My Skincare Routine: A Comprehensive Guide

14 May 2014

skin care routineFirst up, just a little disclaimer as I’m aware that people other than my mum read this blog. This is my skincare routine which obviously works for me and helps keep my skin clear and glowing (I have absolutely no base makeup on my face in the photo above) but it may not work for everyone, so don’t like, hunt me down if your face falls off if you entertain my suggestions. But people are always commenting on my skin and I always get questioned about what I use so I thought I’d reveal my routine.

Now for a bit of background, I don’t tend to suffer from breakouts apart from a couple of hormonal spots around my chin now and again. I don’t know if that’s genetics or having a good skincare routine but I’m guessing it’s a combination of both, although I’ve definitely had compliments on my bare skin left, right and centre since I ditched the face wipes and learnt how to clean my face properly. My skin is on the dry side and isn’t particularly sensitive which means I can be pretty heavy handed without suffering too many consequences. My nose is the only area that gets a bit oily during the day and I’ve had a lifelong, rather unsavoury battle with blackheads which I’m finally winning. I’m 26 so I’m at the stage where I want to be preventing signs of ageing rather than treating them.


I blast in with the first step in my skincare routine after I have a hot shower to allow my pores to open, prepping them for the impending attack. I dampen my face with warm water and apply an exfoliating wash. I often switch these up day to day, currently I’ve been using Lush Let the Good Times Roll or Clean & Clear Morning Energy Daily Facial Wash, however my all-time favourite is Sanctuary Brightening Facial Radiance Exfoliator which gives a bit more of an industrial clean. I rub in the scrubbies for a minute to polish my skin, soak a white face cloth in hot water and press it on my skin for 30 seconds, sometimes longer if I’m feeling patient. Then I carefully rub off the face wash in circular motions until it’s all off. I cannot stress the importance of face cloths enough, I’m certain they’re the reason my skin has been transformed from ‘okay’ to ‘fabulous’.  I get mine for about 50p each from Asda, and get through one a day before chucking it in the wash. I follow up with a toning spritz such as Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz and wipe off the excess with a cotton pad. Next is eye cream or gel (I don’t really have a favourite but have been using Clarins Eye Contour Gel or Clinique All About Eyes) and moisturiser with an SPF if I’m heading out such as Una Brennan Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Skin Defence Daily Moisturiser or an SPF-free moisturiser if I’m choosing the hermit lifestyle for the day – I really like Clarins Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream.


If I’ve been wearing a lot of eye makeup, I’ll remove it first with a cotton pad and some kind of bi-phase eye makeup remover. I’ve tried the drugstore and high end offerings and they all do the same job with varying degrees of greasiness. I’ve been using both Dior Instant Eye Makeup Remover and L’Oreal Eye & Lip Absolute Makeup Remover. Once the bulk of my eye makeup is off I’ll go in with a micellar water to take the rest off. Again, Bioderma, L’Oreal, whatever, I’ve not noticed much difference between them and don’t feel the need to spend much dosh on this particular stage. I’ve been loving the jumbo sized Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. Once my face is largely free of slap, I like to use a cleanser with something a bit special going on. If my skin is feeling dry I want something rich and moisturising, so I’ll use Champneys Super Rich Cleansing Balm (review here), if I want to brighten my skin, I’ll go for a cleanser with some kind of fruit acid like Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean and if I simply want something fresh and soothing it has to be Sanctuary Fresh Faced Purifying Wash. Again, I’ll gently work these in with a hot face cloth and wipe off. Sometimes I’ll then spritz on some of the same toner I use in the morning. Then at bedtime, I delve into my little collection of bedside treats. This really helps when you’re tired as everything is within easy reach. First I pop on some serum (I’ve been using Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum), then eye cream (yet to find one I love but I’ve been using No7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm), then moisturiser or oil. I really like Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Night Firming Moisturiser and This Works Active Oil For The Face. A slick of Reve de Miel lip balm then it’s finally sleepy time!


After my nightly cleansing, I’ll follow it up with some kind of microdermabrasion product, I love the more industrial strength exfoliation but my skin can take it. I either use The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion or Vitage Antioxidant Micro-Exfoliator to get a proper polish on. When it comes to moisturising at night, twice a week I’ll not do any of it and just use a glycolic acid treatment instead. I use Olay Regenerist Night Renewal Elixir at the moment.


In the evening I’ll treat my face to a face mask, usually something clay-based. I find these make a massive difference when my face is looking a bit lacklustre. Current favourites include Una Brennan Super Facialist Tea Flower Pore Purifying Clay Mask (review here) and Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. Otherwise I’ll use something acid-based like REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask or the absolutely stunning at-home facial peel, Philosophy Microdelivery Peel.


Shock horror – a couple of times a month, apart from a quick cleanse, I put absolutely nothing on my face for 24 hours. No makeup, no moisturiser and no night treatments. I just like the thought of my skin breathing and having a well-earned break from it all.


As mentioned before, I’ve been plagued with blackheads for as long as I can remember but I’m now fighting back and tremendous success. I use Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips once a month which take out any lingering blackheads. If any are missed, I use The Body Shop Double Ended Blackhead Remover which despite looking like a Victorian torturing device, is a crude yet effective little tool.

I know this routine looks massive but it only take 10 or 15 minutes out of a regular day and I have seen massive results by taking care of my skin. Heck, even my big forehead line has disappeared and unless I’m doing anything special I don’t even have to bother with foundation anymore. Do let me know if you have any tips as I love trying out skincare products if they’ve been tried and tested!

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