At the end of September I begged you all for skincare help. I was one of those ‘face wipes if I can be arsed’ girls who had just had a telling off from a facialist for not looking after her skin properly…or, err, at all.
Well that’s all changed, so I thought I should share an update!
I had so many tweets and messages about what I should try for my skin as a 26 year old with good skin genetically but lazy habits and zero routine. It seemed a lot of you related to the “but my skin isn’t spotty so why should I bother?” apathy that I mentioned…so apologies in advance for the fact I am now a million miles away from that girl who loved Primark wipes as if they were sacred oils from Ancient Egypt. For I too am about to promote a skincare routine.
The main feedback I had from you all was to make an appointment to see Caroline Hirons…or at the very least read every word of her blog. I did read every word of Caroline’s blog, then I had a skincare consultation with her.
Caroline’s appointments take place in Notting Hill and are so crazily wonderfully informative. I was like a happy golden retriever being fed sausages under the table. (That sounds slightly dodgy). And I have to say it was £65 VERY well spent. I didn’t want to buy a load of products that weren’t right for *me* so I didn’t buy anything til I saw Caroline. There are just SO MANY skincare products and according to marketeers there are about twenty billion skin types, so I needed Caroline’s no nonsense guidance to steer me before getting out my credit card and buying half of SpaceNK because oooooooh pretty. I was also adamant that I didn’t want to rely on counter girls who will, generally, tell you their brand and their complete system is the absolute bees knees but you must use all of it, exactly as directed, or turn into a boil.
So over the last couple of months I’ve tried various products (and had the luxury of shopping in the US) and have ended up with a daily routine that I am very very very happy with.
To remind you again, my starting point skin type wise was that I had normal skin but it was very dehydrated through lack of any attention whatsoever. It was congested in parts too because that’s obviously what happens when you don’t take care of it. There was a general dullness. I suffer from milia easily (WHICH I HATE) but had them all removed during this fab facial and they haven’t returned since this routine. But I am lucky enough to not have any real ‘worries’ in terms of massive breakouts or spots – except for lovely chin bumps with the lovely hormones. God bless hormones. My main concerns were about hydration, even skin tone and the general ‘you’re over 25, start caring’ stuff.
And this is what my morning routine currently includes…
Please compare the above skincare orgasm to what I was previously using…
Yeah, I truly needed an intervention.
I don’t want to put words into Caroline’s beauty mouth by saying she recommends all these things or using them this way, I have used some basic levels of human initiative and bought things off my own back too! But there are some brands and products I wouldn’t have even heard of if it wasn’t for Caroline – SO THANK YOU MRS!
I should also say that yes, it did cost me a small fortune to buy this many products in one fell swoop. I bought some in the US which made it cheaper, but essentially I made a decision to spend a pretty hefty chunk of cash on skincare as an ‘investment in my face’. Mum, please don’t add it all up and roll your eyes. I HAVEN’T BOUGHT CLOTHES OR SHOES OR BAGS OR ANYTHING ELSE FOR AGES. Also, I’m an adult so shhhhhhh.
Primark is still featuring in my beauty regime, but ONLY in the form of cheap cheap flannels and cotton wool…
Flannels are your friend.
So let’s get to it!
MY MORNING ROUTINE…
Oh god, I smile just looking at it all.
Anyway, here’s what it actually all is…
I am so massively in love with this cleanser! I apply it to my face dry (it pumps out as a pretty peach coloured gel) and it melts into silky goodness straight away. I then go flannel and warm water crazy. AND I AM AWAKE.
Supposed fancy things: Vitamins A, C & E, Omega 6, Starflower Oil, Pumpkin Enzymes, Chamomile & Rose
Buy it here.
I’ve read aaaaaaall there is to read about toners and I know a lot of people opt for the ‘harsher’ ones like P50 and Pixi Glow Tonic, but as a skincare baby I didn’t want to go straight in with the armoured tanks. REN’s toner was highly recommended by lots of you as a ‘starter toner’ and I feel like it’s really keeping my skin squeaky clean, balanced, even and FRESH. I’m not feeling a massive urgency to upgrade to something stronger, but the allure is there in a skincare crack cocaine way.
Note, this isn’t what I consider to be a ‘lotion’. It’s a liquid, as you’d expect. Soak some cotton wool and wipe across your lovely face. Mmmmmm.
Supposed fancy things: Salicilin from Willow Bark to gently exfoliate and purify congested skin, Glycolic Acid from Pineapple Extract, Lactic Acid from Passion Fruit, Citric Acid from Lemon Extract, Tartaric Acid from Grape Extract, Flavonoids from Mayblossom Extract.
Buy it here.
This spray is probably the most fun part of my morning routine, I like pretending it’s raining posh miracle water on my face. A couple of quick sprays does the job. It can be used to set make-up too, but I just like it as a pick me up post acid. It’s nice and soothing.
Supposed fancy things: Improves skin’s ability to bind water, preventing dehydration. Increases skin’s defence against stress and the environment, promoting radiance and vitality. Provides antioxidants that prevent damage from environmental aggressors.
I don’t think you can easily nab this in the UK. It’s by a Korean brand but I bought it in Sephora in California.
Buy it here.
Eye creams were my nemesis. I grabbed a heap of samples in Cali and NONE OF THEM agreed with me. I am talking real posh fancy brands too. I concluded I’d rather be wrinkly than look like I was stoned all the time, so prepared to give up. Then came the avocado goodness of Kiehl’s! I don’t know how this stuff doesn’t migrate into your eyes but you’ll just have to trust me that it doesn’t. It’s super.
Supposed fancy things: Avocado oil, Beta-carotene, Shea butter.
Buy it here.
Truth Serum Collagen Booster by Ole Henriksen – £71 for 50ml (or, depressingly, $72 for 50ml in the USA)
I didn’t realise you could buy this here til writing this post, but you’ll notice the UK/US price difference is hugely depressing if you’re a Brit. The good news? This serum is wonderful. It smells divine and it is the orangey vitamin C kick in the face (kiss in the face, nothing painful here) that I’ve realised my face craves in the morning. It’s packed full of antioxidants to fight off the bad guys and it absorbs instantly (a must when you need to get your make-up on and get out the door). It promises to keep skin nourished and protected and I believe it’s doing that. I love it.
Supposed fancy things: Grapefruit and orange extract, Green tea extract, Rosehip extract, Sodium hyaluronate,Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
This was the product that I felt like I ‘had’ to have in my skincare routine as everyone bangs on about it on the beauty forums like it’s the best thing ever. It’s not a moisturiser, instead it’s a hyaluronic acid based product you apply BEFORE your moisturiser to get the most benefits from your moisturiser. It has a lot of evidence to back it up and with time you’re supposed to need less moisturiser as your moisturiser becomes more effective, so it should theoretically save you cash and improve your face. I need to go without it for a while probably to see if I notice a difference without it, as I do sometimes wonder if I’m using such fancy products already that I don’t really *need* this as well. But I read horror stories of people ditching it then seeing a huge difference, so it’s hard to say. Truth Serum has hyaluronic acid in it though, so I am already getting some at other stages of my routine. I’m gonna use it til it runs out then see if I’m running to buy more. I have set some Boots points aside for if and when though 🙂
Supposed fancy things: “Using this product increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture over time and reduces the amount of topical moisturisers needed to maintain ideal skin hydration”.
Buy it here.
And then last of all, it’s moisturiser! I was so excited to nab this in California (you can get it shipped here too, but it’s spendy) and it’s a great great great little cream for daytime. I love heavy luxe products at night but for day I want something soothing that seeps in quickly and doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m going to get congested. I’d generally say it’s been daytime moisturisers which have put me off skincare regimes entirely in the past – I’d always be left with a manky greasy face so I’d throw the towel in and go back to trusty wipes and ‘air and sweat’. This is a refreshing fragrance free cream and, importantly, it has a cute name.
Supposed fancy things: Rich Jojoba, Avocado, Aloe, Grape Seed Extract, Lactic Acid
Buy it here.
It genuinely doesn’t take more than five minutes to do this routine, although I appreciate it looks kinda hefty. AND IT’S SO WORTH IT. Make-up applies so easily now. And look at my bare naked face above! It’s almost as if I don’t spend all my time boozing! (To be fair, I have cut the booze back massively too – and am on fruit and veg a lot – and on flax seed oil supplements and probiotics, I’ll feature those tomorrow).
Tomorrow I’ll get round to part 2, featuring my OH SO EXCITING night time routine (the night time one is the fun one) plus the products I’m using on an occasional basis throughout the week rather than in my daily routine. (NOW WRITTEN! Read it here).
I feel like I GLOW since taking up this regime. So many people have commented on how ‘radiant’ my skin has become (not showing off, except that I sort of am) and one make-up artist said my skin was basically Sienna Miller’s. *Swoon*.
So yeah, bye bye Primark wipes! I don’t think I’ll be using you again for a while…
You can see my evening routine (plus weekly treats) here.