• Penn Smith

Create a Custom Skincare Routine

Updated: Aug 2

Essential to everyone's skincare routine are the following five components:



3.Vitamin C



I order these components this way:


Cleanse, retinoid, moisturizer OR cleanse, moisturizer, retinoid.


Cleanse (or don't, this depends on preferences), vitamin C, moisturizer, sunscreen.

This simple routine can help with skin tone, collagen production, pigmentation, fine lines and texture. If you feel that you have a skin condition that warrants additional help I have created custom routines for various concerns that keep simplicity in mind by adding just one or two appropriate ingredients for each skin concern.

From here we may add additional components (as many people have multiple skin concerns) but keeping it relatively simple can be incredibly effective!

Check below for a helpful list of my current recommendations.

*Penn Smith Skincare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program. Many links are affiliate links, meaning I am compensated when you shop through these at no extra fee to you.

Here are the CORE category recommendations:


1. Vanicream https://amzn.to/3uB7EnC (good all round)

2. Aveeno cleanser (rosacea/dry/sensitive) https://amzn.to/2Sx233v

3. Paula's Choice (oily skin/acne) https://amzn.to/3uPu9nW

4. Le Mieux brightening cleanser (pigment) https://amzn.to/3o77ySo

Retinoid Choices/recommendations

1. CeraVe Retinol Serum https://amzn.to/33nJqRU

2. OLAY Regenerist MAX Retinol (awesome) https://amzn.to/3MkCusC

3. La Roche Posay Adapalene (acne skin) https://shop-links.co/cfWhrFbUAO8

Vitamin C options

1. Dermalure L-ascorbic acid (amazing!!) https://amzn.to/3uzAQv6

(best all round)

2. Mad Hippie (sodium ascorbyl phosphate for acne skin) https://amzn.to/3b8nGh2

3. Bioelements Vitamin C (10% SAP) https://amzn.to/2QVI7Hl

Moisturizer Recommendations:

1. Dermaquest essential Moisturizer (buttery blue light blocking moisturizer)


2. La Roche Posay Toleriane Moisturizer with Niacinamide (great around)



1. Neova Silc Sheer SPF 40 https://amzn.to/3zgwZs1

2. Dermaquest Sheer Zinc https://shop-links.co/chnAAlMPH7r

(comes in 3 colors-this is the lightest (it's a light/medium). Sunkissed is medium and Tan is sheer tan/deep.

3. CeraVe Tinted SPF 30 (this is an NC 20-23) https://amzn.to/3NJAuvg

ADD ON RECOMMENDATIONS (choose only what applies to YOU):


Touch Azelaic Acid https://shop-links.co/cfWhG5fy1EG

Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid https://amzn.to/3Jslpxd

NIACINAMIDE:Paula's Choice 10% (can mix this with your moisturizer also!) https://amzn.to/3nYilOB

Cos De Baha Toner https://amzn.to/33oRWAb


Paula's Choice toner https://amzn.to/3w4IWwr

Dermaquest serum (glycolic, salicylic, azelaic and lactic all in one. Could also work for oily/textured skin) https://shop-links.co/cfZjd9DYGcB


Lumion spray https://amzn.to/33rdCeN

Lumion Serum https://amzn.to/3uA5Uv0

Skinsmart Cleanser spray https://amzn.to/3SjVHPx


Queen 7-1 Serum (still a fave of mine) https://amzn.to/3tft6js

Paula's Choice clinical discoloration repair serum with Tranexemic Acid


Naturium Tranexamic acid 5% serum https://amzn.to/3eqJQ01


Glycolic acid leave on Paula's Choice https://amzn.to/3o0lH3N

Youth To the People Glycolic and Lactic (I have loved this forever) https://amzn.to/33uAASp


Isntree HA serum https://shop-links.co/cgzkoy8Cew3

Isntree TW Real Bifida serum (amazing long time favorite for my dry skin) https://amzn.to/3o2E6gm

Check back because I will be adding additional routines!


Please join my private Facebook Group for lots of discussion, including threads about daily routines!

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content provided on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or skin related diagnosis or treatment options. Information on this website should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare/skin professional. The statements made about specific products throughout this website are not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. It is important that you check labels to determine if a product is right for you. Before starting any treatment at home consult a health care or skin care professional to determine if it’s right for you.

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