I started paying attention to my skin when I was about 25 (I’m turning 27 next month). I’ve always taken okay care of it but it wasn’t until I hit my mid-twenties that I really developed a proper skincare routine. I’ve always endeavoured to drink enough water, always removed my make up before bed and usually slapped some sort of moisturiser on, but now I’ve got a good little routine that keeps my skin hydrated and clear.
A little bit of background before I jump into the routine. My skin is on the dry side and isn’t sensitive or particularly prone to spots, though I can get a couple of the blighters when I’m a bit PMS-ridden. I tend to have a couple of make up free days every week as well, as I think it’s important to let your skin have a break from make up as often as possible.
Okay, so onto my evening skincare routine.
Step One: Cleansing
Since being introduced to the importance of two-step cleansing I’ve jumped on board with the idea. I banished make up wipes from my routine a couple of years ago and my skin looks more youthful now than it did then. Honestly, invest in a decent cleanser and leave the make up wipes for cleaning up eyeshadow fall out, wiping swatches off of your arm or cleaning your make up table!
First things I do is soak a cotton pad with micellar water and sweep it all over my face to remove most of my make up. I’ve tried a couple of micellar waters over the last year or so and I don’t really have a favourite – but maybe that’s because I’ve never used Bioderma, eh? I’m using the Botanics All Bright Micellar Water at the moment and I like it a lot, though I’ve got my eye on the Garnier one next, as I’ve heard great things about it.
After my first cleansing stage I head into the bathroom for stage two, which utilises my favourite product of the bunch. Everything you’ve read about the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm is true – this is an absolute holy grail product. I can’t say enough positive things about it, so if you’re hovering on the fence because of the price (it is quite steep but it’s completely worth it) go for it, I promise you won’t regret it.
This thick, creamy balm melts your make up away as soon as it comes into contact with your skin. It sinks in, pushes out all the leftover make up and dirt from the day and even budges the most stubborn mascara and eyeliner. I spend a couple of minutes massaging it into my face and then wipe it off with a hot flannel. Absolute bliss.
Step Two: Post-Cleansing
After I’ve finished cleansing I usually clean my teeth, hop into my pyjamas and jump into bed to finish off my routine. My skincare routine takes about twenty minutes in total, so I usually pop on an episode of South Park at the same time.
I spritz some of Lush’s Eau Roma Toner onto a cotton pad and apply it to my face, just to remove any last traces of grime. I’m a big fan of this product, which I bought on a bit of a whim. Toner was the last introduction to my skincare routine but I’m glad I’ve discovered one that works for me. I use this one every night, have done for the past three months or so, and I’ve got about half left in the bottle. Excellent!
Next up, I whack on a bit of lip balm. I use all sorts but at the moment I’m enjoying Caudalie’s Lip Conditioner, though my boyfriend swears it tastes like pencil shavings!
I use a facial oil every other day or so and that’s a frequency that works best for my skin type, though you might want to do it every night if your skin is very dry, or less often if you have oily skin. Like everyone else, the idea of using an oil on my face did worry me at first, but the benefits are easy to see and it’s helped my dry skin massively. I use either the Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil or the Tarte Maracuja Oil, which is what I’m using at the moment. Both are lovely, and can be shipped to the UK from Sephora.
After oil I usually pop on something serum-related, and at the moment I’m really enjoying the Garnier Moisture Match Gel. I picked this up in a 3 for 2 offer, not really expecting great things, but it’s actually a really nice product that I’d be tempted to pick up again. It’s not strictly a serum but it works well in my routine and gives my skin a nice shot of radiance. I sometimes use this on its own as a day time moisturiser, too.
Next up is my night cream. At the moment I’m using the Olay Firm & Lift Night Cream, which is…fine. It’s actually better than fine but don’t you always find that the products you’re not excited about take the longest to use up? I was using an Origins night cream before this, which I seemed to get through in a couple of months, whereas I’ve been using this since the summer and I’ve still got about a quarter left! It’s a nice product and hydrates my skin well, I’m just not crazy about it.
After trying a few eye creams and never really finding ‘the one’, I’m a bit in love with the penultimate product in my routine. The Tarte Maracuja Eye Cream is something I got in a Tarte gift set and never really thought much about. After using it for about a month, though, my dark circles were actually reduced and my eye area looked noticeably more awake and smooth. I’ve never, ever had an eye cream that really made positive changes to my skin (instead, they just sort of maintained what was already there, without it getting worse), so I’m a huge fan of this product! Sadly my current pot is running dangerously low, but it’s a travel size and has lasted a good couple of months.
Last up, hand cream! They say your hands are one of the first places to start ageing but I think they’re an area we often neglect. I’ve tried a couple of hand creams that didn’t really do anything for me, but I stumbled across the Dr Organic Coconut Oil Hand & Nail Cream and it’s brilliant. It leaves my hands feeling super smooth and moisturised, it smells great and isn’t greasy. Win.
So, that’s my entire evening skincare routine. Typing it all out it seems pretty long, but as I said before, it takes me maybe twenty minutes from start to finish and it’s become a really relaxing part of my evening. I tend to do it after putting my phone down for the night and getting into bed, and it helps to get me into the right state of mind for a good night’s sleep.