Looking after my skin has always been something that's important to me, my mum was definitely the one who got me into it. I started a skin care routine from about the age of 12, I can remember getting the La Roche Posay Rosaliac moisturiser to try combat my red cheeks and as a teenager used to use their bright green primer under my foundation. I never went to bed with makeup on and still won't to this day, no matter how drunk or tired! I truly believe that your skin condition is first and foremost based on your diet and hydration. I personally notice a huge difference in mine when I'm being good and drinking enough water! Similarly if I've been drinking a lot or binging on sugar my skin reflects it. That being said these products I am about to talk through are my skin saviours. After trialling far too many alternatives these are my go to's that I'd be lost without.
If I have makeup on I will first take it off using a good quality organic coconut oil. I take a small amount and rub it all over my skin, into my lashes and brows and then using a face wipe or a damp facecloth I remove it. The oil breaks down the makeup and mascara while also conditioning my lashes and brows, win-win! I then cleanse my face, to me this is easily the most important step. There's no point rubbing expensive creams and lotions into your skin if it's still covered in dirt and excess makeup that will breed bacteria and cause impurities. There are several cleansers on the market from creams to milks to foams. I personally like one that foams because I use it with my Boots Number 7, Skin Cleansing Brush, a great and inexpensive version of the Clarisonic.
The cleanser I use is the Kiehl's Purifying Foaming Cleanser, part of the Clearly Corrective White system. While on the pricier side for a cleanser after a few months of using this I did notice a visible difference in my skin, any discolouration had dulled slightly and my skin appeared brighter. In my opinion, it is a two in one product, brightening and cleansing the skin so I don't mind paying an extra few euro for it. Alternatively I also love the Clinique Rinse off Foaming Cleanser or the La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, both available in Boots. After cleansing I take a cotton pad and go over my face with the Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner. I have dry skin so I don't like to use anything too harsh that is likely to strip the skin, this toner is gentle and alcohol free which I love. Using a toner after cleansing restores the skins pH and as it's mildly astringent will clear away any thing that you missed while washing your face.
Equally important for me is a good exfoliant. There are gel exfoliants that are amazing and act as a mask that dries on the skin, you then whisk away any dead skin cells using a face cloth. If you would prefer a gel and don't like the idea of anything abrasive like a traditional scrub I highly recommend the Yon-Ka, Gommage 305. Personally I prefer something that has little particles in it. The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is fantastic for just that, daily use. It's a rice based powder that activates to form a paste when mixed with water. It contains salicylic acid to brighten, retexturize and combat break outs and rice enzymes that exfoliate the skin. As you rub this over your skin the paste thickens and removes any dead skin cells, your skin really does appear polished after use.
The other scrub I quite like is the Nip+Fab Scrub Fix, more of a traditional exfoliant with tiny mico-particles. It also contains salicylic acid and has bamboo extract that helps renew and revitalise the skin. I only use this when my skin needs a really good scrub as it's quite abrasive but it does the job. If you don't want to spend the money on an exfoliant you can mix a little caster sugar with some good quality honey at home, rub this all over your skin and it will work a treat. Honey also has fantastic antibacterial and healing properties so you'll get the benefit of that too. Leave it on as a mask for a few minutes then remove with a damp face cloth. Also an amazing edible lip scrub!
On to the lotions and potions. I promise I don't work for Kiehl's and this post isn't sponsored, these are just the products that work for me! As a daily moisturiser I use the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. It has a light texture which I love and it leaves my skin feeling comfortable and hydrated. I recently watched a makeup tutorial with Kim Kardashian's make up artist Mario Dedivanoic in which he said he had applied this as his makeup base as he loved how emollient it is! If it's good enough for Kim it's good enough for me! I too find makeup applies beautifully on top of it. An extra bonus is that this moisturiser is designed specifically to protect skin in harsh weather conditions. It contains a glycoprotien called Antarcticine, sourced from sea glaciers for it's ability to protect skin from cold temperatures, perfect for us here is Ireland!
At night time I use the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, the most heavenly scented oil you will ever come across. It's packed with Essential Oils, is paraban free and is made with 99.8% natural ingredients. I use the eye cream from the same Midnight Recovery system at night time. It's infused with the same natural ingredients as the concentrate but also includes Butcher's Broom, which improves circulation and reduces inflammation that causes puffiness under the eye. Finally on to the best face mask I have ever used, the Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque. It has a thick gel like consistency that you put on before bed, if I were to purchase one product from those mentioned in this post it would be this. I use it once or twice a week after cleansing and exfoliating and my skin thanks me for it. It's a plant based formula that works by restoring the skins hydration levels, it's silcone, paraban, colorant and fragrance free. To me the scent (or lack there of) is the only downfall as I don't love its natural one but I can live with it. The results speak for themselves! From what I remember is was about €33 for a huge 4.2fl.oz that should last you a year, worth every penny in my book! On my lips I use the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour lip treatment that I've mentioned before, I also swear by the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm.
To summarise incase the order I do this all in wasn't clear, I start each morning by washing my face with my foaming cleanser using a facecloth, no cleansing brush. I follow this up with my moisturiser and makeup if I'm wearing any that day. At the end of the day I take my makeup off using coconut oil and follow through with the cleanser again, this time using the brush. I then use either the daily microfoliant or the face scrub depending on my skins needs that day, I don't use the scrub fix more than twice a week. After towelling off my face I spend a few minutes massaging 2-3 drops of the facial oil into my skin and apply my eye cream. If you watch the queen of beauty, Lisa Eldridge's YouTube videos, you may have seen her post on her facial massage to help with signs of ageing-I give this a go! Once or twice a week I will swap the oil for the mask and I always apply lip balm after brushing my teeth.
I hope this post was helpful for those of you who had requested it! If anyone has any dupes for these products that may be slightly less expensive let us know in the comments section! I also love seeing your snaps of things I've recommended, keep them coming! (snapchat;jodielawsonwood) X