4 PRODUCTS EVERY WOMAN NEEDS IN HER SKIN ROUTINE AND WHY
Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Every woman likes to think they know what's important when it comes to skincare, but truth be told, I know the world of beauty routines can be a bit of a minefield. I'm here to help with the 4 basic products you NEED to be using right now!
You may have a skin routine in place, but aren't really sure if it's working for you; or you may chop and change between products at the drop of a hat and have no real structure to what you're using on your face. There is no shame in admitting you have no idea what you're doing when it comes to your skincare - going by the many women I speak to on a regular basis, there is a lot of blagging going on!
But, you don't have to be an expert in order to get it right. Yes, there is a product out there for every concern, skin type, issue or day of the week but it doesn't have to be complicated!
A lot of advice is often conflicting and can be very overwhelming. Double cleansing, what does this mean and should I be doing it? How often should I exfoliate and what should I use? Should I be using a serum? Would I benefit from a face oil? Will a sheet mask help revive my skin?
Stop right there! I'm about to give you 3 vital products that are absolute essentials for every woman out there. No matter how stripped back you want your skincare routine to be, these are non-negotiable.
Products left to right - Clinique 'take the day off cleansing balm', Gucci 'flora', Patchology 'lip service', Rodial 'glycolic booster drops', Pai 'rosehip regenerate oil'
Cleansing your skin is the most basic of starting points. Most people already cleanse in the evening. For those of you that wear makeup, there is nothing better than cleansing your skin at the end of the day. Whether you're cleansing, double cleansing, or triple cleansing, I don't care - as long as you are removing the makeup, pollution and build up of microbes from the skin's surface. Cleansing not only frees the skin of any pollutants and thus prevents breakouts, it also allows any subsequent skincare to be better absorbed and penetrate the skin barrier (win win!). This is why even if you don't wear makeup, it is just as important to spend the time washing the day off your face before heading to bed.
It is just as important to cleanse your face in the morning. You may think that while we sleep our faces are not getting dirty, so what's the point? Well, throughout the night your skin does a lot of work and your cells go into overdrive, repairing and renewing themselves. The products applied the night before have been absorbed into the skin and penetrated the cells but in doing so there is a new film of dead skin, oil and residue sitting on the surface. You now need to remove this build up before putting on moisturiser, makeup or skincare. A morning cleanse will leave your skin feeling soft and give you much more of a glow - and who doesn't want that? And just the same as your night time cleanse, your daytime serums and moisturisers can work much more effectively on fresh skin and your makeup will apply more evenly, for a longer wearing finish, when the skin has been primed properly.
If at this point you think a makeup wipe is a sufficient cleanse, we need to have serious words!
When choosing a cleanser, opt for a gently option that will effectively remove eye makeup and cleanse your face. My favourite product for breaking down that stubborn mascara is Chanel DÉMAQUILLANT YEUX INTENSE. Oil based cleansers, like *Bobbi Brown CLEANSING OIL, really help break down product and remove impurities from the surface of the skin. Following your cleanse with an AHA exfoliating product, like glycolic or lactic acid, will assist the skin in cell renewal and help brighten your complexion. *Nip&Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads are great for a quick and fuss free daily exfoliation, but if you're looking for a real boost, I love the *Rodial Glycolic Booster drops used 1-2 times a week.
Whether your skin is dry or oily, hydration is absolutely key.
Hyaluronic Acid is naturally produced by your body and is found in large quantities in your skin. Its function is to retain water within your cell tissues and therefore is a key ingredient to look out for in your products. It will rehydrate your skin for a plumper appearance and will minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SERUM AND A MOISTURISER?
Serums tend to be thinner and lighter than moisturisers, and are designed to deliver high concentrations of specific active ingredients deeper into the skin. Topical issues serums endeavour to combat can include: dehydration, dullness, excess oil production, or pigmentation.
Moisturisers are thicker and creamier than serums and are designed to hydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss. They are less likely to contain active ingredients and if they do, it's at a much lower concentration than the majority of serums. A personal favourite of mine is the *Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré.
DO I NEED A SERUM AND A MOISTURISER?
Because of the active ingredients in serums, you'll want to incorporate a serum into your routine in order to penetrate your skin as deeply and effectively as possible. This means serums should be applied as soon as you've cleaned your face to have optimal effect. Serums should be followed by moisturiser to form that protective skin barrier and preserve moisture.
Often associated with a more mature woman, eye cream is the forgotten gem of the skincare world. Like all other aspects of skincare, the earlier you take care of your skin the better - the old saying of prevention is better than cure is certainly true when it comes to our skin. It's a sad fact that the skin around your eyes ages faster than the skin on the rest of your face.
Many people start using eye cream when they begin noticing the first signs of fine lines around the eyes but you should be taking care of your eye area even before these appear. Skin around the eyes is 40 per cent thinner and it is also the least elastic part of your face and so regular moisturisers should not be used on this delicate area. Eye creams have been specifically developed to deliver the same ingredients you would use on other areas of your face but at doses that are gentle enough to avoid irritation.
The skin around your eye loses moisture around 50% faster than the rest of your face, so it’s actually the driest area of your face. However, the skin is so delicate it doesn’t show patchy dryness on the surface, like the rest of our face, even though it’s the most vulnerable area. What eye creams will do is ensure your eye area is just as hydrated as the rest of the face, and with hydration comes a plumper skin appearance and fine lines will appear reduced.
While many eye creams will claim they remove dark circles, don't expect miracles! Dark circles, although can be caused through lack of sleep, are often hereditary or as a result of collagen reduction from ageing. As a result, the blood vessels appear more noticeable through the skin, causing a shadow. An eye cream will help with hydrating the area, meaning your concealer will apply much more evenly and hiding dark circles will come with ease.
*Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex is the perfect balance of hydration, whilst being a lightweight gel-cream texture that absorbs quickly, meaning it's ideal for using under makeup application.
It's a common misconception that SPF is only needed when getting direct sun exposure for prolonged periods of time. However, SPF is the single most important factor in looking after your skin. UVA rays, in particular, penetrate deeper into the skin and can lead to long-term damaging effects, such as: wrinkling, premature ageing and other skin damage.
Even when it is overcast (and UVB rays are not a concern), up to 80% of the sun's rays are still being absorbed by your skin. Therefore, Dermatologists recommend that everyone use sunscreen of at least SPF30, on a daily basis. Sunscreen helps prevent discolouration and dark spots from sun damage, helping you maintain a smoother and more even skin tone. It's important to note that your sunscreen needs to be 'broad spectrum', as this ensures the product protects against UVA and UVB rays.
My current favourite face SPF is the Heliocare 360 Gel Oil Free SPF50 which protects against UV and Infrared rays. Not only does this smell divine (think apricots and summer), unlike a lot of SPF's on the market, this one doesn't leave a thick white residue on the skin and is suitable for oily and problematic skin types.
Image 1 - Chloe GH Bridal
Image 2 - Chloe GH Bridal
Image 3 - Hobbs London, Makeup Chloe Gottlieb-Hunt, Styling by Georgie Stuart
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DISCLAIMER - The views expressed on this site are the author’s own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.
I happily recommend products through my blog and this has become a key component of my Blog and Instagram channels. Any recommendation is based on personal experience – or the trusted experience of a tester/colleague – but everyone’s skin is different and something that works for me may not necessarily work for you in the same way. This also applies to allergic reactions. It is impossible to anticipate allergies and therefore I am not liable should any irritation or allergic reaction occur. Please use product recommendations at your own discretion and risk.