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  • Writer's pictureEmma Smeaton

Skincare 101

The key to smooth, flawless make-up application is a good base, and the key to a good base is skincare!

If your bathroom shelf looks anything like mine, you’ve got cleansers, oils, acids, serums, masks, the list goes on… In this blog I’m going to give you a step by step morning and evening routine, provide some product recommendations for various skin types and offer some anti-aging tips for us over 30s.

Everyday skincare routine: Morning

Step 1: Cleanse (after you shower)

Massage your cleanser into your skin with your fingers and then use a clean flannel and warm water to wipe off in circular motions. Change your flannel daily. I opt for white flannels so I can see if I removed my make-up properly the night before.

Shower first – this is a tip from Skincare guru Caroline Hirons - in fact, all my skincare knowledge is from her! – boiling hot water, shampoo, conditioner running down your face isn’t doing it any favours, so try not to put your face under the shower and cleanse after. My favourite cleansers are:

Bobbi Brown Smoothing Cleansing Oil - avoid for really oily/acne prone skin

The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm - avoid for really oily/acne prone skin

La Roche Posay Cleansing Milk

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

Step 2: Exfoliate (not with a scrub!)

Apply an acid toner using a cotton wool pad and avoid the eye area. I use Pixi Glow Tonic, a glycolic acid that exfoliates the skin by increasing cell turnover. It evens the skin tone and helps collagen production – a great product to start using from early 30s.

Step 3: Eye cream

Use a small amount of eye cream (about a pine nut sized amount) for each eye and apply by gently patting into the orbital area around the eye with your ring finger. The Inkey List Caffeine eye cream helps reduce puffiness and sits well under make-up.

Step 4: Serum or oil

Put a couple of drops in the palm of your hand, swipe hands together to distribute on both hands and then immediately apply to face – no need to warm the product up in your hands, you don’t want to waste this stuff, it’s normally the priciest item in your skincare kit! I like to target my skin dehydration with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid or

Tan Luxe Super Glow which is also gradual face tan).

Step 5: Moisturise

Apply a generous amount of moisturiser with your hands, all over your face and neck. Opt for moisturisers that provide a good base beneath make-up like Bobbi Brown Vitamin enriched face base or Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate. If you’re having a make-up free day, go for something a bit richer that can gradually penetrate the skin throughout the day.

Step 6: SPF

This is the secret to young skin – wear SPF every day, even if it’s raining out there! You too lads! Try La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Hydrating Cream SPF 50+

The only exception is your wedding day as SPF creates flashback and no one wants a white face in all their wedding pics!

Everyday Skincare Routine: Evening

Step 1: Double Cleanse

Why double cleanse I hear you ask? – Firstly, you need to remove your make-up and/or SPF. Use an oil or balm to help lift any product, paying close attention to your eye area. Run your flannel under warm water and wipe away.

Now for the second cleanse, use your most expensive cleanser here – maybe a milk or cream suitable for your skin type. Massage into the skin and then remove with a wet flannel. That flannel now needs to go in the wash by the way!

Step 2: Apply vitamin A (aka retinol)

If you’re 30+ now is the time to start introducing retinol into your skincare routine. Don’t be scared but do some research and don’t start on too higher dosage. Use 2-3 times a week on dry skin in the evenings only and persevere for a couple of weeks while your skin adjusts. You’ll soon start to see the benefits of smoother, plumper, hydrated skin with fewer visible lines. Medik8 offer a great range of retinols.

Step 3: Eye cream

Apply as per the morning routine, I like to use Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream or Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Eye Cream in the evenings.

Step 4: Serum

Serums are the products with the most “active” ingredients that can be used as a special treatment to your skin.

Is your skin dehydrated? Do you have age spots? What condition do you want to treat? Spend the most money on this part of your routine as it will put a concentrated amount of what you need directly into your skin.

Step 5: Moisturiser or night cream

This is always the last step in your routine for hydration and protection. Night creams are typically richer than day-time moisturisers. I like to use:

Welleda skin food

The Inkey List Vitamin B, C and E

Nivea creme (in the big blue pot)

I hope this helps! Please get in touch with any questions or to ask for product suggestions and I’ll do my best to help.

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