Welcome to another Self-Care Sunday post, because they really are my favourite posts to write & I’m an advocate for self-care. I’m also an advocate of a full blown 10 step Korean skin care routine which I’ve spoken about before. HOWEVER since lockdown & being furloughed I haven’t had my usual cash flow to spend on all the new products & deals I usually get excited about & this has made me realise there is in fact a movement of FAST BEAUTY. I did however treat myself to the book Minimal by Madeleine Olivia & that taught me a lot (post coming next week on my Minimal takeaways).
So I’ve stripped back the makeup & the amount of product I’ve used on my skin (I’m still sticking with the Korean 10 steps but just mixing it up more). And that is what I want to help you with, finding a beauty self-care routine that works FOR YOU. Sure I’ll share with you the products I’m loving & why but I don’t expect you to go & buy these exact ones, unless you think hey I have that issue to I’ll give it a try! In which case great but as always none of these products are gifted or sponsored I just want to help you feel less overwhelmed by the beauty industry & more in control of your skin.
So with that here are my 10 none negotiables when it comes to beauty just invest in the products that work for you & your skin. We’re all different after all, but for your benefit I have listed my ride or dies.
♡ Healthy Fats
Because I really notice a difference in my skin when I go a few days without an element of healthy fats in my diet. I’m really trying to find a balance & do more for the environment which has lead to me starting a love affair with oat milk to cut back on the carbon foot print & water used for almond or coconut milk & less avocados in my diet, again because of the carbon foot print (& did anyone see the Netflix documentary on the Mexican avocado wars?!?!) but honestly I noticed my skin was just a little off, a little less glowey even the whites of my eyes seemed duller (yes this could just be due to more time to analyse my face in the mirror..) Avocados for example are full of vitamin C & E, and really keep your skin flexible and moisturised.
♡ A Good Nights Sleep
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! Sleep does AMAZING things for not only your body, muscles, brain but also your skin (& lets not forget those eye circles). It’s literally the foundation of youth & effectiveness. We tend to spend 6-8 hours sleeping so your sleep situation should very much be optimised. This means putting some thought into the way you sleep- like the vibes you create while you sleep & how long you sleep for. Listening to Tim Farris Tool of the Titans I learnt exactly how susceptible to light & sounds we are. I haven’t brought myself to sleeping in ear plugs just yet (Seriously I’m glad construction sites are back up & running but the drilling from 6am is not working for me).
Personally, I need at least 7-8 hours- but like 8 & a half if I’m being a greedy bitch. I’ve recently discovered weighted eye masks which is as essential for beauty sleep as a good night cream. It’s gloriously weighty (it feels a bit odd at first but you soon get used to it) you’ll even find really calming & it’s large enough to block out the light. I find this so useful at the moment, here in the U.K. it’s not completely dark if I go to bed early around 10pm & the street lights outside don’t help either. This blocks out all the lights & tells my brain to get a good nights rest, I usually take it off half way through the night which that allows me benefit from the sun coming through the windows in a morning & getting me out of bed.
♡ A Wet Brush
If you don’t have a wet brush, GET ONE NOW. I’m not kidding. This brush is a total game changer. It miraculously detangles the biggest, dread lock knots, without doing damage to your hair. My hair tends to get quite knotty as my heat free curls hack involves wrapping it around a head band, the wind causes it to fly EVERYWHERE & even in the winter a oversized comfy scarf causes just as much havoc! Honestly I got my first Wet Brush in a Birchbox many years ago & I’ve never switched back the bristles are flexible yet effective, with a soft tip to go easy on the scalp while stimulating circulation for healthier skin & hair. It’s not ideal that these are made of plastic but in the last five years I’ve only had this one brush so I hope that counts for something!
♡ A Damn Good Cleanser
You’re going to need to clean your face – FACT. And you should use a facial cleanser as these are designed to be kind to the skin on your face which goes through a lot more damage daily than the skin anywhere else on your body (maybe not your hands I’ll look into that). A lot of people swear by the double clean technique which uses an oil base cleanser first followed by a water based cleanser. This is where I’ve really started to tone it down as I just didn’t feel like this was working for me all the time. I do use an oil cleanser when wearing make up I’ve said countless times I love Elemis Pro-Collagen cleanser and it removes all the makeup from my pores without any harsh pulling at my skin but I now ONLY use this when wearing makeup, on that note I’m almost out so next I’ll definitely be trying plain olive oil or grape seed oil as I’ve heard both are ideal for removing makeup. Any normal night I stick to a standard face wash. Currently using Glow Recipe Blueberry Cleanser. I love this not only because it smells AMAZING (even my boyfriend loves to treat himself with this cleanser) but it’s an antioxidant-rich gel cleanser. After using this my face feels thoroughly cleansed and deeply hydrated simultaneously. Feeling super eco friendly? Why not try a bar of soap. I actually love Herbivore Pink Clay soap for my body but I haven’t made the switch for my face YET.
♡ An Exfoliator
I love love love a good exfoliator. It always leaves my skin feeling super soft & extra glowey as it removes the top layer of dead skill cells. I consider this an essential in a skincare routine as it just makes sense. Your skin shreds dead cells & they contribute to dust which is gross! Exfoliators help your skin by getting rid of that top layer in a healthy way. A good exfoliator will leave your skin hydrated not tight & tingling. Currently using Fresh Sugar Face Polish, the nourishing oils from the brown sugar and strawberry seeds also leave skin feeling velvety soft and smooth long after you’ve washed this face mask off. It’s also super fun to make your own face scrub, personally I love a coffee scrub made from my morning left over coffee & coconut oil. I always leave a scrub on for a while & let the oils sink into my skin once I’ve opened my pores. It’s just what works for me.
♡ A Serum
So I listed this point as A serum, as in just one. Because I’m sure there a serums out there with great results used day and night. In fact my boyfriend uses the same serum day & night & he swears by he’s current routine. I actually still have a lot of products to use up so I’m currently still using a Vitamin C based serum in the morning & a hydrating serum on an evening. Honestly you probably could skip serums if you wanted to tone it right down but I feel they are great for targeting & treating specific skin problems. Currently loving Pai skincare Instant Calm Serum. Reducing the appearance of redness and rosacea with strengthening sea aster and comforting wild oat, the formula also stimulates collagen and elastin to plump skin and minimise the appearance of fine lines. I find this works wonders on my skin especially post my long Sunday evening runs which at the moment are about 6 miles leaving my skin red patchy super sensitive & my pores full of pollution.
♡ Gua Sha OR Face Roller Benefits
Natural, alternative therapy, helps iron out wrinkles, improves circulation, amazing for lymphatic drainage, reduces inflammation & the list goes on…. That’s why Gua Sha or the Face Roller is the number one tool in slow beauty! No face lift required, just leave in a cool place & use day & night. Personally I’m hooked on the Gua Sha at the moment in rose quartz just became I feel like the shape works well for me I do use my Jade Facial Roller for around the eyes & I keep both in the freezer. Key thing to keep in mind is you want your skin well lubricated to allow your tool of choice to glide over your skin you don’t want to pull at the skin. Use a good serum or an oil. I’ve found Discipline Skincare Discovery Skin Kit works really well for this with a morning & evening oil both brimming with essential fatty acids, hormone-balancing essential oils and bad bacteria-fighting probiotics.
Day & night, again I’m sure you can get one that suits your skin 24/7 but I’m still using two (I said I’m REDUCING my routine didn’t say I was there yet!) Personally I love a lighter weight option in the day that I can build on with SPF & makeup if I want & a thicker mask option on an evening. My evening option hasn’t changed in over a year & theres a reason this little vitamin filled cocktail mask is the number one product on my Instagram feed. The Summer Fridays jet lag mask was designed for traveling & preventing you from looking like a dried prune when you step off the plane. I’ve found it works wonders after a night drinking gin on the sofa watching movies with the boyfriend & here’s why: firstly quick & fuss free it’s for someone who’s busy & ON THE MOVE but still wants supermodel skin (all while drinking champagne & eating unsalted peanuts, okay in like down its more G&T with some popcorn!) DON’T ASK FOR MUCH.
you can’t go wrong here- just apply a nice even layer before bed & get a good nights beauty sleep. ALSO Summer Fridays use aluminium tubes which are recyclable & help you get all the product out with less waste.
My Day option is Lanolips Face Base Vitamin E Day Cream boasts a heavy hit of hydration followed by an injection of vitamin E for environmental protection which as a city goer is a MUST!
Just do you here, go for light, heavy, SPF infused, tinted etc… Personally I love a basic moisturiser I can add to & a few bronzing drops for that healthy glow never go a miss.
I don’t care how minimal you are, how late you’re running there is no I repeat there is NO excuse for not using an SPF. Instead of boring you with the details again I’ll just suggest you read (or re-read) this post on they whys & which environmental friendly SPF’s you should be wearing.
I’m a lover of a good mask & home facial (click here for how you can get a full blown facial at home). HOWEVER I have moved away from sheet masks for environmental reasons. They use unnecessary amounts of plastics & even the biodegradable masks aren’t great for the environment due to their single use packaging. Sheet masks do have benefits as they create a barrier between the essence (the liquid that the mask is soaked in) & the air helping you get all the benefits. There are many masks that work wonders without the need for a single use sheet. My current favourite is the Indie Lee Clearing Mask but I have a few different ones depending on what my skin is doing & what I’ve been up to. The Indie Lee mask is ideal when I’ve run along side busy roads and my pores feel clogged up & gross. This gentle yet effective mask is a must for green beauty fans. It contains two hard-working acids to dissolve dead skin cells & purge pores of impurities, preventing spot-causing bacteria from multiplying. It uses bentonite clay to bind & eradicate bacteria & toxins, lifting them away so your complexion can repair itself effectively. My favourite ingredient is the addition of chamomile & camphor which helps to soothe redness & inflammation.
So there you have my 10 beauty basics, & yes I consider this a reduced routine. I do want to address the amount of products I currently have & tell you to look out for my decluttering post coming soon.
I hope you found this useful, let me know your ride or die products & what works for you.
– love tee xo