How To Really Nail Your Skincare Routine

Get ready for GLOW…


I. LOVE. SKINCARE. So much so that it’s even trickled down to Mark who interrupted a conversation the other day between his Aunty and Cousin, who were discussing how they both use face wipes. Seriously. Apparently he interjected that face wipes were the ultimate sin when it came to skincare and that I wouldn’t be happy when the news got back to me (don’t worry I immediately ordered them both a care package stuffed with Glossier when I heard). Skincare is such a personal thing and when our skin looks it’s best, we feel our best. I’m current harbouring a volcanic blemish that has begun to resemble a cornflake on my chin and it just doesn’t make me feel that great. So nailing our routines gives us our best chance at feeling flippin’ fab, (although we must accept that sometimes our complexions have a mind of their own). So how do we nail it exactly? Well here’s a bit of advice that I’ve learnt over the years since my own face wipe days…


Do Your Research. If you’re relatively new to the world of skincare then I cannot recommend digging into Caroline’s Blog highly enough. The Cheat Sheets in particular are pure golden nuggets of skincare know-how. I’d recommend using that as a starting point to create your own skincare routine check-list and then heading elsewhere on the Internet to beef up your knowledge of what you need to buy. Everyone is their own special snowflake when it comes to skincare, so no routine is going to work exactly the same on two people – keep that in mind when you’re reading recommendations. Personally I love reading reviews on places like Sephora and Cult Beauty to hear about other’s experiences with brands and their products. Finally if you can, head to counter and see if you can try before you buy. Most brands are generous on the sample front – especially when it comes to skincare.

Test Responsibly. I am guilty of not following this advice, so I’m throwing it in as a reminder to myself to test products in an isolated manner, as to test them responsibly. Skincare routines are great because not only do the products that you’re using get a good couple of months use to truly have their time to shine, you begin to realise what products sit well with your skin; which ones are best to tackle hormonal spots, the dry patches around the edges of your nose, those persistent blackheads on your chin that JUST WON’T BUDGE. It gives you a ‘control’ in a way, which means that you should be able to spot the effects of a new addition – be it good or bad – pretty quickly. This is all well and good when you’re just adding the one new item in, but when you add multiple at the same time, it can become difficult to spot what’s causing you trouble and what has slipped seamlessly into your routine. So try and resist the urge to have a complete overhaul and instead swap new items in one at a time. Ugh – sticking to this one is the worst.


Make It Simple. Over the years my skincare has changed from a mighty routine that almost reached double-digits, to one that had just three products – and everything in-between. It fluctuates somewhere between those two points as I want to try new things, recommended products and hyped-up items. I usually start off small and then it balloons as all these new things get sucked in, until I realise that my skin just ain’t playing ball anymore and I edit it back to the basics. This process will no doubt be repeated till the day I nod off, but through going through this process again and again I’ve realised that my skin is at its most content when I’ve stripped things back. The less is more approach is often the way to go with skincare and as long as you’re cleansing off makeup and grime, using serums and acids to target whatever it is you wish to treat and then adding SPF during the day and tons of moisture in the evenings, then you’re on the right track.

A Seasonal Shift. Just like your capsule wardrobe, your skincare needs a re-jig when the cold weather makes it’s unwelcome reappearance. Heated inside air and blisteringly chilly outdoor winds make for an interesting climate concoction that makes my nose as red as Rudolph’s and my cheeks as dry as a cat’s tongue. It’s not a good look. When the weather shift occurs, take a week or two to assess what you’re working with and to fully understand what tweaks you need to make to your routine. For me it’s the introduction of an oil-textured cleanser, a slightly beefier serum that really slaps on the hydration and either a rich cream moisturiser that basically feels like I’m wiping butter all over my skin or an oil that does the same thing. These changes help to dim the redness and give a bit of bounce back to my cheeks.


Be Kind. From talking to friends and fellow bloggers over the years, I can conclude that it’s very rare to find someone who is content with the current state of their skin. We always feel that rogue spot needs to be gone already, or our pores could make themselves less known, or would that crease that’s appeared on our foreheads PLEASE STOP DEEPENING. Please and thank you. We’re all too hard on ourselves, so I’ve vowed to be a little kinder to myself; and that includes not just being my own worst critic, but also thinking more about what I’m actually feeding my skin with. Why is it that when I’ve had a day where I’m pretty sure I’ve barely managed to get in two of my recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day, do I expect to wake up with glowing skin that rivals J.Lo’s? What a noob. So instead of attempting to eat a balanced and varied diet to nourish my body, I’ve been thinking of it as nourishing my skin too, which helps me stomach that side plate of broccoli a little easier. Just like you can’t out-train a bad diet in the gym, you can’t slap on oodles of skincare and expect jaw-dropping results if you’re out frying yourselves in the sun and have a daily penchant for junk food. Yep, I’m craving a burger now too… 

Photos by Lauren Shipley

*Sign up to my monthly newsletter ‘An Edited Life’ here*