Today we're talking skincare routines. It's fair to say that skincare can be a complicated area of beauty, so I've tried to strip it back to basics. I really wanted to focus on the 'routine' element of this, so although I have recommendations for different skin types, I've not gone into tons of depth and full reviews are linked below in case any of the products catch your interest.
Keep it fresh and simple. This is just a product to wash away any dirt or sweat on the skin to ensure it's clean and ready for the day ahead!
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser | $18 | full review (oily, combination or normal)
This is a really nice, basic cleanser that's gentle and fragrance-free, which is why I recommend it for just about any skin type. It has a jelly texture that should be applied to dry skin and then rinsed off with warm water. After using this, my skin feels soft, clean and refreshed.
Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel | £29.50 | full review (dry)
This is expensive for what it is, but it is a lovely morning cleanser. I don't understand how some people use this for makeup removal, as there are much better products out there for that, however if you want something a bit more moisturising than the Glossier then this is for you. This is slightly different as it has a gel-to-oil consistency. You apply it to dry skin and then on contact with water it emulsifies, making it quick and easy to rinse off. Whilst it doesn't leave an excess behind, it is nourishing.
Something quick and refreshing to perk things up. A standard toner is never going to be a total game-changer in your routine, so you don't have to use one if you're strapped for time, however a quick spritz of a mist can add some hydration.
La Roche-Posay Serozinc Spray | £8.50 | full review (oily or combination)
This both soothes and mattifies the skin, making it the perfect quick spritz after cleansing for spot-prone skin.
Hylamide Hydra-Density Mist* | £10 | full review (combination, dehydrated or normal)
This is a hydrating, refreshing mist that will suit most skin types. It isn't at all sticky but gives a nice injection of moisture.
Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist | £18 | full review (dry)
If you want something that's that bit more moisturising for dry skin then give this a go, as it's a little heavier but will really soothe the skin.
A gentle but effective product full of active ingredients that will seriously pack a punch, whatever your skincare concern.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution | £4 | full review (oily)
This is a product that you can use thinly all over the skin or spot-apply where you need it. It's a gel formulation that has amazing breakout-tackling properties, though if you're not oily it might be a bit intense for daily use.
Avene Hydrance Optimale Serum* | £17 | full review (combination, dehydrated or normal)
This is a lightweight, water-based serum that's amazing for adding hydration without being heavy in the slightest. It plumps up the skin and feels nice and refreshing.
Caudalie Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum* | £45 (dull)
My review of this is in the works, however it's a lightweight milky serum that's amazing both at brightening the skin and at fading old scars and blemishes.
Something that will address your skin's concerns without being too much for everyday use. It's best to keep things simple and hydrating to an extent that works for your personal skin type. If you only have time to apply one other product after cleansing then it should be a moisturiser (which can hydrate the eye area and can contain SPF).
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + | £15.50 | full review (oily or combination)
This is a simple moisturising product that's nothing too heavy or rich (so it won't be nourishing enough for dry skin) and won't irritate. It's perfect for blemish-prone skin as it helps to fight breakouts and also to fade the scars and marks left behind.
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet* | £23 | full review (combination or normal)
This is a lightweight, hydrating, refreshing gel-cream moisturiser. It's perfect for normal and combination skin types that suffer with a bit of dehydration as it's moisturising without overwhelming the skin.
Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Comfort Face Day Cream | £25.50 | full review (dry)
This is a product that really saw me through last winter! It does contain a slight fragrance (which is beautiful and of honey) but I personally don't find it too irritating. It's not smothering (as it sinks into the skin nicely instead of sitting on the surface) but is definitely a rich formula suited to dry skin.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra* | £17.50 | full review (sensitive)
Regardless of skin type; this is the product to use if you're feeling sensitive! Whether it's post-sun irritation, an allergic reaction or a harsh winter; this simple product both soothes and moisturises the skin.
Eye creams are probably the simplest beauty product; either you want something rich and nourishing or something refreshing and lightweight. Some people don't even think they're necessary at all, so feel free to skip this if you don't have any specific concerns regarding your eyes.
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG | £5.80 | full review (puffy/tired)
This gel-textured formula is perfect for if you're less fussed about nourishing the eye area and just want something to make you look more awake. It revives and de-puffs under my eyes so well.
Origins A Perfect World Age Defense Eye Cream with SPF20* | £30 | full review (dry)
If you're concerned about protecting and nourishing the delicate eye area and preventing ageing then definitely try this richer, cream-based formula instead.
Of course sunscreen is a must for every single day if your moisturiser doesn't contain any protection. I'd opt for at least SPF30 with broad-spectrum protection as an 'every single day' product but you should adapt the level based on how exposed your skin will be.
Vichy Ideal Soleil Anti-Blemish SPF30* | £16.50 | full review (oily, combination)
If you have spot-prone skin that often breaks out in the sun when you're using standard sunscreen, then give this a go! It mattes down the skin and gives a good level of protection without smothering it.
Neostrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF50 PA++++* | £34 | full review (all skin types)
This is the most amazing high-protection sunscreen. It has a watery, tinted formula so just give it a shake and apply. It leaves the skin silky and smooth and doesn't pill up once you apply a foundation or primer on top.
Generally, I use an oil-based cleanser but appreciate that those of us with spot-prone skin often don't like the idea or feel of that, in which case; hot cloth is the way to go.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish | £14.50 | full review (all skin types)
This is the perfect makeup-remover for people who don't want anything oily on the skin. It's gentle and cream-based and paired with a damp muslin cloth, it'll remove your makeup in a couple of minutes.
Skin Laundry Nourishing Cleansing Oil* | £26 | full review (normal, combination, dry)
This is one of my all-time favourite makeup removers. It's an oil product so lifts up makeup (including stubborn waterproof mascara) with ease. It doesn't sting my sensitive eyes or leave behind a residue on the skin.
Choose something that addresses your main concerns - I generally steer clear of foaming formulas, as they can be a bit stripping on the skin.
REN Clearcalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser | £19 | full review (combination, oily)
This is an unusual cleanser for spot-prone skin but it works incredibly well. It's a sort of liquid-clay formula that removes excess oils without stripping the skin, leaving it soft and clean.
Trilogy Cream Cleanser | £23.50 | full review (dry, sensitive, normal)
This is a light, non-greasy cream cleanser that's very hydrating and keeps the skin nice and soft. It clears up any dry patches and is a nice, simple product that doesn't contain anything irritating.
There are so many ways to exfoliate these days! I don't think you need to do this every day, but I'd say 3-4 times a week with one of these kinds of products will do the job - generally a chemical exfoliant works but on very dry patches, you might need to use a physical scrub followed with a mist
Pixi Glow Tonic | £18 | full review (all skin types)
This is a mild acid exfoliant that you can use as a toner to clear the skin of dead cells. It smells amazing and contains other products that soften and soothe the skin. It gets rid of any dry patches and gives the skin an immediate glow boost.
Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliant* | £20 | full review (dry)
For those days when you really need to get in there and give any stubborn dryness a proper scrub (often around the nose for me!) this is the product I recommend. It's still quite gentle and doesn't leave my skin red but does the job.
You really don't need to go in with something intense on an every night basis - just pick something gentle that will do the job.
Skin Laundry Night Renew Treatment* | £34 | full review (all skin types)
I absolutely love this night cream; it's hydrating and contains a tiny percentage of retinol, meaning it helps to fade blemishes and scars and leaves the skin looking fresh and renewed.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream | £10 | full review | (normal, dry, sensitive)
This is a simple but intensely moisturising cream that can be used on the face or body. It doesn't feel greasy or break me out, which makes it perfect for using overnight when my skin is looking a bit dry.
2-4 times a week I use a targeted treatment based on what my skin is telling me and any specific concerns I have.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Clay Mask | £11 | full review
This is the one product I reach for and know will clear up my skin pretty much overnight. It's an invigorating clay mask that's amazing if you're having a breakout.
Niod Flavanone Mud Mask* | £28 | full review
When my skin is looking all-round rubbish then this is something I reach for. It's pretty intense but soooo effective! It brightens the skin and leaves it looking clear and smooth.
Pai Bioregenerate Rosehip Oil* | £22 | full review
This recently toppled the Trilogy one I'd been using as my favourite rosehip oil! After use, my skin is soothed, dry patches are much more hydrated and the overall texture and quality of my skin is much better.
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask | £32 | full review
This mixture of glycol and lactic acid is the most incredible product for immediate results. After leaving it on for 10 minutes, my skin looks fresher, brighter and just better in every way! Over time this also helps to fade discolouration and scarring.
The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% | £8 | full review
This is the most amazing overnight treatment that works wonders for my skin. It has both a smoothing effect and helps to even out any pigmentation.
What are your staples for creating a skincare routine?