Daily Skincare Routine

* NOTICE: Although primarily a non-commercial blog, I have attached affiliate links to the products I personally recommend and for that reason receive a small share of sales through the related link(s).

Skincare routines are very rarely static and unchanging. Making occasional revisions to the products you’re using in response to what your skin is telling you is extremely important in order to keep your skin healthy. It’s taken me a while to figure out what my skin really needs and I’m pleased to say the new additions to my skincare routine have really helped. Yes, I’m still spotty and yes my skin isn’t perfect but its a hell of a lot better. Today I want to share with you my new and improved skincare routine.

My skin
I have combination skin, which can be quite difficult to manage. Sometimes its oily, then it’s dry AF and it can be hard to keep up with the changes. Combination skin tends to be due to having dry skin that is overproducing oils in order to rehydrate itself meaning that having a good non-greasy moisturiser is essential for me. In addition, to combat my blackheads and whiteheads I like to use a good, but gentle exfoliant to be used 3-4 times a week.

Morning Routine

The products listed below are used in the order that I have listed them. I use a Konjac sponge to apply my cleanser in circular motions with warm water before rinsing off and moving on to using a liberal amount of toner by spritzing it over my face. The rest of my routine is done using nothing more than clean finger tips! Easy Peasy!

1) Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser, COSRX

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  • sulfate free
  • paraben free
  • alcohol free
  • silicone free
  • EU allergen safe

Both tea tree and citric acid occur in low-medium concentration, but may mnot suit severely sensitive skin types. The benefits of tea tree include its acne-fighting properties, great for problematic skin! Citric acid has anti ageing properties and assists the PH regulation (may be used to reduce alkalinity/make more acidic). This product feels comfortable on your skin and I really love the way it foams when you work it into your skin with a good konjac sponge and warm water. Despite only having used it for the past two weeks, I could’t imagine my skincare routine without it! If you are interested in trying this product for yourself, click here

2) AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, COSRX

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As you’ll already know, I really do love this product. I find it stands out from a lot of toners in the way that it actually works. A lot of the time, I feel as though some spray bottle toners are nothing more than a bit of glorified water in a bottle with an expensive price tag that add very little to skin health or maintenance. However this is not at all the case with this product. It’s great for dry and oily skin alike, so if you have combination skin and are struggling, I highly recommend giving it a go. Glycolic acid regulates oil production in the skin and allantoin is soothing and offers skin protection. In regards to dry skin, panthenol and butylene glycol are both powerful moisturising components, helping to ensure your skin stays soft and hydrated. Glycolic acid is known to be irritating to sensitive skin in high concentrations, although concentrations are fairly low in this product. I consider myself to have moderately sensitive skin and it works wonders for me. This minimal-ingredient product is also:

  • fungal acne safe
  • EU allergen free
  • sulfate free
  • paraben free
  • silicone free
  • alcohol free

Not to mention, it’s anti-ageing, acne-fighting, wound healing and does not clog pores! It has to be a 10/10 from me. If you’re interested in trying this product out, click here.

3) Alpha Arbutin 2% + Hyaluronic Acid, The Ordinary

I’ve already raved about this product in enough detail so i’ll only mention it briefly. If you would like to read more about it, click here to be taken to my previous post. Alpha arbutin is a brightening ingredient and so it helps to reduce the appearance of skin discolouration and acne scarring. Hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate helps to promote wound healing and is good for dry skin since it it a conditioning agent. Lactic acid is present in small concentrations and is anti-ageing but some people with sensitive skin might find this irritating to use. Importantly, it is NOT fungal acne safe and includes PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, which is a known trigger for fungal acne. imformation concerning this ingredient and its safety is fairly limited, according to EWG site. The risk is considered low and primarily concerns contamination issues (namely contamination with 1,4-dioxane – a carcinogenic compound). According to the EWG website, 1,4-dioxane contaminates up to 46% of personal care products (of the products tested). I’ve consequently just gotten off the phone with Deciem, (the company behind The Ordinary Skincare) and am expecting an email back from the lab team within the next couple of weeks with information on how/if they test for contaminants in their products, so stay tuned! I’ll post any updates at the end of this post. If you would like to try it out in the meantime, please click

4) Aloe 99% Soothing Gel, Holika Holika 

I’ve been using this gel for two weeks now and I love it. My skin is prone to redness and the soothing qualities in this product (aloe vera leaf and cucumber extracts) have really helped my skin settle down. The only possible negative to note is the fact that it leaves a slightly sticky residue due to the nature of the aloe plant. Although this doesn’t bother me, anyone who gets a bit weirded out by strange textures might prefer to avoid it. Other great bonuses of this product include the fact that it is:

  • paraben free
  • sulfate free
  • alcohol free
  • silicone free
  • EU allergen safe
    and has minimal ingredients!
  • This lovely little gel promotes wound healing (Centella Asiatica Extract), is highly moisturising and good for sensitive skin. with zero alcohol content (unlike many moisturisers) your skin is sure to feel hydrated! s

Some of the ingredients have an “unknown” EWG rating (14%) but these are all from natural plant-based items such as aloe, cucumber and watermelon as well as “fragrance”, which is found in almost all products. Usually, fragrances are made with essential oil extracts, which can be irritants in large quantities, but its second to last on the ingredients list, so likely in very low concentration. This product uses a PH adjuster – fantastic for keeping our skins’ PH balance, but triethanolamine has a comedogenic rating of 2, so may contribute to clogged pores. I haven’t personally noticed this happening with my skin, but I only use it in my morning routine (once daily) and apply a thumbnail-sized amount to my skin.

Delving a bit deeper into exactly what  triethanolamine is was at first a little concerning. Registering at 5 on the EWG safety website was borderline acceptable but to read that it is a known human skin toxicant with strong evidence for this claim, was a little shocking. I investigated this further and found that in stronger concentrations (above 5%) it was deemed safe in skincare products with limited exposure time (i.e. cleansers or scrubs that you wash off immediately). when the concentration of this ingredient is less than 5% it is widely considered safe for leave-on products such as moisturisers. knowing that it is in a very low concentration in this product, I feel comfortable in the knowledge that it will not do me any harm using it.If you like the sound of this product and are interested in using it, click here.

5) Rose Oil overnight Gel Mask, The Creme Shop

rose_oil_1400x

A bit of an odd one, since it’s designed to be used overnight. However I love it so much for its lightweight feel, non-greasy texture and fantastic moisturising ingredients that I occasionally use it with my morning routine when my skin is extra dry (e.g the morning after i’ve used an exfoliant). It’s generally the last thing i’ll pop on my face before I use my makeup primer. I’ve already talked about this product in detail, so I’ll just provide a little refresher of the highlights.

  • paraben free
  • sulfate free
  • EU allergen free
  • Alcohol free

Particularly noteworthy ingredients include dipropylene glycol, which helps active ingredients penetrate the skin and also serves as a moisturising agent. Additionally the ingredient glycerin helps to prevent moisture loss from the skin, making it feel soft and hydrated for longer. If you would like to read more about this product then please follow the link to one of my previous blog posts here.

So that’s it! My morning routine is sorted, for now. It generally takes me less than 10 minutes to do and so it’s really easy to keep up! If you have any questions please feel free to message me or pop them in the comments below 🙂

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