Much as I like to use makeup, I also think there is nothing better than having good skin- after all, makeup only looks as good as the base it is applied on, right? I don’t wear makeup every day and certainly veer towards a lighter coverage base such as a bb cream or just a bit of concealer if needed. But everyone knows that dull, blemished skin cannot be improved by such a light coverage and that your skin needs to be pretty good without products, especially in the summer months. So how did I get my skin to the stage where I am happy to leave the house bare faced?
My skincare routine is something I change up quite a lot depending on the season or the needs of my skin. The steps are stiill the same, but I do switch up products, mostly because I either get sent them to review, grow bored of the one I am using or get sent something for review.
I have normal skin which only really gets drier in winter and oilier depending on the makeup I am wearing. It rarely needs any specially formulated products so by that definition I would say it was normal. I tan very easily, have yet to get any wrinkles or fine lines (mercy, praise be) and suffer with some dark undereye circles and skin that tends to leave a discoloured scar following a blemish. So here we go, my step by step guide to cleansing.
1. Remove Warpaint.
I was really shocked the other day to find that my friend still uses facewipes. That’s it. She uses wipes to remove her makeup, gets into bed and puts moisturiser on. Maybe that is ok if you dont wear makeup… actually no its not okay, it makes me shudder. We are trying to remove the bulk of our makeup here, to make it easier before we cleanse our actual skin. We are not wiping residual dirt, oil and makeup into our pores then sealing the grime in with a layer of grease, which essentially is what happens when you use a one step cleanser, wipe, or miscillaire water and nothing else. It’s a good start but you are doing your skin no favours, clogging it up with residual makeup ages it and also gives it a dull appearance.
An alternative to a miscillaire water (my preferred method of makeup removal) you could use a skin oil. Don’t freak out, they won’t make you spotty or greasy.. they dissolve your makeup and reveal your skin prior to cleansing. I like to use them in the winter months especially.
Good Products for Step 1: Bioderma, Clarins One Step Cleanser, Shu Umuera Facial Oil.
2. Cleanse (properly)
I know, I know…. sometimes you just cannot be arsed to do this if you are pissed or tired but promise me you will try.. ok? You need to be using a good cleanser for step two as this is the bit that actually cleans your skin and promotes cell turnover as opposed to just smearing makeup and pollution all over your face. This bit is totally up to you but some I like are:
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, Emma Hardie facial cleansing Balm (for those of you who like a muslin cloth type of cleanse) Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix facial wash, Origins Checks & Balances (the latter is really good for oily skins). I also like good old Effeclar gel wash or Chanel Radiance Foaming Facewash in conjunction with my Clarisonic Mia. (Which I use up to 3x a week).
Incidentally, don’t feel you have to have a clarisonic, fingertips or a muslin cloth work just as well, though you might want to add in a nice exfoliator just to promote cell turnover once or twice a week. A really inexpensive one I like is by Boots Botanics and is a microdermabrasion one, though Soap & Glory “Greatest Scrub of all” is also nice.
3. To tone or not to tone?
I don’t tone. As a teen I did, I used to use it as a final step to make sure I got everything off, I liked the Clean & Clear one that felt tingly like paint stripper. Nowadays, I would say that there is no need to tone- if you have cleansed properly your skin will be clean anyway and all an astringent toner will do is dry out dry skin and force your oily skin to produce more sebum… ugh.
If you must freshen after cleansing, a splash of cold water will close pores and refresh the face, or if you are feeling very indulgent, a spritz of Caudelie beauty elixr will soothe, cool and hydrate. (its also lovely as a makeup setting spray)
I used to think that moisturiser clogged your skin and gave you spots if it was oily. Now I know that there are so many moisturisers that you have to find a suitable day and night cream for your skin type. Ditto Serums. This is a process of trial and error but I currently use Origins Gin Zing Moisturiser and eyecream, a No7 Night cream and my holy grail Caudelie Vinosource Serum. In Winter, I sometimes switch to a facial oil at night to replenish the skin: Ole Heinriksen, Clarins and The Sanctuary all do nice ones, though you can buy plain Vitamin E oil in superdrug for under £2. Oils are great at rebalancing oily skin and hydrating drier skins, so there is no need to be afraid of them. They also apply dry and absorb quickly so feel nice on the face.
5. Emergency Measures.
Because sometimes, you get a spot, a product breaks you out or your skin just gets used to a product. Here are some SOS products I like to use as and when the Occasion demands.
For Spots, Blemishes etc: Origins Super Spot remover vastly reduces them every time, this tiny bottle contains potent stuff but a tiny dab goes a long way!
For Dehydrated skin, Jetlagged skin or skin that is hungover: Origins “drink me up intensive mask” is lovely, as is Clarins Beauty flash balm, applied in a thicker layer.
I know I have banged on about Origins a lot in this post but that is because their products really suit my skin, I also enjoy REN glycolic face mask once a month and the body shop cornflower blue face mask if my skin has gone all teenage and I want to give it a really deep cleanse. This is harsh stuff however, so needs to be used sparingly!
Final step, water, if you think you drink enough, you probably don’t. Try a good multivitamin or a skin suppliment in conjunction. Fruit and veg, blah blah blah…
I hope this has not been too boring, I am really interested in skincare and believe that there is no point wearing makeup unless your skin is good. Hopefully, you have found some good products here, or perhaps try new ones. If I am missing any you think I should try then let me know in the comments!