One of the things I started to care about more once I reached my thirties, was my skin. I was certainly lazy in my twenties when it came to my skincare routine – a cleansing wipe and a dash of moisturiser before bed did the job. My skin was crying out for some TLC.
I did quite a bit of research and got advice from professionals… usually on spa days (I absolutely love a facial) and there was so much information out there and so many products! It got to a point where I was trying everything on my skin – Salicylic Acid, Latic Acid, Niacinamide, AHA, BHA, you name it. Products to use in the morning, products to use at night, products to use once, twice or three times a week, products to use when you have a breakout. After feeling overwhelmed, I was desperate to simplify it all.
I came across Neal’s Yard Remedies at their store in York and absolutely loved the products, so much so I became a consultant for them. I loved that they were a natural, eco, family run business with great quality products. However, I’m not going to harp on about Neal’s Yard, although I may recommend some products throughout this blog. I’ll share with you their simplified approach to skincare and a good way to get started and find out what your skin enjoys. Also, I need to stress I am no way a professional – I’m just letting you know my experience and things I’ve picked up along the way with my obsession.
CLEANSE, TONE, MOISTURISE
An obvious one, but if you’re going to do anything that improves your skin, it should be this every morning and evening. It’s the basics. Get yourself in a lovely routine with this first so it becomes second nature, then you can start to think about other things you could use too. Each step is just as important as the next…
Cleanse (Step 1) – The first and most basic step to healthy skin. Using a gentle organic wash, cream or gel cleanser. This removes 80% of make up, air pollutants, dirt and grime absorbed by skin during the day as well as old skin cells. This can be a very relaxing and satisfying step in the process. Your skin will feel clean instantly.
Tone (Step 2) – Think of cleanse and tone like ‘shampoo and conditioner’, one starts the job and the other finishes it off. They compliment each other. Apply a splash of toner to help rebalance the skin and to begin the process of hydration – a good quality toner will not strip your skin. Organic toners tend to contain flower waters and/or essential oils to help your skin’s wellbeing – now you’re all refreshed.
Moisturise (Step 3) – All skin types need moisture, even those prone to oiliness. A good moisturiser helps keep the skin healthy, supple and hydrates the top, outer layer of skin. It will help protect your skin from the elements (think of it as your jacket – don’t go outside without it on).
FIND PRODUCTS TO SUIT YOU
Find a brand that you love, make it simple for yourself, get the cleanser, toner and moisturiser that they recommend for your skin. My favourite, Neal’s Yard Remedies, offer cleanse, tone and moisturise collections at a discounted price when buying all three and recommend the following:
Purifying Palmarosa Collection – For Oily and Combination Skin
Rehydrating Rose Collection – For Normal Skin
Rejuvenating Frankincense Collection – For all skin types
Nourishing Orange Flower – For Dry Skin
I personally use the Rehydrating Rose collection and have loved it ever since I tried it a few years back. If you’re unsure what your skin type is, Neal’s Yard offer ‘skincare kits‘ which are mini collections that will last you 14 days, and they come in a handy organic make-up bag too – so great for traveling also!
ADD IN AN OIL OR SERUM
Once you’ve nailed the CTM routine, add in an oil or serum before your moisturiser in the evening. This gives your skin an extra surge of nutrients just before you relax in bed. Neal’s Yard have oils and serums that accompany the skincare ranges that suit your skin. I love the Rehydrating Rose oil and the Wild Rose Beauty Serum (I switch between the two).
Now, you know what cleanser, toner, moisturiser you like to use and feels good on your skin, you’ve got your oil or serum that is just that extra treat before bed – you’re now sorted with your morning and evening routine, it’s that simple:
START EXPERIMENTING WITH A WEEKLY PAMPER NIGHT
By now, your skin should be glowing… but could you add in a little pamper once a week? An exfoliating mask, a deep soak in rose-hip oil, you decide what’s best for your skin. You could mix it up a bit or increase if you think it’s needed. I personally exfoliate or treat myself to a mask every ‘bath night’ which is two times a week. But I know if it’s missed my skin is still covered by my daily, basic, simple routine.
- Don’t wash your face in the shower or bath as it’s too hot. Move to the sink afterwards to start your routine.
- Do your routine as early as possible in the night – sometimes I do when Sophia is in the bath and I’m next to her at the sink. Apparently, 4pm is the best time in our daily skin cycle where we absorb the most. Plus, there’s no chance of skipping your routine as you start to go to bed all sleepy.
- You also need to look after your skin from the inside too – eat well, sleep well, drink well, take some vitamins. It all helps – but also don’t panic if you get a breakout too. I still get them around my chin (hormones) and they pass as I continue my routine.
- Give yourself a good massage throughout, take time putting on your cleanser, your oil and your moisturiser. It works into the skin properly this way and gives your skin a glowing boost.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog and it inspires you to look for your simplified skincare routine – now you know where to start 🙂