Today we’re going Back to Basics and having an in depth chat about the most basic of skincare routines and why it’s important ! There’s no surprise that a skincare routine is the most important step for perfecting any look, so let’s dig in!
For me, the most essential, important part of my makeup routine is my skincare. I know that sounds quite bizarre, but an artist primes their canvas before painting and the same goes for skincare! I find that a correct skincare regime is the most basic part of getting your makeup looking flawless. I don’t have a lot of higher end skincare products, I find that there are some amazing and more affordable products found at Priceline, which is where I purchase the majority of my skincare products.
It can be so hard to figure out your skin type, and I’m definitely not an expert. If you’re shiny, you’re oily, and if you’ve got flaky skin you tend to be dry. These things though are very simplistic, and for genuine advice as to the skintype you have I’d recommend visitng a professional to be certain. If that’s not in your budget (it’s not in mine!) and you’re after some guidance, the Renee Rouleau quiz is one of the best I’ve found.
I started a skincare routine when I was probably ten years old – my mother instilled the importance of cleansing, toning and moisturising the skin each night after a long day. My skincare routine has definitely become more established since this time and much more complex, however regardless of the products the basis still stays the same. Whilst there are plenty of serums, masks and all other complicated products, the basic skincare routine that works for everyone is as follows: Cleanser, exfoliator, toner, moisturiser and eye cream.
(Please do keep in mind, I don’t have any formal training in skincare and these are purely recommendations. I have combination skin – an oily t-zone and normal-dry everywhere else, so the products I recommend for this type are ones I’ve used personally, and all other products are based off reviews from friends and family.)
Cleanse. Cleansing is one of the most vital parts of a skincare routine. I personally cleanse twice per day using different products. Of a morning, I like to use either a simple micellar water to wipe off products from the night before, or a gentle cleanser – whichever my skin feels like it needs. Of an evening, I triple cleanse which I think is incredibly important – I use a face wipe to firstly remove the majority of my makeup; then a micellar water to remove the remainder, and then finally a ‘proper’ cleanser targeted to my skin type to remove anything further and fully refresh my skin. I don’t necessarily always do these three steps, especially if I haven’t worn makeup that day, but the steps remain the same – it’s so important to cleanse your skin. It’s no secret that my favourite makeup remover wipes are the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Towelettes which are gentle and perfect for all skin types, however there are makeup wipes from brands such as Nivea and Simple that are targeted to specific skin types. For a micellar water, I tend to use whichever I’ve got handy (I purchased about eight in the second to last Priceline 40% off sale!) but my favourites are any from Bioderma or the Avene Cleanance Micellar Water* (I buy it from Priceline but can’t find it online!) that I’m currently using which is targeted towards more oily and blemish prone skin, however isn’t too harsh or drying on the rest of my skin. Cleansers are definitely something that can be hit and miss and something I’ve purchased multiple of in the past until I’ve found the ones that work best for me. I’d recommend something personally targeted to your skin type, and asking someone like a Priceline Beauty Advisor or a friend with similar skin to you is something I’d really recommend. Some of my favourite cleansers though are from Derma E, Neutrogena, Avene, Biore and Simple.
Exfoliate. A common misconception about exfoliation is that it should only be used by people with dry skin because they’re the ones that need it the most – and I absolutely disagree! We shed layers of skin consistently, and they don’t always necessarily fall off by themselves. Whilst exfoliation helps when you’ve got dry skin to remove any annoying patches, with oilier skin it can still help to remove any dead skin and rejuvenate the skin cells underneath. It’s definitely important to target the exfoliant you choose to your skin type – for some people a chemical exfoliant may be too harsh, others may prefer a more gentle daily exfoliant or for someone such as myself I prefer a physical exfoliant a couple of times per week because I feel like that’s what works best for my skin (which has come from years of trial and error!) Recommendations include these from Manuka Doctor (current favourite), Derma E (a microdermabrasion scrub – feels much harsher on the skin), Klara Cosmetics (try it, it’s disturbing and enjoyable at the same time!), Dermaveen (the gentlest of gentle) and Aveeno.
Toner. A very misunderstood product! There are definitely harsher toners out there, but I like to use and recommend a toner to not only assist with any skin texture, but to also make sure that I remove any remaining makeup/cleanser/exfoliator on my face. Cleansing and exfoliating work deeper into the skin and I prefer to make sure that I’m getting rid of any remaining products on the skin with using a toner, especially in the areas of my face where I get quite oily and I feel like toner makes such a difference. There’s so many that I’ve used and loved, I go between using one for oilier skin to sensitive skin or for hydration – and sometimes I use two on different areas of my face, depending on how my skin feels. Again, toners are something I often change up depending on what my skin needs, and there are so many that could work for me that won’t for you! Some of my all time favourites are from Formula 10.0.6, Avene, Nivea (possibly my most repurchased toner ever, and something that I have a backup of at all times) and Bioderma. Pick a toner that you like the sound of, that you think will work the best and go from there. I find that toners tend to be one of the lowest priced items in a skincare range, so it’s easier to go out and purchase another if they don’t work out well for you.
Moisturiser. Now I’m going to split this into two categories: morning/day time and night.
Morning – most people do a smaller skincare routine of a morning (myself included) before applying makeup. You need to find a moisturiser that gives the right amount of hydration for your skin that also works out well underneath makeup. For me personally that’s been a long trial and error process as many I’ve found either don’t work well on my skin or well under makeup – yet my friends don’t necessarily have that problem – go figure! The type of moisturiser you choose again depends on your preference and skin type – even the oiliest of skin benefits from using moisturiser (the most common cause of excess oil is dehydration of the skin) so don’t be afraid! Some of my favourites are from La-Roche Posay (something I use daily because it also helps to remove acne scarring, an absolute miracle product!), Simple, Neutrogena, and Formula 10.0.6.
Night – a nighttime moisturiser tends to be a lot thicker, something to be worn to work its magic overnight as it has more time to penetrate the skin. If I’m not wearing makeup for the day, I tend to use my night moisturiser to add extra hydration to my skin throughout the day. The difference that a night time moisturiser can have on the skin is phenomenal. Recommendations include Nivea (easily one of the best I’ve ever tried, also my most repurchased), Avene (my newest and current obsession), Neutrogena and Essano (if you’re not sensitive to rosehip oil like many can be).
Eye Cream. Something not seen as essential by many, however I deem it an absolutely essential part of a skincare routine as it can help provide under eye lines later in life, and assist those who already have them – like myself! It’s something I wish I’d started using earlier – plus now my concealer and powder apply so much nicer and with less creasing than it did before. If you’re a bit older and need something anti-aging, some of the products from Olay will be amazing for you, however if you’re younger, some of my best recommendations are Neutrogena (good for those that are younger and don’t need much yet), Antipodes (my current one in use) and Indeed Laboratories.
But what about masks, serums etc?! These are parts of my skincare routine, but they’re additional extras, they aren’t necessarily essential and not part of a basic skincare routine. I personally use serums maybe 1-2 times per week, and masks the same. If my skin is looking dull and tired or feeling dry I’ll target it with a mask, same with my under eye areas. If I’ve got particular congestion, I’ll target that with a face mask or some pimple treatment. These are an ‘as necessary’ step, important if you’re needing them, but not essential and part of a basic skincare routine. Let me know though and I can do another in depth post about them.
If your skin is tired, dry, oily, dull, damaged, dehydrated or even completely normal, a basic skincare routine is the key to perfecting healthy looking skin, as well as creating a perfect base for makeup over the top. These are some of my favourite products and some that have been recommended to me by friends to share with you all – and most are more affordable and easily available at Princeline stores across the country (as well as in pharmacies/drugstores for those of you living overseas!)