The combination of wearing masks, moving from cold air into artificially heated environments, a lockdown ‘diet’ and stress can all affect our skin. Not to mention that exposure to the cold weather can cause a host of problems for the skin, leaving it feeling dry and irritated. Redness, dehydration, dry patches and just a general tired look, my skin surely has seen better days. Which is why I switched up my routine, concentrating on layers of hydration with some antiaging sprinkled in for good measure.
My skin care regimen, and more specifically my morning skin care routine, tends to change based on the seasons and state of my skin. This post is just my way to share how I figured out what works best for me so that it might help you figure out the same.
M O R N I N G
Step 1: Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel
A lightweight peeling gel that delivers a gentle, physical exfoliation for deeper, more thorough smoothing results. Formulated with Multi-Fruit AHAs and antioxidant enzymes, this peel gel works as a physical peel to sweep away the outer dead layers of skin to help skin feel softer and look brighter for an overall healthy-looking complexion.
In the morning, I rinse my face with lukewarm water and I use a damp cloth to remove leftover mascara. I follow it up with a cleanser that deep cleanses my face. It’s simple, it doesn’t make me break out and it makes my skin feel beautifully cleansed. I use it with Foreo facial cleansing brush. Cleanses throughly and vibrating makes a nice facial massage.
Step 2: Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic
This nourishing facial toner restores the skin’s natural balance and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth. Cucumber, camellia, liquorice, aloe leaf and lavender render the skin soft and smooth. Vitamin B5 nourishes the skin and leave it prepared for the next step.
Since having a baby, I have been having random breakouts that felt out of control. After being recommended this face tonic I decided to try it out. I use it religiously morning and night after cleansing my skin. The results could not have been better – my skin is the clear and bright.
Step 3: Noili Beauty Bakuchiol & Squalane Oil Serum
Easily absorbed and highly nutritious skin serum with bakuchiol (1%), olive squalane and fresh cold pressed plant oils, rich in revitalizing and softening lipids and antioxidants. Bakuchiol is a plant alternative of retinol. It has the same effects – stimulates collagen and elastin production, helps firming contours of the face, erases fine lines and brightens dark spots, but unlike retinol doesn´t irritate the skin, doesn´t cause flaking. Olive squalane moisturizes and softens the skin. Adds precious lipids to the natural sebum, regenerates dry and cracked skin and prevents flaking.
Gifted by Noili. I saw a lot of great reviews on this so I couldn’t wait to test it. I loved the minute I tried it. Every day I wake up with an overall better appearance to my face.
Step 4: Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream
For normal to extra dry skin types—or anyone wanting to hydrate thirsty skin with a rich yet lightweight formula with Algae Extract that instantly moisturizes for seamless makeup application.
I have dry skin, and this works for me as a daily daytime moisturizer for most of the year. During the winter, I switch to a heavier moisturizer on some days. I also always use a heavier moisturizer at night. Still, this serves its purpose as a reliable daily moisturizer that doesn’t irritate my skin. This rich yet lightweight formula instantly hydrates and moisturizes, conditions and nourishes and is ideal for layering under makeup.
Step 5: Shiseido Suncare Expert Sun Aging Protection Face Cream SPF30
This cream is especially formulated for face protects skin’s inner and outer layers against UVA & UVB. It is very blendable, with technology that makes product even stronger in contact with water of sweat. This means it’ll give you protection from sun rays no matter humidity and it won’t wear off with your first dip in the water.
I am a huge advocate of daily broad spectrum sunscreen, and that doesn’t change throughout the year. A generous amount of lightweight sunscreen finishes my routine and has me set up for the day.
N I G H T
Step 1: Lancôme Galatée Confort
This milky cream cleanser gently melts away makeup and impurities. Made with Honey and Sweet Almond Extracts, the instantly comforting formula leaves skin feeling soft, supple, clean and comforted. smells delicious.
The texture is lovely, it allows you to really enjoy massaging it into your skin. The cleanser is very gentle, but it removes absolutely every trace of long-wear make-up. Leaves my skin feeling supple and hydrated, not stripped and tight.
Step 2: Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover
With a formula that’s suitable for even sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, Bi-Facil gently removes Makeup including waterproof mascara. The lipid phase lifts eye makeup off, while the water phase uses unique emollients to leave skin feeling perfectly cleansed.
It doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or sticky; instantly and effortlessly removes eye makeup residues and is one of the best makeup removers for eyes. It is gentle but effective at removing all types of mascara. I have sensitive eyes and I have never had any issues with using it.
I follow with the Hydrating Face Tonic by Bobbi Brown.
Step 3: Lancôme Absolue Eye Cream
Made with an exclusive blend of Grand Rose Extracts, this rejuvenating eye cream targets the delicate skin around the eyes, one of the face’s most expressive features. It reveals eye contours that look rested and rejuvenated for a brighter, younger-looking skin.
This has been a little tub of goodness for under and around my eyes. So incredibly hydrating. It definitely brightens and plumps around my eyes and I can just feel it working to keep that area hydrated. Creamy texture but easy to absorb, control and reduce fine lines really well.
Step 4: Serum
My favorite part of the routine, and the step where I think your money should be spent before everything else. I was recommended to use no more than two serums per routine but I prefer alternating my serums day-by-day.
a) Noili Beauty Pro-Collagen Vitamin C Night Oil Serum
Vitamin C provides a youthful glow to the skin, improves elasticity, helps increase collagen production and fights inflammation.
The formula is gentle and does not irritate sensitive skin. It absorbs efficiently and leaves behind no icky residue. There’s no pilling so it layers well and after couple months I’ve noticed a smoother, brighter complexion. Overall, this is an awesome serum with a phenomenal formulation that provides actual results at a reasonable price. I would recommend it to anyone looking to add some vitamin C into their skincare routine.
b) Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex
This deep-fast-penetrating serum reduces the look of multiple signs of aging caused by the environmental assaults of modern life. Skin looks smoother and less lined, younger, more radiant and even toned. During the day, it helps protect skin from environmental assaults¬ and while you sleep, it helps ignite skin’s natural nightly repair process.
I use it at night before I go to bed and it really is a treat for my skin. A little goes a long way and it works to make my skin bouncy and plump.
Step 5:Estée Lauder Resilience Multi-Effect Night
This intensely nourishing, youth-infusing night creme reveals a plumped, supple, more resilient look while you sleep. Includes advanced Tri-Peptide Complex to help significantly amplify collagen for skin that looks and feels smoother.
This cream is very moisturizing. It does have a floral scent but not too overwhelming. I am very sensitive to smell and product, but this is a nice one. It doesn’t break me out like some other night creams. I feel like it provides a great balance of moisturizing the face after a cleaning and most importantly, a lightweight feel for bedtime. Love what this product has done to enhance the firmness and skintone of my face.
Step 6: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
Its exclusive Moisture Wrap™ technology boasts hyaluronic acid and minerals to form a protective film over the lips to lock in moisture and active ingredients. A generous layer of this soothing mask at bedtime helps reduce flakiness so you can wake up to lips that feel refreshed, supple, and soft to the touch.
All is true. This mask keeps my lips so moist and seems to repair any lip issues I have overnight. My lips feel like butter when I wake in the mornings after wearing it. I truly love it.
Step 7: Waleda Skin Food
Skin Food is a universal savior of dry, rough skin on faces, elbows, hands and feet. With extracts of gentle viola tricolor, calendula and chamomile, in a rich, thick base of oils and beeswax, Skin Food hydrates skin to give you a healthy-looking glow.
I have had a life long issue with dry skin. It is a real problem, especially in the harsh winters where I live. It feels very healing. I like to use it on my hands when they get dry and cracked. I love that it has no animal testing, is free of parabens and phthalates, free of synthetic preservatives and fragrances.
Here are some other products that I can’t live without but they are a bit pricey so I don’t use them everyday.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Sérum Visage Anti Rides Vitamine C Pure
The combination of ferulic acid and pure vitamin C and E helps to enhance your skin’s protection against environmental damage caused by free radicals. In addition to antioxidant protective benefits, this formula improves signs of aging and photodamage to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles while firming and brightening your complexion.
It’s a bit pricey but my skin has improved elasticity and firmness and definitely looks brighter. If you’re wondering why it’s so expensive, just know that since 2007, SkinCeuticals has held a patent for stabilized ascorbic acid composition, suggesting that the brand has found a way to stabilize vitamin C—also implying that no other brands use that specific method or formulation. Now, keep in mind that you probably won’t see immediate results. It took me 3-4 weeks to notice a change in my skin. After that, my skin felt tighter and had a rosier glow and the dark spots from too many Toronto hot summers started to fade.
SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier
Its potent blend of pure hyaluronic acid, proxylane, licorice root and purple rice work to boost skin’s hyaluronic acid levels, improving skin texture and restoring elasticity.
The smell isn’t the best but that’s not what I’m looking for. It instantly hydrates leaving my skin feeling moisturized and smooth. Perfect for anyone like myself that needs that extra boost of hydration that moisturizer can sometimes not provide. I also have problems around the eyes and mouth and this product did visibly increase plumpness in those areas. The consistency is slightly thicker, so I tended to put this on overnight. I highly recommend if you are willing to splurge.
La Mer The Lifting and Firming Mask
This luxurious cream mask infuses skin with serum-strength sculpting power. Enriched with the legendary healing energies of our Concentrated Miracle Broth™ and the potency of the new Concentrated Lifting Ferment, it visibly tightens, firms and refines the face and neck.
I used it once every two weeks this winter. It is definitely an investment, however it is one of the best things I have ever put on my skin. It has decreased dryness in my skin and made it feel so soft after treatment.
Shiseido Future Solution LX Legendary Enmei Ultimate Renewing Cream
A lavishly soft cream that wraps skin in ultimate comfort for a profoundly supple, smooth and radiant feel from the first touch. It targets 12 signs of ageing through its holistic approach. By maximizing skin longevity, wrinkle and dullness are visibly improved, for a firm, defined, vibrantly renewed look.
Disclaimer: I won this in a giveaway and wasn’t asked to do a review. For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I love Shiseido and I’ve been using their products for couple years. The Shiseido Future Solution LX line is at the top of Shiseido’s skin care range and is a luxury range. So prices reflect this. As for the cream itself: the jar packaging is beautifully luxe and the cream housed within is thick and creamy. You literally only need a tiny amount each time. I think due to its thick texture, it is best enjoyed by those with drier skin. I’ve been using it for a while, no other products. After two weeks, my skin looked brighter and my skin more dewy. Also, at my age (39), I noticed that the skin around my eyes was more firm. For real. The regular woman could find it a little harder to splurge on this, especially in these rather trying times but I believe that you may notice a difference when using the serum in this range.
Illustration by Nora Calvo Martín for CHICHI