“Get rid of that Clean and Clear shit”… learning to care for my skin in my 30s

It was on a recent lady date to The Royce that I was admiring the radiant glow of my friend Courtney’s skin. I had to ask how she made this happen.

Her response was “Well what do you do?”

To which I replied, “Nothing.”

“No, but I mean you wash your face right?”

“In the morning I use Clean and Clear in the shower.”

“Oh dear God. What about at night?!?!?!” Courtney was clearly upset about my lack of skincare.

“Nope. I usually just go to bed.”

I deeply appreciate humor and honesty so Courtney’s response only solidified our friendship.

“YOU ARE A FUCKING 33 YEAR OLD WOMAN! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!?” followed by, “For someone who seems to have her act together that’s pretty disgusting.”

She then told me that she would write it all out and fix me. Below is the exact email she sent me the next week, links and all.

“Sorry it’s taken me so long friend, been a busy week!

I’m actually super excited to write to you about all this stuff because I’m freakishly obsessed with this kind of stuff. By the end,  you may be sorry you asked…
First things first- WASH YOUR FACE AT NIGHT! For Christ’s sake woman. You’re in your 30’s!!! 😉
Overall: I try to use as many “clean” products as I can. IE- not a lot of crap in them. Some stuff you can’t deny has some chemicals in it (and frankly we kind of need them from time to time) so I just try to limit it where I can.
Cleansing: I wash my face every morning and every night and exfoliate about 2-3 times a week in the shower. Get some washcloths from Target that are just for your face and when you need an extra scrub, use those with either your cleanser or exfoliater. The key with exfoliating is that you don’t need to scrub super hard (that breaks your skin) you want to just gently rub and then use the wash cloth to take it all off.
You really want to wash your face at night because all day we touch our skin and all the grime of the city sits on it. At night, you have (god willing) 8 hours for your skin to breathe so you want it clean so it can replenish and replump so we don’t look dead in the morning.
Products: I use the Suki line for my face cleanser. It’s been great and it’s safe for when you’re pregnant as well.
For morning and evening cleansing I use this
Exfoliating: I use this
They have tons of other lovely products but these are the two that I really like. Some of the other ones didn’t work so well for me.
This line is more expensive but I’ve wanted to try it. If you’re feeling saucy, maybe give this a go:
Face Masks: About once a week I like to do a face mask to suck all the crap out. In the summer I use a clay mask because it takes out more oil. In the Fall / Winter/ Spring I do a peel.
Use your washcloth to take the peel or mask off for an extra scrub. I always like to do these at night after a shower so I go to sleep with extra clean skin.
Eye Cream: Lady, these are a must!!! I find that this is a very sensitive area and you need to find one that is best for you. The key is hydration. The more you keep this area hydrated, the less apt it is to wrinkle.
In the morning, I use this one (you just need to let it soak in for about 5 minutes before you put makeup on)
At night I use this one
Serums: So I’m just getting into these because I look old and have sun damage. Serums are like a concentrated moisturizing shot to your skin. I am using this one every morning. Once it’s dry I put my face lotion over it
Toner: I think toning your face is a good thing but it should be a simple one with no alcohol. I like how it makes me feel extra fresh after I wash my face and takes off a lot of makeup that might be left behind. This is your most simple option. There are plenty of fancy expensive options but as you don’t really have problem skin, I think this is fine!
Moisturizing: The key to youth and glow!! I have been through SO MANY MOISTURIZERS trying to find the best one. The problem is, if it’s too organic then it doesn’t dry well. If it’s too chemically, you feel oily all day. You want something thick but something that doesn’t take forever to dry. It’s tough! Also, you go through it so quickly that I just can’t afford to buy a $100.00 face moisturizer every month. So the two below are my current choices, always subject to change 😉
Evening (you want something nice and thick at night to replenish your skin. Try to wash your face about 15-30 minutes before you actually fall asleep so it can set in a bit before you hit the pillow)
Make-Up: I think this line of make-up is awesome and it’s pretty chemical free. Again, I have a ton of chemical shit but this stuff makes me feel glowy and put together in a jiff.
GODDAMNIT I am high maintenance!! This is about 20+ years of research so I mean, I guess it’s not that bad…


Here is a quick breakdown of the routine:
Toner (apply with cotton swab)
Eye Cream
Night Cream
Eye Cream
Peel / Mask
2/3 Exfoliate
God speed my friend. You’ll be glowing in no time. Get rid of that Clean and Clear shit.
With all this newfound knowledge I began my personal journey towards youthful and glowing skin. You know what? I like this grown up face washing business. I find I use a lot less makeup because I’m happy with my skin. It seems more plump and awake (is that a thing?).
 I should add that neither Courtney or I are doctors, so I spoke to a real dermatologist, my sister in law. She said that there are really only three things your skin must have
  1. Vitamin C Serum
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Retin-A

Three items sound a lot less intimidating, so I may try and pair down what I have been using. Or maybe not, the products on this list feel pretty awesome and my skin has never looked better. By this time next year, I will look no older than 14.

With love from Detroit,


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  • Virginia
    November 14, 2017

    My routine is the same as your old routine. I️ use a lotion with sunscreen after my shower. Same one that the electric linemen use, very cheap, from my days working for an Electrical Company. Skin looks pretty good for my age. Sun protection a must.

    • Callie
      November 14, 2017

      I think your skin looks great too, but I wasn’t blessed with as much melanin as you and my mom. I need a little extra help 😉

  • Nicole
    November 14, 2017

    Love <3

    • Callie
      November 14, 2017

      Thanks for the help with my lashes Nicole, xoxo

  • Janae
    November 14, 2017


    • Callie
      November 15, 2017

      Thanks Janae xoxo

  • Colleen Schaffer
    November 14, 2017

    I totally felt like I was getting yelled at also… I also only wash my face while in the shower and that is it! Maybe I will give some of this stuff a try! It seems like so much though. How was the jump from basically doing nothing to doing all that?

    • Colleen Schaffer
      November 14, 2017

      Also, you look great!! 😉

    • Callie
      November 15, 2017

      I feel like just washing your face at night and adding a nice serum or moisturizer is a great first step. Helps you ease into the rest. Thanks Col.

  • Kerri
    November 15, 2017

    I have used several skin care routines over the years. I just recently started using Chanel (kind of pricy) but their products are all natural. Plus I’m worth it!! Hahah. My aging skin is feeling healthier, firmer and clearer. So, you get what you pay for. Getting into the routine of taking the day off at night is a good idea. I’ve been doing that for years. Also, drink lots of water!

    • Callie
      November 15, 2017

      I am so bad about water. Trying to be better. You just reminded me to refill my water bottle before I head out of the house 🙂 Thanks Kerri!

  • Jocelyn Phillips
    November 16, 2017

    Hi Callie. I have been into skin care since I was a teenager. I’ve tried many skincare products. I do 3 things daily, cleanse, tone and moisturize. I wash my face after I shower so that the steam helps to open my pores. I always rinse my face with extremely warm water before washing to open pores as much as possible. To cleanse my face I use a two sided thing (a very soft brush on one side and a rubber scrubber on the other). I never use abrasive products on my skin. After cleansing I rinse with very cold water to close my pores. I use Lancome products or products by the same doctors who created proactiv. I love skincare discussions and products.

    • Callie
      November 29, 2017

      I started using your cold water trick Jocelyn and I know one thing for certain…. IT WAKES ME UP!!!

  • Cortney Freeland
    November 18, 2017

    The blog post that everyone needs! Great information, thanks for sharing.

    • Callie
      November 29, 2017

      Any time!!! Her email was filled with such good information, I just knew I needed to share.

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