Before I get into the actual blog post I would like to say that I am in no way a skin expert, I have just gotten to know my own skin a lot better over the past twelve months. For years I worked in a luxury department store and I was a great customer. I would buy into really expensive cleansers and creams based on recommendations but I wouldn’t really assess whether or not they actually worked for me. In the past year I have completely stripped back my skincare routine to include simple products that my skin has responded well to, and then slowly introduced new products. This way, if something doesn’t work for me, I can pinpoint the product that is causing the issue. I am lucky that my best friend Great has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to skincare as she has been trained by some of the most luxurious beauty brands in the world and she gives me guidance in the type of ingredients to look out for. Her advice for my skin is to focus on moisturising and hydrating products throughout my twenties, and to look at anti-ageing products when I get closer to 30. The most important ingredient in my current routine has to be Hyaluronic acid, which hydrates and plumps the skin. Now onto the actual routine:
I would have combination skin, normal with oily areas around my nose, chin and forehead, so this skincare routine may not work for everyone, but if you have pretty normal skin but still experience a load of breakouts in your mid to late twenties, than maybe it will help.
Up until last year it was very normal for me to constantly have small spots on my face, and depending on the time of the month I would also get much bigger break outs. At 27 I was sick and tired of having teenage skin! One year on and I am so much happier with my skin, I will still experience the odd spot, usually after a weekend where I ate and drank whatever I wanted. Now when I experience a breakout I can usually link it directly to my diet or stress, where as before it was just constant!
Who doesn’t use a micellar water these days? They really are amazing! I honestly think this stage of my skincare routine has made the biggest difference. I no longer use any cleansers which use face cloths or muslin cloths because I think for me it was a simple way for me to introduce bacteria to my skin. Now I use cotton pads which means every time I take a pad to my face it is brand new and completely clean, and I never feel that with clothes, except when I have just taken them out of the packaging.
Micellar water acts like a magnet to makeup and totally lifts it from the skin. I usually hold a cotton pad soaked in micellar water over both of my eyes for about 5 to 10 seconds and let that melt tougher products such as liquid liner and mascara. I would usually go through 3 cotton pads before I have completely removed my makeup (I wear a pretty decent amount of makeup most days). Even if I haven’t worn makeup, I will still include this step in my routine but I usually only need one pad.
I currently use the Garnier Micellar water, but I wouldn’t be too fussy with the brand I use as most waters are pretty great. Shop here.
The first cleanse, with micellar water, is remove makeup from the skin. The second cleanse is to actually cleanse the skin, remove any dirt, oil or grease that could be left over and get you squeaky clean. I have been using the Botanics brightening cleanser lately as I really like this range from Boots.
This is a cream cleanser which removes makeup, oil and impurities without drying the skin and does not require water. I apply this product to the skin and sweep with a cotton pad across the face. The brightening cleanser uses the Hibiscus plant as it is a natural mild exfoliator and brightens the skin. Shop here.
Continuing with the Botanics Brightening range, I then apply the toner to my skin, again with a cotton pad. This step will remove anything your two steps of cleansing missed, and also any sebum, oils or residue from the cleanser. Your skin will feel really naked after this step. This was the first product I tried from the Botanics range and I really enjoy using it as it is so gentle on my skin. Depending on your skin type there are several types of toners you can use. For me I like to keep things as simple and gentle as possible, but if you have particularly oily skin you may want to look at a toner which contains alcohol. Shop here.
I raved about the Hydraluron range earlier this year as I think it has had the most impact on my skin. The Hydraluron moisture boosting serum contains a pure form of hyaluronic acid, which puts all of your moisturising products to work a thousand times harder. Hyaluronic acid sounds a little scary, but it is naturally found within the body and helps keep areas such as the eyeballs and joints moist. This acid can hold up to 1,000 times it’s on weight in moisture, so it really nourishes and hydrates the skin. If you are not looking to completely change your entire skincare routine, I would still recommend trying out this serum and seeing what it can do for your skin. I personally found that the texture of my skin dramatically improved after using this. I apply this to the skin both morning and night. Shop here.
Step 5- Eye cream:
Eye creams also stress me out as I don’t currently have many lines around that area, so it is hard to track what actually works and what doesn’t. My eyes are quite sensitive so anything too harsh will leave me with a red and watery eyes. Usually when I apply an anti-ageing cream I find it too intense for that area and my skin doesn’t seem to benefit. I recently decided to switch to one of the cheapest eye gel available the cucumber cooling eye gel from Boots. This is a refreshing gel isn’t anti ageing or anything like that, it is simply cooling and refreshing. In the past I did like the Yes to Carrots moisturising eye cream so I may try that once more. If anyone has any suggestions to a great eye cream that is good for sensitive eye areas I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Shop here.
I use all of the Hydraluron products so my next step is to apply the moisture jelly. At first glance this seems like a thick jelly that will sit on the skin, but this is not the case at all. This absorbs to the skin almost instantly to immediately hydrate the skin. A protective film stays on the skin’s surface which prevents moisture evaporation, so this is the last step of the routine. This product also stimulates collagen production which improved the skins texture and leaves it plump. Both of these hydraluron products will usually last an average of two months for me as you only need about a pea size amount for your entire face.
If I have run out of Hydraluron or I am simply looking for a change I will use the Botanics Brightening day cream. I picked up this cream last month for Electric Picnic and I love how silky smooth it feels on my skin. It is really light and refreshing to the skin.
(If you want to buy all of the Hydraluron products make sure you purchase the set as you save about €4o or more than buying each item separately)
Step 7- SPF:
I don’t currently have an SPF to recommend as I have yet to find one that is a great for under makeup etc. I always wear SPF (or at least I try to) but I wouldn’t feel comfortable making any recommendations right now. What I will say is that even when it is cloudy I will still go for SPF 30 or higher. If you have a favourite SPF 30 or higher, please let me know in the comments below as I would love to find a really great one.
Step 8- Hand Cream:
Hand cream- I always forget to apply hand cream throughout the day, even though I carry one in my bag, so I always put it on first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I currently use a super cheap and cheerful Vitamin E cream I found in Penneys but the Hand Food from Soap & Glory is usually my favourite.
I didn’t include it in the picture, as they are not actually mine BUT I always grab a Waxperts Wonderpads from my sister when I can feel a spot brewing beneath the skin. These pads are amazing at cutting the life of a spot before it gets a chance to surface as they are soaked in salicylic acid. They are intended for ingrown hairs, which they are great for, but I use them most when I can feel that itch under my skin and I know a massive spot is on its way. Shop here.
Something new I have added to my skin routine is Coconut oil- I know, last to the party! I will use it as a super quick makeup remover before a shower, and about once a week I will massage my face for a good ten to fifteen minutes with it, which is really relaxing and soothing. It is new to my skincare to my routine so I can’t quite say it is life changing, but I can say I really enjoy it so far. I did give some to my boyfriend Conor who has dermatitis and he did not have a great reaction to it, so this is not the type of oil that suits everyone and anyone.
I just got the worst breakout this weekend and I am 90% positive it is from the coconut oil facial massage I did on Thursday night. I have had spots pop up in places on my face I never get breakouts, such as my forehead and cheeks. I think the oil has clogged my pores, as I let it sit on my skin for a few minutes before jumping into the shower. If you are going to try coconut oil out on your face than I recommend cleansing immediately afterwards. I will still use this oil for my hair but will keep it away from my face in future.
Reading this it may seem like I spend hours on my skincare, but this usually takes five to ten minutes each morning and night. There are more products that I will slowly introduce to my routine and see if they suit, there are a couple of Nip+Fab products I want to try next.
I am not a skincare expert, but I am becoming more knowledgeable on what works for me after years of trial and error. Last year I completely pared back my routine to use the most simple products I could find. Over time I would introduce new products, one at a time, and see how my skin reacted.
This post was way too long to include face masks, so that is coming up next, keep an eye out over the next couple of days for that post!
If you have any questions or recommendations I would love to hear from you in the comments below!