How I built my perfect skincare routine

Have you ever heard of Ethylhexylglycerin? How about Tetrasodium EDTA? Or Triethanolamine, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, and Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate? No, me neither. I have this strange interest in Googling ingredients in skincare that I use to know what it is. I’ve stopped using products because I saw one ingredient that may be harmful to humans, and I just felt a bit stressed by it all. What should I be using and what shouldn’t I be using?

I started to focus on my skincare recently as I was suffering from some breakouts and redness and really wanted to have skin, I was so happy with that I would go out without any make up. I also felt a bit uninspired by the skin care that I had been using. I’d used the same wash and moisturizer for about a year and a half and while my skin was OK apart from a few spots here and there and some oiliness, I just felt like I could do better. I knew people whose skin glowed every day and rarely had acne or days where their nose became an oil slick like mine, and I just wanted to know how. Two words, skincare routine. A strong skincare routine that focused on their skin type, issues they had and the result they wanted.

I went online and searched for ‘What is the perfect skincare routine recommended by Dermatologists?’ and I got so many different articles and videos that all had slightly different answers. I just wanted someone to say, “here you go, this is what you need to be using”. However, life isn’t always that easy. During all my searching, I came across a YouTube channel in my google search, Hyram. I may be late to the party, but I was hooked! I think I watched almost every video he made over the next few days and devoured the information he had. I made notes, took screenshots, and researched products and ingredients that he talked about. I went full school project with this.

What I loved about Hyram was that he made skin care understandable and approachable to me which I’ve never really had before. I understood what he was talking about and could relate to some of the things he said. It was hard to choose just a few of my favourite videos by Hyram but I’ve listed what I feel are useful to start off with:

How to find your skin type

How to read an ingredient list

Why I hate fragrance in skincare

My top skin care brands of all time

So, with all this advice and information under my belt, I started to think about my skincare routine step by step. Firstly, what is my skin type? My skin type is combination, so I have a lovely oily T-zone with dry cheeks. Secondly, I thought about what problems I wanted to address, and the main things were; redness, occasional acne and reducing my oily T-zone. Then, I went through all my notes and information and thought about what steps I would benefit from in a skin care routine. I’m not much of a morning person so getting out of bed and having a 15-step skin care routine doesn’t really excite me so I wanted something effective but also something that wouldn’t take me until lunch time. I’ve set out links to my skincare routine below and what products I have been using.

Cleansing: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser | 236ml/8oz | Daily Face, Body & Hand Wash for Normal to Oily Skin – I use this cleanser morning and night and find that it cleanses my skin really well without leaving it feeling dry or stripped.

Serum: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 30ml – This serum has been my saviour for redness and spots! So many people recommend this and with good reason as it also helps to balance out my oily T-zone. I use this morning and night.

Eye Cream: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream | 14 ml/0.5 oz | Eye Cream for Dark Circles & Puffiness – I love this eye cream! I suffer from dark circles under my eyes which are mostly genetic so I will never fully be rid of them. However, this cream has niacinamide as one of the top ingredients so has made a visible difference to under my eyes and I am so pleased with it! I use this morning and night,

Moisturising/SPF: CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25 | 52ml/1.75oz | Daily Facial Moisturiser with SPF for Normal to Dry Skin – I spent some time looking for a good moisturiser that also had a decent SPF in it and this is what I found. It’s really hydrating but doesn’t make my skin feel sticky or heavy. I use this in the morning,

Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum – From all my research, I know now that it’s important to use a different cream at night as your skin is doing different things while you sleep compared with during the day. I love this night treatment because I wake up with my skin feeling refreshed and hydrated but not congested, it’s fantastic for repairing skin damage and smells so fresh.

Exfoliation: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 30ml, 10-Minute Exfoliating Facial – I love using this instead of a ‘traditional’ physical exfoliant. Once a week, I leave it on for 10 minutes, wash it off and my skin is smooth and glowing.

So, what is my verdict? I’ve spent a lot of money on skin care over the years and wasted a lot which I hate but it’s simply down to the fact that I didn’t spend enough time researching a product or what I needed to use. I tried an all-natural brand which built a skin care routine for me on their website, and I happily ordered the lot. Sadly, it completely stripped my skin, made the oily T-zone so much worse and made my skin feel a little bit painful. That’s what pushed me to doing this and I can honestly say I wish I had done this years ago. I’ve been following my skin care routine now for four weeks and my skin looks amazing! The redness has nearly completely gone, I don’t get break outs anymore and the odd spot that slips through is gone within a day, but the biggest benefit is how I feel in my skin. I would happily go out now without make up on and my face feels so healthy and glowing!

I can highly recommend finding your own perfect skin care routine as mine might not work for you even if you have combination skin. Spend some time researching products, watching videos and thinking about what you need from your skin care before jumping in as it will save you a lot of time, money and possibly pain in the long run.

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