I’ve been slacking on blogging, as once again, as often happens once you enter the adult world, life has been getting in the way. I ended up finding myself taking a quick break from the world of beauty, social media and algorithms, so that I could enjoy the sun over the bank holiday weekend.
So, having forgotten all about the stress that comes with monitoring your engagement on Instagram, I’m finally ready to share my skincare routine with you. There’s a lot of experimenting involved with skincare, so rather than waiting until I finally achieve skin perfection (which when I think I have is usually ruined by a breakout), I figured it would be far more interesting to take you on this journey with me. I’ll be sharing my current routine every three months, to show you the progress I’m making, which products are staying, and which ones need to go. Make sure you watch the video to see how I apply each product in my current morning routine, or read the post to see my impressions on each of the products mentioned.
Up until very recently, cleansing is a step I was not paying enough attention to. I was really only using makeup remover, which was tugging on my eyes and leaving them feeling irritated and sore, as well as the fact that it doesn’t actually get all the day’s dirt off of your face. So, I’m converting to the church of double cleansing, and trying to find the best products for me.
For my first cleanser, I use the L’Oréal Fine Flowers Cleansing Milk, which I previously reviewed here on my blog. While the instructions say to use it on a cotton pad, I use it as a face wash, to avoid tugging on my eyes. It does a good job at removing every day makeup, but it can struggle with heavier looks, especially when gel liner or a thicker mascara is involved. The skin does feel soft and even a little moisturised after using it, however it does contain fragrance in its ingredient list, which can be irritating and therefore I want to move away from, so after finishing this one, I’ll be picking up an alternative.
Get it from Superdrug for £5.99.
Next it’s on to the Simply Pure Face Wash, which I will use by itself in the morning, or if I haven’t been wearing makeup that day. If you do have sensitive skin, and you’re on a budget, then this range from Superdrug is formulated without fragrances and is super affordable. I do find unfortunately that this gel cleanser can leave my skin feeling dry and tight if I use it on it’s own, so I am searching for an alternative which ticks the same hypoallergenic boxes (harder than I initially thought at the drugstore!).
Pick it up from Superdrug for just £2.99.
As these steps are not always enough to remove heavier makeup, I do sometimes add a third step, one which I have again already reviewed on here. The Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water is by far one of my favourite makeup removers, as the oil means I don’t tug on my eyes as much as I do with other products, so they end up less irritated. One again unfortunately, as you will see is a theme throughout this post, fragrance is listed on the ingredient list, which is especially annoying when the product targets sensitive skin. This is another one I will be swapping out once I run out.
Find it at Superdrug for £5.99.
I have truly fallen in love chemical exfoliators. While my skin is still far from perfect, since using them, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in the texture at the top of my cheeks, and my skin always feels plump and soft after using them. I use these exclusively at night, as per the instructions.
Having previously used The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid, I am now on my second bottle of Revolution Skincare’s Mild Skin Exfoliator. I find that they have similar results, but the thicker consistency of this one means I need to use less product, as a little goes a long way.
Pick it up for £6 on the Revolution Beauty website.
Twice a week, I have started replacing it with their Intense Skin Exfoliator, which contains a stronger mix of both AHA and BHAs. I have actually stopped using this at the moment, as I’m struggling with my skin a lot more and I don’t to use it while it is damaged. I’ll be focusing this on the times where I notice more texture, particularly around my time of the month.
Find this one on the Revolution Beauty website for £8.
An honorable mention for this product category, as I am not using one currently. Another ingredient I am keen to avoid is alcohol, as it can be very drying, which my already dry skin does not need. Apparently, finding a toner which does not contain alcohol is near impossible in this day and age.
One I had found was The Body Shop’s Aloe Calming Toner, which I picked up on Black Friday last year. A few weeks in, I noticed some of the worst texture I had ever had around my chin and jaw line. I was dry and itchy, and it made me feel so self conscious that I stopped recording tutorials around that time. I wasn’t sure the toner was the culprit, so I used the bottle right up until I finished it, and as soon as it left my routine, my skin improved. I won’t be recommending this toner to anyone.
Watch any skincare guru online, and they will tell you that serums are where you should be putting all your money, to ensure you are getting the best ingredients. Does this mean however, that drugstore options are no good?
In the case of this Superdrug Vitamin C Booster, the answer is yes. A good vitamin C serum will brighten your skin and help with pigmentation issues, but other than smelling of Summer and oranges, this one does not deliver. I’ve gone through several bottles, just for the sake of including the vitamin in my routine, but the lack of visible effects is proving that this serum is a false economy.
Get it from Superdrug for £4.99.
My second serum is one for the eyes, which I added last year when they were feeling dry and sensitive. The Revolution Skincare Targeted Under Eye Serum contains Hyaluronic, which does leave the area feeling plump, and caffeine, which targets dark circles. That second I haven’t really noticed. If my eyes start feeling irritated I will leave this one out of my routine as I find it can sting, so this combined with the lack of real effects means it won’t be repurchased.
Find it on Superdrug for £5.99.
So far, we may not be having much luck with the drugstore serums, but my final one comes in to save the day. The Simply Pure Hydrating Serum, again from Superdrug’s sensitive skin range, does a lot better than it’s cleansing companion I mentioned earlier in the post. In an attempt to save money, I replaced my french pharmacy brand serums with this very affordable option, to give my skin some extra hydration before using my moisturiser. I’m pleased to say it does a great job, doesn’t contain anything on the ingredient list that scares me into replacing it, and will keep a place in my routine for a while still. Plus, stock up on it while Superdrug has deals on to save yourself even more cash!
Get it from Superdrug for just £2.99.
I do need to add that I only use these serums during the day. That’s right, my nighttime routine does not currently feature any serums, which all the skincare gurus will tell me is wrong. Don’t worry though, as I plan on adding some in the coming months. Expect an even longer blog post next time!
Eye cream may not be considered essential by all, especially while still in your twenties, but I added it to my routine a few years ago, when my eyes got so sensitive that applying my eyeliner would sting them (but I still risked it, because winged liner is amazing). Simple is a brand I had never gotten on with until finding this Kind to Eyes Soothing Eye Balm, which is one of the most affordable eye creams available at the drugstore.
It doesn’t have any anti-ageing properties like other ones do, but it is super moisturising and I always come back to it after trying another cream, as I find the sensitivity inevitably comes back otherwise. I do want to include an eye cream that actually targets lines and helps with dark circles, but I can see myself coming back to this one many, many times. And again, this one is often on offer, so you can stock up on it for a fraction of it’s already low cost!
Pick it up from Superdrug for £3.99.
For daytime, I’m on my second tube of Nip+Fab No Needle Fix Cream. The most expensive item on this list, I have never actually paid full price for products from the brand, as they are always on offer at Boots, Superdrug, or even their own website, often saving you a tonne of money. I loved this moisturiser the first time I bought it, but it took my skin a few weeks to enjoy it again this time round. It does leave it feeling nice and plump, and does also contain SPF 20, although I still use my own SPF afterwards. Once again annoyingly, it contains fragrance, and this time it’s much higher on the ingredient list! And the strange thing? This cream actually smells pretty bad. I don’t think the fragrances were needed for this one.
Get it from Superdrug for £19.95.
My night time choice is the Nivea Daily Essentials Face Night Cream. This one has been in my routine for years! It has a lovely thick texture which absorbs quickly into the skin, and will still leave you feeling moisturised when you wake up in the morning. I do sometimes have a tendency to forget this, as the lactic acid is often moisturising and plumping enough on its own, but I do always feel better when I add this. Once again unfortunately, even though this particular cream is designed for sensitive skin, it contains fragrance, so it will finally be departing from my routine once I find a suitable alternative.
Pick it up from Superdrug for £4.99.
On to the final step in my morning routine, and one of the most important: SPF. Watch any skincare professional on YouTube, and they will drill the need to add this to your routine if you don’t already, in order to prevent sun spots and signs of ageing. I only introduced it last year, when I started using acids in my routine, as these do increase your sensitivity to sunlight, but it should have already been in there before.
My biggest issue with finding the right SPF was alcohol, which is often high up on the list of ingredients for most SPF. Not only is the Soltan Protect & Moisturise Face Suncare Cream affordable, it does not actually contain alcohol, making it an obvious choice for me. I currently use the SPF 30 option, but will switch to 50 when we get closer to Summer. It feels just like a moisturiser when you apply it, and doesn’t break me out or affect my makeup (although it can take some time to sink into your skin, so I would recommend waiting a little before applying makeup). I also can’t confirm whether or not this creates flashback in photos as I haven’t tested this, but I will update you all when I do.
Get it from Boots for £5.50.
With my longest post of the year so far, I hope you enjoyed it and I will be keeping you regularly updated with new products and my thoughts on them! Make sure you let me know what you skincare faves are in the comments below.