I thought it only fitting that as my first blog post for 2016 I should dedicate it to my first true love – skincare. Although I am a self-confessed makeup lover, skincare has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Not just the products themselves, but the routine that they require thrills me. I love nothing more than wiping off the slap and treating my skin to some much needed R & R.
Now that I am approaching the dreaded 3-0 I have learnt, more than ever, the importance of a good skincare routine. After a certain age consistency and quality are two necessary factors in skincare. Investing your time and money into your skin will benefit you in the long run. After all, who doesn’t want to look young and youthful as the years roll by? The products mentioned below may seem excessive and time consuming, but trust me when I say that it makes the world of difference.
My evening and daytime skincare routines are slightly different. I reserve most of my skincare products for the evening as I tend to have more time to dedicate to my skin. A night time skincare routine is important, because your skin naturally regenerates, repairs and restores itself while you sleep. Cell renewal is significantly higher, your skin is more responsive to active ingredients and your body temperature is higher allowing for faster absorption of products. While you drift into dream land your skin is hard at work so treating it beforehand, with high quality products, will ensure you arise to a plump, smooth and glowing face.
My skin type is dry with a slightly oily t-zone. During the winter months, my skin dries out further and craves nourishment. I am not susceptible to break out or any other skin conditions. I use the products below in the order that they are listed. Each of these products have been tried and tested for several months. I have found that these products are perfect for my skin type. If you have a different skin type or particular concerns then you may want to consider products more specifically tailored to your needs.
I’m sure you have all heard the cardinal rule that you should never sleep with your makeup on, but how many of us actually adhere to it? I know I’ve been guilty of it in the past. Certainly after a night out I’ve gone to bed (greasy kebab in tow) with a full face of makeup on. However, studies have shown that for every night you sleep in your makeup, your skin ages by three days!
Pre-cleansing is essential for removing the initial layer of grime, sweat, oil and makeup that sits on top of your skin. Some may find this step unnecessary as you’re going to go in with your regular cleanser anyway, but pre-cleansing is the gateway for your regular cleanser. By removing the first layer of dirt, you allow for your regular cleanser to delve further into your skin layers providing you with a deeper clean.
I use these wipes on days that I’m feeling particularly lazy or when I’m wearing little to no makeup at all. It may seem silly to use face wipes on your skin when you have no makeup on, but you’ll be surprised at how much dirt a wipe will pick up from your face.
I love the size of the wipes. One wipe is sufficient for your entire face and removes eye makeup with hardly any force. As a contact lens wearer I love that the wipes don’t irritate my eyes. They’re free from alcohol and harsh chemicals; which make them very comfortable to use. They’re also perfect for travelling.
I absolutely love cleansing oils. I love watching a silky-soft oil dissolve away my makeup with ease. I use cleansing oils on days where I’ve worn heavy makeup and a facial wipe will not suffice. Removing stubborn makeup such as waterproof mascara, liquid lipstick or glitter eye shadow is effortless with cleansing oils.
Being somewhat of a cult item in the beauty world, The Body Shop’s Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil is by far my favourite. I’ve tried a lot of cleansing oils in the past, but the formula of this one is super soft and feels incredible against the skin. It’s also very safe to use on your eyes without irritation; which is perfect for a contact lens wearer like me. Makeup literally ‘melts’ off your face with this oil and once mixed with water, the oil turns into a milky cream-like emulsion.
If there’s one bit of skincare advice that I could give my younger self it would be that facial wipes and cleansing oils alone are not sufficient for beautiful skin. For years I believed that facial wipes were the only step I needed in taking off my makeup. It wasn’t until I discovered top quality facial cleansers and facial brushes that I realised how deep into your skin makeup and grime can go.
Named as one of Sephora’s top beauty products of all time, Philosophy’s Purity Cleanser has definitely earned its stripes. The texture is soft and creamy; which is perfect for the colder months when my skin needs a pamper. It’s super gentle and therefore suitable for most skin types including sensitive skin.
As can be expected with a Philosophy product the smell is lovely and clean with infusions of sage, chamomile, and carrot. The pH balancing formula dissolves dirt and grime and gives you a deep cleanse without being too harsh on your skin.
Philosophy have marketed this cleanser as an ‘all-in-one’ product, meaning it completely eliminates the need for eye makeup removers, cleansing oils or toners. Whilst the idea of an all-in-one product is great, a pre-cleanse is necessary to remove your makeup along with a facial brush to give your skin the best cleanse its ever had.
If you haven’t got into facial brushes yet, what are you waiting for? Facial brushes have completely changed my skincare game. What can only be described as a workout for your face, it’s become somewhat of an obsession for me. It can be hard choosing the right facial brush as there are so many available on the market. However, when I had the opportunity to test out Magnitone’s double award winning Barefaced Daily Cleansing Brush I fell in love. The rotating brush massages your skin while gently exfoliating dead skin cells. I use a small amount of facial cleanser directly on the brush to deeply clean my skin and extract any grime and makeup left behind.
I love the fact that this brush is 100% waterproof. That means I can use it in the shower without making a mess. The brush also comes with a protective travel case for days that I’m away from home and a USB charger.
Whilst some facial brushes can be harsh and abrasive, the Barefaced Daily Cleansing Brush is gentle enough for daily use without causing any damage. All you need is 60 seconds for your entire face; which makes it a super easy, yet effective, addition to your skincare routine. Once the brush makes contact with your skin, the brush will beep every 20 seconds to let you know to move onto a new area of the face.
Exfoliation during the winter months is very important. Harsh weather conditions and low humidity levels in the air means that your skin is deprived of moisture. Skin cells become dehydrated leaving a dry, flaky and lacklustre appearance. Central heating can also contribute to irritable skin.
In order to maintain a healthy, glowing appearance, regular exfoliation is necessary. A gentle, yet effective exfoliant will remove dead skin cells from the surface and speed up cell renewal. As we age, our cellular turnover slows down significantly. Excessive dead skin cells sit on the surface of the skin; which not only clogs your pores, but it also exaggerates wrinkles.
The fact that it’s labelled as a ‘peeling gel’ makes it sound slightly scary. Remember that episode of SATC when Samantha had that unfortunate face peel?! Awkward. However, this isn’t the harsh, abrasive peel you would initially think of.
Utilising multi-action enzymes including pineapple, pomegranate and keratinise, dead cells are gently removed from the surface of your skin. Hyaluronic acid is also used to plump and hydrate the skin, giving it a youthful glow.
Although I love traditional exfoliators and their scrubby bits, this exfoliant offers something completely different. Rather than exfoliating beads to slough off dry skin, this is a smooth gel which ‘eats’ the dead skin cells off of your face. As you rub the gel over your face, you can see residue literally falling off. Perhaps a little gross, but I love it! It’s hugely satisfying to see a product work right in front of your eyes. I use this peel twice a week to ensure my skin stay smooth and bright throughout winter.
With all that cleansing, you would think that there’s nothing left to clean right? Wrong! Whilst cleansing will remove dirt and grime, face masks actually draw out the impurities deep beneath the top layers of the epidermis. Face masks help with exfoliation, toning, hydration and protection. They also improve blood circulation and leaves your skin feeling smoother and softer. So many people believe face masks to be nothing but a placebo for the skin. Whilst they are utterly relaxing, slapping on a face mask once a week ensures that your skin is in tip top condition. For those who don’t find time for a face mask – if you have 10 minutes to spare, you have time for a face mask. In fact, I put my face mask on while I’m doing the housework or whilst watching tv. It’s called multi-masking! Sorry bad joke…I did mention that I’m getting old.
I’ll be honest, I’m not faithful with my face masks. I sway between different brands all the time. However, GlAMGLOW is one of those brands that I keep on coming back to. My favourite pre-event grooming technique is slapping on a GLAMGLOW mask. This mud mask guarantees brighter, more radiant skin in just 10 minutes. Perfect for those who lack the time or the patience. The ingredients list includes french sea clay (fancy), pumice, green tea leaf, chamomile and lavender. I spread a thin layer of this mask with a foundation brush to ensure that it’s spread evenly. Within 10 minutes the mask beings to dry leaving patches of moisture; which is actually the oil and grime being extracted from your skin.
Many people don’t know what toners do and therefore skip this step. I’ll be honest, I used to be one of those people. After constantly hearing skincare experts drone on about cleanse, tone and moisturise; I felt as though I was missing a piece of the puzzle in my skincare routine.
Toners have many purposes for your face. They contain vitamins and antioxidants to help refresh the skin, providing a boost of energy and calm. They can help fight free radicals and rejuvenate the skin by providing a protective barrier that will help your skin retain moisture and maintain the capillary walls. Certain toners contain alpha hydroxy or glycolic acids to gentle exfoliate the skin and tighten pores.
Being in the beauty world, I constantly hear the words ‘cult product’ all the time. However, being the skeptic that I am, I always feel that I need to try out the products themselves before I join the fan base. The Glow Tonic from Pixi is one of those products; which sits on the shelves of pretty much every beauty blogger that I know. It’s a gentle exfoliating toner; which gentle dissolves dull skin cells. It also contains aloe to sooth your skin and create a luminous layer on your skin.
As you can tell from the title, this toner provide me with a glow after cleansing and reduces any redness caused by the exfoliating peel and face mask used previously. I lightly soak a cotton wool pad with this toner and rub all over my face.
About 5 years ago I made the switch from night creams to facial oils. Not that I have anything against night creams, I have just fallen head over heels in love with the feel of a luxurious facial oil on my skin.
Facial oils have long been a secret of beauty insiders. Not only do they offer intense hydration, but they contain high levels of anti-ageing properties; which trump over any regular moisturisers. Facial oils are also excellent at eliminating many skin conditions such as pigmentation, scaring or psoriasis.
From the age of 25, wrinkles appear due to the skin’s natural oil decrease. The moisture barrier breaks down and the skin dries out. Most night creams contain a small percentage of oil, but not enough to make up for the loss in moisture. Oils are lipophilic (fat loving) and they pass through the lipid layer of the skin faster than any regular moisturiser. Skin appears plumper, smoother, brighter and all round amazing. Facial oils are the best way to moisturise your skin after your cleansing routine as it soothes irritated skin and adds a level of hydration that will last well into the next morning.
The ultimate indulgence for a night time skincare routine, it’s my secret weapon for flawless skin. This facial oil is excellent at repairing daily damage. Two drops is enough for the entire face and provides unbelievable moisture. It provides rehabilitation for stressed out skin. It contains antioxidant grape polyphenols to encourage cell regeneration and repair. A ‘detox’ for the skin, this plant-derived elixir helps to fortify its natural defenses, enhancing the free radical-fighting cell pool, to leave your skin better equipped to protect itself against the elements. Neroli works to purify and decongest. Rosehip oil encourages repair, healing scar tissue and strengthening elastin fibres. Lavendar and carrot oil soothes irritation, softens, hydrates and detoxifies.
The skin around the eyes are fragile and more pore to dryness than the rest of the face. Your eyes are the quickest part of your skin to show age and fatigue with constant movement and squinting. Fluids collect under the eyes and cause puffiness and dark circles. Eye creams soothe the skin with intense moisturisation. A good quality eye cream will smooth out fine line and winkles by stimulating collagen production and promoting cellular regeneration.
As the skin around your eyes are a lot thiner than the rest of your face, it is advised to only use an eye cream in that area and not your regular moisturiser.
During the winter months, the area around my eyes get very dry and irritated. Being a contact lens wearer, extreme weather conditions make me eyes stream constantly, causing puffiness around my eyes.
My first impression of this cream was that the creamy consistency was perfect to soothe my dry eyes. The natural ingredients list (avocado oil and vitamin A) meant that it would not sting or irritate my eyes when I wear contact lenses. This eye cream doesn’t promise the world. It doesn’t claim to cure dark circles or deep rooted wrinkles, however, what it does offer is intense hydration; which can actually slow down the process of ageing and discolouration. Upon application the cream turns into an almost gel/water like texture.
What are your skincare tips for a flawless base? I’m forever looking for tips and tricks! Comment below and share the love!