My skin isn't the type of skin that responds well to a 'less is more' care routine. It is super dry, stress reactive and bares the mark of 27 years under the harsh Australian sun. It feels best when I treat it kindly and for me, that is a 10 step process!
If I could offer you one piece of advice when it comes to your own skincare routine, it would be this; listen to your skin. A highly involved, multi-step routine wont work for everyones skin type. It is a case of trial & error. Some products wont work well together, some will cause your skin to react.
It has taken me a few years to work out the combination of products that works best for me. Each morning and night, I treat my face, neck and décolletage with a mix of high end and drug store products.
Step One: Triple Cleanse
The first thing I do in the morning is a triple cleanse. I tend to wear a lot of makeup and a single cleanse is rarely enough for my face to feel squeaky clean. Your skin can't absorb anything else properly if your face ins't cleansed throughly.
To remove my makeup, I cleanse with the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil, which is gentle and hydrating for my skin. I usually follow that with L'oreal Gentle Eye & Lip Makeup Remover on a q-tip to take off what is left of my mascara (it works wonders on fibres). For the final cleanse and to get that squeaky clean feeling, I finish cleansing with Essano's Rosehip Gentle Fomaing Facial Cleanser.
Step Two: Exfoliate
I don't exfoliate every day, usually just once or twice a week. Because my skin in sensitive I use a gentle exfoliant that works on a chemical level as well as a light abrasive level. I love the Kate Sommerville Exfolikate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment. It leaves me skin feeling baby smooth and encourages a healthy rosy glow (as opposed to a violent shade of red!).
Step Three: Tone
Technically, this product isn't a toner, but it feels like hydration heaven on freshly cleansed skin and contains a shitload of goodies that my skin just loves. After cleansing, I spritz The Mist by La Mer on my face & neck, and allow it to soak in while I brush my teeth before moving on to the next step.
Step Four: Serum
This step really adds to the softness of my skin, and prepares it super well to receive the treatments and moisturisers that follow. It replenishes any natural softness I may have lost during cleansing. I love The Aesop Parsley seed range. They're packed full of oxidants and feel luxurious to apply. The Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum is a lightweight serum that is absorbed super quickly and leaves a soft matte finish.
Step 5: Treat
This step is the most effective step my routine, and this product is the stand out, by far. I use Sunday Riley Good Genes to intensively treat my skin for ageing and pigmentation. It does everything it claims to do (brightens, plumps, smoothes & improves pigmentation), and it does it almost instantly. It also has a lovely lightweight finish.
Step 6: Eye cream
I'll admit, I'm late to the party when it comes to eye cream. If I'm in a hurry, its usually the first step I'll skip - however its still very important. The area around your eyes does not produce its own oils, so needs a super concentrated moisturizer to stop your concealer flaking, and slow down crows feet. I use the Neutrogena Hydro-Boost Eye Roller. The little silver roller is cool and refreshing and helps with any under eye puffiness.
Step 7 : Moisturise
I use both a day and night moisturising cream, respectively. I love the Neutrogena Hydo Boost range. Its a great low cost product that delivers a fast and immediate result. It feels nice and cool upon application and I find that neither cream is too rich when applied following my serum and treatment. They deliver just the right amount of hydration.
Step 8: Exfoliate & Condition Lips
You can't neglect your lips in your routine. Keeping them smooth and hydrated can keep them looking plump and feeling kissable. I start by exfoliating any dead skin from my lips using the LUSH Mint Julips Lip Scrub. I hydrate and condition by following this with The Lip Balm by La Mer. This product is a total splurge, but it is the king of all lip balms. I slater it on at night and my lips look/feel amazing when I wake up in the morning. I also use it to keep my lipstick from drying out and cracking.
Step 9: Masking
I try and do as mask at least once a week. I try a variety of different masks, but I always try to stick to hydrating or anti-ageing masks. Two of my go-to favourites that I like to have on hand are the Radiant Lifting Mask and Anti-Aeging Hydrating Mask Treatment from Apotcare. Both leave my skin feeling firm and hydrated, and provide softness well into the next day.
Step 10: LED Facial Treatments
Once a month, I try to book in for an Omnilux Revive LED Light Therapy Facial treatment at Serene Day Spa in Scarborough. Technically, you'll see the best results if you get this treatment once every fortnight, but I do find I get positive results from going once a month. Its the ultimate luxury and totally pain free. My skin is baby smooth and seems to absorb product much better following this treatment.