Skincare has really taken off in the UK over the last few years. Much of this is driven by bloggers like Caroline Hirons and also our interest in the multi-step Korean skincare routines. I certainly never bothered *that* much with skincare previously but a mix of getting older and the need to look after myself better has pushed me towards a good skincare routine.
Interestingly though, despite the growing industry, SPF still lags behind. SPF is a huge part of protecting your skin, not just in summer (I blogged about my summer skincare tips here) but all year round. Use it! (this is my favourite facial SPF btw, it’s non-greasy and has broad spectrum).
I previously blogged about my minimalist cleansing routine here which is still my basis for cleansing. I appreciate a good cleansing oil or balm to completely remove everything (I use a cotton face cloth for removal) followed by a good AHA (considering using BHA too, any recommendations?). Then once of twice a week (when I remember and have the time) I use a treatment such as a face mask. I’ve been using several small batch face masks (one of them is from Herbivore Botanicals which I wrote about here). I’m going to do a separate post dedicated to them because they are just so lovely and deserve their own post.
After my skin is cleansed and prepped it’s time to get serious. I love a good serum. And I especially love a good budget serum that’s packed full of targeted, active ingredients. Who does this kind of skincare best? I hear you asking breathless with excitement (yes I want to write cheesy romance novels, what of it) Well, my friend, it’s The Ordinary of course. One of my favourite places to discover skincare is the Reddit Forums, particularly this The Ordinary subreddit and this skincare addiction subreddit (oh and I mustn’t forget about Lex’s blog). Reddit is an especially good place for finding information on The Ordinary. But if you’re still confused as to what the product is and how to use it The Ordinary have a very good guide here. It clearly explains where about in your routine you should be using specific products. Skincare has got very scientific and it’s good to thoroughly research the products you’re going to use. (And I recommend doing a patch test, especially if you have sensitive skin.)
I’ve been using different The Ordinary products for a while now but recently I’ve been using three (not all together) and I am super happy with the results. I’ll start with one of the newest additions to The Ordinary’s extensive line up, their Buffet with Copper Peptides 1%*. This is the pumped up version of the cult classic The Ordinary Buffet and OH IS IT GOOD. The Ordinary Buffet with Copper is one of my most favourite skincare products in a while and I’m lucky to have tried quite a few, like this French night cream*. Copper is an amazing skincare ingredient, it actively helps the process of rebuilding elastin and collagen. And I have to say the addition of copper in the buffet makes an enormous difference. I immediately saw an improvement in how my skin looks: it’s brighter, smoother and clearer. I’ve had no adverse reaction with this and the smell doesn’t bother me. It does smell slightly of copper but I find it disperses when applied. The Ordinary Buffet with Copper Peptides is slightly more pricey than the rest of the range (almost £30) but a couple of drops is only needed and I usually just apply this in the morning before my SPF but I do occasionally use it in the evenings too. So a bottle should see you good for a while. Despite it’s cost I really think this is an amazing serum and it will most definitely be staying part of my skincare routine.
Another long-standing favourite of mine are the granactive retinoids from The Ordinary. I’ve been using The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane* for a while now. Before I moved onto the higher concentration of retinoid I used the 2% emulsion, which is also really good and I’ve experienced to irritation using The Ordinary’s retinoids possibly because I graduated my use. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane is an amazing little potion of skin goodness. Firstly the squalane. This is like a super-moisturiser (and it does feel quite oily) which will leave your skin super hydrated and soft. Which is a perfect partner to granactive retinoid. Apparently retinoids are highly effective but cause less irritation than retinols. And I love it. I have experienced irritation with retinols previously but nothing with retinoids. Retinoids are amazing for targeting wear and tear over time. My skin looks healthier, smoother and more even. The Ordinary’s retinoids are another mainstay of my skincare routine.
If you do have sensitive skin or have previously had issues with AHAs Mandelic Acid 10% + HA* may be worth a shot. Mandelic Acid has a larger molecule than other AHAs which means it is slower to penetrate the skin causing less aggravation to the epidermis. And Mandelic Acid 10% + HA really is incredibly gentle. I still can get a little sting when using AHAs (apart from Superdrug’s version which I’ve blogged about here). Mandelic Acid 10% + HA also contains hyaluronic acid to give a boost of hydration. I think this is a great starting place for people unsure about AHAs or those of you with sensitive skin. This is an incredibly low irritation but highly moisturising AHA solution (it’s more like an oil in consistency). My skin is used to AHAs, but if I’m going through an especially sensitive phase this is most definitely in my routine.
The final step in my evening skincare routine is moisturisation. It’s time to wrap my skin up in a soothing blanket of hydration. I’m not a stickler for one moisturiser, I like to rotate a few depending on the weather, what my skin needs and how I am feeling. My preference is mainly a good facial oil though. They just feel better and work better, but I do still use a cream moisturiser too. I have two current favourite cream moisturisers. One is BioSphere Naturel Jeunesse Cream*. This is a rich but deeply absorbing night cream that always makes my skin look so much brighter and awake in the morning (which is quite a feat for an insomniac!). The other is Beauty Pie’s Super Healthy Skin Cream. This is just packed full of skin loving ingredients and my skin loves this. It brightens, plumps and hydrates. It’s like a good night’s sleep in a jar.
If my skin is dehydrated (which it does get a lot thanks to medication) I always use an oil. Facials oils are also really good for balancing your skin. My oily t-zone is always under control with the right oil. So don’t be put off if you are more on the oily side. My current two favourites are Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery and Chloe Organics Serum Edition* (which is more like a facial oil than a serum). Both are amazing for hydration and comforting the skin. I’ve also been using the new REN Evercalm Balm-to-Oil*, which might be preferable if you like “drier” oils.
PIN FOR LATER!
Phew! If you made it all the way through you deserve a cup of tea. I don’t think I’ve missed anything out of my evening/night skincare routine. Above are all the products I currently use depending on how I feel and how my skin is. I’m going to post about the face masks I’m currently using as I think they make a really nice addition to a routine plus they give you a little pamper throughout the week/end.
Do you have a skincare routine down?
(CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS)