A lot of the time I get numerous compliments about my facial skin's smoothness to which in some situations people gather and stroke, yes - stroke! my face. I'm not claiming that I do have amazing skin, however as I have been asked to: here is my face routine!
To begin my day, I always wash my face after brushing my teeth by running a cotton face towel (can be brought anywhere - nothing in particular) under warm water and wringing it out before wiping my face with it. I don't like using cleansing products when I wake up as the oils produced at night are good for your skin additionally, providing you cleansed well the night before. There shouldn't be that much dirt on there to begin with! The warm water and flannel trick is gental enough not to remove too much oil yet can effortlessly wipe away any eye bogeys or slobber from your face. After this step you should feel awakened and refreshed ready to start the rest of the day!
I could not stress more about eye cream, as this is one of the thinnest parts of skin around your face; it's more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. To prevent this the best way is to keep it moisturised to enhance elasticity, however you can't use your regular facial cream as it's too thick and will clog up the pores creating milia (the small white spots), so something thinner and lighter is needed. The best one - that I always stick to (and gutted I've lost in the midst of moving) is Clinique's all about eye. I love the gel - like formula that dries to a silky smooth touch. This can be found at your local House of Fraser/Debenhams/Boots for about 25GBP a tub, for a cheaper dupe - you can always opt for Soap and Glory's Supereyes for just under 8GBP.
I use these 365 days a year, regardless if my skins needs it more or less in the changing seasons. You need to change you moisturiser every few months so your skin doesn't get used to one product, it's like consistently taking medicine - your immunity would adapt to it. One of my favourite affordable's would need to be Garnier's Day Cream, out of all the day cream's I've tried they're all of oily texture that leaves me feeling clammy and oily all day, these gel-like formula's dry to a silky smooth leaving me still feeling fresh for the day.
Make Up Remover
Don't be alarmed by the pot, it's only Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover (3.05GBP), I used to swear by Clinique's Take the Day Off (14.50GBP) looking at the price difference you could probably tell why! I start by applying a bit onto a cotton pad and hold them onto my eye's (where I apply most of my make up) for about 20 seconds each allowing the product to soak in, then genitally swirl around the eyes and then sweeping it lightly over my lashes, I'll then sweep horizontally across my forehead, down both sides of my nostrils, then in an upwards and outwards motion around my face, then down the neck area. the key to this stage is being gental and patient with it, as this is the first stage of cleaning you want the product to soak into the make up to loosen it for the next stage.
Second stage! After removing the make up I trust your face is all oily and discomforting, so wet your face with warm water to open up the pores and swirl some gental foaming cleanser on your face - you don't want to use overly powerful cleaners on your face as you'll strip your face from it's natural nutrients, yet you want to wash away any remaining make up as well as dirt and grime from the day away, I used to love Clinque's Liquid Facial Soap (13GBP), until I discovered Simple's Kind to Skin Moisturising Face Wash (3.05GBP) again (major price difference). It was hard finding something similar to Clinique's as other cleansers either made my skin so dry it felt tight or clammy, these leave me feeling cleansed but not too dry. Additionally, I do suggest to find a daily cleanser without beads in as these will exfoliate your skin (which is a good thing for smoother and softer skin) just not on a daily basis, as you'd be consistently removing skin cells regardless of their health and again removing all the natural oils from the skin, on the other hand I do suggest using one of these:
You can find these for a real cheap price, mine's from Soap and Glory I cant find the price but it was a couple of pounds I assure you, you could also get them from one of the Loreal's Face Wash's after you're done with them! After you've lathered up your face all foamy, go over the face again with this pad in circular motions starting from the centre of the face to the edges, deep cleansing isn't within the power of the washing - it's the time and patience gone into it, a good cleanse should take about a minute for the full face! This doesn't mean spend hours on your face though because that can be equally as bad, another common mistake people do is to neglect their necks, so make sure you clean there too front and back! Rinse again with warm water so the pores are open, then spritz some cold water on the face to close them.
I don't have much opinions or enough experience with toners to say much, mine's currently Botanic's Rose Water Toner, after using cleanser this stage nicely sweeps up any leftovers the other two stages hadn't reached.
Spot Treatment (optional)
Applied once in a blue moon at this stage if and when I feel a tingle or a spot has developed to dry it out and heal quickly, Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil (5GBP) does this job to the T.
Skin Treatment (optional/weekly)
I'm sure you've all heard of Bio Oil's wonders in evening out skin tones, and fading scars, about once a week I drip a couple drops into my palms and rub them until my hands are warm and pat my face with it.
It's equally important to apply this in the night as it is in the day, I don't think I need to say any more.
Day creams and night creams should be different as they both serve similar but equally different services as well as under different conditions. Day creams protect the skin against weathering as well as keeping the skin moisturised throughout the day. Night creams, on the other hand bring back the nutrients washed away from the deep cleansing and preps your skin for the next day ahead. Unlike my day cream, I don't mind my night creams being thicker in formula as I'll be unconscious for the majority of the time it's applied.
Alternate Night Routine
(Done once weekly, after cleansing stage - these are all optional)
Shaping Mask / Massage
This mask I had brought from Sukku in Selfridges a while back and does cost an arm and a leg, I haven't seen much results from it but it still resides as a good base for the Gankin (face) Massage which basis around circular upwards and outward motions to promote blood flow and firming of the skin around the face. This will not only reduce wrinkles, an improved blood flow will even skin complexion and reduce the pigmentation in dark circles.
To keep the skin clear, I use a Tea Tree mask for a natural skin cleanser that will open up my pores to remove impurities whilst giving it a cooling sensation, helpful for removing the tacky residue from the sukku mask.
With Laneige's Water Sleeping Pack as a gel formula after applying a thin layer to the skin it'll dry to a slightly tacky but silky residue, but fear not as once you wake you will feel the difference, I use this once a week as well as any other times my skin feels malnourished and dry.
Other than the sleeping pack I would sometimes switch it up for a sheet mask instead for some downtime whilst watching TV, out of the one's I've tried the ones that stuck out to me the most were the ones from My Beauty Diary. I believe there are enough raves about this online and this is just going to add to it, I love how they fit nice and snug without having to do much adjustment and they wont slip off that easily; this and the moisturising and tightening effects (variant on the mask used) on my face.
There are different masks on the markets with specialist tasks such like nose strips etc, but the other main masks that I do not fail to stock up on are eye patches for my puffy under eyes, regardless if they work or not my peepers deserve to be pampered after all they get the most slap and work the hardest throughout the day, a nice eye patch just gives it a nice final soothing touch.
Clear patches, I use this as often as I do for tea tree oil as a supplementary "night" mask for them as the patch stops me from touching said spot (dirt from fingers/nails irritating it further) as well as treats it further (patch also contains tea tree oil). Be warned, they are see-through and will look silly if you forget to remove it before you leave the house!
There you have it guys and girls (yes - skin treatment is vital for men too!) hopefully this really long blog post has made up for my absence, I've been meaning to do this for a while but couldn't have done in the midst of moving and travelling.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these companies, they've been selected and chosen as they have particularly struck out to me from use - you do not have to follow what I use for guaranteed smooth skin as everyone's skin types are different and will respond to different products differently, for those asking my skin type is dry/combination skin which means I'm not spot prone, touchwood, however I am prone to dry skin but not so bad as getting eczema.
What's your daily facial routine?