Simplified AM skincare routine with the correct order steps

Routine… Who hates it too? Me for sure, but not when it comes to skincare.

I’ve discovered in time that consistency and simplified routine according to my skin needs works best for me, saves me time and a lot of trouble. I have found what works for my combination skin type by trying a lot of products, but what I’ve learned the most is to listen (or better say watch:)) to what my skin needs at the same moment and just to change a specific product in the established routine.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links. I will only recommend products that I have personally used! Learn more on my Private Policy page.

By having a routine, I can notice immediately what is the product that makes my skin breakout or irritate and stop using it. For this reason, I never introduce 2 or more new products in the routine at the same time. 

The AM skincare routine comes before makeup for the day or no makeup day, if that is the situation, but it is the first thing I do in the morning. The cleansing must be gentle and not to strip too much the skin of it’s own oils. Our skin should be makeup free from the night before, so we don’t need a double cleanse(I will have a future post on this important subject, as it changed the way my skin looks and feels completely). Actually there are people that do not use cleanser in the morning, just plain water. THAT IS JUST NOT ME, but do what works for you.

I’ve left here a very short video with the simplest AM routine and I will explain step by step. P.S. it was very challenging to add the toner to the surface. I used the minimum amount and by using a drip tool and still spilled all over the place:))

DISCLAIMER: MY SKIN TYPE IS COMBINATION SENSITIVE, OILY IN THE T-ZONE and in the winter dry on the sides and summer normal on the sides of the face.


1. Gentle cleaning

2. Applying toner

3.Applying serum

4.Applying Eye Cream

5. Applying moisturizer

6. Applying SPF minimum 30 

Step 1 in the AM skin routine: Cleansing

First we start with cleansing the skin, choosing a soothing product, that will not strip the skin from it’s own precious oils.

I lately use this Cicaplast Lavant B5 Purifying Soothing Foaming Gel from La Roche Posay Gentle formula, even for babies, contains the famous Thermal Springs water and 5% Panthenol and anti-bacterial agents. It is unscented, which makes it perfect for sensitive skin type. After cleansing, rinse with plenty of water. It’s great for who has irritated skin or skin barrier damage. Super calming and customers with rosacea claim it didn’t make the condition worse and made quite a difference for the better.

Step 2: Applying toner

After cleansing and patting dry the skin with a clean towel (very important to wash often the towel or even use a paper one, believe me , game changer for my skin) , the next step will be toning the skin, which means we need to restore the PH balance of the skin. Some people just pat a few drops of toner, I prefer to take a cotton pad and pass all over the face, avoiding the eye area. The morning toner should be gentle, but depends on what you’re dealing with the skin at the moment. From Pixi, I like a lot the Milky toner(many times sold out) or the Rose toner, they are so gentle. Also good ingredients to look for in a soothing toner are: witch hazel, cucumber, rose water, rice water, glycerin, vitamins, jojoba oil, aloe vera, thermal spring water. This one from Simple-Soothing Facial Toner has allantoin and chamomille and is alcohol free, gentle is the word:))

Step 3: Applying serum

For me, the serum was added as part of the routine skincare in the last years, when the needs of my skin changed, it needed more hydration, more vitamins, more glow.

A serum is a product that contains 1-2 active ingredients in a concentrated form targeted for a specific need. The serum does NOT REPLACE THE MOISTURIZER, it helps the later one do it’s magic.

There are serums with vitamin C for brightness, with Retinol to minimize fine lines, with Hyaluronic acid for plumping and hydrating the skin, with peptides to improve the skin texture.

My favorite one for this winter has been the Estee Lauder-Advanced Night Repair Serum  a multi-recover repairing serum that targets anti-aging by providing hydration and 8 hour anti-oxidant protection. Contains Hyaluronic Acid, peptides, has no fragrance and is oil-free which makes it suitable for sensitive skins, like mine.

The serum is to be applied with massage movements all over the face, 1-2 drops will be enough. Let that sink into the skin for 1-2 minutes . Can be used on the neck.

Step 4: Applying eye-cream

The next step for me is a must, there are persons that can manage to use their moisturizer as an eye-cream, but my skin around the eyes needs hydration that lasts for hours and it also needs to pair good with the makeup I will use. Not every eye-cream sits good under the makeup. I will have a later post with the best eye-creams that look good underneath the makeup.

Now every person has it’s own needs for the eye area. There is different products to use when you are 20 something and when you are 50. And PLEASE, 11-12 YEARS OLD GIRLS, YOU DON’T NEED ANTI-WRINKLE EYE-CREAM. Please stop with this non-sense. It is useless.

This Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Zone Treatment is sitting very well under makeup, it is nourishing but still feels light enough, contains Niacinamide and Peptide Collagen, key ingredients for anti-aging. It can be used and recommended on the eyelid area as it supposed to lift the bone area(I didn’t pay attention if it really does that, later in the years I might need that), minimizes crow’s feet and fine lines and depuffs the under-eye. This is my favorite eye-cream so far.

For application, use a spatula as it doesn’t have a pump, most of the eye-creams have no pump and pat gently with your ring finger(the one that has the least pressure) until the product is absorbed. In general, try to be the most gentle around the eyes, no pulling, no rubbing, using silk pillow-cases. It really shows the care over the years and most important of all. take the makeup of before sleep .


Step 5: Moisturizing

Next step and one that is the most important for me is moisturizing, according to what my skin needs in that time and according to it’s type. For combination sensitive skin, I will use on the T-zone what is left after I have applied 1-2 pumps all over the face and neck. I need a cream that is targeted towards sensitive skin, so no perfume, no parabens, no oils, the consistency should be light and to pair well with the makeup on top. For your skin type, go towards the exact type of moisturizer, there are so many on the market and so good. For dry skin, hydrating ones, for young skins with no major issues, light creams, for aging skin, more complex anti-aging vitamin packed creams, for acne-prone skin, ONLY the ones targeted towards this, for oily skin, mattifying ones ( like La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat, my favorite) . It is important to check your skin needs and act as fast as possible to help it, so it can look good constantly. And healthy.

For summer or days when my skin feels good, I love this classic CLINIQUE-DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT HYDRATING JELLY. It is light, has Hyaluronic Acid and Clean Shield Technology to protect from pollution, hydrate for 24 hours and lock the moisture in, it is oil-free and non-sticky. 

For winter or days when my skin feels dried out or irritated and need extra protection against the cold, I will go for the La Roche Posay – Cicaplast B5 Balm. It is more on the heavier side, but I really only use a little bit, it is a multi-purpose soothing cream that acts like a barrier protection. Relieves dry skin irritations, chapped skin, cracked skin, it is even good for baby skin. In a recent post from the company I saw they even recommend it for fading  scars after acne. As main ingredients, worth mentioned: Panthenol (Provitamin B5, from here the name), Shea butter, Glycerin, Dimethicone (a silicone based polymer used to reduce water loss) , Madecassoside (derived from Centella Asiatica plant, known for nourishment) and of course the La Roche Posay Thermal Spring water, enriched in minerals and selenium, a natural anti-oxidant. 

Step 6: Applying sunscreen

Last but not the least important is to apply SPF before sun exposure.

I do have 2 articles about sunscreen:

1. Common mistakes we do with our sunscreen
2.Mineral or chemical sunscreens

Please check them as there I wrote in depth about this concern. I think is so important for the general health of our skin and the aspect of it in time.

At the end is your choice if you go with mineral or chemical sunscreen, there is so much information nowadays about the damage sun is making to our skin, even in the winter.

So please don’t skin this step. Use the right amount of sunscreen, at least 15-30 minutes before exposure and reapply during the day , by first blotting the face with a blotting paper preferable and after, applying a powder spf on top.

I’ve been using for years the La Roche Posay Anthelios series, it doesn’t cause me breakouts and doesn’t leave a white cast and really goes good underneath the makeup.

I have made this routine the simplest possible, these steps are a must and minimal in having a healthy and good looking skin.

The choice of products is yours, according to what YOUR SKIN NEEDS AT THE MOMENT, you can always change the products in the steps, please remember not to change more than one at a time as you can be in control if the product is not right for you and immediately stop using it.

This routine works for me, I must say is almost automatic. 

I will post also a PM skincare routine, sometimes routines are good, what can I say:))

Please feel free to leave a comment below with the products you are using and if this simplified routine helped you get into a skincare program that is good for long term.

10 thoughts on “Simplified AM skincare routine with the correct order steps”

  1. I never realized that the sudden breakouts were from lack of routine! I usually do my skincare without any order and not much consistency, I’ll have to change that up.

  2. I like to read about someone else who understands that less can be more when it comes to skincare. Your approach to introducing one product at a time is something I’ve adopted as well, and it’s been a game-changer in identifying what truly works for my skin without causing unnecessary irritation!

  3. I am going to recommend this simple yet effective routine to my wife. As you mentioned, having a consistent routine is key to understanding what works (or doesn’t work) for your skin.

  4. Such great products here and I may have to check a few of them out as I am in need of a new serum. Lots of great options here and appreciate your review!

  5. i realize as i read this post that i am totally utterly lacking in skin care routine not even knowing all that is part of it..

  6. I am really intrigued by the idea of trying out a simplified AM skincare routine. The post gave me a better understanding of the benefits and steps involved, making me excited to give it a try and see how it can improve my skincare routine.

  7. I’m going to look into these products! My morning routine currently consists of facial moisturizer after the shower….when I remember. 😬 The sunscreen is a definite addition I need to make. Thank you for this info!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *