I’m probably the only beauty blogger in the entire blogosphere who has never written a post about her skincare routine.
There are two reasons for that:
1. I don’t have a steady routine
As a beauty blogger, I get to try lots of new skincare products all the time (who am I kidding, I was doing that even before I started blogging).
Of course I have my favourites, those trusted staples I keep returning to again and again. And there are a few ingredients who are ALWAYS part of my skincare routine (retinol, anyone?).
But the products do change. Every month, at least two or three new ones find their way into my skincare routine.
2. I don’t know how helpful these posts are
There, I said it.
I totally get it why you like reading them. Fighgting with your skin and wading through an endless sea of skincare products trying to find that magic bullet that’ll help you achieve the flawless complexion you crave is hard.
We’ve all been there. So, when we find someone who has somehow managed to make sense of it all and created a skincare routine that actually works wonders, we want to know her secrets.
It’s only natural. But, thing is, everyone’s skin is different. Even if you were to use all the same products I use and do everything I do, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the same results.
A moisturizer my skin loves may be too rich for you and give you blackheads. Exfoliating at least three or four a week with glycolic acid works for me, but if you have sensitive skin, it’ll irritate it real bad.
That’s why I prefer to tell you what tips and ingredients work and give you a bunch of products that contain those goodies to choose from. That way, you can find those that work best for YOU.
*gets off her soapbox now*
But after the 1000th person asking me to share my skincare routine, I’m giving up. Yep, I’m finally sharing what I’m doing AT THE MOMENT.
One thing to keep in mind before we start: I’m in my early 30s, my skin is combo (dry cheeks, oily t-zone) and my only concern is preventing wrinkles. I have no acne, dark spots, or breakouts to get rid of at the moment.
Mine is a great routine for anyone, younger or older, who wants to prevent and treat the signs of premature aging. The ingredients that work against wrinkles are the same for all skin types and a lot of them double up as skin-lighteners too, so they can help you reduce any dark spots you may have.
Ok, let’s get started (for real, this time):
I’m not fussy when it comes to cleansers. As long as it’s cheap and gets the job done, I’ll use it.
My absolute favourite is Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, which comes with washcloths to exfoliate skin while you cleanse. It’s so gentle, yet removes everything from the skin really quickly.
If I’m wearing makeup, I like to double cleanse at night. Sometimes, I’ll use the oil cleansing method, and mix some castor oil with olive oil. If I’m lazy, I grab an oil cleanser. And then clean up the oily residue with a foaming cleanser. At the moment, I’m testing out L’Oreal Facial Cleansing Oil and Skinfood Rice Brightening Cleansing Foam (now both discontinued).
FYI, don’t get hang up on the name of the products. Who cares if they’re not available anymore? Heck, if you had a different skin type/concerns from me, they probably wouldn’t have worked for you anyway. Focus on the routine order and practices (in this case, double cleansing). That’s what’ll make a difference.
Glycolic acid will always be my first love. It exfoliates skin, hydrates it, and boosts the production of collagen – it’s the best for dry and sun-damaged skin.
I alternate between these 3 but I never use them together. And I never exfoliate more than 4 times a week. For my combo skin, that’s enough.
In case you’re wondering, glycolic acid is the one I use the most out of the three. I believe chemical exfoliation is more even and gentler than physical exfoliation. But I’m fickle and I like variety so I’ll use those other gadgets every now and then.
I don’t use a toner. There, I said that too.
I don’t think you need one. You need to get your dose of all the goodies your skin needs to stay healthy and young, but they don’t have to come in a toner. They can come in a moisturizer. Or, better yet, a serum (I’ll tell you in a minute why that’s better).
To me, toners are just an extra step I can gladly do without (lazy bummer here!). Yes, sometimes, I’ll use one. For example, I really like Nimue Conditioner Lite because it has a generous dose of vitamin C and that’s something that skin badly needs.
But, at the moment, I’m not using any toners at all. And no, my skin doesn’t miss it at all.
Related: Is Toner Really Necessary?
Serums are a must. Period.
They contain higher concentrations of active ingredients and a lot less unnecessary stuff, like emulsifier and thickeners, so they work better and faster than moisturizers and other skincare products.
As I’m 33 and my only concern is to prevent wrinkles from appearing on my face too soon, I stick to antioxidant serums. The more antioxidant they contain, the merrier.
My favourite combo is vitamin C + vitamin E + ferulic acid. It can boost sun protection so I always use it in the morning under my sunscreen. By the way, this combo also fights free radicals, boosts the production of collagen, and can reduce dark spots too.
At the moment, I’m getting my fix from an old and trusted (and super pricey) favourite, Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. A cheaper alternative I also use often and that does pretty much the same thing is Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster.
In winter, or whenever my skin is dehydrated, I’ll also throw in a hyaluronic acid serum, such as Bakel Deep Hydration Serum. Hyaluronic acid can bind to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. So hydrating!
In case you’re wondering, I always use my antioxidants serums BEFORE hyaluronic acid.
5. Eye cream
Or better, sometimes, I do. If a friend buys me a skincare set with an eye cream or a PR sends me one to review, I’ll bother. If not, I’ll gladly do without.
Here’s the truth: eye creams don’t contain any special ingredients. They’re just facial moisturisers in small jars – but cost twice as much!
Sure, brands will tell you they have special ingredients for your dark circles and puffy eyes. But have you ever found one that REALLY works? Exactly.
I’ll keep using my facial moisturizers on my eye area. They work a charm.
Related: Do You Really Need An Eye Cream?
I’m a huge fan of the Olay Total Effects line. It’s one of the few that has niacinamide, an anti-aging superstar that treats dehydration, wrinkles, sallowness, dark spots, acne, and irritations. It does it all and without irritating skin!
In the morning, I use the Total Effects moisturizer. At night, I use a retinol cream. Retinol is another skincare hero: it accelerates cellular turnover and boosts the production of collagen, which help reduce wrinkles. At the moment, I get retinol from Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5.
This is advanced stuff, so if you’ve never used retinol before, skip this and get yourself something with a smaller dose. Also, at the beginning, don’t use it just after glycolic acid or vitamin C. All these ingredients are very powerful and may irritate skin, so it’s best to use them on alternate days when you’re just getting started.
By the way, if I’m testing a new night-time moisturizer, I’ll get my retinol from a serum. One of my favourites is Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum. Retinol is not optional, if you’re serious about anti-aging (unless you have sensitive skin that can’t tolerate it at all).
I swear by Sunumbra sunscreens. They’re mineral (all zinc oxide based), full of antioxidants, and have no filler ingredients, such as thickeners.
Zinc oxide sunscreens may be thicker and, sometimes, leave a white cast behind. But, they provide broad-spectrum protection without causing irritations, or worse. Even sensitive skin can use them!
I don’t need to say that I use sunscreen religiously every day, right?
Ok, that’s my daily skincare routine. But, sometimes, I like to use a little extra. Like a sheet mask. Or spot treatment. It just depends on what my skin needs at the time:
To hydrate: I like to use a sheet mask once or twice a week to give my skin some extra hydration and radiance. I don’t have a favourite, though. I like to try new ones all the time. I’m fickle like that.
To moisturize and soothe: most nights, especially when my skin feels a bit dry, I’ll also use a facial oil. At the moment, I’m in love with Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir, because it’s very moisturizing and soothing. It can fight inflammation, which is one of the main causes of premature wrinkles.
To get rid of spots: whenever a spot appears on my face, I’ll get rid of it with sulfur. It’s in ZO Skin Health Oeffects Sulfur Masque, my face spot treatment (P.S. sulfur is quite harsh, so use it on pimples only!)
To absorb excess oil: my skin has been behaving recently, so I haven’t used a clay mask in a while. But, whenever my t-zone starts to get oilier than usual, I’ll cover my face in Elizavecca Carbonated Clay Bubble Mask. It does what every other clay mask does, but the carbonated water reacts with oxygen in the air to form tiny bubbles on the skin that turn your face into a cloud. So cool!
There you go, my skincare routine. I hope this is useful. Let me know if you have any questions.
Now, it’s your turn! What’s your skincare routine like? Share your routines in the comments below.