One of the most asked questions I get is to list my skincare order or to advise a good routine. This has prompted me to write this post so you can always refer back to it.
If you’re someone who is new to skincare but want to get in the habit of a ‘good routine’ then you can use this guide to help. I won’t list lots of products just the steps I use for morning and evening routines.
Skincare shouldn’t be intimidating but it can be overwhelming considering how many products there are to choose from right now but if you stick to this routine then you’ll be on your way to great, healthy skin.
MORNING ROUTINE —
1 – Cleanse:
I always like to wash my face first thing. One because I feel a bit gross if I don’t and two because I like to have a completely clean canvas before applying my day time products. I always use either a foaming, gel or milk cleanser and I’m currently alternating between this one from Kate Somerville and this one from Nuori Skin.
2 – Toner:
Toner is a step I’ve always done in my routine. I know a lot of people say it isn’t necessary but it helps to replace the moisture back into my skin after cleansing and also a great way to prep my skin for all the products I’m about to apply. Some of my favourite toners are this from Tata Harper Skincare, this one from Kiehls and this from Susanne Kaufmann.
3 – Vitamin C:
This is up there with one of my favourite products in my skin care steps, along with exfoliating but more on that later.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that help neutralise free radicals, which easily translated mean that it acts as a shield to protect your skin from UV damage and air pollution. In my opinion it’s one of the best anti-aging products you can use. Not only will it help to prevent premature ageing it also contains properties which inhibit the skins melanin production so consistent use will help dark spots and pigmentation forming. Something I have been trying to get on top of for many years. It’s a brightening agent so will also work to fade any existing dark spots.
Just a little note about the type of Vitamin C – I prefer to use a serum form as these penetrate into deeper layers of the skins surface so results will be more effective.
I’m currently using this from Drunk Elephant.
4 – Eye Cream:
This area is one of the most delicate so using something to keep it hydrated is very important. There are lot’s of products out there for different concerns from dark circles to puffy under eye’s so choose something that fits you but don’t miss this step. My absolute go to for daily eye cream is this from La Mer
5 – Serum:
This step is one that people can get most confused about but I’m going to tell you it’s an important one. If you didn’t already know serums are made up of much smaller molecules so can penetrate the skin on a deeper level. These are the products that contain active ingredients to really target skin complaints.
During the day I mostly use a Hyaluronic Acid serum to really boost hydration to my skin. Hyaluronic Acid works by retaining water to the skin which will eventually smooth out fine lines and also give you a plump looking complexion.
6 – Moisturise:
Moisturisers are there to lock in all the other products you’ve added into your face. In the summer months I’ll use a lighter more water based moisturiser and in the winter something much more heavy duty because this will also help as a barrier against harsh weather conditions.
I never use a moisturiser that contains SPF because they are just not as effective hence why my last step is sunscreen.
7 – SPF:
If you’ve followed me for a while you know my thoughts on SPF. This is the most important step in your routine and one that should never be left out unless you know 100% for sure you are not going to leave the house. Even on cloudy, rainy days you need to wear it because clouds do not stop UVA rays which are the ones that age your skin. I wrote a whole cheat sheet on SPF here if you’re unsure about why it’s so important, you can read it here.
I know it can be tricky to find an SPF that doesn’t leave a white cast or go all goopy under foundation and I’m always trying new ones but for now my favourites are this one from La Roche Posay and a brand new addition from Nuori Skin.
NIGHT TIME ROUTINE –
1 – Cleansing:
Yes I’m going to say it. I DOUBLE CLEANSE everyday even if I haven’t worn make up and if you don’t know what double cleansing is then here us a short break down –
Double cleansing is exactly that. It’s cleaning your face twice, once with an oil or balm cleanser to break down make up, dirt from pollution and all the SPF you’ve worn all day. The second cleanse is with a lighter foaming, gel or milky cleanser whichever you prefer to really make sure everything is removed from your face to leave a clean canvas for the next products.
For my first cleanse I alternate between an oil, balm and just lately a jelly to oil cleanser. My holy grails of balms are this one from Drunk Elephant and this one from Elemis. The oil cleanser I love is this one from Votary Skincare and the new jelly to oil cleansers are this one from Chanel Skincare and this one from Ren Skincare.
I stock pile face clothes which I buy from Primark and I think are around £2 to buy and use a clean one everyday.
I did a whole IGTV series on double cleansing which you can watch here
2 – Toner/Exfoliator
This is my stage to exfoliate my skin which I’ll probably do around 4-5 times a week. If I’m not using an exfoliator then I’ll use the same toner as I did in my morning routine.
Again you all know my love for exfoliating and I do this using acids’ AHA’s and BHA’s. Properly exfoliating your skin will ensure the dead skin cells we have on the surface of our skin is broken down revealing the brand new skin underneath. In other words a fresh, glowing complexion. There are different types of acids that do different things but the most comments are Glycolic and Lactic acid which dissolve the glue which hold the skin cells together and Salicylic acid which works deeper to unclog pores and reduce sebum so a great choice for acne sufferers.
My go to exfoliators are
Please note that I am a consistent acid user so this is something that you’ll need to work up to using if you’ve never tried it before. I’d suggest exfoliating once or twice every two weeks and build up from there. Remember if anything gives you an adverse reaction then you should stop using it immediately, your skin doesn’t like it. Don’t be put off because I promise you there’s a product out there for everyone. Sometimes it’s just trial and error but you’ll get there eventually.
3 – Eye Cream:
In the evenings I like to use something much richer on my eye area so I’ll choose a thick cream instead of a lighter gel consistency. I’ve been using the Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask for months now and I love it.
4 – Treatments 1:
2 – 3 times a week I will use Retinol. Again if you’re new to retinol then read up first. I will be doing a cheat sheet for Retinol very soon so do look our for that but for now use a low percentage to build up to a higher strength. Retinols do not work overnight so you have to be consistent but they are another brilliant anti-aging product to have in your routine so definitely worth investing the time to find one that you get along with. Some of the products I rotate are this from Drunk Elephant, this from Dr Dennis Gross and this from Oskia.
I will note that it is advised to not mix retinol with acid exfoliants because it can cause dryness and irritation. From my own experience this has never happened to me so I do mix both but as a beginner I would advise to use these products on alternate days.
5 – Treatment 2:
On days that I don’t exfoliate I will use a serum that contains glycolic acid instead, I like this one from Drunk elephant. I may also pick up a serum that are packed with antioxidants to leave on overnight. This from Kiehls is great but i’m dying to try this one from Vintners Daughter.
*Remember that serums contain the most active ingredients so are best applied to your skin before anything else. This ensures they penetrate the skin on a deeper level. When left on over night they will work their magic.
6 – Moisturizer:
For the night time I like to use a very rich cream, summer or winter and days and sometimes I will mix this together with a face oil instead of using it separately. I like my face to be thick with cream so it almost looks like I’m wearing a mask which will soak into my skin during the night. A stand out one for me currently is the Rich Cream from Augustinas Bader
7 – Face Oil
Using a face oil isn’t necessary but I like how luxurious they can feel on the skin, it’s also another layer of hydration. One of my favourites is this one from Rodin and I’ve just started this one from Nuori. Drunk Elephant also do a great one here
I wrote this post purely as a guide to my routines and not about the products I use. It’s somewhere for you to revert back to if you’re looking to have a skin regime that is good and solid. Remember though that there is a product out there for everyone and sometimes it’s just trial and error to find the ones that fit.
I didn’t add any masks to this routine because I wanted to keep it simple, I will save that for another day.
As always please feel free to message me with any skin questions you have. Hope this will be useful 🙂