What I’m using on my skin these days

A few of you have asked me about my skincare routine; here’s what I’m using this summer to keep my mature skin looking its best.

Susan B. wears an Emma J. Shipley Odyssey scarf as headband.

I’ve been wearing less makeup these days, so I do my best to keep my skin looking healthy. I’m all about products that are effective, and don’t hesitate to switch up my routine if I find a product I like better.

My summer skincare routine for mature skin

You could say I’m lazy 😉 but I like to keep things as simple as possible. Currently there’s not much difference between my morning and evening skincare routines.


I usually only use a cleanser at night, and just rinse my face in the mornings. If I’ve worn makeup, I’ll cleanse with Vichy 3-in-1, as it removes makeup well without irritating my eyes. I also like Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm for a deep clean that feels like a spa treatment.


In the mornings, I like to use a vitamin C serum. I like this one from OLEHENRIKSEN a lot, which brightens without being irritating. I think it helps even skin tone and keeps dark spots under control. (I’ve learned to be careful with Vitamin C serums, after a recent experience with a product that was too strong and burned my skin.)

In the evenings, I use prescription Retin-A every other night. It’s expensive as my insurance doesn’t cover it, but I think it’s a worthwhile investment. It also evens my skin tone and clarity, and helps smooth the texture.

Susan B's summer skincare routine products.


I’ve been using Brian + MW Illuminate & Contour Eye Treatment for a few years now because it works! It really reduces the crepe-y texture on lids, and reduces puffiness. I just apply a small amount around the orbital bone. (A little goes a long way…) Currently, this and other Brian + MW products are 10% off.


I tend to rotate between moisturizers depending on what’s available and how dry my skin is feeling, but am currently using Filorga Time Filler both morning and evening. Another one I like is Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream (it has a light rose fragrance which I like but be aware if you’re sensitive to fragrance).

One of my pet peeves with moisturizers (and other skincare products) is a formula that doesn’t feel like it absorbs into my skin, but sits on top or feels “tacky.” Both of these moisturizers absorb nicely.

Smooth & firm

Brian + MW Re-Creation Lip Treatment has become one of my Holy Grail products. I use just a pinhead size drop of this 2-3 times daily to keep my lips smooth, plumped, and moisturized. It keeps my lips from flaking, and helps lipstick stay in place longer.

I noticed a real improvement in the texture of the skin on my neck within 2 weeks after I began using Brian + MW Firming Neck & Throat Creme. I use this twice daily.

You can save when you buy all 3 of my Brian + MW favorites, Eyes, Lips & Neck plus an additional 10% off sitewide!

Sun protection

I’ve been using sunscreen pretty religiously since my early 30’s. My dermatologist recommends a mineral sunscreen with a high SPF. Over the years I’ve tried several, and for the last several months have been using ISDIN SPF 50 mineral sunscreen.

I’m quite happy with this one. Even applied liberally it dries to a clear finish and doesn’t leave a strong white cast. It works well under makeup and doesn’t flake or pill over time.

When I’m out in bright sunshine, I’ve also made it a habit to wear dark sunglasses to protect my eyes and the skin around my eyes. And for any prolonged sun exposure, I’ve begun wearing hats whenever possible.

Medical treatments

Once a year, I have an IPL laser treatment to fade dark spots and pigmented lesions. It also promotes collagen production and plumps my skin a bit.

Do you adjust your skincare routine seasonally?

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  1. I really appreciate the recommendation for the ISDIN mineral sunscreen. I had never heard of it before but needed something lightweight to wear in the muggy SE US. So now I wear the tinted version instead of makeup- just perfect.

  2. Your skin is beautiful. Question: Have you had any “work” on your neck? Because it is so smooth! Do you attribute that all to the product you are using and/or good genes? Thanks!

    1. Thank! No “work” done, but I’ll be honest that it probably looks a little smoother in this image than IRL because of the angle of my head. 😉 I’ve always had horizontal creases in my neck, even when I was quite young. There’s now a bit of loose/puckery skin in front, but I do think the neck creme helps firm it up when I use it regularly.

  3. Two very effective and very affordable alternatives for Retin-A and Vitamin C serum:

    Tretinoin creme (prescription) is a generic form of Retin-A and is a fraction of the price. Works every bit as well.

    As far as Vitamin C, the serums can lose their potency over time, so I use the wonderful powder form from The Ordinary. You can mix it with moisturizer or other serums, in whatever strength you want, and it remains stable because it is dry!

    1. Hi Linda, yes, I do use the generic Trentoin creme, but it’s still pricey. (The upside: a tube lasts me several months.)

  4. What is the strength of your tretinoin cream, and did you build up strength and/or frequency over time? Thanks!

    1. Hi Becky, I’ve been using it for about 12 years now. I do recall I had to build up. At one point I was using .05% twice weekly, but a few years ago my dermatologist recommended going down to .025% and using nightly. That’s what I’ve been doing since.

  5. I got some Vitamin C from the dermatologist and used it as I was getting ready for a gig. Suddenly my face felt hot and I said to my husband, “Wow, my face feels hot!” and he said, “No wonder, it’s bright red!” Had to wash it off, and my foundation primer was a thin layer of neosporin.

  6. Yikes, Christine.

    Another fan of Brian’s lip, eye and neck products. I’ve been using up travel size products before going to 2x/day on the neck creme. I don’t really change up skincare very much, other than the occasional heat wave. Then I’ll use only moisturizer with sunscreen during the day and top with mineral powder to touch up the T-zone.

    I’m a big fan of Paula’s Choice mineral sunscreens for face. The body sunscreen is a SPF 50 chemical sunscreen, used from the neck down.

  7. Where on your face do you have the IPL done? Have you ever had it on your upper lip? I have issues with melasma there – but I’ve been told it’s not as effective there as on your forehead…

  8. Love Filorga! I’ve been using Time Filler too, in fact just ordered a new jar an hour or so ago. (Discovered the brand in Paris in 2013.) Most of my other skincare lately has been Biossance … which I discovered through you!

  9. How long does it take to get over the peeling of an IPL treatment? I’m getting my first one in a few weeks. Thanks.

    1. I find I may be a little red (like a mild sunburn) for a day afterward. You don’t “peel,” but the dark spots will turn darker and eventually flake off in 1-2 weeks.

  10. Do you do more than rinse the retinol off your skin in the morning? I find I need to use a light cleanser or, even with sunscreen, my face gets red.

      1. I read a long time ago that you really don’t need to wash your face in the morning! I do the same thing as Susan – rinse with cool water and apply my sunscreen and moisturizer. I’ve always put sunscreen on first, so I need to ask. my dermatologist which is best or if it matters!

        1. Hello there, I’ve always read that sunscreen should be the last of your skincare to be applied.

  11. Your skin looks great. I am finding it hard since I let my hair go grey, trying to get things right.

  12. You’re skin looks amazing. Just wondering how you discovered these products? Trial and error through the years?

      1. I’m going to keep a list of these and possibly try one or two. And keep it up because, again, you look amazing!

  13. I am 52 and looked closely in the mirror recently. What is happening to my neck? This snuck up on me. I once heard a radio interview where people were saying that older women wear turtlenecks and scarves to hide their necks. Interested in your favorite but ended up searching for something similar and budget priced. Load me up with vitamin C and hydraulonic (sp?) acid!