My Skincare Routine and Advice
This will be a three part series on my personal skin care routines, including face, body and hand and feet.
Let me start of by saying that everybody’s skin is different, and offer some background information on my skin for you to use as a point of reference;
- I have a normal to oily skin type
- I have very sensitive skin and suffer from bouts of eczema (because of this I am very picky about what skincare I use and will 9 times out of 10 opt for a professional salon product). I’m a bit of an advocate for salon only products (meaning; can only be purchased in a salon) and strongly believe in their superior quality and effectiveness. Also the less chemicals and product fillers in the ingredients, the better my skin responds.
- I also have enlarged pores, and an oh-so annoying oily t-zone.
- I am currently pregnant so am experiencing hormonally related skin issues, those being dehydrated skin which is causing my skin to over produce oil resulting in congestion around my chin (typical area for hormonal outbreaks)
So please keep this in mind in relation to what specific products I use and if they are relevant or appropriate for you.
As a trained Beauty Therapist I would recommend that every good skin care routine should consist of at least a cleanser, moisturise and toner (never forget toner, it is a vital step in your routine as it helps maintain your skins protective barrier by balancing your skins PH levels and is the first step in hydration). These are the basics from which you can then venture out and add specialised treatments and boosters like serums, masks, spot treatments etc.
My skincare routine currently consists of these steps (and order):
- Eye make-up remover
- Cleanser (Cleanse twice; first cleanse removes makeup and environmental build-up, second cleanse is for deeper penetration of the pores to remove deep down build-up and congestion)
- Exfoliator (Depending on skin type and product, can be used 1-3 times per week. I will always suggest to err on the lower end as to not over exfoliate the skin causing micro irritation which leads to redness, dilated capillaries, premature aging and dry flaky patches)
- Beauty Oil
Note: you may notice that eye cream is missing from my routine, this is due to me being pregnancy and restricted in certain product additives (in this case Retin–A or vitamin A which is used to treat wrinkles) I’m just using my moisturiser til I am able to use my eye cream again as I find eye creams without anti-aging benefits and ingredients to be about as effective as using my moisturiser that I use for my face.
Obviously done in the morning, I generally do this first thing when I wake up to freshen up my face with water cold water. I will cleanse my skin twice using tepid water and a soft wash cloth to remove, I follow up my cleanse by splashing my face with cold water, this is a really good habit to get into as it helps not only to wake you up in the morning but it gets the circulation in your skin going and helps minimise pores as they naturally tighten in response to the cold temperature. I follow this with a simple toner, serum and moisturiser which takes me no time at all and is really easy to fit into a busy schedule, wether that be before rushing off to work or school or like me rushing around after kids. I keep my cleanser in the bathroom and the other products (toner, serum, and moisturiser) in the bedroom, I find placing items in areas where you normally traffic in your day to day movements acts as a reminder and ensures that you use your products regularly, this is what works best for me.
I usually do my night time routine while I’m helping the kids with their baths, it’s a convenient time for me as I am already up in the bathroom, either looking after the kids or showering myself. I always remove my makeup starting off with eye makeup remover and then a new thing I have been trialling is Skin Naturals Micellular Cleansing Water by Garnier, (unsure if I like this product or not yet, is definitely effective at removing any residue of makeup, however I am still determining if my skin is reacting with breakouts or irritation from this product or just hormonally from the pregnancy). After using the cleansing water I will cleanse twice with my Eminence cleanser, I like to remove any residue of the Micellular Cleansing Water and makeup from my skin, especially any residue around my eyes from my eye makeup remover, as the formula is gentle enough to do so. I follow up with toner, serum and a beauty oil. Depending on my skins needs I will use the beauty oil either sparingly for when my skin is having a good day, and on a bad day I will mix in a couple of drops to my moisturiser, emulsifying the two products in my hands before applying to my face and neck in a thick layer leaving it to soak into my skin overnight.
I will typically do my complete routine, so including exfoliant and mask once to twice a week. The only difference between this and evening routine is the addition of an exfoliant and mask. Both the products I use apply as a mask so it is a really easy way for me to get benefits of a full skin care routine whist fitting it into a busy lifestyle. After removing makeup and cleansing twice I will apply my exfoliating mask which uses fruit and vegetable enzymes to remove dead skin cells from the surface. I prefer to use enzymatic cleansers as they can cover the entire surface evenly leaving a much smoother skin texture, whereas for the most part, exfoliating beads and granules when examined from a microscopic level tend to miss areas (they also tend to be significantly more irritating to your skin, especially sensitive skin types). I prefer to do this routine at night to allow the ingredients time to sink in to the skin and left bare to receive the most benefit. I am currently using a facial mask that has a gel consistency and hence dries on the skin however when I am using cream masks I will leave them on all night, if they absorb into my skin before it is bed time I will apply my normal moisturisers over the top for extra hydration.
My favourite skincare line and products I am currently using are by Eminence Organics (made in Hungary). They boast the use of ‘the healthiest ingredients”, without any harmful chemicals or additives. They have a holistic approach to skin care, the products being handmade and cold pressed for optimum potency and effectiveness, these methods allow for a much high retention rate of nutrients. They are also a ‘green’ company, which is great for environmental sustainability and they address a wide skin variety and concerns. They have beautiful aromas and are definitely results driven (and no that is not sponsored text). I really fell in love with this brand a couple of years ago when considering them for a home salon product line however life got busy, it was also around the time I had my daughter, so put those plans for a home salon on hold, however I didn’t stop using Eminence products.
My recommendations when considering your own skincare routine and what products to include is to keep in mind firstly budget and secondly what results you are looking for. A holistic approach will always provide greater improvements and faster results. I strongly believe in two skincare principle, those being prevention and a holistic approach to skincare. Prevention includes things like sunscreen, including products with antioxidants and using gentler products that are non-striping to the skin. The second principle, a holistic approach, refers to diet and lifestyle used in combination with a good skincare routine. This includes eating a variety of foods to nourish your body and in turn your skin, consuming plenty of water, vitamins and minerals and including super foods whenever possible and of course fibre to your diet. Exercise is great for increased circulation which will assist in cell renewal and lymphatic drainage helping rid the body of toxins, I also recommend the practice of yoga for both face and body, not only is yoga great for relaxation when yoga facial techniques are incorporated to your beauty routine will have profound results for anti-aging and wrinkles.
Be wary of abrasive products and stripping products that leave your skin feeling ‘squeaky clean’ this feeling is a sign that the products you are using are stripping your skin of its natural oils that protect your skin from environmental factors that case premature aging. Without your protective barrier your skin is more susceptible to the effects of the sun and dehydration not to mention that overly abrasive products can aggravate the skin causing sensitivity, peeling skin, and excessive production of oil, wrinkles and of course premature aging.
Don’t shy away from incorporating beauty oils into your routine in either cleansing or hydrating form. Oily skin and dry skin both benefit immensely from the use of oils. Oil treats (in part) dehydration which on an oily skin type (especially one that has been excessively striped of natural oils) triggers the skin to over produce oil; this is the body’s way of attempting to restore balance to the skins moisture levels. Dehydration in dry skin causes excessive peeling, poor skin tone and texture due to lack of moisture. Oil combats this by providing dry skin with the essential oils that the skin is not producing enough of, again to regain balance to the skin, thus allow the skin to function normally.