When I was in my late teens, early twenties my skincare regime consisted of a small bottle of cleanser and a lightweight moisturiser that was probably a random buy from Superdrug. Although there are some benefits to keeping the skincare routine simple whilst trying to battle with acne, it can also have its downsides, mainly, missing out the greatest ingredients and products that can actually help with blemishes. My interest in skincare and moreover, the ingredients, started a few years ago when I first started in beauty PR. Working with skin therapists and nutritionists, I was slowly getting to know what worked, what didn’t and what you can use together without missing out by implementing the right ingredients wether it’s in skincare or nutrition in order to help maintain healthy skin. There are days I do a full on routine and there’s other days my skin doesn’t need too much but what are the skincare steps I will never skip or compromise on?
Whether it’s a gel, foam, balm or cream, cleanser is something you cannot ignore. It removes make-up, SPF and daily grime and dirt and when making sure everything is removed, it can help clean your complexion too. Personally, I use my cleanser in the shower, making sure the water is lukewarm when washing my face, as it saves time and as the steam opens your pores, it gives your skin a deeper clean.
My current AM cleanser is the Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Cleanser (currently £23.40, 200ml) and my current PM cleanser is the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (£34, 200ml).
Serums are seriously the best thing ever invented and I will never budge on this. When it comes to choosing a serum the first thing you want to do is search for one that caters for your own skin concern. For those prone to acne, you’re looking for serums containing ingredients such as Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If concerned with ageing, scarring or pigmentation then ingredients such as retinol (form of vitamin A), hyaluronic acid or again salicylic acid and if you’re just looking for a serum to help maintain healthy skin or brighten your complexion then ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C or E.
My current favourites that I use both in the AM and PM routines is the Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum (£80, 30ml. Cheaper if you buy the set – you get a 10ml) and also the BareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Fusion (£27.20, 30ml) – here’s a recent review and cheaper alternatives.
Due to my skin being on the oily side of combination and breaking out really badly, I prefer using two serums and have limited my moisturiser as I feel as if my skin doesn’t really need but I will still use an eye cream. Although it’s not really essential and is down to your own preference, I have since been introduced to an eye cream that has totally swayed my judgement. It’s something I just love using and choosing the right one can really make a difference whether it’s dark circles, puffiness, fine lines or maybe all three, look at ingredients that help with those concerns. For temporary measure and to ensure you go by your day with eyes that actually look awake, hyaluronic acid is your best friend.
My current favourite, recent review here, is the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado (£26, 14ml).
I will hands down never and I mean never, go without a sun protection. It’s the last step in your regime and honestly the most important, it protects our skin from harmful UVA and UVBs and if we go without were damaging our skin. Personally, I wear one even if my make-up claims to contain an SPF because it’s just not going to be enough. Through the winter and even on the most cloudy days, UVAs are still present so I usually go for an SPF 30 and through the summer I bump it up to an SPF 50.
My current SPF 30 is the Paula’s Choice Clear Ultra-Light Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 30+ (£10, 15ml) and my current SPF 50 is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Tinted Fluid SPF 50+ (£12.75, 50ml) – both reviews here.
The other important thing you have to look for when it comes to skincare is the ingredients. Researching what kind of ingredients is best suited to you and your skin’s needs makes the process of finding a routine so much easier. Picking up a cleanser or a serum just because it looks good can be damaging if it contains ingredients that doesn’t suit your concerns and can also make it worse. It’s also ideal to see what main active ingredients you can’t mix with others as this can also be damaging.