As a teen, I had really terrible acne. Those huge, cystic bumps, painful sores that never come to a head, you know the ones. And blackheads. So many blackheads. Yuck.
I was, and still am, quite a shy creature. My acne really did nothing for my self confidence. I was too scared to put any makeup on, and I grew up in the era of strong alcohols and astringents as the answer to any spot related gripe. My poor epidermis was, quite rightly, weeping.
As an adult, my skin has calmed down a huge amount (thank goodness for growing up, eh?!), but this is in no small part due to a decent skin care routine. When the beautiful girl at the Tom Ford counter stops you just to tell you your skin is great, you've definitely nailed something (this was literally my finest hour).
I still get spots, don't get me wrong, but my skin is happier than ever before. Hopefully, these steps will help you, too. Behold - my skincare commandments:
Wear sunscreen.Baz Luhrmann was not wrong. This is serious anti-ageing at its best. If you do only one thing, make it this. No matter where you live in the world, at some point, you will encounter enough sun to do damage to your skin. SPF formulations are so advanced now, that there's really no excuse not to wear them - three of my favourites are listed in my previous SPF post, and I'm hearing great things from fellow oily-skinned bloggers about The Body Shop's latest creation.
I know, face wipes are convenient - but they're not doing a good enough job. Even if you're shattered. At the very least use a micellar water to take everything off, and ideally follow up with a second cleanse in the evening (with something lovely, like Emma Hardie's beautiful Moringa Balm) with warm water and a flannel or muslin cloth. You will reap the benefits of this step within the week. Properly cleansed skin = less blocked pores.
Get in to acid toning.
This sounds terrifying. I promise it isn't. This is an easy, quick way to exfoliate your skin using an acid, without any harsh physical exfoliation. I use a variety of acid toners, but one of the best and most affordable is Pixi Glow Tonic which you can read more about in my previous post. You can do this up to twice a day, every day, but that depends a little on product and skin tolerance. I'm an every-second-day acid user (that sounds grungy, doesn't it?)
Don't rule out moisturiser
-even if you're oily. If you don't moisturise your skin at all after cleansing, or if you get that tight feeling, you may well have dehydrated skin. I have oily/dehydrated skin, which is a tricky beast to tame. If you are like me, look for products with hyaluronic acid as a main ingredient - this will moisturise without adding any greasiness, and as a bonus creates a lovely base for makeup. Korean brand Mizon are excellent for products kind to oily skin, and can be found on Cult Beauty.
Yep. It's a thing. Either simultaneously, or as a several step mask treat, a once-a-week mask session is not only gloriously relaxing, it's hugely beneficial for your skin. Caroline Hirons is the queen of the Sunday facial, and since acquiring the habit myself, I have reaped the benefits. I've talked about a few favourites previously: a lovely mud mask, and an excellent option for glow here. I also absolutely adore Peter Thomas Roth's Pumpkin Enzyme Mask.
Dont Neglect your neck!
This one is super important. Don't neglect anything below your chin. The skin on your neck is also more delicate, and needs some TLC too - share those lovely cleansers, exfoliants and treatments with it, too!
A few little changes to your routine can work wonders for your skin, both short and long term. Let me know your skin care must haves in the comments!
Some links above are affiliate links.