Ditch Toner and Serums for Clearer Skin, Expert Advice

  • Jude Anne is a 35-year-old with combination skin who submitted her skincare routine to Insider’s skin clinic. 
  • She said she struggles with blackheads, hormonal acne, an oily t-spot, and fine lines.
  • If you’d like to have your skincare routine reviewed by experts, fill out this form. 

Jude Anne is a 35-year-old who volunteered to have her skincare routine reviewed for Insider’s skin clinic.

She said her biggest skincare concerns are her oily T-spot, hormonal acne, blackheads, and fine lines. 

Nancy Pellegrino, a nurse practitioner in the medical aesthetic field, reviewed Jude Anne’s routine and said she should consider ditching products like toner and replace them with better quality cleanser. She also said Jude Anne can cut out a few of her serums that have redundant ingredients.

Jude Anne’s routine doesn’t contain any ‘bad’ products

Jude Anne starts her mornings by washing her face with Cetaphil daily cleanser. She then uses a cotton round to pat Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Toner into her skin. 

She then hydrates her skin by layering three serums: COSRX Snail Mucin Essence serum, Niacinamide 10% serum, and Elensilia collagen eye cream. She tops it off by moisturizing with COSRX Advanced Snail cream and Supergoop’s unseen sunscreen SPF 40. 

At night, Jude Anne uses the Hanskin oil cleanser, if she has makeup on, or her CeraVe hydrating cleanser. She follows up her cleanser with Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Toner.

Like in her daytime routine, Jude Anne uses a variety of serums to hydrate her face: COSRX Snail Mucin Essence serum, Plant Bases’ Time Stop Collagen Ampoule serum, Verso Skincare Super Eye serum, and Elensilia collagen eye cream. She tops it off with the COSRX Advanced Snail cream.

Pellegrino said while Jude Anne isn’t using any products that are bad for her skin, she could cut down on the amount of toner she uses and find a better cleanser. 

Jude Anne’s skin shouldn’t need to be ‘toned’ after cleansing, so she should find a stronger cleanser

Pellegrino said the first thing Jude Anne should consider is switching her cleanser. While she uses a gentle, non-drying cleanser from Cetaphil, June Anne should not have to tone her face after washing, she said.

Instead, Jude Anne should opt for a stronger cleanser and drop her toner, which many dermatologists say isn’t a necessary skincare step.

At night, Pellegrino says Jude Anne should use her CeraVe cleanser after she oil cleanses to remove the oil from her skin and prevent breakouts. 

She should reduce the redundant products she uses, especially serums 

In addition to tossing her toner, Pellegrino said Jude Anne has a few products that contain overlapping ingredients. For example, her COSRX Snail Mucin Essence serum and COSRX Advanced Snail cream both contain the same moisturizing snail mucin, so she can get rid of one.

While her Niacinimide serum is a good anti-aging serum, she should consider replacing it with an anti-aging serum that contains vitamin C as well, Pellegrino said.

For her nighttime routine, Pellegrino said Jude Anne should consider switching her Time Stop Collagen Ampoule serum for a product that contains retinol to increase cell turnover. 

Overall, Jude Anne’s routine is solid, Pellegrino said, but her primary concern is her products overlap in her benefits, making some of them unnecessary. 

“Jude Anne should consider using multitasking products that combine the ingredients her skin needs every day,” Pellegrino said. 

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