Ahh skin care, you old chestnut! To be quite honest, I didn’t take it seriously myself until around age twenty and it’s taken roughly seven years for me to nail down a daily routine that I can happily follow and that works for my skin type.
Thankfully good genes have graced me with a great complexion so I can skip the odd cleanse, but I think it’s really important to look after your face – you’ll thank yourself in future!
I love trying new things which is why I think it has taken me so long to finally find a handful of products that I adore and use daily. My face is quite sensitive so I try to use things that are non abrasive and nourishing, otherwise I’m prone to dry patches and itching (neither of which I’m a fan of).
With any new face products that you try, it is so important to research what is best for your skin type and more importantly give any new products time to work. I am quite impatient so it has been a challenge, but I’d suggest at least a month for each product before you can really judge the pros and cons of it.
I’ll start with my long time favourite – the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. I cannot recommend this enough. I first received a small trial tube in a beauty box subscription and from the first use I was absolutely hooked. It smells lovely and the formula is so creamy and moisturising that it really feels like a luxury product.
I only use it at night rather than twice a day, but if I felt the need for a good cleanse first thing, this would be the product I’d turn to without a doubt. I usually dampen my face a little and then massage one pump into my face before removing with the included muslin cloth which again is something that I think is a must for using with the cleanser. I’ve not tried and any other beauty muslin cloths with it, but the included one for me is perfect for the job.
As mentioned above, one pump is usually all it takes for me on light to medium make up days, but if I’m wearing a lot of mascara I usually use a bit more just for my eyes. The fantastic thing about this is that you can really massage it into your eyes and it doesn’t irritate or sting – I obviously wouldn’t recommend rubbing it into your eyeballs, but I’ve yet to run into any painful issues with it. I really enjoy the way it makes my skin feel really clean and soft after I’ve used it, and is it an absolute bathroom staple for me.
On lighter make up or completely make up free days, I don’t feel the need for a deep cleanse that the Cleanse & Polish provides, so I usually turn to face wipes for a quick way to clean my face. In the past I’ve tried so many face wipe brands and usually always end up banishing them to the back of the cupboard and forgetting about them for six months, at which point they’re dried up and only good for the bin. The Boots Botanics All Bright Cleansing Face Wipes have completely changed that though, and are my second top skin care product.
They are soft, well loaded with product and most importantly they have a large surface area, meaning that I only ever need one for my entire face and neck. They are very gentle on my skin and have a really nice, fresh scent to them which isn’t too chemically or over perfumed.
When it comes to removing makeup they are excellent – I’ve used on both heavy and light coverage foundation and waterproof mascara and am pleased to report they do a fantastic job, and leave my face feeling very cleansed and hydrated with a lovely glow.
I’m trying to get into a habit of using primer every morning after cleansing, because as the days and nights slowly get colder I find my skin becomes very dry, very easily. For a few months I was happy with MUA Pro Base Primer, but didn’t like wearing it on makeup free days as I felt I was wasting the product. I tried to find a happy balance between something that would keep my skin hydrated and provide a good base for makeup when needed, and found the Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer.
There are two currently available – one for dry and sensitive skin, and the one that I went for which is for normal/combination skin. It is enriched with vitamins and contains a natural lotus extract and it has a really light texture which means it is absorbed easily. It doesn’t really have a scent (disappointingly it doesn’t smell anything like Nivea Creme!) but it goes on really smoothly and I only need a few dots of it to get good coverage. My makeup does seem to stay in place longer when I use it and if it’s a makeup free day my skin still feels soft well into the evening!
Moving on to my favourite evening skin care items. For me, my evening routine used to consist of taking off makeup and giving my face a good scrub, then slapping on whatever moisturiser I had to hand before bed. As I age, I feel the need to try to use something that will benefit me in the long run, which is what drove me to start looking into facial oil.
I was very unsure which brand to go for and with so many I became quickly overwhelmed in my search. I’ve used a few of products from Boots Botanics range, and when I came across their Triple Age Renewal Smoothing Facial Oil I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like you can buy this particular one anymore, but I hear the Organic version is just as good!
The main thing that put me off using face oil in the past is the worry that it would make my skin greasy and cause breakouts, but I am so happy to say that I’ve suffered neither whilst using this! It’s a non-greasy, super nourishing formula that deeply hydrates and leaves me with a lovely dewy glow. For me it’s strictly a night-time product – I wouldn’t want to use it in the morning and then add primer and makeup as I think it would just be too much for my skin, so I stick purely to using on night when I really feel I could use a hydration boost.
I’ve used it for around three months maybe 2-3 times a week and I’m not really sure that it has reduced fine lines and wrinkles or made me look any more youthful, but it’s a lovely little addition to my routine and I very much enjoy using it!
Some nights, when I don’t feel that I need to oil my face up before I sleep, I use the Polaar Nuit Polaire night cream. This came in a beauty box, and it is something that I have returned to time and time again. The first thing that struck me about it is it’s lovely minimal packaging. I love the silver, white and blue tube (possible more than the larger size pot design) and the starry background behind the writing – there is no doubt that this is indeed a nighttime product!
It has a smell that I can’t quite place but I love – floral and fresh and clean. It has a perfect consistency and is absorbed well, the only downside being that if I put too much on it sort of just sits on my face for a while until my skin eventually takes it on. It contains boreal algae that apparently reacts to the light of the moon to make it work properly however I can’t comment on whether this has made a difference or not as I sleep with a blackout blind. I can say however that it does feel like a little luxury before bed, and my face is always babysoft and smooth the next morning so it must be having some effect sans-moonlight!
At the moment I’m really happy with my skin and the products that I use – as I mentioned above the key is to stick with something and give it a chance to work rather than using it for a week before deeming it useless, which I am very much guilty of. I also think it’s important to find out your skin type and see what works for you – don’t settle with something you’re not happy with when then are so many products out there for you to try!
With winter on the way I’ll no doubt be changing it up a little as the weather becomes harsher, but for now these five are here to stay. Hopefully you’ve found some new recommendations from this – let me know your top five products below!