If you’ve been reading The Residents for a while you’ll know I’m a sucker for skincare.
I’ve been on the move a lot this year and feel like when I put my skincare down in a new place, I’m making it my home. There’s just something special about plonking down my own cleanser and moisturiser which makes me feel settled: as long as I’ve got a suitcase full of serums, I can go anywhere. Another thing is that I’ve had to edit down to the skincare bits and bobs that ACTUALLY work (lugging everything with me would be impossible). As such, I’ve gotten better and deciding what really works and what is worth it, and understanding the essential must-use products I need. Consequentially, I’ve kind of got a bit of a routine happening (finally) and settled on some products that set up my face for the day, or put it to sleep at night. Amongst some old favourites you may have seen before, there are some new discoveries. I thought I would sum this all up in one blog post, and also share my skins current temperament with you so that you can get an idea of what my concerns are. So get ready to have a review of the many, many items I’m enamoured with that currently occupy my morning and evening routine…
[Also, hats off The Anna Edit whos recent blog on skincare partially inspired this blogs layout]
MY SKIN: My skin, on the whole, is pretty balanced and normal, although it does go through patches of sensitivity, especially with Retinols (I’ve been struggling to find out how I can use these in my routine without looking like a radish after a few days use - my skin seems to be particularly sensitive to them but I do want to include these as they’re apparently great for ageing concerns - more below). I can be slightly dry on my cheeks and a tad oily on my forehead from time to time. I have light blackheads on my nose and also have occasional breakouts around the chin or jawbone. If I stay out in the sun without sunblock, I will gradually get sunburnt. I’m developing fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes. I hate my dark circles. I look for glow, hydration and protection from my skincare routine.
Spray or Essence
Hydrating Serum x 2
SPF 30 (or SPF 50 in the summer)
Spray or Essence
Face Oil (or Retinol + Vitamin C Serum twice a week)
Clarifying Face Mask (once or twice a week)
While I should use a makeup remover, usually I head straight for the cleansers and let the good-quality stuff do the hard work. As such, I don’t mind splashing out on something that does the job of two separate products, removing make-up (single cleanse) and then washing and clarifying my skin (double cleanse - if you aren’t familiar with double cleansing, may I direct you towards skincare guru, Caroline Hirons). I love mixing up what I use but have certain preferences, texture-wise. I hate foaming cleansers and am especially enamoured with anything oil or jelly based. This year I’ve been obsessed with the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser in addition to my classic Margaret Hema Cleansing Facial Oil. It’s absolute perfection. The smell of both of these is incredible and I love that the Glossier Cleanser has a handy pump for travel. It’s lasted me ages (I did a big haul at the start of the year here and am only JUST ABOUT out). Margaret Hema’s Cleansing Oil is my all-time must-use and it is the one product I couldn’t do without from her line. She’s 73 and mixes her oils by hand, right here in Wellington and her products are amazing, efficient and effective. I’ve written about Margaret and her oils extensively here and here and here so I won’t go into it in depth again, but seriously her line is worth the hype. My new obsession is the Kate Sommerville Detox Daily Cleanser, which has the perfect packaging for travel. It comes out of the tube as oil and the emulsifies into a gel - and is truly to die for. I love using this as my first cleansing ‘step’. This cleanser gets makeup off stat and really brightens my complexion. I love how a little bit goes a long way!
SPRAYS & ESSENCES
I’ve basically been using only one hydrating spray this year, and that’s the Dermaviduals Lotion N. This is amazingly hydrating and is great when I need a moisture top-up through the day but don’t want to mess with my makeup. There’s not too much more to say about this, but that it’s incredibly soothing and smells really lovely and dewy, giving me a radiant glow.
I don’t have a favourite eye cream that I will live or die by, but currently, I am very much enjoying two brilliant and very different versions. Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Eye Serum is light and richly moisturising and doesn’t feel too clogging or effect concealer application too much. I’m also currently using the Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex Eye Cream which is one that I would definitely use again. It ticks all the boxes and is perfect for nighttime when I want a touch more moisturising. It has a luxurious feel, like being cuddled in a blanket. Advanced, microencapsulated Retinol helps smooth away the signs of skin ageing around the eyes. Perfect for those mini-creases starting to show up! Together, these two are a perfect cocktail for brightening under-eye circles. Other winners are the Advanced Night Repair series from Estee Lauder - always reliable!
Confession time: I’ve only just started using sunscreen every day since I turned 30. Appalling I know. No wonder those Retinols weren’t working. I was pretty much cooking my skin by ignoring the important step of wearing SPF. Lesson learnt? Basically just get yourself a proper, good SPF. I’ve been using Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 recently (also from their Age Smart range) and I simply can’t understand why I didn’t invest sooner. Think about it; I would spend $130 at the drop of the hat for a serum which promises the earth - but when it comes to SPF, I somehow think I can get away with a $7 jobby when it is the one piece of skincare that everyone is one hundred per cent in agreeance about - USE SUNSCREEN! Buy the good sh*t. Don’t kid yourself. You need it!! Science agrees is the most important step to keep skin looking youthful. I love that this one is lightweight, and so slips easily under makeup and has a super high SPF of 50. It’s the most un-SPF feeling SPF I’ve ever used. Another great option is Dermaviduals SPF 30 (which is really nice and non-chalky) but only available in certain beauty salons. I also like using a foundation which has SPF in it like the brilliant Teint Idole Ultra Wear by Lancome. I am currently obsessed with this foundation and how milky, stretchy, and creamy it is. That way, you can put it on and set and forget!
FACIAL OILS, SERUMS & MOISTURISERS
I continue to use Margaret Hema Millenium Oil for the nights my skin needs extra nourishment and I’m not using a Retinol moisturiser (more below). Otherwise, for a quick and easy day-time moisture its Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant 24 Hour Moisturiser for me. I find the texture is just right and quickly absorbs when I’m in a rush in the morning. I am also obsessed with layering the Kate Sommerville Bio-Mimicking Peptides Biomimetiques Serum which smooths and firms (oh boy, does it firm!) with Lancome Advanced Genifique. Yep: I’m a sucker for a hydrating serum, and Advanced Genifique is truly epic. Its been newly reformulated with prebiotics to boost the skin’s barrier recovery. It also still balances hydration levels, radiance, fine lines and generally keeps my skin looking swanky. All this high-quality moisturiser got this girl G-L-O-W-I-N-G! Also shout-out to ever-trusty Advanced Night Repair from Estee Lauder.
RETINOL + VITAMIN C
I’m still a newbie to the world of retinol and am trying to find my footing still. It can be easy to overuse these and then see your skin flaking, which might lead one to run back to the safety of old-school moisturiser alone. I’ve decided to persist however and try and find my retinol ‘sweet spot’. I’ve now probably tried about 3 styles of retinol and hadn’t found anything that clicked until recently. Now, I cannot say what that will be for you, however, I must highly recommend Kate Sommerville’s +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturiser which is SUBLIME (firms, brightens and smooths) and the +Retinol Vita C Power Serum (firming and brightening treatment). My skin LOVES these…when I use them correctly. That means applying 2 times a week, not nightly (or else my skin freaks out) and making sure I wear SPF each and every day. I just have to be a bit more vigilant than I’m used to (I am quite lazy). The result? The clearest, brightest skin I’ve ever had which looks polished and balanced. Not bad at all. I take my hat off to you Ms Sommerville. You’re quite the talent, I dear say. For more information, I’m going to watch Caroline Hirons video about Retinols - because she knows what’s up!
I tend to use sheet masks from time to time, or otherwise use an oil at nighttime. However, I’ve become a bit of a fan of the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque. This is like bathing your skin in hyaluronic acid at night time and it helps to stimulate the skins natural moisturising factor, helping to zap fine lines and wrinkles. Also, love that it is fragrance, colour and paraben-free!
I’m a fan of Wunderbalm natural deodorant. Wellington made, and in a handy roller, this is a great alternative is Mitchem isn’t for you and you’re looking to go natural with your armpits. (I am looking forward to doing a bigger review of this product line in a few weeks, but its one to watch out for!) Other favourites this year include the amazing relaxing Lunar essential oil roller from The Wellington Apothecary which was kindly gifted by my lovely friend Dasha for my birthday. I am still loving the Glossier fragrance, which smells like a warm powdery rosy hug. I also am so glad I got a fancy desk hand-moisturiser from Diptyque in Fig because it is just a lovely treat on a bad day at work.