My current skin care


I thought I'd do a post about what skincare I'm currently using.

This is what I use most often:

Simple cleanser - twice daily
Simple toner - twice daily
Superdrug Vit E moisturiser - mornings after cleansing & toning
Nivea night cream - nightly after cleansing & toning
Paula's Choice exfoliant lotion - 3-4 times a week

Less often:
Lacura facial serum from Aldi - a couple of times a week if I feel extra dry
REN detox mask - fortnightly alternating
REN radiance mask - fortnightly alternating

In the morning I cleanse, tone and moisturise my face. The cleanser removes any make up residue left over from cleansing the night before (it's always the bloody mascara!) and removes all grime. I take my cleanser slightly up into my hairline to get rid of any grot there. I massage it into my face and neck with my finger tips and wipe it off with a large cotton wool pad. The toner cools my skin, refreshes my face and washes away any last traces of cleanser. I use it on a cotton wool pad and wipe it all over my face and neck. I apply moisturiser to my face and neck while my skin is still slightly damp from the toner.  Don't forget your neck! I see many older ladies with beautifully preserved faces and not quite as preserved necks.

On the days I use the exfoliant I do it in this order: cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturise. On the days I use the serum I do it in this order: cleanse, tone, serum, moisturise. I'm too lazy to use the exfoliant and serum on the same days.

Once a week I'll use one of the REN facemasks, using the other one the next week.

The single biggest help in my skincare routine over the last 6 months has been the Paula's Choice 2% BHA salicytic acid exfoliant. Before I used a couple of different Soap & Glory exfoliants which have scrubby bits in, and I'd scrub my face way too hard to try to get rid of my milia, which have plagued me since childhood. Salicytic acid is the key ingredient and chemically exfoliates skin without the need to scrub, removing dead skin cells and leaving you radiant. If you're using a scrub which isn't up to the job and using brute force, you might end up with enlarged pores, as I did.

I first heard about the Paula's choice 2% BHA solution on Jo's blog, when she said how good it'd been for her milia. I bought it right away as I was fed up with milia. Now I'm down to 2 biggish milia and a smattering of tiny ones. Before, I had loads all over my cheeks. They came and went, but most of the time I had at least 6 large ones at one time. The two photos below are about a year old.

Now my skin is better in so many ways. Here's a more recent face shot - my skin is glowy and there are less milia.

You can buy the Simple cleanser & toner and the Nivea moisturiser from just about any supermarket or pharmacy in the UK. The Superdrug Vit E cream can be found on here or in Superdrug stores. The Paula's Choice exfoliant can be found here. It's £23 and 6 months later I'm still using my first bottle. It's a bit of an outlay but well worth the money. I got the mini-sized REN masks from a beauty box. The Lacura facial serum can be found in Aldi stores.

Most of these products are affordable - the Simple products are about £3 each, the Vit E Cream is £2.99 and the Lacura serum is about £3.49. It also comes in a mature skin formula which I will try to pick up if it's in stock next time I visit Aldi. The one I have is suitable for people up to 35 years old but my skin is in fairly good condition since I avoid the sun so I can't see it doing me any harm. Only the REN masks and the Paula's Choice items are what I call an 'ouchie' purchase.

The main things I've discovered in the last 6 months I've been taking better care of my face:
  • Cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day if you can, but whatever you do is better than doing nothing. It doesn't matter if you use cheap or expensive brands, as long as you use something and keep at it. (My aunt - who's in her 60s - has been CTM-ing since her teens and looks about 20 years younger and has always used whatever she can afford at the time.)
  • NEVER go to bed with your make up on. Next time you cleanse off your make up and the day's grime look at the pad then think about laying around all night with that on your face. I used to do it sometimes. Yuk!
  • Avoid face wipes where you can. They're OK for once or twice a week if you're busy, but your skin will thank you if you cleanse, tone and moisturise often. They can be terribly drying.
  • Avoid being in the sun excessively. I read recently that about 15 minutes a day of sun exposure without SPF is a good amount of time for us to get our essential Vitamin D, but anything other than that, slap on the sun cream or face products with SPF.
  • Drink your water! 
  • Booze it up in moderation - dry skin, bloodshot eyes and broken blood vessels are the pay off from too much happy juice.
  • If you can, introduce good oils like coconut oil and olive oil into your diet - my skin has been looking more dewy and feeling a lot less dry since I've been doing this.

Thanks for reading!

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