It wasn’t till I turned 22 years old that I even understood that makeup removal was not the be-all and end-all of skin due diligence. I discovered that was there not only a whole market for makeup removal, as well as a plethora of products that women and men can use every day to look after their faces, but that there also existed in our busy world, a whole ideology around taking care of, and managing this very important organ.
My eyes widened as I learned a process existed, not just to clean up our skin or look after our pores, but to also maintain and create in our lives our sense of well-being, with self-care of our own skin. Now at 28 years old, I’m also learning that behind the manufacturing of these products, separated from their brand ambassadors, and marketing campaigns, also hold a significant amount of research behind them, with a whole industry embodying the science of dermatology.
Skincare has become an important and integral part of my daily life, a time I deeply enjoy ; that I hope to now share with you all.
If I go back to where it began for me, removing makeup before one fateful day regularly consisted of a disposable face wipe (Probably “Simple’s”) and if my skin was lucky, a warm flannel with soap! This all changed after a gander around John Lewis. Cleansers were first introduced to me by an Origins Ambassador in my hometown. Six years on from that interaction I feel so blessed and grateful to that counter therapist, who clearly knew, that firstly; I had no idea about skincare, but also, and more importantly that I probably didn’t even have the immediate finances to complete a skincare routine purchase anyway, but never the less, still booked me in for a try-it-all free facial to educate me on what a basic skincare routine might look like. And since then, my love, interest, and use of skin products have expanded tenfold.
I knew nothing about skincare then, and I felt I was a fairly low-maintenance gal, so she brightly suggested: to “start with the cleanser, and when [I] had gotten used to having that step in my day-to-day life, to then consider building up the process product-by-product”. One new step at a time. This was perfect for someone who at 22 barely cared about my skin.
I can now happily say that my skincare routine consists of at least 5 steps, and when I’m feeling extra indulgent it can expand by a further 3 steps. And I feel extremely grateful to that ambassador for beginning my skincare journey with so much kindness, grace, and without even a hint of sarcasm or judgment. It has allowed within me so much curiosity, freedom, and self-care, and thus opened up passion in me for all things self-care related.
With that in mind, I’m going to share my skincare secrets with you all. I have definitely found my favorites, and whilst I’m always learning, and ready to understand more about our skin, the process I follow in my skincare routine is unwavering. Small disclaimer; of course any good skin advisor will tell you that it is not a simple “one size fits all” in terms of skincare. You will need to learn about your skin type, to really get the most out of the products and a routine.
I found an online skin analysis quiz for you to check out your skin type, I’ll link it below for your convenience: Skin Quiz ; I have Combination/ Sensitive.
A lot of my own skin analysis has come by trial and error but also following some of the guidelines framed so eloquently in Sali Hughes’s “Pretty Honest” – one of the 7 books mentioned in my article; 7 Reads that changed my life. So please with that in mind, have some analysis done, and do some reading on your skin type before deciding which (if any) of the products I use are suitable for your skin. However, even if none of the products I recommend match your profile, I hope that the knowledge, and ethos behind my routine, at the minimum, inspires you to get creative and start to implement self-care for your skin, into your daily routine.
Let’s start with cleansers;
My absolute all time favourite; Origins Clean Energy Oil
Sorry I have tried to waver from this path multiple times, nothing is as good as this. It smells absolutely delicious. Honestly makes me feel like it is cleaning my energy. It’s gentle at makeup removal. Gets deep into your pores. Leaves the skin hydrated. This products is a 5 Stars. *Side note* I stick to oil cleansers, as foam cleansers tend to dry out or irritate my skin, and water always leaves it clammy. So please think on that before decided what material form to go for but if you’re into oils, this is the one.
When I’ve run out; I use olive oil. Apparently, actresses use this on big makeup days; i.e The Oscars/ red carpet days, although I wouldn’t recommend permanently replacing your cleanser with it.
You can use this cleanser, or any oil cleanser with warm flannel / reusable pads. I currently have a USA Pro Makeup Pad which is fab and can be shoved in the laundry when getting dirty. It looks like they no longer sell them but this is similar to what I use; Reusable Makeup Pad. I’d soon like to invest in some of those reusable cotton-like pads that come with a cute mini laundry bag.
For a full list of all the products mentioned here I have put them under a “Skin Care You’re Skin Will Love” List on my Amazon storefront for your ease.
Next up; my latest and happiest discovery; a Toner I can depend on.
Clarins Soothing Tonique ; this toner really is fantastique.
I have honestly struggled so much to find a toner that is both gentle to the skin, and actually closes my pours without irritation. As can you tell by now I have a sensitive skin type, meaning I opt for the lighter, less chemical heavy choices. This toner cools and soothes, smells great, and doesn’t break the bank, this step has always been my least enjoyable until I found this . Check it out on the Clarins site here: Clarins Toner
Another toner I use which is also gentle and I sometimes use in conjunction with the other is Nuxe toning mist. I often geeking over anything rose-related.
You can check it out here; Nuxe Toning Mist
Serums; I am currently using a Primark Hyaluronic Boost serum, can you believe it?
No serum has yet won me over, and I’ve tried a few. If you’re new to skincare nothing will prepare you for the avalanche of serums on the market. It is actually overwhelming. There’s retinol, vit-c, hyaluronic, youth serum, AhAs, B5, anti-age, and hydrating, I mean I could try one every day for a year and not get through them. This needs further research; until I have found my unicorn I’m sticking to this unbelievable £3.50 purchase which I have almost run out of, until further experimenting has been conducted. When I’ve stumbled upon a youth elixir or a serum that makes me feel va va voom I’ll make an article on it. Serums on the whole are also extremely pricey for your pocket, the most expensive being around £740 a bottle, so until I find a magic serum, I’m steering clear.
I have already tried the following and not been persuaded;
La Roche-Posay B5 Serum // Vichy Mineral Serum // Apivita Aqua Beelicious Booster Serum // Eva Belle Vitamin Booster Serum // Uriage Eau Thermale Serum // Charlotte Tilbury Elixir. I’m sorry… I just wasn’t impressed.
On my “to try next” list is the famous Estee Lauder Night Repair, Ren, or The Ordinary (even if the packaging for the ordinary looks a bit forensic lab experiment for my liking) & I’ll let you know if any of them excite me.
Moisturisers; My absolute fav of all time is Origins Ginzing Cream (not the gel!).
This cream is chef’s kiss excellent. It soaks well into the skin, does not clog or just sit on the outer derma, it also smells amazing, gives my face a pick me up, and does not argue with the makeup I put on top of it, which is a classic moisture issue. I’m not biased just because of my origins experience I will list others I’ve tried and will still choose Origins over: Clinique, Bobby Brown, Charlotte Tilbury’s, Kiehls, Apivita, Garnier, Nivea, to name a few, and nothing has competed or come close, except Clarins. Truly the Ginzing Cream is superior.
Available at Sephora here: Origins Cream
Step 5 Collagen; now for the exciting part.
Raw Beauty; Collagen Glow. Of course, this is not a product that is directly used on my skin, however, the repercussions of using decent collagen regularly have had a noticeable impact on my glow, and skin elasticity.
If you’re not a heavy meat eater specifically, collagen intake can be difficult to source through food alone, I rarely if ever eat red meat, and eat chicken/fish very infrequently; so the easiest way to source collagen is through a supplement. And you want one containing Marine Collagen with Omega 6. The company for Raw Beauty is based in Australia ; Amazonia Raw
This is my current go-to; every night before I sit down to do my routine, I mix up a cup and sip on it whilst I’m doing my skin. It tastes of wild berries and isn’t heavy.
Step 6 – If it’s Morning; SPF
Guys, I cannot express how important protecting your skin is. Withholding SPF is the quickest way to age your skin, plus it can create irreparable damage, or increase your likelihood of skin disease. The tan is honestly not worth that. Nowadays we have great bronzers for that. Dark spots do not go away. On days when it’s not hot but there is high light exposure you can still get impacted by UV rays (you can check the UV rating for the day ahead on the met weather forecast). I’m currently looking to find an SPF that can also be sprayed or layered over my daytime makeup, for midday top-ups.
I currently use Nivea Sun Q10, SPF50 by Nivea after the previous step. Which is avail here; Nivea SPF50
My foundation, as well as my Clarins Hydra Essential Moisturizer, also has some SPF in it, you can see my daytime makeup look over at; “What’s in my makeup bag?” < here.
Step 6; If it’s the evening; Night Mask
Instead of a moisturizer, after your serum, go to this step. I will likely use either Clarins night mask which is fantastic or one of their balms for deeper specified hydration. Your body does the most work whilst you’re asleep so it’s good to give your face a healthy dose of quality product it can soak up overnight whilst you’re sleeping. I use Clarins Multi-Active Night or Origins “Drink Up” Mask.
Extra Steps if you’re feeling fancy!
To spritz up tired makeup, or dried out skin when you’ve already been out and about, or at work all day, when you’ve applied makeup but don’t want to be taking it off and redoing; I can recommend; Rose Water by Grace & Stella. A quality product that brightens and refreshes your face. I used to keep this in my handbag on big exhibition days.
There are also some extras, which are not for everyday but for when a little more care is needed.
Natura Siberica Biome Hyaluronic Eye Patches //
Hydrating Face Mask (Garnier) //
Do a lymphatic drainage self massage (I get tips from @lisabeautify on insta) //
An exfoliating scrub – I can highly recommend “Never a dull moment” – Origins (once a week) //
Frozen cucumber – to be used to calm down inflamed skin or close pores – seriously put a cucumber in your freezer and use it like a Gua Sha, cut off the use end after each go. //
I have more! But I believe this to be sufficient for those of you adventuring into new skincare routines. Remember that separate from the science and products this routine is all about taking time out of your day to look after yourself. It’s an act of self love, nourishment and replenishment. It gives your brain a chance to slow down, to reflect away from scrolling thumbs, or emails. To take 15-20mins for just you. Even if you only use an SPF from now on, I’ll be happy with that, just make sure you gift yourself a little bit of extra love this spring.
Your skin and sense of self will thank you for it.
With love from me to you, as always,
& a Happy Easter,
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You can check out the full list of products available in my Amazon Shop Front ; Skin Care You Will Love
Thanks again for joining me.
Stay Brave Darling.