Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Starting Off Project - Skincare

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the very first post of a new project that I am so excited to be involved in.  The starting off project was created by the lovely Stephanie from Stephs Inside Voice.  The project is aimed at beauty newbies with tips and advice every week for the next weeks on certain products.  If you want more information about the Starting Off Project and what it is and what it entails then please head over to Stephs blog for more information or you can read my previous post on it.

This week is skincare and I was a little apprehensive on writing this post as I am by no means a skin care expert.  I don't fully understand Skin and what we should be doing to look after it to its very best but I do what I can and after many years of trial and error have learnt a few bits along the way.

To me skin care falls into two BIG catagories....Body Skincare and Facial skincare.  I have decided to focus this post around facial skincare.  Please bare in mind that I am not an expert and am not telling you what you should and should not be doing, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt.

To me facial skincare falls into three departments:- Morning Skincare, Evening Skincare and Weekly.  Some people have one skin care routine that they use both morning and night but for me I prefer to have two separate routines, purely because I feel I want products targeted at doing different things at different times of day.

We will start with morning skincare.  For me my morning skincare routine is all about prepping my skin for the day ahead.  Washing away any dirt and grime from sleeping and then making sure my skin is ready for make-up, sun, wind and all other elements that we put our faces through on a day to day basis.

I start by washing my face.  I wash with luke warm water and a facial wash targeted at oily skin (This is what I have but everyone's skin is different so make sure you learn about your skin type and buy products that are aimed at the skin you have).  I finish off by splashing my face with cold water.  Cold water not only refreshes me skin but also helps to tighten pores.

After washing I then move on to toner.  There are so many different types of toner out there that I can't even begin to suggest how you go about finding the one for you.  It really is just a matter of trial and error.  I normally apply my toner using a cotton pad but you can also get toners in the form of spray bottles so you just spritz them on your face.

I then normally move on to moisturizer but recently have been dabbling into the world of serums.  I have found a serum that is aimed at radiance boosting and love putting this on in the mornings before my moisturizer to add a little glow to my complexion.

Moisturizer - I have oily skin and a huge un-true myth surrounding oily skin is that it doesn't need moisturizer.  That is far from the truth, you just need to find a moisturizer that is aimed at oily skin.  Moisturizer re-hydrates your skin and if you find one targeted at oily skin it can also help in keeping those excess oils at bay.

Finally eye cream - I suffer with dark circles so my eye creams always focus towards that problem but again there are so many different types on the market all aimed at doing something different.

I remember when I was about 12 I used to wash my face with water and soap and soon discovered this was not the way to go.  Soap really dries your skin out and its really important to look after your skin from as early as possible.  Don't under-estimate the importance of good skincare.

Moving onto night time skin care.  In the evenings I am looking for products that remove make-up and the days dirt from skin as well as products that are going to help the skin repair overnight.

I start by removing my make-up, to do this I normally use an eye make-up remover followed by a miceller water solution for my face.  Micellar solutions have only really been truly discovered recently, they are a water based formula that you apply to cotton wool and it melts the make-up away from your skin.

Once I have cleared my skin of any make-up and dirt I then wash my face to really deep clean it.  I use a cult favourite product for this Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.  It does a brilliant job at removing left over make-up and dirt, smells fresh, natural and spa-like and just works well for my skin.

Once I have removed all my make-up and my skin is super clean I go back to toner.  I actually use the same toner as I do in the morning, for me personally I just see it as an added expense to use a different one, but again I think this is personal preference.

My night time moisturizer is targeted at blemish control and blemish scarring.  I luckily don't suffer with many spots any more but as I was growing up they were a real pain for me and I was unfortunately left with some scarring from them.  This is getting better and better every day as I am now taking the steps needed to remove the scars from my face.  The product I use is from the Body Shop so is real easy to get your hands on and cheap to at only £9.99 and I really feel it is working.

Finally my last step before bed is eye cream.  I sometimes use the same night cream as I do in the mornings but other times I use something a little thicker and more heavy duty as I don't need to worry about make-up having to sit on top of it.

All in all that is what I do morning and night to look after my skin.

A couple of extra hints and tips:- Lip scrub, I use this as and when my lips feel they need it.  It gently buffs away and dead skin cells and dry skin patches on my lips and leaves them feeling soft and new again.

Spot cream - I don't get them very often anymore but I do get the odd one and I feel this helps to get rid of them quickly.  As soon as I feel a spot coming I pop this on morning and night and it helps them go away quicker and sometimes even stops them coming out at all.

A good lip balm - your lips need looking after too and I know this is a step a lot of people forget to include in there skin care routine.  Lip Balms really are cheap as chips so pick one up and pop it on in the morning and at  night as the final step in your routine.  They are also super small so easy to throw in your hand bag for application through out the day.

Next up the things you should so weekly.

First exfoliate.  I exfoliate my skin once a week.  I use a product aimed at facial exfoliating as body ones can be a little too harsh for your face and one that is targeted at my skin type.  Exfoliating helps to remove any dead skin cells from your face revealing a much brighter, smoother complexion.

Face mask - again I use one normally twice a week and choose one that is targeted at my skin type or a certain issue I am dealing with that week whether it be I have some active break-outs, my skin is looking dull or tired or it is in need of some hydration. 

There are so many different types of skin care out there and it really is impossible for me to recommend products as everyones skin is so different it is just a matter of finding what works for you.  Do some research before you buy anything and if you can get your hands on some samples to try it out before you part with your cash, especially if your purchasing higher end products.

Important things to remember:-
*SPF - Apply an SPF daily or use a moisturizer that includes SPF.  Even in winter it is extremely important to protect your skin from harmful rays.  It also keeps aging at bay :)
*Cost - If something is more expensive it doesn't mean it is going to be better - I have tried so many skin care items that I have paid a small fortune for and some of them really don't compare to there high street alternatives.
*Drink Water - water really is good for your skin, I never used to drink it as much as I should have but it really is natures best healer.  It cleans your skin from the inside and as it doesn't cost a penny there is no excuse to not drink up/

I cannot express the importance of skin care and looking after your skin, especially from an early age.  I certainly wish I had started a lot younger than I did.  Also one other tip before I go...Don't be fooled by facewipes.  Just because they state on the packaging that they cleanse, tone and moisturize doesn't mean they do!!!!!!

My favourite skincare blog:- Caroline Hirons - Here.

Thanks for reading,

Speak Soon,

Natalie xxx


  1. Great post! :) I swear everyone has the Liz Earle cleanse and polish except me haha! Need to get this bought so I can try it :)

    I'm involved in the project too! I'm at bethanyworrall.com if you want to see my post x

  2. Do you find that eye creams work?! I have dark circles but I don't trust them... maybe I should start!! xx