MY SKIN CARE ROUTINE

 
 
 

Skin care is something I am very passionate about and when I was younger I never realised how important it really is. This is especially true for anyone, like me, who suffers with a skin condition or has something that needs a bit of TLC. If you don’t need to use skin care then don’t (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it), just a face wash will most likely suffice! One of my main problems is eczema and dry skin. This is something I never addressed and thought it would sort itself as I didn’t understand what I should be doing. My other main problem which I have mentioned before as probably my biggest insecurity is my dark circles under my eyes (I’m going to talk about my experience with mesotherapy as a treatment within this). So, one year I set myself a goal to look after my skin and I have gone from naive and occasionally moisturising to a 11+ step skin routine that is growing as I learn and research more and more about what is best and needed for my skin. Even though I have 11 steps in my routine, I don’t do all these steps every single day as that would be time consuming and probably quite unnecessary. I should state that not only is my skin dry but it can also be sensitive and dull.

Everyone wants to look good without make-up but neglects the steps it takes to achieve this. I used to just hope one day I’ll wake up and I’ll have perfect, dewy, glowing skin with no dark circles or “imperfections”. Since realising I don’t need to cover up my skin constantly with make up to fit into society’s idea of beauty and using the right products for me, my skin has improved and is no longer as dry.

Mesotherapy

Before I get into my daily skincare routine I’m going to talk about my recent Mesotherapy to treat my dark circles. I had this done at the Smart Skin salon in Bournemouth. If you are near the area, I defiantly recommend going in and looking at all the different options available to you or get a skin analysis done which is something I did. This is where lots of different aspects of your skin from structure, sebum, exfoliation and so many more are measured. Marta made me feel very comfortable and went through what will work for me and my skin and what the results from my skin analysis mean.

For Smart Skin’s recently started Instagram click here, Facebook click here and website click here.

The universal formula has a double effect – it rapidly reduces the appearance of “dark circles” around the eyes by regulating melanogenesis and normalising the blood supply. Its patented complex of 3 biomimetic peptides makes it highly efficient with no analogues in the aesthetic medicine. Mesotherapy is a technique that uses injections of vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and plant extracts to rejuvenate and tighten skin, as well as remove excess fat.

This consists of around 10 little injections which were injected into my under eye. It was slightly painful but nothing too uncomfortable. It is recommended you get top ups and then your body should start to do this naturally. I have very thin and pale skin so things like my dark circles are much more noticeable. I had the injections a couple of weeks ago and my under eye already feels more full and almost puffy or spongey (in a good way obviously) and my dark circles are less noticeable.

I understand that this will be an ongoing process and will not drastically change over night. So, while I still have dark circles, they are improved and I will most likely need a booster treatment and use under eye creams and serums in between treatments (I will talk about my favourite ones later on).

My Skin Care Routine

I can’t stress the importance of not just wiping away your make up with a make-up wipe but also at least cleanse, tone and moisturise. So much dirt, oil and sweat can build up under your kin and cause break-outs or if you have dry skin like me you can end up with dehydrated,  aged and cracked skin. It is also important to not only clean your face but your neck too, rather than me listing off all the reasons why, read this. Also NEVER sleep with your make-up on where you can avoid it. Sleep is a time where our body recovers and refreshes and our skin can’t do this if it’s clogged ups with not only your make-up but dirt and pollution too.

AM

Step 1

I start my morning off with a layer of The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. Now, this will tingle a little bit at first but don’t worry, that is expected. Read up about vitamin C before you use it, things like what formulation of vitamin c it is and what can and can’t be used with it. For example, don’t use acids (like lactic or glycolic) when you use this. Apply a thin layer, letting it absorb into the skin fully. This product helps reduce signs of ageing and brighten skin. I use this in the morning as I use a lactic acid in the evening which is best used at night due to causing sensitivity to the sun. But, if you do not use an acid (or other products that shouldn’t be used with vitamin c) at night then it is better use this product at night.

Step 2

Next I apply The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. This plumps fine lines and hydrates the skin. It has a thick consistency (which surprised me at first) so I let it fully absorb into my skin before going onto the next step.

Step 3

As I have to keep my morning routine short I then just apply The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturising Factors + HA. I wanted to try this moisturiser for a while so when I bought the hyaluronic acid and vitamin c, I just had too. It is perfect for my quick morning routine as it isn’t greasy at all. This is made up of lots of different ingredients found naturally in the skin so is a great supplement for any of these.

Step 4

Finally, probably one of the most important steps of a skin care routine, which most people neglect to do, is apply your SPF. I am currently using two from Purles that was gifted to me. One is a cream that is skin colour and can be applied as a base for make up, the other is a mist which can even be applied over make up to keep the protection topped up. I am hoping to try The Ordinary’s UV Filters, Purito’s Centella Unscented SPF 50+ or Versed’s Guard’s Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (however I don’t think it is available in the UK yet). My friend, Katie, is a Tropics ambassador and their sunscreens are reef friendly as well as cruelty free, two things I am trying to look for. I was going to get La Roche-Posay’s SPF, however they aren’t cruelty-free so any suggestions would be great. SPF only lasts a maximum of 2 hours so it is important to get one than you can apply throughout the day.

PM

Step 5

So my first step in the evening is using Simple’s face wash which is perfect for sensitive skin and gently removes excess dirt and make-up.  I use this when I’m in the shower as it lathers and then is easy to wash away but you can also easily do this over a sink. Other options for this step are Burt’s Bees Soap and Bark Deep Cleansing CreamThe Bodyshop’s Aloe Vera Face Wash or their Camomile Cleansing Butter (or any of their camomile make up removers). I don’t do this step every day but try and make sure I do on days where I have worn a full face of make-up.

Step 6

I recommend cleansing being one of your base steps. It’s important to find a cleanser that works best for skin type. Creamy ones tend to be better for dry skin and gels for oily skin. When dirt, oil and bacteria stick to dead skin cells in the pores they get clogged up, making them look “closed”. This blocks sebum, a natural wax which hydrates the skin, sweat and dead skin from escaping. This causes a lack of sebum on the skin allowing bacteria to penetrate the follicle causing breakouts and acne. Pores can’t necessarily be opened but cleanser “opens” pores by removing excess dirt, oil and dead skin blocking the pores. Cleanser can also regulate hydration by maintaining PH levels which allows for sufficient water and product retention. I am most likely going to combine the above step and this one by getting a cleansing balm that works as both a face wash and cleanser.

As I have dry skin I use the Bodyshop’s Vitamin E Cream Cleanser For Dry Skin. However, I would also like to try The Inkey List’s Oat Cleansing Balm and Fenty Skin’s Total Cleans’r Remove-It-All Cleanser.

Step 7

I follow cleansing with toning products, this is one of my favourite steps. If you’ve never toned before you’ll be shocked at the amount of make-up and dirt that comes off your skin even after using a make-up wipe, cotton pad, halo pad, whatever you use. Toner further thoroughly cleans the skin, balances PH and prepares the skin to absorb following products. One thing to make sure is that you aren’t using a toner that completely strips your skin and after using it your skin still feels comfortable.
 

I like my cleanser and toner to match so I use the Bodyshop’s Vitamin E Hydrating Toner For Dry Skin. I would like to try out the Pixi Glow Tonic (although I am skeptical after hearing it doesn’t do much and is heavily scented which I try to avoid) and Fenty Skin’s Fat Water Pore Refining Serum (although this is also scented). Another good option is The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, however, make sure that your skin isn’t too sensitive for this.

Step 8

After I’ve toned as an extra step I use a peel or acid to remove any excess dead skin. The peel I am currently using is the Drops of Light Pure Resurfacing Liquid Peel which brightens skin. This uses Red Algae which is rich in vitamin C, minerals and nutrients. When I had my skin analysis at Smart Skin one thing that was alarming was my exfoliation, which is an area, I will admit, I am slacking in. One piece of advice that the analysis gave to improve this area is to use Glycolic acid. After reading the fancy science name I knew the first place to look was obviously The Ordinary. So after some research I found the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution and the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution mentioned above. However they recommend not to use this on sensitive skin due to the small molecules, which penetrate deeper into the skin. They recommend Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% (they also have a 5% version), which is a medium strength AHA which larger molecules than glycolic molecules making it gentler. I personally us the lactic acid and love it.
 
Lots of these acids cause sensitivity to the sun so must be followed with SPF or even avoiding the sun. SPF is actually a really important part of skin care that should be used all year round. Some moisturisers and make-up will contain SPF, however, this isn’t enough. I recommend getting a SPF mist that you can use to spray over your face and make-up to keep your protection from UV rays topped up.
 
For more information on The Ordinary’s acids Beauty Bay have a handy page here or go onto The Ordinary’s website for all products here, they provide so much helpful and important information on their products and how to use them.

 

Step 9

Serum. Another of my personal faves and everyday steps. So after the dirt, make-up and dead skin has been defeated I apply a serum. I use the Bodyshop’s Drops of Youth Concentrate which is like a gel and is very cool and refreshing to put on as it isn’t thick or sticky. This product (in fact the whole of the Drops of Youth range) was recommended to me by the people at the Bodyshop and it is definitely one of my favourites. This is enriched from three different plant stems and so is natural and gentle for skin. It targets the sign of ageing and I know I’m only 21 but you should start using anti-aging products from the age of about 20 or 21.

Another serum I have been using is No.7’s Hydra Luminous Water Concentrate. It contains Hyaluronic Acid and Pollution Shield Technology, promising fresh and glowing skin. It is very refreshing and light which I like about it. Other serums on my wishlist include Versed’s On The Rise Firming Serum or Aurelia’s Revitalise & Glow Serum.

Step 10

The last of my four main steps is moisturising. This is probably one of the most important steps of anyones skin care routine. It doesn’t matter how oily your skin is, you should still be moisturising, but instead of creams you should be looking for lotions and ones with exfoliant ingredients. Obviously, if you have dry skin like me, this step is a no brainer. I have such a wide variety of moisturisers because it is the step I have to focus on the most. The ones I currently use for everyday, generic use include the Bodyshop’s Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream or No.7’s HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel Cream Drier Skin. At night sometimes I use a No.7 night cream however they do a variety of day and night creams and serums which have been proven to work, so it’ easy to find one specific for your skin’s needs.
 
Others I plan to try are Versed’s Dew Point Moisturising Gel Cream and although on the expensive side Aurelia’s Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser. I was sent a few testers for Aurelia’s 3-step skin care routine with a skin care order I did recently. I saw the brand was probiotic skincare, something I hadn’t really heard of in regard to our skin, just our tummys. Doing a bit of research I found that probiotic skin care has the same goal as those Activia yoghurts we are told to drink. To encourage the good bacteria, as skin care can sometimes strip our skin of this. This should then help with things like skin conditions (eczema, rosacea, acne, etc.), and preventing premature ageing. If like me this is a little out your price range The Inkey List offers a Multi-Biotic moisturiser at a much friendlier price range, along with lots of other moisturisers targeting your skin concerns.
 
If you have oily skin then finding a moisturiser right for you is just as important as for those with dry skin. Some moisturisers will dissolve and mix oil and water or balance the sebum on your skin.

 

Step 11

This is an important step to me personally due to my under eye dark circles. But, everyone should try to use a moisturiser that is specific for under eye. Many moisturisers are too thick for the skin under our eyes to absorb because the skin is very thin. I use the Bodyshop’s Drops of Youth Bouncy Eye Mask which is like a cold gel, encouraging the blood circulation to the top of the skin to reduce dark circles. If you have any life changing recommendations please send them my way.

Step 12

I used to think that oil was a step to replace moisturising but I could not be more wrong. Oils should be used after moisturise to lock it in and make your skin care work harder. I use The Ordinary’s 100% Plant-Derived Hemi Squalene, and 100% Plant-Derived Squalene but they have other good options too. Try and save oils like coconut oil for your hair as these can clog up your pores and break you out. Oils must be used last as they block things in and will stop anything you put on after from getting in.

 

 

My Every Now and Again Extras

Face masks are my way of moisturising my skin when it is especially dry. I do a face mask once a week but they can be done up to three times a week. I like to use sleep in masks to hydrate my skin over night, either the Bodyshop’s Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask, which was voted the best on the Beauty Power List of 2018, or their Vitamin E Sink in Moisture Sleeping Mask. For a normal face mask that you apply and rinse away 10 or so minutes later I use the Bodyshop’s Mediterranean Almond Milk With Oats Face Mask. This is exfoliates and hydrates skin but is perfect for those who have sensitive skin. Oats are such an amazing tool for dry skin and a natural, home remedy. One of my family’s top skin tricks for anyone with eczema is to put oats in a flannel or handkerchief and tie it round the tap while you run a bath. This soothes the skin from itching and irritation and works better than any cream I’ve been prescribed.

My Wishlist

Other than all the products mentioned above I also want to try a Retinol or Retinoid. This has become the ingredient for anti-aging. The one I have my eye on is The Ordinary’s but it is always sold out, or Versed’s Press Restart Retinol Serum, however I don’t think is available in the UK yet. I also have broken capillaries on my face and so I hope to find a Retinoid cream that will get rid of or reduce them. Also, I want to try to use a niacinamide, whether that be an ingredient in something or a niacinamide itself.

The Halo Face Pad

I’ve been making a conscious effort to do more for the environment and skin care is just one of the ways you can help. I got the halo face pad yesterday for my birthday and it is a replacement for single use cotton wool pads or make up wipes. All you need to use is water and the fibres (which are 100 times finer than human hair) deeply clean your skin. They are non toxic, reusable (you can machine wash them up to 200 times) and recyclable. Another way you can help the environment is use biodegradable cotton buds as many of them end up in the ocean.
 
 
 
Disclaimer: I am not a trained dermatologist. This is all just based off research and speaking to my aesthetician.
 

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