The Perfect Skincare Routine for Beginners

The Perfect Skincare Routine for Beginners

I’m often asked what products I would recommend for people who are skincare newbies, so I decided to put together my ultimate skincare “starter pack” for beginners. Here are my absolute must-haves and the order in which you should use them:

Bioderma Micellar Water

Pour it on a cotton pad (these square ones are my favorite) to soak off mascara, then swipe all over face to remove makeup. Much better for your skin than traditional makeup wipes, which leave behind a chemical film.

Anything cream-based.

Most experts will tell you that the cleanser you use is the least important aspect of your skincare routine, and also the product you should spend the least amount of money on. I prefer to stick with cream cleansers vs foams or gels (which tend to strip the skin.) Cetaphil—or anything you buy at the drugstore—works just fine.

Thayer’s Natural Witch Hazel

Even if you think you’ve removed all of your makeup, you probably haven’t. A quick sweep of this toner will guarantee there’s not a single thing left on your face.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads

You guys know I’m obsessed with these—they’re one of my “hero” beauty products for a reason. I consider them to be worth every penny and then some. I PROMISE. Everyone I recommend them to tells me that they notice a difference in their skin after using them ONE TIME. I like to use mine twice a week at night, after I cleanse but before I apply my creams and serums.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid

This helps restore moisture and keeps your skin looking plump and healthy. Hyaluronic acid products are typically expensive, but The Ordinary’s version is jaw-droppingly affordable—and it actually works. (If you’re looking for other options, check out my list of the best anti-aging serums here.)

First Aid Beauty Ultra-Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream

This is one of my favorite super rich, super luxe feeling night creams. (Matt is obsessed with it too—it’s the only moisturizer he’ll use.) The texture reminds me of some of my more expensive products, but it’s way more reasonably priced.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream

This is a great affordable eye cream option that actually works and isn’t irritating. It even has a peachy tint that helps conceal undereye bags. You can use it in the morning before your makeup, and at night before you go to sleep.



  1. Beth
    October 19, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    Hi Lindsay, Thanks for sharing your routine How does your morning routine differ? Maybe a post on your mom’s morning and evening skincare routine for us 50+ ladies.

    • October 20, 2018 / 10:03 pm

      That’s a great idea! I’m totally going to do a post on her routine – she’s obsessed with beauty and skincare like me 🙂

  2. Kelly
    October 19, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    I ordered the alpha beta peel pads two weeks ago and am obsessed. Now I just ordered the Bioderma Micellar Water and First Aid Beauty Ultra-Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream.

    Thank you!!!

    • October 20, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      HOW GOOD ARE THE PEELS THOUGH?! Now you probably understand why I don’t shut up about them haha you’ll love the other stuff too, promise!

  3. October 26, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    I’ve been watching you use and recommend this starter system for so long and I finally ordered everything (except the witch hazel bc I already have one.) Every other product that I’ve bought on your recommendation has been incredible so I’m super excited to try this all out! This really makes it so easy and straightforward- exactly what a beauty product simpleton like me needs :X

    Thank you!!

  4. Melissa
    November 27, 2018 / 9:03 am

    Linds I was told that the Ordinary brand is no more! 😥😥😥 Could it be true?? Of course the item that always fits in my budget 😡

    • November 30, 2018 / 12:50 am

      Last I heard there was drama with the founder after they had been bought by Estee Lauder!

    • April 4, 2019 / 2:44 pm

      They are definitely back now because I just bought a bunch of stuff to try to reduce my aging wrinkles that I just realized existed 😅😅😅

  5. Amber
    May 9, 2019 / 1:28 am

    Those peel pads are legit!! Tried another brand…not the same.

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