I’ve came up with a few tips and tricks for each step in a skincare routine. You may miss bits out or don’t use products to their full potential, here’s how!
- Ok, going to throw out an obvious one out there first, double cleanse. This method ensures you have a clean canvas, before you go putting other skincare products on there. So start off with something that’s going to take off the make up/spf you’ve been wearing throughout the day (even if it’s SPF alone, it’s designed to stick to your face like glue, so still double cleanse). I would go for an oil/balm, even if you’re oily skinned, you’re taking it off. Then followed by a gel/cream/milk. This takes off the remaining dirt, grime, oils and caters for your skin type, so go for something you enjoy using on your face.
- Ears! Get them ears clean too. You should be applying SPF on your ears if they are exposed to the sun, (either you have short hair or wear it up/behind your ears, they’re exposed). Ears also tend to get small blackheads, and build up of wax, so include those in your cleansing step.
- Neck and chest. These also tend to get left behind on the cleansing stage for many folk. If you’re worried about all the water running down your boob crack/chest, you’re probably not cleansing right. Cleansing products should be getting taken off with a damp (not sodden) flannel/muslin, so there would be no need for excess water drippage. This area tends to show signs of ageing sooner so give it some love.
- Hands. Talking about signs of ageing, hands are also a major factor in this too. We’re always using them, and hopefully washing them dozens of times a day. They’re also always exposed to all weather conditions. Cleansing them can have some major benefits in the health and overall appearance of the hands.
- Make sure the water you are using to cleanse is luke warm water. So it’s recommended not washing your face in the shower as it may be too hot and will compromise the PH balance and your skin barrier.
- Wash your face after you’ve showered. This is due to the left over hair products that could be on your face and around your hairline post shower, will easily come off at the cleansing stage.
- Facial massage. Can’t get to/afford a salon trip? No bother! Give yourself an at home facial massage while you’re cleansing. There are so many YouTube tutorials on certain techniques from many countries across the world, find what you like best and go at it. It’s great for blood flow and muscle simulation.
- This is NOT, and I repeat, NOT the stage we ”take off excess make up” as I hear far too many people claim. Toning regulates the PH balance in the skin.
- What is your concern? What do you want to target? Toning isn’t just about getting a nice, bottle of fluffy water, splashing it on your face and hoping for a miracle.
You can opt to calm your skin with ingredients like jojoba or milk, or exfoliate with things like BHA’s and AHA’s ect.
- If you’re doing fine without one, don’t stress on spending money because it’s missing from your routine. If you’re physically exfoliating, then I would suggest swapping that out for a chemical exfolient. But it’s not a do it or die kind of step.
- Only using acid exfolients at night is a myth. If you use it in the morning your face is going to frazzle off like the witch in Oz? Behave. As long as you wear SPF, which is what you should be doing regardless if you’re exfoliating and what time. There isn’t a great scale of difference.
- With masks, think about what you want for your skin. Over producing oil? Clay mask. Extremely dry? A thick creamy mask. There are so so many out there to choose from.
- Make sure you’ve got a clean face. I’ve seen a handful of people online putting a mask straight on a full face of make up and washing it off. No. Just no.
- Patch test. This should really go for everything new coming into your routine to be fair. But I find a lot with masks, they can have some active ingredients you’re not aware of, and you’re applying a generous amount on your face, just be cautious.
- Let’s stop with the peel offs. Please? For me?
Anything you have tugging at your skin and has you saying ‘ouch’, isn’t worth it. Same with the pore strips. The ‘gunk’ you see on what you’ve just ripped off your face is sebaceous filaments. Save it for the experts.
- Things like sheet masks and eye patches aren’t meant to be washed off, rather the opposite. Massage the excess into your skin! This is why I get confused when people do their make up while having a mask on, let it do it’s job!
- If it’s got glitter, it’s for the shitter. It’s just useless. Like there’s no need. At all.
- Applying on skin that has been misted, so is slightly damp, will speed up the process of retinol, which to some people sounds preferable, but be careful. I would recommend if you’re just starting out with retinoids you apply on dry skin.
- Buffer with moisturiser if starting out / causing irritation.
- Wait around 30 mins before you put other products after you’ve applied retinol
- Start low and work your way up, in regards to %.
- As fellow skincare blogger Caroline Hirons says, how old you are should apply for how many times a week you use a retinol, so, 20s = 2, 30s = 3, 40s = 4 50s = 5 ect.
- Do your research.
- Backuchiol isn’t retinol.
- Only use it in the PM. Retinol is an extremely active ingredient, and essentially sheds the skin at a higher rate than normal, therefore making it sensitive to UVA/B.
- Leading me nicely on to the daily use of SPF. And not just the morning after you’ve used retinol. Every day. (This goes to you who don’t retinol) but it is even more important now you’re exposing your skin even more.
- Be careful what other ingredients you’re using, I’d go for the basics on your retinol night. Things such as vitamin C and acid toners aren’t recommended mixed with retinol. (See number 5).
- Don’t just get the skin under they eyes, do the whole lot. Eyelids, eyebrows, under eye, cheekbone, it’s all part of the eye area isn’t it!
- Multi-purpose. My favourite trick with my day time eye creams, which have some gratification/glittery shine to them, is also use it as a subtle highlight. Run it down your nose and dab on the highs of the cheekbones, and the cupids bow, and it looks so so natural!
- Eye creams can also be really effective as lip balms, as their usually thin texture is really lightweight.
- Feel it’s taking years to get through eye creams and want to move onto the next? Use them on the backs of your hands too. I feel like I’m going to say this for every point as hands always get neglected 😦
Elbows are also a good spot to use up your eye cream.
- Much like toners, don’t just go for any willy nilly serum because Rachel from accounts raves over it, or you seen it on a sponsored ad. Do it for your targeted skin concern. Whether you wish to reduce oil production, hydrate and plump your skin, or reduce redness. Find what’s right for you.
- Unless it’s a retinol / advertised to use on dry skin, apply your serums such as vit C and hyaluronic acid on damp skin. Products like these work better with moisture and sinks into the skin far nicer, I noticed the biggest difference in my skin when I started to apply on damp skin, try it out!
- Focus your funds here. Serums focus solely on specific skincare ingredients that will actually make a noticeable difference in the skin. So if you’re going to direct your money in a step of your skincare routine, it’s here honey.
- Pat in the skin.
- Get the applicator off your face. This applies to all of the skincare steps but it mostly involves serums, as they tend to have the dreaded pipette. Now, it wasn’t all too long ago when I loved a dropper bottle, but then Tik Tok suddenly became a sensation and Jesus wept, these things were just getting spread across everyone faces.
Ok, so. Applicators like pipettes are literally designed for absolutely no skin contact whatsoever. So, bacteria lives on your skin at all times, even if you’ve washed it 100 times, it doesn’t harm you, but can compromise your product, and have it oxidise a hell of a lot quicker if it hadn’t been in contact with such environments.
But brand advertisements liked to show the dropper being decanted onto the face for aesthetic purposes only, not as an instruction. But as always people took this, and abused it.
- Skin type and concern is everything here. Forget price, it can go as far down or up the scale as you can pocket. But it has to cater for YOU.
- Ingredients are key. Now I don’t mean you have to dissect the whole INCI list as I know how overwhelming they can be. But look for things such as ‘oil free’ if that’s what you want, or ‘added hyaluronic acid’ ect. But make sure if you’re looking for exact ingredients, they’re not right down the bottom and won’t be effective.
- You can have 1 for the AM and PM, Or you can have separate, it’s completely up to you. I personally like to use a thicker moisturiser in the PM, and a lightweight, dewy one in the AM.
- If it contains SPF, don’t use in the PM. This is because SPF can be comedogenic and needs to be washed off properly.
- Facial oil, before or after? Honestly, it’s up to you. Which one feels better for you? If you don’t know yet, try one week one way, and the next another. Personally I prefer oil on after, literally one drop patted into the face. Or, one or the other! Some people swear the only way is their way but, it’s really down to preference.
- You technically can use moisturisers containing SPF as your SPF step, but you must use over a teaspoon for just your neck and face, to get the full benefits. So I heavily recommend separating your moisturiser and SPF.
- Take that baby down to your neck and chest you know this already!
- Firstly, let this be your daily reminder that SPF is the most important skincare product out of every single step. Period.
- Don’t forget your ears. They’re just as exposed to the suns rays as your face so get slathering!
- Backs of hands. See part 2.
- The higher factor, the better. Not meaning to state the obvious. The higher sun protection you have the more chances you’re not going to be affected by sun damage, which can later lead to cancer. Go no lower than a 30, even if you’re dark skinned.
- 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. You heard that right boo.
The amount of times I hear ”but it’s not even sunny out”, if you go outside, and you are able to see everything without the use of man made lighting, why is that? THE SUN. It’s there, and it’s emitting pretty similar amounts of UVA rays than if it was a scorching hot day. UVB rays are those which burn the skin, and on an overcast, cold day these aren’t getting through as much. BUT UVA which is the rays which age your skin, don’t change as much as you’d think. The only time you don’t need it is at night. So please, protect that gorgeous face of yours with a good SPF.
- Look for broad spectrum. So not just UVB protection, UVA as well.
- Reapply every 2 hours, and straight after sweating, swimming or wiping off. If you have make up, applying with a beauty sponge or getting an SPF in spray form is a good alternative.
- Wear SPF indoors. Ok, if you’re going to have your curtains drawn or not be anywhere near window then fine, you don’t need it. But many studies have found that light reflecting off surfaces can still cause UV damage, and if it’s coming directly through a glass window, it’s about a 0.2% difference than standing in the sun directly. Click here for Lab Muffin’s in depth post on this subject.
- Take it off with a double cleanse. Even if you don’t have a scrap of make up on, double cleanse if you’ve been applying SPF. It’s designed to stick to your face like glue, you don’t want it slightly lingering as that will lead to spots and blackheads.
The Inkey List – SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen Heliocare Color- Gelcream Light (SPF) Dupe! Garnier Ambre Solaire vs La Roche-Posay
That’s all folks!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, let me know if you’re going to include some of these points in your routine.
Remember, Love your skin? Come and join in!
Follow me on Instagram:
My latest posts here: