#JanuaryJoy: Get serious about your skin

I thought about calling this post, ‘get serious about anti-aging‘ but skin care is important at any age however you choose to address it. My particular angle this year is towards investing in the future… at almost 32 I feel it might be time to acknowledge that ubiquitous beauty industry term, ‘anti-aging’. Scary.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel I have suddenly aged in the last year. I’m very lucky and still don’t have any greys (yet!) but I do feel my skin has changed. It’s not quite as plump and fresh looking as it once was and I can’t help but feel that a lot of that is down to my own laziness.

I’ve fallen into the trap of using facial wipes each night, rarely moisturising, unless my skin is actually flaking off and the same goes for exfoliating. One improvement I have made, as of Christmas however, is to start using a serum (something I vowed to find last year) and so I thought I’d share some skin care recommendations that I’ll be endeavouring to follow…

  1. If you have to use a facial wipe (and let’s face it, a facial wipe will always trump sleeping with your make up on,) these are my new favourite. I picked them up in Glasgow when I forgot my usual cleanser and was pleasantly surprised. They’re neither greasy nor drying and don’t strip your skin, plus they’re kind to eyes when removing stubborn mascara. I keep mine in my bedside table 😉 Johnsons Skincare Make Up Be Gone refresher wipes £3.29
  2. Last year, to save money I left my beloved Eve Lom behind and worked through some of my old cleansers to use them up. Now I feel like I deserve the deep clean and daily sloughing off of dead cells that Eve Lom gives and its soothing oils, so I’ll be splurging on this queen of cleansers again. Eve Lom Cleanser 100ml £55
  3. This is hands down the best exfoliator I’ve ever used. Super smoothing and brightening, I use it 1-2 times weekly for the best wake up to your skin you could ask for. Boots No.7 Total renewal Microdermabrasion exfoliator £11
  4. My hard and fast rule for moisturisers (and anti-aging) is that they must contain SPF. I find this one is strong enough for winter dryness but non-greasy and smells lovely while protecting my skin. A Perfect World SPF 25 £35
  5. Lastly, the super serum. This one gets a lot of hype, especially after its recent reformulation and release. I got a sample a few months back and fell in love with it. It has a lovely texture and whilst I’m never going to be the sort of person who actually believes it will make my skin younger to erase wrinkles, it definitely improved the texture and quality of my skin so I asked for a full size bottle for Christmas and am crossing my fingers for miracles! Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II £48

So readers – do you have any skin care resolutions or products that you have discovered and want to share. I;d love to hear any recommendations (or confessions if you’re a face wipe user too!)


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40 thoughts on “#JanuaryJoy: Get serious about your skin

      • I can second this – Emma Hardie cleansing balm is fantastic. I tried the Boots Botanics alongside it too (trying to convince myself I didn’t need to spend £30 on a cleanser!) – but the EH is 100x better. You can also use it as an intensive moisturiser.

  1. I sorted my skin out a month ago with antibiotics, after resisting them for an age. At the same time I found that after that, taking my skin care back to basics was the best thing for keeping it fresh and hydrated. I started using Cetaphil cleanser (way cheap) at night, a facial oil from Karin Herzog and moisturiser from Eucerin (also pretty cheap in comparison to the moisturisers I’ve splurged on in the past). In the morning I use a simple face wash in the shower.

    When I was in Paris I picked up a few litres of the Bioderma cleansing water and I love that too for getting thicker (night-out) make up off. It really does live up to the hype!

    Like you Rebecca I also love the No7 exfoliator, but for a gentler exfoliation I like the Karin Herzog rose glycolic serum. It’s amazing!

    This weekend I’m having a clear out and getting rid of all the “wonder products” I’ve splurged on over the years that either did nothing or just made my sensitive skin freak out!

    • Well done for getting medical help for your skin Victoria. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, acne is not about the products you use, it’s about a bacterial infection, therefore it makes sense to treat it medically.

      • I resisted them for so long (despite them working the first time around about two years ago) as I didn’t like the thought of taking antibiotics for such an extended period. Three days in on the course, my skin looked as close to flawless as it’ll ever be and I’m so much happier (i know, i know, I’m way too vain, he he!), not to mention how much time i save not having to cover it all up, that it made it all worth it!

  2. I agree on that exfoliator! For years I’ve used a Clinique version but this is half the price and is practically the same product as far as I can tell. And when you get a discount voucher from boots it’s an absolute bargain.


  3. This is a very timely post for me. I’ve been lazy with my skin for years -it tends to be dry so I’d just slap on any old moisturiser that’s lying around and splash with water to clean, or use wipes if I’ve been wearing makeup. Last year however I decided it was time to sort things out a bit 😉 I was recommended Liz Earle cleanser (you use it like Eve Lom with a muslin cloth) but I have to say I’m not sure it’s suiting my skin, it seems to be making my dry skin even drier and giving me spots on my forehead which I’ve never had before. I need to find one that hydrates without greasiness -does Eve Lom do that Rebecca?

    The one product I do love, which sadly has been discontinued, is Benefit’s Firmology -a toning and brightening serum which is moisturising, not too greasy and makes skin look lovely. I buy mine on Ebay now 🙁

    • I’ve never understood the ‘splash the face’ method of cleaning your face – I can kind of understand it if you don’t wear make up, but even without makeup to remove there are the nature oils your fcae produces and you wouldn’t wash and oily pan with just water because it wouldn’t dissolve the grime?

      I have tried liz earle and don’t find it ‘melts’ enough for my liking – I find it sits on my skin then qtes wiped off quite hardly and doesn’t leave any moisture on the skin. But then I am a fan of the oil based approach to cleansing and eve lom is oily (although mildly so.) I find it stays in/on the skin better than other cleansers, even the sanctuary facial oil cleanser I reviewed which also wipes/washes off leaving you skin as though it has been ‘washed’ not ‘fed’ which is how I feel about Eve Lom.

  4. For me the most important part of skincare is drinking plenty of water. If I’m dehydrated it shows – my skin goes very dry, wrinkly, flakey and blotchy. Lately I’ve started to experiment with skincare. I’ve always just scrubbed with a hot, wet flannel, splashed with cold water and then used an SPF moisturiser (from Boots simple range, has lasted me a couple of years!). This leaves my skin soft and smooth and bright. I don’t generally wear make up, but when I do it’s just on the eyes and I use a sensitive baby wipe to remove it. But everyone else seems to faff with so much more, and I’d like to reduce my pores/blackheads, so recently I’ve been trying an exfoliator, using a face brush instead of a flannel and using toner, but my skin is not feeling as soft or smooth, the exfoliator just burns and the toner, while itself not greasy, seems to be encouraging my skin to get oily. I also now have spots in places I don’t usually get them. So I’m a bit lost but can’t afford to shell out for more expensive products to see if they are better when they might end up not being useful either.

    • I think the majority of people benefit more form a ‘cleanser’ than a ‘wash off formulation – water is a drying agent after all, however non-sensical that sounds.
      I’ve heard Simple is very good for budget skin care – perhaps try their cleanser and toner?

  5. With two days left in Mauritius I should be getting serious about SPF but with cyclone bejisa is away to hit we are stuck inside playing scrabble!

    I am vowing to ensure a wipe is at least used every night, as I have got lazy of late. Also I want to wake up early enough to use a body brush and moisturise my whole body twice a week, as again I have been lazy and that sounds do able.

    Could you give us a run down on Eve Lom? I have wanted to buy it a while ago but with saving for a mortgage and a wedding in 100 days(!!!) I haven’t been able to justify the cost but a wedding could be just the excuse if you can sell it to me. I also am using Liz Earle ATM and it is good but nothing special I don’t think it is all the cloth.

    Also I kept getting samples of the advanced night serum which I am still using and have also fallen in love with. I am 23 so not sure I am their target but like you say it just evens my skin and makes it feel lovely! But again due to cost won’t be buying a full bottle for at least 100 days.. 🙁

      Ok, so Eve Lom is a bit like Vaseline, but less thick and with a herbal/essential oil smell. You take a pea sized amount and massage it into your dry face and as it warms up it melts into the skin and your make up (even eye makeup and mascara). Then you use the cloth that comes with it wrung out in hot water to first hold over your face steaming it and allowing more melting, then to massage it off. I find it leaves some of the oily moisture in the skin without feeling greasy – my skin just feels very soft and supple and never tight after using it. In the summer I don’t then use a moisturiser even. And you just do it once a day, nothing in the morning at all. It’s the best I have found so far! (most of the other oil or hot cloth based cleansers use the ‘muslin cloth’ of eve lom and you benefit from the exfoliating but none I have found so far actually leave the moisture on your skin – some I find even more drying because of the extra abrasive action of the cloth…)

      • Whoa only doing it once a day! Hold on there I am a cleanse tone moisturizer twice a day kinda girl! So you really do nothing in the morning and just put make on! That would save me some time? And you don’t need toner or moisturiser?

        Hmm. After some research the discovery starter kit is really well priced so I think I will give it ago!! 🙂

      • Tell me about it! I freaked out on the first, got organised and now on the second I am excited! What ever will tomorrow bring! 🙂

  6. For the past 2 years I have been using Elemis range and my skin has never been better! They are natural ingredients and nasty free! I use the pro-radiance cream cleanser with a flannel (Eco friendly-buy 7!) Pro randiance toner and marine cream moistuiser morning and night. I drink LOTS of water everyday (which really is something that transforms your skin!!) I also uses Nivea soft for extra dry days. My facialist told me that at least 3 nights a week do not put anything on your face at bedtime so your skin can recover ( always feels dodgy but you can truly feel the benefits) also she says never use face wipes as they are full of alcohol and drag your skin, use a face wipe then tone your face with a cotton pad and you will see how much the wipe has missed!!

  7. I’ve got a fairly set daily routine of:

    AM – Clinique Superdefense SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer and an eye cream

    PM – Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (which literally takes about two minutes and removes everything) followed by ANR serum, sometime following up with a facial oil (I use: La Sultane De Saba Facial Oil with Prickly Pear and Rose – can get it on Amazon) and topping off with Clinique Youth Surge Anti-Ageing Night Cream.

    I particularly like the Clinique creams as they do different formulations for different skin types and as I’ve been commuting into London more I have found my skin is oiler, which these creams seem to work with well.

    What I would like to start doing more regularly is doing a face mask once a week. I exfoliate in the shower (and rather like Origins Never A Full Moment – like apricot jam, but leave skin really soft!) but never make enough time for a mask. Something to aim for in 2014!

      • Don’t touch their cleansing products, but their moisturisers are really great for my skin, find other typical moisturisers in Boots either not enough or too heavy.

        Anyway – whichever product you go for I think regular use is key 🙂 at 34 I still get ID’ed buying booze every so often. Something I put down to moisturising daily for since I was about 18!

  8. I actually did a total skin overhaul a few years back, I hit 30 and felt my skin wasn’t in the best condition it could be, signs of agony began to appear and it just never looked ‘bright’. Fast forward a few years (I’m 34 now) and I can hand on heart say the changes I made have had a significant impact on how my skin looks and people regularly comment on the condition.

    For years I would fall into bed with makeup on or like Rebecca grab a wipe and half heartedly remove what I could with no moisturising apart from a quick dab in the mornings. My routine now however is much different, I ALWAYS remove every scrap of makeup I use Liz Earle but when that feels too strenuous I just use a one step cleanser from Clarins. A friend of of mine works for Clarins and has completely converted me to their skincare which is one of the only ranges that’s not stuffed with chemicals. After cleansing I apply Clarins double serum and then a thick night cream to my face and neck, 2-3 nights per week I leave it product free to breathe! A great trick she taught me too is to apply serum and moisturiser with the palms of the hands and gently press onto the face sort of leaning over your hands. Applying with fingertips can drag the skin and doesn’t give even coverage, plus you end up using much less.

    Daytime the routine is the same, I use a gentle aloe facewash in the shower (body shop ) the one step cleanser, clarins botanical firming serum and their anti-aging moisturiser. I have also used their Vital Light range which is great for a luminous glow and I think ill be going back to this one when my current runs out.

    One key thing for me is the eye cream. I get quite puffy eyes and gave developed dark circles, something that’s hereditary apparently and perhaps made worse by constant computer use, contact lens wear etc. the eye contour gel by Clarins is the only one ive found that actually reduces puffiness all others just make it worse.

    As well as this amped up skincare routine I have regular salon facials (every 2-3 months) and you may not know this but many Clarins will have an instore spa, particularly in Selfridges or larger dept stores. They offer great deals on the cost of treatment back when you buy products so its worth asking them. We also have ‘pamper nights’ at home as the other half, being 10 years older than me has become obsessed about anti-aging, we do the full salon style facial deep cleansing, exfoliating and applying a thick mask. My top tip here is to use cold tea bags on the eyes, works wonders on any puffiness.

    So writing all this down has made me realise just how much I do look after my skin now, I hardly think about it anymore though as its just become as standard as brushing my teeth!!

    This is interesting re facial wipes: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4239214/

  9. I have very dry skin and although in summer time I use Boots Factor 50 anti sun-spot cream every day without any problems (I live in the South of France so need to cover up at all times) in the winter I notice it seems to dry my skin out even more than usual. A couple of months ago armed with a Sephora coupon I invested in a Clarisonic Mia brush and some Biotherm moisturizer for dry skin and they have made a world of difference! I use the Clarisonic once a day in the shower and it leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean then I layer on the Biotherm cream plus the sun cream afterwards and it’s really well so far. I also use a moisturizing gel to remove my make up at night and find that makes my skin really soft too compared to the cleanser/toner combo I used before. My aim for 2014- I need to find a great eye cream to deal with the circles under my eyes!

      • If you’ve got sensitive skin be careful about which cleansing brush you choose. I got the one from No.7 and it made my skin red raw, it was really painful for a couple of days like i’d been burnt. It did say not suitable for senstive skin but mine isn’t too bad so i thought i’d be ok.

        I’m a big fan of Liz Earle but know what you mean about it not really sinking in so might give the Eve Lom a go.

      • I find the Clarisonic excellent – and I don’t know anyone who’s tried it and not been converted! I bought my mum one for Christmas a couple of years ago and she has dry, sensitive skin. You get different heads for different skin types.

  10. My skin is the best it’s been in years – in spite of the pregnancy hormones… I seriously recommend double cleansing to remove all scraps of grime. I use the Emma Hardie cleansing balm and a hot cloth to scrub my makeup off – then a boots Botanics cleansing gel to get any residue off. My skin feels super clean but not dried out and I’ve literally had two spots in the last few months (due to getting lazy and just using the cleansing gel) I really recommend Simple moisturisers – good value and they don’t cold pores but offer good hydration.

  11. Really interesting to read what everyone does in terms of skincare. I’m really lazy with my skin, it’s on the dry side so I rarely get spots but it can look pretty dull.
    I’m the sort of person who doesn’t feel like they’ve woken up in the morning unless I’ve washed my face with water. I use the simple moisturising face wash which is cheap and cheerful and seems to suit me. At the moment I’ve got a moisturiser from Clarins which I like but don’t love.
    I was wondering about a serum, I might see if I can track down a sample of the Estée Lauder one. The other thing I would like to try is maybe a tinted moisturiser. I’m too lazy to wear make up day to day and I wondered if this might even out my skin and make it look a bit better without too much effort. Anyone got any recommendations?

    • Ruth,

      I’m like you – quick and easy does the job. I use either Origins BB cream which smooths out imperfections but has a natural skin tint in it or Origins Vitazing which is actually just a moisturiser but it has some kind of natural pigment which reacts with the air and then provides a bit of a tint. The BB cream is the one I would recommend trying first as the Vitazing can be quite sallow. I have naturally sallow skin so it suits me but the BB cream comes in two different shades. Origins are really good at giving you a free facial in any of their stores so you can try it first.

      • Thanks, I’ll go and have a look, the BB cream sounds like what I want. I think I can see a day of wandering round the department store skincare counters in the next week or two!

        • I can recommend Clinique CC cream, I hate the feeling of heavy foundation on my face but this is much lighter and I can usually forget I’m wearing it.

  12. I’m pretty rubbish at skincare – I use Eve Lom if I’m feeling particularly clogged or Origins foamy wash depending on whether I want to feel more moisturised (Eve Lom) or Origins (more fresh). I tend to go for Eve Lom in winter and then revert to Origins in summer. I definately cleanse more than I do anything else because I don’t like my skin feeling clogged or heavy.

    Exfoliating wise, I use the pads from Origins every other day (or should – I’m lazy) which are great – the perfect solution for those of us who like to wipe and go. You just rub your face in circular motions and the cotton wool sized pads take off dry skin.

    I actually stopped using serum when my last one ran out and just use either of the moisturisers mentioned above – Origins BB cream or Origins Vitazing. I don’t wear make-up (cannot be ARSED with all of that stuff) and I find Vitazing gives me more even tone without having to faff around putting make-up on which I always think just cloggs up my pores anyway.

    On an evening, I tend to have a hot relaxing bath so will just use a flannel and wash my face that way. The bath opens my pores and because I don’t wear make-up during the day, I don’t have loads of icky make-up (only grime and dirt which is still icky but better than grime, dirt AND make-up), I don’t need to wash lots off.

    I also SWEAR that changing your pillowcases regularly and sleeping with my hair up (and off my face) makes a massive difference to whether I ever get spots. My other recommendation is Bliss Oxygen/Water mask. You put it on and it kinds of fizzes on your face and my skin definately feels plumper and fresher after using it.

  13. I’m a big fan of the EL serum. I started using it about 2 months ago after receiving a sample and I love it. I use the eye serum too, which is the only eye ‘treatment’ I’ve found that seems to do anything and doesn’t aggravate the area.

    I’ve been using Liz Earle cleanser for ~ 12yrs and I find it works well though you have me tempted with the talk of Eve Lom. I have been using face wipes more regularly though, bad habit that needs to be nipped in the bud!

    Another favourite of mine is periodic use if either EA 8hr cream or Bio Oil for a ‘moisture surge’ when the skin is looking dry after being outdoors for some time/in winter.

  14. I am not genetically blessed, skin-wise. So I have tried to take care of it. I have used the EL serum for about 10 years I reckon – and people regularly think I’m 8-10 years younger than I am. It could be a co-incidence but I’m sticking with it! I get someone to get me a bottle from duty free or use my Boots points for it.

    I use Liz Earle cleanser – I’d like to try the Eve Lom but I try to prioritise my spending on the things that are on my skin the most (serums and then moisturisers) and I can’t help feel that cleanser is on and off too quickly to invest £££s in.

    And my Clarisonic brush has definitely reduced my spots to one or two hormonal ones.

  15. What a fascinating read, I’m defiantly lazy when it comes to skin care, although approaching 42 some say I look mid thirties. I’ve been using Liz Earle for a couple of years, previously I’ve tried Clinique but never got on with that. I found this article via my sisters blog , ‘oboudaoffers’ who has been inspired to follow Florence’s ‘January joys’. Anyway I digress, I too was intrigued by Emma Harvey, so I googled her and found it in spacenky but also on a site called Blow which is cheaper! I may well look into Emma Hardie but I’d also like to investigate a serum for night time. I found the above comments useful about leaving your skin free of products a couple of nights a week.

  16. In 2013 I decided to try to find a day moisturiser with an SPF (a first for me!). I struggled to find one that wasn’t too greasy, as my skin is pretty oily. Eventually I settled on Clarins HydraQuench (oily to combination skin) which works well and I’ve noticed that the number of freckles I usually have is reduced. I might try A Perfect World though, looks like a good recommendation!

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