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I'm the first to hold up my hands and say that you don't need every skincare product type on the market to have an effective routine. However, there are a few things that work for me and my skin and some that I just enjoy using, so let's dive into why I love this 'unnecessary' skincare for my routine...
I personally have dehydrated skin that leans towards dryness so - although I tend to skip hydration-only serums these days (as I find my moisturisers or even my active serums contain a lot of these ingredients already) - I still really enjoy hydrating toners and mists. I think it's the instant gratification for me; you cleanse your skin then throw on a layer of hydration and it just feels good! I'm pretty picky about the hydrating toners and mists I use, because I'm looking for something with substance that provides lasting hydration. It's not a must for everyone and if I was travelling, I'd make do without these types of products, but I really like how soft and hydrated they make my skin feel and how fresh and glowing it looks after use.
A few of my faves...
Curel Deep Moisture Spray | £19.50 | This comes out as a super-lightweight mist but still feels refreshing, soothing and hydrating on my skin. It's formulated with micro-ceramide particles and cholesterol for your skin barrier, moisturising castor oil, allantoin to calm redness and sensitivity and glycerin to pull water into the skin.
Laneige Cream Skin | £26.50 | I couldn't do a post about this product type without a K-beauty favourite because Korean skincare brands know how to do hydration! For oily-skinned people, this milky, moisturising toner could be part of a quick two-step AM skincare routine with sunscreen. It's formulated with our fave: glycerin, plus Vitamin E and meadowfoam seed oil for lightweight moisture.
Zelens Provitamin D3 Fortifying Mist* | £52 | This is such an elevated take on a face mist that it barely belongs in this category! It not only hydrates the skin but is great for the skin barrier with its titular Vitamin D delivered in mist form. Prebiotic ingredients support the work of the Vitamin D, and we obviously have glycerin and hyaluronic acid to bring that hydration into your skin. There are also soothers in the mix like panthenol and Sodium PCA. It's lightweight hydration that lasts but it's also so much more than that!
Eye care has kind of become controversial and to an extent I can understand why; if they don't contain active ingredients then any moisturiser that you like the texture of will do! However, some people want a lighter product around the eyes than on the rest of their face and a product that will work well under makeup. Additionally, the skin around the eyes is little more sensitive due to it being thinner, so it’s definitely true that when it comes to actives: what works on the rest of your face could be irritating around the eyes. There are ways of working around this without using a dedicated eye cream but in this context, they definitely have a purpose within a routine. It's for both of these reasons that I personally enjoy an eye cream.
Dermalogica Awaken Peptide Eye Gel* | £55 | This lightweight eye gel is perfect for people who don’t like the idea of something heavy around their eyes. It’s cooling, soothing and a little bit active with peptides to help retain collagen and plump and hydrate the skin in a super-lightweight way.
Dr Sam Bunting Flawless Nightly Eye Serum* | £37 | This PM eye serum is great because it has a creamy but easily-absorbed texture and delivers a gentle granactive retinoid in a moisturising base of squalane and shea butter. This type of retinoid is perfect for getting those well-ageing benefits around the eye area without sensitising it by using the big guns. There's also niacinamide to support the skin barrier and to brighten the eye area (alongside a gentle Vitamin C derivative - again, pure-form ascorbic acid is just too much for my eyes).
A lot of brands make bold claims about facial oils but - and whilst there are oil-based retinoids, acids and Vitamin C derivatives that can have the power to transform the skin - most oils are moisturising, they're softening and they can help reduce water loss through the skin. I have quite dry skin and for me they just add that extra level of nourishment whilst ensuring my skin is silky and soft the next morning when I go to apply my makeup. Many skin types won't need them (or maybe will only feel like they do during the depths of winter), but I love them for me as the last step in my evening routine!
Summer Fridays Heavenly Sixteen All-In-One Face Oil | £53 | This cocktail of antioxidant-rich plant oils is indeed heaven for my skin! I find my skin is plumper, softer and more radiant whenever I use it. It's not greasy or heavy, it doesn't pill or sit on top of my skin; it's just wonderful.
Jordan Samuel Skin Soothing Facial Oil | £30 | This gorgeous, lightweight, fast-absorbing oil mixes antioxidant plant oils with CoQ10, to give them even more punch in terms of protecting the skin from free radical damage. It still leaves my skin soft, happy and glowing whilst providing those added benefits.
Bondi Sands Wonder Potion Hero Oil* | £9.99 | This is a great option if you want to try an oil but you're looking for something affordable and a little lighter in texture. The formula actually combines nourishing oils like rosehip and sea buckthorn with some water-based ingredients like glycerin (to hydrate the skin), so it's very fluid whilst giving you that silky-soft goodness.
Do you love any skincare products that aren't strictly 'necessary'?