Current Skincare Routine: Summer 2021.

Current Skincare Routine: Summer 2021

I try to update my skincare routine once a quarter as things change, but it’s definitely been a minute since I have posted one, so I thought I would do that today. A big question has been if I’ve changed my routine since moving to the south. The answer is not really – for the most part. I’m inside a lot and there’s air conditioning. I’ve changed my makeup routine a bit (I’ve been using more cream blush and bronzers, and I always use a setting mist to help keep my makeup on) but at the end of the day I have very dry skin and am getting older (I’m 39). My skin rarely breaks out, loves rich creams, and really  appreciates the humidity. I will say that I’m extra religious about toner? It keeps my skin balanced. But then I still slather on a rich moisturizer over toner.

I also want to add that whenever I share an updated routine, if I switch things up, people freak out a little. The answer is that it’s a huge part of my job to try new products and review them here and on social media. So if I’m using a Farmacy toner and then I switch to Biossance, it’s not because Farmacy is bad! (And if something is bad I’ll always tell you – if you watch my Instagram stories, you know this: I don’t hold back). I’m not particularly monogamous to any products besides my Dr. Bader and my Biossance Lactic Acid. Also while I have you: my Biossance code THESTRIPE20 gets you 20% off sitewide through 7/15/21.

Current Skincare Routine: Summer 2021

My overall principles and “rules,” plus a few notes:

I switch my bedtime routine up most nights. I typically do retinol (or right now: the Beauty Pie Ampoules, they are amazing!) 2x a week, lactic acid 2x a week, and just plain Bader 3x a week. I’ve been asked to make a schedule but I’m not gonna do that, just space out your nights. So if you do retinol one night, give your skin a break the next night, and then maybe an acid or a peel the night after that.

I make sure I get Bader (The Rich Cream!) on my face at least once a day. Usually that’s in the morning, but 3 days a week (see above) I will do it morning and night. It’s my personal fountain of youth.

I do get Botox.

I’ve only had it once but it is something I plan to continue doing as I love the results. I got it for the first time 4 months ago, so it has mostly worn off. And I really like my esthetician (Christina at Ever/Body is magical) so am planning to go see her next time I’m in New York. I can’t stress this enough: getting Botox didn’t change anything about my skincare routine, I see it as something extra. Botox targets the muscles under your skin. It’s dramatic and amazing but you still need a quality skincare routine. Both/and. Getting Botox is incredible and was probably the most noticeable thing I’ve done for my skin from an anti-aging perspective but it absolutely does not excuse you from being vigilant with SPF, doing retinol, etc etc! I personally see Botox as corrective and skincare as preventative.

My guide to product order is right this way. This is always a hot topic w/DMs and comments. Oil technically goes after moisturizer. I know some people prefer it the other way around, and that’s okay! I don’t think anything bad will happen if you flip them.

Lastly, I choose to invest quite a bit of time (and money) into my skincare routine. I enjoy taking care of my skin – it makes me feel good. This is where I remind you that I am older, and also a blogger who gets sent a lot of things to try.  I am sharing everything I currently do as it’s something I get asked about a lot, it is a part of my job, but that doesn’t mean you need to do it too. I have a more affordable skincare routine in this blog post.

My Morning Routine:

Cleanse: I do a mild gel cleanser. I loooove this one from Farmacy. It smells like honey and feels really refreshing but isn’t at all drying.

Tone: I use this Biossance toner. I like that it is gentle and nourishing but also has BHAs to gently exfoliate.

Eye Cream: I use this Strivectin one or this one from Biossance.

Serum: For daytime I alternate between this Beauty Pie Serum (it is incredible for lifting), and this Biossance Vitamin C Serum (for brightening). I alternate, or if I have a specific concern (like if my skin is a little puffy I grab the Beauty Pie).

Moisturize: You are not supposed to do this but I use the Dr. Bader most mornings over either serum. Shhh.

Protect: It’s almost always Supergoop! I love Glow Screen or Unseen Sunscreen, depending on whether I want shimmer or not.

My Evening Routine:

Cleanse: I love a cleansing balm at night. There are so many good ones (my usual go-to is the Farmacy Green Clean) but I am using the Elemis cleansing balm right now. I love that one as it smells SO good.

NuFace: If I am doing my NuFace this is when I use it. I try to use this 4 or 5 times a week as it really does make a difference, especially in the neck and jawline. I personally prefer to rinse the gel primer off afterward and do my skincare, but you don’t have to.

Tone: The Biossance, again!

Eye Cream: The Strivectin one.

Serum / Treatment: As mentioned above my general rule is retinol 2 nights a week and acids 2-3x a week (never on the same night), and plain old Dr. Bader 2-3x a week. Right now I’m using my Biossance Lactic Acid and these Beauty Pie ampoules.

Moisturize: If it’s a serum night I don’t use Dr. Bader, I use this moisturizer from Sobel Skin instead (you can read my full review of it here!) Also: on Dr. Bader only nights, I typically will also add a drop or two of the Isle of Paradise drops (in medium) to get a little glow/self-tan in. Do not do these drops on acid or retinol nights!!!

Oil: I’m not fussy about oil, and I don’t do it every night, it depends how my skin is feeling. But if my skin has been acting extra dry I will pat a little oil on over moisturizer. This Biossance oil is really, really nice!

My Favorite Treatments/Masks

To be totally honest, I haven’t been doing as many masks and treatments as usual (I’ve just been home less than usual) but when I do, I always use my facial steamer. It does such a great job opening up your pores so that your masks (and then serums/moisturizers afterward) can really penetrate. It also feels incredible – it is hands down, one of my favorite pandemic purchases! This blog post is up to date with my current favorite face masks. Also, this post has my favorite method to do an at-home facial… I am overdue!

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thanks for your support.

photos by Clay Austin.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Alex Pappas:

    I always trust and love your skincare recommendations- dr bader cream has been life changing for me! Do you have OTC retinol recommendations? Thanks!

    6.23.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      YES! So right now I’m using the Beauty Pie ampoules but have reviewed and used several over the years, so def search retinol on the blog and any of those are good. but here is a short list of favs for you:

      all time fav – Shani Darden –
      budget friendly but still super effective – olay –
      plant based retinol alternative – biossance phyto retinol! –

      6.23.21 Reply
      • Alex Pappas:

        Thank you!!!!!

        6.23.21 Reply
  2. Maeve:

    I love these posts a ridiculous amount! Thank you for taking the time (and all the disclaimers).

    The Beauty Pie retinol – which one is it? The link doesn’t connect with a specific product and they have at least 3 that could fit the bill.

    Thanks again, Grace!

    PS I took your suggestion and posted in the Facebook group looking for more Toronto friends and we have a park date in the books for next week :).

    6.23.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Hi! It’s the Ampoules (the set of 20) which contain retinoid (amongst other things – they’re amazing!!), not the retinol. Their retinol is fabulous, though!!!!

      6.24.21 Reply
  3. Lainey:

    Curious if you have tried the Biossance SQUALANE + ELDERBERRY JELLY CLEANSER and if you liked it? I typically use the Elemis cleansing balm at night but was curious if you had tried it yet.

    6.23.21 Reply
    • Lainey:

      Whoops hit enter before I was ready…….thinking about pulling the trigger since they are having a 25% off flash sale right now..

      6.23.21 Reply
      • grace at the stripe:

        Hi Lainey, YES, I have tried it! To be honest, it is a good cleanser but not my favorite (I personally prefer the Farmacy one!) but it isn’t bad or anything, just not my fav, and the 25% off sale is pretty great.

        6.24.21 Reply
  4. Lynn:

    I wish my skin was less sensitive and I’ve been to top skin Drs about my dryness and burning ,.They always recommend uninteresting things with very few ingredients. But, whatever you do or try, your skin is just really so pretty !!!!

    6.23.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Aw, I wish I had a good rec for sensitive skin. But my advice is always to follow your derm’s orders… despite being boring (I hear that!!!) they’re usually right!

      6.24.21 Reply
  5. Chelsea:

    Hi! I always appreciate this post! Could you mind sharing, is theRetinol you use an Rx from a derm? I assume since it wasn’t linked. But I’ve been considering booking a derek appointment just to ask about retinol.

    6.23.21 Reply
    • Chelsea:

      Oops! Should have read comments 1st. Saw you already answered this. Thanks!

      6.23.21 Reply
  6. Lindsay:

    Just bought the Biossance toner and Vitamin C! Fingers crossed I love them as much as you do. I have been looking for a Vitamin C serum that is effective but doesn’t smell weird so I realllly hope this is the one!

    6.24.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I hope you love it! Doesn’t smell weird to me at all. Fingers crossed 🙂

      6.25.21 Reply
  7. Jenn:

    Thank you for these posts – I love reading them! I can’t wait to use the Biossance lactic acid (already heavily invested in other Biossance products thanks to you!).

    You mention in the beginning of the post that you are using a makeup setting spray – is there one that you recommend over others? Thank you!

    6.28.21 Reply
  8. Jen:

    Thanks! Have you tried the Then I Met You cleansing balm (C. Hirons’ product of the year)? Also I saw your Baby Foot IG the other day–do you do it in the summer??? I’m afraid it will look gross with sandals?

    7.1.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Hi! I have not! And I am undecided on Baby Foot. It is probably a horrible idea to do it now but I picked one up as I hadn’t seen it in a store and wanted to get the “real” one as there are so many imitations.

      7.2.21 Reply
      • Jen:

        Haha, me too. A d now it sits on my shelf as I am too scared to use it.

        7.5.21 Reply
        • grace at the stripe:

          Yeah, I am probably going to wait!

          7.6.21 Reply
  9. Melanie:

    Hi Grace! I got a sample of the Shani Darden retinol and it broke me out really bad after like one use… I stopped it and went back to my normal routine for a week or so, then tried again and it did the same. I am not usually sensitive to retinols, have used them before with no issues… have you ever run into that? I’ve thought about trying the Texture Reform since it’s milder or maybe something else. Curious to know if you had any break-in time with retinols!

    7.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Hi! When I first started retinol a few years ago I broke out badly (plus horrible peeling dry skin), but once I did, I was over it and never broke out from it again. But if you’re not usually sensitive to retinols this may not be the one for you. I’d talk to a derm. The Texture Reform is supposed to be milder but I haven’t tried that as I had no issues with the original!

      7.8.21 Reply
  10. Emily:

    I don’t think the link to the beauty pie ampoules is working. it just takes you to the beauty pie “all skincare” page ( Wondering if you can provide the direct link to the ampoules! Thanks!

    8.26.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      It looks like they’re sold out! I’m sorry! I would just use a retinol serum on those nights – this one is my current favorite:

      8.26.21 Reply