Another CG Beauty post, here’s my 10 steps to healthy, youthful, radiant skin. Because everyone, of all ages, wants healthy, youthful, radiant and glowing skin. The best kind of glow is one that comes from within, rather than layers of illuminating primers, strobe creams and highlighters.
In this post, I’ll share my skincare routine, products that actually work and give genuine, visible results that will transform your skin. And help achieve that healthy, youthful, radiant glow.
1. Beauty Sleep
I know it can be difficult with kids, a job, family, friends, sports, hobbies and a social life. But you need to get lots of sleep – there’s a reason it’s called beauty sleep. Everyone looks better after a good night’s sleep! I try to get a 8 hours every night, and have done since my teens. I think it makes a huge difference to the skin.
If you really want to protect your skin at night, preventing both dehydration and wrinkles, invest in a high quality silk pillowcase. I adore my SilkSkin pillowcase, much loved by beauty editors, celebrities and even Royalty! Read this post on how I protect my curls at night.
2. Drink Water
We all know this one, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to drink lots of water. It flushes toxins out of your body, as well as hydrating your body, including your skin. Try drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, before a cup of tea or coffee, and breakfast. Keep a bottle of water around the house or at your desk, to sip throughout the day. Alcohol actually dehydrates you and your skin; so the less alcohol you drink, the more your skin will thank you for it. And smoking, the same goes for smoking. It ages you like nothing else!
The single most effective form of anti-ageing skincare. You absolutely need to be wearing SPF on your face every single day of the year. Regardless of weather, seasons, or where you live in the world. And by face, I mean face, neck and décolleté. That’s the standard area for all “facial” skincare. Whether it’s a stand alone facial SPF, or SPF in your moisturiser, it needs to be in there. I recommend no lower than SPF 25 or 30. Personally I wear this SPF 50 from Heliocare over my moisturiser, under my makeup. Make sure it’s broad spectrum, UVA & UVB. A quick and easy way to remember is UVA: A = ageing. UVB: B = burning. But more on SPF’s coming soon.
4. Double Cleanse
If you wear makeup and/or SPF, you need to cleanse your face twice in the evenings. The first cleanse removes your SPF and makeup. The second cleanse cleans your skin. Balm or oil cleansers are best for the first cleanse as the oils break down the makeup, mascara and SPF – they are also great for giving yourself a facial massage. My favourite balm cleansers are from Emma Hardie – the cult favourite Moringa Cleansing Balm. And Erase from Pestle & Mortar – reviews on both coming soon.
Next, use a good cream cleanser to act like a conditioner for the skin. But for goodness sake don’t ever use a foaming cleanser – they are extremely drying on the skin! If budget is a concern, use a balm/oil cleanser twice, even if you have oily skin. A budget option is another cult favourite, The Body Shop’s Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. Or Double Cleanse by Caroline Hirons x Pixi – my favourite cleansing combo for travel. Currently 1/3 off at Boots.
The best way to get that healthy, radiant glow is regular exfoliation. To sweep away dead skin cells and reveal the youthful skin underneath. But don’t reach for your Clarisonic, or heaven-forbid the dreaded St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub! Who remembers that?! The best, and kindest way to exfoliate your skin is with acids. Skin-friendly AHA’s such as glycolic & lactic acid, and BHA’s – salicylic acid. These help fight signs of aging, improve uneven skin tone, smooth wrinkles, reduce dullness and breakouts. I love Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser as my second cleanse. Review coming soon as this is an amazing product that I always have in my bathroom, and backups!
You can use a mild acid toner every day which will remove the dead, dull, dry, flaky skin cells to reveal the fresh, youthful, radiant-looking skin underneath. My favourite is Exfoliate from Pestle & Mortar, I use it every morning. I’ve got a post coming soon on all the different acids and what acid suits each skin type and concern. So make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss that post.
6. Facial Masks/Peels
A continuation of the acid exfoliation process and another of my favourite products that gives me great, visible results every time. The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. This is a powerful triple-action treatment that exfoliates with pumpkin enzyme, peels with AHA’s and polishes with aluminium oxide to reveal brighter, healthier skin that is literally as smooth as a baby’s bum and I find it really evens out my skin tone too! It’s a big tub, and lasts me a whole year, which makes it incredibly affordable!
Another favourite mask of mine is May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver. Incredibly pricey, but it lasts absolutely ages and actually, for the amount of product and usage – very good value for money! Look, I’ll justify and convince myself of just about anything when it comes to skincare and haircare products!
For those with particularly sensitive skin, you can still use these kinds of masks. My advice is to only apply a small amount, with little/no massaging and leave the PTR Pumpkin Enzyme Mask on for 2-3 mins to begin with. Until you get confident enough with these kinds of masks, and know how your skin will react. Same with The Problem Solver, let the acids do all the exfoliating work. I use both of these masks once a week or so. Some may find their skin a little red afterwards, but nothing alarming and it fades away within a few minutes.
You can get retinol in serum, cream or oil formulations. Retinol is vitamin A – think of the A for Anti-Ageing. Just as acid’s work on the top layer of the skin, removing dead and dull skin cells. Retinol works on the deeper layers of the skin. Reversing the signs of ageing, encouraging skin cell renewal deep down, unclogging and minimising the appearance of pores.
It also boosts collagen production, evens out skin tone and discolouration, as well as smoothing and softening the skin. It can help visibly increase the appearance of firmness, diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles and smooth and refine the surface of skin.
However, you need to take it slowly with retinols. I’m a huge fan of little and often. Some retinols can cause rednesss, irritation, sensitivity, peeling and flaking of the skin. Essentially, dermatitis! If you haven’t used retinol before, start with it in oil form, such as Sunday Riley Luna, or Superstar from Pestle & Mortar. Caroline Hirons has an excellent post on Retinol, and a series on her YouTube channel. As a guide, use it twice a week if you’re in your 20’s, three times a week in your 30’s, four times a week in your 40’s and so on. You can’t use retinol if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. And you simply MUST wear SPF every day, when using products containing retinol.
8. Facial Oils
These are great to combat dry, dull and dehydrated skin. Or as Tata Harper says, they are the food and nourishment for the skin. Even if you are combination/oily. Oily skin is actually dehydrated skin which can’t regulate itself, so it overproduces sebum (oil) in an attempt to hydrate itself. Check out this post on how to determine if your skin is dry or dehydrated. You can layer oils too. My favourites are Replenishing Nutrient Complex by Tata Harper, Sunday Riley UFO, and Eminence Facial Recovery Oil.
You need just a few drops, pressed into the skin, usually applied after a moisturiser. If you don’t like the oily feeling on your skin, apply your moisturiser after your oil. Use high quality oils for dry and dehydrated skin types, so they won’t clog your skin, and cause congestion or break outs.
9. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid really is a must-have in any skincare routine to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day, every day. Two of my favourites are Pestle & Mortar’s Pure Hyaluronic Serum, and Hydraluron from Indeed Labs, both fantastic products!
Apply hyaluronic acid on your face each morning and night, just before your normal moisturiser, any moisturiser. It’s great for dry, dehydrated skin. Any and all skin types! I’m going to do a dedicated post on this soon, because it’s that good, and fundamental to any skincare routine.
And finally, to top all of that skincare off, you need a good moisturiser. Essentially a moisturiser is used to seal in all the goodness of the other products you’ve layered on your skin. You don’t need to spend huge money. Spend your big bucks on your second cleanser, serum, and/or facial oil.
My favourite moisturisers are Hydrate from Pestle & Mortar, Nourish from Kate Somerville (buy it here if you’re in the UK/EU)and Tidal from Sunday Riley. I can notice a visible improvement and difference in my skin when I use them.
I know this is quite a long post, but I really wanted to give a fully-rounded skincare guide and routine that will really work for all skin types and ages. Also, to lay the foundation for dedicated reviews of each of the products and categories mentioned in this post. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below and I will answer them as best I can.
If you’re new here and wondering what CG Beauty is, you can check out this post to get up to speed – and, welcome! Thank you for stopping by and getting this far!
You might like this post on the difference between dry and dehydrated skin too, so you don’t spend money on the wrong products
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