The day is finally here - welcome to my very first installment of #TheSOProject! If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you may want to read my last post. All you need to know for now is that I’m going to be giving you my top tips on a series of makeup items every week starting today with Skincare. That’s right - you’ve got a whole ten weeks to look forward to of this!
Skincare is a pretty broad topic to go over in one post, but it’s also the first thing that you should be looking at if you’re thinking about starting out with makeup. A nice, clean canvas (aka your face) will make everything else follow much easier. You should be taking care of your skin with a simple routine of 'cleanse, tone and moisturise' at the very least. Having said this, though, I can totally understand why some people struggle with this - myself included. I always feel as though skincare is one aspect that you really should try to put a good amount of money towards - you don’t want to be putting just any old rubbish on the delicate skin on your face. I once used a cheap all-purpose moisturiser on my face and ended up with what can only be described as monstrous hives.
My Skincare RoutineIf I’m being honest with you I’m still not 100% satisfied with my skincare routine. This may be partly because my skin likes to go between being dry in winter to oily/combination as the weather heats up, but I also know that my diet and water-drinking habits could be improved! Plus, let's not forget that I've been living on a student budget for the past year... Even so, here is a glimpse of what my current skincare routine currently looks like.
I use Bioderma Sensibio H2O every evening with a cotton pad to remove my makeup, I then follow this up with my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. I use this with a muslin cloth so that my skin is also being slightly exfoliated, taking off any remenants of makeup and dead skin cells, too! After this I will moisturise; I am currently using the Origins Make a Difference + but this is the product that I will switch up the most frequently. The only way that my routine changes in the morning is that I will not use Bioderma, and around once a week I will exfoliate after cleansing. My current favourite way of doing this is by mixing some Bioderma with Bicarbonate of Soda to create a natural exfoliant and leaving it on my skin for ten minutes.
Your Skincare Routine - Skin TypesWhen formulating your own skincare routine, the first big step you need to take is to determine what skin type you have. Skin types are how your skin naturally behaves, and it tends to depend on your genetics and environment. Try to observe your skin; do certain patches of skin behave differently? Also remember that your skin type can change as you get older or as the seasons change. There are four main skin types:
- Dry - Flaky or 'tight' feeling skin that is in need of a bit of extra moisture.
- Normal - Unless you're incredibly lucky you will only have 'normal' skin as a child: the pH is right where it should be (normal skin is slightly acidic) and it doesn't tend to be too dry or oily.
- Oily - If you often feel 'shiny' or glowing then you may have oily skin. Oily skin also tends to be more spot-prone.
- Combination - Combination skin is a mix of any of the above categories. Most people will have combination skin to some extent.
Your Skincare Routine - What's What?So all of this may seem a little overwhelming: let me break things down a bit for you to see exactly what does what!
- Cleansing - This is what will clean your skin and keep it free from makeup and all sorts of other nasties. Cleansers can come in cream, gel or oil form. Take your pick, but stay away from those foamy cleansers! They will strip your skin of the natural oils that it needs.
- Exfoliating - This can be done with physical or chemical exfoliants which will get rid of the old, dead skin cells and let the new, glowing ones come through!
- Toning - This will help to maintain the pH of your skin and is an important stage in prepping your skin for makeup. If you don't have a toner to hand but need to prep your skin, alcohol-free baby wipes are a good alternative.
- Serums - This is a pretty versatile category as there are serums that claim to do all sorts from anti-aging to moisture-boosting, so if you want to use one then pick one that suits your main skin concerns.
- Moisturing - This one is pretty self explanatory, but I would go for a moisturiser that suits your skin type and has no SPF (you can do this separately for more efficiency).
So that's what's what, but just remember that the important thing is that you formulate a skincare routine that suits your skin type! My top tips for choosing your own skincare items are to avoid anything with that has alcohol (dries out the skin), mineral oils (a cheap, inefficient ingredient) and parabens (found in cancerous tumours) in the ingredients - ain't nobody got time for that!
Brands I LoveIf you're looking for a place to start looking, here are a few skincare brands that I have tried in the past and enjoyed using. I've tried to include a range of prices:
I hope that my little insight into skincare has helped you somewhat, and maybe even taught you something that you didn't know before. If you want a more in depth look at skincare (one post really isn’t enough!) then I would really recommend checking out Carolin Hiron’s blog at BeautyMouth.com - she really is the expert!