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Finding the optimum skincare routine

Natasha Dauncey blog post cleansing double cleanse exfoliation face oil hydration natural skincare normal skin skincare routine sulphates

I've had a couple of enquiries recently about skincare routines and products from customers and I had written this post a while back so thought it was time to share it with you. I wanted to walk you through my own skincare routine – a few weeks ago I posted on social media about the products I use every day but this post will explain the logic in a bit more detail. This is by no means me telling you what routine to follow but more what's worked for me!

Those within the beauty community may find this routine too simple, but simple has totally worked for me. In fact, my skin has been so consistently good over the last year that recently I decided to buy some different products to see what I was missing out on. Big mistake…. they broke me out. So key learning: if you find a routine / combination of products that works for you and you're happy with your skin – stick to it no matter what anyone tells you, even if it goes against what I've outlined below!

I haven’t gone into much detail about the types of products to look out for as I’ve touched on some of this before – for more details check out my earlier post. I'm also planning a series of more detailed posts on each of these elements so watch this space!

My every day skincare routine:

Morning routine (less than 5 mins) –

  • rinse face with water, wipe face with a cotton pad soaked with bi-phase gentle cleanser: water alone isn’t enough for cleansing but a light cleanse is sufficient so a bi-phase cleanser is perfect (alternatives would be a single cleanse with a gentle cleansing milk or micellar water)
  • apply alcohol free toner (alcohol is very drying and irritating to the skin, opt for something gentle that hydrates)
  • apply water-based hydrating serum (look for one which contains Hyaluronic acid for hydration / plumping and antioxidants for their protective effect - alternatively wait for mine as I have one planned!)
  • light hydrating face cream (with a drop of face oil in the colder months) – I also use this cream under my eyes as it’s suitable for that area too*

*though I don’t personally feel it’s necessary to use a specific eye cream, it’s best to avoid heavy creams in the eye area – they can weigh down the delicate skin, contributing to sagginess. Additionally if the cream is too heavy it can clog pores, causing milia.

Night time routine (less than 5 mins) –

  • 1st cleanse: massage cleansing oil into face for about 60 seconds to loosen dirt / make up. Be thorough with this as oil cleansers are naturally gentler and won’t remove much if you don’t work the oil around the skin sufficiently. I personally prefer an emulsifying oil cleanser i.e. when the oil comes into contact with water, the oil rinses away (especially important if you have combination / oilier skin). Rinse well
  • 2nd cleanse: with natural (synthetic free) moisturising soap and a cloth / flannel –I know this is controversial but it honestly works for me! Alternatively, use a cleansing milk but avoid anything foaming as this will strip the skin. Double cleansing is an important step in skincare – it ensures all traces of grime and make up are removed without the aggressiveness of a single cleanse with a foaming / sulphate cleanser that will strip your skin. Same goes for cleansing brushes - I wouldn't go near one as I think they're equally aggressive and I'd prefer to be more careful with my skin!
  • apply alcohol free toner (same product as morning routine)
  • apply water-based hydrating serum (same product as morning routine)
  • apply 3-4 drops of face oil straight after (applying to damp skin from the toner / serum helps lock in that moisture) & light eye oil (or you could use a light eye cream). I don’t feel I need to use a night cream with my oil but you can use both – especially if you have very dry skin

Once weekly (20mins) in the evening - 

  • apply an enzyme exfoliating (AHA) mask to cleansed face for around 5 mins and rinse off (N.B. I only use this at night as AHAs can make you sensitive to the sun so best to leave around 12 hours between using the mask and exposure to the sun). I don't use granular exfoliators / scrubs as I feel that they're too rough for the skin. An enzyme exfoliator gently dissolves the dead skin cells to reveal new skin (hence the radiant effect). I know others use acids more frequently - my skin isn't used to this and I'm very wary of over-exfoliating as it can thin your skin and leave it susceptible to irritation and breakouts. At most I'll stretch to twice weekly, but like I say, find what works for you.
  • apply a (bentonite or any other clay of your choice) clay mask to clean, damp face. Leave for around 15 mins, rinse off with warm water and follow with usual toner / serum / face oil

I try to do the exfoliating mask and clay mask on the same evening but can’t always fit it in so it’s fine to do them on different nights. These weekly treatments are really important to build in as they prepare the skin for other skincare products (face oils / serums / moisturisers) – ensuring that they have an easier time penetrating your skin and working their magic. I’m just about to introduce an acid toner to my regime once a week too to see if there's any further benefit, and I'll keep you posted on how it goes (wish me luck!)!

 



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