Streamline Your Skincare: Five Steps To The Ultimate Clear-Out

Like, properly this time…


I pride myself on being brutal when it comes to clearing things out. You lot know me. Give me a full wardrobe and I’ll somehow magic up two bags for the charity shop. My organisation freak levels are at the point where I’ll go round a mate’s house and tidy theirs for them too (to be fair she’d just had a baby and it was my good deed for the day). However, when it comes to skincare I get weirdly attached. I switch out into ‘Maybe I’ll need it someday!‘ mode, which I guess is kind of justified because skin is a tempremental thing isn’t it? So a couple of weekends ago I sat down and somehow managed to strip it back to the bare bones through these five steps…



For some reason my skincare collection seems to find its way into most rooms of the flat. It’s scattered across suitcases that I leave pre-packed skincare routines in ready to go, my nightstand, my office (where I keep items that aren’t in my current rotation and back-ups), my desk, handbag and the bathroom. It’s everywhere (much to Mark’s delight). So the first step I did was to get it all in one place so it was easy to see what I actually had, which of course like any skincare lover – was much more than I expected. Call yourself a minimalist, eh? 


I have to say I was pretty surprised at this step once I started looking at the expiration labels on all my products. Skincare goes off fast peeps. As a general rule anything that goes around the eye area like creams and makeup removers last six months, cleansers and sprays around 12 months and then everything else goes off at the 12 or 18 month mark, with some masks and moisturisers (depending on the packaging) up to 24 months. There’s no rigid rules here though, so it’s best to check items individually and also work off your own senses; giving things a sniff and looking for changes in colour and texture.



Once you’ve got rid of the stinkers, it’s time to slimline one step further. The best way of doing this I’ve found is to firstly categorise your products into piles; makeup removers, cleansers, sprays, serums, moisturisers, SPFs and masks – that should do ya. This makes it abundantly clear if you have a genre that’s overflowing and makes it easier to see what bumf can be cut out. I for one had a tonne of masks, most of which I used occasionally – say, once every three or four months – which just doesn’t warrant a spot in the line-up, especially once you start to consider expiration dates. I also tend to get a little hoardy on the cleanser front, however they’re something that I use everyday so I don’t mind stockpiling (sensibly).


I’m a complete sucker for being enabled. Basically if Caroline Hirons praises a product, I need it. Even if she says it’s for oily skin, I’m there with my dry ol’ face buying it. The same often goes with makeup and when I see people hype up a mask or an oil, sometimes I give it a go and it’s fab and other times it just doesn’t do that much for me. Skin is a delicate and personal thing, more so than any other beauty recommendation, and so the final step of my clear-out was to finally give in to the fact that some products just don’t really work for me and that’s cool. Kypris is a great example of this. I used it for months, perhaps even a year not realising that there was something in it that just did not agree with my skin and was causing month-long breakouts on my chin. It’s not you, it’s me…



Who remembers ‘Project 10 Pan‘? A movement, I think started by Laura, many moons ago in the blogger world to use every last drop of 10 products till the bitter end? It’s still something that I try to do all these years later and when it comes to skincare, due to the short shelf life that many products have, it’s even more pressing. So I’m vowing to use stuff up; when one cleanser ends it’s time to move onto another until I’ve worked through my stocks and then it’s time to repurchase. Back-ups are good to have, but I now know my skin pretty well and have kept items that I know agree with my complexion, so if I need to swap items in things shouldn’t get too hairy. BRB, this could take me a while… 

Photos by Lauren Shipley