My Top Shelf & Summer Skincare Routine

skincare routine update summer 2015

It’s been a while since I wrote my last skincare update (almost one year, you guys!), but I didn’t have anything new to share until recently. I kept using the same exact three products (with the exception of a couple of different masks) and my skin did well for the entire time. I don’t remember going through any breakouts at all, and I only had one horrible skin rash when I went out of town and brought different products with me (I wrote about that episode in this post). After healing from that rash I went back to my minimal routine, and my skin has been doing great ever since.

Here’s what is currently on my top shelf, and what I have been using lately.


I cleanse my face with the YULI Skincare Halcyon Cleanser after my morning workout. This cleanser is a product I try to never be without because it cleanses the skin deeply without stripping it at all. It has a light, gel-like consistency (more runny than a gel) that lathers ever so slightly when in contact with water and rinses off leaving no pore-clogging residue on the skin. It is one of the few products that I have been using consistently for the past year, and unless you have very dry skin, I highly recommend trying it (full review here).

I follow with a face mist which is usually the Yuli Cocoon Facial Elixir (full review here). The combination of soothing, plant-based ingredients like Chamomile and Calendula is absolutely magical for my skin. However, recently I have been using the Odacite + Moon Juice Face Mist that comes in the Clair De Lune set*. The formula is very simple, it contains only Aloe Vera juice and Rose Water, but it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and non-greasy. After spritzing my face with one of these two mists I either apply face sunscreen or I just move on to makeup.

The two face sunscreens that I have been using the most are the Suntegrity Unscented Body Sunscreen (yes it’s for the body, but it works fine for the face, too), which I use when I need heavy duty sun protection (beach, outdoor workout), and the Coola SPF 30 Matte Finish Cucumber Sunscreen, which leaves a bit of a white cast but it is perfect under makeup because it has a silky finish.

At this time, I am not using any other moisturizer/treatment in the daytime because my skin does better without it. Since Summer arrived, every time I tried to use some oil or moisturizer during the day I ended up with clogged pores (sweat, oil, and moisturizer don’t mix well together!). In case you are new to my blog, I have normal-oily skin and live in sunny, humid, Florida.

One thing I have learned since I started testing and evaluating skincare products for Genuine Glow is that no one’s skin is exactly like another’s and now I know that I no longer have to layer loads of product just because it is recommended by skincare experts. This is what has been working for my skin and I am sticking to it. I bought so many products (that I only used once or twice, such as acid-based masks) because I felt like I had to use that specific treatment or mask in order to get “the skin I wanted”. I encourage you to listen to your skin more than you listen to any blogger/expert when it comes to building your skincare routine.

Summer Skincare Routine


On days that I wear makeup, or when I need a deep cleanse, I reach for the ED4OLO Cleansing Oil (full review here). This has been my go-to makeup remover for a very long time because it removes every single bit of makeup (even waterproof) and it comes off easily, which is not the case for most cleansing oils. I do my first cleanse with this oil and then I do a second cleanse with the Yuli Halcyon Cleanser, which removes the last bits of everything. Then, as I do in the morning, I spritz my face with a mist (one of the two mentioned for the AM routine), and then I apply a serum.

During the past few months I used the YULI Liquid Courage Antioxidant Serum (full review here), but last month I used the Odacite+ Moon Juice Face Serum that comes in the Private Collection Claire de Lune skincare set* and I loved it. It has a thicker consistency than most serums I have tried (like a high viscosity oil), but it absorbs so so well and so quickly leaving no greasiness on the skin at all. I think that it would suit most skin types because it moisturizes and softens the skin, but it does not exacerbate oiliness. This serum is on my list of products to repurchase as soon as I have tested out a few other samples, because it is really that good for my skin. (Full review coming soon).

The newest addition to my routine is the Tammy Fender Quintessential Serum*. I have only been using it for less than two weeks, but I am liking it so far. It is very rich in texture and very emollient but it does not clog my pores. I have been using it every night and since then I have woken up with smooth, glowing skin.

Face masks

face masks summer routine

I have been doing masks quite often during the past year and I believe that they have significantly helped, especially on hormonal days. I like to use masks that contain non-harsh, purifying clays because I need deep cleansing to clear out my pores,  but my skin is delicate. Some clay masks are way too harsh for me and leave my skin irritated. Currently my favorite face mask is Yuli Pure. It effectively purifies my skin, giving me a deep cleanse and the most gentle, non physical exfoliation. I reach for it every time that my skin starts to look congested and it has never failed me. When I see a few tiny spots starting to form (usually during my PMS time) I will use it for two days in a row, at night, after cleansing with Halcyon. I cleanse first with Halcyon as I normally would, then I mix a few drops of cleanser with a teaspoon of mask. This combo makes a smooth, gel-like paste that applies easily and rinses off clear. It makes my skin feel and look like a million bucks, and it clears out the skin from any of the blemishes that were trying to pop up.

Another mask that I have recently started to use is the Tammy Fender Epi-Peel*. The consistency of this mask is similar to toothpaste, smells quite herbal, and gives the slightest tingling to my skin, but it does not leave my skin irritated. Although it contains micro-particles to provide the slightest physical exfoliation, it rinses off clear so no residue is left on the skin to clog the pores. I have enjoyed so far, and will keep you posted about it after I have used it for a little longer. I think that this would work for everyone looking for an exfoliating product that is not harsh, however I would not recommend it if you have broken or sensitive skin.


Josh Rosebrook Oculus

Besides my all-time favorite eye cream from Pai Skincare (full review here), I have been using the Josh Rosebrook Oculus Formula* at night for some time. It is a light eye serum that comes in a glass tube with a metal rollerball applicator, which feels very soothing on the under eye area. It contains great moisturizing plant oils and a few essential oils, and the essential oils have not caused any trouble. I just sweep it very lightly under my eye without getting too close to the lashes and then pat the area gently.

As you may have noticed I use a significantly lower number of products compared to the past, and even though I have several products sitting on my other shelves waiting for me to try them I have accepted the fact that my skin has become more delicate over the years, and that I need to be very gentle and introduce only one new item at a time.

What’s on your topshelf? Have any skincare products ever got you frustrated because you wanted them to work for you like they did for others, but they did not?

*gifted/PR sample

  • I’ve never heard of Yuli! Thanks for the heads up, Lilly! xo

    • Thank you for reading, Erin :) And yes, Yuli is a must-try, x

  • I found the Epi Peel to be too much for my skin, though it is a bit sensitive. But I am dying to try the Pure Mask (and the Halcyon cleanser as well) :)

    • Hi Raquel, I agree with you, the Epi-Peel is not for the most delicate skin types (maybe because of the essential oils?). I think that you would like the Pure Mask, because it purifies and exfoliates but it is much, much more gentle. Please let me know how you like it if you give it a try! :)

  • I feel, like you, that my skin is finally settling down, an I’m beginning to understand what it need more than ever before. Having a serum, and significant hydration, seem to be a big thing for me! I’d love to eventually give Yuli a go…but I just don’t know where to start first!

    Mayah x

    • Hey babe! I know the weather over there is so different that you guys need to use very hydrating products. As for Yuli, I would maybe order the travel size of cleanser, toner (Metamorphic is the most hydrating one), and Liquid Courage. I think you would love it. Thanks for reading, love!

      • Haha so true! Thanks for the personal recommendations, I’m definitely going to look into get a travel/sample size of those x

  • Kyung

    I’ve been wanting to try the Claire de lune. Glad to have your opinion of it!

    • Hi love, I do really like it. I just wish it was less expensive because the sizes are really tiny :( Thanks for reading!

  • Laura

    I also use the Suntegrity unscented Body sunscreen for my face. I like to add a couple of drops of La Bella Figura Barbary Fig Seed Oil to it for my moisturizer. This combo seems to work great. I spritz my face with May Lindstrom’s The Jasmine Garden Mist after and my face has been staying blemish free.

  • I am a big fan of the less is more approach to just about everything! I really enjoyed hearing about your updated skincare routine. I don’t use any of the same products, but my skin is very dry and sensitive and I live in humid Florida too. I have no idea what I’d do if I lived somewhere dry, haha! I am looking for an eye cream as that is not something I have ever used, but as I’m getting older, I think maybe I could add that in. My problem is my sensitive skin. Earlier this year I had a case of perioral dermatitis and my eyes and lip area became so dry and flaky I am weary to put many oils on it. Is there a place you would recommend I order some eye cream samples from?

  • Hi Laura, thanks for sharing! Would you please tell me which masks you use? I know your skin is quite delicate, too, so I would love to know. I have tried a couple of acid-based masks (like Oskia for example), but my skin does not respond very well to them. Sorry to hear about the Josh Rosebrook cream! I suppose that it is not moisturizing enough for your skin? or maybe spf is too low?

    • Laura

      Hello, i have yuli pure and the alkaitis mask for enzyme exfoliation and oskia for lactic acid exfoliation – sorry to hear it is not gentle enough for you… Have you tried the true nature mask – i have not tried it but it is supposed to also be quite gentle. I have also heard that some people have had success with first aid beauty pads, but I have not tried them… Yes sad with jr spf.

  • Hi Claire, I am very glad to hear that. I agree with you, it’s very effective at clearing out the skin. This is why I cannot be without it :) Thanks for reading!

  • Hi Jen, I am sorry, I should have specified that in the post! I use a damp washcloth (I use very warm water to get it wet) to remove the cleansing oil, and then I apply a few pumps of Halcyon to my face, and I rinse it off with lukewarm water. Thanks for reading, and please let me know if you have any more questions :)

    • Jen

      How many pumps of the One Love oil do you use, also do you add water, emulsify it into a milk, rinse with water then wipe with washcloth or do u just put the oil on dry face massage around and then wipe with damp washcloth and proceed to the Halcyon?

  • Hi Ali, I am excited to know how you like it! Please let me know :) Make sure to start with a few pumps applied on dry skin and then wet your fingers and start to massage it all over your face, and then rinse off! I hope you love it. Thanks for reading! And yes #teamlessismore ;)

  • Amy

    Wonderful post! Have you tried Josh Rosebrook’s masks? Like you, I love Yuli’s halcyon cleanser, and cocoon elixir and pure mask.JR’s cacao mask leaves my skin moisturized and super soft. Yuli’s pure used to be my favorite mask until I tried JR cacao. It’s amazing. And it should be wonderful for delicate skin. The active enzyme may not be good for sensitive skin but to me, it’s absolutely lovely!

    • Dear Amy, you had at “Yuli Pure used to be my favorite mask until I tried JR Cacao”. Sold! Thanks for sharing and for reading the post!

    • Denise

      I envy you! I really wanted to have it work out with Josh Rosebrook’s Cacao mask since it’s like chocolate for my skin but it was not to be. I think the fact that there is so much vinegar and lots of essential oils really gave my skin irritation over time.

  • Lovely routine, Lilly! I’ll be updating mine soon, too. I think there’s an overall trend happening between the beauty junkies out there: Time. To. Streamline. I love testing products, but find it harder and harder to switch it up when I find things I like. My skin is getting annoyed with all the changes every month!

    Glad to see you are finding your rhythm in these gorgeous bottles of goodness. I swear by the Josh Rosebrook Oculus … it is my evening eye treatment! I just got the Epi Peel, too, and really like the consistency. Pure mask is also a staple in my routine. I like how gentle it is, yet how deep it cleans and soothes when it’s that time of the month. xoxo

  • Hey Laura, thanks for the tips – they definitely help! Now I know which to whittle it down to :) x

  • Exactly! My skin was begging me to let it breathe, lol. As someone who loves product, (I am sure you understand me), it was not easy to accept, but being healthy skin my ultimate goal, I gave up ;)

  • icklefickle

    Hi Laura, I also experience some pilling with the True Nature spf but I love it so much that I just put up with it. It’s only when I use a liquid foundation though, if I use my beloved Jane Iredale mineral powder foundations then it is just perfect. Weirdly I don’t get the pilling all over, only around my jaw line (no idea why though). Can I ask what you didn’t like about the Josh Rosebrook? Its just I quite liked it in terms of no pilling and finish but I also experienced some breakouts and I’m trying to work out if it had anything to do with that or just my usual hormones

    • Laura

      Hi icklefickle, i found the josh rosebrook thick and greasy when I applied it. Then after about 1 hour or so my skin felt really dry and dehydrated. I think it is due to the zinc, thicker oils and because it does not contain any plumbing ingredients, like sodium hyaluronate. I layered it over an oil serum and floral water. It might be just my skintype though. Not sure why the tn tint is pilling; i experience it all over my face.

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  • Jina Jung

    I’ve been alternating between Yuli and products from Kypris Beauty. Have you tried anything from the line? I’m obsessed with Beauty Elixir III and the Moonlight Catalyst.

  • Jacalyn

    First – I love your blog. It is a definite go to for me for your wonderful reviews! Thank you for all the hard work! I am fairly new to natural skincare & could use some advice. I too live it Florida & I have been trying to figure out a summer routine. My skin is normal to a little oily at times. I use Kahina Argan Oil both am/pm but lately have found my face a little greasy in the mornings. After reading your post I tried using May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden Mist (I had a sample) instead of the Kahina Oil in the am. My face was less greasy for sure but I am wondering if my skin gets enough nutrients & such with just a toner/mist? Do you think you can get away with using only the Yuli Cocoon Facial Elixir in the am because of the products you use in the pm? Or do you think I might be all right using only the Elixir or Jasmine Garden in the am with only Kahina Oil in the pm? I would also be willing to switch my pm routine if needed but the YULI Liquid Courage Antioxidant Serum is a little pricey for me. In case it matters the other products I use are Juice beauty cream cleanser (am/pm) and May Windstorm’s clean dirt. Sorry for the long post – I appreciate any advice you could offer! Jacalyn

    • Hi Jacalyn, thank you so much for reading my blog! I am very glad that you find it helpful. Living in a sub-tropical climate is definitely challenging for people with normal to oily skin like you and me, and I believe that if your skin gets more oily from wearing a face oil in the daytime, then it’s better not wear it at all. If your skin is healthy and does not look dehydrated, then you don’t really need a moisturizer.

      What we really, really need in Florida is sunscreen, at least when we go out. Personally, I have resolved to keep it very simple in the daytime (cleanse, face mist, and sunscreen), and to use a face oil only at night (double cleanse to properly remove the sunscreen, Cocoon face mist, and serum). I do recommend that you try the Yuli Halcyon cleanser and Pure mask – maybe when you run out of the Juice Beauty cream cleanser and Clean Dirt. As for the serum, Kahina’s Argan oil is a great face oil and Argan oil is a good option for normal/oily skin, so if you think that it is working well for your skin, I would continue to use it. It’s one of the best face oils that you can buy for that price. Please let me know if this helps, and if you have anymore questions! :)

      • Jacalyn

        Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I agree sunscreen is key here. I have been using Juice Beauty CC Cream because of the sunscreen but I am finding it very greasy…plus the added organ I am sure doesn’t help. I just ordered the Coola sunscreen you use, if you have any foundation suggestions I would appreciate those as well. I have been using the CC cream with Alima powder but as I mentioned it just gets to be very greasy on me. I do double cleanse with Coconut Oil & the Juice Beauty so I have that covered but will look into the Yuli as well. Perhaps giving the Yuli Cocoon Facial Elixir is the answer I need for the am and combining with the Kahina in the pm. I will give it a try!

  • Carlos Keng

    Hi Lilly, thanks for sharing your routine! I realise I am joining the conversation rather late, but I’m trying to decide between the Josh Rosebrook Oculus and the Pai eye cream. Since you have used both extensively, which would be your pick if it had to come down to one eye product?

    • I would recommend the Pai eye cream. Keep it in the fridge. It feels so great in the morning when you apply a dot of fresh cream under your eyes, and it’s soothing/non-irritating. Let me know how you like it! x

  • Really great I never heard about this. But yes skin care routine plays a really vital role in my life. But knowing the best product according to my skin type is really tough job for me.I’ll just need to find skincare that works for me.