My simple AM routine

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First I have to get things straight, I am not a dermatologist or any kind of professional (unfortunately). So this is just my personal opinion on how to do a simple routine, without spending a lot of time. For more than a decade I tried many products, different brands and educated myself, so I hope you can take something useful out of this.

Let’s get it started!


  1. Cleanser

    • The morning or AM routine is the easiest of them all. You went to bed with a (hopefully) clean face and made sure that your pillow case is also clean. ;) That’s why I don’t grab a cleanser and just splash my face with water.

    • If you like you can use a mild cleanser to remove any sebum or dust from your skin.

  2. Toner

    • From here on I like to tone my face. The basic effect of a toner is to balance the skins ph levels after cleansing and remove any impurities, sebum you produced overnight or residue that your cleanser left (if you choose to use a cleanser).

    • They are water-based liquids, so the texture is just like water

    • There are different types of toners for specific skin needs. Rosewater gives you clearer, energized and hydrated skin. Chamomile is good for sensitive skin types, because it soothes and calms redness.

    • There are also astringent toners, which are supposed to be anti-bacterial, often used for blemished skin. They can contain alcohol, which is not necessarily a bad thing, the percentage is the key here. But you shouldn’t use them on a daily basis and be cautious if you have sensitive skin. I personally stay away from alcohols, as they dry out my skin and give me dry patches.

    • The application of the toner is easy. Drench a cotton pad and gently wipe over your face. You could also just apply it directly with your hands and pat it into your skin for better absorption

  3. Serum

    • You have prepped your skin, so now you can apply the really good concentrated stuff.

    • Serums come in different textures. From watery to gel like (with a dropper for easy application). There are even pressed serums now on the market, which are more like a gel cream.

    • The smaller molecules make the concentrated goodness penetrate better into your skin. (Science rocks!)

    • These are the ingredients you should look for:

      Acne prone: vitamin C, zinc and salicylic acid

      Dry: vitamin E, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid

      Dullness: green tea, resveratrol

    • Please keep in mind that a serum is so highly packed with active ingredients, that you should always try it first on a patch on your arm to check if you can handle it. Especially if you have sensitive skin.

  4. Moisturizer

    • This step locks your hard work in

    • You can choose from emulsions to thick creams.

    • I personnaly like lighter textures, which are packed with hydrating properties.

      So I can still apply sunscreen and don’t have to worry about excessive shine or pilling (= sometimes when you apply a product on top of another, both layers accumulate into little balls and you can start allover again. Often it happens also with moisturizer and liquid foundation).

  5. Sunscreen

    • This step is crucial! Always. Use. Sunscreen.

    • It doesn’t matter if it is winter, cloudy or you just don’t feel like it. You always should use sunscreen to prevent premature aging.

    • The times of thick, pasty sunscreens are long gone (Yay!). Korean beauty brands have a variety of different textures and infuse their lotions with extra trouble shooting ingredients.

    • They can also be a perfect primer for your make up.

Useful tips:

  • Make sure to let every product sink into your skin completely. If it takes too long, gently pat it into your skin. Or split your routine and do something else - like getting dressed, drinking coffee… If you don’t wait long enough, you cannot be sure that the product is working completely, you will thin down the texture and ingredients.

  • Don’t use too much product! Apply a thin layer of every product. If you need more you can adjust it the next time. This avoids pilling and a caked face.

  • If you found a product that works, stick to it. (This tip I am always neglecting, though. Too curious about testing out new stuff.)

    You can irritate your skin by using too many different products in a short term of time.

  • Always go from lightest texture to thickest.


My product recommendations:

  1. Cleanser: I love my System Akvile Cleanser. Perfect for all skin types. You can get it here.

  2. Toner: This hydrating toner from Tia’m I use everyday. It hydrates and balances the skin after cleansing perfectly.

  3. Serum: Another korean beauty gem is this serum form Benton. It nourishes and sinks into the skin in a second.

  4. Moisturizer: And again a product from System Akvile. This moisturizer is simple, but perfect. It moisturizes and creates a protective shield without being to shiny or greasy.

  5. Sunscreen: Since aprox. 3 years I’ve been using this sunscreen from Missha. It doesn’t only protect you from UV rays, but also protects your skin from other harmful evironmental factors.


Let me know, if you tried this kind of routine and how you like it?

Do you have any more questions? Let me know in the comments. :)