A Fresh Start in 2020

There’s nothing like a fresh decade to make you feel like it’s time for an overhaul. 2019 brought massive changes in my life, the most important of which was becoming a mom. So much changes when you have a child, but chief among the changes for me was putting myself on the backburner in a big way.

Having a little one is the best reason ever to focus on someone else, but it eventually catches up with you. I was looking – and feeling – dull, uninspired and just plain exhausted. 2020 is going to be a year of self-care, self-improvement and introspection.

I’m kicking off the year by doing a little something for myself: updating and sticking to my skin care routine. I can’t control what the day brings, but I can carve out 15 minutes once Izzy is asleep to make sure my skin is in a good place. I close the bathroom door, put on my skin care headband and get to work.

If you’re looking to refresh your own skin care routine, keep reading to learn about my favourites (old and new) and some techniques I’m including in my regime.

My 2020 Skin Care Routine

Quick wash in the morning, double cleanse in the evening.

In the evening, make sure to first remove your makeup (I use a micellar water) and then cleanse. If you go in with your cleanser right away, you’re not giving it a good opportunity to actually clean your skin. Your skin is essentially clean in the morning, so just a quick splash of water or a single cleanse will do.

What I use

  • Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution gently removes even the most stubborn product and is an ideal first cleanse. Using a cotton square, swipe around your face to remove surface dirt, makeup and oils. Pro tip: Even though micellar waters are technically no-rinse, you should always remove them from your skin.
  • Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser is ph-balanced, non-foaming and incredibly gentle. It leaves my skin feeling soft, never tight, and perfectly cleansed.

Make friends with acid.

Acid exfoliation will change your skin forever. I’m a fan of glycolic acid for every day and rotating in more intensive BHAs and AHAs through masks.

What I use:

  • Pixi Glow Tonic is a glycolic acid toner popular for good reason: using it twice a day will help your skin find its natural glow. I find it improves evenness, smoothes my skin and readies it to receive serum.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Spritz on a hydrating mist, pat in your serum and then lock it all in with a moisturizer for skin that looks refreshed and plump. I find this triple moisture boost does wonders for my skin, especially patting my serum into a freshly-spritzed face.

What I use:

  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir smells gorgeous, sprays evenly and boosts radiance instantly. You can also use it throughout the day to refresh your skin and makeup – I keep a bottle on my desk.
  • Consonant Hydrextreme Serum uses an active polysaccharide that binds with 1000 its weight in water to help your skin retain moisture. It’s been a mainstay in my routine for years since and I always notice a difference if I run out! Bonus – it’s a Canadian brand!
  • Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream is a lightweight cream boosted with antioxidants and green mineral water to help keep skin hydrated. It locks in my serum, but also works gorgeously on its own. I get a beautiful dewy finish from it that seems to last well into the day.
  • Don’t forget about your eyes! Origins Eye Doctor adds moisture, doesn’t puff up the delicate eye area and creates a smooth canvas for concealer.

Embrace a mask wardrobe.

Your skin needs different things at different times. Masks are a great way to treat yourself at the end of a long day while affording you the opportunity to scale up certain areas of your skin care.

What I use:

  • Tata Harper Resurfacing BHA Glow Mask is my go-to mask when I have 30 minutes to impart some serious glow. This is the kind of mask where people compliment your skin the next day at work or that might encourage you to skip foundation for an event. BHAs work to slough off dead skin and reveal fresh, tighter-looking skin underneath. It’s also a pleasure to use thanks to the lovely floral scent and jelly texture.
  • If you want to wake up with hydrated skin, layer on the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask before bed. Ceramides, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients work overtime so you can wake up feeling a little brighter. And yes, this is perfect because having a baby feels like perpetual jet lag for the first 6 months.
  • Pixi Peel & Polish is my ultimate drug store pick for a quick skin perfector. It’s a physical and chemical exfoliator in one, combining lactic acid, papaya fruit extract and sugar cane extract for a powerful peel. It’ll leave your skin freshly sloughed and glowing. This stuff it potent, so make sure you follow the directions!
  • Lips need love too. I always reach for the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask for day or night lip care. It’s been a go-to for me since my friend Stella brought back the green apple variety from Korea a few years ago (it’s here now!). It locks in moisture and will still be there come morning.

Update your toolbox

If you’ve made it to 2020 without a drawer full of assorted facial rollers, gua shua tools and specialized skin care brushes, I’ll admit – I’m a little shocked. While the jury’s still out on the efficacy of rollers, they’re one of my favourite ways to add a little self-care moment into my skin care routine (or any part of the day).

What I use:

  • Depuff and increase product absorption with the Mount Lai Amethyst Roller Yes, you can get a stone roller for much cheaper. But, if you’re looking for a super-smooth, cool roller that doesn’t squeak or crunch as you roll it across your face, this is the one I recommend.
  • Speaking of rollers, I received an Ice Roller for Christmas and it’s my favourite thing. It stays cold for more than half an hour and can be used across your whole body – although I use it mainly on my face. Since it’s extra-cold, it helps to de-puff and reduce inflammation.
  • Quo Dynamic Duo Mask Applicator will change your masking game for the better. One side is a silicone mask applicator and the other easy-to-clean, quick-drying synthetic fibers. It’ll help keep your hands clean, reduce contamination for masks in pots and gives you spa vibes in the comfort of your bathroom.


If you’ve noticed I don’ t have an SPF in there, you’ve found the huge hole in my skin care routine. I’m on the hunt for a new daily SPF – especially since I’ve upped my acids – that can be worn alone or under makeup. Please send me a note or leave a comment if you have a suggestion!

Thanks for reading my first post of 2020 – I can’t wait to jump back into blogging with fresh eyes and an open mind this year. Writing is truly something I enjoy and another way I plan to practice self care this year. So, here’s to hopefully spending a little more time together in this fresh decade. xo

PS. All the ceramics featured in this post were purchased at the One of a Kind Show and were created by Goye out of Montreal.