Five Skincare Tips I Have Learned Recently + Product Recommendations

by - June 09, 2020

My skincare tips

Learning about skincare is a lifelong journey, so let's look at what I've learned so far...
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I am no skincare guru, and I am still learning a lot about skincare, but I love taking care of my skin and making sure that it feels great both inside and outside. I have also noticed that over the last year and a bit, my skin has never looked better - ever since I started to take skincare seriously! So I wanted to share my tips with everyone out here who's not a pro, but who wants to easily take care of their skin and keep it healthy. These tips may apply to you, or they may not: there is no one size fits all, but I hope that some of those tips can be helpful or inspire you take care of your skin. These are not scientific facts, only obversations of what worked for me - hoping that it will work for you too!

We've all done it when we were younger: picked skincare products based on their cute packaging or the fact that they were super cheap; not really paying attention to the ingredient list, or what they actually do for your skin. Of course there is a natural progression and we all learn and get better as we grow, but I really think the sooner we take skincare seriously, the better. I used to buy any product that looked alright at the grocery store. This would lead to various results: sometimes it worked out, sometimes my skin broke out. I went from extremely oily skin to persistent dry patches, not really knowing why. This must have to some extent been due to hormones (I am 25 now) but also the fact that I didn't really pay all that much attention to what I put on my skin. After a while, I decided to teach myself how to pick the right products. I read informative reviews and chose products based on their ingredients, and what those ingredients promised for the skin. Ever since I made this conscious decision, my skin has regulated itself, feels much better and it changed down to its type (my skin is not as oily at all anymore) and my pimples and break outs have massively, massively reduced. In short: check out ingredient lists and pick products that are trustworthy. Don't settle for just any product because "why not, it can't be that bad."

It's great to discover new brands, new products and formulas, but I would say that using the same products over a length of time really helped me achieve a nicer skin. For over a year now I have been using my The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% toner for exfoliation, and I always reach for it with the same enthusiasm as I did when I first got it. It's great at keeping my skin bright and clear. This doesn't mean I will use this same toner forever now, of course, but I plan on using it many more months and once it runs out, I may try a different product - after great research, as suggested in number one. So think about the few products that you've used recently and that have made a real difference on your skin, and keep them around! I would say that for people, like me, who are not keen to discover new products and swap their routines on the daily, then this is the best course of action - to stick to what works for some time, before changing up products in your routine, especially if you want to change up a few at the same time.

my favourite skincare products

Do I even need to say this? You should always make sure to remove your makeup properly every evening, even when you come back from a night out or just can't be bothered. You can't take great care of your skin one week, and give it up the next. Like every good routine, you need to be consistent to see long-lasting effects. Find the routine that works for you, with the right products morning and evening, and make sure you stick to it. This doesn't mean you have to do a full 20-minute routine every day - I am far from doing that myself! But even the smallest of routines, with only a couple products if that works for you, needs to be kept up to work long-term. Think about it as investing time and care in yourself.

Recently, more and more brands have been putting the ingredients of their products at the forefront, which I think is great. You need to know exactly what you're putting on your skin, and personnally I will more likely look into a product called "Hyaluronic Acid Serum" than one called "Beautiful Glowy Plump Visage Miracle". I like that some brands are favouring "non-nonsense" products and marketing now, with products going straight to the point, with relevant "how to use" instructions and even (when we're lucky) the percentage of the key product(s) notified - especially great for acids and vitamins. I find that using products with a main ingredient in them, such as a HA product, a Vitamin C product, a Retinol product, an SPF, etc. makes it easier to build a routine, if you're still not 100% familiar with which products you should get and what multitaskers would work for you. Listen to your skin and find out its needs, then you can look into the products that you should use. I love The Ordinary and The Inkey List, they are great for non-professionals like myself who need straight-forward advice and want to know what products to use, when, and for what purpose, very easily. Keep reading so see my current favourite "no-nonsense" skincare products, I've listed them down below! 

I will preface this by saying that I am very guilty of touching my own face all the time, and by writing this I am committing, with you, to trying to stop this bad habit! Touching your skin with most likely dirty hands is not good, especially these days where we are fighting a virus - we get all sorts of nasty stuff on our face by touching it. Let's make a conscious effort to stop that. Easier said that done, but it can be a little challenge to set yourself. I know that for some weird reason I always, always absent-mindedly touch the sides of my face when I'm thinking, close to my hairline, and by coincidence (or not...) it is the area where I tend to get small pimples the most regularly. I touch my phone, then I touch my skin - not a great combination! So I need to stop myself from doing that. And maybe you should too, if you have the same problem as me. Let me know in the comments if you can relate to this!

DoctorAnne is the place to go for detailed reviews with lots of details about product ingredients, their use, their effect, how to pair them, etc. Anne is always ready to answer questions from her readers, and she backs up her reviews with her research, scientific facts and studies, and her own experience using the products. She's helped me more times than I can recall! 
JasmineTalksBeauty is another great blog for thorough product reviews. Jasmine tries out products from so many brands, and I often learn about new brands reading her posts. She is a great source of information if you're looking into changing your routine or creating a brand-new routine, and looking from new brands to discover. Jasmine also blogs about makeup and is just as knowledgeable in that regard, so bonus points!

I have a very small skincare routine. Mostly because I don't like the fuss and enjoy easy and quick steps - same in my makeup habits and routine. However I can say that these few products have really made my skin so much better. Clearer, moisturised (farewell dry spots and excessive oil production!) and this, on the long term - which is the most important for me. 

favourite skincare products

Avene Clearance Mask: Avène is a French pharmarcy brand, and they have amazing products for face, body and hair cake. Their body soaps are wonderful and make you skin silky smooth, and so does their Clearance Mask. It is a face mask that I use every 5 days or so. I leave it on the face for between 6 to 10 minutes. It has a few tiny grains for exfoliation, but so few that it is very gentle. It leaves the face super moisturised and clean.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: This toner is quite popular among skincare blogs I think, and for a reason! Ever since I started to use acid exfoliators I have preferred them to physical ones, and before this one I used the Pixi Glow Tonic, which is also awesome. The Ordinary is a wonderful brand for cheap skincare that you can trust, especially when you start out. I use this toner every other day (thanks to DoctorAnne's advice!) and it is great to clear out the skin.
The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid: Ever since I started using HA it has made a big change in my skin, it's much smoother and plumper, especially under my eyes and between my eyebrows, where I would usually get wrinkles of expression. I love the texture of this HA, it's a clear gel that sinks into the skin nicely.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi Squalane: Squalane can be used on your face but also in your hair. This one is natural, however squalane can be produced synthetically or from animals - both of which I of course wouldn't recommend. Squalane is a derivative from one of the natural components of sebum, hence why it can be used on the skin and the hair. It helps calming and softening the skin, which is great when you use a toner like I do. The texture is comparable to water and you only need a few drops for the whole face, making it a great product to keep in your routine on the long run.
My Clarins Relaxing Sleep Mask: My Clarins is Clarins's 'little sister' in terms of skincare. This sleeping mask doubles as a simple night cream. I have never used it as an actual mask, but use it every night as cream. It is very soft and not heavy at all, and leaves the skin so moisturised - I used a sample of it this winter, and in a couple days the few dry patches I had from the cold had disappeared. This cream is great, and also cheaper than your usual Clarins cream - also good to consider. I found this cream in Sephora.

What are the skincare tips you've learned recently? Let's share in the comments to help each other!

Lots of love,
Julia x

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