Back to Basics
I get told a lot by friends that they just don’t know where to start with skincare. I totally get it, skincare is no longer just cleanse, tone, moisturise and there are a million different lotions and potions available now. It can be very confusing to know what to use and when so in this post I will go back to basics.
If you have seen my Instagram, I try out quite a lot of products but I always incorporate the basic steps in my routines. There are a lot of other ingredients out there that are definitely useful to add into your routine e.g. niacinamide, oils, masks, peptides but it’s important to get the basics down first and then see what your skin needs. I try to avoid fragrance, drying alcohols and SLS in all of my skincare if I can as I think they aggravate the skin unnecessarily.
Cleanse/refresh – Use a gentle cleanser or a gentle toner to get the sweat, dirt and oils that have accumulated throughout the night off your face.
Antioxidant serum – Use an antioxidant serum with ingredients like vitamin C or reservatrol, which will help protect your skin from free radicals, particularly if you live in a city (like me!)
Moisturiser – You can tailor this to your skin type. If you have oily skin, choose a light, oil-free lotion and if you have dry skin, choose a richer cream. It is good to look out for moisturisers containing hyaluronic acid as this is good for hydrating all skin types.
SPF – This is the most important part of your morning routine and SPF 30+ should be worn every day (even in winter) to protect from damaging UVA rays. There are plenty of great oil free sunscreens for oily skin and more moisturising sunscreens for drier skins so you will be able to find one to suit your skin.
Makeup removal/first cleanse – A micellar water or a cream/oil cleanser used with a microfibre cloth to remove all make up and SPF.
Second cleanse – Now that the makeup has been removed, it is important to cleanse again to remove any remaining SPF, dirt and pollution on the face. There are a lot of different types of cleanser to choose from - balms and creams are good for dry skins and jelly and (non foaming) gel cleansers are better for normal to oily. Your skin should never feel stripped or 'squeaky clean.'
AHA product – Alpha Hydroxy Acids eat away the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing the bright, fresh skin underneath. If you are new to acids or have skin on the dry side, I would recommend starting with a lactic acid. If you have used acids previously or if you have combination/oily skin, a glycolic acid would be great for you. I like to use glycolic in liquid form on a cotton pad but it is possible to get an AHA serum or lotion if you prefer.
Retinol - I think everyone over the age of 30 should be using a retinol. It stimulates the production of new skin cells, reducing fine lines and firming the skin. If you are new to retinol I would recommend starting off with one to two nights a week and skip the AHA on those nights as it can be irritating and cause peeling/redness as your skin gets used to it. You can then build up your tolerance over time.
Moisturiser – Same as AM
I hope this has been helpful! I will be talking more about specific products that you can incorporate into this basic routine to get even better results very soon.