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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

ROUTINE: My Skincare Routine (Part 2)

So this is Part 2 of My Skincare Routine. Part 1 is linked HERE and covers my skin's dramatic journey & my general tips and tricks for everyone. In this instalment, I will tell you about the steps that I take & the specific products I use. Like I said in My Skincare Routine Part 1, I have dry skin but fret not, I will endeavour to include advice and recommendations for oily skin ladies out there!


STEP 1: Cleanse

The first thing that I do is obviously to cleanse my face. Some things to keep in mind are that:

  • Switch up the products. I try to avoid using the same products every day every wash. This is so that my skin doesn't just become accustomed to the product rendering it ineffective.
  • End the cleanse with cold water. Begin washing your face with warm water (not hot!) However make sure to always end a cleanse with cold water. This is because the warm water will open up your pores, so if you just end with the warm water you're leaving the pores wide open. If you use cold water however, it will then close up your pores again. I always make sure to splash cold water onto my face at the end at least three times. 

So, the following are the products that I use to cleanse. I use different products depending on the time of day, or what I did during the day. 

If I wore makeup during the day:

I will use my Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. (U.S. link HERE)  There are a lot of companies which make cleansing oils now (Clinique, Bobbi Brown, MAC etc.) However, I stick to old faithful Shu Uemura. They have a line suitable for different skin types and this particular one (Anti-Oxi) is best for dry skin types. It is a little thicker than the others and more oily. 
Shu Uemura: Cleansing Oil (Anti-Oxi)
Perfect for dry skin.
I love this product because it takes off all my face makeup and any waterproof products easily. It is so soothing for the skin and never irritates it. It's price-y at first but this one huge bottle lasts me at least 8 months. 

It also removes make up as well as cleanses my skin... thoroughly. It means that I have no need to double cleanse, or use one product for make up removal and one product for facial cleansing. It's just this one oil that will do everything. 

How to use: Simply pump the product into your hands and gently massage it into your skin. Make sure to cover all the areas of your face that has makeup. I also like to gently take it down my neck. Then splash some water onto your face - this will transform the oil into a milky product. Then gently massage this and slowly cleanse all the product off. Be gentle - particularly around the eyes so that you're not creating premature wrinkling. Then, Voila! You're done. 

When massaging this product onto your skin you can also gently do some facial massages to stimulate the blood flow in your face to also improve the quality of your skin.

If I did not wear makeup during the day OR when I cleanse in the morning:

I will use my Laneige Cleansers (Multi Cleaner BLUE HERE & Foam Cleanser Moisture PINK HERE U.S. link is HERE). This is perfect for any day or time that you need to cleanse your face and you haven't got any make up on. There isn't a specific time I will use a specific product - I just alternate between the two.
Laneige: Cleansers
Blue is suitable for all skin types and best for any times you may have remnants of make up
Pink is best for normal to dry skin types and gives a thorough and hydrating clean
This is a Korean make up brand - and if there is a nation with exquisite skincare, it's Korea. This particular brand is one that works excellently with my skin. I find that both of these cleansers (the blue and pink) work well with my skin, despite the fact that the blue states it's for "all skin types". I love using the pink one just before I put on make up because it cleans my face thoroughly whilst keeping it feeling hydrated.

It's a reliable product that I can fall back on or travel with without a problem. It's one of those safety net products that easily gets overlooked. It is however, difficult to find - in Sydney you can find it in multiple stores in Strathfield or online, whilst in the U.S. you can now find it in Target.

How to use: Simply use it like every other foam cleanser. Wet your face, squeeze some product onto your hands and gently massage into your skin. Then cleanse it off with some cold water.

A little goes a long way with this - particularly because they are quite thick and creamy products, so no need to squeeze out too much.

In the shower:

I will use my Philosophy Purity Cleanser (U.S. link HERE) and my Clarisonic Mia 2 (U.S. link HERE).  I love my Clarisonic. Although I don't think that it miraculously changed my skin, and it didn't make my skin look like porcelain overnight, I do love it. I love it because I can feel that my skin feels clearer and cleaner after I use it, it speed up the removal of any blemishes or dry patches on my skin, and it is a quick but deep cleaning product. It isn't life changing, but it it something that is important for me - especially if I am having any issues with my skin. The Purity cleanser is also the best product to use with the Clarisonic. It's not only pretty affordable, but this huge size lasts forever, is appropriate for sensitive skin, and is thin enough in consistency to be compatible with the Clarisonic.
Philosophy: Purity Cleanser and Clarisonic: Mia 2
This will give you a deep cleanse. 
This combo is left in my shower so that I can make sure to use it at least 4 times a week. It provides me with a very deep and thorough cleanse. The interchangeable brush heads facilitate all skin types and issues. I use the sensitive head which is gentle on my skin whilst also helping remove dry flakes from my face or removing any pimples or blemishes I am experiencing.

How to use: Wet your face. Squeeze out a small ring of the cleanser onto the bristles of the Clarisonic. Press the button and start doing small circles on your chin/nose area. Once you feel the buzzing, move to the forehead. Next buzz move to one cheek, then on the final buzz move to your other cheek. The Clarisonic will then automatically turn off. Gently massage the cleanser left on your face with some cold water and rinse all the product off of your face and the brush head.

Remember to change the brush head every 3-5 months (depending on frequency of use), and to thoroughly wash the brush head at least once a week. 

STEP 2: Moisture

Typically after cleansing, people would use a tone to restore their pH balance. However because I have extremely sensitive skin that is easily irritated, I always advocate use as little number of products as possible. My skin has also never taken too well to toners so I personally don't use a toner. So... I skip straight to moisturising.

I have used my Ego QV Cream since as far as I can remember. As aforementioned, I am an advocate of using different products and changing it up to make sure that your skin is not being immune to the products that you're using. However, despite experimenting with different products, nothing was more compatible with my skin than this QV Cream. It has been an absolute God-send for my eczema and my boyfriend's eczema. It is not too thick and not too thin. It's a perfect consistency, fragrance-free, does not irritate the skin, and definitely is moisturising.
Ego: QV Cream
Perfect for dry sensitive skin
(Incl. those with dermatitis, eczema etc.)
How to use: Put on one layer onto your face, gently massaging the product into the skin. Wait a couple of minutes. Then put on a second layer, again massaging the product gently into the skin. On the days my skin is feeling extra dehydrated, I wait another couple of minutes and put on a third layer.

The reason why I put on so much moisturiser is because my skin is very dry and this is the perfect way to lock in the moisture and ensure that your skin is hydrated and replenished for a longer period of time. This method is perfect for those with dry skin, those with dehydrated skin, or for your skin during the winter.

STEP 3: Eye Cream 

When putting on my moisturiser, I try to only put one layer under my eyes. This is so that I can then put on my eye cream. I am currently testing out an eye cream from Tony Moly, but it's only been a few days so I can't include that in here. A few things to remember about eye-cream:

  • Start early. Obviously if you're in your teens, there is less reason. But once you hit about 20 years old I recommend using an eye cream of some sort. Start with something gentle and for hydration, and then change it up according to your needs over time. I started wearing make up early but never wore eye cream until I was about 22 and it is impossible now to reverse the fine lines that I have under my eyes. So start early - especially if you start putting on make up from a young age.
  • Don't put the eye cream too close to the lash line. Eye cream should not be put right up onto the lash line. If you put eye cream onto your lash line, or too close, the eye cream will simply wind up inside your eyes. It is sufficient to put the eye cream from just above the cheek bone to below the lash line. This will then slowly distribute itself and do it's magic!
  • Use your ring finger. The under eye area does not produce natural oils, so it is dry and you don't want to agitate it by tugging on the area or putting too much pressure onto the area. So always use your ring finger to tap the product onto the area because your ring finger is the weakest finger that you have. 
My current favourite eye cream is the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream (U.S. link HERE). I have used a couple of other eye creams in the past but have not really found it to be effective. Once I started to use this one however, I felt a huge difference. It is perfect for both morning and night because it's thin and absorbs into the skin very quickly. It is light-weight but very hydrating and moisturising. It is easy to tap into the skin and a little product goes a very long way. There is no scent to it which is good and it has not irritated my skin at all. It is also able to be used just before putting on make up because it's so quickly absorbed into the skin. This will make concealer application under the eyes much more seamless and less likely to crease. 
Bobbi Brown: Hydrating Eye Cream
Perfect for everyone
How to use: Lightly tap some with your ring finger just above your cheekbone. Then gently distribute the product by tapping with your ring fingers closer to the lash line.

If there is a skin product that you're going to invest in, I would definitely suggest investing in a good eye cream. This is because it is such an important part of your skin and will make a huge difference in the quality of your make up application and will determine how flawless your make up will look. I actually am currently enjoying rotating a different eye cream for morning, night and just before make up application. I will provide an updated eye-cream process once I find the ideal products. But I think that if you're happy to invest a little into skin care, channel it into eye creams!

STEP 4: Mask/Overnight Hydration

Just before I sleep I always top off everything that is on my face with something that will give my face some extra moisture and hydration overnight. I do often get lazy about this step but I really try to put in the effort to do this whenever I remember. I particularly remember to do this for a week leading up to any special events that I may be attending.

I use two different products, just depending on how I feel that night.

Firstly, I use the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack (U.S. link HERE). Like I already said, this particular Korean brand works perfectly with my skin. This product is no exception to that. I love the smell, consistency and effectiveness of the product. It is thin and light-weight but extremely 'wet' feeling and moisturising. It does leave a tacky finish at the end but that's why I only use it overnight. The scent is clean and crisp. The morning after using this, my skin always feels hydrated, full and moisturised. I cannot get enough. It's very effective and helps restore my skin - especially during dry winters.
Laneige: Water Sleeping Pack
Perfect for all skin types but especially those with dehydrated skin
How to use: Take two pea size amounts onto your fingers. Gently massage that onto one side of your face in small circular motions. Do the same to the other side. Whatever is left, gently massage onto your neck in an upwards motion. (On super dry skin days I will put two layers on this on). 

Secondly I use the Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil (U.S. link HERE). The hype around this product is so worth it. It is an extremely hydrating product that is versatile and produces results. I love to mix this into foundations when my skin is feeling dry, can use it over night, and can use it in the mornings just before putting on my make up. I use this at night time just after my moisturiser. It is a bit thicker and heavier than the Laneige mask, but it is does not leave a tacky finish - rather a more slippery finish. It is extremely hydrating. It doesn't absorb into the skin quickly, but this is a good thing - particularly over night. It keeps my skin feeling super moisturised until the next morning. I can however still feel it on my face in the mornings and so need to ensure a good thorough cleanse before I start my morning routine.

Josie Maran: 100% Argan Oil
Perfect for all skin types
How to use: Use the dropper and drop three droplets onto your fingers. Press the oil into your skin every. Be gentle but firm (I know that it's an oxymoron but when you do it, you'll understand). If you need any more product, take it drop by drop. If you have some excess, then gently massage into your neck in an upwards motion.

Additional: Exfoliate

Last but not least, I always ensure that I exfoliate between 2-3 times a week. This is particularly important for those with dry skin, but also something essential for everyone else too. This is a process by which the dead skin cells on your face are cleansed off. It is an important and imperative part of everyone's skin regimen, and everyone should try to incorporate rate it in one way or another. You can make scrubs using DYIs that you find online, or purchase them. I am lazy so I always buy mine.

There has not been a better product than the Body Shop: Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Scrub.  This product has very fine particles within it to gently but thoroughly clean your face. It has been an absolute miracle for me and my mum. My mum was suffering from severe dry flakey patches on her face and no matter what different types and brands of products that she used, nothing got rid of it. One day I gave her this product to use and after one use, the patches disappeared. It was a miracle worker. This is something that I experience frequently, I use this once or twice a week (no more) and try to hold off on using it until I get very dry patches on my face. Once I do, I just use this product and BAM! the patches disappear. I love it and cannot rave about it anymore. It has a citrus-like scent and using a pea size amount should suffice.
The Body Shop: Vitamin C Microdermabrasion
Perfect with dry flakey skin (or those with dull skin)
How to use: Wet your face with water. Squeeze out a pea size amount in your palm and gently massage all over your face in small circular motions. When you have reached all the areas that you wish, cleanse off with cold water. Make sure to be thorough with the cleansing off because otherwise remnants of the particles in the product may be left on your face, or fall into your eyes.