using the Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Facial Toner since about August, and honestly haven’t seen any changes or results. The bottle promotes a proprietary Umbrian Clay ingredient that has balancing and absorbent properties to mattify skin and diminish the look of pores. I was excited when I first used this and thought I saw results, but with continued use there really hasn’t been any change.  I will use the bottle up, but most likely won’t repurchase.

I have been loving the Belief Bergamont herbal extract toner.  This is marketed for normal/combination skin types and is formulated without any mineral oil, synthetic fragrances or dyes. It has been very balancing and I feel that it may be helping my skin produce less oil. This is my first Belief product, but now I am interested in trying more.



If someone had told me a year ago that I would willingly and eagerly put oils on my face, I would never have believed them. But after much research, I realized that oils aren’t bad, rather they are amazing!!

My first oil purchase was the Clarins’ Lotus Face Treatment Oil. This is designed for oily skin, and I literally apply only 1 drop to my nose and surrounding cheek area. Any other application will actually dry me out, but it is perfect at controlling my oiliness around the nose. It really does help keep me from having to blot or powder throughout the day.

Another oil that I am surprised by how much I love is the Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil. I got the super tiny bottle as a sample from Sephora, and have experimented with it in a few different ways. I have used it on its own and mixed it with my moisturizer and both ways have been very nice. I usually only use this at night when I am feeling particularly dry or if I used a mask that left me feeling dried out. I really do love it, and may break down and buy the full size bottle.



Serums are also a new field for me, and there are so many out there it is hard to decide what to try next.

Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum Collagen Booster is what I have been using for my Vitamin C. It is nice; has a pleasant smell. Not sure really what else I can say, it is hard for me to tell if there has been any overall skin of change. There may be some increase in brightness. I do feel like this serum dries to a tacky feeling on the face very quickly when first applying which can make it difficult to apply. I still have 1/2 a bottle left, which gives me some time to research more about Vitamin C and see what my next purchase will be.

One that I have been loving for a while is the Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum with Willowherb. There isn’t anything too flashy about this, but I love applying this at night. It gives me a little extra hydration boost and make my skin feel so supple and soft. I feel that this is a good beginner anti-aging product. Some anit-aging products do a lot, but I don’t feel the need for all that. I don’t have any fine lines or age spots yet.


I have only recently began trying Sunday Riley’s Good Genes and Tidal (thanks Sephora for the samples, love being VIB Rouge). Only been using these for a few days so too early to judge.


For moisturizer, I am currently just using 1 day and night; so boring I know ;). I have really been digging this Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex. This feels so good on my skin and is the perfect texture. It isn’t too heavy and I feel like it works well with my oily T-zone.


I am on the search for a heavier, night-time moisturizer so stay tuned!

For the sake of length and my own sanity I am going to end here, but stay tuned for a follow-up post reviewing the masks and more specialized treatments I add to my routine when necessary. If I kept going, this would be a novel not a blog post!

Do you have any favorite products that have changed you skin??  What is your favorite skin care step?

See you all soon,
~Caitlin of Beauty and Bullet Journaling

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