I love skincare (the ritual aspect of it, the sensory experience and the resulting glowing skin). It also means that I like to try new products regularly. I tend to introduce them to a well-established routine (one at a time when I’m being a good girl). My skincare regime in itself has been consistent for the past few months and I wanted to share it with you. The foundation of my routine is to cleanse, hydrate and protect my skin to keep it balanced and healthy (as much as I can).
I have three cleansers on rotation. In the mornings, I like a quick cleanse after my workouts, and for that I use the Su:m 37 miracle rose cleansing stick. This new stick format is a novelty and I love it for its practicality and quickness of application. It cleanses my skin thoroughly without drying it out.
At night, I double cleanse. For the first step, I use Jordan Samuel’s Plié treatment cleanser (newly renamed the After show cleanser). It’s a gel to oil formula that I massage on dry skin. It swiftly melts all my makeup, sunscreen etc. I take it off with a wet flannel. This is a quick and effective way to remove makeup and I love how fresh my skin feels afterwards. I then proceed with my second cleanse with Melvita’s gentle cleansing jelly. It’s a great gentle cleanser that leaves my skin feeling soft and completely clean. As an aside, the first bottle of the jelly cleanser that I bought lasted me almost a year! And I was using it morning and night at the time. I don’t know what kind of magic was behind that.
For this step, I like to layer my skincare products. To begin with, I use a hydrating toner, the rosewater & glycerin mist from Heritage Store. Rosewater is softening and the added glycerin (a widely used humectant) helps skin retain water. I once (wrongly) thought that I could skip this step. I was able to tell the difference almost immediately: my skin felt tighter and dehydrated. Anyway, I pat it on and quickly follow with my hydrate serum from Jordan Samuel to seal in moisture. I have tried other moisturizing serums but I always come back to this one. It soothes, hydrates and plumps the skin.
Not pictured here (because it’s in a pitiful state and its label is unreadable now) is my DeVita’s revitalizing eye cream. It moisturizes the eye area and softens fine lines. Its texture is not too thick, and so it doesn’t clog my pores and cause milia (those little annoying white granule-like bumps).
The last step in my routine is to support my skin’s barrier function and protect it from the environment. For that, I first use Jordan Samuel’s étoile facial oil. I don’t know how Jordan formulated this blend of oils but it sinks into the skin without leaving any residue. It makes for a great oil for both night and day use (especially good before makeup application). I find that it calms and balances my skin whilst leaving it nourished and glowing. Brilliant product.
I finish with my mineral sunscreen (spf 30) from DeVita. Years ago, I realized that chemical sunscreens were making me breakout, and so my search for a good mineral sunscreen began. I think I’ve found a good one here. DeVita’s sunscreen isn’t greasy and blends easily into the skin without leaving a white cast on the face (the great challenge for mineral sunscreens). Also, after blending it in, I don’t feel it on my skin like I can with some sunscreens that seem to coat your face with a slick film. It’s pretty much perfect.
- Actives and treatments
That’s the part of my routine where I like to address specific problems. Actives will tackle your skincare issues whether it be discoloration, wrinkles, spots… I choose to use a retinol and salicylic acid twice a week at night.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. It’s oil soluble meaning that it can get inside the pores, unclogging them in the process. It’s also anti-inflammatory, it exfoliates the skin and keeps congestion at bay. At the moment, I’m using Cosrx Blackhead power liquid (which used a salicylic acid derivative). I apply it with a cotton pad and wait for around 15 minutes before proceeding with the rest of my routine. It’s really potent (but still gentle) and, among other things, helps heal my spots faster.
To resurface my skin’s texture, fade discoloration and reduce fine lines (yes, retinoids are overachievers), I use The Ordinary advanced retinoid 2% (recently renamed granactive retinoid 2%). Another retinoid I love is the Pestle and Mortar Superstar night oil. Since it’s been formulated in an oil base, you get the benefits of retinoids with the addition of glowing plumped up skin (truly amazing). Both are gentle formulas. On my wish list, of course, is Jordan Samuel Skin’s étoile with retinol.
As for masks, I use a clay mask twice a week (the same night I use the salicylic acid) as part of a mini-facial. Cattier are renowned for their clays that are effective and affordable. I use their gentle pink clay. It deeply cleanses my skin without irritating it. By the way, something that I’ve learned recently is that clay mask should stay wet on the skin to keep working (and not dry out your face). So don’t forget to use a mist when the mask begins to harden (I use whichever thermal water I have at the moment).
I’ll make dedicated posts later on about spot treatments, balms, facial routines as well as give you more detailed reviews for some of the products mentioned here.