Mature Skin Care Before and After: The Ordinary and The Inkey List


During the quarantine this spring, I did two things- worked on my house and watched skincare tutorials. I have told you all about the home improvements, and now wanted to share what I learned about skincare. I thought I was taking care of my mature skin before (suncreen, Vitamin C, Retinol), but had no idea how many other things my skin would benefit from. I started using the Ordinary and The Inkey List, two brands that make effective and inexpensive skin care products.

I’m not really sure I have a before picture that shows my real skin without makeup, but it was pretty typical 50 year old skin – some discoloration (hyper and hypo pigmentation), dullness, some dryness, oily around nose, crinkly eyes, and my makeup base went on very patchy).

Here is one with makeup. Look how dry and patchy, UGH. And the skin on my nose was awful and my pores looked huge. Maybe not too bad for 50, but I wanted to do better:

These products totally transformed my skin. It doesn’t look 20 years old and never will, but I do believe it is the best 50 year old skin I can get.

These photos are after about 5 months using the new routine, again with makeup (which, in fairness, I got better at – I can post a brands list if anyone is interested). So some of the improvements are from makeup, but more are from skin care. My under eyes could still use some work, but they are better than they were. Also, I don’t want to post huge pictures of myself so just zoom in for details. I swear they are not retouched in any way:

Brands I USE

If you are into skin care the way I am, you already know about The Ordinary and The Inkey List. They are simple, inexpensive, proven skin care ingredients that work, for about $7-10 each. I started with the Ordinary and gradually moved to The Inkey List after reading how much better they are (I agree they are – the formulations at the Ordinary are often too strong and I think borderline dangerous since we are not all chemists qualified to mix them at home. I burned my skin a couple of times with Vitamin C and acids that were too strong). So now I use almost only The Inkey List with a few exceptions (see below).

Here we go with my 12 step (but easy) routine. I have more glow, less dark spots, thicker skin, and my makeup goes on SO much smoother and better than before:


  1. Cleanser:

2. Hyaluroniuc Acid:

The best thing I use for instant results. It holds 1000x it’s weight in water, and gives instantly plumper and younger looking shin:

3. Vitamin C and growth factor:

One of the top 3 (along with retinol and sunscreen) that they say everyone needs:

4. AHAs (alternate with vitamin C to start to see what your skin can handle). My skin can handle this, but I’ve heard some people need to alternate:

5. Peptides and collagen booster:

One of the important things I have learned later in life is how important peptides are and how you need to add them along with moisturizer and AHAs:

6. Moisturizer/Sunscreen:

The. Best. Ever. Hands down.  You can’t love your skin if you don’t use sunscreen. It’s a pain, but I use it every single day.



  1. Cleanser – same as day except if I’m wearing makeup then I use this instead because It just melts the makeup off:

2. Repeat Hyaluroniuc Acid from the morning routine

3. Niacinimide to control oil and flakiness:

4. Retinol – the #1 best anti aging product after sunscreen:

5. Ceramide moisturizer. Peptides in the morning, ceramides at night:

6. Eye Cream for puffiness and moisture:



Finally, I want to share links to the makeup artists, estheticians, and dermatologists that I watched obsessively and learned so much from. Here are my very favorites – I watch everything they post:





PS – In a previous post I mentioned that I was using PROVEN skincare. I used that for about 6 months from October until March, and it definitely helped my skin. It is a much more simple three step system that is customized to your particular skin care needs. I really believe in it for a more simple system, and it is pretty reasonably priced:

Thanks for reading and please let me know if you want more posts like this. Here is one I did about makeup a while ago.