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?