The Skin You’re In

I was late to loving skincare and having a real ‘regime’. A real missed opportunity and missed pleasure, but I’ve been trying to make up for lost time.

SPF has been a daily thing for the past 20 years. (Always wore it on hols prior to that but discovered that the child version, having just had a child who needed protection, of Dr Hauschka’s SPF was actually pretty great and used that for a good long while. Most recent find is ultrasun SPF 50.) Now, though, it gets combined with a multi-step process that I find sets me up for the day and helps me wind down and relax in the evening.

In mid middle age (how’s that for a label?), I have combo skin which veers to dehydrated during winter and due to central heating, can’t drink much alcohol, and drink a lot (and I do mean a lot) of water. I’ve got those parallel lines between my eyebrows, but they aren’t too deep, marionette lines around the mouth, and jawline isn’t quite what it used to be. Bluish shadowing under my eyes is relatively new and gets more pronounced the more stress there is in life.

As I work from home I don’t wear makeup much of the time so skincare products have become my playground (when I worked in offices it was a full face of slap, which I really enjoyed – used to love the Prescriptives skin-matching foundation service). Having worked my way through different cleanser types, balms are my thing, with no double cleanse as I like the way my skin feels after balm use. Post that, in the AM, it’s hyaluronic acid and peptide serums, moisturiser, now caffeine goo under eyes, SPF, and By Terry Touche Veloutee (pricey, but by far the best colour match I’ve ever found and doesn’t make my eyes itch). PM it’s a mild retinol twice a week, with the serums on top, then moisturiser, and finally oil. Oh, lord, I love oils.

The current routine is a mix of high, low: Emma Hardie Moringa balm cleanser; Peter Thomas Roth HA serum – far more viscous (and pricier) than The Ordinary or Niod stuff I had been using – and such a pleasure to use; The Ordinary Buffet peptide stuff – which is  just so nice; The Ordinary Natural Moisturizer & HA; and First Aid Beauty retinol. Sometimes I throw a vit C serum into the soup – the current one in rotation is Glow Recipe Pineapple-C, it smells of pineapple, is slightly sticky and actually really nice to use.

Finally, oils … How could I have missed out using them for so many years?? I guess they seal the rest in, but I just really enjoy the smells and textures. Now always have a few in rotation. The current fave is Votary’s Super Seed (in the small bottle, the price of which doesn’t make me cringe, though when I’ve finished it I may very well plump for the regular sized bottle). The others are from Skin and Tonic, a small UK-based brand that, if you’re in the UK (I’m not sure if they export), is definitely worth a look: Brit Beauty Oil (thistle, chia, borage, etc) and Naked Beauty Oil (rosehip, apricot, pumpkin seed) are both quite good.

So, what about you? Do you have a routine, and how simple or complex is it? Has skincare long been a focus or are you relatively new to it? What are some fave products?

  • Dina C. says:

    I’ve worn daily sunscreen for decades, but despite that I’ve inherited melasma & hyperpigmentation. So I’m really into skin care, too. I double cleanse currently with a couple of Korres Wild Rose products, one of which is an oil. Both smell amazing. I use a K beauty essence of fermented rice water sometimes. Not sure it does anything. Use Rx Triluma on dark spots; Timeless vit C serum; The Ordinary HA serum; The Ordinary lactic acid serum a couple times a week to get rid of all the flakies that the Triluma generates; Australian Gold spf 50 mineral sunscreen; and Cerave moisturizer day and night. I do sheet masks sporadically.

  • Musette says:

    My PEOPLE!!! <3
    I live in oils and treatment!! DHC oil cleanser (thanks, Saturdays Francine) , which I use with (gasp!) one of those woven poly exfoliation cloths (just a touch, to get the dead skin off), then a bit of SUPER LOW END (but amazingly effective) Walgreen’s Studio 35 Alpha Hydroxy cream (on a damp face), then a touch of Pai face oil (which I found at Beautyhabit but I don’t think they carry it anymore – I have 5 bottles !!!), then March’s One Love Organics Skin Savior…THEN (pant!pant!) Weleda Skin Food or, if I’m going out into inclement weather, my Prescriptives Insulation (or an equivalent. I bought two unopened vintage jars so have to use them pdq)


  • matty1649 says:

    I’ve been using rose oil on my face. I thought it would be too oily but it blends in very well and smells nice

  • March says:

    Oooh, fun reading everyone’s routines on here! I love pampering my skin. Lots of peptides etc. Low end: jojoba oil. More expensive K beauty. One of my all time favorites: One Love Skin Savior Balm, which smells heavenly and is super-emollient.

    • Musette says:

      I hate you SO much for that One Love Skin Savior. Should there be a zombie uprising, I’mo have to make room in my go-bag for not one, but TWO of the little jars. That stuff is fabulous!


  • Kathleen says:

    I enjoy skin care as well. I use prescription tretinoin a few nights per week, and daily vitamin C/E Ferrulic, glycolic acid or lactic acid as exfoliator once or twice per week, a few different serums depending on my skin’s needs, moisturizer, and daily sunscreen. At night I will sometimes add an oil after the moisturizer when my skin barrier is dry and irritated. I have stubborn hyperpigmentation on my neck and I use a combination of serums with tranxemic acid, licorice, kojic acid etc.

    • Tara Mc says:

      Interested in what serums you’re using for hyperpigmentation, particularly any with tranexamic acid

  • Bee says:

    I have acne rosacea so I’m here in my mid 60s suffering from the spots I feel I’ve had all my life + fine lines (not too many – never sunbathed or smoked) blue shadows, redness and visible veins on very sensitive combination skin – the whole problem spectrum. I double cleanse using a gel to oil, followed by a very mild salicylic wash. I dot a moisturiser where needed and a Niacinamide + zinc on the breakouts. It’s taken a LONG time to find things & the right doses that keep everything calm but still do the job. Even so flare ups happen and it’s back to a basic micellar morning and night. Good job I love skin care and I love makeup cos I need it – not so much for the wow factor nowadays (lol) – just to make myself look presentable in public. Yeah I have next to no brows thanks to the 70s/80s so I have to create them or I look like an egg (more lol) . Can still rock a red lip though I say so myself!!

    • Musette says:

      I’m with you on the brows (though mine are hereditarily sparse). Without a defined brow I look like a scone! xoxoxo

  • Tanja says:

    I use tretinoin almost daily plus double cleansing, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid from hada labo, some niacinamide and now always wear sunscreen. It helped a lot with my hyperpigmentation and my elevenses are nearly gone after one year. And lash serum saved my lashes!

  • MMKinPA says:

    I have been serious about skincare for a couple of years. Cleansing balms, chemical exfoliants, serums, retinol – all of it. One of my fave current products is Maelove Glowmaker vitamin c serum… good stuff.