I love love love PHAs as a next-generation chemical exfoliation option. This class of ingredient gently softens and smooths the skin (making quick work of dead skin cells) but also has hydrating properties, making it perfectly-balanced and great for sensitive or sensitised skin. This formula comes out like a gel, so can be used in place of a toner, a serum or as a 2-in-1 after cleansing, followed up with a nice skin barrier support cream. Trinny's formula also contains a gentle azelaic acid derivative to help with redness and discolouration. It delivers smoother, more even skin and an instantly-satisfying glow boost, whilst still feeling hydrating and allowing you to avoid irritation.
Hydrating milky toner: the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner* | £20
This is a slightly weightier, milkier kind of toner that I personally enjoy applying with my hands rather than using a cotton wool pad. It's really moisturising and softening but never feels sticky on my skin, so it's great to layer on before my more active serums to ensure my skin feels happy and hydrated. Oat extracts are really great at soothing redness and irritation, we also have moisturising and antibacterial honey in here, glycerin to draw water into the skin and squalane to moisturise and replenish. There's also a little bit of licorice root extract, which can help support the rest of your routine if you're trying to improve the appearance of an uneven skin tone.
Skin-soothing serum: the REN Evercalm Redness Relief Serum* | £48
This is a really great product to reach for if your skin isn't happy and you're not quite sure what it needs. It has this kind of creamy-lotiony texture, which is great for moisturising and softening the skin, and ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, glycerin and soybean oil are great for well-rounded hydration and overall skin support. We also have some great microbiome support in here alongside a mushroom extract that can treat redness. It soothes and calms my skin when it's unhappy and is fantastic in terms of hydrating and moisturising things. It's just a great all-rounder!
Self tan: the Tan Luxe Super Glow Hyaluronic Serum* | £36
Next, I also wanted to mention something to perk up your complexion and add some colour, if you're feeling like things are starting to get dry and dull as we transition out of summer. This a lightweight gradual tan serum with hyaluronic acid to draw water into the skin. I personally use 2-4 drops before bed and by morning my skin has a natural, non-patchy warmth and glow. You can use this as often as you like to customise your tan and I personally keep the rest of my routine simple when I reach for this; so I cleanse, apply the self tan and moisturise (being sure to wash my hands afterwards). I love the subtle effect it has on my skin and how you can't tell it's from a bottle!
Light skin barrier cream: the Zelens Emulsion D Fortifying Moisturiser* | £65
We're still far from the depths of winter, so if you're not quite ready to reach for the thick and rich face creams - you need something like this! The texture of this moisturiser has a light, fluffiness to it but still leaves my skin soft, smooth, happy and deeply-nourished, and this formula can be used AM and / or PM. It's packed full of replenishing lipids, the titular fortifying Vitamin D, ceramides (a fundamental component of the skin barrier), microbiome support, Vitamin F (rich in linoleic acid, which helps prevent water loss through the skin) and so much more. It's gorgeous under makeup, it doesn't pill with my other skincare products and it doesn't feel heavy or greasy on me, but still packs a punch in terms of that background skin support work.
Light lotion sunscreen: the Glow Hub Defend Yourself Sun Silk SPF 30* | £12
If you're not a fan of those stay-on-your-skin-no-matter-what, high-protection formulas we kind of need during the summer, then I recommend switching to something more everyday-appropriate during autumn for days when you're not doing much outdoor exercise and you're only getting incidental sun exposure. This formula from Glow Hub is wonderful; it's a chemical sunscreen so has a light lotion texture and you can apply enough of this without getting a cast. It's a broad spectrum SPF 30, absorbs easily into the skin, feels moisturising without being greasy (so can act as a 2-in-1 for oily skin) and creates a lovely base for makeup (it's never pilled up or caused patchiness for me). All for just £12!
What changes will you make to your routine as we move from summer into autumn?