Consistency is far more important than perfection. As with any area of your life, small, sustainable daily imporvements over time can lead to seriously improessive results. A 15 step routine might work for your best friend, but you have make sure what you do will really work for you in the long term.
CLEANSE A gentle cleanse first thing in the morning helps remove and oil or debris that has built up over night, like sweat.
TONE OR EXFOLIATE A gentle acid toner, like glycolic or lactic acid can be applied here as needed. Salicycli acid is the choice for oil or acne-prone skin. This will gently remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. If your skin is becoming sensitised, you may be doing this a little bit too often. Cut back to every second day, and use the homemade apple cider vinegar toner recipe that we love: 1-2tbsp ACV in 200ml of filtered water (if it stings, dilute further).
EYE CREAM Eye cream needs to be applied before anything else, including serums and moisturisers.
VITAMIN C OR OTHER ANTI-OXIDANTS This is an essential ingredient for collagen formation and bright, glowing skin. However, it can contribute to an inrease in oil production, so if you are suffering from congestion and breakouts, skip this one for now. Vitamin C can be an unstable molecule, and is best applied before any other serum or hydrator to ensure best absorption.
HYDRATING SPRAY OR SERUM Have you got a hyaluronic acid serum in your bathroom cupboard and you’re not sure when to use it? Go get it, this is the step! Those water sprays/hydrating mists that no one ever seems to know what to do with can be sprayed on here to. They are excellent for increasing hydration, without clogging pores.
MOISTURISER + SPF Oily skins may find a hydrating sunscreen, like Hydrafactor from Obagi Medical, does the job nicely here. Drier skins may need both, separately. Choose one that suits your skin type, and make sure you apply enough of it, with SPF of at least 30 for bonus points.
REMOVE MAKEUP/SPF/POLLUTION These products are all designed to stay put…so you most definitely need a separate step to remove them. And when it come to smoke, pollution and dirt, have you ever looked under your nails after riding the Underground in London? An extreme example, perhaps, but you don’t want all of that on your skin!
CLEANSE YOUR FACE Depending on the type of skin you have, you may choose a cream, gel or wash based cleanser to throroughly clean your face with a facecloth.
TONE (OR ACID EXFOLIATION IF NEEDED) Similar to the AM routine, ACV toner as before, or acid aexfoliation if needed. Generally morning only for exfoliation is sufficient for most skin types.
EYE CREAM Delicate application of your preferred eye cream .
PEPTIDES/ANTI-AGING OR SKIN SPECIFIC SERUM This is where yoo can target your skin’s specific concerns, be they pigmentation, ageing, acne, rosacea etc.
RETINOL The infamous “retinol”, a.k.a. retinoid, tretinoin, retin-A, adapalene, tazarotene. All forms of Vitamin A and not to be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Retinol works to stimulat skin cell renewal and increase collagen in the skin, while unclogging pores. This can cause flaking at first, and is best gradually introduced to your routine (eg. 2 nights a week and increasing by 1 night every week).
MOISTURISER Some skins like a heavier moisturiser at night time, while oily ones just need a little hydration. If you are using retinol, wait 30 minutes before applying moisturiser.
Making sure you are using the correct products, (or at least products that are not damaging your skin!) is the first step in the right direction for your skin. I hope you found the above guide useful, and if you feel you would like to hone it further, a consultation with me is the next step.
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