Although it's still far from perfect, I don't think my skin has been this good since before puberty - it's going through some sort of Renaissance (Skin-aissance, if you will) - so I thought it was time to share some of the fantastic product that have turned it around. I have combination skin so I'll talk you through which products I think would also work for dry or oily skin.
First off I'll wash my face with the Body Shop Tea Tree Face Wash (£5). It has a shower gel-like consistency so I just jump in the shower with it and it's really nice and invigorating. This product is perfect for targeting blemishes and reducing oiliness. I'll then use the Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner (£8.50) which preps the skin for moisturiser really well and removes any oiliness or residue. It's not at all stripping and leaves the skin soft, not dry or itchy.
I then apply the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + (15.50) which has cleared up my blemishes so nicely recently. Along with the Tea Tree Face Wash and another product I'll mention later; this is a must-have for reducing breakouts. After that I'll smooth on the No7 Protect and Perfect Advanced Serum (£30.95). It makes my skin feel fresh and vibrant as well as improving the fine lines I have now as well as preventing ageing in the future. It's hard to gauge what it's doing but you notice the difference once you run out! I use this all the time so I have the 50ml as it's better value. I put on the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream* (£11) at the same time. No eye cream has ever improved the darkness under my eyes but this reduces any puffiness and hydrating the area. However so does the Boots Vitamin E one and that's £2.50. Finally I use the ForYou M1 Signature Moisturiser* (£4 sample size), which I cannot recommend enough for combination skin. It lasts forever and is rich and moisturising for your dry patches without leaving your oiler parts with greasy residue.
It seems like a lot for the morning but it really doesn't feel like much because I'll do things like apply the serum before I do my hair, let it sink in then once I've done my hair add the moisturiser.
I usually take off my makeup as soon as I get in (after 10+ hours it doesn't look or feel so great!) using the Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£10). It pretty much melts my makeup right away; it's so fast and effective. Even if you have oily skin do not fear cleansing oil! Just rinse your face afterwards properly. You can use it on your eyes but men are pretty sensitive and I hate putting anything 'gloopy' on them so I use the Bioderma Sensibio H2O (£10.20). The Garnier version does the job too but if I have the money I'll get the Bioderma, as I prefer it a little. It's as gentle as water and removes eye makeup really well. As I'm rinsing my face of the oil anyway, I go ahead and use something foaming; the Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash (£18.50 for full-size). I think this is perfect for any skin type and it removes any residue, dirt, oil or makeup, leaving your face super-soft. After that I use the La Roche-Posay Serozinc (£8.50), a spray toner which soaks all my oiliness and has helped so much to reduce my redness and blemishes.
I'll then apply the Effaclar Duo and the Protect and Perfect once again and apply the Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream (£11). I can't believe this was a free gift with my last order! It's so amazingly hydrating. Though I do have a matte night cream by Eucerin I'll be saving that for summer. With combination skin it's a good idea to use something moisturising at night when no one will see your shiny face! The only negative for me is the fragrance; if I exfoliate in the evening it can cause a bit of irritation, which prevents this from being a perfect night cream.
1-2 Times a Week
Once or twice a week I use my Clarisonic Mia (£99) with the Deep Pore Brush Head (£21) paired with Origins Checks and Balances. This gives such a deep cleanse and again really helps to keep my skin clear. I really like to use the Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask (£10) every so often as I love the warming sensation and how soft and evened-out it leaves my skin, I find it's also less oily afterwards. It's also quite a non-messy product to apply and to rinse off. I've retired my super-gentle Clinque scrub until the warmer months come along, at the moment I'm enjoying the more heavy-duty Body Shop Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator (£10). It's still not too rough and when you rinse it off it foams and cleanses, so it's a bit of a 2 in 1. I found it improved my blackheads however it may be a little drying for more dehydrated skin. A product I do recommend for dry, normal and combination skin types is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Face Mask (£23, full size). It applies like a gel and I don't find it leaves lots of excess or sits on the skin, it skins right in, leaving my skin beautifully soft in the morning. It also smells lovely! The final product I'm going to mention is the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (£18, full size), which I use for facial massages when I get the time. Once I rinse it off my skin feels so soft and plump.
As and When
There are a few products I just use as and when I need them or have them. I use Sudocrem* (£1.99) when I have a heavy break-out (not very often these days!) The Vichy Normaderm Total Mat (£13) is really good if I'm feeling a bit oily. I just put it on under my primer and it really helps to reduce shine throughout the day. When I have one around I use a Lush face mask, I love Cupcake (£6.50) for oily and blemish-prone skin.
This seems like a helluva lot! But I promise you I don't spend more than about 20 minutes a day in total my skin, unless I'm having a pamper session!
What is your skincare routine like? Do you do much different for winter?