The Essential Products Every Skincare Routine Needs
1. A Gentle Cleanser
Everyone’s skin is different, but there’s one thing all experts agree on – make sure you thoroughly clean your skin morning and evening. There’s little point layering expensive active ingredients on top of a layer of grime. For dry skin we love Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser Deluxe Size, £78 with its creamy, rich formula. For those with combination or slightly oiler skin, try Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, £17. It’s gentler than most foaming cleansers and leaves your skin feeling soft. If you wear a lot of makeup or cycle and are worried about pollution, we recommend , which whisks away stubborn dirt and long-wear makeup effortlessly – we promise it’s worth the extra step!
2. A Brightening Toner
In recent years there has been a huge upswell in exfoliating toners and for good reason. Natural AHAs are acids that help our skin to shed dead cells more effectively thus making skin look brighter. They also clear the path for further active ingredients to be absorbed more readily, making them an excellent partner to serums and moisturisers. Start gently with Ren Clean Skincare Summer Limited Edition Daily AHA Tonic, £28, which exfoliates without stripping away moisture. For a deeper exfoliating experience try Space NK Best of Space NK: Our Beauty Heroes Volume 2, N/A with their blend of five acids plus neutraliser. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, £11.5 is the best budget-friendly exfoliating toner and helps to brighten and smooth your skin.
3. A Hard-Working Serum
This step is really where you need to start getting to know your skin’s needs. Take note throughout the day of any changes in skin, for example if your foundation seems to go patchy it’s likely your skin is drying out and is drinking up the oil and water in your makeup. Combat this by soaking your skin in a hydrating serum such as Votary Brightening Hyaluronic Serum, £75 in the morning and evening. If your skin is quite reactive – prone to going red, sensitive at times and sore, then a calming serum such as should help. For those who suffer from breakouts Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster, £40 can help to reduce the appearance of blemishes and post-breakout marks.
4. A Hydrating Treatment
All skin types need to find a balance when it comes to hydration. Even oily skin needs a light moisturiser, otherwise the skin will overcompensate leading to more oil and breakouts. It might seem counterintuitive to add oil to oil, but often face oils can be brilliant at solving oily skin woes, try a light but ingredient-packed blend, such as Venn Advanced Multi-Perfecting Red Oil Serum, £120. Dry skin may prefer to use an oil and a moisturiser together for lasting hydration. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream, £15 dispenses into its lid, making it perfect for mixing your bespoke treatment, try adding a couple of drops of Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, £35 for a really rich, nourishing moisturiser. For those looking to boost glow, look for a moisturiser that contains brightening vitamin C, such as Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream, £20.
5. A Broad-Spectrum SPF
An SPF is absolutely essential, not only will it protect your skin from burning, but also from premature wrinkles and lines, sunspots and melasma. Apply SPF as your final layer of skincare in the daytime, it can go under makeup but always over moisturiser. If you’re prone to oiliness or breakouts and don’t like to layer too many products on your skin, try Ultra Violette Clean Screen Sensitive Skinscreen SPF 30, £32, it’s fragrance-free, lightweight and won’t clog pores. For a richer cream that won’t leave white marks, we rate which also contains antioxidants to help protect against environmental aggressors such as pollution. Throughout the day it’s a good idea to top up your sunscreen and boost skin with a vitamin-rich spray such as , which brightens and softens while setting makeup and refreshing skin.