My 9 personal skincare essentials
It seems like 9 is starting to become a trend on this blog, so here there are my 9 skincare essential products I have been using lately and which we (my skin and I, of course) have been enjoying so very much. So if you like this topic and you are curious keep on reading and please tell me which are your favourite skincare products!
Since I am approaching my thirties (yes, I know, it feels like yesterday we were singing "Cry me a river" by JT - the song will turn 20 years in 2022, how crazy is that?!) my skin is going through a kind of a whole new journey and needs more / different attentions.
Let's start from the basics. I have been lucky enough in my life to not have any kind of big skin issues - though I have a bunch of other issues, but this is not the right place to discuss about them - and it's always been quite clear, except for rare breakouts every now and then, caused mainly by some major changes in hormones, food etc. I would say I have a normal skin which is shifting into more of a combination skin lately, that is in some places (such as around the mouth, nose and eyes) it gets dry, while it is normal on the rest of the face.
I have always loved taking care of my skin, mainly as a form of relaxation and self-care.
I have been trying so many different skincare techniques (from the Korean skin-care with all the 10 steps - if you don't know what I'm talking about I'll leave you to this video, to the super essential skin-care with only two products) and still experimenting today aiming to find the perfect combinations.
I will leave you here the products that have become part of my routine lately and will definitely re-buy.
The Ordinary - AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Until last year I didn't even know what chemical exfoliants were and - even right after discovering them, to be honest - the word "chemical" was a little scary to me. Finally, one day I decided to give them a try and purchased the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution from The Ordinary. An acid-based serum that removes dead skin cells and instantly gives it a more radiant look. I do it once a week (except in summer, since the skin could get burned if exposed to the sun without sunscreen after being exfoliated) and for the following days I avoid any other kind of both physical and chemical exfoliation and always use SPF, since this one is already intense enough itself. By the way Douglas has dedicated a whole page to The Ordinary products, which I recommend you to read if interested in the brand (click here).
Khiel's - Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
Another product I bought on the Douglas website is the Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing mask from Khiel's, which I am loving at the moment. It is a purifying clay face mask that smoothes and minimises the appearance of pores, while also reducing the presence of blackheads. I wouldn't say it is suitable for people with extremely dry skin (I avoid applying it onto dry spots on my face) but for normal to oily skin is great. I use this once/twice a week as well and it really makes a difference!
Kiko - Pure Clean Foam
Moving on to the proper face wash step, as the second step of the double-cleansing process (for the first one I always use an oil-based product) I like to use a foaming cleanser, as gentle as possible. I recently discovered this Pure Clean Foam cleanser by Kiko (I must say that Kiko has made a lot of progress in terms of skin care) which I really like: the scent is great - and that's something not easy to find in a cleanser - but, above all, it doesn't dry out the skin in any way. In fact, after washing the face, my skin still looks plumped, never dry and / or itchy. However I am so curious to try Lolla's Hey Cutie cleansers - which are out of stock at the moment, but will definitely be purchasing them when I run out of mine.
Lush - Tea Tree Water
Another type of product I've recently added to my skincare routine is toner: a product that I have always underestimated but that has now become part of a ritual for me (skippable, of course, but definitely nice on the skin). I haven't tried enough toners yet to say that this Tea Tree Water from Lush is my absolute favorite, but I can say that I really like it so far (I'm almost at half the bottle). It's moisturizing, fresh and it contains tea tree oil, which has disinfecting and purifying properties (essential for those who live in cities with very polluted air, like Milan) and it smells great. Using the toner and hence moistening the skin also helps the next product I will be talking about it to be absorbed quicker onto the face (click here to know why).
The Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
And here it is. The king of the skincare products. Hyaluronic Acid. I personally love this one from The Ordinary (yes, again!) and I have been repurchasing it many many times, first of all because the price/quality ratio is really good, secondly because it also contains vitamin B5, which is another moisturizing active ingredient, that also helps enhancing the skin's healing process. I use it every single day at night, right before applying the cream and going to bed. If you feel your skin needs a boost of hydration, which your face cream is not able to give you, you should definitely try to layer a hyaluronic-based serum underneath!
The Inkey List - Caffeine Eye-Cream
Eye cream is a controversial one: you either love it or hate it. I've spent so much time disparaging it, mainly because I tried one a few years ago but it was way too moisturizing and it caused me some sort of skin reaction, but then, I mean, I was a few years younger and probably didn't even need to use an eye cream. Anyways, as the years passed my lifestyle definitely changed and I came across this Caffeine eye-cream from The Inkey List, which is not (only) an anti-wrinkle product but also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, containing a derivative of coffee that helps to mitigate puffiness and dark circles. I noticed a slight improvement since I've been using it, not so much in terms of puffiness (because I don't suffer from it) but in terms of pigmentation. The thing I like the most about this product is the instant hydration it gives me and also its super affordable price (around 10€ at Sephora - p.s. : until next Sunday 14/02/2021 you get a 25% discount and on their website with the code BLOVE, you're welcome!)
Visible Difference Moisture Cream - Elizabeth Arden
And here we come to the most important product of the entire skincare: face cream.
I have never been very consistent with the use of face creams in terms of product / brand continuity. I have tried many, many creams and usually my skin needs different levels of hydration depending on the season. For example, in the summer I prefer to use lighter gel creams, like the Re-Boost cream by Clarins. In winter, though, I might need a thicker cream. However one thing I do hate is buying and using two different creams between day and night, it seems so silly to me! I would rather layer more products (like I do with hyaluronic acid for example) to achieve the level of hydration I need. So, as soon as summer ended, I set out to find a cream that would work for both day and night and which did not cost a fortune. I found this Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Moisture Cream at a super discount price on Amazon and decided to give it a try. Honestly at first I was a little disconcerted by the consistency, definitely different than a normal cream, it feels more like the consistency of a hand cream. After a few days of use, however, I completely fell in love with it. It moisturizes, it's not greasy, it absorbs very well, it's an excellent makeup base, it has a very pleasant light scent and, above all, it really gives the skin a more radiant look, minimizing the grain. If you are looking for a moisturizing face cream try it and let me know!
Reusable Cotton / Bamboo Cleansing Pads
Another product recently added to my skincare kit / routine, although it is not a purely skincare product but more of a tool, are the reusable cotton and bamboo pads. It was part of my Secret Santa gift (for which I thank my lovely friend Fabiana <3) and I did really want them so much. First of all in order to start avoiding using disposable pads, which represent such a huge waste, and then because these pads are super gentle on the skin. I use them for both makeup removal and toner application.
Yves Rocher - Karitè Lip Balm
Last but not leas, since I always use it after skincare and / or before going to bed I could not skip mentioning the Yves Rocher Lip Balm, which is probably one of the most hydrating ones I have ever tried and it is also quite cheap with respect to the average price. My Mom knows I love it and that's why she bought me a supply that will probably last me until 2025. So thank you Mum!
And which are your skincare essentials?