My Skincare Routine
Skincare

What I’ve Learnt So Far about Skincare & My Personal Routine

Lately I’ve read quite a few ‘New Year, New Me’ posts and I’ve noticed that many of them included a resolution to have a better skincare regimen, which was up there with eating healthier and being more active.

So today I thought I’d share how I take care of my skin to possibly inspire the skincare newbies out there to amp up their routine, but also to get tips on how I could improve mine. Please, feel free to correct/add to what I say in the post, as I know there’s still a lot I need to learn. Bear in mind that I’m not a dermatologist, nor a skincare expert, so this post is solely based on my personal experience.

Cleanse thoroughly with mild products

Makeup is fun, you can play with it all you want during the day, but at night you absolutely have to take it ALL off. My all time favorite makeup remover is Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, because it removes every last bit of the most hardcore waterproof mascara, but is super gentle on the eyes and skin. Sometimes I do a second cleanse (especially if I’ve been wearing sunscreen or long-lasting foundation) with SEPHORA Ultimate Warming Cleanser (reviewed here) before checking if my skin is perfectly clean by using a cotton pad soaked in Garnier Micellar Water (which I also use as a 2-in-1 second cleanse/toner whenever I skip SEPHORA’s product and as a morning cleanser).

Hydrate & Moisturize

Although being often used interchangeably (even by yours truly), hydrating and moisturizing actually have different meanings. The easiest (but I’m sure not the most scientifically accurate) way for me to explain it is this: dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized, dehydrated skin lacks water and needs to be hydrated. While only some people have dry skin, most people have it dehydrated. Personally, I have oily skin, so I don’t really feel like I need to moisturize (especially during the day), but I definitely need to hydrate.

My absolute favorite product to use in the morning is Collistar Hyaluronic Acid serum (you can read more about it here). Hyaluronic acid has the ability to attract and retain impressive amounts of water, so it works wonders at keeping your skin hydrated.

Collistar Pure Active Hyaluronic Acid SerumIf you have normal to dry skin, it’s important you also apply a face oil or an oil-based moisturizer to create a barrier that prevents water from evaporating off your skin. In the evening, I often do this too and after my nighttime antioxidant hydrating serum (Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair), I do a quick face massage with Jojoba Oil, which is supposed to be particularly well suited to oily skin (more on this here).

Remember to always hydrate and moisturize the eye area as well. You don’t really need a separate product for this, but face creams sometimes do contain certain ingredients that are not suitable for the sensitive eye area, so I like to play safe and use a specifically formulated product (I’m currently using IncaRose Extra Pure Hyaluronic).

Jojoba Oil Properties Oily Skin BenefitsAntioxidants

Out of all the ‘magical’ ingredients brands claim to have miraculous anti-aging properties, I think there is one category that you should really make sure is contained in the serum/moisturizer/oil of your choice: that is antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the free-radical damage that is responsible for skin aging and also seem to help prevent sun damage. The Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair I’m using contains a nice blend of free radical fighting ingredients and Jojoba oil is rich in Vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant.

LUSH Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask ReviewExfoliants

Besides the two steps above (cleansing and hydrating/moisturizing), which I consider as the basic core of a skincare routine, if you want to fight dullness and hyperpigmentation, I highly recommend you also exfoliate. I personally like using glycolic acid, an AHA particularly effective at getting rid of dead skin cells for a more even, radiant complexion. At the moment, I’m using Alpha-H Liquid Gold (some sort of glycolic acid toner that you’re not supposed to follow with any moisturizer for maximum results) but I’m not sure it’s the right product for me (more on this in another post). In the past I used Collistar Glycolic Acid serum (from the same Pure Active range as the Hyaluronic Acid I mentioned earlier) and probably liked it better. If you’d rather use a physical exfoliant instead of a chemical one I highly recommend trying LUSH Cup O’ Coffee scrub mask (reviewed here).

Sephora Mud Mask Review Mattifying & Purifying ReviewFace Masks

Having oily skin, once or twice a week I like to cleanse my pores thoroughly with a clay mask. My current favorite is SEPHORA Mud Mask (which I’ve reviewed here) because, unlike most kaolin-based masks, it doesn’t dry out my skin. No matter your skin type, I think it’s good to also use a hydrating mask every once in a while, for a nice boost of hydration. I don’t have any favorites in this category, so I’m open to recommendations!

I think it’s totally possible to have a good skincare routine while having a streamlined stash, as long as it includes the right products for your needs. Finding the right products definitely takes some researching and a lot of trial and error, but your skin will thank you in the end!

Are you one of those who decided to start taking better care of your skin this year or are you a long-time skincare lover? Do you have any tips to share with me and the other readers?


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65 Comments

  • Reply
    Shireen L. Platt
    January 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    This is an interesting read and being the skincare fanatic that I am, I’m always nosy about other’s routine. My skincare is fickle as in I use tons of different products especially during the night; double serums with overnight mask on some evenings and on others are facial oil, serum, moisturizer. There’s also the addition of essence in the mix and frankly it’s almost impossible to write it down because I go with how my skin feels that night.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      I think everyone should customize their routine depending on their skin needs, so what you’re doing makes perfect sense!

  • Reply
    Carina
    January 16, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I love skincare, so enjoyed this post a lot!

    xo
    http://thepinkporcelaindoll.blogspot.it

  • Reply
    Jodie
    January 16, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I really want to try some mud masks, I’ve not heard of anyone reviewing the Sephora one before so I’m intrigued to read more about that one!

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      It leaves my skin so clean without stripping it, I love it!

  • Reply
    Yiota
    January 16, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I used to love the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, it made my skin so soft and bright, but unfortunately it is too expensive for me to repurchase. These days I use an organic rose oil as a serum, which is great and hydrates my skin a lot, so I think it is a great alternative. 🙂
    Yiota
    pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com.cy

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to repurchase it in the immediate future because it’s that expensive. It is a nice serum, though!

  • Reply
    Bloggerissa
    January 16, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Very interesting article! And good point about the difference between hydrating and moisturizing, it’s something not many people know.
    Kisses,
    http://www.bloggerissa.com/save-splurge-make-products-girls-budget/

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      I’m glad you found it interesting!

  • Reply
    LindaLibraLoca
    January 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    I think your skincare regimen is great, and even if I´d do some little things differently, that is down to the differences in our skin more than different approaches to skin care.
    The one point I just want to throw in, regarding the eye products: Everything you said is absolutely right, but on top of sometimes containing ingredients prone to irritating the eyes, some face products are designed to spread out by themselves. That is great when applied to the face, because that way you don’t miss small patches during application, but can be unwanted when they spread themselves into your eyes…

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      I didn’t know about these ‘self-spreading’ properties! Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Anne!

  • Reply
    whitney
    January 17, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Huh, I had no idea that sephora had a mud mask, I’m curious to try that out! The cup o coffee is on my TO BUY list after I finish using up my current products (since lush has an expiry date!) Thanks for such a detailed post!

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      They’re both great masks!

  • Reply
    H A Parker
    January 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I definitely loved reading about your new skincare routine! I feel the exact same way as you because I have combination skin. So I think that I don’t need to moisturise my skin too much in the day. But recently because my foundation has been looking too matte in the Winter time, I apply a little moisturiser and then let it dry before I apply my foundation. This seems to make my skin look and feel more hydrated. This post had definitely inspired me to up my skincare game, as that was one of my little resolutions too.:D

  • Reply
    Ela
    January 17, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I set myself a skincare goal too, I must say it is really hard to keep up. I still have some of these products on my wishlist thanks to you(starting from Lush and Sephora masks). I have oily skin too however it gets really dehydrated during cold days so I need a product which will give enough hydration and help me with the oil control… I want to get into chemical exfoliation, I really don’t know where to start with.

    http://www.elabellaworld.com

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Haha, sorry for being an enabler! 😉
      If you want to get into chemical exfoliation, maybe you could try Pixi Glow Tonic. Its’s a toner that contains glycolic acid but shouldn’t be too harsh. I’ve never tried it myself but it always gets great reviews. It’s both on BeautyBay and Cult Beauty.
      Another exfoliating toner that I did try myself and really liked is Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to step into the world of chemical exfoliants!

  • Reply
    Nati
    January 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    This is such an interesting post. I think THE most important things is definitely to take all your makeup off before sleeping. It makes such a difference (:
    Nati xx
    http://www.simplyartdicted.com

  • Reply
    Velvet Blush
    January 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    This was such a helpful post for me! For the last 2 years my skin has gone super dry but I’ve been drinking like 1.5-2 litres of water a day and it still hasn’t improved, so knowing the difference between hydration and moisturising will definitely help me when picking out some skincare bits. I have a few products I like but my skincare routine still needs work 🙂

    Velvet Blush

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      You should really give face oils a go if you haven’t already!

  • Reply
    Shannon Sage
    January 17, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I really want to try a makeup removing balm and that Clinique one sounds really lovely! I also really want to try that Cup O’ Coffee mask! Last time I was in Lush the lady working there was telling me how amazing it was! I love that it is a scrub mask as well!

    Shannon Sage

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      I’ve repurchased Clinique’s balm so many times already! I think I can’t praise it enough!
      The Cup O’ Coffee mask is a more recent discovery, but I see myself repurchasing it as soon as I run out, it really is amazing!

  • Reply
    Ivana
    January 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Love your routine, these are such a great products xoxo

    http://thefurthestthingfromperfect.blogspot.com/

  • Reply
    Darriyan
    January 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Love your routine! Mine is so simlar!! I really want to try that lush mask!

    Darriyan x

    http://darriyancateland.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      It’s a great mask and smells delicious, I highly recommend it!

  • Reply
    Izabela
    January 17, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I started paying more attention to skincare this year as part of a ‘New Year, New Me’ outlook on life. Your routine sounds great. I really want to try the Lush scrub.

    http://www.mydailywear.co.uk

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      You totally should if you get a chance, it’s really rather lovely!

  • Reply
    Nadia
    January 17, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    This is definitely one of my goals for 2016, girlie. I have discovered a few products which I love but I am yet in search of my “holy grail” items that will complete (and improve!) my skincare routine. I am genuinely thankful for all the recommendations. It’s such a well-written post and those products sound incredible. I have been looking for a great makeup remover and now thinking of investing into the Clinique one right away 🙂 Great recommendations, I am bookmarking this post 🙂
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com/

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      The Clinique cleansing balm is amazing, I’ve already repurchased it many times! I can’t find a single fault to it!

  • Reply
    wasidah francois
    January 17, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    great info thanks for sharing Wasidah http://www.fitnessfashionfabulous.com

  • Reply
    Samantha
    January 17, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    It’s really interesting reading about other people’s skincare, and I especially like how you added helpful tidbits like the differences between hydrating and moisturizing! I’m just trying to get into an actual routine myself since I’m being exposed to much more skincare products now, but I like the idea of double cleansing. I’m starting to realize that even though I have a good makeup remover I use, when I look closely it doesn’t take EVERYTHING off, so I’ll have to try that out.

    Awesome post!
    Sam | http://mybeautycloud.com

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 17, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      Yeah, I think that even if your skin looks clean most of the time it really isn’t, so it’s worth taking a little extra time to do a second cleanse!

  • Reply
    Lulle
    January 17, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    My skincare goal for 2016 is to stick to a well-built routine and not get sidetracked by samples I want to test! It’s been hard to keep a consistent routine in the past months because I’ve had terrible breakouts, so I had to switch to anti-acne products that sometimes made my skin dry. Major headache! Luckily the breakouts are gone (and I’m starting to suspect one product to be the culprit, since I’ve stopped using it and magically the zits are gone…), so I’m trying to focus on an anti-aging routine with a lot of antioxidants, deep hydration and some mild chemical exfoliation.
    About the dry vs. dehydrated skin, I completely agree with you, but I think that in English the term that’s the most appropriate to describe what needs to be done for dry skin is probably “nourish”. Because “moisturize” refers to water, I think it doesn’t work as well, just my two cents! And I’ve noticed that the difference tends to be completely ignored in the US: very few American brands offer specific, separate products for the two conditions. Weird!

    Beaumiroir

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 18, 2016 at 12:03 am

      When I translated the post into Italian, I actually used ‘nutriente’ for ‘moisturizing’, but I’ve always heard ‘hydrating’ vs. ‘moisturizing’ comparisons in English. What you’re saying makes perfect sense, though, and I think ‘moisturizer’ is a generic term that usually represents both categories.

  • Reply
    Cielo
    January 18, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Totally love skin care products! Thanks for this post, enjoyed reading =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    January 18, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Loving this post! I’m a skincare enthusiast so found this post really useful and interesting. Totally agree with you on gentle cleanser, I love gel ones like the Oskia Renaissance Gel, looking forward to reading your future posts!

    http://www.barelytherebeauty.com

    xx

  • Reply
    Bernadette
    January 18, 2016 at 12:50 am

    What a wonderful post, I myself have learnt a lot of things about skincare, it definitely has its learning curves.

    http://www.themakeupaficionado.com

  • Reply
    Keri
    January 18, 2016 at 1:40 am

    I love some good skincare! That serum looks too good. I have yet to get myself a serum, but can’t find myself spending loads of money on one. Do you have any recommendations for a cheaper alternative?

    Enclothed Cognition

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      January 19, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      Serums are usually the most expensive skincare products, because they’re supposed to me the most active and concentrated. I don’t see myself buying the Estée Lauder serum again in the near future because it’s so pricey, but at the moment I don’t know of any cheaper alternatives, sorry!

  • Reply
    Kiki
    January 18, 2016 at 2:13 am

    This is such a useful post! I never knew the difference between dehydrated and unmoisturized before. Thanks for sharing your routine with us!
    xo Kiki
    http://colormekiki.com/

  • Reply
    Kait Elizabeth
    January 18, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Finding a routine that fits for you is so important! Thanks for sharing these products. Hugs, Kait
    http://makeminemaroon.com/

  • Reply
    Nora Gouma
    January 18, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Great post, truly inspiring for many people, thank you for sharing!!!

    xxx

    http://www.bridesonamission.com

  • Reply
    perkymegs
    January 18, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Great informative post Carol 🙂

    http://perkymegs.blogspot.in/

  • Reply
    Inma Rocamora
    January 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Great post!!
    NaturalElegance Fashion blog
    Natural Elegance Instagram

  • Reply
    Trishna Patwl
    January 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Skincare Posts are my absolute favourite and yours has to be up there! And also, I really want to try Liquid Gold because I heard it may help remove scarring, although it may just be a rumour haha. I can’t wait for your post on it ♥

    tipscapsule.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Gabrielle
    January 18, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    That’s such a good point, I’ve noticed ‘improving skin’ or ‘improving skincare regime’ popping up in people’s New Year goals this year too! I’m following most of your points now, though I only managed to get my act together when it came to skincare in 2015, so pleased with how much my skin has improved since then. Have a fantastic week!

    aglassofice.com
    x

  • Reply
    Gemma
    January 18, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Great post. I love reading about others skincare posts. It always gets you thinking about your own 🙂

    Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 18, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    I always love to read your skin care reviews.. They are so helpful and so insightful! I think another thing worth mentioning is diet.. It’s amazing.. I have an incredible sweet tooth and whenever I indulge.. I get zits almost instantaneously on my face.. I have yet to find a product that can out-beat a bad diet.. Everything really does come full circle!

    XOXO
    http://www.kellmenow.com/blog/
    https://www.instagram.com/kell_menow/
    https://www.facebook.com/kellmenow/?fref=ts
    https://twitter.com/kell_menow

  • Reply
    Faye
    January 18, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    amazing post, such great advice about skincare products so thank you!! .x

    http://www.fayeisabella.co.uk

  • Reply
    Rae
    January 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Great post! I think so much of learning about skincare is taking things you learn and then seeing what actually works for your own skin, as everyone is different. Lately, I have found the joys of facial massages with face oils. It is doing wonders for my skin and helping to reduce fine lines as well! Thanks for the tips and I definitely need to look into some of these products!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

  • Reply
    Rachel Holliday
    January 18, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    As someone who knows barely anything about skincare, I found this post super useful! I’d never considered face masks as a part of my regular skin care regimen, but if it’s good for oily skin , I should totally try it! All of your products look so lovely to use

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

  • Reply
    Alyssa Monique Bustillo
    January 19, 2016 at 1:42 am

    I am quite guilty of not moisturizing my face enough and I remember so in your share. I am so glad I came across this.

    Instagram | Style Post – Black on Black you comfy Black ~ Styleccentric Fashion’ | BLOGLOVIN

    xo, Alyssa

  • Reply
    Jalisa
    January 19, 2016 at 1:47 am

    This is such a great, helpful post, Carol! I never really thought of the difference between hydrating and moisturizing the skin and I think that’s because so many companies and people tend to use the two interchangeably and don’t really educate us on the difference, thank you! I also agree that antioxidants are great for the skin and I love to not only look for them in my skin care products, but I also love eating and drinking fruits and veggies rich in them as well! I hope you’re having a great start to your week so far, beauty, and thanks so much for sharing!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

  • Reply
    Maireem
    January 19, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Love your skincare and I absolutely agree with using a mild cleanser 🙂 -Maireem

    My Fair Autumn | Instagram

  • Reply
    S A L L Y
    January 19, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I’m real interested in the Clinique Cleansing Balm and the Lush Coffee Scrub. Sometimes I hate wearing make up just because I don’t like taking it off but I’ve heard lots of amazing things about the Clinique Cleansing Balm. I’ve only ever tried Snow Fairy from Lush so I’m keen on trying a few others!

    Sally ~ DiagonSally

  • Reply
    Dorota
    January 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Brilliantly written darling !!! I’m super impressed !!! Well explained and beautiful pictures x x

  • Reply
    Renata Burden
    January 19, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    I’ve spotted some of my favourites here like the Estee Lauder ANR and the Garnier Micellar Water. Great products and current staples in my skincare routine. Love your other recommendations. I’ve heard good things about Collistar but haven’t tried it yet. x

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

  • Reply
    anubhuti
    January 20, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I love mud masks and i use mild cleanser too 🙂 nice skincare routine 🙂

  • Reply
    Neha
    January 23, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Great routine! I really want to try that Estée Lauder Night Repair!

  • Reply
    Gyudy
    January 25, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Loved this! I agree with you on every point and I love how you wrote this post 🙂 The biggest things I’ve learnt about my skin is that it loves a lot more moisture and hydration that I would think and that I need to start using antioxidants and antiaging products. But it’s an ongoing process and we often have new things to learn, at the moment I’m fighting unknown hormonal breakouts and my skin isn’t being kind to me at all… xx
    Gyudy @ Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

  • Reply
    Beth
    January 26, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I love this post about skincare! It’s so comprehensive and informative. I’m always looking for new ways to care for my skin and this is a terrific resource. Thank you, Carol!

    xo
    Beth
    http://www.TheStyleBouquet.com

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