Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Starting Off - Skincare

Welcome to my first post of 'The Starting Off Project' - founded and set up by Stephanie from Steph's Inside Voice. 


So let's talk: Skincare..
Skincare is a pretty big topic, so get comfy, it may be a long one.. ;)
I won't lie, I suck at looking after my skin. Well, not so much so now, but previously. And now I'm almost 30, my skin is definitely paying for it. And wanna know a secret? I use face wipes to remove my make up. Yes really. I can hear you all gasping from here. But more about me later..

Before you begin slapping creams and potions onto your face, it's best to work out what skin type you are. You can do this yourself by inspecting how your skin feels after being washed with water only. If you're struggling to work this out, it's a good idea to get a skin consultation.

There are 5 main skin types..
Normal - Smooth, supple, clean, elasticated, hydrated, small pores, clear complexion.. 
Sensitive - Easily irritated, blotchy, flushed, inflamed, small pores, can feel tight or sore, can by dry or oily, maybe prone to breakouts..
Dry - Tight, flaky, dull, uneven, small pores, not many blemishes..
Oily - Shiny, greasy, large pores, prone to breakouts..
Combination - Oily t-zone (forehead, nose & chin), dry on the cheeks, large pores, prone to breakouts on t-zone area..

For more information on skin types, and skin care tips for you skin type, I'm really loving the #MyLittleSkincareProject over on the Tattooed Tealady at the moment. Go take a look! 


Once you've worked out which skin type you are, you can work out which skincare products are best for you.
So let's go back to me..

As I mentioned before, I haven't been the best at looking after my skin in the past. I didn't have a regular routine, I'd just slap on the odd cleanser or moisturiser every now and then. And in turn my face repaid me which a bunch of spots, and a few fine lines. Revenge at it's best.
For the first 2 years of being with my boyfriend, I actually slept with my make up on and removed it in the morning!! How awful. My poor skin! Nowadays, 4-5 years on, the boyfriend gets to see me make-up less (poor him!) and I'm trying to make up for all the lack of love I've shown my beloved skin.
My skin type is a mixture of combination and sensitive. Clearly I pulled the short straw with that one! It's a tricky one to handle. And I'm still learning what works, and what doesn't. 
I was about 27-28 when I first realised I needed to start taking better care of my skin, especially since I'd been using make up since a really young age, and wear a full face of make up without fail, every single day. 
So, I have a slightly oily t-zone (not overly shiny or greasy, fortunately, but slightly oily) and it is here I'm prone to the odd hormonal breakout. Yes, still, at 29 years old. My cheeks waver between dry to normal, depending on the time of the month, or the weather. It can also be quite sensitive and can easily become irritated by certain products. I also have fine lines and signs of ageing, around my forehead/in between my brows. 

Let's look at the most important ways to look after your skin, before I show you what I use..
1. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water. 'Nuff said.
2. Protect your skin from the sun, every day by wearing sunscreen or using products that contain an SPF, UVA & UVB protection.
3. Try to eat healthy. Or as healthy as you can. Greasy food = greasy skin. 
4. Don't smoke. This is a given right? Unless you want dry, dull, discoloured, scaly, wrinkly, sagging, gaunt looking skin. In which case, go ahead.
4. Beauty sleep. It's not a myth, healthy skin requires lots of rest! During the night, your skin is working hard to repair itself & renew skin cells.
5. Moisturise your skin, no matter what your skin type!

My Skincare routine..
As my skin can be super sensitive, I've had to be careful what I use on my face. 
It is important to remove dirt, grime, bacteria and any left over make up by cleansing in the morning. For my combination/sensitive skin, creamy, foamy, hypoallergenic lotions are best.
At the moment I wash my face in lukewarm water with my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - it's a really gentle exfoliator made with rice powder, that activates with water to create a creamy paste that removes dead cells and brightens the skin to a smooth finish. It is suitable for all skin types, so give it a try. It is amazing stuff, and I'm gutted that mine has just ran out. Although it lasts for ages, even with daily use, it is pretty expensive stuff so I'm on the look out for something similar. Until then, it'll have to take place on my Wishlist. I reviewed it only yesterday over here, if you fancy reading more about it.
Twice a week I use The Body Shop's Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polish, a facial wash and scrub that so far I'm seeing good results from. As it is gel based I only use this when I'm washing my hair as it can get quite messy. My skin is a big fan of their Vitamin E range too!

Another fave of mine I HAVE to share with you is Lush's Angels On Bare Skin. AMAZING stuff!! It evens out skin tone, reduces redness and best of all improves the health and appearance of your skin. It's lush!! Ahem.. ;)

Toners help to tighten pores and remove leftover product residue from the skin, although it isn't essential to use a toner. It's not something I use regularly. Although I've been thinking of picking up a bottle of The Body Shop's Vitamin E Hydrating Toner, as always, I shall let you know how I get on.

Eye Care:
This probably isn't something you need to start using until about age 25+, then it becomes a good idea to start taking care of the delicate skin around the eye area. It is important to apply eye cream carefully, by patting the cream around and under your eyes being extra careful not to drag the skin, use your ring finger as it's the weakest finger. I'm currently using No7's Lift & Luminate Eye Cream, which is actually aimed towards age 45-60, but it aims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, lift and even skin tone.. and it was on offer so I thought I'd give it a go. ;) It's a really nice product I'd definitely use again, although maybe I should try one for my own age next time :).

This is super important, if you squeeze in any skincare in the morning, make it a moisturiser!! For my combination/sensitive skin I'm advised to use an oil-free, lightweight, unscented, unfragranced cream. 
As I'm heading for 30, and have already been graced with a few fine lines, I've been heading towards the anti-ageing types. 
I'm currently using Soap & Glory's Catch A Wrinkle In Time. I never thought to try any Soap & Glory skincare products, as I thought their forte was bath products, and they were just trying to cash in on their brand. I admit I was wrong, as the products I've tried so far have been pretty damn good. They smell great, and my skin feels really soft and smooth. It aims to smooth away wrinkles, rejuvenate, firm and protect skin, and as I come to the end of my tube, I'm more than happy with the result. I'll definitely use this again, it's such a purse friendly price too. But I have treated myself to a pot of Dr Nick Lowe's The Secret Is Out Lifting Cream, which promises to lift, firm and smooth fine line and wrinkles. The formula is perfect for a number of different skin types. Keep your eye out for future posts on how I get on with this little beauty.

I also use Olay Regenerist CC Cream, which includes a serum, an SPF moisturiser and a sheer foundation. They claim to instantly even skin tone, reduce dark spots and reduces the look of wrinkles in 2 weeks. It is one of my favourite products, I use it daily before applying my make up base. It really does work well to tone my combination/sensitive skin as it suits all skin types. I tend to use it as a primer too, it's a great base. It could be used in place of your foundation, but I do find it to look quite shiny on it's own.

Make Up Removal:
Okay this is where you can all slap my wrists. I confess. I use make up wipes. I know they're not great for make up removal, or for your skin. But that said, I won't use any other wipes than Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Wipes. And I've been using this for years. The reason being a mixture of down right laziness and the fact that everything else bought me out in spots. And it's worked for me. They're super kind to my sensitive skin and they're great for removing even the toughest mascara. They don't contain any oil or alcohol, as other wipes may do, they're un fragranced (perfect for my sensitive skin) and they contain yummy vitamins for my skin.
I have recently been questioning my actions, and debating trying other forms of make up removal, so watch this space. 

Anti-Blemish Skincare:
If you're unlucky enough to get the odd hormonal breakout, such as me, then it's important to find that perfect product to help combat them quick. 
If I ever find a spot on it's way, then I dab on a little Anti-Blemish Skinetica before bed. And within a day or 2, it's gone. Sorted. I received a sample pot in a Glossybox beauty box a while ago and have been super impressed with the results that I'll definitely pick up another pot if it runs out. Skinetica is a fairly new product that promises to remove spots, acne, blackheads etc within 2-3 days with no side effects. It is free from harsh chemicals, non toxic, non greasy and safe for all skin types. They also claim to work well as an all over facial toner and make up base. 

Night Cream:
Again, I can't stress how important moisturising is. As with an eye cream, there's probably no point in using a night cream before the age of 25, as the main aim of these richer creams designed to be used at night are to repair any damage and fight signs of ageing. Whilst a day moisturiser focuses on protection and hydration, a night moisturiser focuses on regeneration and repair. As mentioned earlier, our skin is working hard whilst we're asleep, so with the help of a good night cream, you wake up with healthy, recuperated skin, without doing anything. Fab huh? 
I'm currently using another Soap & Glory fave, in the form of their Night In Shining Armour Gravity-Battling Night Cream. It contains proven wrinkle-reducing ingredients, oxygen-boosters and antioxidants to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Perfect for all skin types, it smells lush and feels really, REALLY good on my skin. I wake up with the feeling of really soft skin which I love. Before this, I was using a rather expensive Chanel night cream, which was great, I was worried I'd never be able to find a more purse-friendly cream to use on a regular that was anywhere near as good. But I'm very happy with this one. I'll be buying this time and time again, as it works so well on my skin! It's a beauty!!

Every now and then I'll treat myself to a face mask. I don't have a regular, or a favourite, I just try to find one that suits my skin type, for a little skin treat!

So, that's my take on Skincare. Join me next week to talk Concealer. 
Remember to use the Twitter hashtag #TheSOproject to read more Skincare posts from the 120+ other bloggers taking part in this project.

Feel free to comment with your links to your skincare posts as part of #TheSOproject..



  1. LOVED your post! ♥ Really informative. I really want to try the vitamin C range from the Body Shop! Xx

  2. Such a detailed post! I really liked those quotes you included too :) You've made my skincare wishlist that little bit longer now! Haha, great picks :)

    I'm part of the SO project too : rosiemickhaiel.blogspot.co.uk
    Cant wait for next week

    Rosie xo

    1. Aw thanks, glad you enjoyed it!!
      Just read yours - great post too x

  3. I really liked your post and the quote from the beginning was really good to make us wake up :D

    1. Glad the quotes went down well - thanks for reading :)

  4. Really enjoyed your skincare post :D Wanted to drop by after you commented on mine (thank you!) and say yes, try the Simple face wash gel, it's sooooo nice! I'm usually a premium skincare girl, but I really love the Simple range. Looking forward to your post next week, will follow on BlogLovin' :)

    Jo x

    1. Aw thanks for stopping by - I think I'll give it a go!! :)

  5. Great post, we all get lazy with skincare, this is a great guide though. I usually feel really lost on what products to use

    Love Oresiri xoxo


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