My Anti-Ageing Nighttime Skincare Routine
This post was supposed to go up on my birthday on Friday the 25th, but as I was sick and my eyes struggled to be in front of a screen for weeks, I decided to wait until I was feeling better to publish. Taking care of my skin in the evenings is top priority, especially if I want to treat any specific skincare concerns. Our bodies and skin regenerate whilst we sleep at night, which is why I opt for skin treatments at night time, and daytime is more about protection. I am pretty lazy in the evenings, and it only got worse during the lockdown. So for me to become inspired, I need my nighttime products to offer a sensorial experience. I find listening to classical music as I unwind at night, encourages me to slow down, relax and take that much needed time out for myself. Some of my personal classical music favourites are Clair de Lune by Debussy, Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, and Pachelbel's Canon in D Major which is more uplifting and energetic. In fact, I only listen to classical music when I write.
With what's been happening in the world lately, Self-Care has been more critical than ever. I think the Covid19 outbreak and lockdown has had many of us reevaluating what's most important to us. Self-care can be incredibly important when it comes to boosting mental health. My skin was awful at the beginning of lockdown due to a poor diet and stress, I stripped my routine back to basics, and its the best thing I could have done for my skin. Over the last couple of years, I've noticed my skin shift from ageing. Gong from super oily, turning combination leaning dehydrated-dry. My skin needs a lot more moisture nowadays but is still easily congestible. I've found lightweight layers work best for me, as anything too rich will make me break out. I still suffer from PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) after a breakout, but my dermatitis is under control. I have removed a lot of products with skin-sensitising fragrance and drying alcohols, which has genuinely helped. If I am honest, except for volume loss from natural ageing around my eyes, my skin is looking the best it ever has, and I put it down to my nighttime skincare routine. So let's get into my the products in my skincare routine.
Makeup Removal & Cleansing
The first step in my nighttime skincare routine is to put my hair up and remove any eye makeup I may be wearing. Some days if my eyes are feeling a little sensitive, I will remove my eye makeup & mascara with gentle micellar water, that doesn't sting or irritate my eyes. I have been a long-time lover of the Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water, this year I started using the Bioderma Hydrabio H20 Solution Micellaire - £15 that I picked up from on Escentual on offer my favourite retailer for French Pharmacy products). The Hydrabio range is lightly fragranced, unlike the Sensibio which is fragrance-free. I like it. But I will probably replace again with my trusty Sensibio Micellar once I've used it up. I also really enjoy the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Lash Boosting Eye Cleanse - £33 to remove eye makeup. I am on my third bottle and love the pump. Both makeup-removers are gentle yet effective at removing my eye makeup without irritating my sensitive eyes. I often wear cream eyeshadows & tubing mascaras; both cleansing water's remove all traces of makeup with ease.
I have extremely sensitive eyes! 9/10 cleansing oils I will test out seems to irritate my eyes. Either stinging them or leaving an uncomfortable cloudy film, which affects my vision and triggers my anxiety. So if a cleansing oil, does either, I instantly dislike it. Most of the cleansing oils I own are long time favourites and repeat repurchases over the years. Because if it isn't broke, why fix it right? But being a beauty enthusiast, I like to try a lot of new cleansers but always come back to my tried and true favourites. My favourite makeup busting cleanser of all time is the Jane Scrivner Nourishing Cleanser - £46. It's a beautiful decadently rich, waxy balm. Despite containing essential oils, this balm doesn't irritate my eyes at all! The aromatherapy benefits make me look forward to removing my makeup at night. It's rich in texture, super nourishing and leaves my skin feeling refreshed yet nourished. Another cleansing oil I'm loving for removing makeup is the delightful Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil - £33. I have been loving and using this oil since November of last year. I've used it so much I'm on my 2nd bottle. Its designed to make light work of cleansing. Rich in Rosehip oil, it feels lightweight and is perfect for sensitive eyes. It has a delicate light fragrance, which is both refreshing and relaxing, reminding me of a spa. It emulsifies beautifully, and has fast become my favourite cleansing oil (not balm) of all time. Because of how well it emulsifies it’s also great as a 2nd cleanse and morning cleanse. If you prefer a lightweight oil cleanser over a cleansing balm, I honestly cannot recommend it enough.
I have become a massive fan of cream cleansers because they are gentle, non-sensitising and are far more nourishing and hydrating compared to gel-based cleansers. When I have reached for a gel-based cleanser, it's been either non-foaming or minimal foam. I have tested so many popular Korean Cleansers over the years and hated many! I've found them to be far too heavily fragranced, that they irritate my eyes from their potency. Or many contain Tea Tree, a scent I cannot stand, and I personally find Tea Tree stripping, which is why I've found many #kbeauty cleansers far too stripping and dehydrating for my skin. Last year I finally found a gel-based Korean cleanser that I love! Enter the Hemish pH5.5 All Clean Green Foam - £12. This little beauty foams up slightly and feels so cooling on the skin. It leaves my skin feeling super clean yet hydrated and soothed. Every time I use it, my skin never feels parched. I wasn't such a big fan of their famous cleansing balm, but this I love! Another gel cleanser I love is Dr Sam's Flawless Cleanser -£16. Unlike the Heimish cleanser, this does not foam up at all. I would describe the texture like a thick emollient gel. It's unlike any other cleanser I've used before. It gentle yet effective, and has a nice slip when applied to damp skin. It always leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed and undisturbed. I rotate a couple of cream cleansers too. The MV Skin Therapy Gentle Cream Cleanser -£42/£64 is a gentle and super soothing rich cream, that comes in an airless pump packaging. It has a delicate natural herbaceous rose scent that is both invigorating and relaxing. It's a cleanser I recommend to so many people with sensitive skin conditions. The 2nd cream cleanser is the Pixi Rose Cream Cleanser - £18, which is a more affordable alternative. It comes in a squeezy plastic tube and has an artificial rose scent. Both are gentle, nourishing (helping to lock in moisture) and are gentle around my eyes.
The first step after cleansing, every two days is using an acid toner. I tested out the Evolve Organic Beauty Liquid Radiance Glycolic Toner. It gave my skin a pretty glow, but I hated that it felt tacky and left my skin feeling super dehydrated. I recently picked up the Pestle & Mortar Exfoliate to test out and started reaching for my Su:m37 Time Energy Skin Resetting Toner as of late. However, for the last year, I have only wanted to use the Jane Scrivner Skinfoliate Natural & Organic AHA/BHA Resurfacing Exfoliator -£26, because nothing else compares to it. I've raved about this acid toner on both my blog and Instagram. It does have a pretty strong lavender scent to it, but the glow it gives and the fact that it doesn't make my skin feel compromised or stripped is incredible! It's helped keep flakiness at bay and has also helped make my pores appear smaller. I usually let it work its magic for around 10 minutes before following up with a hydrating essence and toner. Its been a game changer or my skin.
Once every few weeks in the acid step, I will replace my Jane Scrivner Exfoliate with a stronger peel. I use a combination of Bravura Acid Treatments. I apply the Bravura Salicylic Acid 2% Peel through my T-zone, which helps if your someone who suffers from congestion, blackheads and breakout's; and I use either the Bravura Glycolic Acid 10% Peel or the Lactic Acid 10% Peel over the rest of my face. I leave on the skin for around 5-15 minutes then rinse away. Every time I use these, my skin instantly looks porcelain smooth—my go-to products for instant Glass skin. I will talk about these acids in more depth in a future blog post.
Essence & Toner
It's during this step that I like to add hydration back into my skin. I find as someone with dehydrated skin, adding light layers of hydration works best for me and is less likely to make my skin react negatively to products. Layering Essences and Toners work better for my skin, as opposed to a rich hyaluronic acid-based serum or moisturiser. My first step is always the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence - £32. I have a wandering eye, and though I thoroughly enjoy the Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence and Su:m37 Secret Essence, I always come back to the Missha FTE. It has been a constant favourite and repurchase for seven years now. Its watery-texture makes it perfect for my first hydration step. It evens out my overall skin tone, brightens my complexion, softens my skin and helps my hydrating toners to absorb better, helping to maximise efficacy and moisture. The Neogen is equally as beautiful and I find works best for my skin during the warmer months, as it helps with oil production.
The next product is the Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence -£34. Though this is richer than the toner I follow up with, it absorbs without any tackiness and helps to maximise my hydrating toner. I prefer to use the Hanskin Essence to get my hyaluronic acid instead of a dedicated serum. I find my skin is less reactive to the ingredient this way and there's no stickiness. While my skin is still damp, I follow up with my Banobagi Milk Thistle Repair Toner -£22. It is by far the best discovery product of 2020 for me, along with the Moisturiser & Sunscreen. The entire Milk Thistle Line is superb! This toner helps to add hydration back into my skin, acting as a glass of water for the face. Ingredients like Burdock Root Extract, Milk Thistle Extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Betaine help to deeply hydrate, soothe, nourish and maintain smooth skin texture. It's incredibly gentle, lightweight and refreshing. I've truly noticed an improvement in my skins hydration levels since I started using this. The I'm From Rice Toner -£26 is the newest essence added to my nighttime routine as we've moved into Autumn. It uses rice to moisturise the skin, whilst helping to rebalance and rejuvenate the skin. It find that it's great at helping to soothe irritated skin, and it also brighten any dullness.
Eye Treatment & Serum
I use different eye creams for nighttime and daytime. Nighttime I prefer to opt for a lightweight serum and use a slightly richer cream in the day under makeup. It's been years since I found an eye serum for nighttime that rival's the Aesop Parsley Seed Eye Serum or the Elemis Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment. The Dermalogica Biolumin-C Eye Serum -£63 has become my go-to eye product for brightening under the eyes. It gives the brightness from the Aesop and the hydration from the Elemis. My dark circles are hereditary and have gotten worse with age. The Dermalogia eye serum is the first product since the Aesop parsley seed that has helped to brighten up my under eye area, with less sensitizing ingredients! It helps me look more awake and feel more confident without concealer. I believe this is because its main ingredient is Vitamin C. Its texture is super lightweight, almost watery and cooling. I use it every night and in the mornings too under a cream. I prefer to use an eye serum at night, as I find creams are too heavy and give me milia.
I only use one serum at nighttime at the moment, my prescription treatment from Dermatica. Which has a marriage of Tretinoin and Hydroquinone. I started at 0.025% Tretinoin with 4% Hydroquinone, after a couple of months upped to 0.05% and this month have moved up to 0.1% which is very potent. I have actually started signs of mild peeling this month. I find this treatment works best if used alone with no other serums (except for hydrating serums like Hyaluronic acid or vitamin b5) and without an acid toner. Once I started using it alone, I began to see results. The texture was something I had to get used to, as it's like a thick cream, that feels dry once blended into the skin. It almost mattifies my face. I'm used to wet, watery, hydrating serums. I leave my treatment to do its magic for about 30-60 minutes before following up with a moisturiser or face oil before I climb into bed. Since I have been using, I've noticed my freckles are fading a little, looking less harsh. Some of my brown spots and scarring I had from PIH have faded or disappeared. My pores look smaller, my skin looks brighter, and my skin is looking the clearest it has ever looked! I honestly have never been so happy with my skin. I do wish the tube came with more product so that I could slather more product on my face. I'm excited to see what the long-term benefits of this treatment will be. It's also affordable at just 19.99 a month, and a fresh bottle is sent out every month.
I have three moisturisers on rotation at night, depending on what I feel my skin needs—two I use before applying a face oil, and one I use after face oil. The Banobagi Milk Thistle Repair Cream - £25 is a favourite of mine for both the daytime and nighttime; I reach for it at night if I want extra hydration. It's a nice creamy consistency, slightly more decadent than a gel, but lighter than a cream. It's a Gel-Cream hybrid that super refreshing. It always makes my skin look so dewy, plump and supple. It helps to give that Chok Chok juicy look to the skin and it contains no fragrance or sensitizing ingredients. If I want a little extra brightening, I will reach for the Bioderma Pigmentbio Night Renewer - £20. It's a gel-based moisturiser created for bedtime that helps you to achieve a brighter complexion, lasting hydration and helps to protect the skin's barrier. Like with a lot of French pharmacy brands, it does contain fragrance, but its very light and I've not found it to be skin sensitising or irritating. I will follow up after both of these with a facial oil. The Jane Scrivner Over Oil Cream -£27 is a cream made to go over facial oil. The texture and beautiful rose gold colour is unlike any other face cream on the market. It's been a firm favourite of mine since it released a few years ago, and every night cream I test, I compare them to it. It's rich and nourishing, yet hydrating and lightweight, without congesting my skin. A little goes a long way. For years it was the only moisturiser I used at nighttime. A must-have if you are looking for an instant glowy moisturiser that helps lock in goodness.
This year I've pretty much just reached for face oils by Sarah Chapman or MV Organic Skincare, who has since had a rebrand and are now called MV Skin Therapy. MV Kindly gifted me some samples of their facial oils, and I thought I couldn't love any oils more than their Rose Plus Booster, I was wrong! It was love at the first application when it came to their Instant Revival Booster and Daily Soothing Booster. I love mixing a little cocktail of the MV Daily Soother Booster -£69, MV Rose Plus Booster -£95, Instant Revival Booster -£69 and the Pure Jojoba -£33, depending on what my skin needs. The quality of MV's face oils is so luxe, and because they last for ages, I feel they are worth every penny. All their ingredient lists are minimal; their natural scent offers a beautiful sensory experience, and all their products are great for sensitive skin types. Their oil-boosters work well alone or mixed into your serum or moisturiser. I am a huge fan and will forever remain a huge fan of the brand. I've not tried a single product by the brand I've not loved.
I also have three Skinesis by Sarah Chapman oil-elixirs on rotation. Every single product of Sarah's offers a beautiful sensory experience. I look forward to using her products, as they make me feel like I'm at a spa. I will apply a few drops of her oils into my palms, cover my nose taking a deep breath and inhale, before gently pressing into my skin. It helps me to feel instantly relaxed and calm; Because of this, I love to apply her face oils right before I climb into bed. The Skinesis Overnight Facial -£54 is a long time favourite and has been a repurchase every year for around 5/6 years now. One of the best facial elixirs of all time! Last Christmas she came out with a limited edition 30ml bottle for just under £100, which I finally opened this summer after finishing up some other oils. The Skinesis Glow illuminating Elixir -£64 is a limited edition elixir that gives similar results to the Overnight Facial, and the Platinum Stem Cell Elixir -£147 is an amped-up luxurious anti-ageing treatment, hence the heftier price tag. It's the most expensive skincare product I've ever invested in. All three face oils help to soothe my skin, help lock in hydration, balance sebum production and start my morning off with beautiful glowy skin. I want to do a dedicated Brand spotlight blog post on Sarah Chapman products. So keep your eyes peeled for that.
I finish up with my nighttime skincare routine applying lip balm. My favourite lip balm at present is the Eucerin Acute lip Balm -£6. I'm on my 3rd tube. I love that it's emollient, super nourishing and healing, and that contains no fragrance or flavouring. It's a must-have staple product for me.
So, that's it for my nighttime skincare routine. I am the happiest I've ever been with my skin at the moment, and I put it down to the marriage of products and ingredients that I'm using, along with consistency. For the first few weeks of lockdown, I got lazy and didn't take care of my skin, and it showed, with m sin acting up, which goes to show that consistency is just as important as the products you use. I have been told purging/flaking from Tretinoin takes around 2 months to settle, so I will update later in the year how my Tret journey is going.
Have you found any game-changing skincare products this year?