Skincare Series 1.1: My Daily Skincare Routine

Hello, It’s Me…..

Here’s my updated skincare routine on products that I have used exclusively and consistently from July 2015 to almost a year. I needed to find products that would tackle the superficial breakouts I was experiencing on my chin, as well as the utter dehydration and tightness I constantly felt. I could not bare the thought of having cystic acne again, so this routine also had to be something that was preventative as well. My original go to routine (One Routine to Rule Them All) for intense breakouts was not hydrating enough for my skin, so I had to revamp my approach to a new skincare routine. The key to this was to find gentle, yet highly effective products, with a good ingredient list. I didn’t want to just turn to my local Shoppers Drug Mart and get over-the-counter products filled with benzoyl peroxide. I find products like those clear my face, but also make my skin thinner and weaker. Plus, my skin would become “addicted”  to the medical ingredient, meaning if I wanted to keep up a clear face, I could never sway from it. I wanted to rebuild the strength of my skin, and slowly ween my way off of any intense treatments that I’d have to rely on.

How I Found the Answer: Pure + Simple


I remembered Shameless Maya’s video on her skincare routine, and she raved about the Pure + Simple Algae Serum; she has oily skin and found that the serum alone left her skin feeling normal and moisturized. She also mentioned it can be found in a spa in Toronto.

Naturally, I was intrigued. I visited the Pure + Simple website and found an article called “Skincare Regimen” which I highly suggest you take it look at – it’s what changed my skin and helped me decide how to create my routine, even now. Long post short, it lists what products should be included in your routine daily, and in what order:
1. Cleanser (once a day)
2. Toner or Hydrosol (2x a day)
3. Serum (2x a day)
4. Facial oil (2x day)
5. Moisturizer (2x a day)
6. Eye cream (2x a day)

Since I am employed, and was in dire need of a skincare revamp, I decided to pay a visit to this Pure + Simple spa and spend whatever I needed to, in hopes the staff’s knowledge and the products they offer would be my answer. To my pleasant surprise, the staff was SUPER helpful, very attentive to what my problems were, and guided me to items I’d be interested in. They never pushed a product on me, they educated me on what I didn’t understand, and gave me samples to try before I purchase any product that may have been too expensive for my liking.

I have used the products I purchased consistently, and customized my skincare with additional items I found worked in the routine. Although these products are pricey, I paid what I needed to get what I want out of my skincare, plus the products have lasted for months! I hope this post gives you enough information to help your own skin concerns like it did mine, and you’ll consider this recommended routine for yourself! (All prices below are in CAD).

The Routine


1. Splash face with lukewarm water 5-10 times
2. Spray or apply with cotton pad Andalou Naturals Clarifying Toner ~ $10
3. Pat one pump Pure + Simple Algae Serum (50ml size) evenly over face, eyes, and neck  ~$27.45
4. Dab Pure + Simple Eye Cream around orbital bone and eyelid ~$29.95
5. Dab Holistic Vanity Brightening Hyaluronic Lotion onto face and neck, and massage in an upwards motion  ~$68


1. Oil Cleansing Method with whatever oil lying around once a week, or cleansing water to use less hot water and keeps pores small
2. Lightly massage face with Naturopathica Aloe Cleansing Gel ~ $32.95 (with Clarisonic Mia 2 if wearing foundation) for 1-2 minutes, and rinse
3. Spray or apply with cotton pad Andalou Naturals Clarifying Toner
4. Pat one pump of Pure + Simple Algae Serum
5. Apply 4-6 drops of Pretty Organic Cosmetics Purifying Serum, massage into hands and rub onto face and neck ~$21.99
6. Dab Pure + Simple Eye Cream
7. Dab Holistic Vanity Brightening Hyaluronic Lotion or Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm ~$90
8. Apply whatever spot treatment or mask is lying around


(Constant changing products)
1. Clay mask 2-3 times a week
2. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week

The Products

Naturopathica Aloe Cleansing Gel

Truthfully, I can’t believe I spent so much money on a cleanser. HOWEVER:

  • The consistency is freaking wonderful; as the name indicates, like a gel, and it doesn’t become too foamy
  • The smell is strong in lavender (which I personally like)
  • A little goes a long way
  • It removes makeup fairly well (but always better with a facial cleansing tool)
  • My face does not feel too tight or too squeaky clean, it feels juuuust right

I use a dime size amount, lather it in my hands, and massage my face evenly for a minute or so. After washing it off and patting my skin dry with a towel, my face feels fresh, and I feel relaxed from the scent it provides. Will I purchase again? Not if I find a cheaper alternative 😎

Andalou Naturals Aloe + Willow Bark Pore Minimizer

I bought this because of its good ingredients, plus it has salicylic acid. At first I was worried this wouldn’t be gentle and would irritate my skin. However, I’m greeted with an immediate cooling sensation after spraying it evenly over my face, and my skin does not feel tight after use. I also noticed it helps slightly shrink and alleviate some nasty zits I had on my face. I really, really like this toner, however I’ll be returning to my beloved Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner. The reason is because I’ve decided I prefer having a simple, soothing toner, rather than one with an active ingredient in it.

Pure+Simple Algae Serum

This is the first all-natural serum I have found that isn’t just filled with oils. With Vegetable Gycerin and Sodium PCA, the serum actually sinks into the skin quickly! It looks like a slightly thick, milky texture when you pump it out. I apply it evenly around my face, and pat in with my hands and fingers. My face feels a tad tacky, but not so much that you feel like you’re an oil slick. With Sodium Hyaluronate and Squalane as the top ingredients, the algae serum has definitely helped with my dehydration problems. It has also helped the redness I was developing around my nose and mouth. It’s a bonus that this product also contains a lot of anti-oxidants like Green Tea to help prevent cellular breakdown and keep my face clear and healthy. I have almost finished my second purchase of this! I am trying something new at the moment, but I may just add this  serum back into my routine again.

Pretty Organic Cosmetics Purifying Serum (Reviewed)


I bought this on a whim when I was in one of my favourite health food stores in Toronto. I liked the ingredient list, a lot. I also loved how light it felt on my skin, that it didn’t make my regimen feel so heavy and packed. I found it really minimized the breakouts I was experiencing and left me skin even tone and glowing. I ran out of this product a while ago and am currently trying a new facial oil, but I’ll most likely return to this once the other is done.

Holistic Vanity Brightening Hyaluronic Lotion


Lawd have mercy on the price, but this bottle of goodness paired with the Algae Serum really helped tackle the dehydration and tightness my skin had. I have been on the hunt for a good moisturizer for quite a while, and this one meets my every criteria:


  • Light consistency
  • Hydrating
  • Keeps redness at bay
  • Does not clog my pores and break me out

With Sodium Hyaluronate as a top ingredient, this lotion moisturizes my face very well and keeps my skin even-toned. Although it is a light consistency, it is perfect at meeting my skin needs. Finding a moisturizer has been my biggest struggle when perfecting my skincare routine, and I’m happy I found this one. My skin has become a lot drier lately, so I have stopped using this after the warm weather passed and started using something richer. I tried to re-visit this moisturizer, but to my dismay, it did not relieve the dryness I felt on my skin. My mother has been using it anyways, so at least it’s been working for her!

Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm (Reviewed)
I bought this because of a high, high, high recommendation from a friend. Believe me, I needed a big recommendation – not just because I was breaking out like crazy, but this costs ~$90 for the tiniest jar! This little thing proved to be potent – overnight alone I noticed a drastic decrease in my breakouts, and my skin was glowing and even tone the next morning. A little goes a long way, and I’m still going with this product!

Pure+Simple Moisturizing Eye Cream

If I could have dryness anywhere, it would be around my eyes. They felt so dry and tight, it was pretty unbearable. After constant squinting, blinking and eye rubbing, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase an eye cream. This eye cream has a nice light consistency that doesn’t make my eyelids feel heavy or greasy after application. My one issue with this product is it contains Citric Acid and stings my eyes sometimes (Why!?!?!?). Irregardless (if you don’t know Mean Girls, get out now), it does the job at hydrating the skin around my eyes and evening out the colour from a bad night’s sleep. As an anti-aging bonus, it contains Vitamins A, B, and E, plus Avocado Oil to help with the skin’s collagen production. Because of the light texture and anti-aging properties, I also apply this on my not-yet visible smile lines in hopes of prevention. I’m new to eye creams, so I may explore others. But I do like this one enough to potentially repurchase it again.


Before and After – Fin.

And voila! That was my skincare regimen after getting off birth control. These products have all run their course, but I recommend them all for anyone looking for something new and safe for their sensitive skin!1.2 and 1.3 of Skincare is soon to follow!

xo, M

Related Posts:

1st Posted Skincare Routine For Cystic Acne
Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm Review
Pretty Cosmetics Purifying Serum Review
How to Create the Perfect Skincare Routine for You!

Pure+Simple, Holistic Vanity, and Naturopathica:, or in their spas located in various areas in Toronto, Canada.
Pretty Organic Cosmetics: or at various retailers in Canada.
Andalou Naturals:, or at various retailers in Canada.
I purchased all these items myself, and always give my honest opinion.


4 thoughts on “Skincare Series 1.1: My Daily Skincare Routine

  1. […] Saje Zap Rollerball Treatment – This was actually recommended to me by a sales associate from Lush when I told her Grease Lightning didn’t work for me (and funny enough after using this product I bought GL and it worked. HAH). This product was my first introduction to Saje and their essential oil roller balls. I was going through an extremely awful breakout period from getting off birth control and I went to this in hopes that it’ll help subside some painful bumps. It was great at diminishing inflammation while keeping the skin area fairly hydrated. However this item was unfortunately not enough for the breakout period I was going through. I really do recommend this product – amazing formulation to tackle spots while preventing your skin from drying up like crazy. Now that my skin is mostly under control, I may revisit this item, but there are other spot treatments I need to finish first. Skincare Series 1.1: My Daily Skincare Routine […]


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