It took me ages to find a skincare routine that was doable as well as good for my skin. For the longest time I used absolutely nothing. The reason why? I didn’t feel my skin needed it and whenever I tried something it led to rashes, break outs and other allergic reactions which strengthened my belief that skincare was absolute bollocks and nothing but a ploy by the beauty industry to get one to spend money. I still hold that belief to a certain extent. But since my skin showed signs of needing a bit of extra help, I dove straight into it and now have a skincare routine that works for me. Today I’ll share my secrets as to how you can find yours.
So many products, so little time (and money)!
You may have heard people say: ‘if there is one thing you should invest in, it’s your skincare’. I know from experience that that’s not necessarily true. I have tried creams in different price ranges from cheap to high end and from each category on the spectrum I found products that broke me out and make my skin feel worse rather than better. In fact, in my case, the more expensive the products I tried, the more prone I was to allergic reactions. I simply have super sensitive skin, which means that very potent or fragrant products are a complete no go for me and expensive products usually fall in either or both of those categories. So when it comes to the price category I aim for, I stay somewhere in the middle. I will not spend more than €25 euros on a moisturizer and use cleansers that are around €10. It’s the ingredients that truly matter.
When you start looking into skincare, you have to know what skin type you have. Different people will tell you different things though, so don’t just go with the first ‘reading’ you get. The ladies at the store, however nice they may be, are retail workers, not dermatologists even though they may have some knowledge of what they’re trying to sell. So beware and get at least a few different opinions. Also, your skin type may alter slightly with the seasons with your skin becoming more dry or oily depending on the weather. In my case, I deal with dry to normal combination skin with a t-zone that can get oily throughout the day and dehydrated skin on the high points of my cheeks.
And no, there is no cream to tackle all of that in one go. That is why the only advise that truly matters when it comes to the creams you use is that you find yourself a good moisturizer. No matter your skin type, be it dry or oily. In fact, zits and acne prone skin isn’t the result of oiliness, but mostly infected pores which you can even have if you have a drier skin type. So moisturize morning and evening. Depending on your skin type your moisturizer can be more potent than others. For the mornings I like to use a moisturizer that is light weight and easily absorbed by my skin. For the evening I like using a slightly thicker cream that takes a tad longer to absorb, but which doesn’t leave my skin feeling sticky.
The base of any skincare routine however isn’t your moisturizer. It’s your cleanser. Your cream simply won’t do much good for your skin when it isn’t clean. That is why cleansing your skin is essential. I cleanse once a day on make up free days, twice when I’m wearing make up. I cleanse my face in different ways depending on a) the amount of make up, b) the amount of time I have or want to use, c) whether I am taking a shower.
When I wear a lot of make up, I like to use a cleansing oil to remove that make up. This doesn’t have to break the bank. I once used olive oil when I stayed with friends and it worked just fine. When I am in a rush, or if I want to keep things simple, I like using a micellar water like Bioderma or the Garnier one. I also use that as a toner to take off any oily residue when I use a cleansing oil. Lastly, if I a shower I will use a scrub and then a face wash for a deeper more thorough cleanse 2 – 3 times a week, and I exfoliate once a week also when I’m in the shower.
Luckily, I am blessed with very few blemishes and spots, but when I get them, I always use a tea tree oil to take care of them. Tea tree oil can be very potent so be careful with it and only use it on the spot as it can easily dry out your skin. I use a drugstore brand 100% pure tea tree oil, which only costs a few euros. It works like a dream and it doesn’t break the bank.
I already touched upon it above, but for my sensitive skin matters the mantra: the fewer ingredients in the product, the better the results I get. I always look for cleansers, toners and moisturizers that have no alcohol, little to no perfume and as many natural ingredients as possible. Granted, I am not a chemist, so I only partly understand the mumbo-jumbo on the package, but I just try to look for simple products that work.
Lastly, the tip I can give you is that when you try out new skincare that you should give it some time before you judge whether it is for you or not. Of course when you skin becomes red, irritated, itchy, blotchy or you get break out, you are probably having an allergic reaction, which means you should stop using the product instantly. But for the most part, you need to give it some time before you can judge whether your skin likes a product or not. So don’t change up your routine too much. Use up the products you have before you start using something else and give your skin time to get used to the product and only change out one at the time, so your skin doesn’t go ballistic on you.
What is important in your skincare routine?
Also, let me know if you would like to see mine!
I could do a separate blog post on it.
This is a link to my previous skincare routine to give you an idea. Some reviews of some of my favorite skincare products:
Serums & eye creams:
- De Tuinen Aloe Vera eye serum
- The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream
- Olaz Total Effects 7-in-1 Instant Smoothing Serum
- The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil
Moisturizers/ day creams/ night creams:
- Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing lotion
- Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer
- Olaz Total Effects Moisturizing Cream for sensitive skin
- La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra for allergy prone & intolerant skin
- La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV Intense Riche
Cleansers & toners: