As much as I’m really missing my friends, family and boyfriend…I’ve kinda grown fond of lockdown. Don’t get me wrong, I miss going out for food and drinks, cinema dates and just having the freedom to do whatever, wherever, whenever. But my skin has absolutely loved the no make up weeks- yep I said it, no make up weeks- this would seriously give me shivers before lockdown, now I’m *trying* to embrace it.
I’ve been loving the extra time I can dedicate to looking after my skin, and my body as a whole, over the past couple of weeks. A lot of the time I’d sacrifice either my morning or nighttime skin care routine, purely because of time. Travelling to work, prior to lockdown, left very little time for a thorough and nourishing skin care routine- I love my skin but definitely not enough at 5:30am.
Now being housebound, I have as much time, morning and night, to give my pores a little TLC. Not to mention I’ve been able to hit my target of drinking 2Litres of water a day, which has been a wonder for my, typically dry skin.
I decided to categorise each aspect of my routine and talk about which products have recently been working wonders for my skin. And alternatively, I mention some products that aren’t working for me and how much they all cost. A little disclaimer, I’m a big advocate for paying more can equal better results. However I don’t necessarily think the products I use are on the high end of the spectrum, nor are they all £3 from Boots. So please just keep in mind that these are the products that work for me and my skin and have been what I’ve bought overtime. Where I have named a more pricy product, I’ve tried my best to give a cheaper alternatively that actually works just as well.
I’ve purposefully put the categories in chronological order of how I would use them when taking my make up off. So if you’re on the look out for a new moisturiser, don’t hesitate to scroll further down as I know this is quite a thorough post. Ahhh, now lets get started.
Since Christmas I’ve made a conscious effort to avoid using make-up removal wipes. And I’m not gunna lie, this was tricky. I use make-up wipes for EVERYTHING, and so does Jason, who opts to clean his shoes with the packet I usually keep at his.
Anyway, so many people kept telling me how bad they can be for your skin and I really didn’t believe it until I tried The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Balm. Oh my gosh, this stuff is crafted by the skincare goddesses, it simply melts all your make up off your face upon application (literally just smother it all over your face and neck) and using a wet flannel or muslin cloth, it just comes off like magic. Honestly it’s insane. This product is one of The Body Shop’s holy grail products and I can totally see why.
As much as I used to love my make-up wipes and I do still use them to remove any excess on my hands after I’ve done my make-up. Ngl after a couple of prosecco’s last week I completely forgot that I no longer use wipes, used one, and the next morning my skin felt so dry, and rough. The balm, that retails for £11, locks in the moisture over night. There’s none of that burning sensation that some facial wipes can cause, and I’ve avoided mass pimple break outs on my face and I’m putting that down to this little fella.
But I don’t use this for taking off my eye make-up. I think everyone knows I’m partial to a lil…a lot of glitter so I need some heavy duty kinda, eye make up remover for that. My fave which I’ve used for years is the Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover it is literally £2.45, like why on earth would I not buy it? Just get some cotton wool and bob’s your uncle, the job is done.
What I love about the Simple products, is that they are created with sensitive skin in mind, so if you’re young it’s a great, affordable brand that in most cases isn’t going to inflame your skin or put harsh toxins onto your face. There is literally nothing sinister in the Simple products so I couldn’t recommend this brand enough.
I’m gunna be straight up, this is a heavily Body Shop dominated post, so if your not a fan I’d stop reading now.
Okay so my current fave face wash is one I’ve ranted and raved about for a long time, it is of course the Vitamin C Facial Wash from The Body Shop which you can pick up (order because incase no one noticed-we’re in the middle of a pandemic) for £11.
I love love love the Vitamin C range from The Body Shop, it’s just perfect for my skin combination and since using some of the products back in September I’ve noticed a much higher level of colouration evenness on my face. Prior to using this I tended to get a little bit of redness on my T Zone, predominantly the sides of my nose. However this has minimised ever since I began using The Body Shop VC range.
I’ll use this morning and night, once I’ve woke up and once I’ve taken my make-up off and for an added bonus it smells like a big juicy Mandarin Orange. That’s the kinda experience I want on a morning while I’m cleaning my face and this really wakes me up too. And an added bonus it always makes my skin feel so hydrated and fresh, I’m just obsessed.
But if we wanna venture into the world of more high end skin care faves, I love the MAC Cosmetics Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. This is a deep clean like I’ve never known. Though it is £23 for a 100ml bottle, I tend to reach for this when its my time of the month, as that’s when I’m prone to white heads and I need something a bit more heavy duty to thoroughly clean out my pores. I mean it says it in the name- Volcanic Ash- it just emphasises that it’s going to be a deeeeeeeep clean. I’d highly recommend this if you are prone to cluster breakouts or suffer badly during your menstrual cycle from pimples or white heads. But if you’ve got a white bathroom, please just be careful as this stuff can be messy.
A great dupe for this product, though it isn’t as thick of a scrub as the MAC exfoliator, is the Simple Kind to Skin Daily Detox Charcoal Stick which is more affordable retailing at £10.
Cleanser and Toner.
What I love about the Vitamin C range is that some products over lap in what they’re supposed to do. The facial wash acts as a cleanser too, so most days I don’t go out of my way to cleanse again, I do want some skin left by the time I’m finished.
But twice a week, I’ll do a Vitamin C Peel, again from the same Body Shop range, and this is just a deep clean that removes all my dead skin cells and any make up patches I may have missed. All you do is take two pumps of the product and gently massage it into your skin. It’s kinda gross but all the dead skin cells will bead together and then you can just use warm water to wash them off your face. Easy peasy.
Whenever I do a face peel my skin always looks so squeaky clean afterwards and just so airbrushed and glowy. It’s a great base for doing your make up later that day, because it really just tidies and cleans the canvas and minimises pores, resulting in a super smooth and flawless application. This product is a little bit pricey at £18, but you get your money’s worth from using it as a bottle lasts a while.
For toner, I like to keep it simple. Literally. I use the Simple Kind to Skin Facial Toner, which retails for only £3.49. Even if you try it once and hate it, it hasn’t broke the bank it’s totally affordable. Again, with Simple products, toners are renowned for leaving your skin feeling tight and dry, which isn’t ideal when you’re going to sleep you want a product that nourishes the skin, leaving it feel hydrated overnight. That’s why I love this, because there’s no harsh chemicals inside or toxins. There also isn’t that burning sensation after application, it’s just comfortable and what a toner should be like once used.
But if your into your high end products, one of my faves is the Nars Multi Action Hydrating Toner, which you can get for £22.50 from most department stores or Nars online. I find this is extremely nourishing to my skin, and has virtually no harsh chemicals in. However I do tend to reach for the Simple Toner as it’s a fraction of the price and I, personally, have had no problems with this toner before.
We all want soft and supple skin, and moisturiser is a key way to achieve skin that feels like a baby’s butt. It is so important to moisturiser morning and night, and before you do your make up and once you’ve taken your make up off. So I have 4 moisturisers that I reach for, all for different reasons.
Firstly, I use the Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser from The Body Shop as my morning dose of moisture. Vitamin C has a bucket load of great benefits for tired or dull skin, so using this first thing on a morning gives me a glow that lasts all day. I use this regardless if I’m going to put make up on or not as I just want my skin to feel hydrated throughout the day. This is on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to pricing, retailing at £16. But a pot of this stuff lasts months, as a little bit goes a hell of a long way. Not to mention it smells incredible.
When it comes to priming my face I like to use something that I know is going to keep my skin feeling moisturised, especially if I’m going to be using a lot of powders. For my make up moisturiser, I love Charlotte’s Magic Cream, by Charlotte Tilbury. This is a luxury product and for a 30ml tub you’re going to be set back £50. But I do only tend to use this when I’m going out for an occasion, where my make up has to last for a substantial amount of time. I don’t want my base to cling to certain patches so a thick moisturiser like this, which is jam packed with amazing ingredients like collagen is great to keep your make up put all day. This really is one of my favourite products of all time and if you’re into your high end skin care this is a must.
But if I’m just going to work or nipping out the house and need some slap on I will just use the Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Moisturiser. Again this is mega cheap, costing only £2, and keeps my skin feeling hydrated and nourished for a couple of hours. I tend to reach for a moisturiser most days over a primer, so if you’re looking for an affordable base then this is one I’d recommend. As mentioned before my skin is neither oily or dry, it’s very much so a combination of both, so if you have a similar skin type I feel this would be a great fit, as a pre makeup moisturiser.
Finally, my night time moisturiser is a bit of a wild card. To my friends reading this it wont be much of a shock as I talk about this every-time I use it and I’m always raving on about how much I love it. But my night time moisturiser is the Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask, by who’d of guessed? The Body Shop. This is my favourite moisturiser, as it leaves my skin feeling hydrated all through the night, I’ll often wake up the next morning with my skin still feeling slighty tacky, displaying just how thorough and heavy duty this product really is.
Now, you might be thinking Drops of Youth? Yes, I’m 21, and no I don’t have wrinkles. But this stuff isn’t called botox in a tub for nothing. The aim of this mask/moisturiser is to mould itself to the skin, and essentially act as a second skin, by tightening and making your skin feel enriched, plumper, replenished and renewed with all the good ingredients inside. NGL I am petrified of wrinkles, that’s why I smile so much, I don’t want any frown lines, and this essential prevents any signs of ageing skin or wrinkled skin. *Let’s play a game-drink every-time I say skin.*
I’ll use a pea sized amount on my face and massage this into my neck and décolletage, because we don’t want a young face and a wrinkly neck when we’re like 60 do we? No. And always remember, moisturise in an upward motion to prevent the skin from sagging downwards and looking sad. Honestly my mam would be so proud because this is probably the only bit of advice of her’s I’ve ever listened too and it actually works. You can get the Drops of Youth Night Mask for £26, which is pricy but again, a little goes a long way and a large tub lasts months.
Serum’s are great to incorporate into your everyday skin care routine, if you have problematic skin such as dry, uneven skin tone or scarring. I love to use The Ordinary Hydraclaunic Acid, prior to moisturising my skin on a morning and on an evening. This retails at £5.95 and you can order it from Beauty Bay or Cult Beauty, where you can browse the entire The Ordinary range. Hydraclaunic Acid has tonnes of great benefits such as minimising acne scars and preventing fine lines, so this is deffo a staple you can easily add to your routine if you suffer from these problems.
As I mentioned earlier I hate the thought of my skin ageing, so once a week I will incorporate The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate (botox in a bottle) into my evening skin routine. Again this prevents wrinkling, so I tend to focus this around areas of the skin that age faster, such at the marionette lines around my mouth, the crows feet area around my eyes and my forehead. This product can be found on the The Body Shop website for £26, it is on the pricey side, but again, this product isn’t a necessity for everyone it’s purely my preference, and two drops once a week means it’s not going to run out anytime soon.
I often use face-masks to feel extremely relaxed, I genuinely think nothing nourishes the pores as thoroughly as a thick, creamy, dewy face mask. So because of that I tend to stray away from using sheet masks. I went through a phase of regularly using sheet masks, but eventually this did more damage than good and I switched to a clay based mask.
I have two favourite masks for two different reasons. Firstly if I’m wanting a deep cleanse I’ll use The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask. This is such deep cleaning mask, and extremely thorough in terms of cleaning out those pesky pores which can hold so much excess dirt. I’ll use this mask at least once a week, if not twice, depending on how much makeup I’ve worn and how thoroughly I’ve cleaned my skin.
Alternatively, if I’m having a pamper day before a night out, or evening event I’ll use The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask. I love when my skin feels super plump before I do my makeup, I personally think plump skin looks fresh and new, kinda like a little baby’s face. So this mask is perfect if you want a juicy base for make-up that lasts all day and night.
You can get either of the 75ml masks for £18 online, or a 15ml version for only £6.
SPF is so important regardless if it’s 12 degrees or 29- very very rare in England but you know stranger things like global pandemics have happened so hey- best not speak too soon.
As daft as it sounds I use sun tan lotion on my face everyday if I’m leaving the house, especially now we’re heading into the sunnier months. Although most foundations do claim to have a certain level of SPF in them, most commonly spf 15, I like the extra dose of protection. My fave sun tan lotion is the Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Face Fluid, which is available online for £14.50.
Because I’m evidently a skin care psychopath, I keep a travel sized bottle of suncream in my car. Driving back and forth to Newcastle for university and work, often meant that I’d spend at least over an hour a day with my hands on the steering wheel, with the sun blazing straight onto them. I have really pale skin so I burn quite easily, so this just prevents any burns and keeps my hands feeling super soft. I use the Nivea Travel Sized Sun Tan Cream SPF 30, for £3.00.
Sun tan lotion is a great moisturiser and just helps protect against UV rays that we sometimes forget about.
Although this skin care routine has worked wonders for me, everyone’s skin is different. But one thing that has really contributed to my current skin condition during lockdown, is a combination of several factors. From drinking my 2L of water a day, limiting the amount of makeup I wear, to having a structured skin care routine that works for me and eating clean.
So please remember to keep all these factors in mind, if the products alone don’t work for you right away.
Keep staying safe,
Lots of Love,
Any queries just pop me a DM and I’ll answer any questions you may have.