The World of Skincare

by Samantha MacKenzie

The world of Skincare – it’s insanely hard to navigate! I studied for 2 years and still I find it hard to get my routine right. Sure, if we had unlimited funds we could see the best skin experts, buy the best products, but that’s not realistic.

Today as I was walking through the city I thought I’d pop into the makeup store for some foundation samples. I’m at the end of a bottle and it hasn’t been staying on my nose well, so why not try something new? The guy believed it was my skincare, not the foundation, causing the problem.

He removed my makeup and applied some products to my skin and though it looked nice, I left with irritated eyes and an itchy face. The beauty industry is extremely competitive, and sales driven. I’m not at all bothered by the guy who was trying to help and doing his job, but people need to be taught the right questions to ask people before recommending products. I was shown the most expensive brands and not told about any of the ingredients.

So, I’ve come home and started thinking about what a good skincare routine looks like… there isn’t one specific, failproof routine to follow. It comes down to the individual and all the requirements a person needs to meet. Ingredients, budget, time, age, skin type and on and on it goes.

My requirements

  • I’m 32 so fine lines are a part of my life. Especially around my eyes!
  • My skin is dry/combination – oily t-zone but dry everywhere else. I’m also prone to breakouts.
  • I can’t use anything with a strong or lingering smell. No Salicylic Acid as it’s too harsh for me.
  • I like to stay between the low to mid-price range. If I’m using a product constantly I can’t afford to repurchase every couple of months. Something I get 6 to 12 months out of is ideal.
  • I like to spend time on my skincare in the evening. It’s a great way to wind down.

My current routine

If I’m wearing makeup, I’ll use a Face Halo before double cleansing.

  1. Cleanser – I was using the Extra Mild facial soap and Micellar Gel by Clinique but it’s just not working for my skin anymore. I’ve also just added Youth To The Peoples Superfood Cleanser which is making a huge difference. I was getting a lot of blackheads that are now disappearing.
  2. Toner/exfoliator – I was using Glycolic Acid but it was actually making my skin quite oily and reactive, so I’ve now switched Lactic Acid (by The Inkey List) which is also an AHA but the molecules are larger so penetrate a little less deep into the skin. For me, it works well because I am so sensitive but it’s a matter of trial and error.
  3. Serum – Q10 in the morning to fight free-radicals. Hyaluronic Acid at night to hydrate. Both by The Inkey List
  4. Moisturiser – I use the Clinique Moisture Surge range and the Hydrating Jelly. It depends on what my skin needs at the time. I also us the Burt’s Bees Sensitive Day and night creams when I need extra.
  5. Sleep mask – Clinique Moisture Surge again! Spending time massaging the face while it absorbs is such a great way to relax before sleep.
  6. Lip balm – Clean and Pure

I’ve recently cut eye cream out of my routine because it was doing nothing but clog the pores and cause Milia. Because I’m so sensitive, products with Vitamin A or C aren’t an option. I use a thin moisturiser and bring it up to the orbital bone. Eye Cream without the actives is just moisturiser!

The other change as I said, is my Cleanser. I need to find something less rich as well as incorporating an oil cleanser for a double cleanse. I tend to cleanse only at night because while I sleep I’m soaking up moisturisers and masks.

Finding what’s right for you

As I mentioned before, skincare is a very individual thing and what works for me might not work for someone with the same skin type. I recommend getting a Skin Analysis done by a professional Beauty Therapist or Dermatologist. Knowing exactly what your skin is like at a microscopic level is the best way to treat your particular skin concern. Having your skin looked at under a woods lamp (black light) will show the lipids, bacteria, dryness, dehydration and so on.

When it comes to products do your own research. Ask for samples. Do skin patch tests. If samples aren’t an option, try a mini starter kit. Never buy something you haven’t tried before. It can be hard to say no when a product is sold to you through lack of understanding.  Google is your friend here. Know the ingredients and the brands available. Also, remember that your skincare doesn’t have to be one brand. Its not about the name on the label, but the ingredients on the back of the package.

I hope this is helpful for anyone looking into skincare!

Below are some website links to brands and products I love.


Clean & Pure

The Inkey List

Face Halo

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