I haven’t shared an updated skincare routine in forever. So I figured I’d do so today, especially since we’re full into the autumn season and heading into winter (an even colder and drier season). The products mentioned in this post is what works for my skin during these seasons. Seasonal skincare is as important as changing your wardrobe. I’ll fill you guys in on the products I reach for during Spring and Summer seasons when my sebaceous glands go into overdrive, producing excess oil to help cool my skin down.
I’m gonna mentioned the products by category and then let you know in which order I apply each or how often I use the products.
Makeup Remover, Cleansers and Toner
I’ve been a total fan of the Clinique Take the day off cleansing balm and I haven’t looked back. I’ve just finished my 3rd tub and now using a mini I received in the double cleansing detox set. This balm emulsifies & turns into an oil-like cleanser. This type of cleanser is gentle and doesn’t strip the skin, it actually encourages the sebum gland to produce less oil.
I’m currently alternating between two cleansers. I use the Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, which was also included in the double cleansing detox set. The formula of this cleanser feels thick and creamy and foams amazingly with only a little bit of product. I use this as my first cleanser when I double cleanse at night. It removes all traces of makeup and leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean, almost a tad bit parched but I don’t mind this as I have oily skin. This product is definitely best suited for oily to combination skin types, not so sure if those with dry AND sensitive skin would like this one.
I’m also really loving the Pixi glow mud cleanser which is a gentle yet active cleanser. It exfoliates the skin with Glycolic Acid to remove dead skin cells and reveal more radiant and healthy skin. Mud deep cleans and detoxifies pores while hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and avocado oil plump and nourish the skin. The consistency of this product feels almost paste-like. It’s such a gentle cleanser and I love it as my 2nd cleanser at night as it cleanses my skin effectively without making it feel tight or dry.
Lastly, I reach for the Pixi Glow tonic exfoliating toner. The PIXI Glow Tonic is an exfoliating toner that helps to firm and tighten normal to dry, dull and ageing skin. The brightening tonic removes dead skin cells, leaving skin healthy and radiant-looking. Formulated with 5% Glycolic Acid, it hydrates the skin whilst Aloe Vera and Ginseng help to nourish the skin. I’ve been using this product since the beginning of the year and I love it. My skin looks brighter, more even and the glow is insane.
There are two types of exfoliators and I learnt this from Tori aka kissblushandtell on Instagram. If you’re not following this woman then what are you doing with your life? She knows her ish and I turn to her blog or Instagram story highlights if there’s information I need on a specific product.
Anyhoooo, so on her blog, she explained that you get physical and chemical exfoliators. Your physical exfoliators are the standard old school exfoliators that contain little granules. These are great and I use it once a week. The product I alternate at the moment is the Lush Just to clarify jelly and the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion.
I received the Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion in a boxycharm box and there’s a reason there’s so much hype around this product. It contains pharmaceutical-grade crystals which are super fine and gentle. It does exactly what it claims to do; polishes away dead skin cells which leaves skin looking radiant and feeling smooth and soft.
A more gentle alternative which works just as well is the Lush Just to clarify jelly mask. They say it’s a mask but it works really well as an exfoliator. The little granules are fine and the “jelly” consistency is really easy to use. This leaves to skin well smooth and instantly brighter.
I have a few “chemical” exfoliators aka as acids and this is my preferred form of exfoliation. It’s in my opinion and from what I’ve experienced, the most effective.
The two I’m currently using is from The Ordinary.
1. Lactic Acid 10% +HA – which is an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin. This 10% formulation offers mild exfoliation and is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that is often associated with exfoliation. How does it work? Lactic acid works by breaking down the ‘glue’ between skin cells, causing them to shed and expose the newer, healthier skin underneath. It also stimulates and improves collagen production and I’m sure all of us know by now that this is amazing for skin firmness and wrinkles.
2. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. This is an Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) exfoliate the skin’s topmost surface for a brighter and more even appearance. Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) also exfoliate the skin with an extended function to help clear pore congestion. This combined 32% AHA/BHA solution offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use.
Note: This formula contains a very high concentration of free acids. We recommend use only if you are an experienced user of acid exfoliation and your skin is not sensitive
Do not use on wet skin. Apply evenly across face and neck using fingertips, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for no more than 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes both during application and rinse off. This low-viscosity solution is intended to be used as a masque. Do not leave on for longer than 10 minutes. It is not recommended to use more than twice per week.
I alternate by either using a physical exfoliator once and a chemical exfoliator once, per week or I’ll use each of the chemical forms mentioned above once per week. So I essentially exfoliate twice a week. Make sense?
My use of masks really depends on my mood, how much time I have and what I feel my skin needs at that moment. Below are some of my current favourites.
Pixi t zone peel off mash – this green metallic sticky mask applies fairly well. It’s suggested for t-zone use, so all you need is a thin layer. It takes about 10 minutes to dry, you peel away then voila, pores are cleared and skin feels instantly smoother and radiant.
Pixi glow mud mask – This mask contains Kaolin & sea salt which purifies the skin and ginseng & aloe vera which balances the skin.
Tony moly I’m real sheet masks, Tony moly fresh to go sheet masks and Therapy Packs– these are some of my favourite masks. Tony Moly’s I’m real masks are filled with natural ingredients and soaked in different types of enriched essence. The Fresh to go are so intriguing as these contain extracts from real fruits and vegetables. Their Therapy packs are natural clay-based masks. I multi-mask with these.
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Masks – thanks to boxycharm I now own some really esssspensive sheet masks. High end if you will, lol! These are my go-to masks when my skin is feeling dehydrated. The sheet is saturated with ultra-hydrating botanical oils and extract which is great because you can use the extra serum for a second and even third use.
Lush Mask of magnanimity – this has to be my favourite Lush fresh face mask. I see a noticeable difference straight after removing the mask. My skin looks and feels instantly refreshed. It tightens up my pores considerably and leaves my skin looking radiant.
Serums are one of those products that have become essential. They are loaded with antioxidants, skin-replenishing, and skin-restoring ingredients. These have smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients. My all time favourite is the The ordinary Buffet serum. Buffet has a combination of amino acids (contains 11 amino acids) peptides and fermented probiotics. If you’re looking for a well all around, well priced anti-ageing serum then this one is your baby.
Note: I don’t use this serum (peptide) when I use direct acids eg. Lactic acid and AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. Only use this when I use my physical exfoliators.
The other serum (a “recent” purchase – its been 4 weeks of use) is the Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum. This serum is enriched with a high concentration of soothing and calming Avène Thermal Spring Water provides the skin with a boost of continuous hydration for 24 hours. The thin liquid consistency absorbs really quickly making it such a pleasure to use in the morning as it wears well under makeup. It provides the extra hydration I need without leaving my skin oily.
Sunscreen – spf
This has been the only sunscreen I’ve been using since I discovered it. I’ve heard of so many other great sunscreens especially for oily skin but you know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Eucerin Sun Face Oil Control Dry Touch SPF 50+ is specifically formulated for oily and acne-prone skin. It has a high sun protection factor and wears beautifully under Makeup. An absolute must try.
About 2 months ago I decided that I would start using eye cream in the AM as well. Before I avoided it because I thought too much product under the eyes would just cause a build up causing your makeup to crease etc
After some research, I realised that it has to do about how much you use and if your AM eye cream is lightweight, absorbs quickly, provides hydration and minimises puffiness then it’s a winner and that’s exactly what the Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream provides.
In the evenings I use the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix. It promises to repair, fortify, and hydrate. It boasts of an “ultra-nourishing, skin strengthening formula with an innovative 360° Matrix Technology that provides a 360° cushion of plumping support to give eyes a fresh, wide-open look. This eye cream really nourishes the under eyes and also absorbs really quickly. It’s been two weeks of use and I have high hopes for it. I can already tell that my eye under eyes look well hydrated and the fine line, less pronounced.
This water-free solution contains a 2% concentration of an advanced retinoid active complex called Granactive Retinoid that has been shown to offer better results against multiple signs of ageing than retinol without any of the irritation and drawbacks common with retinol.
Retinoids are known to increase cell turnover, increase blood flow to the skin and is great for collagen production. It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles, corrects pigmentation irregularities and fights some forms of acne. What this means is that when it comes to anti-ageing skincare, this is one of the very best ingredients you can use because it prevents and reverses the signs of ageing like nothing else.
It’s been 6 weeks since I started using the The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23%
+ HA Spheres 2%. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that brightens the skin tone and reduces the appearance of signs of ageing.
The texture of this product feels thick and it has a gritty feeling to it. I’ve read a few posts where people advise you to add a few drops of hyaluronic acid. This apparently breaks down that grittiness making it easier to apply. I haven’t tried this but will indeed do so in the near future.
For now, I use it in the evenings when I don’t use any acids or retinol. You could use it with lactic acid or retinol in one day buy split them between AM and PM.
I’ve said this before, I LOVE adding oils to my skincare. The one I’ve been using for years is the The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed
Rose Hip Seed Oil. Rosehip Oil is full of omega 6 fatty acids, antioxidants, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and vitamins C and A. It is a great all-around product that is hydrating and anti-ageing, it also helps repair skin due to sun damage for a more even skin tone. It really is a true miracle oil for any skin type.
I recently incorporated a few drops of the 100% Plant-Derived Squalane by The Ordinary. Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that is found naturally in the skin. It has very high emollience, is an exceptional hydrator and can prevent ongoing loss of hydration that impairs dermal suppleness.
The order I apply my products
- Eye cream
- Makeup Remover
- 1st Cleanse
- 2nd Cleanse
- Exfoliate (physical exfoliator followed by a mask)
- Toner (optional, depending on how strong the exfoliator is. I don’t use if I’ve applied a mask, especially a sheet mask )
- Lactic acid (on days when I don’t use the physical exfoliator)
- Retinol / Vitamin C ( not together or when I use a chemical exfoliator)
- Eye cream
- Night cream (hardly use this but it’s my last step when I have it in my routine as it seals in all the products)