Every social ocassion I attend has become a skincare and makeup workshop for me as inevitably people ask me questions about what to use on their faces for their current concerns. I don’t mind answering questions and recommending product, but this is an indication this post is most certainly due! This is the first installment of my “Skincare Report” a series of posts exploring different aspects of skincare products and trends.

My skincare routine consists of 4 basic steps

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Eachstep has a very specific role in the routine and by now, I can take 5 minutes from cleansing to moisturizing. It’s not rocket science people, and as a result you can have the best skin possible!

Taking the day (and night) off!

20130920-154643.jpgI cleanse my face both in the morning and in the evening. In the morning it’s just a single cleanse to start the day all nice and fresh. In the evening, it is most certainly a double cleanse. You may be surprised I don’t always wear makeup, but I do wear SPF religiously! You almost need to remove SPF like you do makeup, so I take the time to get my face squeaky clean! In this stage I use a makeup remover (when makeup needs removing) and something like a cleansing balm or an oil/milk/cream cleanser. Except for one product, I steer clear from all foaming cleansers because they can either irritate with some of the sulfates used or they alkaline the face (and you want your skin to be nice and acidic to kill bacteria!)

What I use: I currently alternate between REN Clay Cleanser and Zelens Radiance Cleanser. Usual favorites are Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and Fresh Soy Cleanser. Same are used are night after I remove my makeup with either Astalift Complete Makeup Remover or Bioderma

Prep your face for treatments

20130920-154651.jpgThe toning stage for me is mainly to exfoliate and balance my skin’s pH by using AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids: glycolic*, lactic, tartaric acids for example) or BHAs (beta-hydroxy aids: salicylic acid). Exfoliation is usually associated by most people with products that have some sort of abrassive particles. What I’m talking about here is chemical exfoliation (no, not like this) as a way to get rid of dead cells which in turn helps with wrinkles, breakouts, sun damage, etc., and to infuse the skin with extra moisture. I used an acidic toner which helps the skin with its ability to fight bacteria, and a hydrating toner. The latter contains glycering and hyaluronic acid which add much needed moisture to my skin.

What I use: currently alternate Estee Lauder’s Nutitious and The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner in the mornings. At night I use the same after first using an acidic toner, the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Brightening Toner

20130920-154657.jpgHere’s where all the serums, masks, and assorted treatments go. I have to admit, I’m still not fully settled on this one, except for eye cream (which is technically more about treatment than moisturizing) and this nice serum I use quite consistently. Usually products targeting certain specific concerns are used at this stage, mostly related to fine lines, elasticity or hyperpigmentation. This is the stage where you should apply any prescription cream (for example acne medication, etc.)

What I use: In the mornings I use Eysilix Instant Eye Rescue for the eyes and bliss Firm, Baby, Firm for the face, followed by Hydraluron. At nights I use Estee Lauder’s Advanced repair eye cream and serum, followed by Hydraluron once more

Hydration, hydration, hydration

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One of the biggest skin concerns is dehydration and this can affect all sorts of skin types, not just the dry ones. Although drinking water is essential for our body’s wellbeing, that alone is not going to fix the problem of skin dehydration (if that were the case, there would not be any cosmetics industry!). A good moisturizer will contain both ingredients that act as a barrier to trap moisture and skin repairing ingredients for a wide variety of concerns.
What I use: currently using Clarins HydraQuench Cream in the mornings and The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream at night. Other favorites for oth day and night are Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream and Clinique Moisture Surge

One important part of my routine I have not mentioned before? Well, of course I’m talking about sunscreen. Unless you stay indoors all day, sunscreen has to be a must in your routine. I currenly use Clarins with an SPF 50 because of my rosacea and because of the fact I use acidic toners (which makes your skin more photosensitive, in other words, more sensitive to sunlight)

What is your skincare routine like? Do you follow more steps or less steps? Tell us in the comments below!