Don’t you just love a headline that rhymes? Anyway, enough of that. My skin has often been a bit of a nuisance. It’s dry, sensitive and prone to flare-ups of rosacea. This can make putting on make-up extremely hit and miss.

Some days, it will go on fine. And then other days, my skin is so unbearably dry, that everything I put on my face just emphasises texture and dryness and it just looks awful. I have tried many products over the years, and nothing has really done anything fantastic for my skin. But recently, I have discovered a batch of products that now make up my daily skincare regime, and I have to say, my skin has never felt better. Now I’m not telling you that you need to go out and buy these. Skin is very personal. We’re all different, and what works for one person, may not work for another.

However, these are the products that have worked well for me, so if you have a similar skin type to myself, then perhaps they could be worth looking into. All I know is, since I started using these

So how is your skin, David?

Well, it’s a mess. Honestly. Well, it feels like it most of the time. My skin can go from one extreme to another; it can either be really dry and patchy (especially bad when my rosacea flares up) or it can be just a little more sensitive, and everything I put on my face just upsets it. I’m still prone to the odd break out, but I wouldn’t classify my skin as being ‘oily’, but it’s not unknown (usually it’s as a result of being so dry!).

Let’s start with the basics…

Any basic skin routine should at least consist of the following: cleanser, toner, moisturiser. It’s that simple. You don’t *need* to have 50 billions jars of creams and oils and goodness knows what else to enjoy healthy and glowing skin. But if that’s what you do, and it works for you; then power to you. I do personally have a selection of about 6 products that I use religiously, and then a couple of extras that I sometimes dip into if I want to.

The important thing to remember, is that you need to give any new skincare routine enough time to work before you start seeing any results. Your skin takes around 28 days (sometimes longer) to complete a cycle (from new cell growth to eventually ‘falling’ off once it’s matured). So this means it can take at least a month before you’ll really start to notice any major difference in how your skin looks and feels. So I always recommend sticking with a routine for as long as you can (unless it starts causing any discomfort/irritation etc).

Cleansing

So let’s start with the cleanser. Cleansers come in all sorts of styles, but once you have found the one that works for you, you should be using it twice daily. I have tried many cleansers throughout the years, but the best one I have found for me, is the Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser. It’s a simple but light cream-gel cleanser that’s soothing, calming and designed to gently remove impurities without drying out the skin. It’s fragrance free and is so quick and simple to use. I massage a small pea-sized amount into my face; and then it can be removed using a soft, damp flannel or it can be ’tissued’ off. Personally, I use something else, but I’ll come to that in just a second…

Occasionally, on days where my skin is perhaps feeling a little drier than normal, then I dip into the Skin & Tonic Calm Clean cleansing balm. This is similar to the LUSH Ultrabland cleanser, but it has a few more ingredients in, and melts down into a much smoother and easier to remove oil once on the skin. It’s got grape seed oil, beeswax, sunflower seed oil, carrot root extract, lavender flower oil, chamomile oil and jasmine oil. It’s perfect for removing makeup, and the lavender and chamomile are great for soothing and balancing the skin. I don’t use it too often, as I generally try to avoid having too much oil on my skin as it can cause my rosacea to flare-up, but used sparingly, it’s been fine.

Toning/Exfoliation

Once you’ve cleansed, a toner is great because it can help remove your cleanser, and it helps refine the pores, and prepares the skin to be moisturised. I use my Eau Roma Water from LUSH as my toner, because it’s simple blend of lavender and rose water is perfect for my sensitive skin. Rose can help reduce the appearance of redness, so anything with rose in is usually a good bet for me.

Because of my slightly more sensitive skin, exfoliating is something I need to be careful with. Anything too harsh can leave me bright red and sore. I’ve been using a liquid exfoliator; the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1.0 (alcohol free). This gently removes dull, dry flakes and leaves my skin feeling fresh. It’s alcohol-free so it’s not at all drying, and is gentle enough to use twice-a-day (this is a step I do inbetween cleansing/toning and then moisturising). The bottle is huge though, so I have taken to decanting it into an empty toner bottle from LUSH and using it that way; far easier and less spillage when trying to get some onto a cotton pad!

Moisturiser

So you’ve cleansed and toned; now you need to give your skin that boost of hydration to keep it looking fresh and glowing all day. Again, there are literally thousands of moisturisers that you can use; but a lot of them are chock full of various oils, and whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with that (essential oils are good for you!), I have to be careful to not over-do it; so a moisturiser that’s oil-free is always a good shout for me. As I’ve been using the Redness Solutions Cleanser, I decided I would try it out in conjunction with the Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream.

Like the cleanser, it’s oil-free and perfume free yet it still has delightfully creamy consistency when applying. It’s designed to help reduce the visible appearance of redness, blotchiness. Despite being oil-free, it does feel quite heavy on my skin initially, but it does absorb into the skin, where it leaves it feeling soft, smooth and quite bouncy. You get a good 50ml in the pot, and it lasts for AGES as you don’t need to use a lot. The only downside, is that as moisturisers go, it’s definitely on the pricer side (£41 a tub!). For a slightly cheaper option, I have used LUSH’s Celestial moisturiser; it’s very few ingredients but it still offers nice amount of hydration, for less than half the price.

Like with my cleanser, on days where my skin is feeling like it needs a little more (a boost, if you like) then I like to mix in a drop (or two) of the Skin & Tonic Naked Beauty Oil into my moisturiser. A natural blend of rosehip oil, apricot kernel oil, pumpkin seed oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E. It just gives an extra boost, but honestly, I don’t use it as much as I used too.

Extras

I do like to throw in a face mask into the mix, and my current fave is the Birth of Venus Jelly Mask from LUSH. It’s comforting blend of lavender, chamomile and fresh rose petal infusion helps tone, smooth and refresh my skin. I’ll usually use this once a week as an extra step in my routine (I’ll usually do it when I’m in the bath). It also smells heavenly and a pot can easily do 10 applications, and for 6.95 a pot, that’s not too bad.

I do have a small night-time ritual as well; once I’ve cleansed/toned/moisturised, I’ll apply a heated eye mask to my face for around 10 minutes. This is more for relaxation, rather than serving any real benefit to my skin. It’s just a nice thing to do! However, afterwards, I’ll apply a thin layer of the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask. When I wake up in the morning, my skin feels soft and supple, and should I be in a hurry and skip cleansing and moisturising in the morning (which you shouldn’t do!!), my skin still feels soft, supple and fresh. Again, it’s on the pricey side, and isn’t necessary, but I do like how it feels!

And that’s it…

So yeah, there you have it. That is my current skin care routine, and it is working brilliantly for me. I have definitely noticed that since I changed my routine, my skin definitely feels firmer yet hydrated. I don’t notice my redness so much and on days where I don’t wear make-up, I do feel more confident and happy being in ‘my own skin’. As for make-up application, I do notice that my foundations do seem to blend a lot easier, and they feel much better on the skin. I don’t see any dryness anymore, so I’ve been able to use more matte foundations without issue.

As I stated earlier, this isn’t a post telling you that you need to go out and buy these things; as I said, skincare is very personal and your needs will be different to my needs. But I just wanted to share as I feel this has helped my confidence (and given me some damn good make-up days!).

Over and out for now!