Sometimes with skincare and makeup a lot of people can feel a little “all the gear, no idea”. So following on from my previous blog post – The best time to do your skincare routine, I thought I would go a little more into detail about what a morning skincare routine generally consists of.
I have also included some of the products* I currently use. I love skincare and I am always trying new things so some of these swap and change quite regularly.
*Please note the products I mention I have bought with my own money and whilst I have included links these are purely for your convenience I do NOT receive any commission from your purchases.
The purpose of your morning skincare routine is to treat any skin conditions, protect against sun damage and pollution and if you wear makeup, prepare your skin for makeup application.
Some people are happy with a cleanse, tone and moisturise routine. It is a great place to start and if you are under mid 20’s, with soft, clear skin then that might be working just fine for you.
Once we head towards our 30’s and beyond we really need to be adding in some extra steps. Our bodies collagen production, elasticity etc will be on the decrease and that’s a natural ageing process and no cream, diet, magic juice or pill is EVER going to stop that! So it’s not about stopping or reversing the ageing process, as that is impossible, it’s not about trying to look 20 when you are 40 it’s about looking and feeling the best we can for the age that we are.
This isn’t just about anti-ageing though, lot’s of people suffer with skin condition’s such as congestion, dull skin, dry flaky patches, excessive oil production and many more all these can be managed better with adding steps into your skincare routine.
As you continue to read you will see I have multiple products on the go and swap and change these daily. This is because I am trying to treat a number of concerns.
My skin is approaching 40 so has fine lines, reduced elasticity and collagen, hyper pigmentation and sun damage from not protecting it, using sunbeds and well just liking to be brown. It is also quite dehydrated yet has open pores and is looking more textured.
All this is perfectly normal as we age. So to help target these issues I have introduced active ingredients such as Retinol, Vitamin C, Ferrulic and Alpha Hydroxy acids. These will help reduce the appearance of the hyper pigmentation, soften any fine lines and help with the appearance of the skin texture.
Introducing active ingredients is a must to see results yet they don’t come without issues. Using actives can make your skin extremley sensitive, red, sore and even peel off.
Which is why some days my skin just needs soothing and hydrating whilst it heals.
The products you use in your routine will depend on your age, skin type, skin concerns and budget. Each skin will react differently to products so it’s about finding what’s right for you!
So let’s look at the steps of a typical morning skincare routine.
My evening skincare routine is very thorough. And I’m sure a lot of you are thinking “my skin was clean when I went to bed, how dirty can it be?” However if you wipe over with a damp cotton pad I think you will be suprised how much dirt etc can end up on our faces whilst we have been simply laying in bed. Not to mention drool (come on we all do it a bit!), sweat, bacteria from our hands that touch our face etc.
So in the morning your first step is to cleanse your skin. I tend to use a face wash, I prefer a non foaming one and some tepid to slightly cool water to rinse my face, this helps to clean my skin and also remove any product residue from the night before.
Using a face wash and water in the morning I find also helps to wake you up and the cool water helps to reduce any puffiness.
What I currently use
At the moment I either use Glossier milky jelly cleanser as it’s non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, soap and paraben free and doesn’t sting my eyes. Another one I like to use is Dermalogica skin resurfacing cleanser however I am careful to not use this when I am using a lot of products containing retinol or AHA and I always wear an SPF.
Toner is designed to remove excess cleanser from your skin and help reset the PH level of your skin.
Following my face wash I like to wipe over my skin with one of the following products on a cotton pad. I find the pad acts as a gentle daily exfoliation and seeing if the pad remains white reassures me that my skin is clean.
Sometimes the product I use at this point may contain AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) this is a chemical exfoliation, so no bits to rub round and rinse off.
Exfoliation is a key step in helping the skin look fresher, radiant, as it removing those dead layeers of skin that can look dry and dull.
It also allows products to penetrate better into the skin and helps to keep pores clean.
Gentle exfoliation using cotton pads and flannels I think are good to do daily.
Chemical or manual exfoliation, depending on your skin type and skin condition around 2-3 times a week.
What I currently use
On the cotton pad I tend to use one of three products:
Clarins One step facial cleanser – sometimes if I am in a rush I might skip the face wash and just use this on a cotton pad to remove any dirt and product from the night before.
Clarins toning lotion with camomile – Like the one step cleanser this is refreshing to use after my face wash.
REN Ready steady glow daily aha tonic – If I haven’t used retinol for a few nights and feel my skin needs a boost I will wipe over with this. This is a chemical exfoliant as I do not like to use scrubs on my face. So the Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHA’s will gently breakdown the bonds between dead skin cells leaving your skin brighter and renewed.
The skin around the eye area is much thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face. So it isn’t a sales ploy, you do sometimes need a different consistancy of product around the eyes. The eye area is also one of the first areas of the face to show the signs of ageing, so from your 20’s I would get into the habit of using an eye product. Prevention is better than cure.
When applying products even eye creams they should be applied to the occipital bone. If you feel just under your eyebrow and follow that bone all the way around your eye that is where you should be applying your products including eye creams.
Don’t get me wrong some products I will apply all over my face including over my eyelids but if you find your eye’s getting puffy or watery this will be why.
What I currently use
As part of my morning skincare routine I like to add in an eye gel or gel cream type product. I find these lighter in texture and sit better under makeup.
Some of my favourites are:
Chanel Hydra beauty micro gel – This lightweight, hydrating, non-sticky gel is lovely and refreshing in a morning. I had used this for a while now, on and off.
Clarins Eye contour gel – Another nice cooling gel formula that I enjoy using.
Bare minerals Vital power eye gel cream – I got this in a set for christmas and it is absolutely lovely. It is a gel cream formula so has been perfect through the colder months as it feels more cream-like yet is super lightweight around the eyes.
Laniege Quick hydro pen – I got this when I was in Paris and again this is a lightweight gel cream, more on the runnier side than Bare minerals. It’s nice and I will use it up but I wouldn’t repurchase it’s nothing special and I’m not a fan of the clicky pen dispenser.
Serums are designed to give you that extra bit of something whether that’s extra hydration, pore refining, anti ageing there are lots of skin treatments to suit all skin concerns. This is the part where you can introduce an active ingredient be that vitamin C or retinol (at night) for example.
What I currently use
Bare minerals Vital power infusion – This product I have repurchased 4 times I love it. It hasn’t got mind blowing ingredients to give dramatic results but I enjoy using it so much. I love the smell, the consistancy and the feel.
Bobbi brown Treatment lotion – This product is another that I dip in and out of I love Bobbi Brown skincare and it is lovely to apply it’s just a little sticky, the stickiness doesn’t last though once moisturser is on.
Paula’s Choice C15 super booster – This has 15% Vitamin C and is designed to help with pigmentation. I haven’t seen a dramatic result but I don’t use it regularly so maybe that is why.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic acid 2% + B5 – Everyone needs Hyaluronic acid it attracts water to the skin to help with dehydration, leaving the skin plump. I bought this one as people seemed to rave about it and it’s super affordable. However I tend to use this on no makeup days as it has a tendancy to pill/ball up (rolls off like rubber shavings) so can’t really apply much over it or rub over it, due to this I would’nt repurchase.
Moisturisers are designed to do just that, give moisture and suppleness to the skin. Even if your skin is oily you still need to be using a moisturiser. Something oil free to regulate oil control. If your skin is drier you may need a slightly richer formula. A lot of it is just down to personal preference.
What I currently use
In the day I almost always wear makeup so I want a moisturiser that’s going to sit well under makeup. That’s going to offer hydration throughout the day but that is light weight and is going to absorb into my skin.
A few that I am currently using are:
Dermalogica skin smoothing cream – This is almost coming to an end and I will probably repurchase. It’s non-fragranced, thicker in consistancy yet light on the skin, just one of those old faithfuls you can pull out when you need hydration.
Clarins hydra essential – I purchased this after getting a trial size in a kit. It’s a lovely fresh, light weight day cream.
Laniege Hydrating gel – The product I got in Paris and opted for the gel cream formulation, it’s lovely but through the winter hasn’t been quite nourishing enough, will be lovely in summer.
Bare minerals vital power moisturiser spf 30 – This is another product that was part of a set I received for Christmas and I love that it has the SPF in it. It is a physical SPF so when you apply it it has quite a white cast but it does blend in and I feel through the winter it offers enough protection (as I’m not outside much at all)
From years of being a sun lover and going on sunbeds I am paying the price wth hyper pigmentation and sun damage. If only I could go back in time and slather my younger self in factor 50 (like I was told to) but NO! I wanted to be super bronzed (still do, just now it’s out of a bottle).
I’m trying to reverse all those years of damage with AHA’s and retinol, so I need to protect my skin from any further damage….every single day!
What I currently use
Bare minerals vital power moisturiser spf 30 – See above
La Roche Posay Anthelios xl 50+ – If I was outside or as we go into spring and summer I feel better knowing I have applied a higher factor to my face.
I hope this has been useful, let me know about your skincare routine and which products you currently use.