Ever since my sunscreen drama happened in the summer of 2017, my makeup menu significantly reduced its size and my skin has been feeling much better. But when the summer season arrives, I’m now trying to go quite minimal on the skincare front, as well. I’ve never been one to do 11-step routines anyway but the dermatologist that has been helping me the most suggested that I skipped moisturiser in the warmer days and just opt for a hydrating sunscreen. As for the evenings, a lightweight serum or cream are still a must because I need something nourishing after applying my retinoid.
In this post I wanted to share the base of my routine at the moment and I’d like to mention that I’m not featuring face masks that I usually do twice a week and my retinoid is still Differin for most of the time but I tend to use it only 3-4 times a week in the summer. Sometimes I’ll switch it up and use a different product but the main idea is still the same.
My morning rituals start with a cleanse and continue with a serum and a sunscreen while in the evening after cleansing, I’ll apply an acid toner (only if I’m not using retinoid that day) and then finish off with something moisturising.
Cleanse: I’ve been using the COSRX Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser in the past few weeks and although I think it’s a bit too early to give my final thoughts on it, my first impressions are quite positive. One of the most important things in a cleanser for me is to be soap-free and that was the main reason why I picked this one up. It has a gel texture which is my favourite for a morning cleanse and feels really refreshing and purifying but doesn’t leave my skin dry or stripped. Before using it, I thought it would be good just in the summer but it’s so mild and gentle that I see myself reaching for it in the winter, as well. I think packaging could be improved and if you don’t like the smell of tea tree oil, this one would really irritate you but so far, I like the soft and clean feel of the cleanser.
Serum: When I first visited my current dermatologist and shared with her my routine, she replied: “You really know your ingredients, don’t you?”. I love skincare, I read a lot and one of the best ingredients I’ve come across must be niacinamide. Years ago, I’d been using it even without knowing it was part of my favourite products. Niacinamide improves the appearance of enlarged pores, fine lines, uneven skin tone and dullness but it also helps the skin barrier function and reduces the damage that the environment around us can cause. Garden of Wisdom Niacinamide Serum is a product I got a few weeks ago and it’s probably my favourite affordable option I’ve tried. I can’t wait to pick up some more items from the brand’s range because I can see how this serum helps regulate the oil production and my complexion has been looking brighter since I started using it.
Sunscreen: That’s the hardest one to find. I’ve made so many mistakes with sunscreens, they’ve done a lot of damage to my skin mainly by clogging my pores and I still think there isn’t a really sophisticated sunscreen that can also give you the best protection possible. At least that’s the case with combination/oily and blemish-prone skin. You always have to sacrifice something when it comes to sun protection. But let this not be the health of our skin. That’s why I prefer to look a bit shiny but to still be protected from the sun. Luckily, the Heliocare Color Gelcream SPF 50 doesn’t look that shiny and feels incredibly lightweight. I love this tinted SPF and I’ve been reaching for it almost every day since I got it. I’ve also featured it in my July Favourites post and if I’m using a clear sunscreen, I’d probably go for something like the Kiss My Face SPF 30 Sensitive Side (part of my June Favourites) which takes a bit longer to absorb and looks a lot more dewy on my combination skin but it doesn’t break me out.
Last summer I was not allowed to use micellar water as it can aggravate the skin problems sometimes but as it’s all gone now, it’s back on my shelf. I just like taking off the majority of my makeup and sunscreen before cleansing because smearing all the dirt, mascara and foundation with cleansing balm/oil all over my face is something that truly disgusts me. After removing the top layer, I can calmly proceed towards the proper cleansing.
Cleanse: I start by soaking two cotton pads with the Simple Micellar Water, I just find it to be one of the most gentle ones out there. I’ve been really liking the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm lately, it’s the first cleansing balm that doesn’t break me out and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. It’s such a nice cleanser that removes impurities and it’s easy to wash off with a hot cloth but also hydrates the skin and doesn’t irritate it. The balm contains Sunflower Oil and Ginger Root Oil to cleanse and nourish the skin, Moringa tree extract to purify, Papaya Extract which is a natural exfoliator and a blend of Lime, Bergamot and Orange essential oils. Yes, essential oils… essential oils were the ingredients that made me feel unsure whether I wanted to try this balm or not. I’m not a fan of essential oils in skincare, they break me out and irritate my skin. Like I said, this cleansing balm doesn’t break me out but if you’re with sensitive, acne-prone skin, I’d suggest getting a sample before committing to the full size.
Otherwise, it’s the most beautiful cleansing balm I’ve ever tried, it has a such a lovely texture and feel to it.
I’m curious to know if anyone can share a comparison between this cleansing balm and the Banila Co. one because the latter is next up on my wishlist.
Acid Toner: There’s no surprise here, I’ve been reaching for my old favourite Pixi Glow Tonic, it’s a great resurfacer, it gives a beautiful glow to the skin and keeps me blemish-free. I need to get the huge pump bottle!
Moisturiser: It’s a bit difficult to pick an evening moisturiser because I’ve been trying quite a few lately but one that I seem to always go back to is the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid. It’s another product with ingredient that I’m trying to avoid, this time alcohol but it makes such a difference to my skin. It makes it look so plump and healthy, it’s so soothing and nourishing without being heavy, I really love it. I use it on its own in the summer (I especially enjoy it on a day when I’m using Differin, it’s so calming when I apply it 30 minutes after the retinoid) but when it’s colder I use it as a serum. Ceramides protect skin from moisture loss and damage from pollution, they also have anti-ageing properties. I’ve tried the whole Ceramidin range from Dr. Jart+ and I think there’s a product for everyone in it, I’m lucky to have my skin getting along with all of the products but friends with oily skin prefer the liquid or the gel cream while my boyfriend’s dry skin asks for the cream.
I’m really pleased with my current minimal routine, I feel like I’m giving my skin what it needs without layering too many products while it’s still hydrated and plump.
Do you reduce the amount of products you use in the warmer days?