How I’ve Pared Back My Skincare Routine Big Time (& It’s Working!)

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It’s boring as hell, but it’s working

This post contains ad affiliate links (denoted by a ‘*’) & gifted items (denoted by ‘ad – gifted). You can read my full disclaimer here.

I’m sure you’re bored of me banging on about skin and how it just hasn’t been the same since I came off the pill two years ago now. Having only ever suffered with the odd hormonal breakout here and there, I wasn’t well-equipped for the never-ending chin eruptions and textural changes that can happen when you make changes to your contraceptive routine and boy was I in for a treat.

I don’t know why it’s taken me two years to realise that maybe the way to tackle it was to chill out on the product-front, but here we are. Over the past few months I haven’t made any other health changes; I drink an ok-ish amount of water, haven’t cut anything out of my diet (and heck I currently live with my parents so currently live off of a diet of homemade ginger cake and nightly chocolate bars whilst watching The Repair Shop), and workout a handful of times a week. So I can narrow it down and say that the changes that I’ve made skincare-wise are what’s making a difference here. Over time I’d love to reintroduce fancy touches like a moisturiser and an eye cream, but parring things back (and the inclusion of one wonder product that is just A-W-E-S-O-M-E), to be able to see what’s really working and what’s really not, has been a game-changer. Here’s what I’m using right now…

MY MORNING ROUTINE

CLEANSE – Kiehl’s Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser*. I mean, how many times do I need to bang on about this?! I actually finished up this bottle shortly after taking these photos, started using a new cleanser and have ended up having an allergic reaction – SO THAT’S FUN – and let that be a lesson to you all that sometimes it’s better to stick with what you know. It cleanses, without ever leaving my skin feeling tight and I just love the gel-cream texture. It’s really soothing on my dehydrated cheeks.

SPRITZ – Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator*. I’m definitely not as militant with this as I once was, but it’s a delightful product that smells lush, soothes my skin and adds some bells and whistles to the whole thing when it’s starting to feel a bit basic. Plus, it gives a bit of slip to whatever I decide to apply next which always feels a bit more spa-like.

SERUMS – Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Facial Serum* & Antioxidant Serum*. Now this is where I’m getting a bit experimental with my routine. A Hyaluronic Acid-based serum is cool with my skin – they get along fine and I can switch in a small selection without any problems and know that my skin will lap it up (others in this category include the Lancome Advanced Genifique* (ad – gifted), Drunk Elephant B-Hydra* and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair* (ad – gifted)). The antioxidant based serum is a different kettle of fish. I *think* I’ve pin-pointed that me and Vitamin C don’t get along too great. My friend Rohit finds the same and said that he discovered that the Jordan Samuel Antioxidant Serum provided the protection he needed, but without any blemish flare-ups. So I’m testing it out and reintroducing it slowly, accessing my skin as we go.

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SPF – Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30* & Estée Lauder Revitalising Supreme CC SPF 10* (ad – gifted). If I feel aggravated in the complexion arena at all, then I come back to just a simple cleanse and SPF application in the morning. I go in heavy with the Kiehl’s because it’s so dewy and glowy and a lovely finisher on the skin, whilst giving me daily SPF protection, then sometimes I do a layer of the Estée Lauder over the top – I know that doesn’t give me any extra SPF credentials, but I like the evening that the tinted CC formula gives more than anything else. So sometimes my overall routine has just the three products in it – a cleanser, an SPF and a CC cream, and other days if I’m feeling like things are going well, then I’ll add in the spritz and the serums.

MY EVENING ROUTINE

MAKEUP REMOVAL – Face Halo* (ad – gifted). I was recently sent these and oh wow, woah, they are incredible. A little re-useable flannel-esque round that when damped with just straight up water works to remove your makeup. It’s quite honestly incredible and somehow manages to remove WATERPROOF MASCARA with just water!? I don’t understand. It negates the need to add another potentially aggravating product into my routine. Brilliant.

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CLEANSE – Kiehl’s Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser. Yep, this old thing again. I use it morning and evening, applied directly onto dry skin and then buffed off with a warm, wet flannel. It’s by far the most luxurious part of both routines and I love, love, love it. Mark is ordering another one for me now along with his own personal Kiehl’s haul. I just cannot be without it.

TREATMENT – Allies of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial*. Ok, so this is the pièce de résistance of my routine. It’s the game-changer and the one thing that I can pinpoint has made the biggest difference in my routine by a mile. I’d heard some pals mention it and at my wit’s end with my skin, I took the plunge and purchased a bottle. With AHA’s and Manuka Honey it aims to unclog, refine and exfoliate, whilst also delivering hydration – which is such a hard combination to find, but exactly what my congested, dehydrated skin needs. I decided that I needed to go all in. So whittled down my evening routine so it just included a makeup removal, a cleanse and then this – nothing else. I started using a tube on 1st August and did the same routine every evening. Like the website suggested, things got a bit worse before they got better (due to increased cell activity apparently!), but within about a month things had calmed down on my chin and cheeks dramatically. Those really painful, ‘never really amount to anything’ pimples no longer appeared, and the texture of skin improved. My skin felt brighter and the clearest that it’s been in years. I know it’s so darn pricey – £115 to be exact – but doing three pumps of it a night lasted me almost three months, clocking it at the monthly price of of £38. And to be on the road to a much happier complexion, that’s a price I’m happy to pay.

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