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Loving My Skin: Complete AM and PM Skincare Routine

One of the topics that I have blogged about consistently over the years in addition to all the fitness, food and yoga is my skin. I consider skincare to be very relevant to healthy living. I first shared my skincare struggles in a post I wrote in May 2011 and I have provided regular status updates since. I feel like it’s a topic that touches many women.

I announced back in January that I was partnering with Carolina Facial Plastics in 2014 to work on my skincare during my 30s transition. These were the goals I shared in that post:

  1. As much preventative care as possible to help with the aging process. Over the last couple of years I have definitely started to notice my skin changing in texture, tone, volume, fine lines, etc. I want to have glowing, radiant, youthful skin for as long as possible and I know there are so many things I can do to help with that.
  2. The ability to manage my hormonal acne without the use of birth control.

It’s October 1 and I’ve now dedicated 10 months to meeting my skincare goals with the help of Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh and esthetician Dede Wick. I can honestly say that I have never been happier with the products I am using on my skin and the appearance of my skin…and I’m excited to tell you that I met both of the goals stated above. The products that I’m using are brightening, lightening, smoothing, hydrating and protecting my skin while also helping me control acne and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. And I’ve been able to stop taking hormonal birth control without a major flare up with my skin. I’m thrilled to finally be 100% natural with my supplements and medications after 10+ years of taking birth control. The last time I tried to stop taking it and “go natural” my skin went completely crazy and left me with skin issues worse than anything I had ever experienced in my life. So I’m beyond elated that this partnership has turned out to be successful!


Here’s a photo I just snapped sitting at my desk to show you how my skin is looking today. While this is an iPhone pic, there are no filters or editing! For the first time in my adult life I have stuck to a dedicated, professionally prescribed skincare routine and it’s paid off. I have received requests from many of you to share my skincare routine from start to finish so here we go!

It’s important to note that I started with a thorough skincare analysis and discussion with my providers to discuss goals and lifestyle.



1) Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleaner – This is a gentle organic cleanser that removes makeup and impurities and balances the skin’s pH, eliminating the need for a toner. It includes chamomile and green tea and smells lovely. It’s gentle and a great option for those with sensitive skin.

2) Image the MAX eye creme – I use this eye cream day and night to help with fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness.

3) OBAGI Professional-C Serum 10% – I use Vitamin C serums and creams both day and night. Vitamin C is a powerhouse for your skin and helps with fine lines and wrinkles, calms inflammation, brightens skin and helps skin retain moisture…just to name a few of its benefits!

4) Image Skincare Prevention Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 – A daily moisturizer is a must for me and I don’t leave the house without SPF on my face so this knocks out both concerns in one great moisturizer. Bonus…it’s tinted and perfect for dashing off to teach. It’s very lightweight but hydrating and it doesn’t have that sunscreen smell or feel…if that makes any sense!?

I have two AM routines. The first is for my 4:50 a.m. wake up call where I just want to get up and go. I only use the face cleanser and the moisturizer. The second is for after my morning shower when I actually apply all of the products.

PM Routine 


I love my PM routine and it’s actually become a relaxing ritual for me. Here’s what we’re working with.

1) Image MD Reconstructive Facial Cleanser – this cleanser is significantly more aggressive than the Ormedic cleanser I used in the AM. It exfoliates, removes make-up as well as speeds up cellular turnover. It’s also designed to increase the skins ability for active ingredients to penetrate deeper.

2) Image the MAX eye creme – I use this eye cream day and night to help with fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness.

3) Image Vital C – see above for Vitamin C benefits. This serum is VERY hydrating and a great base product for my skin at night.

4) OBAGI Tretinoin Cream 0.05% – This is the most recent addition to my skincare routine and is prescription strength retinoid. Prescription retinoids include retinoic acid (also called tretinoin), and it’s the same active ingredient you’ll find in products like Renova, Retin-A; and Differin. I’m using primarily for acne control in addition to all the other benefits retinols have. They are excellent antioxidants and help prevent wrinkes and increase collagen production. Also, they can improve skin discoloration.

I have had to slowly ease into using this product because it can cause peeling and redness in the beginning. I started using it once or twice a week and finally moved to every other night. Note that proper sun prevention is critical when using retinoids!

So there it is! My complete skin care routine from start to finish. While I was provided with these products for free from Carolina Facial Plastics, they are something that I will invest in after our partnership ends. I also want to tell you that they last forever. The eye cream is the only product I have run out of after 6+ months of use so you’re looking at buying most of these products 1-2x per year max. I think your skin is worth it! Now that I’ve started using quality, medical-grade skincare, I definitely see how they are superior to all of the drugstore products I used in the past.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Also, please share your experiences in skincare. We all learn from each other! If you’re in Charlotte, I can’t recommend a visit to Carolina Facial Plastics to see Dr. Kulbersh and Dede enough! I am forever grateful to them for getting me to this place with my skin that I haven’t been able to get to on my own!

Skincare products and treatments have been complimentary from Carolina Facial Plastics but I have received no compensation for these posts. Opinions are 100% my own! 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • She Rocks Fitness October 1, 2014, 7:18 pm

    I just started a new skin care regimen with Skin Authority. I really haven’t been kind to my skin and getting used to a routine at night and in the morning is different, but I’m looking forward to seeing the results and seeing if there are any drastic changes. I agree…healthy skin is part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s time to nourish! 🙂

  • Brooke@sweetnsweaty October 1, 2014, 7:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing your journey and routine. I struggle with hornonal acne as well and I desperately want to get off birth control without my skin going crazy!! Your skin looks great!!!

    • Jen October 2, 2014, 11:22 am

      thanks brooke! it was slightly terrifying to take the jump again but i’m SO glad that i did…and that my skin is cooperating for the most part!

  • Lo October 1, 2014, 8:50 pm

    I know you didn’t purchase these products but do you have an idea of how much it costs overall?

    • Jen October 2, 2014, 11:21 am

      most run between $20-$50 per item with the exception of the prescription cream…i’m not sure the cost on that but insurance might help cover some of it if it’s prescribed for acne. i know that mine did when i used differin when i was younger for acne. like i mentioned in the post…the products last 6+ months before needing to restock. let me know if you have any other questions!

  • diana October 2, 2014, 12:16 am

    thank you so much for sharing! i actually just finished scouring the interwebs for skincare products so that i can begin my own regimen. so far so good. i’ll be referencing this page for the future for sure.

  • Liz October 2, 2014, 8:58 am

    I use all those same products minus the tretinoin cream and I’ve never been happier with my skin. Hormonal breakouts are gone and I couldn’t be happier. I do a second cleanse in the evening where a use a washcloth to make sure all the makeup and dead cells come off and I think that has really helped me too. It’s crazy how much makeup comes off on my second cleanse that I was previously leaving on my face.

    • Jen October 2, 2014, 11:16 am

      liz – thanks so much for the washcloth tip. my esthetician recommended that i do that but i don’t…i need to start if you’ve had such great results!

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt October 2, 2014, 10:21 am

    What a great skincare routine! I seriously need to think about this. Great post!

    • Jen October 2, 2014, 11:25 am

      you’re welcome! glad that you found it beneficial and helpful.