It amazes how much my skin has changed from a year back to today. I remember patting extra layers of moisturisers in the attempt to get rid of my dry patches, completely ignoring my eyes and fine lines and not giving a second thought about SPF. My skin was drier than the Sahara desert, and today despite living in a predominantly cold weather country, my skin is much like a tropical forest, hot, oily, humid, and all sorts of weird. Things have changed quite a lot going from one extreme to the other and as a result my skincare routine had to be entirely redesigned too. I introduced products I had never thought of before and really did my research on putting down a good (and most importantly effective) routine and all the essential steps within it. After much trial and error and endless amounts products that were pretty useless and did nothing for my skin, I am happy to have a routine that fits my skin type, takes cares of all of my worries and best of all, leaves me feeling confident in my own skin.
STEP 1: CLEANSER
Rising with water is never enough, a gentle and water-based cleanser is a must to remove built-up oil and the amount of make-up I wear on a daily basis. Remember, when your face is clean it lets all the other products you are going to follow with to work even better! Going to bed with a face full of make-up is a big no-no and I rarely let myself do that; make-up (when worn overnight) can seriously clog up your pores leading to acne, blackheads and all sorts of nastiness. My top picks for this step are the Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (£3.25) followed by the Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water Combination & Sensitive Skin (£4.99).
STEP 2: TONER
STEP 2: TONER
Its job is to smooth, soften and calm skin, whilst removing the very last traces of make-up. Toners are essential in every routine as they add vital skin-repairing ingredients after the first step. These ingredients hydrate and replenish the skin's surface and also help reduce dry patches and redness. My skin is currently loving The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner (£9.50).
STEP 3: SERUM
Serums are often filled with antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients and whilst I am not fussed about aging signs just yet, you can never start taking care of your skin too early. A serum can improve the skin is various ways, reducing redness, locking in the moisture, stimulating collagen production and in the longer term, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. The one I've been using recently is Skinbreeze Brightening Serum (£40) (reviewed here), but once that finishes I really wish to try the Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Revitalise and Glow Serum (£47) which is full of antioxidants and promises to enable accelerated action on the dermis layer within the skin.
STEP 4: MOISTURISER
Morning: A moisturiser with SPF is a MUST to keep your skin shielded from sun damage. Ideally, the SPF should be higher than 25, but if your day cream does not contain this I would totally advise on applying sunscreen prior to your daily cream. UV light exposure is the number 1 cause of wrinkles and other signs of ageing, and we all want to avoid that right?! My favourite for combination skin is Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream for Normal/Combination Skin (£25).
Evening: A night cream replenishes the skin and restores any vitamins I've lost during the day, which will be absorbed all night long. This allows my skin to look healthier and visibly younger. Night creams don't contain SPF but instead a mix of ingredients that are a little more hardcore. My current one is Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep (£26.50), a night cream that recreates the look of a good night’s sleep, but the Rodial Dragon's Blood Night Cream (£58) is next on my wishlist, promising to tone, illuminate and keep signs of aging at bay.
STEP 5: TARGETED TREATMENT
This may be an extra step for some, but for me it makes all the difference. I've talked endlessly about my dark circles so a good eye cream is a MUST for me. I have not found my holy grail product yet, and whilst I've tried numerous different ones (see here, here and here) and they work ok, I would love to try something a little more out of my budget, like the Colbert MD Nourish Eye Cream (£90) that aims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness. This is also a step to cover any other of my skin concerns like acne, use a facial mask or take care of the lips.
This may be an OTT skincare regime, but when it comes to taking care of skin, one can never do "too much". Like I said, I am not particularly fussed about signs of aging just yet, but having targeted treatments included in my routine doesn't hurt anybody, and taking care of my dark circles is definitely essential for me. Some may not use a toner as the second step, both in the morning and evening, but this too is vital for me and a well-formulated toner can really yield amazing results.
Tell me, what does your skincare routine look like? What are your main skin concerns?
Let me know below! Thanks for reading beauties and have a nice week ahead!