In the never ending quest for beauty routines that deliver the goods it’s important to not overlook the boring stuff we all “know to do” but somehow manage to forget about. Top of the list here is face washing. We all heard it a million times from our moms growing up, and now it’s time to hear the reminder again - Faces need to be washed properly every single night!
Here’s a very simple but effective routine, feel free of course to add your own additional steps that make you feel good:
- Tie your hair back with your favourite scrunchie or ridiculous headband, it’s important to look the part AND it’s also practical, you don’t want your hair getting in the way, that’s just annoying.
- Stop and assess, are you wearing heavier eye makeup such as dark pencils, shadows or sparkles that requires special removal? If not proceed to the next step. If so grab your favourite makeup remover. I like all these micellar water styles of remover that are popular right now, they work really well, squirt onto a cotton pad (I suggest buying these in bulk from Costco, they’re also incredibly handy for taking off nail polish!), I like to hold the pad against my eyes for a moment or two to soften up the makeup then simply wipe it away like magic.
- Splash face with lukewarm tap water, you can use icy cold water if you’re feeling brave (I’m too much of a cold water wimp for this most days), some people claim it helps to de-puff, it’s certainly invigorating I’ll give it that. Main thing is to avoid really hot water on your face, it can be drying and makes your skin overly flushed (ie red).
- Use a squirt of your favourite skin care cleanser, best to stick with something gentle that won’t strip all the natural oils off your skin. I’m currently using CeraVe from the drugstore but I’ve used all sorts of different brands over the years, some breath takingly expensive and some very basic and affordable. The main advice I have for how to pick your skincare is to make sure it’s got ingredients you’re okay with (always read the labels!), that it smells okay to you (smell is a really important part of your beauty routines, make sure you’re good with the scent of whatever you’re using), make sure it does what you want it to and isn’t irritating to your eyes or skin, and make sure it’s a price point that works for you and your beauty budget. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not spending a million dollars on your skincare, there’s great quality products to be had at all sorts of price points, so find a brand that you like and does the job you want it to.
- Gently scrub your face with your cleanser of choice, I suggest using a mild exfoliating brush or face cloth to help remove the top layer of dead skin cells and make your skin radiant, smooth and glowy (yes, this is the secret sauce to glowy skin, do not skip this part)
- And don’t forget your jawline, hairline and neck! When I’m not paying close enough attention and am operating on auto pilot I just wash the centre of my face, like somehow that’s the only area that needs attention. Make sure you gently scrub right up to your hairline, along and under your jawline and down the whole front and sides of your neck (I don’t do the back of my neck… don’t ask me why I have no logical answer for this, out of sight out of mind I guess), and if you’re in the shower I’d suggest giving your entire upper décolletage (fancy french term for upper chest area) a gentle scrub as well.
- Rinse off completely with lukewarm (or for the brave crowd, icy cold) water
- Apply a quarter sized amount of your favourite moisturizer to your finger tips, pat your fingers together and then tap evenly across your whole face and neck, watch that you don’t get too close to your eyes or it might sting/give you itchy eyes. I go through my eyebrows and around the occipital bone but generally no closer, finding whenever I get greedy and closer than that I’m flirting with unhappy eyeballs, and what my eyeballs want my eyeballs get, fine lines and wrinkles be damned. Do you need special eye cream? I can hear you wondering this right now… I’m a relative minimalist and I’ve never been sufficiently convinced that the skin around my eyes requires different cream than the skin on my face, but I’ve got numerous friends in my close circle who swear by their eye cream and they’ve got dewy lovely eye skin so who really knows? I think where there might be some validity to the need for special eye cream is if you’re using a treatment style cream that contains ingredients, such as retinol, that might be too strong or irritating around the eye area. Personally I’d say if it makes you happy to use eye cream, use it, if it seems annoying or unnecessary to use it, don’t.
- Slick on some lip balm (I am 100% unabashedly biased to my AF Lip Balm, but you use what makes you happy and keeps your lips smooth!)
- Remove your goofy scunchie and headband, taa daa you are all set for bed.
- In the morning you can repeat the above process or just give your face a quick splash of water and apply an even tinier amount of moisturizer/sunscreen to prep your face for makeup. You don’t want your skin dry or greasy when you go to apply makeup, you’re looking for that happy middle ground of just the right amount of moisture, and this routine will help you create that.
Make sure you do this every single day, come hell or high water, it doesn't matter if you’re tired, it doesn't matter if you weren’t wearing makeup that day, or that you’re camping, make taking care of your skin a non-negotiable and over time you’ll have the smooth, plump skin to show for it.
And this suggested regime is just a starting point, it may be all you ever do, but there’s of course a world of other options out there. A good friend of mine takes her skin care extremely seriously, she is definitely in the pro eye cream camp and faithfully goes for facials once every 6 weeks. We were camping together last summer and we had a hearty laugh, you know the kind, with tears streaming down your face, at her elaborate skin care ritual. She had us heating water in the pitch black pouring rain so she could dip her muslin cloth to steam and wipe her face prior to applying what I’m sure was no less than fifteen different layers of product that included mists, serums, toners and creams. She loves it, it makes her happy, her skin looks great, awesome! Figure out what works for you and do it.
What are your secret beauty skin care tricks that make all the difference to you? I'm collecting tips and tricks to use in my upcoming book and would love to hear what steps you consistently take to care for your skin.