- Take a good long look in the mirror – before you can begin to improve your skincare routine it’s important that you assess where your skin is at. Sitting down and actually taking the time to look at your skin and assess how oily, dry or dehydrated it is will really improve your ability of selecting products that really work for you. Just because you have acne doesn’t mean your skin can’t be dry, so don’t just assume your skin is a certain skin type, taking the time to actually figure this out will improve your skincare routine almost instantly.
- cleanse cleanse cleanse – this is one that I think makes a lot of sense but sometimes laziness just gets the better of us. 1- In the morning cleanse your skin, it doesn’t need to be harsh or stripping (aka. avoid deep cleansing products) you just want something light and simple. 2-Makeup removal needs to be harsh on makeup yet nourishing on your skin, my answer to this is balm cleansers but if a balm isn’t your cup of tea try an oil cleanser. I’d avoid micellar waters as they aren’t nourishing for your skin and avoid ‘technical’ skin cleansers as they wont be harsh on makeup. 3-Evening cleanse, this is where you pull out the ‘technical’ cleansers, this is where you want to put your money when it comes to cleansing as this will have the most contact with the skin and will prep the skin for evening treatments. I feel like a lot of people fall in love with cleansing systems like the Clarisonic because it’s the first time in their lives they have ever properly cleansed (16 year old me is included in this group!) but now I truly believe that cleansing with your hands is more than enough for your skin. Let your cleanser do the work in terms of exfoliation and use your hands as a cleansing tool. I’ve done a whole post on cleansing with some product recommendations here.
- Hyaluronic Acid – HA essentially makes your skin more hydrated as it can hold water which allows it to penetrate deeper into the skin. It’s fabulous for dry or dehydrated skins but also an essential for an oily or normal skin routine. I buy mine from The Ordinary for around £5 but any hyaluronic acid product will do. Also note that a lot of moisturisers contain hyaluronic acid in them already so check the ingredients list of products – generally always try and buy moisturiser with this already in, but if not you can always add a few drops by a serum or cream.
- Chemical Exfoliants – chemical exfoliants are a great addition to any skincare routine, they work by lowering the skins pH which stimulates repairing processes in the skin causing less breakouts and less fine lines. It’s a win win. I’m currently doing a series on the best glycolic acid products with #1 already out now so if you’re looking at stepping up your chemical exfoliant game be sure to check out this series.
- Eye Cream – definitely something I would disregard as unimportant for my age group until I actually made a conscious effort to include it in my routine. Eye cream always seems a little anticlimactic but it makes such a big difference not only in terms of ageing but also in allowing makeup to sit so beautifully on top of the under eye area.
- Flannels/Muslin Cloths – we all seem to get a little bit excited over clarisonics and facial cleansing brushes but personally I find a good flannel or muslin cloth does everything I want it to and more. My personal favourites are the Emma Hardie ones but at £15 for 3 they’re a little pricy so Primark flannels are my usual go to.
- SPF – this simply cannot be stressed enough, SPF is proven to prevent premature ageing and skin cancer, so I cannot think of any reason not to slap a layer on before you head out the door. Look for UVA and UVB protection and an appropriately numbered SPF. I’m doing a post on SPF pretty soon so if SPF is confusing keep a look out for that post!
- Keep It Simple – we’ve all done extravagant routines in the past and they never work because there’s just too much faff. Focus on what works for you, assess how much time you have and go for products that fit well into this routine, maybe little glass pipette bottles are too much for your 6am wake up call, so go for products in a tube. Keep it as simple as you need.
- Make It A Routine – you can’t use a product once and then throw it straight in the bin (obviously do this is you have an allergic reaction etc – common sense!) you need to integrate products into your routine and actually use them for a few weeks before you can come to a solid judgement on them. Practically this means leave your skincare products in a place where you’ll remember to do your routine and make time for your skincare in your daily routine.
- Sleep, Diet, Water – this is probably the step you didn’t want to read but it’s true if your skin feels dehydrated, drink more water. If your skin looks tired, get more sleep. And if you suffer with breakouts when you eat certain foods, cut them out. To get the balance right it involves a lot of listening to your skin and body and figuring out what works for you.
What are your tips for improving your skincare routine?