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Today we're talking through the golden rules of my skincare routine. These are the things I live by and what keeps me on-track with my skincare routine regardless of trends and new product launches...

Commit to fewer steps, every single day

Getting 3 effective steps in your morning and evening routine every single day is - for me - far better than trying to do too much and only managing half of the time! Consistency is key and nailing the basics is something that will always serve you well. You don't need to try and use 3 different serums every morning to have a good skincare routine; I find that picking serums (or even moisturisers) that combine the ingredients I want to use into a single product really helps, because even if I've had a long day, I can get home, wash my face and slap on something like a retinoid moisturiser before bed. I always look to cleanse my skin properly and look to use a single active in the morning and a single active in the evening. Yes, sometimes I'll throw a hydrating serum in, or a secondary active, but if I know I'm hitting the important beats daily (for me, that's an antioxidant or a peptide in the morning and my retinoid in the evening), that's the main thing. 

Try new things but get the basics right

There'll always be fresh skincare launches and new ingredients to market, and every so often they're going to pique my interest. However, honestly, I've learned to consider whether or not something is going to work for my routine and lifestyle before trying to overhaul everything. I've realised, for example, I almost never get around to doing a sheet mask, but flash facials that can be applied before my shower and then removed afterwards are easy to work into my routine. I also maintain a healthy scepticism towards products with ingredients I've never heard of before that promise to be 'better than [insert long-standing, well-studied active ingredient]'. For me, less proven ingredients are always going to play more of a supporting role to the actives I know have the data and I know deliver for my skin. 

Sunscreen has to be a habit

I will happily admit I don't wear sunscreen every day without fail. At the end of the day; if I'm working from home with no plans to go outside, I'm not going to put on sunscreen to sit at my desk which only has a window that's very shaded by trees! But, that's an individual choice for everyone. The point is; not wearing it is the decision and wearing it is the default, as opposed to vice versa. It just locks in all the hard-working actives I use on my skin and ensures I'm keeping things in the best condition possible for as long as possible. Prevention is always better than cure, after all! It's incredibly important to find a formula that works for your skin and your makeup / skincare routine so sunscreen doesn't feel like some special effort.

Nothing works on dehydrated skin

One of the things I've realised over the years is that it's almost impossible to work out what your skin concerns actually are if it's not appropriately-hydrated. In my early 20s, I was convinced I had more 'wrinkles' than I do today, because my skin was seriously dehydrated, and making that one small switch has given me bouncier, more radiant skin now (10 years later) than I had then! You'll be amazed at how many of your skin issues will disappear or improve by simply just ensuring your skin retains enough moisture. And all the actives in the world can't get around the need for hydration.

Respect the skin barrier and keep the balance

Finally, I never 'pummel' my skin with actives! I always try to put back into it what I'm potentially compromising with my use of actives; for example, retinoids can be drying, so I always pair them with rich fatty moisturisers to replenish the skin at the same time as treating it, so things stay in balance. If you've ever had a compromised skin barrier, you'll know how uncomfortable and irritated it can leave your skin, and it makes absolutely no sense to put yourself in that position in the pursuit of 'results'. I've learned not to overload my skin with too many actives or formulas that are too strong for my skin and to keep the rest of my routine outside of my chosen active very moisturising and skin barrier strengthening. 

What do you think of my rules? Are there any that you follow for your skincare routine?

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Read more posts from this series here!


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