This isn’t one of those stories that start with a cheesy New Year’s resolution – far from it. This is simply my current skincare routine with a bit of a background spanning 20 odd years and a review of the products I currently use.
My skincare routine from my tweens could be called “basic” at best. It involved a quick wash with a bar soap and a (depending on how my skin felt), a dot of moisturizer.
As I grew older, I switched to a foaming cleanser and even added a gritty scrub to my routine. I selected these products based on adverts I watched on television where the model or actress attributed their perfect skin to the products they endorsed. However, these products were not suited for my skin type and exacerbated oil production on a developing teenage skin, which made it look oilier and breakout into acne. The worse my skin got, the more I had to use these products and so the cycle continued.
Over the years, I made changes to my skincare routine, adding and subtracting products along the way. Some products worked well for my skin, others – not so much. I finally got into a semi-steady routine of cleanse-tone-moisturise.
Fast forward to early 2016. I started taking a closer look at my skin and how it reacted to different environments, stress, diet, climate etc. My skin would be classed as combination skin – my t-zone is oily and the rest of my face can be normal or dry depending on the weather (it’s usually dry in winter). I also did some research into the Korean skin care routine as it seemed to be the most popular multi-step process.
I now employ a 7 step process into my routine. It involves a double cleanse, toning, serum, oil and moisturising the skin and eyes. My routine uses a combination of Western and Korean products.
First cleanse: Farmstay Collagen Deep Cleansing and Massage Balm
I use this at night to remove the makeup and sunscreen from the day. I scoop some of the balm onto my hands and massage it into my face. It’s a great technique to unwind and de-stress from a hard day’s work, while toning the muscles on your face. Use the gentlest of pressure when massaging your face – treat it like sensitive baby skin and ease up on the pressure. After a couple of minutes of massage, I rinse off with water.
Second cleanse: The Face Shop Herb Day 365 Lemon Cleansing Foam
I use this foaming cleanser morning and night. At night, I use this cleanser to rinse off any residue from the thick cleansing balm. The trick with foaming cleansers is to work it in your hands and activate the foam before applying it to your face. Rinse off with water.
Toning: Swisse Deep Sea Hydrating Mist Toner
After a double cleanse, your skin will feel like it’s had a good workout. This is when the toner comes in. A toner is a great splash of refreshing hydration to your skin. What I love about this particular toner is that it comes in the form of a mist spray, which feels even better when you spritz it onto your face.
Serum: Swisse Kakadu Plum Brightening Serum
This is a brightening serum that comes in a glass bottle with a dropper. You don’t need to use much for your face. I use this after toner; pat onto my skin and give it a couple minutes to seep in. This serum works wonders; I’ve noticed that my face has a visibly brighter complexion after a few weeks of use.
Oil: Swisse Rose Hip Oil
I use a rosehip oil at night to boost the moisture in my skin. I know you must be thinking “What? Using oil on oily skin?”. I was a cynic too! I didn’t want to be a greasy mess especially with my oily t-zone. But, I’ve found that using oil on my skin (even on my oily t-zone), actually inhibits further oil production. It is especially helpful in winter when the harsh climate in combination with indoor heating can wreak havoc on your skin. I only use rosehip oil at night because I’ve read that it makes your skin photosensitive and more susceptible to UV damage from the sun’s rays.
Moisturiser: philosophy ultimate miracle worker cream
I use a separate cream for day time and night time.
During the day, I use the philosophy ulitmate miracle day cream, which has a completely different consistency as compared to the night cream. It is thick, luxurious and you can totally skip the primer when using this cream.
The philosophy ultimate miracle night cream has the thin consistency of a lotion yet feels heavy enough to work like a mask. I use a tiny amount of this cream after the rosehip oil.
Eye cream: philosophy ultimate miracle worker eye cream
I use the philosophy ultimate miracle worker eye cream for a surge of moisture on the skin under my eyes both day and night.
These may seem like a lot of steps and I know you may be thinking “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”; I’ve timed myself and it actually takes me 7 minutes to get through these steps. Sometimes, if I’ve got spare time, I spend those extra seconds to focus my attention on one or two steps – for instance, either spending more time massaging the cleansing balm into my skin or allowing more time for the rosehip oil to seep in.
When I think back to my so called “skincare routine” in my tweens, I can’t help but cringe. As I grew older, I gained a better understanding of my skin and found products and a routine to help maintain my skin’s health and elasticity. I am happy to report that I can see a marked difference in tone, complexion and even reduced oiliness as I compare my skin to its condition this time last year.
I would love to hear your skincare journey – What are your holy grail products?