My Morning Skincare Routine

Happy Monday, my loves! It’s finally time to share my morning skincare routine with you and I’m so excited about it. I know I’ve been talking about this for a while and took a long time to post but I promise it’s worth it, there’s so many good products that I truly love! 

Lots of you will know I struggle with my skin A LOT – if not, you can read about my acne experience here – but right now I’m truly so happy with my routines and my skin. I haven’t had an active pimple in over a month, even when I got my period last week! I genuinely haven’t had skin like this since I started getting acne at around 19/20 years old so you can imagine how happy I am.

I think a huge part of my skin being happy recently has been due to the fact I’m only wearing makeup a couple times per week (gotta love that WFH life) and a solid skincare routine morning and night. I used to love switching products out, trying new things all the time and just messing around with my routine, but now I really don’t have a desire to do that. I’ve finally found a bunch of products that I LOVE and I’m so excited to share them with you all!

For reference, my skin is combination, acne-prone and pretty sensitive. I have a little texture that I’m working on clearing up but other than that I’m super happy with how my face looks right now. I do still have acne scarring and hyperpigmentation but no skincare product will ever change that, I’d need to have laser surgery to fix it. I like that my routine consists of products that are budget friendly (except one!) and even those that seem a little more money are great when I consider how long they last and how many uses I get out of them.

La Roche Posay Effaclar H Cleansing Cream
I love this cleanser so much it actually motivates me to jump out of bed and wash my face in the morning. That’s how good it is. I am generally an evening shower person so I like a cleanser that wakes me up and this really does! It’s so gentle, doesn’t irritate my eyes, doesn’t strip my face and is the perfect thing to take off my evening skincare and prepare my face for the day ahead. It’s super creamy and leaves my face so soft! My favourite thing about this is that it doesn’t leave a film or residue behind which is something I really dislike about a lot of ‘cheaper’ cleansers. It doesn’t make my face feel tight or uncomfortable, it’s just such a nice no-frills product that gets the job done, but feels a little bit luxurious.

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream
I’m aware this is the most ridiculously priced, bougie eye cream. I know. BUT, it’s amazing! I would have never purchased this full price but the deal in the Caroline Hirons Kit was incredible and I’m so grateful to have this eye cream, even just for a little while! It’s a pretty big size considering I use the teeniest amount of eye cream, but after realizing how much I love this product I’ve started to ‘save’ it. On my WFH no makeup days I’ve been opting for my trusty CeraVe eye cream (which is ONE FIFTH of the price of the Sunday Riley!!) as I really don’t want to waste the good stuff. But, on the Sunday Riley one; I can see why people who can afford to spend a boat load on skincare buy this. It truly is beautiful! It is very de-puffing – which is great if you’re not the best sleeper, like me! – and it looks almost iridescent when applied; my whole under eye looks brighter immediately, and I do think it helps my concealer to look better too. I often find my concealer under my eyes can look a little dried out by the middle of the day but when I use this I definitely don’t notice that!

La Roche Posay Ultra 8 Mist
I adore this facial spray! I mist my face before and after I use a Hyaluronic Acid serum as I find it absorbs better into damp skin. I’m pretty sure I learned this from a YouTube video a very long time ago. This mist is very hydrating and helps to keep my skin moisturised, it’s really refreshing and I especially feel the benefit from using it on super hot days. I also spray this mist throughout the day; back in the days I used to go into an office (remember them!?) I would keep a bottle on my desk to re-hydrate my face through the day. It doesn’t bother your makeup at all! As I’m home all day working I still pop up to my vanity able and spritz my face once or twice per day! The spray would be great for travel too as it’s pretty much hydration in a bottle. I’ve recently been trying out this Rosewater and Glycerin spray from The Heritage Store which does pretty much the same thing, except it’s half the price of LRP. I need to use it a little more to pick a favourite but I really enjoy using them both.

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum / NIOD Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Complex
I noticed the biggest difference in my skin around two years ago when I first introduced a Hyaluronic Acid serum. My skin is dehydrated, and although it gets worse during super dry or super cold weather, it’s a problem all year round. Using a HA helps to combat this a lot; it helps my skin to stay moisturised and soft. I typically alternate between HA’s from The Inkey List and NIOD because I love them both.I like a lot of other brands too, but these are the two best I’ve tried. Having said that they are very different ends of the pricing scale; I actually would say I prefer The Inkey List over NIOD if I had to choose. Hyaluronic Acid retains moisture in the skin and works to reduce the visibility of fine lines, I’m starting to see a few under my eyes so I always make sure to take it up to that area.

REN EverCalm Global Protection Day Cream
It took me a very long time to find a holy grail moisturiser to use during the day but it was so worth the wait, this stuff is incredible! As my skin is combination, sensitive and acne-prone I have to be careful when it comes to products that stay on the face for long periods of time (like serums or moisturisers). Moisturisers are often too heavy for me to wear all day/night and result in me breaking out and experiencing clogged pores. I truly adore everything I’ve tried from REN’s EverCalm range and none of their products have ever made me break out. This moisturiser is so lightweight but super hydrating; I use less than a full pump each morning and it melts into my skin beautifully. It doesn’t make me any more oily in my T Zone which I love, yet it keeps the rest of my face moisturised and hydrated. I also love how this looks under makeup; it’s the perfect base (along with SPF during the day) that helps my makeup to stay in place. I’m NEVER feeling – or more importantly, looking – shiny at the end of the day any more, that is literally magic!

The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF 50
I am going to write a whole post specifically about SPF in the next few weeks so I’ll try to keep this kinda brief! I wear SPF every single day which I think is so important, it’s not just for those hot, sunny days and I don’t think enough people know this. I have tried a ton of SPF’s and although I like others, this is my go-to and the one I’ve most used/repurchased. The formula was recently changed but I still really like it; a little goes a long way and I find it helps my makeup to look good too! I buy the 60ml size and a tube lasts me around six months (I do sometimes switch out to a different SPF but very rarely) and it’s got very high SPF 50 coverage. As the SPF is so high it does leave a little bit of a white cast but it sinks in quickly and goes away, it helps your skin to look glowy and fresh before and even after makeup application. I find lots of SPF’s I’ve tried are greasy and leave a weird residue on the skin but this doesn’t at all, I do try to leave at least 20 minutes between using this to applying my makeup so maybe give that a try if you struggle with SPF!

I’ll be sharing my evening skincare routine with you soon, but that’s everything I use on a typical morning! Have you tried any of these products? Do you love them as much as I do?! If you’re looking for any new skincare products I 100% recommend all of these, except maybe the Sunday Riley eye cream which is just the craziest price. What are your go-to morning skincare products? I’d love to hear your favourites, too! 

-G x

The Most Exciting Skincare Haul: Caroline Hirons Spring Kit 1

Happy Sunday, loves! As any of my lovely regular readers will know, I am a HUGE fan of Caroline Hirons. I love that she has so much knowledge, I love the way she cares about her following, I love that she is becoming more successful by the freaking day and is still so humble, I love how she takes no sh*t and I really bloody love that she always has her Freaks at heart. It’s me. I’m a Freak. 

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, take a look at this Facebook group. We love skincare, we love Queen C, and we love tea. That’s about it?!

I had been anticipating the arrival (like all of the Freaks) of the Spring Kit for months; I was hyped up and I knew I had to purchase! When I found out the kit was being released in May I was SO excited to treat myself as an early (and very splurge-y) birthday present, and I’m officially now on a beauty product no buy. Until Caroline’s Summer Kit comes out…

Caroline outdid herself and actually created two kits. Kit 1 (the one I opted for) was aimed more towards the younger audience and people who are dealing with breakouts in lockdown, or in general. Kit 2 was for more mature skins and those who are more dry during lockdown, or in general. Thankfully both kits were suitable for sensitive skin, and my combination acne-prone skins is super excited for all of the new additions to my collection. The kits were released two weeks ago, which one of the fantastic girls in the Facebook group likened to ‘Kitmas Day’ – Caroline should officially coin this term, right?! – and the biggest Internet meltdown I’ve witnessed began. The kits went on sale at 12pm, and the site crashed at 12.01pm. Yep, we’re good! I took lunch around 2pm, and the site was still down. Fast forward a few more hours, I was just finishing up work at around 4.30pm and grabbed my iPad to take back upstairs (LOL, ‘finishing work’ is defined by ‘going upstairs’ right now… what a weird time of life!) and I assumed I’d missed out completely on the kit. However… I opened up Safari, refreshed the page I had left open… and there it was! I counted down for a week and a half until my kit was dispatched and I literally was so giddy poor Andy – my DPD driver, we’ve got pretty well acquainted since lockdown started – didn’t get chance to ring the doorbell. I was literally waiting with the door open. HAHAHA. Also, everything except two products in the kit are new to me! 

Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser (Sensitive Skin) RRP £20
First off, I just need to say how much I adore Jordan Pacitti, the founder of JSS. He puts so much effort and thought into his products and his personal customer service is second to none. He is such a kind, sweet soul and his brand is one of my very favourite skincare brands I’ve ever tried. Anything he makes I will buy. I LOVE him! That being said, this cleanser is one of the products I had already used before and it’s one of my holy grail cleansers! I love this for removing makeup, as a second cleanse or as a morning cleanse. It’s a fantastic multi use product, and I’m obsessed with the limited edition yellow packaging on this tube! It was made just for Caroline’s kit and matches to the pantone of her blog. #goals I will re-buy this cleanser forever, I love that it never irritates my sensitive skin or causes breakouts. It also removes makeup so gently without feeling stripping. When you next need to replace a cleanser (or if you just fancy a fun treat!) I highly recommend this product.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel RRP £89
Full disclosure: these acid wipes are something I would have never purchased, as they normally retail for a whopping £89… and that is just crazy to me. That being said, as someone who has suffered with acne and breakouts for over seven years and heard how much this product has helped people, I’ve wanted them for a long time. I admire Dr Dennis Gross and his products so much; it’s all science based and there’s no frills with anything he makes. Maybe one day my regular skincare budget will stretch to include his products! This is a two-step product; you use ‘wipe one’ to eliminate dead skin cells with a mix of acids, then ‘wipe two’ is used two minutes later to balance your skin out. He explains it really well in the video on the product page I linked. Acid exfoliators work so much better for me, I cannot use physical exfoliators as they just cause irritation. I really hope to see an improvement in the texture of my skin; I have acne pigmentation marks left on my cheeks and although they’ve lightened considerably over the years they could definitely look better. I’m currently experiencing an allergic reaction (I think it may be a food allergy but I don’t know what to. Thankfully it’s not really on my face, but it is on my chest/neck and has slightly spread to my jawline) so I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m so excited to! They are gentle enough to be used every day but I think as my skin is super sensitive I’ll probably only use two to three times per week.

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening And Depuffing Eye Contour Cream RRP £60
I think this was the most exciting product in the kit for me! I have lusted over Sunday Riley for years. The iconic packaging and cult following have made this brand one I’d just dreamed of owning, but the price points are crazy high and I’ve never been able to justify paying them. Then I was lucky enough to get this kit! I’ve been using this eye cream the past few days and I am absolutely obsessed with it. I kinda hoped I wouldn’t think it was amazing because I can’t imagine I’ll be able to justify spending £60 (!!!) to replace it. BUT, I’m going to continue to use it (sparingly) and love it, and maybe it could be a very generous Christmas gift… from myself… to myself… My under-eye area is pretty dry and I sometimes suffer with eczema – more in the colder months – so I need a hydrating eye cream. This is extremely hydrating, and I swear it makes my eyes look brighter immediately on application. It’s very depuffing which is so appreciated in the morning. I also love how makeup applies over it! Is it worth five times the price of my regular day eye cream? Probably not. Do I love it? YES!

Oskia Super C Smart Nutrient Beauty Capsules RRP £62 (for 60 capsules)
I am not going to lie… I’m a little scared to use these! I adore Oskia as a brand; I’ve used a few products from them and they’re very luxurious and also work really well. That being said, I’ve not gotten on great with Vitamin C in the past. I was using products from The Body Shop and Pixi that worked great for a while, then they started to cause me lots of irritation. I stopped using them and the irritation almost immediately stopped. I was then scared to use Vitamin C again but Caroline said this Vitamin C was very gentle, and anyone that had experienced issues or irritation in the past with Vitamin C should be fine with this. I do really love how Vitamin C makes your skin g l o w so I’d love to find one that works for my skin. Also, the capsules are heart shaped and biodegradable… and how flipping cute is the little personalised case?! I will definitely be re-purposing this when we’re able to travel again.

NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex RRP £38
If you don’t have a hyaluronic acid serum in your skincare routine, where have you been!? I love love love hyaluronic acid as an ingredient, and over the past year or so a HA serum has become a must in my morning skincare routine. I sometimes use it in the evenings too but usually I prefer to use my ‘treatment’ products then. I freaking love Jordan Samuel’s hyaluronic serum although I also really enjoy The Inkey List’s; it’s so inexpensive and it works a treat! NIOD is a new brand to me; they are owned by Deciem, the parent company of The Ordinary – another brand I love – so all of their products are created with science in mind. The NIOD MMHC is a ‘Freaks favourite’ and one of the most recent products to experience #TheCarolineEffect. That’s when she talks about how good something is and it immediately sells out 🙂 I’ve used this the past couple of days, although it’s noticeably nicer to use than my go-to from the The Inkey list (which is expected, it’s got extra stuff in there to make it feel luxe) it’s very similar to JSS. My first impressions are good, and I’m excited to see how I get on with this! 

Ren EVERCALM Global Protection Day Cream RRP £36
This is the other product in the kit that I’ve used before and after just a few days I’m truly SO happy to have this back in my life! I love love love the Ren EVERCALM range – if you have sensitive skin and/or suffer with acne and breakouts, I can’t recommend it enough – and I forgot just how much I adored this day cream. I use the Ren EVERCALM cleansing gel every day as my second cleanse and it’s been a saviour for my skin! This moisturiser doesn’t pill at all, keeps my face hydrated all day without making my T Zone oily and it also doesn’t break me out. I can’t tell you how many moisturisers I’ve tried in the quest to find something that works well with my skin type. Although before this arrived I’d been using the Cerave Facial Moisturising Lotion morning and night, I’m pretty sure this will be my go-to day cream going forward. It’s incredible and I’ve no idea why I stopped using it? I think I ran out when I was at the height of my ‘I must try every product EVER’ phase, but now when I find products I love I prefer to either only use them, or alternate with products from a couple of other tried and tested brands. 

Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect SPF 30 RRP £55
SPF is one of the most important products you could ever use in your skincare routine. For a really long time I couldn’t find a SPF that worked well for me (by not breaking me out and not piling under makeup) but then I discovered The Body Shop’s Skin Defence and that all changed. That’s been my go-to SPF for so long and I always recommend it to people! I tried this for the first time on Friday and guys… I’m blown away by how much I liked it! This is not just a bog standard SPF. It’s technically a moisturiser so can be used as just your final step in your routine, but I like to use a moisturizer then apply SPF. My skin is pretty dehydrated so it needs all the goodness it can get! This SPF also protects against blue light, pollution and infrared, and it has anti-aging properties to boot. As I turn 26 on the day this post goes live, I guess it’s time to think about that! This didn’t affect my makeup application at all, it actually made my makeup look flawless. It did cause a white cast when first applied, but it rubbed in really well and was not noticeable once I had makeup on. It’s also not greasy or heavy feeling which is a huge plus, I’m really excited to use this more.

Thank you so much for reading! Are you a fan of Caroline too? What’s something you’ve bought on her recommendation?! I’d love to know if you have any favourite products amongst the ones in this post, I’m so excited to continue using them over the coming months and see how I feel about them. I always re-purchase a product before it ends when I really love it so I’m excited to see if that happens with any of the new-to-me products.

-G x