I realised the other day that in a never-before-seen feat of loyalty and stalwartness, I have remained remarkably loyal to a certain skincare regime for over 6 months. Not only that, but in a supreme feat of getting over my fickle nature, I am actually still happy with it. I thought that I would share it with you, chronologically starting with my morning ablutions.
First things first, mornings mean a gentle cleanser. For me personally, I simply must wash my face properly twice a day. None of this micellar water, none of these wipes for me. Water and a proper cleanser. However, because your skin tends to be more sensitive and fragile in the morning, and because you have to then march into the world looking presentable, I would definitely recommend a gentle and soothing formula, with nothing harsh or scrubby.
I currently switch between two options – the Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, which is a phenomenal powder cleanser, and leaves your skin softened and very clean (but is outrageously expensive, so I am trying to stretch it out), and the Dr Jackson 07 Face Wash, which is a softly foaming gel cleanser with a simple formula and a lovely citrus fragrance, and which does what it says on the tin – cleanses in a gentle way.
Hopping out of the shower, first thing I always do is apply a toner when my skin is still a little damp, so that it keeps as much of the moisture in there as possible. Many people would skip this step, but I’ve found that if you have the right toner, your skin will actually thank you for it. Traditional toners, which are basically just water, are perhaps a waste of time, but even they perk up your face. Modern formulas usually have a more treatment-based concept behind them, and can act in concert with your other skincare to improve your skin’s hydration, or tone, or to wake it up.
I’ve been using, and seriously enjoying, the Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner, which melts from a liquidy gel into a water-like consistency as you apply it. I wouldn’t say that it leaves the skin matte, but it does even out the natural oiliness that your skin produces during the day, so that any patches of oiliness, such as in the T-zone, are minimised. Crucially, it also doesn’t dry out the skin at all, unlike pretty much every other “mattifying” toner out there. It has Bentonite Clay to soak up excess sebum, and also helps to soothe redness and sensitivity with Marshmallow extract, among other things. Additionally, there are some anti-bacterial extracts in there as well to try to prevent breakouts.
Next up, I apply moisturiser after I’ve given the toner a few seconds to sink in (during which time I am usually found, these days, rubbing in vast amounts of rich unguents into my expanding tummy. Stretch marks Will Happen Over My Dead Body). I am completely and utterly in love with the Glossier Priming Moisturiser. It is light, but provides just the right level of hydration, works well under any makeup, and I swear to you, also soothes redness as soon as you put it on. The formula allows you to build it up, and apply more to any dry patches that you might have, without getting all greasy or pilling up. No silicone, too, which is ideal.
On some mornings, I wake up feeling and looking like absolute cr*p-o-la, and an immediate flash mask certainly helps. So after I get out of the shower, and before toner, I will whack one of these on for 5 minutes (perhaps then applying additional layers of aforementioned unguents) to look a LOT more radiant and just better, generally. The best one I have ever found, annoyingly, is the Sisley Radiant Glow Express Mask with Pink Clay. Annoying because it is SO expensive, and so good. However, I do have alternatives, natürlich, such as the Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, or if you’re feeling a little congested, the Dr Jart Transfoam Masks are very good at sorting that out.
After moisturiser, I move straight into makeup, but as we all know, that is a (very long and involved) story for another time…