My skincare routine went a little tits up towards the end of 2017, much like many aspects of my life (cough, my diet) did. One of my main resolutions for 2018 was to stick to a proper skincare routine and get rid of my problems – the red, splotchy patches, the cystic acne that appears each month and the tiny bumps that decide to poke themselves through my skin in dry patches.
I get to test out a lot of different sample and travel-sized products from subscription boxes, so my routine is constantly changing and I generally swap between products to change things up, but the following products are those I consider my ‘go-tos’ for my evening skincare routine.
Let’s start with cleanser. I use the Garnier Cleansing Milk, which is not only a great way to remove makeup, but also feels very moisturising to the skin, rather than drying it out like a lot of thinner liquid cleansers. I do have a variety of different cleansers – gels, liquids, exfoliating, balms – but I always go back to this Garnier one. It’s great for soothing sensitive skin due to the consistency and rose water. You can get it for just £3.49 in Superdrug and it lasts ages! I just use a cotton pad directly on my face with some of the cleanser on.
Toning is really important in a skincare routine, but it seems to be one of the most-skipped steps in other people’s routines! I’m using the Alpha H Liquid Gold toner (in a Rose Gold limited edition, because I’m a blogger of course) which contains Glycolic acid to help smooth and resurface my skin. It’s also a good one to get back some moisture into my skin after cleansing. Mostly, though, the toner helps get rid of the excess oils, makeup and cleanser residue left over on the skin. Again, I just use a cotton pad! The original 100ml version of this toner is £33.50 on LookFantastic.
About once a week I’ll exfoliate. It’s too harsh on the skin to do it any more than that, but after a week of makeup and general life, my skin needs exfoliating to remove the dead skin from its surface. I just use my fingers to work this into the skin, then rinse with warm water after I’m certain I’ve scrubbed enough. It does make you look a bit red, but this goes away and you’re left with soft skin underneath. I’m using the Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel, but I haven’t really got any preference on what exfoliate I use! This one is £16 for the full-size version on LookFantastic.
Once a week, usually on a friday, I’ll do a facemask! I’ve been a lover of quick and easy sheet masks in the past, but I feel like my skin is now hydrated enough from those and I should be focusing my attention on detoxifying my skin instead. So when Alya Skin contacted me to see if I wanted to try out their Australian Pink Clay Mask, I couldn’t resist! The clay mask is a paint-on, rinse-off mask that only takes 10 minutes to work its magic and leaves skin feeling so soft and clean. As an added bonus, it’s cruelty-free and vegan-friendly! I do have a discount code if you want to buy it yourself, it’s just ‘HOLLIFE’ which saves you 10% at www.alyaskin.com. I put mine on with a silicone flat brush, which I found on eBay for just £2.
After toning (and exfoliating/masking if it’s one of those days), it’s time for serum. I’m using the REN Instant Firming Beauty Shot, which helps to firm and tighten my ever-so-slightly ageing skin. This may be a tiny tube of just 10ml, but you only need a few small drops of product for your entire face. You can also tap this over your makeup if you think it needs refreshing throughout the day, but I haven’t been brave enough to do that yet! It’s £36 for 30ml on LookFantastic, so a little bit pricey, but I think it’s worth it.
After serum I’ll use a spot cream (if I have spots). I like this BalanceMe Congested Skin Serum as it’s 99% natural and doesn’t dry out my skin like most alcohol-based spot creams. My skin feels moisturised as my blemish is reduced rather than tight. After the spot cream, I’ll apply an eye cream – this tiny one is the Caudalie Energizing and Smoothing Eye Cream from the Vine[Activ] range. This makes the texture under my eyes feel smother and I look less like I’ve been staring at a laptop screen for 8 hours when I use it! You can get the spot cream for £15 for 15ml and the eye cream for £27.50 from various retailers.
For moisturiser, I like to choose one which contains Hyaluronic acid, as I find that it’s the best thing for locking in my skin’s moisture. This particular moisturiser from Figs & Rouge smooths my skin as well as hydrating it, and also has the added bonus of helping with fine lines and boosting skin elasticity. It contains vitamins A, C and E for extra goodness. Basically, it contains all the lovely ingredients that your skin loves. It’s £28 for a full-size version but I love it!
This is my secret weapon! If I’m particularly tired and my skin looks sleep-deprived, or I know that I’m going to wake up looking like a zombie, I use this Ultimate Sleep Cream from Formula Absolute (an M&S Beauty brand)! It literally says on the tube, ‘Skin looks like you’ve had 8 hours sleep (even when you haven’t)’ which explains exactly what it aims to do. You simply shove this on at night and rinse off in the morning to reveal fresh, awake-looking skin, even if you haven’t slept a wink. I don’t use this every night, but I like to keep it in my everyday skincare collection, just in case.
Finally, oil. Again, not something I use every day, but something I like to always have on hand. You can use this Nuxe Dry Oil on your hair, body and face and what I like to do is target my dry or dehydrated areas with the oil. I don’t put it on my already-oily T-Zone, but this helps to add some moisture to the parts that actually need it. This particular one (£17 for 50ml) has a shimmer to it that makes you look ultra glowy too!
…And that’s it for my evening skincare routine! It may seem quite complex but I don’t use each product every day. If I had to whittle it down to just four products, I would use cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser. Everything else is just an added bonus! It is really important to focus on your skin whilst it’s still useful and (mostly) not problematic – prevention is so much easier than the cure!