The detailed guide to get you on your way to understanding skincare, ingredients, textures, formulations and the products to add to your routine!
Everyone needs to start somewhere and when you’ve just stepped into the world of beauty, with every kind of product imaginable, it’s all too easy to get confused, even a little intimidated.
A few years ago now, I started working for L’ Occitane, with hundreds of beautiful products, it was easy to be daunted by their multiple uses and ingredients, but I discovered a passion for all things beauty, as well as a sense of pride for the companies, respect for our environment. With time and some very patient colleagues who trained me well, I began to understand the world of beauty and the wellbeing that self-care can bring. Whether that’s a lavender bubble bath on a gloomy day, or applying a preservative-free moisturiser to start my day off on the right foot.
If you’re looking to take care of your skin a little better, or even revamp your current routine, stay with me. Skincare and beauty needs are different for everyone, but it’s all down to a few key ideas.
Products, whether they are plant or chemical-based, devise what will work best for your skin and help us achieve the results we are looking for. For example, if you are looking for hydration, try to find Hyaluronic acid, Shea butter or Olive extract on the product label. To mattify oily skin look for Rice powder or Salicylic Acid.
The formulation of a product can affect how well your skin will react, its texture and your opinion of the product. It’s one of the things that will help you decide whether it will be a product you buy again and how it fits within your skincare routine. An oil-in-serum, for example, is little capsules of a formulation suspended in a water-based serum. Always look out for keywords, like water-based, gel formulation, oil-based, then if your skin has been known to react badly to oils, you’ll know more clearly what isn’t for you.
The texture of a product is based a little more on sensoriality, but also preference. Skincare products come in all kinds of textures like gels, creams, oils, balms, lotions, essences and liquids. While they all add to that moment of luxury and self-care, textures have a lot to do with how well they absorb into your skin. Yes, the texture really does matter. If you have oily skin, for example, you may prefer a gel texture for your moisturiser, for dry skin you might want to try a facial oil.
Over time you’ll build a skincare routine, products that all fit together, ingredients your skin benefits from and textures you adore. With a bit of my advice, I want to help you build a routine, that’s a true pleasure to perform, not a monotonous routine.
Your routine is just for you, it can be a ten-step routine or just four steps, it doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. A routine comes down to your basic skincare needs, cleansing, toning, exfoliating, treatments and moisturising.
When I first began building up my skincare and self-care routines, I went out and bought almost every conceivable product under the sun, absolutely certain I would find a ‘use’ for it. Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way, but now you don’t have to spend hours researching or buy three products that do the very same thing.
I’ve curated a list of products that will get you started on your skincare journey and hopefully help you build your shopping list. Here you’ll find best practices, product types and step-by-step breakdowns of how to use the products.
No matter your age, gender, skin type, or interest in skincare, cleansers are unanimously important to all of us. The right one for you, will gently cleanse away excess oils, impurities, bacteria, pollution and leave your skin feeling soft and comfortable, not tight or dry.
The ‘Double Cleansing method’, was one of the first things I was taught when I was trained in skincare with L’ Occitane and then again by Duolab. The method is simple and really very effective, especially for those of us who wear make-up, waterproof or not. The double cleansing method originated in East Asia, specifically in Japan and South Korea, but in recent years it has become an integral part of most skincare routines.
The first cleanse in your double cleansing routine is the most important, it’s the first product that begins to break down make-up, pollutants, external aggressors, excess oil, dirt and bacteria. This step is usually a wax, balm, butter or oil-based product, applied to damp skin, which is most effective at removing the first layer of ‘grime’. In my routine, I always remove my cleansing balm with a warm muslin cloth or water, depending on the thickness of the product.
The second cleanse step is another product, especially if you wear make-up or a face mask all day, then I recommend you don’t skip this final step. Milk, gel or cream cleansers are best, helping to remove any impurities the first cleanse missed, as well as adding some much-needed hydration to cleansed skin. I’d avoid more astringent foaming or bubbling products for the second cleanse as it can strip the skin of its natural hydrolipidic film. Remember you have already cleansed once, this is just to be sure nothing has been missed.
The next step in your skincare routine is a toner, these are lighter gels or liquids that penetrate deeper into the layers of your skin. Skincare is all about the different viscosities for the layers of your routine. Once the skin is deeply cleansed and rid of dead skin, it’s time to push in those active ingredients, so a toner is the way to go! Toners help to wipe away any lingering dirt, excess oils and dead skin cells. Most toners come in spray or lotion-like bottles, so they can be applied directly into the hands or spritzed into the face to be patted in.
Serums are designed to give the skin a boost of hydration and the ingredients they need to combat any concerns before the final moisturising step. They do this so well because of their viscosity, which allows the product to pass through the layers of the skin quicker and more efficiently. The deeper your ingredients permeate into the skin, the quicker you’ll see the effects of your routine. Applying this product to damp skin helps it to penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin, increasing its results. Any serum you choose can make your moisturiser up to 80% more powerful.
One of my favourite serums at the moment is Duolab’s new capsule which fills in for your regular serum routine, flooding the skin with a hydrating complex of Hyaluronic Acid and Konjac Root, this 100% natural capsule, plumps and soothes the skin when matched with a targeted concentrate capsule of your choice. It also helps your make-up sit like a dream! You can find out a little more about Duolab and the future of skincare on my next blog post!
The crescents under your eyes are five to ten times thinner than any part of the skin on your face. So it is no wonder that Eye creams are so essential to not only protecting and hydrating this delicate area but fighting visible concerns. From dark circles, fine lines, dryness and sensitivity, an eye cream can target it all. As I have dark circles underneath my eyes, I’ve chosen plenty of eye creams. Some of the ones I found to be most effective included Vitamin C, Sea Buckthorn oil, Caffeine and Liquorice extract.
When applying an eye cream use a rice grain-sized amount to avoid over saturating the area, then with your ring finger pat in the excess in circular motions.
For your final step, it’s time to protect and nourish your skin, moisturisers do just that, moisturise. Choosing the right one for you completes your skincare routine, as your cream has the potential to lock in the potent ingredients you just applied as a serum. This final step also protects the skins natural microbiome, keeping the skin cells healthy and outer layers deeply nourished.
During the winter months, our sebaceous glands produce less oil and so it is up to us to compensate for this change by applying a richer cream. To avoid piling or the lifting up of product, pat your moisturiser on the skin gently.
Want to know more, why not book a consultation?
This post just grazes the surface of the world of skincare and the products that can help your skin. If you would like to learn more about your skin and what it may need, book a complimentary call with me. In 45 minutes I will have found out your skin type, given you some best practice tips and crafted you a skincare routine. I know hundred’s of products from many companies and I’ve tried everything that I have ever recommended (If the product is designed for a different age group or skin type then I gift it to my lovely mother and get her feedback.) From cleansers to exfoliators, balms to creams, serums to moisturisers and beauty gadgets I have been trained in it all.
So whether you are a newbie in the world of skincare or a tried and true veteran, you can book a consultation held in the comfort of your own home with a trained advisor, where you can see what your skincare routine will look like and get a chance to see the future of skincare, Duolab.