In case you haven't heard of it, the Starting Off Project, brainchild of the lovely Stephanie at Steph's Inside Voice, is a blogger series with the sole aim of sharing knowledge about makeup and skincare with young people who are just starting out or indeed anyone who is just after a few extra tips.
Over 100 bloggers are taking part in the series and every Tuesday at 6pm for the next 10 weeks each of them (including little old me) will be publishing a post about a specific subject; skincare, foundation, lipstick, etc, you get the idea! There is an awful lot of knowledge out there in the beauty blogosphere, so there will undoubtedly be some fantastic tips to be found. I for one can't wait to get reading them, and I hope my contribution will be helpful to some.
Now that’s it for the preamble so let’s get onto the subject of the day: skincare. The world of skincare can get pretty complicated at times, so my approach to this particular subject is something like this: what would be the absolute basic routine to look after my skin I’d want my teenage self to know about? That routine looks a little something like this...
Cleanse, girl, cleanse!
To me, proper cleansing is without a doubt the absolute key to good skincare. I spent a good portion of my late teens using the same foaming cleanser (but changing moisturisers) and couldn’t understand why my skin kept getting congested. When I finally realised what was happening and changed my cleanser, everything cleared up completely and I haven’t looked back since.
So what do you look for in a cleanser? A good cleanser should leave your skin thoroughly clean, but without stripping it of its natural oils, the best type of cleansers for this purpose are balms, creams or oil based cleansers, removed with a flannel or muslin cloth. No matter what your skin type one of these cleansers should work for you (and don’t be afraid to use oil on an oily skin type, it can really balance you out).
My personal favourite cleansers for every day (for my normal skin) are Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (pictured, available here) and Trilogy Cream Cleanser (available here), but you don’t have to break the bank, there are lots of these types of cleansers available in Lush, Boots and Superdrug Boots Botanics and Amie are excellent ranges to check out.
Tone and refresh
The toning stage is possibly my favourite part of my skincare routine, in fact I’ve done an entire post about my favourite toners here. There is a lot of talk about toners closing your pores after cleansing, I don’t necessarily think that’s the case (what are they? Automatic doors?), but it’s a nice stage to include and the right toner leaves my skin feeling cooled, refreshed and really ready for my moisturiser.
The toners I most like to use are Lush Eau Roma Water (available here), Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner (pictured, available here) and Neal’s Yard Remedies White Tea Facial Mist (available here). Again, this stage doesn’t have to cost the earth, and you can find some great toners on the high street, just make sure you steer clear of anything alcohol based, this can be really drying to the skin, and can exacerbate oily skin conditions.
Moisturiser is the step in your skincare routine that should leave your skin feeling at its absolute peak, perfectly comfortable and well nourished. First and foremost, a moisturiser replenishes moisture from the outside, and can be targeted to tackle any of your skin concerns. As my skin is pretty normal, for every day I just go with a good basic moisturiser (one that works well under makeup) and on an evening, I use a richer moisturiser with a good dose of antioxidants.
My favourite moisturisers are Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Hydrating Cream (pictured, available here), Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser (available here) and Origins A Perfect World Moisturiser (available here). I will probably sound like a broken record here, but as with every other step, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but I would recommend getting your hands on samples before taking the plunge and purchasing (Lush is a great place for this).
So that’s it for my basic skincare routine, there are lots of other steps you can add in depending on your skin, things like exfoliating, facial oils, masks etc, but I believe this is a great foundation routine, also if I started talking about those too this post might end up the length of a dissertation!
I guess there’s just one last thing to say about your skincare routine, if you’re doing all of the above, great, but also you must, must drink plenty of water!.
Send me a link if you’re taking part in the Starting Off Project, or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.