My Updated Skincare Routine & Review of my First Hydrafacial

Great skin is the perfect base for any makeup look, and my skincare routine is something I get questions about all the time. If you follow me on Snapchat you may already be familiar with a lot of the products I am going to mention, similarly if you've read my previous posts you may see some old favourites popping up.

Before I talk about the products I'm currently using I wanted to fill you in on what I thought about a facial I recently tried. About 3 weeks ago I visited Beacon Face and Dermatology's clinic to try out one of their signature treatments, the HydraFacial. I had an amazing therapist called Elaine looking after me, before the facial started she looked at my skin using Vista Complexion Analysis.

The machine is like a scanner for your face that takes a series of images from different angles to determine your overall skin condition and true age, providing a metric to guide the selection of skin care products and treatment options. Elaine told me that my skin would be compared to a database of other women of the same age and skin type. The analysis measure spots, wrinkles, texture, pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas, and porphyrins and shows you where you sit on a scale in comparison. As I suspected my skin was definitely sun damaged and I also had some texture and redness we wanted to address. 

The HydraFacial is all done using a machine, the unique Vortex-Fusion serum delivery system that's like a tube with different heads on the end of it. This is what sets the HydraFacial apart from other procedures, I have been for countless facials that are lovely relaxing treatments all applied by hand but this facial is a lot more than just a massage. The multi-step treatment cleanses, evenly exfoliates and extracts to remove impurities and dead skin cells while at the same time replenishing vital nutrients including Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid. The facial has 6 steps that I've listed below;  

1. Detox - Lymphatic drainage is peformed which detoxes the face and increases blood circulation to restore the hydration of the skin, generating more lymph to restore tone to the skin. 

2. Exfoliation - Dead skin cells are gently exfoliated using Vortex-Exfoliation ™ and this stage deeply cleanses and nourishes the skin. This step feels like you can physically feel the top layer of your skin being scraped off but it isn't in the last painful or uncomfortabe.

3. Peel - A gentle GlySal™ peel (a mix of Glycolic and Salicylic acid) is applied to help to get the skin glowing and soften impurities, the strength of the peel is tailored to the individual.

4. Extraction - The suction head on the end of the Vortex System is run over any areas of congestion to help remove any black heads and impurities of the skin. 

5. Hydration - Bathing the treated skin with hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, peptides and multipeptides. 

6. Rejuvenation - Red and blue infrared light stimulate collagen to give the skin an immediate glow.

There was zero down time following the procedure which I liked, I could have easily gone out that evening. In the days to come my skin felt hydrated and balanced, in addition the treatment didn't trigger any breakouts or peeling which I loved. The treatment starts from €150 and in my eyes would make the most amazing christmas gift for someone really special! Should you want any extra information you can find out more by visiting the clinics website

While I was there I was asking Elaine what type of skincare I should be using and she told me three of the most important things to incorporate into any skincare routine are a good SPF, a good antioxidant to protect the skin from free radicals during the day, and a retinol to renew the skin at night. 

After seeing how damaged my skin is from the sun I have been trying to use an SPF daily underneath my makeup. For that reason I wanted one that wasn't too heavy and wouldn't leave a residue so as to sit nicely when foundation is layered on top. I am loving Image Skincare's Prevention+ daily matte moisturizer SPF 32, an oil-free and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB critical wavelength high sun protection mattifying moisturizer. It incorporates microsponge technology to absorb surface oils and leaves my skin with a matte, shine-free finish. It is also supposed to contain a next generation blend of anti-oxidants as free-radical scavengers to decrease damaging effects of the sun and environmental exposures.  I'll be interested to see if my sun damage has been reduced or at least halted in 6 months time!

In keeping with the antioxidant theme I am now in a committed relationship with Reform Skincare's Hyal Vitamin C and E Serum. An antioxidant treatment packed with Hyaluronic Acid that interacts with Vitamin C and E together with Ferulic Acid to provide high levels of protection on the skin surface to prevent damage caused by free radicals and environmental pollutants.  This forumla helps provide for a brighter, radiant even skin toned complexion and I apply it daily under my SPF. I can't stress enough the importance of using products that contain "active ingredients" that actually work on your skin from within instead of just hydrating the top layer in the short term.

To cleanse my skin I've been using Image Skincare's Ageless Cleanser. It's a universal 3-in-1 body and facial cleanser that rinses away makeup and oil and also balances the pH of your skin eliminating the need for a toner. It contains a gentle glycolic acid blend that begins the exfoliating process to reveal smoother skin. I use this in the evening only as I think twice a day would be too harsh for my face so I still use my Kiehls Clearly Corrective Purifying Foaming wash in the morning.

About twice a week I now use Image Skincare's Ageless Total Resurfacing Mask too, I'm obsessed with how this makes my skin look so it's tempting not to use it more often! An exfoliating blend of hydroxy acids and micro crystals resurfaces the skin, gently sloughing off dead cells and helping diminish brown spots. This resurfacing masque is a true at home mini peel!

To take my makeup off at night I've been hooked on No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser, it leaves my dry skin feeling soft and supple. It's initially a gel consistency that develops into a non-drying oil to protect the skin’s natural moisture levels and hydrate dry areas at the same time. After the oil breaks down your makeup and you wet your face it then changes into a light milk formula for easier rinsing, so skin is left residue-free and totally refreshed. I use a facecloth to remove it! 

I still use my Pestle and Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil following cleansing in the evening so that hasn't changed but for now these are the products I'm coveting! I know Image Skincare has been "everywhere" this year and it may seem like a fad but some of their products are really worth the spend. About 5 years ago before Image was as popular as it is now I used to swear by their Vital C line, after a year of using it however I just found it wasn't doing anything for me anymore. I can't say I feel the urge to try that range again but if you're mid 20's + the Ageless line in my eyes is fabulous! 

As always I haven't been paid to write any of this and my opinions are all honest and my own. Let me know if you've tried any of the products mentioned and what your thoughts were! Until next time, Jodie xx