Makeup is obviously my professional thing, but I’ve always been of the opinion, that without a good skincare routine, no amount of amazing makeup goodness will sit well and look as good as it possibly can on your skin! Makeup and skincare, they go hand in hand. I love trying out new skincare products and am always on the look out for new potential favourites!
I always get asked about skincare, the best products to use and tips to correct various skin issues. Especially important at this time of year…the weather changes, heating goes on and skin can go a bit haywire! So here it is, as requested…my current/ Winter skin care routine and skin essentials. (For those of you that don’t know…my skin is generally combination sensitive and although I can get really oily around my nose, the rest of my face can feel very dehydrated, with minimal break outs really, but the combo of cold temperatures out and heating indoors, does mean I get a bit more redness than usual) Where I’ve previously mentioned/ have dedicated blog posts on individual products, I’ll link those too in case you want a more in depth review/ to read more detailed info!
I’m going to start with my morning routine. So even though my skin would have been completely cleansed etc the night before (which I’ll get to later), after a night in bed and oils building up on the skin, I like to cleanse, usually in the shower and it just wakes up my face. I love a clean feel to my skin, but hate that tight feeling you get from a lot of foaming face washes that tend to strip the skin of moisture as well as the build up up oils and dirt. The face wash I use is the Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel by French thermal spring water brand, La Roche Posay (Available from Boots*). It gently cleanses and gets rid of excess oil, without stripping the skin and drying it out. Great for sensitive souls like me (it doesn’t take much to upset my skin!) but really effective! You can use your hands to lather this as per norm for a face wash of course, but for the last year, I’ve been using it with a skincare device, the Foreo Luna Mini (Available from Boots*) and it makes such a difference to how my skin looks and feels! Was a bit unsure at first, especially as other popular skin devices on the market usually involve a harsher brush head (which you also need to regularly replace, so that’s more expense too), but the Luna Mini with it’s ultra hygienic (no replacements needed, just wash and go) and gentle silicon brush head swayed me, I tried it last Christmas and haven’t looked back, it’s so good! It gives my skin more of a glow and has been generally clearer since I started using it.
So after washing my face and before priming and makeup (if I’m wearing it) I apply my day skincare. Even though I’ve cleansed in the shower, I still like to just go over my face with a cotton pad soaked in Pixi Glow Tonic (Available from M&S), an exfoliating toner, which I’m obsessed with! You can read more about it here. It smooths, removes dead skin cells and leaves your skin healthier and more radiant. I then massage in a few drops of the amazing NIP + FAB Dragons Blood Hyaluronic Shot (Available from Boots* – a lot of NIP + FAB products are on sale, including this at the moment too, bonus!) for an intense boost of moisture and to plump up and freshen my face. Read more about it here. Then a bit of the eye cream that I’ve used for years and still find it the best and most effective for me, the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream (Available from Boots*) to brighten and depuff. A little goes a long way with this and I apply it under the eye and on my upper lid/ brow area. It contains caffeine and has a slight radiance/ peachy tint to the formula to wake you up and appear fresher and well rested, even if you’re far from it! My moisturiser is from the Vichy Aqualia Thermal range (which I love in general, the serum is brilliant!) and I use the light version (Available from Boots*) for normal – combo skin. It sinks in really quickly and doesn’t sit on top of the skin/ feel greasy. I’ll usually use either a foundation or BB cream with SPF in it (still important to protect your skin from the sun in the Winter!) and prefer a moisturiser without SPF as it can irritate my skin sometimes. Similar to the La Roche Posay products, Vichy products are also thermal spring water based, so hydration without being overly so and super gentle on the skin. Last, but not least, a slick of a recent find and a bargainous one at that…it’s such a good dupe for many of the other high end hydrating lip oils around…the Prettifying Lip Oil in 01 by budget beauty brand Essence (Available in Wilkos in the UK and Penneys in Ireland). I came across it by accident and I’m glad I did! Smells lush, is light, non – sticky and hydrates perfectly. Great worn alone or to prep for other lip products later.
After going about my day, it’s taking my face off time, which is (as much as I love applying/ wearing makeup) one of my most favourite and looked forward to moments of the day! Haha! Even if I haven’t worn makeup, I’ll at least go over my skin with a micellar water, my usual being the Simple one (Available from Boots*) followed by Pixi Glow Tonic as usual, just to remove any dirt and oil from the day. If I have worn makeup, I like to go for a more industrial strength cleanser that’s going to melt away my makeup, but something still gentle. Not an impossible ask and comes in the shape of Ultrabland by Lush. Another holygrail product that I’ve been using for years! Simple but effective, I massage a small amount all over my face, around my eyes, brows, everywhere and remove with a damp, warm flannel/ muslin cloth. It leaves your skin clean but not stripped and feeling super soft! I do like to make sure absolutely everything is gone, so again use my micellar water and if needed and the Simple Kind To Skin Dual Effect Eye Makeup Remover (Available from Boots*) to gently shift every single bit of stubborn mascara and liner. I’ll use the Pixi Glow Tonic now too, I use this twice daily.
After I’ve cleansed and toned with the Glow Tonic, I smooth on a pea sized amount of the Effeclar Duo + by La Roche Posay (Available from Boots*). I sleep with this miracle worker on! Basically, it’s a skin refining treatment. So it’s a gel cream which helps to refine the skins texture, unclogs blocked pores, corrects and fights against the appearance of marks and blemishes and all this and more, while still being sensitive skin friendly. It still contains the La Roche Posay thermal spring water too, so hydrates while you sleep! (It can be used day or night)
To maintain my winter skin (actually, not just Winter, this is an all year round thing too!) and it works for a bit of chill out time too, I use the Mask of Magnaminty by Lush face mask 2-3 times a week, or whenever my skin needs a pick me up (it’s gentle enough). You can use it on your face and body if needed, it’s cooling, refreshing, moisturising, antiseptic and it polishes and renews the skin. I won’t be without a pot of this! Read more about it here.
Last, but definitely not least…a few other essential bits that I always have at hand, just in case. As much as the use of face wipes disgusts and shocks some people, using them every now and then is not a crime, ha ha and as long as they don’t replace a proper deep cleanse and skincare routine, they’re so useful and brilliant at removing makeup on the go. I love the Simple Kind To Skin Micellar ones (Available from Boots*) as they’re alcohol and oil free and are non drying. I travel with a pack always and they’re great for makeup mishaps too!
Sudocrem has been a long time favourite spot treatment of mine. I like the Skin Care Version (Available from Boots*), it comes in a tube, way easier and less messy than a pot! It settles, reduces redness and swelling. I apply a small amount directly to any blemishes before bed and it works a treat.
I’m never far from a tube of Blistex Relief Cream (Available from Boots*), it’s so inexpensive, yet essential in my opinion, there’s nothing better for prevention and treatment of already chapped and even cracked lips! It’s the only thing that stops my lips literally flaking off throughout the winter. It lists its possible side effects as swelling of the lips, but personally, I wouldn’t say that’s a negative, as well as being super restorative and healing, it makes lips look fuller too!
So yeah, that’s what I do and that’s what I use! Do you switch up your skincare routine for the winter months? And absolutely if you have any suggestions/ recommendations for anything skincare I need to try, leave it in the comments bellow!