The day I turned thirty, I started taking an avid interest in the state of my skin. I established a decent morning skincare routine and slapped on some moisturizer before I went to bed each night. I will admit that I didn’t know what I was doing exactly and was mostly just winging it. But as I advanced in years, I got more and more interested in what goes into a good skincare product, why it works and who it works for. It was only last year that I felt confident in the choice of skincare products I have on my bathroom vanity. I have now reached a stage where I have curated a good set of products that work very efficiently for the state and age of my skin right now.
I did write a post about my skincare routine ages ago when I was a new mom. And while those products were working well for me then, I was definitely in need of an upgrade to cater to my maturing skin. Some of these products have been in my routine for well over three years now and others I have discovered along the way. Read on if you are a curious cat like me or if you are looking for some great new products for the TLC of your skin.
Morning Skincare Routine – Basics
My basic morning skincare routine includes three products that I absolutely cannot do without: a cleanser, an eye cream and a lip balm. I start each day with this routine and then follow up with other products. These three basic products have been a part of my skincare routine for more or less three years now.
Whether I start my morning skincare routine in the shower or the bathroom sink, it always starts with the Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser. This is a very basic, no frills cleanser which promises to improve the texture of your skin and brighten its appearance. I won’t go so far as to say that this has done any of that for my skin. However, that is also not what I expect from a daily cleanser.
The reason I love and use this particular cleanser is its hypoallergenic properties, which means that the possibility of it breaking out my super-sensitive skin is very low. It does a good job of getting rid of the the natural oils and the residue of my night time skincare products. And also I am never left with the tight, drying feeling that most cleansers give me. I wet my face, take a pump of this cleanser, work it into a lather and apply it to my face in gentle circular motions. It washes off easily without leaving any slippy feeling behind. All in all, a very simple yet efficient daily cleanser for all ages.
If you have ever lived in a dry climate or are simply a victim to ageing, you will know what a pain dry under eyes can be. Not only do they make you look older than you actually are, they also make any makeup you apply under your eyes look horrible. This is why a moisturizing eye cream is an essential part of my morning skincare routine.
I have been using the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment for over four years now. This is a very gentle eye cream but is packed full of hydration. I take a tiny blob of this on my ring finger and gently tap it all around my optical bones. The moisture it provides to the eye area makes me look awake and my concealer goes on beautifully on top of this. This is a great product if you are just getting into skincare. It will delay the appearance of fine lines around your eyes which are caused by a lack of moisture. It is not a cult classic for no reason.
A lip treatment has to be an essential part of your morning skincare routine if you are a resident of Riyadh. This place is famous for giving you chapped, bleeding lips within a few hours of you landing here. I struggled with dry lips for an entire year and tried every drugstore balm under the sun with no results. Once I caved and bought this jar of pure lip magic which is the Nuxe Ultra-nourishing Lip Balm, I haven’t looked back and my lips haven’t looked more nourished. The two main ingredients in this balm are honey and Vitamin-E, which not only moisturize the lips, but also repair the damage on them. Needless to say, this balm will be in my Riyadh survival kit, if I ever make one.
Morning Skincare Routine – Day 1
After I have done the basics of my morning skincare routine, I move on to the next steps which I have categorized as Day 1 and Day 2. This means that I follow these routines on alternate days. If I use my Day 1 products today, I will be using my Day 2 products tomorrow. I have carefully distributed these products over the week so that I am not using too much of each, because with my skin, there is always the fear of triggering it into a breakout frenzy.
Every once in a while, we need to exfoliate our skin to get rid of the dead skin cells on the surface and reveal the new, brighter layer underneath. I, for one, avoid using any physical exfoliants like scrubs on my skin just because they are too harsh for me. I prefer to use a chemical exfoliant and glycolic acid is a pretty god one. That is one of the main ingredients of the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner which I have been using for almost two years now. It also contains Salicylic acid which is good for acne prone skin.
On alternate days, I wet a cotton pad with this toner and rub it gently all over my skin. I hope to see gunky, dead skin cells on the pad but never do (duh!) which is a little disappointing. Nevertheless, this does a very good job of brightening the face and has definitely improved the texture of my skin, especially around the chin. I try not to over-use it, even though I am tempted to.
The next step in my morning skincare routine is providing my face with some much needed moisture and that starts with my Cosmedica Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This product has been a great favorite of mine for over a year now and I also talked about it in this blog post that I wrote exactly a year ago. I hope that it is doing its amazing trick of pulling moisture from the air and adding it back to my skin. What I know for sure is that after consistently using it for a year now, my face doesn’t feel as tight as it used to and there is a great improvement in the texture of my skin as well. I absolutely cannot do without this product.
The Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment is the one product that brought my skin back from its worst condition ever (more about it in this blog post). That is why I swear by it, recommend it to everyone and always have it on my vanity. This oil is great for re-balancing dehydrated skin which, let’s face it, most of us have. I take four drops of this, one on the tip of each finger, rub my hands together and go crazy over my face. It is instantly absorbed, which tempts me to apply more of it, but I resist. The result is supple looking skin that actually feels moisturized. My current and third bottle is on its last legs and I am starting to panic. I never ever want to be without this oil. It is one of those rare products that delivers all that it promises on the box.
On the days that I am staying home, I stop my morning skincare routine at the Clarins oil. If however, I am planning to get out of the house, I use the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream as an additional layer of moisture and my sun protection. I will talk about it in the next part.
Morning Skincare Routine – Day 2
On alternate days, after doing the basics of my skincare, I directly move on to the serum step of my morning skincare routine which is my Cosmedica Hyaluronic Acid Serum. I apply it, give it a minute to get absorbed and move on to spot correction and moisturizer.
I spent my youth being rather careless with my skin. As a result of that, I have years of sun damage because I never bothered to wear an SPF. Last year, I decided to do something about the discoloration and acne scarring on my face and my research led me to the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution. This has been a part of my morning skincare routine for three months now and while it is too early to see any difference it has made in spot correction, I have noticed an overall improvement in the quality of my skin. I decided not to go overboard with this, so I use it on alternate days. I am hoping with time and consistent use, I will see an improvement in my hyper-pigmentation.
Some of the products in my morning skincare routine (and also common sense) demand that I wear an SPF before stepping out of my home. And if, like me, you hate the greasy feeling most SPFs leave behind or the white cast you see on your face, you will love the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (SPF 30). This absorbs very easily into the skin and leaves no residue on the surface. I can also confirm that makeup goes on wonderfully on top of this. Aside from the protection it provides, I am also very impressed with its moisturizing properties. A decent product that gets additional points for not breaking me out.
With time, I hope to further trim down my skincare routine and reduce it to only five products that do the job. But until then, this is working pretty well for me. I am not breaking out as much as I used to and my skin is not as dry as it was last winter. Keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks a lot for reading.