For me, a skincare routine has to be thorough, quick and enjoyable otherwise I’m just not going to stick to it. As someone who has depression, anxiety and chronic pain having a skincare routine is also a good way of adding a little bit of self-care daily.
I don’t always feel up to cleansing due to fatigue or pain so having a manageable cleansing routine means I can keep to it and importantly, look forward to it. To make the cleansing routine a bit more decadent you can always add a mask (here’s a couple of my favourites here and here) or double cleanse. (I might add, I’m not a big fan of the double cleanse-a good balm or oil should remove everything in one go. Plus I don’t want to irritate my sensitive skin).
The basis of a good skincare routine is definitely in the cleansing so please please please remove your makeup at night. It’ll clog up your pores and cause a death of a fairy, I don’t think you want that on your conscience. You can, of course, make it longer than my routine (like the Korean 10-step routine) but my cleansing routine is quick, easy and most importantly it’s effective. It’s taken me a while to figure out the right kinds of products for me but I hope the following is useful for you too (but if you’re unsure I liked this guide for finding the right cleanser for your skin type).
In the morning I like something quick that gently cleanses while leaving my skin soft and ready for my morning skin routine (which is pretty minimal btw, I essentially just use Nivea UV Face Shine Control- this is brilliant especially if you find sunscreen too oily and it provides both UVA and UVB with 4 star rating). I currently switch between a couple of products, the first is Beauty Pie’s Super Healthy Skin Purifying Clay Cleanser. I wouldn’t recommend this for daily use if you have dry skin because clay can dehydrate your skin but I’ve been ok with it (oh! I should say my skin type: i’m 41 with an oily t-zone and sensitive/normal skin everywhere else and I often suffer dehydrated skin). The Beauty Pie Clay Cleanser is a lovely foaming clay that feels creamy and thoroughly cleanses the skin, especially pores. What I like about it is that you can also use it as a mask for a deeper cleanse. Also, a teeny bit goes a long way so I reckon I’ll have this tube for ages.
I also use the absolutely gorgeous Nourish London Kale 3D Cleanse. Kale is a key ingredient (did you guess?) as is Griffonia (it helps to detoxify and protect against pollution) as well as Hyaluronic acid, probiotics and oxygenating extracts (this is what gives its slightly gimmicky colour changing abilities). Kale 3D Cleanse really is a pleasure to use, it smells amazing and leaves my skin incredibly smooth. I haven’t tried anything else from this brand so if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear from you. And that’s it for my morning cleanse. Mornings are rough so you should definitely treat yourself to something that you enjoy using.
*(UPDATE) I’ve started using Cerave Foaming Face Wash in the morning and I think this is my favourite morning cleanser. The face wash gives a nice lather that’s full of skin loving ingredients such as ceramides, niacinamide, & hyaluronic acid. This gentle cleanser won’t dry out your skin but if you do have especially dry skin there’s a cream version too. I highly recommend it and Boots currently have it on offer here.
In the evening I take a bit longer but not that much tbh. My first stop is either an oil cleanser or balm. These babies will make light work of makeup, breaking it down easily leaving nothing behind except soft, cleansed skin. Even if you have oily skin I still recommend using a balm or oil, especially one that turns into a milk cleanser when mixed with water, leaving no oily residue. These are by far the best kinds of cleansers to actually clean your skin properly. I’m not a fan of creams, they just can’t break down makeup like balms or oils. So please don’t be put off by oils. I’m currently using Beaty Pie JapanFusion Pure Transforming Cleanser. This is a gorgeous gel-to-oil-to-milk cleanser that completely removes all traces of makeup, even waterproof mascara. As always, I remove the cleanser using a flannel. A flannel will help remove all traces of cleanser while giving a gentle exfoliation. And that’s it for cleansing, it’s quick, effective and deeply nourishing. Alternative favourites are the budget but quite frankly amazing Simple Cleansing Oil, Clinique Take the Day Off Balm and the vegan friendly The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing oil or the Sumptuous Butter version. All are amazing cleansers that completely remove makeup without irritating your skin.
*(UPDATE) I recently started using The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution and I think this is my favourite AHA chemical exfoliant. It removes dead skin cells to reveal a brighter and more even skin complexion. It also helps serums to work better. If you have very sensitive skin I’d go easy on this as it can be a bit tingly.
Finally, the last step in my incredibly complex cleansing routine (and before serums etc) is the gem of a product Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic from Superdrug. It contains 5% glycolic acid similar to Pixi Glow Tonic, however Superdrug’s version actually has glycolic acid further up the ingredients than Pixi’s. Plus Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic is a fraction of the price and is currently on buy one get one free (which I’ve just filled my bathroom cupboard with). Glycolic acid is an AHA which chemically exfoliates the top layer of skin to refine pores, even skin tone, reduce the look of minor skin blemishes and just give your skin an overall glow. I love Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic, it smells amazing and gently exfoliates the skin. I’ve had a mark left over from hormonal acne during my pregnancy and this tonic is the only thing that’s reduced it. You can use it both morning and evening but I prefer to use it at night. Just remember to wear sunscreen (which you should always do!) when using acids.
So yeah, I have a pretty minimalist skincare routine but it works and it works incredibly well. It’s a cleansing routine that fits in with my lifestyle perfectly and also adds a much needed bit of self-care without being so over-the-top that I don’t do it. Just remember to drink your water, eat your fruit and veg, and get your sleep too kids.
Do you have a skincare routine down? Or do you like the sound of mine?
(contains affiliated links)