Friday, August 16, 2013

Updated skincare routine!

I've experimented a lot with skincare this year and am gradually building up a routine that seems to be working.

I really enjoy learning about skincare, the benefit of different ingredients and perils of others.

I would say I have combination skin with the odd blemish and some old scarring.  I also live in a hot and humid country and am constantly in air conditioning.

If you have read my July empties post you'll see I used up a lot of skincare so I have been trialling a new routine for a couple of weeks and so far so good!

Morning routine

The quickest and easiest routine possible!

In the shower I wash my face with the Elemental Herbology Cool and Clear facial cleanser.  It's a low foaming gel that has antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree and lavender but doesn't dry the skin at all.  I wrote more about this cleanser here in my New Additions post.

Once I am out of the shower I spritz my face with the Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner which I really like.  This would fall under the 'hydrating' toner rather than an exfoliating toner.  I spray it on and leave it to absorb whilst I go and make a cup of tea! (for my other half not me, I hate hot drinks)

I then smooth on a 5p size blob of Hydraluron onto my face-I am finding it plumps up my skin leaving it smooth and soft but that initially when I apply it my face feels quite tight until I apply my moisturisor on top.

Finally I smooth on the Elemental Herbology Moisture Milk which I reviewed recently here.  This is a very light summer moisturiser but packed with antioxidents.

Evening routine

This looks like a long winded routine but in reality takes less than 5 minutes in total. 

Step 1:  I remove my eye makeup with the Garnier Soothing 2 in 1 make up remover.  This bi-phase remover is amazing and one of my holy grail products.  I go through a bottle a month and bulk buy when I am in the UK.  I am down to my last bottle so glad I am coming home in September!

Step 2:  I then apply the Elemis Pro Collagen cleansing balm to dry skin and massage into my skin.  It has a thick honey texture that is easy to spread round the face.  To me it doesn't have a very discernible smell and the Emma Hardie balm felt more luxurious.  My biggest bugbear about this cleanser is its not 100% effective at removing make-up and a second cleanse is a must.  It's also very stingy around the eyes.  I remove it with a hot, squeezed out flannel.  This cleanser does contain beeswax and shea-I was sure I was allergic to them but with a bit of trial and error I seem to be able to tolerate them.  I don't however think I would repurchase this-I love using cleansing balms in the evening but to me the Ren, Emma Hardie and Rodial versions are all better than this one.

Step 3:  Whilst my skin is still damp I then apply the Alpha H Triple Action cleanser.  This is a clear non foaming gel that feels really refreshing on the skin and would also be a good morning cleanser.  It can also be used to remove eye make up and doesn't sting.  Double cleansing has become a must for me if I wear make-up and SPF.  Once I rinse that off (with the same flannel I use for the balm followed by a splash of water) I dry my skin.

Step 4:  Any mascara residue that remains I remove with a quick swipe of Bioderma under my eyes.  I prefer to use Simple eye make up remover but I just finished a bottle and this bottle of Bioderma has a broken lid so I can't travel with it.  My skin won't tolerate Bioderma as a cleanser as I find it drying after a couple of days use and it leaves my skin red and blotchy.  When I see girls who have dry skin using Bioderma I am always dying to say the Bioderma could be making it worse-but don't because I am not an expert, I just know it makes my skin dry.

Step 5:  I spritz a cotton pad with this Avene water spray to dampen it and then apply the La Roche Posay Effaclar exfoliating toner to the damp pad.  This just waters down the toner a little bit if you find exfoliating toners a little harsh.  Exfoliating toners kick your skin into action and are important for skin cell renewal.   Exfoliating toners will contain acids and will exfoliate your skin without the need for granule based exfoliants which can be harsh on the skin.  They should tingle when you apply them to your skin.  Ren, Clarins and Biologique Recherche all make good exfoliating toners.  I have noticed that scars have faded since using this toner.  Now I have been using it for a few weeks I no longer need to use the Avene to water it down but each time I use a new exfoliating toner I will start with this method for a few days.

Step 6:  I spray my face with the Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner.  A hydrating toner will contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin and aloe vera.  The primary purpose is to keep your skin hydrated and plumped.

Step 7:  I apply Rapidlash to the base of my lashes.  I had falsies applied recently and they really damaged my lashes and I am finding that Rapidlash is helping to rebuild them.  I have reviewed this before here.

Step 8:  I apply Eyeslix under my eyes.  I haven't noticed much difference since using this eye cream but I have stuck with it. It's light and easily absorbed but can leave a bit of residue behind which is why I use it in the evenings.  Caroline Hirons describes this as 'every eye cream you ever bought, with added peptides'.  Peptides are apparently an anti aging powerhouse but it can take 4-12 weeks to see the benefit of use.  I've been using this eye cream since the middle of May and it's almost finished.

Step 9:  The final step in my current routine, I apply this balance Me radiance facial oil...I recently reviewed this here

There are other things I could incorporate like a serum or anti aging cream but I am very much a fan of the slowly slowly approach when building up a routine, so that I can identify and eliminate anything my skin doesn't like.  I will probably soon try a retinoid cream and I have an Origins Night A Mins in my stash.

The weekly pamper

Twice a week I apply a face mask-one mid week for radiance or hydration and one at the weekend for de-congesting which is usually clay based.  I love love love the Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask and the Aesop Chamomile concentrate anti blemish mask but at the moment I am trying out the Caudalie Vinoperfect enzymatic peel mask and the Origins Clear Improvement which is an old favourite.

I also use a lip scrub weekly and my absolute favourite is from Sara Happ.

When it all goes wrong

Finally if I do suffer from breakouts I revert back to the wonder product that is Alpha H Liquid Gold.  I absolutely love this product and you can read about the amazing effects on my skin here.  If I am using Alpha Gold I use it straight after cleaning and I do not tone or use an oil-I literally apply it to my skin and leave it as an overnight treatment.  Finally sometimes I find just a good dab of tea tree oil will zap a spot-I like the Body Shop one.

Do you use any of these products or have any recommendations for me?

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