Recently I've gotten into skincare in a big way. As an acne-riddled teenager, enjoying skincare would have been ridiculous. It was all creams, smelly lotions and gels which bleached the pillows! Yuck! Thankfully Roaccutaine and the contraceptive pill Yasmin cleared that up and my skin slowly started to recover.
Fast-forward to my late 20s, and a few months ago I came off the pill due to a cervical cancer scare (read Megan's blog Wonderful You for a fantastic account of why you should get a smear test ladies, she had a similar experience to me). Being a scientist, I read lots of journal papers and found there was a link between the contraceptive pill and becoming more susceptible to cervical cancer, so I decided to come off it. The only scary thing was that my pill had been helping me manage my skin for so long, I was terrified my acne would come back.
In an attempt to combat this, I decided to up my skincare game with support from my lovely friend Danni (who even remembers to use a perfect skincare routine when she's drunk - I've seen the evidence) and Queen Caroline Hirons. Through this morning routine, and my evening routine which I will share later this week, I've managed to keep my skin in control and glowing!
Me teaching the mother in law how to pout at the weekend!
Here is my regular skincare routine in the mornings to last me all day
In the mornings, I like to use this gentle cleanser from Perricone MD (£36). It's really moisturising and smells a little like olive oil! It's hypoallergenic so I know I won't get any nasty redness before I start my day.
I rarely use an exfoliator anymore as they are a bit rough to the skin. However when I feel my skin needs softening or looks a little dull, I really like this Body Shop Vitamin C microdermabrasion scrub (£17). It has new packaging now. The exfoliating agent is natural (no plastic exfoliants please!) and the vitamin C helps give your face a good glow. I use this only at weekends as it can leave you a little pink for a while if you have sensitive skin like me.
3. Acid Tone
This is a step I wasn't aware of until this year. Acid toners are awesome! This is Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) pick it up next time Marks & Spencer have a beauty discount event. The acid in this is 5% glycolic and I found I had to use it every other morning for a while, then start to use every day. (Titrate it up as my scientist friend Liz says!). Glycolic acid stimulates collagen and helps resurface, whisking away those dulling, dead cells. Read Caroline Hirons' blog for more on acid toners, and remember to use SPF after acid toning.
4. Another tone - if you want
I've been trying out this Rodial Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Acid Toner mini from M&S. Hyaluronic Acid is said to help lock in moisture to your skin. To be honest I haven't noticed any benefits from this yet, but as it's a refreshing spritz I thought I'd use it all up! It appears to work best for those with dry skin.
5. Vitamin C Serum
This serum is Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Glow Boost Serum and is currently £11.33. Vitamin C helps skin firmness and really makes it glow! Some people may slightly flush as it's a strong ingredient but it will settle down. I've been really struck by the immediate impact of this serum on my skin quality. I've also heard it helps skin pigmentation issues so I'm wondering if that's what's helping my post-spot marks go away so quickly.
6. Eye Cream
I like to use this Boots wrinkle filler one, which to my horror I've just discovered isn't on their website anymore. This one from Cosmetox+ looks good though. I love the plumping ones for giving me a smooth under-eye area before I apply concealer
A good, water-based, SPF moisturiser is the best thing to top off this routine. Water-based means it allows moisture in, and the SPF protects your skin from ageing and cancer. I'm currently using No 7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for oily skin (£13.50) and find it gentle enough to not cause spots, but hydrating enough to form a smooth base for makeup.
8. Lip Balm
I'm a lip balm addict, so find this a nice way to round off a routine. This Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Lip is amazing (£9.99). I got the tin version from a duty free, but there's a lipstick version too.