November 5, 2018
The definitive list of my favourite products. I often get asked which products I recommend for each step of a routine, so thought I would have them all in one place, which can be saved to your favourites tab and referred back to whenever you like. If I discover a new product, I will add it to this list so you can be assured it’s always up to date with my favourites! If you want to find out which products are right for your skin type than head to my skin types + routines blogpost here.
I’ve linked every product under the header description for each skincare category, simply click on the image if you want to find out more about any product – they are affiliate links so I will make a small commission from any sales. AD. I really appreciate anything you buy through these links as it helps support me in the work I do. I’ve tried to include an option to fit each budget for each category.
If you are in the United States – you can find the products below here.
OIL / BALM CLEANSER
I use these to remove my makeup at night. I apply onto dry skin and massage into my skin (even onto my eyes, but more gently around this area) and then remove with a muslin cloth or flannel.
I use these as my second cleanse in the evening, or as my cleanse in the morning. I wash these off with lukewarm water and then gently pat my face with a towel.
Now, I don’t advocate using harsh physical exfoliators, but these are either made with gentle rice bran or use enzymes to gently buff away at any dead skin cells.
You’ll see the best effect from eye cream if you make sure you use it both morning and night. Apply it gently with your ring finger under and around your eye. This area of skin is much more fragile than the rest of your face so be gentle but diligent. You don’t need to use a lot – half a pea size for both eyes is more than enough.
Hydration is key to all healthy skin, no matter your age or skin issues. Serums are perhaps my favourite way to add hydration to the skin as they can go deeper into the layers of the skin than a moisturiser, which sits on top. I use these morning and night. Serums use more concentrated ingredients – such as hyaluronic acid to deliver effective results and should be part of every skincare routine. These are worth investing in. If your skin feels tight it means it is dehydrated and lacking water – these are like a big glass of it for your skin!
I use this after cleansing in the morning. They tend to have Vitamin C as the main antioxidant, which helps to brighten the skin and even skin tone (whether from dark spots or acne scars). Antioxidants helps the skin fight free radicals throughout the day – which means pollution, stress, smoke. You can use alongside chemical exfoliants and other actives.
I love a good mist. Whether it’s to refresh throughout the day, hydrate on a flight or take away any powdery look from my makeup – they have endless uses and sometimes the only thing to wake you up properly after staring at a screen too long. If my skin is feeling sensitive, I also love to mist my face before I apply my serum – as serums absorb better onto moist skin.
A lightweight, liquid product that is to be applied after cleansing to improve the absorption of your products after (ie get the most out of that serum you invested in) while also helping calm redness and dryness.
Only ever for a natural glow (think weekend in Italy rather than 2 weeks in Bali) I started using fake tan on my face years ago as my body goes a lot darker than my face. I’m not a mitt kind of girl and prefer to use boosters (where you add a few drops to your moisturiser) and body lotions and mists that have added benefits of some colour. I use these several times a week on my face and whenever I need a top up on my body.
Normally a water gel texture, I love these in the summer or if my combination skin is feeling a little more on the oily side. They are great hydrators and great on sensitive skin (keep in the fridge for extra cooling effect) as they help strengthen the outer layer of skin – which is your barrier to the world. I apply these after serum.
A non irritating antioxidant that also helps to strengthen the skin barrier, brighten skin and prevent breakouts. A great all rounder that can be used daily in conjunction with other actives.
Namely: salicylic acid. Because it is oil soluble it is able to penetrate into the pore lining where it can dissolve clogs that lead to bumps on the skins surface. It’s also great at calming the skin so if your skin is more sensitive, it’s the one for you. It’s great for breakouts – and even preventing breakouts before they build up. You can use every night, or even just apply to areas that are more prone to clogging. As it comes in many forms, just like AHA’s, it’s easy to incorporate into a daily routine.
Giving your skin enough hydration is something all skin types and skin issues will benefit from. Especially with oily skin and breakouts, people often think they need to dry the skin out – but well hydrated skin is healthy skin and these problems will actually get better with higher moisture levels in the skin. You can use a hydrating mask everyday if you like.
These use clay to draw impurities out of the pores, using a clay mask once or twice a week is a great way to minimise breakouts and clear pores as they help regulate sebum production. Don’t leave on until it’s completely dry (as fun as that may be) – ten minutes is enough. If you have sensitive skin, stick to white clay rather than green.
A great way to add instant hydration to the skin, I love using face masks before big events, too, as they prime the skin really well for makeup. These work well on all skin types, and if there’s a certain ingredient you want infused all over then these are the way to get it in! The sheet is soaked in a serum and by applying this heavy dose of serum to the skin, the sheet acts to stop it evaporating from the skin, and helps it be absorbed = the ingredients work better. I love using a roller on top, too.
I talk a lot about avoiding essential oils since they are natural irritants to the skin. Since I have sensitive skin I can’t use these (citrus are the most irritating for me), but I love using a good oil, especially when the weather is cooler as my skin just drinks it up. Rosehip is a favourite oil of mine as it’s great for hydrating and healing, Squalane is also up there as it’s a natural oil in our skin that helps keep our lipids – aka that all important skin barrier – in check. If your skin is flaky it is lacking oil, so using an oil in the evenings is a great way to replenish moisture levels. And if you have oily skin you should definitely be using an oil! If you give your skin what it needs it will stop producing so much of it itself.
These are products that are great for those prone to redness. Whether you want to physically calm a sudden redness, or want to keep your protected (aka toughened up!) from the elements to keep redness at bay, these are my favourite products to use. You might also want to add in a hydrating serum (see above) into your routine as hydrated skin is a lot less irritated, and dehydrated skin is often why we suffer from redness. Using a soothing mist (also above) throughout the day and after cleansing will help balance the skin too.
Great when taken orally to help the gut, or applied topically to help your skin’s microbiome (healthy bacteria) defend your skin from aggressors such as pollution and sun. Probiotics are the live bacteria, prebiotics are the food they eat. They are clinically proven to calm and soothe the skin as well as help the top layer of your skin (aka your skin barrier) stay hydrated, so whether you have sensitive skin, are prone to breakouts or even suffer from eczema or rosacea these are perfect for you.
Collagen levels in the skin decrease as we age so it’s important to keep levels high for healthy, plump skin. The collagen protein is responsible for the structure of the skin, so when levels are high your skin should be glowing and wrinkle free. You can naturally aid production with facial massage, too. Vitamin C and Retinol helo restore your skin’s natural collagen, too.
LED – aka light emitting diode, or colour light therapy is normally an in salon treatment, but these days there are some wonderful at home options too. They are quite expensive, but consider how much you’re saving per salon visit and that easily adds up. Plus, it means you can use them daily which makes them more efficacious as you see quicker and better results. Particularly handy if on the run up to a big occasion! They tackle skin tone, brightness, wrinkles and acne by tackling inflammation and boosting collagen product. They’re also great for healing the skin.