Evening skincare for glowy af skin
Ever since I finished my course of Roaccutane 4 years ago, it's been my mission to get the most glowy, clear and refined skin I possibly can. If any product has AHA's, vitamin A or anything with 'exfoliating' or 'brightening' in the title, you can guarantee my little ears will perk up. So, with this in mind, I've been trialling a few amazing products both recently and over the last year so I wanted to share my ultimate formula to bright, glowing skin with plenty of natural radiance without having to rely on makeup.
Step One: Cleanse
Properly removing any grime from the day is key to bright skin and I double cleanse with a wash cloth to make sure everything is super clean. I genuinely think that double cleansing alone had a transformative effect on my skin when I started doing it years ago and, of course, it makes total sense as to why. Using an oil cleanser such as the Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil to break down any makeup, dirt and sunscreen, then going in again to cleanse the skin means the products you use afterwards can work effectively as there isn't any crap in your pores.
Step Two: Eye Cream
As someone who suffers from very dark dark circles, an eye cream is a must in my routine. I've recently been testing the Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing & Dark Circle-Diminishing Vitamin C Eye Serum (what a title!) which uses a combination of vitamin C (known for brightening) and hyaluronic acid (hydrating) to help me look like I haven't just risen from the grave. I do like this eye cream and although nothing with eradicate my dark circles, I do feel like this cream is quite nourishing.
Step 3: Acids or Retinol
I've recently got into using retinol on a 3x weekly basis, so I swap between that and a glycolic acid throughout the week. Both are powerhouses of the brightening world and it was the introduction of AHA's to my routine that really saw a dramatic difference in my skin texture and brightness.
For acids, I stick to glycolic mostly as my skin is fine with it, however there are many others out there such as Lactic, Mandelic or Azaleic (The Ordinary one is great) so there's something for each skin type. I will either use an acid at the 'toner' stage ie after cleansing by using Pixi Glow Tonic or the Elemis Resurfacing Pads or I'll use a serum. My favourite one is the Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum which I mix into the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Facial Oil to give an extra brightening boost.
For retinol, I've been using the Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3 which is their lowest level retinol. I'll apply it to my skin, avoiding the mouth and eye area, and in the morning I wake up with the smoothest skin. Retinol isn't an exfoliator by itself, but it does encourage cell turnover. I use it by itself, rather than with other acids, followed with moisturiser as it works as a buffer which lessens the chance of irritation. Once I'm finished this tube, I'll work my way up to 1% retinol which I believe is prescription only.
Step 4: Moisturise
I always end my routine (in terms of product) with a moisturiser, either by itself or mixed with an oil if my skin is a bit parched. At the moment, I'm using the Kate Somerville Peptide k8 Power Cream and, let me tell you, it's one of the most beautiful creams I have ever used. It's not the cheapest, but it is so nourishing, smoothing and plumping.
I see moisturiser as the step that 'seals' everything in and adds a hydrating element to my routine, especially if I'm not using a hyaluronic acid based serum separately.
Step 5: Facial Massage
Some people either love this or think it's silly, but I'm a very big fan of a facial roller or gua sha (you can get them cheap on eBay). I genuinely believe it works to brighten the skin by lymphatic drainage, which removes excess puffiness and fluid from your face and increases circulation. The result is tighter, glowy skin plus is just feels really nice! Having that post-facial feeling every night is something I consider to be a bit of a luxury, so I love spending time doing this.
So, that's my routine. It doesn't take very long to do and it leaves me with very bright and glowing skin each morning. If you're not sure where to start, but feel like your skin needs a boost, get a good cleansing routine established and introduce an acid (the Pixi Glow Tonic is the best for that I think) for 30 days, using it twice a week at first then building it up to daily use. They're honestly so transformative and not as scary as they sound.
I also want to mention that there are more affordable alternatives on the market than the products I've listed above, so be sure to check out brands such as The Ordinary, Pixi and The Inkey List to see if you can find matching ingredients. Just stay away from the apricot scrubs, ok?