Let’s Talk About Skin, Baby

One of the really awesome blessings in my life is having a best friend who is the manager of a medical spa. I mean, come on, how lucky and I? If it weren’t for her, I would still be making so many mistakes with my skin that are just unacceptable for a woman of my age. There are things you just don’t think about until someone decides to pass on their knowledge on to you, and then your world is completely changed. I have struggled with acne my whole life, and while trying to keep it under control I was actually making it worse, and on top of that, I was also making some huge mistakes in terms of anti-aging.

So if you’re like I was and could use a few tips on acne control and age-prevention, this blog is for you! My skin care guru has broken down a perfectly curated daily routine.
















1. You should be cleansing morning and night with your fingertips or a Clarisonic brush. Using a wash rag when cleansing your face can be too harsh for most people. I used to use an acne cleanser with benzoyl peroxide, but my guru made me change to Oil Free Acne Wash by Neutrogena. It’s a simple cleanser that has been around forever, that fights acne but isn’t too harsh.

2. Everyone should use a toner.  Toner helps even out skin, so your products apply evenly.  People tend to have an oilier T-Zone, and their cheeks tend to be more dry.  Even people with oily skin can have this issue. Applying a toner balances facial oils, so your skin care products penetrate evenly all over the facial skin. Stay away from toners containing alcohol. Just a gentle toner is fine. Put a few drops/sprays/squirts on a cotton pad.

3. After you’ve cleansed and toned, applying about 4 drops of Blemish and Age Defense (a Salicylic Acid treatment) in the morning helps keep pores clear, and it helps control oil throughout the day without over-drying. This helps even out skin tone over time, minimize current blemishes, prevent new blemishes from forming, and it even targets fine lines and wrinkles to help with anti-aging. This is one of the first nicer products I started using and I noticed results right away.

4. Using an antioxidant like this Obagi Peptide C is vital to a good skincare regimen. Think of it as a topical vitamin. Vitamin C works hand in hand with your sunscreen to help protect against sun and environmental damage. You would apply about half a pump in the morning after Blemish and Age. The Obagi C Peptide uses natural growth factors to help with skin aging, Vitamin C to help protect your skin from future damage, and peptides to help brighten skin. It also acts as a light weight moisturizer for someone with oily skin. 

5. After your products have soaked in, you want to apply a sunscreen.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP.  Everyone should wear a 35 or above daily – no matter the weather/time of year.  This is in addition to SPF in makeup.  Your face is an important asset; protect it.  It’s especially important when using any type of retinoid. I use Neutrogena Clear Face sunscreen because it’s oil free and super light so my makeup goes on nicely over it. 


1. & 2. Cleanse and tone like the morning.

6.  After cleansing and toning, wait about 10 minutes for your face to be completely dry before applying a retinol. Apply a pump of Retinol Complex with your fingertips (mixed with Blend FX) all over your face and down to your neck (if you have enough). Be careful around the eye area (don’t get closer than the orbital bone) and the cracks of your nose and lips. These areas tend to be really irritating if they get too dry. Retinols are fantastic anti-aging products, and it’s never too early to start using one. They promote skin cell turnover which helps target fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. They help decrease collagen breakdown, and they help stimulate new collagen. People tend to think that long term use of retinols thin the skin since they initially cause redness and peeling, but they have actually proven to thicken the skin. The initial redness and peeling is the retinol doing its job to help skin cells turn over. You might be using this every other night, which is common. You mix the retinol with the Obagi Blend FX because it helps it to penetrate deeper into the skin. Obagi is the gold standard in skin lighteners/brighteners.  Blend FX contains arbutin (a natural lightener).  This helps with any hyperpigmentation on your skin.

7. Wait about 10 minutes after applying your retinol/Blend FX mix and before applying moisturizer. If you apply it too soon, you’ll notice irritation. Applying a light moisturizer helps with any irritation caused by the retinol, but it actually also helps with oil control. It is a common misconception that oily people should not wear moisturizer. This is, in fact, not true.  Many people with oily skin are using so many products that strip their skin of oils, that their skin over-produces to make up for this which causes more breakouts. If you give your skin a rest and apply a light moisturizer, it helps keep things balanced. Everyone should use a moisturizer, but combination to oily people just need a light one. I use Aveeno Clear Complexion moisturizer because it has salicylic acid. 

YAY! If anyone actually read this whole thing I hope it helps! I have become very dedicated to my skin routine and it has paid off in a huge way. Breakouts used to be a huge grievance in my life and now that’s far behind me!


Also, I just have to talk about the amazing facial I got at Toccare a couple of weeks back. I got the Hydrafacial, which is a treatment using advanced microdermabrasion technology. It deep cleanses and clears congested pores, removes impurities, and helps with fine lines and wrinkles. While it exfoliates, it replenishes nutrients. It infuses antioxidants, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. I’m not sure what a lot of that really means, but I do know that afterwards I had zero blackheads anywhere, and my skin felt plump, smooth, and was glowing. I even walked around and did a few errands with no makeup on I felt so good!

I was lucky enough to have Julie Robinson issue mine, one of the licensed cosmetologists/skin care specialists at Toccare. She was so professional, making me feel comfortable by telling me what she was doing while she did it. I was a little nervous that my skin would have a bad reaction because it was my first ever facial, so she was very reassuring and made certain that I knew how to properly treat my skin after the facial. She also noticed a scar that I have on my neck and used a special red light treatment on it, which helps blend impurities like scars! And honestly, my scar feels softer after just the one red light treatment. Julie is also wonderful with makeup, so I’m definitely going back to see her to get mine done the next time I have a special event!

Thanks for reading!


*It is important to note that not every product is right for everyone, so you should talk to a dermatologist before using some of these more powerful products. Also, your skin is going to react to any change in your routine. Some minor breakouts and drying of the skin is common and expected. The information in this blog was co-written by me and Taylor Grant, the manager of Toccare Medical Spa.

One thought on “Let’s Talk About Skin, Baby

  1. Great post, Hilary! Your skin is looking flawless since your HydraFacial, and you’re doing great with the product regimen! We loved having you and hope to see you again soon!

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