I've got to admit, I was a makeup wipe kinda girl until I was into my twenties (yes, you read that right - 20's), and only when I started blogging did I realise there were products called cleansers & toners. So, ever since that point, and my first dabble with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, I've been trying to figure out what works best for me & my skin.
A bit of background : I feel like my skin falls into the dehydrated (tight feeling), combination (oily & dry) category. I get blemishes predominantly on my forehead and chin with good ol' blackheads on my nose. Awesome. The type of blemishes I get are very 'deep', for want of a better word, and they have been known to scar my skin as they're so big & angry and difficult to get rid of. If you really want to see my foundation free face, please click here (you have been warned).
So, here are a couple of my favourite products that I use in rotation to try achieve hydrated & clear skin! I think you will notice a 'if it ain't broke, don't fix replace it' method here; I'm a big believer in finding things and sticking to them - I also really hate waste. So unless it's causing me serious issues, I will stick it out until it's finished then replace with something better! (I'm sorry, I'm not made of money).
First up, the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C Cleansing Oil. I picked this up after hearing all the blogger hype, and months later - I can't say I'm disappointed. I massage this oil directly onto my dry, make-up laden face, it only takes a few seconds to begin dissolving and breaking down all my cosmetics, including tough mascara, lip stains - the lot. I do love it, although my main issue with it is that it doesn't come with a pump - easily solved, but still one I haven't got round to! That, and it does make my eyes a bit 'bleary' after use (due to vitamin c content, supposedly!) However, it feels lovely to use, smells beautiful and does what it claims. After massaging, simply splash with water and remove with a hot flannel. It doesn't leave a greasy film & my skin is always left feeling healthy and happy.
To follow up, I use Antipodes Juliette Skin Brightening Cleansing Gel*. My skin is normally pretty clean by this point, but I like to rub a blob of this gel all over my face to remove any leftover oil or stubborn makeup. It's a nice product, but not necessarily something I would repurchase, as I feel it's better for oily skin types. It doesn't quite give my dry patches enough moisture, but does balance out oiler parts well (perfect for warmer weather). Full review here. When this runs out, I have a feeling I may purchase the Pai Camelia & Rose Hydrating Cleanser, instead - let me know if you've used it!
Yes. Toner, singular. Only recently have I started introducing a toner into my routine again, and I've got to admit I have noticed a difference; mainly with keeping my skin clearer for longer. I add some Lush Eau Roma Toner to a cotton pad and swipe away until I'm satisfied that every speck of grime is gone from my face. However, seeing as I 'double cleanse' I sometimes just like to spritz this into the palm of my hand and pat into place! I feel like products after this (moisturiser etc) sink in better because of this step! I may even add an exfoliating toner to the mix in future (Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner, I'm looking at you).
Again, one product. I'll admit the serum/oil stage is quite new to me, although I've really noticed it to be very beneficial to the hydration & plumpness (technical term) of my skin. The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil is that wonder product. It's a two in one, no messing, hydrating serum AND oil (no surprises there, the clue's in the name). I apply two to three drops of this religiously on a night time and my skin feels amazingly soft and smooth by morning. I can't imagine life without it! (slightly dramatic, but very true).
Two Keihls products that I absolutely swear by are the Ultra Cream & the Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment. They're both simple, hydrating but not overly heavy and do exactly what they say on the tub. The Ultra Cream makes a great base for makeup, but equally a nice layer of moisture for skin on a night. It hydrates my dry parts, while not swamping my oily bits - I love it! I then rub a teeny blob of Avocado Eye Cream between my fingers and pat onto my under eye. I have extremely weird dry eye bags, so this is an essential step. It's extremely gentle but very effective & lasts absolutely ages!
Finally, onto masks, my favourite part of my routine, yet one I seem to generally never make time for! However, when I do, I go all out; starting with the infamous Aesop Parsley Seed Mask or the equally as brilliant Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask. They both have wonderful cleansing properties, yet the Antipodes offering contains a bit more moisture, so depending on how my skin is feeling, depends on which I use. I do love them both and they're particularly great for tackling break-outs!
I then follow up with the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. I generally tend to avoid harsh, scrubby exfoliators and lean more towards this 'peel' for removing dead skin and cleansing pores. I'm always left with extremely soft & brighter skin after using this. It's incredibly gentle yet definitely gets the job done!
After all that, I'll top up on some serious moisture with Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. This. Stuff. Is. Awesome. Firstly, it smells absolutely wonderfully and citrus-y. Secondly, it's just a pleasure to apply - cooling, soothing & hydrating almost instantly. Finally, it's not overly heavy - by the morning my skin has soaked up all the goodness and my face looks significantly more hydrated & plump!