My Morning Skincare Routine


This has been a long time coming but I've finally put together my skincare routine to share with you. I held a little poll on Twitter asking whether you'd prefer one big post or several smaller ones that go into some more detail. The vast majority said the latter, so here we are! For reference I have combination skin so generally I have quite an oily t-zone but dry patches elsewhere and quite a few blemishes. In the winter my skin can get really dry and flaky, whereas in summer it's very shine-prone. Sound like a nightmare? It pretty much is!

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel | £29.50

I picked this up because so many bloggers swore by it and I was convinced it was going to be some sort of life-changing product. So when it was 'merely' a good cleanser for me, I have to admit I was a little disappointed because of the price and the hype. This is my second bottle and I repurchased it with a Space NK NCentive based on the fact the first had lasted me over 6 months when I was using it every morning, which seemed pretty good. However the price has increased another £1.50 since then (has anyone else noticed every brand seems to have edged up their prices in the last few weeks?) so I think that when this one goes, I'll be on the lookout for something else. 

Anyway, this is essentially a gel-to-oil formula. I find the best way to apply it is to a dry face with very slightly damp hands. I use it as a morning cleanser as I don't find it effective for removing makeup and it really stings my eyes. However I like to take two pumps of this in the morning and massage it into my face before rinsing with warm water. It breaks down into an emulsion so takes seconds to remove, which is another reason why it's a great morning pick. It's pink in colour and has a very light scent, which I personally find really pleasant and it doesn't irritate my skin at all. What I also like is that it makes my skin look a little bit fresher and healthier without the use of AHAs, so it's gentle enough to use every day. The ingredients instead include Pumpkin Enzymes, Vitamin C and Vitamin D, which are all designed to refresh your skin by removing dead skin cells and plumping everything up. It does do those things, but for me it's a very subtle effect and I was just expecting something a little more. 

Pixi Glow Tonic | £18

I'm pretty much out of this now, so I'll be switching to a different AHA toner I have before I repurchase it, but it's what I've been using lately. I definitely don't use this everyday; more like 3-4 times a week, especially with the increased sensitivity I've been experiencing lately. I use this as you would a toner; with a little on a cotton wool pad, however instead of just swiping it across my face once, I go over it two or three times. When my skin is highly sensitive, I do feel quite a bit of tingling but when it's normal I only really get a very slight sensation that doesn't bother me at all. Obviously it's still an acid toner but if you're new to AHAs and want something that's a good balance between 'gentle' and 'effective' then I really recommend this. The Glow Tonic has a pretty unique colour and scent. No, that's not just the colour of the bottle: it really is bright orange! The ingredients mean it also has a fruity scent that I personally love. Packed into this little bottle is Witch Hazel, Glycolic Acid, Horse Chestnut and more, which are all going to help reveal glowing skin.

If you don't know what an AHA is, I have a guide to them here. Essentially, this is an acid exfoliant that's much more gentle than using products with exfoliating particles in them. They honestly leave my skin looking so glowing and over time, using this product has helped to fade some old blemish scars I had that had become hyper-pigmented over the years. One side-effect is that it leaves your skin more vulnerable to sun damage. That hasn't really been a problem for me in this routine as the time of year paired with the  working day and commute have meant I really haven't been seeing much in the way of sunlight! At the moment I'm pretty much exclusively using my Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser which contains SP30 (or the Velvet Matte Skin Tint, which also does) so that's fine for my skin. However if you're fairer than me or spend more time in the daylight (I'm really sounding like a vampire right now...) then you'll want to use an SPF on days you apply this (at least). I certainly will be now we're moving into the warmer, brighter months. 

Caudalie Grape Water | £6

If I'm not using the Pixi Glow Tonic, I skip straight to this and if I am then it stops my skin feeling stripped after using quite an intensive product. I still can't believe this is £6 as I actually rate it more highly than their more talked-about (and expensive) Beauty Elixir! You can buy a bigger bottle but personally this still lasts me a few months and I like being able to pop it into my bag so that when my makeup is looking/feeling a bit crusty and gross (you know; the 3pm slump) I can just give my face a spritz with this. 

Organic grape water solution is all this really is but it works wonders for my skin. It feels so refreshing and light but still moisturising and hydrating. If your skin is feeling sore, tight, dry or sensitive then this will offer immediate and lasting relief. When I've used something quite intense that's left my skin feeling a bit stripped then this adds that moisture back in. During those 3pm slumps this just refreshes my skin, both in how it looks and feels. I just love this stuff, basically! I recently received the Avene Thermal Water so we will see if I like that as much.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + | £15.50

It really doesn't matter if you apply this morning, evening or both - I've just got into the habit of doing this step as part of my morning routine. It's essentially a fragrance-free cream that you can use either as a sort of serum step before moisturising or as a moisturiser in itself (I take the former approach). I like to keep a balance with pre-moisturiser products of one that targets the dryness and one that targets the blemishes; this is the blemish component in my morning routine. I just take little more than a pea-sized amount and massage it into my skin after the Grape Water has fully absorbed.

I often get blemishes, blemish scars and clogged/enlarged pores, which give my skin a bit of an uneven texture. It's not some intensive treatment I'm going to reach for just because I woke up that morning and looked a bit spotty because for me it's a long-term treatment to improve the quality of my skin. Slowly but surely, this really has make a difference, improving the skin concerns I have as a result of my blemishes. It contains ingredients such as zinc and a small amount of salicylic acid (this is a BHA - also covered in my little guide I liked above - but it's in low enough quantities to be used on an everyday basis). Having spot-prone skin isn't just about the breakouts in themselves but the condition they leave your skin in afterwards and I've found this really effective in improving my scarring and pore issues.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum | £22.50 

I must admit I was a little disappointed when the price of this one increased, but you can usually find it on sale through sites like Feel Unique and Escentual (or even sometimes at Boots). I really couldn't be without this serum as it's the first one I've ever loved! When you have combination skin that gets dehydrated (like I do) it's hard to get the moisture in without leaving your skin feeling greasy. It's less of an issue for me in the winter as my skin can cope with richer products but for the rest of the year, this is one of the only products that relieves the dehydration without leaving any excess. A lot of people (and products) don't seem to realise that skin that's blemish-prone on the surface can still be in need of deep hydration, so if you have a similar skin type to me this is the solution.

It has a very water-based formula so you can find yourself getting through the stuff quite quickly! However it means that it's very fast-absorbing. It sinks into my skin, plumps out any dehydration lines and doesn't leave any excess on the surface of my skin. I use 1-2 pumps of this in the morning and it's just so refreshing - I feel like it really wakes up my skin when it's dull and tired. Even when my skin was highly sensitive, this didn't irritate it at all. One thing I'm not sure about is the exact ingredients - I've done some internet detective work and Caroline Hirons has the list here. It's all pretty innocuous; your standard glycerin, lots of water and a little citric acid.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate* | £19

I will keep it brief as I've never really been that excited by eye creams. No matter what I try, my under eye area remains stubbornly dark so the best I can hope for is something refreshing and hydrating that will stop them looking puffy. This definitely fits the bill for me! I do one tiny pump on each eye. The metal ball applicator is so nice and cooling and the gel formula isn't greasy so sinks right in. It refreshes my eye area and stops the puffiness I often get, meaning I don't look so tired! This contains Leontopodium Alpinum Meristem cell culture, a small amount of glycolic acid (obviously, as it's your eye area) and citric acid.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Comfortable Face Cream | £25

This is definitely one for dry skin (which mine has been for most of 2016!) but I still don't find it overly greasy. I don't use too much but it's so nourishing and soothing on sensitivity. I was a bit concerned about the fragrance (as gorgeous as the signature honey scent is!) and it irritating my skin but luckily I had no issues with that at all. It doesn't leave excess oils on the surface of my skin but manages to be so nourishing. It's definitely going to be a little rich for my skin when we properly move into Spring, but at the moment I'm loving it.

I also feel like you get a lot of product and the price is really reasonable for such a lovely product. The texture isn't too thick so it feels like it sinks nicely into my skin and there's just something very luxurious about this. It contains super-nourishing ingredients such as argan oil, honey, precious plant oils and shea butter. They're all the kinds of things that catch my eye when I'm looking for something super extremely hydrating and this product seems to pack them all into one cream.


So there you have it: my morning skincare! Make sure you keep an eye out as I'll be posting my evening routine next Sunday and all my added extras (treatments, oils, masks etc.) the Sunday after.

What are your current skincare go-tos?

 


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*DISCLOSURE - PRODUCTS MARKED WITH AN ASTERISK ARE PR SAMPLES/GIFTS. 
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. PLEASE VISIT MY DISCLOSURE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
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39 comments

  1. Lovely picks! I've heard great things about the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra Comfortable Face Cream and, as you said, it seems to have all the ingredients which I'm looking for when it comes to that kind of thick, ultra-gentle and comforting cream which my sensitive skin usually loves!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

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    1. I think you'll really love it in that case :) xx

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  2. I keep hearing good thing about La Roche-Posay, can't wait to try them since I also have spot/blemish-prone skin.

    Also, the link you gave for AHA ended up sending me to 'Current Obsesion | Zoeva' post, maybe you want to fix that :)

    Selene Addicted

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  3. I really want to try the Pixi Glow Tonic soon, it's definitely next on my list of skincare products. I was always curious about the rest of the Nuxe Reve De Miel range since I love the lip balm so much, so really happy to see you feature this face cream x

    Beauty with charm

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  4. I love skin care routine posts! can't wait to see the rest! <3

    Tahana
    www.tahanalee.com

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  5. Just knowing I'm already addicted to half the stuff here(!) makes me wanna try all the others even more!
    Both the Vichy serum and the Oskia Renaissance cleansing gel areon my newest and bestest discoveries list.
    Just pure, pure awesomeness :)

    Allie | RainyAllie

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  6. how i love skincare!! that pixi toner sound really nice! i'll try it soon :)

    www.peachplz.com

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  7. I really want to try glow tonic! I've heard nothing but good things about it.
    Philippa x

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  8. I have the same issue with the Oskia, I just cannot justify the price. Have you tried the Una Brennan VitC cleanser? my combo skin LOVES it. No idea what it is about it, plus its a 3rd of the price. I really need to try the Pixi Glow Tonic though, really does look fab! I need to start using eye creams more too, I am so useless when it comes to them - same issue, dark undereye so why bother? but I need to start!

    http://www.makeerinover.co.uk

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    1. No I actually haven't - may need to look into that one, thanks! xx

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  9. I love the Pixi Glow Tonic! Shame the cleansing gel didn't work out for you, especially considering the price of it!

    Anything & Everything | Bloglovin'

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    1. I wouldn't say it didn't work out - as I said: I like it, the product has just been built up so much that it's a bit anticlimactic xx

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  10. nice routine ! I would love to try Vichy! loving the piture too.

    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  11. Lovely products, Pixi skincare is such a nice brand, I've always wanted to try their glow tonic x

    http://www.abeautyromance.com
    http://www.abeautyromance.com

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  12. I always walk by the La Roche Posay stand while in Boots but I definitely must have a little look next time for sure. Really want to give the Pixi Glow Tonic a try, heard so many great things x

    ~ Darling Jordan

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  13. I really think I'm going to be trying out the Effaclar Duo, I've heard so many people say how amazing it is! I also really want to try out the Pixi Glow Tonic as it sounds amazing but I feel like it'll be too harsh on my skin! Lovely post :) xxx
    http://www.samanthafrances.co.uk

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    1. It's definitely not harsh - I just wouldn't personally use any AHA on my skin every single day but some do xx

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  14. I really want to try the Oskia Cleanser, but your recommendations are pretty solid. I love the Vichy serum. It does run out so quickly though! I've just brought another bottle. Pixi glow tonic is staple of mine! I don't find overly harsh though, so it use it every morning xx

    www.lpagebeauty.com

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    1. I always stock up when anywhere does a 1/3 off skincare events! xx

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  15. make me want to buy all of the products!! thanks for sharing
    have a great day
    xx,
    http://evelyn-halim.blogspot.co.id/

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  16. I have to try the Pixi Glow Tonic, it sounds amazing!

    xx, A Little Dose of Makeup

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  17. I think Vichy have some great products hidden within their range, the Idealia/Aqualia stuff especially, I'm using the Aqualia moisturiser atm to lock in my Hydraluron serums and it's pretty good. I think at our age, hydration is probably the most important thing for me, just can't have too much! And I feel you with Oskia, I wanted this cleanser to be phenomenal and it's more just ok.

    www.Barely There Beauty.com | British Beauty & Lifestyle blog

    xx

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    1. I need to check out the moisturiser! xx

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  18. I can't wait to start using my pixi glow but that grape water sounds amazing and so inexpensive!
    Charlotte // www.charlottespicks.com

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  19. I can't be without Pixi Glow Tonic - it's my favourite acid toner. I love the sound of the Nuxe cream & have added it to my list of "must try" products! xx
    Beautylymin

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  20. Effaclar duo is great, you should try cicaplast too

    http://estefaniareviews.blogspot.mx

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  21. Lovely post, dear!! .x

    www.fayeisabella.co.uk

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  22. I loooove these posts, I'm super nosy haha :D
    I really want to try LRP Effaclar Duo+ now, it sounds like it would work so well with my skin.

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

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  23. I am really contemplating trying out the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel as I have heard so much about it. It's good to know it lasts a good while so I can ignore the expensive price. I love Pixi Glow Tonic, Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum, Caudalie Grape Water and La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. They are absokute staples in my collection. Have you tried the La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum? You would absolutely love it...Thanks for sharing!!...xx

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    1. I feel like I can't justify it even with a discount now it's increased again :( and no I haven't tried that serum - will have to check it out - thanks :) xx

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  24. I just repurchased the Vichy serum and was so disappointed by the price increase too! Haven't opened it yet but I really need too, I loved it!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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  26. Thank you for your comments - hope this was helpful! xx

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  27. Love this post. I am always curious about others' skincare routines. You should try the Bravura Ginseng Toner hun: it contains identical ingredients to PGT but somehow I like it a little better right now. I definitely need to try the Caudalie Grape Water because I was so thoroughly disappointed by Beauty Elixir! xxx

    Sal UmmBaby Beauty

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    1. Thank you - I will do! I've been wanting to try this brand xx

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  28. If you want to try a new gel to oil cleanser, B in Superdrug do one which is actually brill and only £3. Of course it's unscented but it is really lovely to use!

    Life of Ellie Grace

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    1. You star - definitely checking that out :D xx

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