Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Skincare Routine and Favourite Products

Skincare products for oily skin

When you're a skincare junkie, not to mention being a blogger, you try out A LOT of skincare products but what are my favourite ones?

In my latest video I share with you the products that are my current skincare favourites but don't be under any miss illusions when I say current.  These aren't new products to me as I've been using them for months if not years and through road testing so many products, I have finally found a routine that is working incredible well for me.  Plus I'm going to be giving away ten bottles of one of my FAVOURITE products in this post!

Let's start with a bit of background information about my skin.  I guess you could say that I've always had relatively good, clear skin and never suffered with acne, even as a teenager.  However my skin is not without its faults.  It is super oily and dehydrated and I have clogged pores around and on my nose and a few on my chin.  Sometimes my blackheads turn to pimples but it rarely happens.  I do tend to get a few spots though when I've drank alcohol, which I rarely do anyway, especially these days.

Skincare products for oily skin

My skin is pretty resilient and not particularly sensitive.  I don't have any wrinkles yet but ageing is a concern of mine and I do have some fine lines around and under my eyes and one on my forehead which my beautician stresses are dehydration lines but I'm convinced its because I'm getting older!

Removing my makeup properly is so important to me.  While I love the effect and difference that makeup can make, I don't actually like wearing it for any longer than I need to.  As soon as I get home after I've been out for the day, I whip my bra off (freedom!), throw my jarmies on, pull my hair up into a top knot and remove my make up.

I usually start by using a micellar water and the one that I have been using most recently is by L'Oreal.  Aside from the much lower price, especially when shopping online at Chemist Direct, I cannot tell any difference between this and Bioderma which is a cleansing water that I'm sure you've all heard of.  On my skin, it performs in exactly the same way. I simply pour some out onto a cotton pad (it comes out of the bottle VERY quickly so be careful!) and then sweep it across my face, flip it over and do the same.  It removes all but the most deep set of make up without leaving a residue on my face.  This is the cleanser that I use on a morning too as it is so light, my face dries in seconds and is left feeling very refreshed.

When I am wearing very heavy set makeup, perhaps for a night out, I like to use a separate eye makeup remover and the one that I have been using continuously for years is the Klorane Floral Lotion Eye Makeup Remover with Soothing Cornflower.  I first reviewed this back in 2011 so I'll link that post for you to read here if you'd like an in-depth review but essentially it is the best eye make up remover I've ever used.  Although I understand why they work well, particularly for waterproof makeup, I hate the oily eye make up removers out there like the bi-phase ones because I don't like the oily residue.  The Klorane lotion is just like a water and removes all of my eye makeup in an instant, even stubborn liquid liner and lash glue!

No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser, Klorane Eye Makeup Remover, L'Oreal Micellar
No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser, Klorane Eye Makeup Remover, L'Oreal Micellar
At night, I like to complete a double cleanse by using the micellar water to remove my makeup and then a cream based cleanser to thoroughly clean my skin.  The one that I ALWAYS go back to is the No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser which I would recommend to absolutely anyone as it is suitable for all skin types and doesn't have a strong scent at all.

I've tried balm and oil cleansers before but I just don't like the feeling of them on my skin whereas this is just a luxuriously thick cream.  I smooth it onto my skin, then use my facial cleansing brush to polish my skin or I wet a muslin or towelling face cloth with touchably hot water, wring it out and hold it over my skin for a few seconds and then I polish the rich creamy cleanser off my face.  It removes every last scrap of makeup, dirt and excess oil from my skin without stripping it.  My skin looks so visibly radiant, clean and healthy after using this and it is honestly the best cleanser that I have ever used.  I tend to buy mine when the No7 vouchers are out or when it is on 3 for 2 in Boots.

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Pads
Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Pads*
When my skin is clean, I like to move on to using an exfoliator to refine my skin.  I like to use a combination of chemical (acid) and manual exfoliators.

A couple of months ago, I discovered the Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Pads which are a pot of 60 exfoliating facial pads that are available from ASOSSuperdrugBoots and Ulta (for my lovely American readers).

I have tried so many AHA exfoliators before such as the Alpha H Liquid Gold which my skin did not like AT ALL but finding the Nip and Fab pads was really a game changer for me because they're so effective yet feel so gentle on the skin.  They're ideal for daily use and can even be used morning and evening or just once a day as I use them.

One side of the pad is textured, the other smooth.  I start with the textured side and wipe it across my face and then flip the pad over and do the same with the smooth side.  I love that they feel so gentle on my skin and don't sting at all yet they really work well to refine the texture of my skin, especially where I have drier patches.  That's thanks to the glycolic acid in the formula as it helps to resurface the skin. 

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Pads

They also contain hyaluronic acid which helps to refresh and moisturise the skin and I find that after using these, my other products absorb into my skin more effectively.  Since the pads also contain blue daisy which is known for its soothing and calming properties, I'd suggest trying these out even if you have more sensitive skin as they are very gentle and should help with redness by soothing the skin.

I still love, and couldn't be without, a manual exfoliation from time to time.  The scrub that I have loved now for over a year is the Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub from Space NK.  This is the most effective exfoliator that I have ever used as it uses ruby crystals to have a micro dermabrasion effect on the skin.

Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub
Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub
The exfoliating particles are incredibly densely packed in an creamy exfoliating solution.  There is far more scrubbing bits than lotion so you find that as you're working it into the skin, the cream seems to go away and the exfoliating particles seem to get larger as though they're taking on the dead skin cells from your face.

 Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub

This product is very expensive but I have honestly never used anything like it before.  The only thing that comes close is an actual microdermabrasion facial in a salon which obviously costs far more per treatment than a pot of this scrub.  I tend to use it once every two weeks but that does vary on how my skin is and what I've been up to and I find that I rarely need to use it any more frequently as it works so well.  My face looks SO incredibly refined, bright and healthy after I have used it and my skin glows with a lit from within look.

 Manuka Doctor Rejuvenating Face Mask and Origins Clear Improvement Mask
Manuka Doctor Rejuvenating Face Mask and Origins Clear Improvement Mask
Once or twice a week, I like to pop on a face mask when I'm having a pamper session in the bath and I generally choose between ones that are moisturising and hydrating and ones that are deep cleansing.

My favourite deep cleansing mask has to be the Origins Clear Improvement Mask.  This mask dries incredibly hard on the skin and works really well to clean out the pores and get rid of the dead skin cells on my face to leaving it looking bright and refined.  I have reviewed this mask in full here and you can buy it from House of Fraser, Boots, and Selfridges (small size here).

When I'm looking for a mask to hydrate my skin, I love to opt for the Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask because it has this amazing tightening and plumping effect on my skin while being incredibly hydrating and moisturising.  I've bought this mask time and time again after first reviewing it here.  You can buy this mask here.

 Nip and Fab Bee Sting Fix Eye
Nip and Fab Bee Sting Fix Eye*
Every morning and evening, I like to apply an eye cream.  I do tend to get some lightly dark circles in the corners of my eyes and the skin in my eye area does have some fine lines in it so I like to use products that are hydrating and softening.  My favourite eye cream ever has to be the Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado and until I tried the Nip and Fab Bee Sting Fix Eye cream, nothing had come close.  Now I find it very hard to choose between the two as they're both so incredibly effective.  Since the Nip and Fab one is ever so slightly lighter, I have decided to use this one as the weather heats up and the Kiehls one during the winter months.

The Nip and Fab Bee Sting Fix Eye is an anti-ageing eye cream with a fabulously rich formula containing cocoa butter that contains fatty acids that help to improve skin moisture and elasticity and shea butter which helps to strengthen the skin and repair damage. It smooths effortlessly onto the area around my eyes with my ring fingers and feels relatively thick but quick to absorb and nourish the eye area.

It feels instantly hydrating and moisturising and within seconds of applying it, I can feel it having a tightening effect on my skin which helps to disguise the fine lines and signs of tiredness around my eyes.  It contains lots of ingredients that are designed to improve the texture of the skin to make it look more youthful, including elastan which helps to recover firmer and more elastic skin and the signature ingredient, bee venom, which helps to control the facial muscles, increasing the blood circulation to gently plump and firm the skin which is what helps to fill and smooth the fine lines around the eyes.  There's also tegocosmo that works as a skin brightener and helps to fade age spots, as well as propolis extract which is a resinous substance harvested by bees on flower buds.  It works as a really good skin healer, antioxidant and antiseptic.

Since using this eye cream I have noted how awake my eyes look and my makeup applies much more smoothly onto my eyes, especially my concealer, without creasing.  Even when I apply it at night, when I wake up my eye area still looks hydrated and moisturised.

It is available to buy direct from Nip and Fab as well as from Superdrug and Ulta (US readers) and I'd definitely suggest picking up a post as it will last you AGES!

Witch Overnight Clearing Serum
Witch Overnight Clearing Serum*
This has been my favourite skincare find since I discovered the Doctor's Scrub the year before last.  The Witch Overnight Clearing Serum is the most hydrating, blemish busting product that I know.  It feels so comfortable on the skin and looks so immediately hydrating that I don't like to just apply this at night, I like to pop it on on a morning too as it makes a great base for makeup.  Read my full, in-depth review of this amazing skincare wonder product here.

You can buy your own from Boots or enter my giveaway at the end of this post to win one of ten bottles that I'm giving away!

Clarins Ultra Matte Rebalancing Lotion and Skin Design London Sleeping Beauty Night Cream
Clarins Ultra-Matte Rebalancing Lotion and Skin Design London Sleeping Beauty Night Cream
When the weather is warmer, I tend to lighten up my skincare routine by applying either only my serum or a light moisturiser each morning after my cleanse and exfoliating pad.

The daytime moisturiser that I have been using for the past few years is the Clarins Ultra-Matte Rebalancing Lotion.  This is the one for oily skin and I believe they may do a one for other skin types.  What first attracted me to this moisturiser is how ridiculously light this moisturiser is, it looks almost like a milky serum and only a very small amount is dispensed with each pump.  At first I thought I'd have to use loads and that it would go down very quickly but that isn't the case at all as a small amount goes a very long way.

I apply a couple of pumps of this all over my face and down onto my neck and I love how it feels slightly cooling on my skin.  The texture feels very light and it is quickly absorbed, leaving my skin feeling very soft but with a matte finish that makes applying makeup a dream.  The reason why I continued to repurchase this moisturiser rather than try another is because I actually feel as though it helps to keep my oily skin at bay throughout the day.  It doesn't dry my skin out at all, my skin feels moisturised and hydrated yet it doesn't seem to get quite as oily when I use this.  It is definitely the best day cream I've ever used.

Skin Design London Sleeping Beauty Night Cream
Skin Design London Sleeping Beauty Night Cream*
With such oily skin as I have, it is very rare that I will come across a night cream that really makes me sit up and pay attention.  The Skin Design London Sleeping Beauty cream did just that.

Rich in Jojoba Oil, Collagen, antioxidant rich Green, Red and White Tea and Acai Berry, Rosehip Oil, Avocado Oil, Omega 3, 6 and 9 and Vitamins E and C, this cream is literally a good nights sleep in a pot that helps to fight skin ageing.  This mix of ingredients are designed to help to restore the skins hydration and suppleness, nourish it to not only revitalise the skin but enhance its elasticity and vibrancy too. Sleeping Beauty is actually a yeast derived plant-based collagen treatment mask that can either be used as a mask for around 15 minutes or as a night cream.  I personally like to use it as a night cream in order to reap the full benefits of this amazing cream.

After completing the other facial steps in my routine, I smooth this on to my skin.  It has a light texture as far as creams go and it doesn't leave a tacky or greasy residue on my skin.  It absorbs into the skin after a minute or so, after which point I pop on my lip balm and go to sleep.  The results that I see on my skin when I wake up on a morning are amazing and unlike any other night cream that I have used before.

My skin looks perfected, incredibly plumped up with my fine lines smoothed and my skin looking and feeling so soft, nourished and moisturised.  However my favourite benefit of Sleeping Beauty is that it makes my skin matte, as though I have applied a primer to my skin.  Strange I know but it has this amazing way of balancing the sebum on my oily skin so that when I wake up my face has a matte texture and feels smooth.  It really is incredible.  I've never tried a night cream like it as usually I wake up with a shiny face and sometimes I can even still feel some of the product on my skin from the night before as it is difficult to get night creams to sink into my skin but not with this would.  While it is suitable for all skin types, I would HIGHLY recommend giving it a go if you have oily skin.

 Clarins Ultra Matte Rebalancing Lotion and Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Glam Balm Lip
Clarins Ultra Matte Rebalancing Lotion and Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Glam Balm Lip
I always like to apply a thick lip balm before bed and the one that I have been using most recently is the Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Glam Balm Lip which is a super thick protective lip balm that, I think, rivals the By Terry Baume De Rose in terms of hydrating and moisturising the lips.

With SPF 15 and pomegranate, this lip balm not only helps to rehydrate the lips but protect them from further damage from the sun too which can prematurely age the skin.  I use this on days where I want a simple no makeup, makeup look as it boosts the lips to look there best and every night before I go to sleep to intensely nourish the lips overnight.  There is shea butter and rose hip oil in the balm which provide essential fatty acids to help to stimulate the production of collagen in the lips.  It not only benefits from stemcell technology but it is also formulated with PhytoCellTec Alp Rose which helps to protect the skin from external aggressors and anti oxidants.

I love the softening effect that this has on my lips but Mr WLL loves it even more because of how quick it is to repair the lips.  He suffers really badly with chapped lips and when we first got this tube, it was over Christmas in my beauty advent calendar.  It was the first and only product that I've tried from Rodial and after smoothing it on, I knew that it was an instant favourite.  We both used it all winter and while it kept my lips super soft, it helped my husbands even more as it helped to sooth his lips and repair the dry, chapped skin.  It is available here and I would highly recommend giving it a go.

I hope you like the sound of my skincare routine and the products that I use  (I'd love it if you could give my new video about my skincare routine a thumbs up!) and now you have the opportunity to try out the Witch Overnight Clearing Serum for yourself!


I have a bottle of the serum to give away to ten lucky UK readers of WhatLauraLoves.  All you have to do is to complete the mandatory options in the box below and any of the optional ones if you would like to.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There will be ten separate winners from the UK ONLY.  The giveaway is open until 25.04.2015 at 12:00AM and the winners will be notified by the email that they log into Rafflecopter with.  The PR representatives for Witch will be responsible for the prize and sending it out to the winners.


What products feature in your skincare routine?

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  1. Love this post, I love using the Origins clear improvements mask it has really helped my troubled months. I would love to try the Witch over night serum as i have been using a body shop one which was nice but it is good to try something new have entered :D xx

  2. great video you have some really good products within your favourites!

  3. I'm the same way when I get home! I like being as comfortable as possible! I can't believe I didn't know that L'Oreal came out with a cleansing water. Now I have to try it!

  4. I've heard really great things about L'Oreal Micellar water. I think I'm going to have to try it out!

  5. Love your skincare review esp. Loreal coming out with micocellur water (seem very popular now) in the States!! I have tried No. 7 brand before via Target and its pretty good!!

  6. I really need to take this as inspiration I have no real skincare routine at the moment eek x

  7. Woooo, I've entered, I love skin care as you know :) fab products, I use some of them even though I have a dry skin :) I love the nip and fab pads xxx

  8. I have a terrible skincare regime. It kinda just involves micellar water and some pads lol. Shameful.
    Gill x EyelinerFlicks

  9. Sounds like a good routine (esp whipping your bra off - I hear you!) - I have the opposite problem - my skin is dry :-(

  10. Goldfaden MD scrub look really great! And I love Clarins products =w= It's really a nice post :D

    Thank you for your comment on my blog :3 Maybe we can follow each other!

  11. wow you use a lot of good products!
    looking good


  12. I need to take notice of a proper skin routine.
    I have pretty sensitive skin so anything I use either dries it out or gives me a few spots!

    very interested in the Witch product, I'll have to keep an eye out!

  13. I don't really do much other than moisturising but, at 33, I really should do!

  14. fab giveaway ! i love lushes ocean salt scrub x

  15. Herbal products all the way for me!

  16. What a great routine! I love the Origins Clear Improvement Mask too. I need to try the L'Oreal Micellar Water, I totally forgot they had one. Thanks for sharing xx

  17. I always use Simple face wash as its the only one I've found that agrees with my skin... so far :)

  18. I really recommend sonic cleansing, it's done wonders for my skin!

  19. I love reading your blog, there are some great tips and advice! I don't really have a skin cleansing routine yet but as im getting older i am going to start.
    I always wash my face in the morning and rub on a little bit of simple moisturiser before applying my make up I ALWAYS remove make up with a no7 make up remover and some of tesco make up remover wipes :)

  20. I also use the L'Oreal Micellar Water .. its brilliant! the other products I use are a cream cleanser a toner and a moisturiser all made by Simple.. its the only thing ive found that agrees with my skin :)

  21. I love Cetaphil and swear by it! :)

  22. I moisturise my dry skin with E45 cream which helps. Couldn't live without it :-)

  23. I currently use Aldi products

  24. Glam Glow Thirsty Mud is the best moisturiser out of all the ones I have ever tried :)


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