Current Morning Skincare Routine

Hello my lovely peeps!  My blogging schedule has been all over the place (and sometimes non-existent) over the past couple of months.  You know when you’re not really “busy”, but have a lot going on?  That’s been my life.  My sweet hubby is a respiratory therapist in a Level IV NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) here at our local children’s hospital.  If you don’t know what NICU is, it is basically a “nursery” unit for premature and/or sick infants.  Level IV means they take in the sickest babies from our entire region.  I usually blog on evenings when he is at work.  Unfortunately, they have had a lot of sick babies these past several weeks, and he has been putting in a lot of hours.  So our day to day life has been all over the place, as has my blogging.  So, here I am on Saturday night happily posting my current morning skincare routine.  I am hoping to get back to some sense of normalcy after the holidays.


Morning Skincare Routine

I am a stickler when it comes to skincare.  While I am happy to experiment with makeup, I tend to not deviate from things that come into direct contact with my face, whether it be skincare or foundation!

I remember reading a magazine article years ago that stated all you needed for your AM routine was cleanser, SPF, and an antioxidant to fight free radicals/cellular damage (moisturizer if needed). I’ve kept to that, but have added a few things that work for me.

Another point in that article was that cleansers aren’t on your face long enough to make a significant impact on your skin, so don’t pay huge amounts of money on something you wash your face with.

That being said, here is my morning ritual.

Step 1:


Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cleanser.  I have used Cetaphil for years.  Super gentle and inexpensive.  I massage a couple of pumps onto my dry face, and rinse with warm water.  My skin feels great, with no super “tight” feeling.

Step 2:


Obagi Elastiderm Eye Complete Complex Serum

Eyes.  After cleansing, I apply an eye serum.  My current favorite is the Obagi ELASTIderm roller ball.  This really soothes under eye bags.  Whatever your age, definitely use an eye cream!!  The younger you start, the better.

Step 3:


Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel Pads

Antioxidant.  I have used these Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel Pads for years, and I swear by them.  It comes in a kit with the antioxidant formula in a glass bottle that you dump into this frosty glass jar of pads.  I really has improved the look of my skin.


Exuviance Daily Antioxdant Peel Pads

These pads exfoliate and smooth, and deliver potent antioxidant protection with 10% citric acid.  You swipe a pad across your face, tap the remaining excess into your skin, and wait for it to dry.  From here on out, the products are all about applying and letting them dry before you move onto the next.  I swear, my skincare takes longer than my makeup.  And takes up more space in my luggage when I travel.

Step 4:


Shiseido White Lucent Skincare

Treatment/Moisturizer.  Products I use after the antioxidant pads are from the Shiseido White Lucent line – my serum and moisturizer, which I have been using for a very long time also.

Being half-Japanese, Shiseido has been a part of my life forever.  My Mom used nothing but Shiseido, and every time I use it, I think of her.

One confusing thing about Japanese skincare “whitening” lines;  do they “whiten” you, like fade dark spots, or do they “brighten” your complexion???  I am not really sure.  I don’t think anyone really knows.


Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum

The Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum has done wonders for my skin.  It is a super light serum that is instantly absorbed, making your face feel soft and super toned.


Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum

It comes with a pump that dispenses the right amount of product.  Again, it’s all about applying the serum to your face, and allowing it to sink in before going on with the next product.  Dry, dry, dry.

I typically have backups for things I love, and when trying to find links to share for this post, it appears my beloved serum has been replaced by Shiseido for an “improved” product.  Hmmm…..


Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Protective Cream

Oh, this moisturizer!  It is super light, almost gel-like, and your skin will just soak it up.  Almost drink it up.  It has a tinge of fragrance (that is so Shiseido to me!) but not overwhelming.  The most perfect daytime moisturizer, as your face will look fab, and not feel greasy/heavy.

I spent my youth baking my face in the sun.  I am paying for it now with melasma, brown spots, hyperpigmentation, etc.  I wish I could tell you that the Shiseido White Lucent line will get rid of brown spots, hyperpigmentation, and the like.  But it won’t.  It hasn’t for me at least.  However, all that being said, I LOVE this line, as it makes my skin look great.  Maybe for me it isn’t so much whitening, as it is brightening?  I have some Japanese bloggers that I need to get clarity from (you know who you are).

Step 5:


Obagi Nu-Derm Sunscreen

The fun police, Mr. Sunscreen.  I know it’s a buzz-kill, but sunscreen is the best skincare ever.  It is the final step of my skincare after everything I’ve applied (dry, dry, dry!).  Although SPF is in my moisturizer, foundation, etc, it is the last thing I put on my face before makeup.

I have been testing out a couple of new products.  I am still not sure if I will make any change ups.  Stay tuned!  I plan to cover my evening routine and weekly treatment stuff in a separate post.

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxo




  1. Agata says

    Hi Karen,
    Nice picks for your morning routine, I haven’t used any of these products actually. My morning skincare routine is very simple, the one at night is more elaborate. And I am really bad about applying sunscreen, which I am probably going to regret one day.
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    • kpsays says

      Wear you sunscreen! So important. I wish I had started being religious with it years ago! I think my evening routine is actually more simple! haha!

  2. Stacie says

    I always enjoy seeing what others use in their skincare routine. If only we could turn back time and not spend all that time in the sun as young adults!! Happy holidays!! I hope your hubby gets a break at work and those babies get to go home soon. Stacie xo
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  3. Julie says

    Great post, I was thinking of doing a morning routine too! One thing I’ve been really strict about for years is applying sunscreen every single day, it’s not sexy, but it works! I used Shisiedo in college and loved it, it was the moisturizing line in light blue packaging. The foamy cleanser was so nice!
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    • kpsays says

      Sunscreen is the best skincare, and so cheap if you start when you’re young! Shiseido has always been in my life. Would love to see your routine Jules!

  4. Lucy says

    Great routine, I do very little to my skin than use water. The advice of sunscreen is really important and moisturiser. Shiseido do wonderful products glad to see some of these in here. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and New Year my lovely Lucy x
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    • kpsays says

      Thank you Lucy! It appears you have been having quite the wonderful, amazing travels! Love reading about them! Just make sure you use sunscreen on your travels!!!

  5. Lauren says

    I have been in the same boat with life being so busy that I can’t blog on any kind of a schedule. Hopefully, I can get back in the swing of it soon. I love seeing what you use every day. I’ve been getting more and more into focusing on skincare and trying to decide what works for me. My main thing is sunscreen. Do you get your Obagi online or at a medspa?
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    • kpsays says

      My dermatologist sells the full Obagi line, so I get it there. It is pricey compared to drugstore sunscreens, but it is the best I’ve tried. Doesn’t show in photos, absorbs fully, really light texture. I wish I had used sunscreen way earlier :(