After sharing on Insta the other day how grateful I am for my skin therapist (Adele) who has taken my skin on a journey of healing and improvement, I was inundated with messages asking me to please share what I am using, and what I used when I had acne breakout and pigmentation explosions in my pregnancies.
This post will cover my skin routine, linked to multiple posts with various products I love in those categories. I hope this post acts as a guide for you if you are a thirty-something looking to start taking care of your skin
While my skin has come such a long way, and I am thrilled with the texture and health of it, I still struggle with uneven skin tone, hormonal breakouts, and congestion. I am in my mid-thirties and so anti-aging products are high on my priority list as well, and so skin care is a place I invest a substantial amount of my salary into 😉 I certainly didn’t buy all these products in one go, so please don’t read this post and blow all your savings tonight! Building a skincare regime over time and in a way that best suits your budget is the best way to go, especially because you can slowly see, as you introduce new products into your routine, what products you do and don’t like, and understand what product is having what effect on your skin. If you go buck wild and purchase 8 new products overnight it will be impossible to know what you like or what product is responsible for potentially giving you a reaction. Easy does it. With skin care it’s always best to keep in mind that slow & steady wins the race and try avoid “quick fixes”!
Reminder: I have a combination to oily skin, so please keep this in mind if you are looking at my recommendations because if you have a dry skin you may not have the same experience with the skin products or routine I use.
I pretty much follow a Korean beauty skin care routine;
2. Exfoliate (not daily)
5. Treatment or serum/active,
6. Sheet masking (not daily)
In conjunction with all of the above I also go for monthly facials where I have peels done under the care and supervision of my trusted skin therapist.
You might be freaked out by all the steps mentioned above, and yes, it does take time 🙂 – but I absolutely love it. If there is one thing I am more than happy to spend time (and money on), it is my skin – after all, we only have one face! Prevention is key, and managing problem skin with the right products and guidance is vital in order to limit long-term damage, which is very hard to eradicate completely once its there.
1. My current cleanser:
I am currently using the by Wishtree Acid-Duo cleanser and I have absolutely loved it. You can read more about it and other cleansers I love HERE.
My cleansing routine:
Morning – apply a small amount of product to damp hands and cleanse skin in circular motion, rinse and pat dry with clean towel.
Evening – double cleanse; apply a small amount of product to damp hands and cleanse skin in circular motion, rinse and repeat; leaving the cleanser on slightly longer on second cleanse, paying special attention to nose and jaw area where I tend to get black heads and congestion.
I do this morning & evening, daily.
2. My current exfoliator(s):
Exfoliating is possibly one of my favourite parts of my routine… although I honestly love skin care so I actually enjoy all stages 🙂 #SkinCareNerd
But I just love the smooth feeling of my skin after a good exfoliation, and how seamlessly my products and make up apply thereafter.
I don’t use a mechanical exfoliant – ie one with small particles in it which are abrasive enough on the skin to remove dry or dead skin cells. I am not completely anti-physical exfoliator, I think they have a place for certain skin types, (and I used to really enjoy the L’Oreal Sugar Kiwi scrub… still do!) BUT for someone with skin like me – which has a tendency to flare up or be congested, I find that the physical exfoliators can aggravate problem areas and you might find you end up with more angry, inflamed skin that breaks out more. Physical exfoliants can also be harsh on delicate facial skin, causing microtears and damage to the skin over time, leaving it prone to irritability.
Having said all of that, it’s very important not to discount exfoliation completely: besides buffing away dead skin and buildup, which allows your skin care products to properly penetrate and do their job, exfoliation stimulates skin renewal for smoother and brighter skin, Source. Chemical exfoliants are more likely to give you a more even exfoliation, and leave your skin brighter and smoother, without the microtears and/or angering under-the-surface congestion.
My exfoliation routine:
My cleanser has a (very low %) exfoliant in it, which means it ever-so-slightly exfoliates my skin daily. This is not enough of an exfoliation for “maturing” 😜 skin, so I use a chemical exfoliant 1-2 times per week on top of that, which is ofcourse stronger and more effective than a cleanser would ever be. I would generally alternate use of the two above-mentioned exfoliators in the week.
Depending on time I have I will either use the Glycolic one if I have 10-15min to spare, but should I be in a rush I will use the 1min exfoliator.
See more about exfoliators I love HERE.
3. My current toner(s):
Honestly I never quite undertood the benefit of toning. For me it was an extra step to ensuring your make up was properly removed, but considering I did a double cleanse at night it didn’t seem vital. I also knew it was historically a step to reset the skin’s pH level after the cleanser stripped it, but the cleansers I am using take the skin’s pH into consideration. It wasn’t until about 6 months ago when I was given a PIXI Rose water Toner and I just really started to enjoy the freshness of the toner, and understood how it helped prep my skin to better absorb the essence and serum to follow in the routine. It wasn’t until I got the REN AHA toner that my thoughts on toner were totally transformed. I cannot believe the results from this toner!
I have learnt that it is imperative that those of us with oily or acne-prone skin use a toner. It helps to better unclog pores by removing oil, dirt and make up. By removing build up from your pores you also create the appearance of your pores shrinking. Bonus! Toners can also help close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing, reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin. Certain toners can even protect and remove chlorine and minerals present in tap water. Source.
My Toning Routine:
After cleansing and patting my skin dry, (or after exfoliating), I will put a few drops of toner onto a cotton round and pat it over my face. I like to use the REN AHA toner to start, and follow with my Isntree HA toner. If my skin is for any reason more dry I will just use my HA toner, but you can read more on this and all my favourite toners HERE.
4. My current Essences
I currently have 4 essences which I alternate use of, after toning and before serum application. As a rule I was told you should always build products in order of weight/consistency, starting with the most watery and working your way up until you get to the thickest – the moisturiser. Essences tend to be of a water-like consistency.
If you are slowly building your skin care regime I would say an essence is the last thing you should add to your routine. Focus on getting the basics right first and finally add an essence if you wish. It is an added luxury, in my opinion.
To see more about how I use my essences see THIS POST.
Gosh I can have such fun with serums. They truly are unbelievable little bottles of magic. It is without doubt that because of introducing serums into my routine, I have seen the most change in my skin, particularly my texture and reduced signs of aging.
The benefits of using a serum are endless:
- REDUCING SIGNS OF FATIGUE. A lack of sleep can leave your complexion looking dull and tired.
- REFINING PORES.
- SMOOTHING YOUR SURFACE OF THE SKIN.
- REDUCING THE APPEARANCE OF FINE LINES AND WRINKLES.
- HELPING THE SKIN TO RETAIN MOISTURE.
- A JOY THEY BRING TO APPLY. 😍
5. My current serum(s):
Okay this is embarrassing but there are too many to name quickly.
See THIS POST for more information on my serums, and when and how I use them.
I am shamelessly obsessed with masking. While I enjoy all sorts of masks, from Vitamin E, Hyaluronic and more, my ultimate treat is a sheet mask!If I had to tell you how many sheet masks I bought in Bali you would literally fall off whatever you are sitting on while reading this post! Let’s just say that I went buck wild on sheet masks there – they were ridiculously affordable, and I just could not stop myself.
Why do sheet masks work?
Essentially a sheet mask is a sheet fully soaked with concentrated serum, which consists of many beneficial ingredients to the skin such as hyaluronic acid and vitamins. These ingredients are in the water phase as dissolved. The sheet prevents quick evaporation of the water phase and extends the time frame the ingredients required to penetrate deep into the skin. This result in the sheet masks outperforming the effects of the traditional serum-type skincare even when applied once.
6. These are a few of my most favourite masks:
Some of my other fave masks are these, but I do have a few more, and I will work on getting them up in a seperate post soon-ish, too:
In it’s most basic possible explanation: The top layer of skin (the stratum corneum) is made up of dead skin cells. Just beneath this layer is where the skin stores water. When your skin isn’t holding onto enough water, it looks and feels drier, and it loses its elasticity. That’s where face moisturiser comes to the rescue: The moisturiser both locks water into the skin and absorbs water from the outside. The end result is that your skin immediately looks smoother and feels healthier, but that’s not all — regularly applying face moisturizer prevents wrinkles and tired-looking skin in the long run, too. Source.
7. My Moisturiser(s)
I use various moisturisers, depending on what my routine has included prior to this last step, and depending on how much hydration, or added benefits, I feel my skin could use. My most used moisturiser at present is the Panthenol Moist cream from The Glow Theory. I got this moisturiser as part of the glow box I ordered, and I have really enjoyed it. This nourishing moisturiser from TIAM includes 10% Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), which works to deeply hydrate skin while fortifying the moisture barrier for plump, dewy, healthy skin. Incredibly hydrating without being heavy, this cream is perfect for all skin types, but especially dehydrated, dry, and sensitive skin types. I will complete the additional post of all my other moisturisers and oils soon.
My morning ritual at a glance:
My evening ritual at a glance:
It has been said, and I have to agree, that the best tool against anti-aging is a sunblock. It is important to choose a sunscreen that is non-comodogenic, meaning it will not black your pores.
8. My sunscreen
My current sunscreen is the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50 PA ++++
This is a daily sun protector for sensitive skin comes in a water gel formula to provide a light, soft and featherlight finish. High SPF and PA provides UVA/UVB protection without generating greasiness or white cast.
- Formulated with Sea Buckthorn Oil for antioxidants and moisture, niacinamide to brighten and even out skin tone
- Panthenol, beta-glucan and allantoin soothe and calm while supporting a healthy skin barrier
This sunscreen is available on The Glow Theory for R395.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and the posts linked to it. Let me know if you found it helpful in the comments – I would really love to know, because it did take me hours/days to put it all together for you 😉
Also pop any questions into the comments section too!