I’ve always been interested in skincare because I suffered with acne as a teenager. I pretty much tried every product in Boots and Superdrug trying to get rid of my bad skin, but eventually had to succumb to the use of medication to clear it. After this ordeal, I tried to take better care of my skin so it would never get to that stage again. Although in previous years, I never really knew what I should have been using.
At the start of last year I vowed to only use cruelty free skincare, so in turn I have spent a lot of time educating myself on what products I should be using. This, alongside the blog I did with Clarins, and my job with ESPA, means I feel I am pretty good at knowing what to use. (I’m not biased about ESPA, the skincare is genuinely amazing). I have also narrowed my drawers full of random products down to (still quite a lot of) key products. I have also started buying and using more expensive products, but trying to do my research before I buy them. I have spent loads over the years on expensive gym clothes, coats, shoes, but your skin is something you never take off. Why not invest in your skin instead of clothing you will forget about in a few months?
I love to switch between a gritty exfoliator and a liquid one as my skin can become sensitised. For a liquid exfoliation I love the Glossier Solution. Not only is it cute AF and looks great in my bathroom, but it is really good too! I’d be interested to see how it fares on someone with currently problematic skin, as the website claims that it transforms skin in 4 weeks. I introduced this step into my skincare routine when my skin was already in pretty good condition, yet this has kept my skin clear and also reduced the appearance of my pores.
For a deep, gritty exfoliation I use the ESPA Refining Skin Polish as it is great for removing dead skin cells and brightening the complexion. It feels like you are rubbing sand on your skin, and leaves it feeling squeaky clean and soft afterwards. A bit too harsh for every day use but once a week is perfect.
I also use the ESPA ProCleanser if I want a slight exfoliation or mask at the same time. This is a 3-in-1 product designed for all skin types to cleanse, exfoliate and leave on as a mask. It has beads of pumpkin enzymes in it to provide a really gentle exfoliation. It smells like oranges and also has moringa and jojoba oil in it to penetrate the skin and leave it smooth and supple. If you want to use this product as a mask, you can leave it on for as long as you like because it doesn’t set. I tend to use it quite quickly, but on the weekends I spend a while rubbing it into my skin because the beads melt into your skin and it becomes smooth, cool huh?
Another really nice one is the Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser, I have 2 of these because I like it so much! The benefits of natural ingredients are amazing, especially earthy ingredients such as mud and marine extracts. This is the perfect detoxing cleanser to get all the badness and impurities out for a clear complexion. Mud is known for drawing out impurities, so is ideal in a cleanser really.
Since using these I have noticed a dramatic improvement in the appearance and quality of my skin, I have hardly had any blemishes since as my pores receive such a deep cleanse.
Now it wasn’t until my Clarins facial that I learnt how important toners really were. I kind of ignored this step before as I didn’t think it did much, but I was very wrong. Toners balance the pH levels in your skin after stripping your skin of oils and impurities with a cleanser. They reduce the appearance of pores so that no oil or dirt can infiltrate your skin as well, which I really don’t want.
Recently I have been loving the ESPA Balancing Spafresh. ESPA has a Hydrating and a Balancing Spafresh, but I chose the balancing one because I occasionally suffer with oily skin. It also smells amazing, very herby, and has a slight green tinge from peppermint. It also has tea tree in it which is antibacterial so reduces the risk of spots, which I am all about.
I used to just assume that serums are for older skin, but I was wrong. The ingredients in a serum penetrate deep into the dermal layer of the skin, to deliver a higher concentration of ingredients. You should use a serum suited to your skin type and not instead of a moisturiser. This is because a serum does not create a strong enough barrier on the top of your skin to protect against environmental damage. I use the ESPA Optimal Pro Serum to nourish, replenish and hydrate the skin.
I made the mistake of alternating between 2, 1 was an anti-ageing serum. However, I then learnt that you should never use products that aren’t designed for your type/age of skin. If you use an anti-ageing product too early, they will probably react with your skin because they tend to be pretty powerful products. You don’t need collagen or retinol at 21. The age your skin is can be different to the age you are, which depends on your lifestyle. There is a lot of discrepancy and debate surrounding whether or not you should use anti-ageing products before your skin shows the first signs of ageing, so just to be on the safe side I try and take care of my skin in the stage it is at now. By using all natural products with effective ingredients, your skin will reward you.
I also use oil to combat oily skin, which seems ridiculous but really works. By applying oil to the surface of your skin, it tricks your sebaceous glands into producing less oil. You can also add it directly into your moisturiser or face mask.
Another amazing serum is the Drunk Elephant Luxury Facial Oil . Drunk Elephant skincare uses a special procedure when creating their serums and oils, cold-pressing the oil which means that the nutrients present in the oil remain dense. Therefore, the skin receives all of the benefits from the purest form of the natural ingredient. It is proven to reduce the first signs of ageing, high in antioxidants, naturally soothing and absorbs instantly.
Again, for this step I have a choice. When I have genuinely dry, flaky skin, I use a touch of the ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud. “But that’s for hair?” I hear you cry? Yes, but it is also gentle and hydrating enough to use on your face and body and provides deep nourishment. It’s the perfect multi-tasking product, and I love it mainly because it is pink.
I also use Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, a super hydrating and lightweight cream that sinks in straight away. It creates even, dewy looking skin and is perfect to put on just before makeup. It’s really gentle and does the job perfectly, although it is super expensive.
I love masks that don’t set, especially on a sunday before I go back to work. I’m not a fan of heavy masks that dry out my skin, when I use a mask I look for ones that will provide my skin with a deep level of moisture and add radiance.
My main favourite is the Eve Lom Moisture Mask, the perfect addition to the dry skin we all suffer from in winter. It rehydrates dry, tired skin, giving a healthy-looking glow. It also creates a protective barrier around the surface of your skin to prevent damage to your skin from external factors such as environmental pollution, UV, blue light etc.
My second favourite is the ESPA Overnight Hydration Therapy, perfect for when I am really tired and need a good night’s sleep. Not only is this a lovely mask to apply to the skin, but it also smooths skin and any dry patches I have are gone. It has encapsulated lavender in it, which is gently released as the mask is absorbed into your skin, helping you to drift off and relax. Apply for bed to experience the full benefits of this product.
Wearing a leave-on mask for the majority of the day on a sunday is a must if I am just chilling around the flat.
I love my regime now, my bathroom smells like a spa after I do this routine and my skin really thanks me. I can’t remember the last time I had a breakout or got flaky/oily skin, I really recommend these products. However, diet is also a big part of skincare so there is no point investing hundreds of pounds in expensive skincare only to tuck into a dominoes twice a week. Just remember, whether your products are over £100, under a tenner, or an eclectic mix like me – always remove your makeup before bed and cleanse in the morning.
What are your go-to skincare products?