Skincare has always been my first love; it was the thing I was obsessed with before I discovered makeup. I've battled with skin troubles for a long time and I've been on one hell of a skincare journey, making mistakes and learning a lot on the way. I'm not an expert and everyone's skin is different, but these are 5 skincare tips I live by;
1. Don't Be Afraid To Double Up
For me this applies mainly at night and this routine rarely changes - double cleanse, double tone, double treat. I wear quite high coverage foundation, so I cleanse once to remove makeup and then again with a different cleanser to get rid of any impurities on the skin. Straight after this I tone with a liquid exfoliating toner on a cotton pad, followed by a hydrating one to re-balance the skin. Finally, I give my skin a double treat - a serum followed by an oil or moisturiser (sometimes even the latter two at the same time but mixed together!). A serum targets specific skincare concerns and penetrates the skin deeper than any other product; I tend to gravitate towards serums for blemishes and congestion. The oil or moisturiser is to nourish, hydrate and brighten the top layer of my skin. This doubling up process really works for me; yes it's a lot of products, but as Caroline Hirons has said before, think of treating your skin like your clothing and layer it up, especially in winter.
2. Introduce New Products Gradually to Identify Triggers
Some people can use anything on their skin, but for many there will always be ingredients that irritate it; whether it dries it out, breaks it out or just generally freaks it out! It can take a long time to identify what triggers that irritation, especially if you've introduced too many new and different products into your skincare routine at the same time. This applies to makeup too. I've learnt from experience to do it gradually and because of this I now understand better what my skin likes and doesn't like. For example, I can't use skincare products containing high quantities of SD Alcohol a.k.a Alcohol Denat, because my skin will break out into huge lumps closely resembling The Alps!
3. Check The Label
This follows on from number 2. Before I buy any skincare product I always check the ingredients list. This means I can avoid my known skin irritants, but it also just generally makes me better informed about what I'm putting on my skin. Some products can be misleading because there are no rules on how products are advertised. For example, say you are specifically looking for a moisturiser containing high quantities of Avocado Oil because of its skincare benefits and you come across one called "The Amazing Avocado Oil Moisturiser" (totally made up as you can tell). You would initially be drawn straight to this one because you would assume from the name it contains a high percentage of Avocado Oil, but then you look at the ingredients... Avocado Oil is right down towards the end of the ingredients list, meaning there isn't much of it and you're not really going to see any benefits from it. Brands are allowed to do this, so if you're after something specific, check the label.
4. Give It Time
When trying out new skincare, give it time a sensible amount of time before making a full judgement. I will use a new product for at least 4 weeks, sometimes up to a couple of months, so I can properly evaluate if it works for my skin and what benefits or improvements it has made. After that period I then know if I would re-purchase it and I would also feel in a position to review it on this blog. I really don't think you can do this process in a week, because things do change and some products are designed to work over a long term basis, for example Rosehip Oil and its effects on scars. Of course if a product very quickly has negative effects on my skin, then I would stop using it straight away.
5. Don't Restrict Yourself
It took me a long time to realise that you don't have to only use products specifically advertised for your skintype. I used to bombard my skin with oily/combination skincare and it was just too much for it - there was only so many astringent ingredients it could take in one go! Again it's just having an awareness of ingredients, listening to your skin and what it needs; even oily skin could turn dry or dehydrated. I always factor in the weather, my diet and water intake too and change up my skincare as needed.
What are your favourite skincare tips?
Beauty Bird xx