A 5-Step Soothing Skincare Routine

Recently, Cassandra has been shocked at the prices of drugstore skincare prices. Things like Neutrogena and LaRoche Posay are $30 - $50!  Cassandra can remember Neutrogena being like $6. Companies noticed that they could increase prices during COVID, and they started pushing us to see how far we would go. But, even though inflation happens, there are ways to make your skincare last longer. Here's the thing – the main way to decrease how many products you're buying is by making sure you soothe and take care of your skin barrier. Fewer problems, less products! 

When your skin is soothed, fewer issues arise, and you won’t have to buy more products. Apart from genetics, inflammation is a significant cause of skin problems. So, in this blog, we’re going to talk about products that support your skin. That way, you’re not running back and forth to ULTA or the drugstore.

So, here are some product suggestions to help calm your skin. We’ll explain how the ingredients work too. While some of these products may not be considered cheap, you can use them once or twice a week to continuously boost the skin. So, they're a great investment.

Step 1: Cleanse

BYOMA Creamy Jelly Face Cleanser - Unscented - $13.99

This is more of a foaming cleanser. It’s not extra foamy, but it definitely lathers. Some skin types need a more clarifying cleanser, meaning the cleanser’s main strength is breaking down excess oil and residue. This hydrating cleanser does this without leaving a tight or dry feeling. It actually nourishes the skin, and one of the things that makes this cleanser so nourishing is the ceramides. 

What do ceramides do?

Ceramides make up about 50% of our skin’s outer layer, and they protect the skin. And when we apply them, they not only moisturize our skin, but they help fortify the skin skin. Ceramides help to lock in moisture, soothe irritation, and give the skin a glowy bounce. 

In addition to ceramides, this also contains green tea, licorice root, lactic acid, and allantoin. Green tea is a wonderful source of vitamin C, and it makes the skin glow. However, it’s much more gentle than L-ascorbic acid, which is the vitamin C that’s mostly used in skincare. Furthermore, the licorice root is great for hyperpigmentation, and it soothes inflammation. It can even prevent pigmentation from spreading while improving redness. 

What does allantoin do?

This cleanser also has allantoin, and some research shows that skin care products with allantoin can help reduce irritation and scarring. In skin care, companies use allantoin to reduce skin sensitivity too. So, if you have sensitive skin, allantoin may help prevent the skin from getting overly irritated. 


Step 2: Facial Steaming

Senis Hot and Cold Facial Steamer - $99

So, DIY face steaming is very popular. However, if you steam the face, you want to make sure you’re getting an actual face steamer. Steaming the face with boiling water can cause burning and dryness. Plus, using a steamer allows us to target specific areas of the skin. Steaming can soothe redness and irritation, but most importantly, it hydrates and increases the skin’s permeability. 

This means it can increase the skin’s ability to absorb products. So, when we apply a soothing serum like the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner afterward, it can travel to the deep layers of our skin where elastin and collagen are produced. This is wonderful because elastin and collagen create bounciness in our skin.

Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner - $17.99

This essence toner has a jelly-like consistency, and it’s extremely hydrating. The star ingredient of this essence is the  astragalus membranaceous (Huangqi) root.  This is a major medicinal herb that has been used for generations in many herbal formulations from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).  Astragalus membranaceus is primarily composed of polysaccharides and flavonoids. 

Astragalus membranaceus

Pharmacological research indicates that the extract component of  astragalus membranaceus can increase telomerase activity.  Telomeres are the caps at the end of our DNA strands.  Telomeres shorten as we age. But, a number of studies have shown that activating telomerase can maintain telomere length, delay aging, and reverse age tissue degeneration

As for the  polysaccharides, they are  responsible for the skin's natural ability to hydrate and retain water. They are also critical for skin repair and skin renewal. Next, flavonoids are seen as therapeutic because they provide  antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Topical application of certain flavonoids may even protect the skin by absorbing ultraviolet radiation before it can interact with and damage cellular components.  

Avocado Fine Line Eye Cream with Retinol + PSL Medature Repair Moisturizer

Although retinol is not considered a soothing ingredient, over time, retinol can thicken the skin. Retinol increases skin cell production (proliferation), meaning it speeds up how quickly the skin sheds its top layer. 

Likewise, it can increase collagen and unclog pores. When skin is thinner, it’s more fragile and loses some of its ability to protect the body from environmental stressors. Applying this to the face can help strengthen your skin and decrease inflammation on the face.

Yes, this is an eye cream. But, eye creams are simply moisturizers, and they can be used on the face. But since this is a retinol mask, you can mix a little with the medature PSL moisturizer to make it even more soothing. In addition to the calming ingredients, the retinol it contains is already gentle as well because it’s encapsulated. 

What is encapsulated retinol?

What makes this retinol more suitable for sensitive skin is that it’s encapsulated. Encapsulated retinol is a great choice for first-timers, those with sensitive skin, or anyone looking to minimize side effects. Encapsulated retinol is a version of retinol that is encapsulated by protective a barrier. So, it releases into the skin more slowly, and it’s much more gentle. 

Avocado and more antioxidants

Next, there’s avocado and coffeeberry. Avocado contains an abundance of vitamin E and antioxidants. Antioxidants defend the skin from environmental damage. Vitamin E is an anti-inflammatory agent and deeply moisturizes the skin. Coffeeberry, the seed of the coffee plant, helps with circulation and discoloration, and niacinamide is also an important ingredient in here.

What does niacinamide do? 

Niacinamide helps to strengthen the skin barrier by increasing the production of ceramides, and it also soothes redness. It also helps with oil control. It can improve barrier function and reduce flakiness as well. 

EltaMD Skin Recovery Night Mask + PSL Repair Moisturizer 4 

This is an alternative to the Glow Recipe mask, which contains shea butter. Some people feel that shea butter clogs their pores. So, this is a retinol mask without shea butter. 

Keep in mind though that people have said this feels more like a moisturizer. Plus, the traditional retinol with a lighter texture can be irritating for some. On the other hand, the Medature moisturizer is very thick, and it’s packed with ceramides. But, it does not have shea butter either. 

So, at night, you can lather on the Medature moisturizer and add a little Elta MD. You can also use  The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid for $12.10 in place of the Elta MD moisturizer.  

Beauty Pie Superactive Ceramide Capsules

In the morning, you can use these if your skin needs extra support after using the retinol masks the night before. You can put this under your sunscreen.


In the AM, you’ll need a sunscreen, especially after using a retinol mask. Suncreens protect the skin from damage and lock in the benefits of your skincare routine. 


Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer - $30.60

Packed with antioxidants, this is a hydrating, physical sunscreen. It’s often said that physical sunscreen is better for sensitive skin.

Best Oil Control Sunscreen Moisturizer: Murad SPF 45 Mattifying Sunscreen 

This is a chemical sunscreen that also controls oil and mattifies the skin. Cassandra loves this one, and it works very well for acne-prone skin.

Coola Organic Classic Face Sunscreen SPF 50

This is more of a lotion that can function as a primer, and it layers well under makeup.