Where do you even start? With so many recommended products out there from cleansers to toners, serums to sun screens, you’d be forgiven for being more than a little confused about what to use and when. Are they even all really necessary and did you know that in Korean skincare, 10, yes 10 stages are involved? That's some serious commitment to looking youthful.
Never fear though, the old cleanse, tone and moisturise is still an excellent starting position and if that’s all your hectic lifestyle allows for then its most definitely better than nothing.
Partly because I'm OBSESSED with skincare but also because finally, after blogging now for a year I am starting to receive samples in the post to review (HOORAH! LOVEEE my HOBEEE) I have the opportunity to try out lots of different products and brands.
I love discovering new labels but I also have some regular go to favourites that I will return to time and time again and they are not all expensive either.
Here's my usual routine.
First off I start with a really good deep cleansing routine.
I love the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip cleanser which I use daily in the shower. Its gently foaming but contains a potent blend of botanicals including French green clay which is great for purifying and refining the skin before you start on the rest of your routine.
I'm also currently using a Vitamin C infused cleanser from the Dermaquest professional range.
I love to use something that really lathers up and this is great when used in conjunction with a sonic cleanser. It's full of botanicals and antioxidants and always leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean, fresh and hydrated. It doesn't strip the skin at all of essential oils which is really important in your daily cleanser.
I’ll then spritz my face with a refreshing and rejuvenating toner before I start with the serious business of hydration.
I totally love Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist. I even carry a handbag sized bottle with me wherever I go for an on the spot refreshing spritz and this is just darling if you are ever flying anywhere. It also helps keep your make-up nicely in place all day long. The neroli and rose scent is also a great way of lifting and calming the spirits too.
Another regular facial toning spritz that I buy is from Caudalie. Again, this is super hydrating and refreshing and gets your skin primed and ready for your harder working products. Great again for on the go hydration and keeping your make-up refreshed.
The next product you should be applying is your thinnest skincare product, a serum.
Your serum works to deliver the most active of ingredients deep into your pores. Try experimenting with a couple of different serums depending upon what you’re looking to target. I ADORE all things The Ordinary because they deliver results that quite frankly are anything but ordinary. In fact, I think that this label should really be called The EXTRA-Ordinary.
I'm currently using their Buffet which takes multi tasking to a whole new level. Its what they call a "multi technology peptide serum". Its what I call AMAZING!!! Bonus - its only £12.70 and has some of the actives you'd only expect to find at the luxury end of the market. Fabulous stuff.
Next apply your eye cream.
It’s a common misconception that eye cream should be the last product you apply. Ideally you want to be applying it before you go onto the 3 final steps of moisturisation. Yes, I did say three!
Like your serum, eye creams tend to be thinner and so need to be clear of other barriers to allow them to be fully absorbed. DO NOT drag your eye cream around the most delicate of areas. You need to use a gentle patting action using your ring finger. I love Zo Skin Health Olluminate Intense Eye Repair. This has light reflecting particles which help diffuse the look of my dark circles and minimize imperfections! I suffer terribly with puffy eyes these days and this really helps combat the effect of not enough sleep!
Now we get down to the business of your moisturizer.
This ladies, is non-negotiable!
Best applied and massaged in upwards motion against gravity to help with that additional little temporary “lifting” effect. As well as providing much needed hydration and a smooth complexion, it also acts like a barrier or sealant keeping your other skincare products where they need to be, on your skin! Currently I’m using this nutri active day cream from Oskia. Its got a light, lovely texture but really delivers on the luminosity stakes. The Natural Health Awards recently named this “simply the best moisturizer on the market today”. For me its all about keeping my skin luminous - that light from within effect.
Next it’s time to apply your oil.
I never used to use an oil as I have a tendency towards combination skin and regular hormonal break outs which I wrongly thought would be exacerbated by applying an oil but I have to say that I am a convert and I love the dewy look they give to my skin and the extra boost of much needed hydration on my more parched areas.
An oil is one of the few products with the ability to penetrate your face cream so hence why you’re leaving it till now to apply. I've literally tried loads of oils out over the last 12 months. My current favourite is from Emma Hardie.
It contains 9 essential oils as well as 5 plant based oils. It smells divine and helps to hydrate, smooth and give that much sought after luminous appearance to the skin. I'm really loving the results.
And last but by no means least, finish off with your sun protection.
SPF really is essential, even when there's precious little sign of the sun! It creates the final shield for your skin and the perfect base for applying your make-up.
Follow these steps and you should be on your way to having flawless skin even if you are over 40.
As a general rule of thumb, try to leave 30 seconds before each stage to ensure that your product has been properly absorbed before you move on to applying the next.
Before I sign off, don't forget that good skin really does start from within. DO NOT forget your water ladies. All the great skincare routines in the world will fail if you are not hydrating yourself with H20!