My post holiday skin is prone to dehydration and breakouts so I’m in dire need of an indulging skincare routine. Although I have combination skin with dry cheeks and oily t-zone, moisturising and hydrating the skin is still super important to prevent further breakouts.
After all the hype on Korean skincare and 10 step regimes of late, I decided to create my own using some of the most hydrating products I already own. The secret is in the order in which the treatments are used and how. Take your time, enjoy the process and you will reap the benefits of smooth, supple and hydrated skin.
Step 1: 1st cleanse
A cream cleanser is always best for this 1st of two cleanses. I normally use the sacred Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, but I’m out of it at the moment (how could I let that happen?!), so I’m trying a cream cleanser I had in a birch box a while ago – Korres Milk Proteins 3 in 1 cleansing emulsion. The Greek cream has a lovely cinnamon-y aroma, which is really nice and comforting as you rub it in. It’s great at removing make up too. You can remove with cotton wool if you wish, but always rinse off cleansers after use(more on this in step 2).
Double cleansing is the way forward. You will never be able to remove make up, dirt, pollution and cleanse your skin in one step. The first step should remove all of the crap and the 2nd actually cleanse your skin. You will see much better results doing a double cleanse morning and night. I use a micellar water for the second cleanse and always see an improvement in breakouts when I do this. The other important thing to remember is that cleansers are not meant to stay on the skin. I know not all of them will say to rinse off on the bottle but please do rinse. The micellar waters breakdown oils to remove dirt, so you don’t want it sitting the the skin, stripping it of natural oils all day. Beauty editor Nadine Baggott talks more about this here.
We all now know the importance of removing dead skin cells to give a flawless, glowing complexion and prevent the skin clogging up, which can lead to breakouts. I like a good gritty exfoliatator, that I can feel working, so tend to go for a microdermabrasion type. I’ve tried many, but my favourite by far is Botanics Radiant Youth microdermabrasion polish. Obviously, harsh exfoliating is not for every day, so just insert this step once or twice a week. Rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse.
Toner to me and you. This will remove any last residue from cleansing and exfoliating, and prepare you skin ready for the remaining steps, which involve more putting into the skin rather that the removal steps you have just gone through. My fave is Pixi Glow Tonic, which has glycolic acid to give mild daily exfoliation, and aloe & ginseng to refresh the skin. Plus it smells divine.
True Korean skincare uses an essence at this point, which is supposed improve cell turnover and leave skin bright. I haven’t tried an essence but it sounds an awful lot like a toner to me. Some agree and others swear by it, but to be honest, how dehydrated my skin is at the moment, I would rather add an extra step of moisture here. So, I’m using a facial oil. Lots of people with oily skins are put off by facial oils, but please don’t be. Adding an oil to your routine will not make your skin more oily. When used at night, it can provide a much needed injection of oils to the skin which we strip off during cleansing. I find it gives a super glowy appearance to the skin on waking. Use just a few drops and massage in well.
Step 6: the mask
I would ordinarily use a sheet mask here, but I don’t have any in at the moment so, today I’m replacing with my favourite moisturising mask – Liz Earle intense nourishing treatment mask. This super smooth mask is so comforting, it’s like wrapping your face in the softest of blankets. For sheet masks, try olay total effects moisture mask or garnier moisture bomb tissue mask.
Now a staple in our beauty regime, a daily serum can help boost the power of your moisturisers and help repair damage, such as sun spots and fine lines. I love the silky texture of this Avon Anew Essential Youth Maximising serum.
Always, always apply your eye cream before your moisturiser. If you don’t, you risk getting your moisturiser on the delicate skin around the eyes first. This will not only be too heavy for the thinner area, but will block the affects of your eye cream and can lead to puffiness. Talking of puffiness, Benefits Puff Off eye gel is my eye treatment of choice for reducing the look of fine lines, dark circles and, of course, reducing morning puffiness.
Nearly done. Here, you apply your day or night cream. I don’t go for a heavy moisturiser, as my skin can be on the oily side through the day. I find L’oreal Triple Active Day cream gives enough moisturisation without turning into an oil slick underneath my make up. At night, you can swap for a most intense set of ingredients to repair skin while you sleep. I like anything with hyaluronic acid, such as Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream. The high tech ingredients will help your skin retain moisture.
The final step is one I’ve not taken seriously enough in the past. SPF. I’m a bit of a sun worshipper. Terrible to admit in this day and age, I know. My husband even calls me a professional tanner when we are on holiday, turning periodically like some sort of spit roast chicken. I do use high SPFs religious while on vacation but I always thought standard SPF combined moisturisers would be enough for general day wear. The sun damage on my face tells a different story. So, from now on, I vow to wear SPF 50 on my face. Everyday. I love the feel of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for face SPF 50. Although the protection is high, it doesn’t feel heavy.