Ah Wednesday, the middle of the week at last! I swear, the week flies in after Wednesday, and soon Monday comes around again. Normally by now we’re basking in the sunlight and trying not to burn. However this year the weather seems to be conspiring against those of us looking to get a bit of natural colour. That being said, I’ve been changing my skincare setup over to my summer skin routine, and decided to share my skincare saviours of 2021 with you!
We all know we should be looking after our skin. And a lot of us disregard the fact that what we consume also affects our skin. I have spent years suffering with acne and poor skin. Having tried creams, lotions, potions and pills from the doctors, I finally had a breakthrough moment when I was 18. And while medication was what finally got me through to the other side, skincare has become a major deal for me.
My Skin Story
As a teenager, I regularly bemoaned my often painful skin. It was red, sore, covered in spots, and it was more than just the usual puberty. Turns out it’s mainly from a hormone imbalance, but that’s a story for another time. When the GP finally referred me to a dermatologist, I was put on a course of Roaccutane (Isotretinoin capsules). Let me tell you, the side effects were not pretty. Again, a story for another time. But the long and short of it is I went to New York on a school trip feeling like my skin was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! Now I look back at it and could cry at how sore it looks.
It took me a few more years of testing and trying products to see what worked for me. From 2015 until 2016 I swore by Micellar Water, only using the Garnier one, and chopping and changing moisturiser just using up whatever I had. It was 2016 when I started going to blogger events with Jordanne that I first discovered the incredible Vitamin E range at The Body Shop. I was converted! Then, when I went to the event at Brown’s Hair Salon in 2017, I learnt just how bad Micellar Water is for your skin in the long run. Speaking with the girls there, I was recommended a few personalised items, and so my skincare journey truly began.
My Morning Skincare Saviours
Did I mention that it took me until 2019 to actually start a night time skincare routine? No wonder my skin hated me for so long! But that’s not the point of this part. In the list of my skincare saviours, I’ve tried to break it down into how frequently I use each item. Shall we start in the bathroom?
Steps 1 & 2 – Skincare in the Shower: Exfoliator and Face Wash
With washing my hair every other day, I use a facial exfoliator every other hair wash. Meaning I exfoliate once every four days. While I know some places recommend 2-3 times a week, I tend to stick to my every other hair wash rule otherwise my skin looks tired. My exfoliator of preference is definitely the Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Charcoal Facial Scrub. While it’s currently out of stock online, I highly recommend looking for this in you local store! Priced at just £5, it’s definitely budget friendly and value for money! This deep cleansing facial scrub contains antibacterial tea tree oil and skin calming witch hazel in conjunction with activated Charcoal to keep your skin clear and healthy by gently cleansing and attracting dirt like a magnet, drawing out deep down impurities & excess oil without over-drying.
I’ve always used the Boots tea tree and witch hazel foam face wash, however it seems they discontinued this sometime last year as I’ve been unable to buy it since! And while I used it all through the summer, I swear by the Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash [aff] from The Body Shop in the winter. Actually, now the shops have reopened, I’ve just purchased the Lemon Purifying Face Wash [aff] so I’ll let you know what I think of it! Now, I use a face wash every other day. Probably not what the skincare gurus would recommend. But I find that using them daily actually brings out more breakouts!
After A Shower: Hair Wash Days
As I’ve been saying, my skincare routine varies from one day to the next. Having covered the in-shower skincare saviours, shall we have a look at what’s the after-shower routine on a hair wash day?
Steps 3 & 4 – Cleanser and Toner.
Discovered back at my first blogger events in Glasgow, I am yet to find a cleanser and toner that loves my skin as much as the Vitamin E range from The Body Shop. The Vitamin E Cream Cleaner [aff] is a light, creamy cleanser with protective vitamin E and moisturising wheatgerm oil that effectively removes impurities and make-up. It leaves skin feeling clean, softer and more supple. I then follow it with the Vitamin E Hydrating Toner [aff]. The Vitamin E Hydrating Toner [aff] gives skin a refreshing rush as it helps sweep away hidden nasties, leaving skin feeling clean and supple. An important step in between cleansing and moisturising, toning your skin helps to remove any leftover makeup or grime from your skin.
You may remember, back when I decided life was going eco-friendly, I started using reusable makeup remover pads [aff]. The set I own includes 4 scrub and 12 soft reusable make up pads. The scrub pads are made to clean off tenacious products and softly exfoliate the skin. The softer pads are great for sensitive areas like the eyes. The zero-waste make up remover pads meet all your makeup removal needs. While I love my Bambaw reusable pads [aff], there are many more on the market that you can purchase.
Step 5 – Face Mist
Discovered last year, I would be lost without these two items in my skincare saviours list! I know a lot of people don’t use a face mist first thing in the morning, but I have been using my Glycolic Aid Revitalising Essence Spray [aff] after my toner each morning. The Revolution Skincare Glycolic & Aloe Essence Spray is infused with aloe vera extracts that are rich in vitamins helping to sooth the skin. Carefully blended with Glycolic acid, the ingredient gently exfoliates to remove impurities. Revealing fresh, clean and brighter skin. All I really know is that my skin feels so much fresher when I use it!
Step 6 – Hydration Mask
This one is especially for those days I’ve washed my hair, particularly when I’ve been exfoliating. The No7 Instant Results Nourishing Hydration Mask, which I first got in my No7 Advent Calendar last year. One or two pumps on your fingers, smoothed across your face, and left for 3-10 minutes. My skin feels incredible after using! I tend to dry my hair while it’s on my face so I can move on to step 7 of my skincare saviours.
Steps 7 & 8 – Hydrating Serum and Eye Cream
My Botanics Simply Calm Hydrating Serum comes next. I use the one with cannabis sativa seed oil, and smooth 2 drops across my face. Next comes my Botanics All Bright with hibiscus refreshing eye roll-on. I’ve tried eye creams but they seem to aggravate my eyes and the skin around them, so this was a great find!
Steps 9 and 10 – Moisturising!
Now I don’t always use a facial oil, but when I do I pop it on before my moisturiser. Again, I use the Botanics Simply Calm Facial Oil, but this is only used a couple of times a week. However my morning skin routine ends with the No7 Essential Moisture Day Cream.
My Bedtime Skincare Saviours
So bedtime comes around, and I more or less follow the same routine. I double cleanse with the Vitamin E Cream Cleanser, followed by the Vitamin E hydrating Toner. Next up comes my other essence spray – the Revolution Skincare Niacinamide Clarifying Essence Spray [aff] to combat any breakouts trying to come to the surface. Then comes my No7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate – used only twice a week because any more than that angers my skin. I then use another Botanics serum – this time the All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum. With the Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Night Gel we begin to end the routine. Once it soaks in, I use the Botanics Simply Calm Hydrating Serum again, alongside the eye roll-on, and penultimately I use the Botanics Overnight Facial Oil. When this has finally soaked in, and I’m itching to crawl into bed, I finally use my vitamin E night cream before aiming for 7-9 hours sleep.
We all know there’s more to skincare than what we put on the skin from the outside. As always, drinking water, sleeping properly, eating well… all the usual. And I know we’re meant to change up our skincare routines regularly. But. Once you find something that works for you, why fix what isn’t broken? What are some of your skincare saviours? The holy grail of your routine? A product or range that you can’t survive without? Let us know in the comments below!