While I’m not particularly au fait with make-up, I do have a soft spot skin care products. Maybe it’s the ritual; a way to wash away the cares (and the tired mascara smudges) of a long day. Perhaps it’s the aesthetic packaging or just that (as the cynic in me whispers) I’ve bought into the promise sold by beauty advertisers that I need the newest pretty elixir in a bottle to help me “age gracefully” – whatever that means. Probably all three. Whatever, the reason it’s a ritual I love and a promise I’ve decided I’m willing to buy into.
However, sometimes the beauty industry can make me feel paralysed with choice – both with the number of brands available on the market, but also the variety of product we’re told we “need”. I’ve found myself a million tabs deep in internet searches trying to decode competing expert opinions about the benefits of a “chemical exfoliant” over a “physical exfoliant” or pacing the shelves of Chemist Warehouse comparing two different products for the so-touted “active ingredients” which I can’t even pronounce.
A few years ago I decided to strip my skincare routine “back to basics”; the essentials that beauty professionals tend to mention time and time again (think, a good cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen) as opposed the shelf of lotions and potions I previously used. This was partially due to feeling overwhelmed, but also because my skin was experiencing flare ups when I used too many different products. It took a bit of experimentation but the process was liberating and beneficial for my skin, lifestyle and bank account. I feel like the “less is more” and “quality over quantity” philosophy that I apply to my wardrobe also sounds true for my beauty regime.
There have been many different iterations of my skincare routine and I’m sure it will continue to evolve as I discover new brands and as my skin changes. However, my skincare routine below is one which I’m really happy with (and many of the products I’ve used for about a year) and something I though I’d share with you in case you had also considered simplifying your skincare routine or have been interested in any of these products. I always love reading about the beauty products other people use and I thought you might too. That said, our skin is so unique in its requirements and this is only what has worked for my skin. I’m not a dermatologist – so please seek advice from a professional if you have any questions.
I don’t wear much make up on a daily basis and the mascara I use washes off with water, so, of an evening, I generally just cleanse (or double cleanse) using Avene Eau Thermale Extremely Gentle Cleanser. However, I’ve found that this cleanser won’t remove heavy make-up, so if I’m wearing more make-up than usual I’ll remove it with Bio Derma’s Sensibio H2) Micellar Water Cleanser (a beauty classic) on a re-usable facial pad before cleansing.
A new addition to my routine has been a serum and I recently tried Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum after hearing Eleanor Pendleton, founder of Gritty Pretty, talking about it on this episode of Offline the podcast. It’s definitely a beauty splurge and I’ve only used it for a few months (I actually need to re-stock it at present) but it’s a product I’ve enjoyed so far. It made my skin feel more hydrated and I’d splash out on it again. I then apply La Roche Posay, Toleriane Ultra Nuit’s moisturiser. In winter, if my skin is dry, I’ll sometimes use Triology’s Organic Rosehip oil before bed.
Once a week I use Clear Skincare’s smooth skin 8% chemical exfoliant. I’m also keen to include a retinol in this routine – so let me know if you have any good recommendations.
I’ll admit that my morning skincare routine can be sporadic at times, particularly if I’m in a rush. However, I generally cleanse and apply a serum and moisturiser using the above products. No matter how little time I have, I never leave the house without sunscreen and I love using La Roche Posay 50+ Anthelios wet skin sunscreen because it’s a lightweight formula which I can wear under make up. It also comes in a 250ml bottle so I don’t have to re-stock it regularly. Another sunscreen I’ve really liked using in the past has been Sun bum’s 30+ sunscreen lotion.