Unlike my morning routine, my evening skin routine varies. I love trying new products and treating my skin to a variety of natural ingredients. Plus, I‘m fickle.
Standard sized products last me ages but during that time I get bored of using the same old thing; the novelty wears off, the results fade and i’m eager to try something new. This is why I live for samples.
I spend a little longer attending to my skin at night and my routine goes a little like this…
Step 1=Cleanse ×2
I use a balm or oil based cleanser to remove surface dirt/oil/any make up. Due to my current lack of funds I am using coconut oil from Aldi (same stuff I use for cooking), but I’ve stolen borrowed my mum’s Abyssinian Oil Cleansing Balm and I liked how nourishing it was.
I remove the first cleanse with a konjac sponge which I buy from Ebay for £2.99, because I refuse to pay £8+ for a bit of sponge. As long as it is 100% natural and free of dyes etc, it’s fine by me.
The second cleanse used to be foam based but after reading Carol Hirons cleansing cheat sheet I learnt that “you want surfactant [foam] on your dishes, not your face”. Foaming face washes lower the PH of your skin leaving it a breeding ground for bacteria, a.k.a the enemy; spots. I promptly switched to a gentle creamy cleanser.
My favourite cleanser is Pai’s Camellia & Rose, but it’s a bit pricey at £28. Luckily I received a free 30ml sample from an Elle magazine a few months ago, but for the most part i’m using the same Sukin cleanser as I do in my morning skin care routine.
Step 2=Tone ×2
Toning correctly made a huge difference to my skin. When I first started getting spots my mum told me to tone my face but for years I was using the wrong type of toner. Seduced by the promised of clearer skin, I tended to use toners aimed at acne or oily skin. These products often contain high amounts of alcohol, which dried my skin out and actually left it more irritated.
Exfoliating, or acid, toners are genius. Do not fear the word ‘acid’, we are not talking industrial strength paint stripper, they gently dissolve dead skin cells, clear pores and diminish fine lines.
To ensure my skin is definitely happy and hydrated I like to do a second tone, well actually it’s more of a refreshing spritz. I look for a toner with moisturising ingredients like glycerine, rose, aloe vera or camomile. I decant the toner into a spray bottle to avoid rubbing my face with a cotton pad again. Plus, I can carry the spritz in my bag and hydrate/freshen throughout the day.
This is my favourite step because it makes me feel like a fanciful adult who gives a sh** about their face.
Sadly for me, treatments/serums are generally the most expensive step as they contain the highest concentration of active ingredients that target a specific concern, e.g pigmentation or dehydration. The older you get, the more important this step is.
I like to opt for light oils or serums that brighten my skin and aid in fading the redness left from acne. Although, the depths of winter call for some serious hydration; central heating plays havoc with my skin (I peel like snake and it’s not pretty).
I’ll skip this step if i’m using a good quality oil like Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate or one with a mix of nourishing ingredients, as I don’t want to overload my skin. I’ll just let the oil do its thing and hopefully leave me glowing. FYI oils are nothing to fear, they won’t leave you horrendously oily and every skin type can benefit from them. Great options include Pai Rosehip, Sukin BioNatural Oil (use the tiniest amount it’s quite runny), Mossa Vitamin Cocktail, The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil and I personally love pure argan oil.
Generally I don’t use eye cream as I just pat my treatment/moisturiser around my eyes, but if I used one that would be the next step.
I like to switch between using an oil and a moisturiser. At the moment i’m loving Madara but I can’t afford the £28-£42 price tag so I have to settle for the occasional £1 sample set. I have, on occasion, used my mum’s creams (sorry mum you have raised a thief) but only if they are natural, I don’t like the idea of chemicals seeping into my bloodstream.
Step 5=Lips, Brows & Lashes
As I have mentioned before, my lips are crazy dry so I smother the bastards in lip balm and then dab on Vaseline to seal the moisture. My attention then turns to my eyebrows. I don’t’ know if it’s just me, but I get dandruff of the eyebrow; if I don’t moisturise them there will be a serious risk of a snow storm. I use either coconut oil or castor oil, or both, and then apply the left over oil to my eyelashes with a spoolie brush.
If patches of my face are dry, i.e around nose or my cheeks, i’ll pat on a bit of Raw Passion Billy Vanilly Skin Super Food.
A good coating of hand cream and 100 drops of lavender later and i’m ready to scramble into bed.
This may sound like a lot but it really doesn’t take long and it’s quite therapeutic. Moreover, 10 minutes now, will hopefully save me looking like an old leather shoe with skin the texture of tree bark later in life.
Wash this space, oil chat to you again on Thursday x
P.s if you haven’t already, check out Caroline Hirons cheat sheets. She covers everything from cleansing, and toning to beauty jargon and hangovers.