Another CG Beauty post, here’s my 10 steps to healthy, youthful, radiant skin. Because everyone, of all ages, wants healthy, youthful, radiant and glowing skin. The best kind of glow is one that comes from within, rather than layers of illuminating primers, strobe creams and highlighters.
In this post, I’ll share my skincare routine, products that actually work and give genuine, visible results that will transform your skin. And help achieve that healthy, youthful, radiant glow.
1. Beauty Sleep
I know it can be difficult with kids, a job, family, friends, sports, hobbies and a social life. But you need to get lots of sleep – there’s a reason it’s called beauty sleep. Everyone looks better after a good night’s sleep! I try to get a 8 hours every night, and have done since my teens. I think it makes a huge difference to the skin.
If you really want to protect your skin at night, preventing both dehydration and wrinkles, invest in a high quality silk pillowcase. I adore my Slip Silk Pillowcases – CURLMAVEN for 20% off. Silk pillowcases are much loved by beauty editors, celebrities and even Royalty! Read this post on how I protect my curls at night.
2. Drink Water
We all know this one, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to drink lots of water. It flushes toxins out of your body, as well as hydrating your body, including your skin. Try drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, before a cup of tea or coffee, and breakfast. Keep a bottle of water around the house or at your desk, to sip throughout the day. Alcohol actually dehydrates you and your skin; so the less alcohol you drink, the more your skin will thank you for it. And smoking, the same goes for smoking. It ages you like nothing else!
The single most effective form of anti-ageing skincare. You absolutely need to be wearing SPF on your face every single day of the year. Regardless of weather, seasons, or where you live in the world. And by face, I mean face, neck and décolleté. That’s the standard area for all “facial” skincare. Whether it’s a stand alone facial SPF, or SPF in your moisturiser, it needs to be in there. I recommend no lower than SPF 25 or 30. Personally I wear Supergoop Play SPF over my moisturiser, under my makeup. Make sure it’s broad spectrum, UVA & UVB. A quick and easy way to remember is UVA: A = ageing. UVB: B = burning. But more on SPF’s coming soon.
4. Double Cleanse
If you wear makeup and/or SPF, you need to cleanse your face twice in the evenings. The first cleanse removes your SPF and makeup. The second cleanse cleans your skin. Balm or oil cleansers are best for the first cleanse as the oils break down the makeup, mascara and SPF – they are also great for giving yourself a facial massage. My favourite balm cleansers are from Emma Hardie – the cult favourite Moringa Cleansing Balm. And Erase from Pestle & Mortar – reviews on both coming soon. Get 20% off both those brands at Look Fantastic, using code CURLMAVEN.
Next, use a good cream cleanser to act like a conditioner for the skin. But for goodness sake don’t ever use a foaming cleanser – they are extremely drying on the skin! If budget is a concern, use a balm/oil cleanser twice, even if you have oily skin. A budget option is another cult favourite, The Body Shop’s Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. Or Double Cleanse by Caroline Hirons x Pixi – my favourite cleansing combo for travel.
The best way to get that healthy, radiant glow is regular exfoliation. To sweep away dead skin cells and reveal the youthful skin underneath. But don’t reach for your Clarisonic, or heaven-forbid the dreaded St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub! Who remembers that?! The best, and kindest way to exfoliate your skin is with acids. Skin-friendly AHA’s such as glycolic & lactic acid, and BHA’s – salicylic acid. These help fight signs of aging, improve uneven skin tone, smooth wrinkles, reduce dullness and breakouts. I love Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser as my second cleanse. Review coming soon as this is an amazing product that I always have in my bathroom, and backups!
You can use a mild acid toner every day which will remove the dead, dull, dry, flaky skin cells to reveal the fresh, youthful, radiant-looking skin underneath. My favourite is Exfoliate from Pestle & Mortar, I use it every morning. I’ve got a post coming soon on all the different acids and what acid suits each skin type and concern. So make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss that post.
6. Facial Masks/Peels
A continuation of the acid exfoliation process and another of my favourite products that gives me great, visible results every time. The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. This is a powerful triple-action treatment that exfoliates with pumpkin enzyme, peels with AHA’s and polishes with aluminium oxide to reveal brighter, healthier skin that is literally as smooth as a baby’s bum and I find it really evens out my skin tone too! It’s a big tub, and lasts me a whole year, which makes it incredibly affordable!
Another favourite mask of mine is May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver. Incredibly pricey, but it lasts absolutely ages and actually, for the amount of product and usage – very good value for money! Look, I’ll justify and convince myself of just about anything when it comes to skincare and haircare products!
For those with particularly sensitive skin, you can still use these kinds of masks. My advice is to only apply a small amount, with little/no massaging and leave the PTR Pumpkin Enzyme Mask on for 2-3 mins to begin with. Until you get confident enough with these kinds of masks, and know how your skin will react. Same with The Problem Solver, let the acids do all the exfoliating work. I use both of these masks once a week or so. Some may find their skin a little red afterwards, but nothing alarming and it fades away within a few minutes.
You can get retinol in serum, cream or oil formulations. Retinol is vitamin A – think of the A for Anti-Ageing. Just as acid’s work on the top layer of the skin, removing dead and dull skin cells. Retinol works on the deeper layers of the skin. Reversing the signs of ageing, encouraging skin cell renewal deep down, unclogging and minimising the appearance of pores.
It also boosts collagen production, evens out skin tone and discolouration, as well as smoothing and softening the skin. It can help visibly increase the appearance of firmness, diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles and smooth and refine the surface of skin.
However, you need to take it slowly with retinols. I’m a huge fan of little and often. Some retinols can cause rednesss, irritation, sensitivity, peeling and flaking of the skin. Essentially, dermatitis! If you haven’t used retinol before, start with it in oil form, such as Sunday Riley Luna, or Superstar from Pestle & Mortar – CURLMAVEN for 20% off. Caroline Hirons has an excellent post on Retinol, and a series on her YouTube channel. As a guide, use it twice a week if you’re in your 20’s, three times a week in your 30’s, four times a week in your 40’s and so on. You can’t use retinol if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. And you simply MUST wear SPF every day, when using products containing retinol.
8. Facial Oils
These are great to combat dry, dull and dehydrated skin. Or as Tata Harper says, they are the food and nourishment for the skin. Even if you are combination/oily. Oily skin is actually dehydrated skin which can’t regulate itself, so it overproduces sebum (oil) in an attempt to hydrate itself. Check out this post on how to determine if your skin is dry or dehydrated. You can layer oils too. My favourites are Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil and KORA Organics Noni Facial Oil. You can get 20% off both of those at Look Fantastic using code CURLMAVEN.
You need just a few drops, pressed into the skin, usually applied after a moisturiser. If you don’t like the oily feeling on your skin, apply your moisturiser after your oil. Use high quality oils for dry and dehydrated skin types, so they won’t clog your skin, and cause congestion or break outs.
9. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid really is a must-have in any skincare routine to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day, every day. Two of my favourites are Pestle & Mortar’s Pure Hyaluronic Serum, and Hydraluron from Indeed Labs, both fantastic products! Get 20% off both of those using code CURLMAVEN at Look Fantastic.
Apply hyaluronic acid on your face each morning and night, just before your normal moisturiser, any moisturiser. It’s great for dry, dehydrated skin. Any and all skin types! I’m going to do a dedicated post on this soon, because it’s that good, and fundamental to any skincare routine.
And finally, to top all of that skincare off, you need a good moisturiser. Essentially a moisturiser is used to seal in all the goodness of the other products you’ve layered on your skin. You don’t need to spend huge money. Spend your big bucks on your second cleanser, serum, and/or facial oil.
My favourite moisturisers are Hydrate from Pestle & Mortar – CURLMAVEN for 20% off, Tidal from Sunday Riley and Oskia’s Nutri Active Day Cream – CURLMAVEN for 20% off. I can notice a visible improvement and difference in my skin when I use them.
I know this is quite a long post, but I really wanted to give a fully-rounded skincare guide and routine that will really work for all skin types and ages. Also, to lay the foundation for dedicated reviews of each of the products and categories mentioned in this post. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below and I will answer them as best I can.
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If you’re new here and wondering what CG Beauty is, you can check out this post to get up to speed – and, welcome! Thank you for stopping by and getting this far!
You might like this post on the difference between dry and dehydrated skin too, so you don’t spend money on the wrong products
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Great post Gabriella! Love that you’re started the CG Beauty section on the blog! I love skincare so much, it’s a slight obsession. Do you have any favourite hydrating masks? I’m always looking for a good mask, and I’m lacking a bit in the hydrating mask department since I ran out of the I’m from Honey Mask (which if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend!).
Hi Sofia, my skin is always very dehydrated so I’m going to do a post on that soon. But like I mentioned in this post, and in the hyaluronic acid picture, the Hydraluron sheet mask is one of my favourite hydrating masks. Hope that helps xoxo
Love this post. I came across your blog today while researching CG products and have been bingeing everything on here haha. With the SPF, Hyauluronic acid, retinols, facial oils, and moisturizers it sounds like there’s so much you’re layering onto your face. Won’t that cause it to look very oily since you’re suggesting putting these on in the morning before you go out? Or are these all not meant to be put on together? And also do you have any opinions on The Ordinary facial oils? I’ve been thinking of investing in those.
Hi Aliya! Thank you so much! Glad you’ve been loving my content. No, not all of those products are applied at once. For example, SPF and hyaluronic acid in the mornings, retinol and facial oils in the evenings. Layering skincare came over from Korea – they love to do a lot of light layering of products. As a result, your skin is plump, hydrated and moisturised. If it’s greasy from oils, you may have used too much oil. I use 4-5 drops on my face. Some oils also take a few mins to sink into the skin. As for The Ordinary – I haven’t bought any of their products, because any of the ones I’ve sampled, I don’t like the feeling of them on my skin. Sorry I can’t be of more help there. xoxo
I am loving these posts! Can’t wait for more on sunscreens!
Yes, coming soon! I’ve been trying a couple of new ones that are reef safe etc and will be taking with me on a trip soon. So stay tuned for more on sunscreens! x
in the post it doesn’t say what order you use them nd which ones are Am and which ones are PM. Could you make a clear list for Am and PM?
like you listed moisturiser as 10. but you also said that spf and face oil go after. you didnt say that retinol and face oils were only evenings and that it wasn’t everything on at once, I only knew after reading the comments
Hi Hannah, the list was not written in order of when you apply the products. Apologies for the confusion caused. This was a starter post, and I will go more in depth into some of the such as moisturisers, SPF, retinol and face oils in future posts.
As a woman turning 45 soon, with no skin issues and on a budget, out of your 10 steps to radiant skin post, which should I make sure I prioritise please? I don’t wear foundation day to day either and do cleanse.
An SPF and a cleanser are the two most important things I would say! x
Great stuff! Came here for hair, stayed for the skin (I just started CG on my hair and wanted to start something similar on my skin since it’s horrible and doesn’t like anything or doesn’t react to whatever I do to it). I was wondering, are you planning to broaden this out to not just facial skin? Any product recommendations, etc.? I find that my skin gets dry easily (and then I forget to apply body lotion) so I sometimes end up just using coconut oil while showering, which helps a bit – but I’m looking for stuff that I could settle with and solve my problems. 🙂
Hi Viktória, I don’t plan on extending it to body skin really. I want to stick to the face – I am an Aries after all! ha ha. But if your skin is super dry, I don’t recommend slathering it with oil, especially not when you’re in the shower – the only time your body can get water/hydration. Think of it this way, if you had a dry throat and you were thirsty, would you reach for a glass of water or a glass of oil to drink? Oil does not equal hydration. I suggest you get a good moisturising body cream, my personal favourite is Nivea Soft Creme. I wish I had better choices for various ethical and environmental reasons etc, but I have extremely sensitive skin and that one always works great for me.
Oil newbie here. The Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex has been renamed “Retinoic.” Would you use this as you would a retinol serum? I.e., a few times weekly rather than daily?
Thanks so much!
Hi Rebecca, yes the name changed but not the formula, and the retinoic quanities are still very low. So no, I’m not using it as a retinol product, I’m still using it as an oil. It’s gentle enough that you can use it daily, should you want to. I used to use it daily and my skin was fine. I no longer use it daily, as I am on prescription strength retinol treatment which I use 3 times/week.
Hahaha as soon as I read ‘exfoliate’ I was literally about to open a new tab thinking ‘I must track down that St Ives Apricot Scrub’ as I haven’t been able to find it anywhere for years and therefore stopped exfoliating. My eyes nearly popped when I read on lol I will try out your suggestions instead. Thanks. I follow you for my cg journey which I’m 6 months into. Love you and your website. Thanks for keeping it so real. X
Thanks so much Charlotte! x