Skincare Routine

img_2325A few of you have asked what my skincare routine is and after several years of dropping lots of money on pretty, well marketed bottles of serums and masks, I’ve finally found a routine that suits my sensitive skin. As much as I would love to have gorgeous bathroom shelves of Creme de La Mer it’s just not cost effective (and questionably not skin effective).

I started meeting with Sam from NuYu, who, if you’re in London, I highly recommend. She sat down with me and went through every product I was using on my skin, looked at all the ingredients with me, and we threw out a bunch, kept some, and replaced a few. I’ve started being a lot more considerate about what goes onto my skin, and using brands that come from physicians, dermatologists, and although the packaging isn’t as glam, my skin defintitely is!

The way Sam looks at skincare is like this: Cleanse – Prevent – Correct – Protect.

Cleansing
, Sam recommends an AHA
Prevention, a vitamin C serum (anti oxidant)
Correction, a retinol (vitamin A)
Protect, a B5 serum, SPF 30+

Cleanse

+ Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (US/UK)
+ Obagi Foaming Care Cleanser
+ Nature’s Aid Rose Petal Toner
+ La Roche Posay Serozinc Toner

I use Cetaphil in the mornings and most evenings, swapping out with the Obagi cleanser a few times a week depending on what my skin needs. The Cetaphil is so gentle and the Obagi I use for pore unclogging and to make breakouts go away faster. The Obagi is so cooling on the face, it feels amazing, but it can dry you out so make sure to ease into it by using it a few times a week to begin with. I switch off between the rose petal toner and La Roche Posay, just to remove any leftover makeup or residue. Both feel amazing on my skin {these cotton pads are the best for toner}.


Prevent

+ Medik8 Vitamin C Anti-oxidant Serum
+ La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (US/UK)

The vitamin C serum by Medik8 is a total game changer – my scars and pores have diminished, my skin is super soft, and makeup goes on so much smoother. The Effaclar Duo is perfect for treating spots and large pores, it was recommendd by a French dermatologist we came across while in Greece and I’ve been using it ever since. I use these daily, and the vitamin C serum I use both morning and night.

Correct

Currently waiting until my skin gets stronger to start on a low dose of retinol. It’s something you have to ease your skin into (especially if you have sensitive skin like me), but I’ll be looking at Medik8 for this.

Protect

This can be in the form of a B5/Hyaluronic acid, but I’m trying to find one that works {currently testing out Glossier’s version but not sold just yet}. Sunscreen is also extremely important and I’ve been using this under my makeup.


Masks/Treatments

+ Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque
+ La Roche Posay Hydraphase Masque

I’m currently alternating between two masks: I use the Peter Thomas Roth Sulfur Masque as a spot treatment and it normally zaps pimples in 1-2 days (right now it’s too much on my skin to use as a full mask). The La Roche Posay (can you tell I love this brand?) Hydraphase Masque is perfect for winter when my skin is a little more dry. I’m actually using this as moisturizer right now under my makeup – it’s not too heavy but still super moisturizing.

And that’s it! I’m all about fewer products that work and and though everyone’s skin is completely different, these are all gentle enough that they should have a positive impact on your skin. If I had to pick one from this list that I would bring with me on a deserted island it’d be the vitamin C serum – can’t say enough good things about this.

What are your holy grail products? I’d love to know!

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Beauty Favorites

Like many of you, my beauty regime is constantly changing but these are five things I’ve been using consistently and have been incredibly impressed with lately!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer | I’ve been looking for something between a heavy foundation and going completely without makeup and this tinted moisturizer fits the bill perfectly. It is super light weight and it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing any makeup at all when it’s on. I use this Kabuki brush to pat it on and it leaves my skin smooth and glowy {but not greasy!}

Hair-Vit Capsules | After a recent bad haircut where the stylist took the liberty of chopping off several inches rather than my requested amount {and also leaving me with the front pieces of my hair looking like weird antennae – grrr!} I was desperate to try a few things that would make my hair grow back quickly and healthily. I massaged my hair with coconut oil and castor oil, but I also tried these Hair-Vit capsules, assuming they couldn’t hurt as they’re full of B vitamins, amino acids and iron. While it’s hard to tell if it was the vitamins or a placebo effect, my hair has definitely felt thicker, healthier, and has grown back several inches in the few months since my dreaded haircut. I’ve also noticed a huge difference in the growth of my nails – they’re super strong!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder | This is my new holy grail product – I’ve bought it several times and it’s too good not to share with you. It adds a really subtly iridescent effect to my skin and it doesn’t look powdery at all. It sort of gives you a candle-lit look all the time – definitely worth the money! I like the shade Dim Light the best.

Makeup Artist’s Choice 5 Acid Body Peel | I was sort of weirded out by this product at first as anything with the words acid and peel make me nervous. This is such a good peel though, and I’ve been using it weekly to exfoliate, deep clean, fade scars, and brighten my skin. I thought I’d be peeling for days after this, but you just wash it out in the shower and come out with beautiful, super smooth and bright skin. Definitely a new favorite.

What about you? Any new tried and true beauty products?

DIY Hair Mask

I’ve been using this mask weekly and have been loving it, it leaves my hair super soft and shiny, and I’ve also noticed it’s been a little more resistant to the London humidity. It does not smell good, so brace yourselves, but the results are so worth it, I promise!

Ingredients

+ 1/2 ripe avocado
+ 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
+ 1 egg
+ 1 tablespoon Manuka honey
+ 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions

Combine all ingredients. Apply to clean, wet hair, in sections, focusing on the ends. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. You can tie your hair up and put a hair cap on it to keep it out of the way. Shampoo the mask out, condition, and style as normal.

Three Beauty Products

I wanted to share three beauty products that are getting me through the cold weather. There are a few tools and products that I turn to as my skin and hair seem totally different depending on the months — here are a few that I’ve been using recently.

ONE | Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm | This balm is so good for my hands that get so, so dry in the winter. Especially with how often I wash them {London underground hands, ew} which completely strips any moisture that my hands have. This balm is extremely thick, it takes a while for the skin to absorb it but it keeps my skin so soft. It also smells amazing. very natural and earthy.

TWO | Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Treatment Masque | My hair dresser recommended this to me when I was asking him about getting a keratin treatment done on my hair. He said that the keratin would make my hair too flat and I wouldn’t like it. This was suggested as an alternative to the keratin treatment {and when you’re comparing costs, this masque is a bargain versus the full keratin treatments}. I use this once a week on my hair. There was a noticeable difference the first time I used it {my hair didn’t turn into a NatFro at the first sign of humidity, it kept it’s shape and was really soft} but the more I use it the healthier and stronger my hair gets. It also smells delicious! I will keep buying this, it’s definitely the best treatment I’ve found for my giant, frizzy hair and the price is totally worth it.

THREE | Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid in Golden Radiance | Skin can tend to get a bit ashy in the winter months. I mix this in with my foundation {just a little bit goes a long way} to add in a little more color and a fresh, dewey look. I love it! I wouldn’t recommend it for very oily skin as it could start to look greasy — mine tends to be dry so it works ok for me.

What about you? What beauty products do you incorporate into your routine for winter?

Beauty Favorites Lately

A few of my beauty favorites lately: I never really paid much attention to my skincare before but as I get older I’m getting pickier about what I put on my skin and hair. Two brands that are new to my medicine cabinet: Elemis and Creme de la Mer, and I must say I’m loving them both — the flash balm and refining facial make my skin glow! The Chloé perfume has been on my wish list for forever {I always test it when I’m in Sephora}and the scent is so light and lasts all day which I love. What are some of your beauty favorites lately?   I’m always looking to try out new products!