Over the last few months, I’ve made quite a few changes to my skincare routine. My sensitive, combination and dehydrated skin has never looked better, brighter or clearer! I constantly get compliments, both in real life and on social media. Which is huge for me, as I’ve always struggled with my skin with things like acne and breakouts, redness and pigmentation. Now I’m in my mid-30’s, you can throw ageing in there too!
Last year I wrote a post on How to Build a Simple Skincare Routine, which is a great place to start. I also shared my skincare journey, if you want to read more about that. Many of you said you found that post really helpful and my tips, advice and recommendations have helped to transform your skin. This post is my updated skincare routine, what I’ve changed and what new products I’ve introduced.
AD | This post is sponsored by Look Fantastic, who I work with on an ongoing basis. They offer FREE worldwide shipping, no custom charges to the EU, and you can get 20% off using code CURLMAVEN. Sponsored posts enable me to continue providing FREE content, create organic content and keep my blog FREE from Google Ads. However, this hasn’t influenced the way I’ve written about the brand or the products featured in this post.
As always, please remember what works for my skin may not work for yours. I’ll do my best to give you as much information and advice as I can, based on my own knowledge and experience. But I’m not a qualified GP, aesthetician, dermatologist or beauty therapist. So please consult a professional when it comes to your own skin concerns. Do your research and always patch test!
Where to Start
Definitely check out my previous beauty post on How to Build a Simple Skincare Routine! As that has all the basic knowledge and foundation you need to to build a good skincare routine. I don’t want to repeat the same content, tips and advice so if you haven’t read that post, go check it out and then come back here. I’ve also got another great post on 10 Steps to Healthy, Youthful, Radiant Skin, if you want to give that a read too.
This post details my daily skincare routine. It doesn’t include facials, sheet masks, eye patches, skincare devices or face masks. I do use all of those things, maybe 2-3 times a week, but it’s too much to fit into one blog post. I’ going to write a post on my anti-ageing skincare devices soon. In the mean time, you can read this blog post on my top 5 at home facials and face masks.
There is a definite trend emerging in the skincare industry of products that calm, soothe, protect and nourish the skin. With less focus on excessive active ingredients and exfoliating treatments to encourage rapid cell turn over for a more youthful, radiant complexion. These can often compromise the skin’s barrier, causing irritation, redness and sensitivity – to name just a few.
Where I Invest in My Skincare Routine
Choosing what and where to invest in my skincare routine has become more important to me as I get older. I know mid-30’s isn’t old, but it’s a great time to make anti-ageing more of a priority. The best, most scientifically and clinically proven way to protect your skin from ageing is sun protection (SPF), anti-oxidents (vitamin C) and retinol (vitamin A).
I haven’t included retinol in this routine because I have a prescription strength retinol prescribed by my doctor. But I’ve eased off on retinol this winter and instead focused on the rest of my routine detailed in this post.
I’ve also invested in a couple of rather pricey anti-ageing skincare devices in recent months too. Again, I opted for the ones that have scientifically backed research and proven results. And I haven’t been disappointed, I’ve noticed visible results. I’ll share more about them in another post if that’s something you’re interested in, let me know in the comments.
My Skincare Routine
My day to day skincare routine is still the same 5 steps: Cleanse. Hydrate. Treat. Nourish and Protect. I’ve just switched the type of products I use for each of these steps. I’ve truly been amazed at the difference in my skin! I get fewer breakouts and blemishes, my skin looks so much clearer, brighter and youthful. Without using retinol!
I’ve already repurchased (at least once!) each new item in my routine. I wanted to be really sure that what I was doing was actually working. With visible, noticeable improvements before I shared what I’ve been using. As you’ll see, there’s one brand of products which has played the biggest part in the changes I’ve seen in my skin over recent months. Let’s get started!
This was the biggest thing I’ve changed in my skincare routine. It wasn’t intentional, I went away for a week last year and brought two new products with me for a simple, paired back routine. In just one week, the difference in my skin was incredible – and I cannot over emphasise this enough! It would have to be something truly incredible to knock my beloved Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm off the top spot it’s held in my skincare routine for almost 10 years! Use CURLMAVEN for 20% off Emma Hardie at Look Fantastic.
Let me introduce you to Aurelia Miracle Cream Cleanser. I’ve used cream cleansers before, but this one was the game-changer for me. Soothing, calming, nourishing and hydrating, it effortlessly removes all my makeup and SPF. I’ve used up one jar, and I’m on my second supersize bottle of the Aurelia Miracle Cream Cleanser. I haven’t used a balm cleanser in months! Use CURLMAVEN for 20% off at Look Fantastic.
Most days I use it to double cleanse, occasionally reaching for my Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel for a second cleanse. Or my Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, maybe once a week. But I’ve recently been loving the Kora Organics Cream Cleanser, which is a more light weight cream cleanser than the Aurelia one. I prefer the Aurelia one for the first cleanse, and the Kora one for the second cleanse. But you can get 20% off Aurelia, Oskia and Kora using code CURLMAVEN at Look Fantastic.
I’ve lost count of the amount of Tan Luxe Super Glow Serum I’ve repurchased since it first launched a couple of years ago. I still continue to use it most days for hydration and a subtle, buildable, sun-kissed glow. For more a more potent and immediate sun-kissed glow, I use Tan Luxe The Face in medium to dark. Just as Donnchadh, if you know you know. Pestle & Mortar recently came out with their Glow Drops, but I still prefer Tan Luxe. I find the colour lasts longer, especially when double cleansing every night. You can get 20% off both brands using code CURLMAVEN at Look Fantastic.
I apply my Tan Luxe Super Glow Serum over a few spritzes of Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist. I use this every single day, morning and night. I’m on my second bottle! It’s soothing and hydrating, perfect for my sensitive, often dehydrated skin. It’s quite pricey, it’s not necessary, but I really like it. CURLMAVEN for 20% off at Look Fantastic.
Here’s where I add my anti-oxidents into my skincare routine, and I’ve made some additions to this step. I always, always use a vitamin C. My favourite is the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic – it’s pricey, but worth it, with scientifically proven, visible, noticeable results. It’s rarely ever discounted, but you can get 20% off using CURLMAVEN at Look Fantastic.
For something more budget-friendly, multi-tasking and a nicer consistency and texture, I love and continue to repurchase Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum. I often mix the two, to get the potency of the 15% vitamin C of the SkinCeuticals, with the beautiful consistency, texture and peptides (clinically proven to be great for anti-ageing) of the Summer Fridays which only contains 6% vitamin C. It also makes my pricey SkinCeuticals last much longer! Use CURLMAVEN for 20% off SkinCeuticals at Look Fantastic, and get Summer Fridays CC Me Serum at Sephora here.
Occasionally, if my skin is feeling particularly dry, I’ll add a couple of drops of the KORA Organics Noni Facial Oil into my moisturiser during the day. It’s a light weight facial oil rich in anti-oxidents and fatty acids to soothe and hydrate. It’s the only oil I’ve found that sits well under makeup when used like this. I also use it at night. CURLMAVEN for 20% off at Look Fantastic.
Here’s what’s changed in this step and I think is what’s made the biggest difference to my skin: probiotics. Every morning, I use the milky-textured Aurelia Revitalise & Glow Serum with a couple of pumps of the Aurelia Probiotic Concentrate, which is more like a lightweight cream. I use the Probiotic Concentrate most evenings too. I’m still learning about the benefits and science behind these products, so far all I know is they work. You can get 20% off Aurelia at Look Fantastic using code CURLMAVEN.
In the mornings, I tend to use the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré to nourish and moisturize. This moisturizer is a cult-favourite of make up artists and beauty editors around the world. It’s a simple but effective formula and has been around for over 50 years! If you spend your money on good quality anti-oxident serums, you don’t need to spend loads on a moisturizer. I often switch up my moisturizers, but I always come back to either Embryolisse if my skin is feeling stressed or sensitive. Or the Oskia Nutri Active Day Cream, which is the best anti-ageing moisturizer I’ve used. I can see the difference in my skin when I’ve stopped using it. You can get 20% off both brands at Look Fantastic using code CURLMAVEN.
Nourish at Night
At night, I alternate between a few products in my skincare routine. The first is Sunday Riley Good Genes – but only the original lactic acid version only available in the USA. The Good Genes Glycolic Acid version available in the EU is too harsh for my sensitive skin. I also have a few acid toners which I use on rotation. Let me know if you’d like a dedicated blog post on my night time routine. Or on exfoliating acid toners, as they can be quite confusing and overwhelming!
Back to my Nourish at Night skincare routine. Two products are new and they are game changers! The first is Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil – my favourite facial oil, ever! And I’ve tried some of the most popular, to the most luxurious, eye-wateringly expensive facial oils on the market! But this (much more affordable) one from Aurelia gives me the best results.
From the first time I used it, and every time since, and I’m on my second bottle. Super light weight, it doesn’t clog up my pores, dehydrate my skin or leave it feeling oily or greasy. Smells divine, which I’ll admit is the reason I tried it in the first place. I love Neroli – whether that’s a candle, a mist, skincare or hair care product! CURLMAVEN for 20% off Aurelia at Look Fantastic.
The second game-changer product in this step is the Allies of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial. It’s constantly out of stock because it sells out so quickly. It’s expensive, the smell isn’t great, the texture isn’t particularly nice, but this product really works! When it’s back in stock on Look Fantastic you can get 20% off using code CURLMAVEN.
There’s no point in using all the fancy, expensive serums, oils, mists and moisturizers if you’re not protecting your skin from the sun during the day, every day. No matter where you live, or what time of the year it is. Nothing has or ever will change for me on this step. It’s just a must, so nothing new to report here. I’ve been using the Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF 50 for the past year or so… I KNOW! It’s my favourite SPF ever but…
There’s huge controversy around this product as the SPF factor claim of 50+ has not stood up in recent independent testing in two European labs. It’s a whole thing, read here for more info. But I still really love it and have never had any complaints. Even on vacation off the west coast of Africa in really hot temperatures, never mind Ireland! I’ve just finished my second or third bottle and am about to start a new one. If you have any recommendations for something similar in consistency, formula and ingredients, please let me know in the comments!
Biggest Game Changer
As you can see from my routine, Aurelia Probiotic Skincare is the biggest game changer and has completely transformed my skin. I’ve fallen in love with this multi-award-winning, British brand. All their products harness the power of probiotics to help manage the levels of inflammation within the skin. Which is one of the primary causes of skin ageing, a term that features a lot in this post, and my skincare routine.
BioOrganic, Vegan and certified Cruelty-Free. They are free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, mineral oils, silicones, sulphates, propylene glycol, phthalates, GMO, PEGs, TEA and DEA. They’re already pretty affordable, but you can get 20% off Aurelia using code CURLMAVEN at Look Fantastic. If you’d like me to do a dedicated review of all my favourite Aurelia products, let me know in the comments. My skin is much calmer clearer since I started using them.
Check out this post if you’d like to read more about what facials and face masks I use at home. They’re my OG, cult-favourites that I very rarely stray away from. Coming soon in Beauty on Curl Maven, I’ll share what anti-ageing skincare devices I’ve been using. Let me know if you’d like a post on exfoliating acids, when to use, what type of acid is best for different skin types and concerns etc.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. Let me know if you found it helpful and informative, or if I’ve introduced you to any new products or brands you’re excited to try. Please remember to patch test first! Oh, before I go! I’ve been saving all my skincare and hair care empties for the past year. Would you like to see a post on that too? Gabriella x
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