skincare routine

Over the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve had a few requests for a post about my skincare routine. (Yes, I know, it surprises me, too.) These questions always make me feel mildly guilty, as I think to myself, “Oh crap: I should really HAVE a skincare routine, shouldn’t I? Like a proper grown-up.”

Well, the fact is, I don’t really. I mean, there are a few things I always do to look after my skin:

  • I always take my makeup off before bed, regardless of how tired/lazy/hungover I’m feeling.
  • I always cleanse, moisturize, and use eye cream.
  • I always use sunscreen. And you should, too. </lecture>

What I DON’T do, however, is stick rigidly to the same products or brands, or do anything particularly complicated. I somehow don’t think the people who ask me about my routine are looking for the answer, “I wash my face,” somehow, but I don’t really have any specific tips to impart as such: as a blogger, I tend to receive quite a lot of skincare samples, so my “routine” will revolve around whatever’s in my stash at the time.

I may not have a consistent routine, however, but today I thought I’d share my current routine. If nothing else, it’ll give me an excuse to talk about all of those products I mention briefly and then never refer to again: one of the reasons I don’t do a lot of skincare posts here is that I think it can take a long time to know whether a product is REALLY working for you, so by doing this post on a semi-regular basis (i.e. whenever the “routine” changes), I can hopefully tell you a bit more about what I thought of things after I’d had a change to really road-test – or skin-test – them.

So! As of November 2014, here’s what I’m using!

CLEANSING : Lancome Galatéis Douceur Facial Cleaner [PR sample]

Lancome facuial cleanser

The main thing I have to say about this product is that it might be pricey (£23 per bottle), but it’s extremely long-lasting. I first mentioned it back in June, and I think I’d been using it for a few weeks at least before that. This is the same bottle, and it’s still going strong, despite being used every day since then, so it’s better value for money than you might think. Unfortunately, however, my opinion of it hasn’t really changed since that initial post: it’s a perfectly decent cleanser, but it’s not any better than any other product I’ve used, and it IS more expensive than some of those other products, so while I’ve been happy with it, I’d be unlikely to re-purchase it when this runs out. I’d rather continue trying other products, in the hope that one day I’ll stumble across one that makes me look like Megan Fox or something. It’s out there. I can feel it.

MORE CLEANSING: Gommage Visage Pulpe de Coco [PR sample]

skincare routibe: facial scrub

A few weeks ago I read about double cleansing, which, as the name suggests, involves cleansing your skin twice: once primarily to remove makeup and other daily grime, and then again, for more of a deep cleanse. I figured I may as well give it a go, so once I’ve used the Lancome Cleanser to remove my makeup, I’ve been using this product, which I received in a My Little Box. This is a facial scrub, and I don’t use it every day, but I do use it a few times a week, and have to say, I’ve noticed a difference in the condition of my skin, which has been looking clearer and smoother lately. I’m not sure if this is down to the product itself, or the process of double-cleansing: I suspect the latter, so will probably continue to do it, albeit probably using different products once these ones have run out. Again, I probably wouldn’t rush out to buy this specific scrub, because I think there are others around that will do the same thing, and I want to give them a go, too. And to look like Megan Fox.*

MOISTURIZING : Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum

Origins Plantscription

I’ve talked before about my love of serums, which are the one skincare product (well, other than sunscreen) I couldn’t live without. I’ll often JUST use a serum, without any accompanying moisturiser: I was once told the serum is really all your skin needs, and I definitely find it to be all that MY skin needs a lot of the time – serums almost always make a difference to the way my skin looks and feels, but moisturisers rarely do, which makes me feel like I’m spending extra money for no extra benefit. (Er, I’m not a skincare expert, obviously, so please don’t take my word for that…)

This serum is by Origins, and unfortunately for it, it’s the first one I’ve used since my Lancome Advanced Genifique ran out. The Lancome serum was AWESOME, seriously (Which is a bummer, because I can’t afford to replace it…): in comparison, this one is just “OK”, so if I was going to be investing in a serum, I’d probably spend the bit extra to get the Lancome one, which I liked better.

EYE CREAM:  No. 7 Lift & Luminate Eye Cream

no. 7 Lift & Luminate Eye Cream Review

I don’t have particularly bad lines around my eye, but I’ve been using a separate eye cream since I was a teenager, purely because I thought that was what you were “supposed” to do. (Maybe that’s WHY I don’t have bad eye lines, now I come to think of it?) This one is by Boots No. 7, which is basically my “fallback” brand for skincare – it’s the one I always return to, when something’s run out, and I can always see a difference in my skin when I stop using it. They do a variety of these creams, with names like ‘Protect & Perfect’ and ‘Restore & Renew’: I’ve tried most of  them, but I honestly can’t tell the difference between them all: all I know is that anything from that range will generally work, so I keep on buying it.

LIP TREATMENT : Sally Hansen Peptide Lip Line Treatment

saly hansen peptide lip line treatment

This product is both the bane of my life and the best thing I’ve ever tried, seriously.

So, I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have much of a defined lip line, and that my upper lip basically just blends into the rest of my face. This little bottle of magic gives me a lip-line. No, really, it does. You use it much like any other lip treatment, but you apply it AROUND the lips as well as on them. I generally try to remember to use it morning and night, and within a couple of days, I’ll start to look like I have normal lips again. It’s AMAZING, trust me.

The problem? It’s almost impossible to find. Despite being listed on the Sally Hansen website, I frequently find myself wondering if they even still make it, because it’s so hard to find. I tracked down my first bottle in a Walgreens, on a trip to the US, but it was the ONLY bottle they had in stock, and I had to visit every drugstore within about a 50 mile radius before I struck gold. Last year in Miami, I visited them all again (this is actually no hardship: I love me a trip to Walgreens) and didn’t find a single one: woe! I finally bought this bottle from eBay, but I’ve never, ever seen this product in the UK, and only on that one occasion in the US, so… yeah. This wasn’t really much help to anyone, was it? If, however, you lack a lip line, and you happen to find a bottle of this stuff, buy it: you will not be disappointed.**

EVEN MORE MOISTURIZING: Philosophy The Present Skin Perfector

Philosophy The Present: review

Finally, I wrote about this quite recently, so I won’t bore you with it again, but it’s still in regular rotation, and I’m still liking it. I don’t use this all the time at the moment because, as I said, the serum is generally enough for me, but if I think my skin needs a bit extra, this comes back out.

One thing I haven’t mentioned here is sunscreen… As it happens, the foundation I’m currently using has SPF 17, which I find enough for the limited amount of time I spend outdoors at this time of year, plus the limited amount of daylight we have when I DO venture outdoors. If I’m going for a run, though (Which is the only time I can think of that I’d be outside without makeup!), I’ll normally add some extra sunscreen: you can never be too careful!

* I don’t expect to look like Megan Fox.

** I have no idea if you’ll be disappointed. I hope not, though. Please don’t hate me if you are, or ask for your money back.

  1. I don’t think l could subject my skin to double cleansing. It sounds harsh. But then l don’t wear much make up (no foundation).

    I tried oil cleansing with rosehip oil last year, which also sounds bad for your skin, but it didn’t cause breakouts. It did cause my bf to tell me l smell like a cricket bat though.

    1. Rosehip oil is actually really good for your skin! Oils break down oils so it actually lessens your chance of a breakout, and rosehip oil specifically is excellent for repairing skin! 🙂

      1. Indeed, that’s why l used it. I would still be using it but l have a prescription product that has to be applied to to totally clean skin.

  2. What I love about your blog is that you are giving an accurate and personal account of your experience with products, and make it clear to the reader that they might not work for others

  3. I really liked this post, is a lot of fun to see what you use to get your amazing skin. I really envy it since I have just started getting acne. It’s hard to accept that your skin isn’t perfect but I still hope that with the right products I will be able to get your skin one day. Of course I need to find products that work for me. But still, I liked seeing what you are using!
    May I ask what sunscreen you would recommend? 🙂

    1. It really depends on your skin type, and what kind of SPF you need… for the face I like Lancome Genifique Soleil (big Lancome fan, as you can probably tell!), which has SPF 50, but absorbs really easily, and feels more like a moisturiser than a sunscreen. For body, I like Banana Boat dry spray, in the highest SPF I can find. As I say, though, it depends on your skin type, so if your skin is different from mine, those might not work for you!

  4. You say you don’t have much of a routine… but mine literally is just the first point you’ve mentioned – I always remove my make-up. That’s it. So you’re one up on me and I now feel like I’ve been incredibly awful to my skin as I barely cleanse it properly, let alone put anything moisturising on it whatsoever! BUT, and it’s perhaps a big but, I have incredibly oily skin and I’ve never found any kind of oil-free or otherwise anything that doesn’t make my skin go mental. And basically, whenever I do anything apart from take my make-up off to my skin I tend to see about ten spots pop up… but I wonder if double cleansing could help actually. I think I want to look into that now!

    1. It could do: I don’t know much about oily skin, unfortunately, but it could be worth a shot! Honestly, though, I think removing makeup is probably the most important thing anyway!

    2. I have combination skin and I’ve started cleansing with oil cleansers and using argan oil as a moisturiser – I find it actually really helps reduce my oiliness level.

      I read that it’s because you actually want to use oily products on oily skin – your skin is producing so much oil as a replacement for natural oils being stripped away through cleansing etc. so adding oil means your skin’s oil production slows down – I’ve found this to be true and my skin feels better than ever.

    1. Yeah, as I said, I’ve been buying it on eBay when I run out! That one’s in the US, unfortunately, which means $20 shipping – I’m too cheap to pay more for shipping than I would for the product, but it does come up on UK eBay from time to time, so I have a search set up for it 🙂

  5. I will look for the Sally Hansen stuff today, just happen to be going to get me some more of the #7serum which I love. If I don’t find it at my local drug store I will travel to the big city this weekend, and look for some there. Xx

  6. YesTo makes awesome scrubs. I use the Tomato one for uneven complexions, but they also have them for dry or mixed skin. And they all smell lovely!

  7. Hey Amber! Love your blog! Just wanted to let you know Amazon has that Sally Hansen lip treatment you mention, in stock at the minute. I received a bottle of it in the post yesterday – for £10.90!

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