I figured a seasonal change is as good a time as any to update you on what I’ve been using on my skin lately. I had every intention of doing this in video format but it’s been overcast for the past two days and I need to move on with my life at some stage so here we are.
Because of the dry winter climate in Gauteng, I’m all about layering. It only really started getting colder and more dry in the last few weeks, but for once I started changing my routine early enough to anticipate it. You’ll see some familiar products from my previous skincare routine post, but I’ve changed things up quite a bit.
For cleansing I’m on the last few drops of my Babor Cleansing Hy-Öl, R450, together with the Babor Phytoactive Base, R370, for dry skin. The sysytem is fairly simple – you start cleansing with the Hy-Öl, and after you’ve worked that into your skin you add a pump of the Phytoactive Base. It rinses off easily with water but I’m still a fan of removing cleansing oil with a face cloth (read about that here). It leaves my skin feeling really good but it doesn’t always remove mascara properly, so it’s a better option for those of you who remove eye makeup before you start cleansing.
I also started using my Clarisonic Plus again after months of not doing so – I can’t really tell you why I ever stopped. What I can tell you is that I’m very glad that I took it up again – I’m back to using it every second day and my skin is doing really well on it. I have all the details on it here.
If I feel that I need a little extra exfoliation, Nimue Exfoliating Enzyme, around R500, is what I’ve been using lately. It was the product that sparked my love for chemical exfoliators years ago, and when I bought myself one again recently I was thrilled that it was still just as good as I remember it. You can read more about enzymatic exfoliators here.
In the mornings I start with Doctor Babor Ultimate Vitamin C Concentrate, R1900, which has a very effective 20% stabilised Vitamin C to assist with brightening. It’s a super light serum, so it doesn’t need much time to absorb before you follow with the next product.
I’m alternating between two day moisturisers. The first one is Skin Creamery Facial Hydrating Oil, R265 – I usually choose this when my skin is feeling towards the dry side. It pretty much blew me away from the first application with it’s silky texture and gorgeous fragrance. It’s the first time I use an oil that needs to be mixed with a few drops of water before application and I tried it on it’s own too just to see how it feels – definitely add the water, it makes all the difference. It’s packed with a mixture of vegetable oils to nourish and balance your skin to perfection.
I would caution that this may not be the best daytime moisturiser if you spend a fair bit of time outdoors as there are a number of essential oils in the mix, which can increase your risk of sun sensitivity. I spend very little time outdoors (not to mention none in direct sun) and I wear SPF50 daily, so it doesn’t phase me.
My other day moisturiser choice is Filorga Skin Absolute Day, R1790. It has a multi-pronged approach to target issues with skin tone, texture, radiance, lines and firmness. It’s a very comfortable-feeling cream that absorbs really quickly, so it’s great if you don’t have time to wait for things to settle before you apply makeup. Now if Filorga could just start packaging their lovely creams in some form of airless containers I would be thrilled.
For sun protection I’ve been using Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF50, R200 – I’m currently on the tinted version (the light shade), and it works surprisingly well to give some slight warmth to my even pastier-than-usual winter face. More on that here.
As far as my nighttime routine goes, I’ve significantly upped my retinol tolerance and I can pretty much use the stuff every night now. I do still believe in taking cues from my skin, and I’ll skip if my skin ever looks red or feels compromised in any way. I’m currently on the Optiphi Intense Retinol Serum again after setting it aside to finish up a Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 0.5 that I had forgotten about. If you have any concerns about introducing retinol into your skin routine, you can refer to this post here.
I also still use Dermaceutic Turnover Cream a few evenings a week – it’s a 15% glycolic acid treatment that I now apply over retinol, and I follow with ‘regular’ night cream if I feel the need. You can read about how I started introducing it in my previous skincare routine post here – there’s also some more info on the retinol serum over there.
If I feel that I need some additional moisture at night I’ll apply Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep, R420, if it’s close to bedtime (because it absorbs quickly) or one of my sleeping masks. My current favourites are L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream Mask, R1640, and the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (not available in SA).
Lastly, I can’t go without lip balm these last few weeks. I do very well on the horribly expensive but very effective Chanel Hydra Nutrition Lip Balm (see more details here). It’s always next to my bed, and I religiously apply some before I switch off my bedside lamp. During the day I’m a big fan of Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue and Blistex Lip Medex (the dark blue tub).
It’s always difficult for me to comment on how individual products affect my skin health, but something in this concoction has a definite brightening effect on my skin, and I’m fairly certain my pigmented areas have faded a bit – my money would be on the retinol, glycolic acid and vitamin c. And the SPF50, of course.
Do you have any irreplaceable items in your skincare regime? Please share them with us!
PS – I’m not blind to the price tags on the majority of these products, and while that’s not the first thing I think of when I receive press samples and start testing them; I’m well aware that buying even a portion of these products are out of reach for many of us. When I’m done with this batch I’m going to make a point of testing a set of majority affordable products to see if I can get similar results from them, so keep an eye out in a month or two for the next skincare routine update.