A Good Start: Building My Morning Skincare Routine
Truth: I don’t tell many people about my skincare addiction, but when I do, or when they find out that I don’t use the same things every day, one of the first questions I’m asked is, “how do you decide what you’re going to use each day?” One of my favourite things to do is to pick out which products to use, and for my first official Pur Opulence post I thought I’d give you a little insight into how I build my routines each morning.
My morning routines focus on two things: Vitamin C and SPF. I have fair skin with freckles, post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, and melasma - I need all of the protection I can get. Vitamin C has a multitude of benefits for the skin, including neutralizing free radicals, promoting a more even skin tone, decreasing fine lines and wrinkles, lessening hyper-pigmentation, and giving your sunscreen an extra boost. Vitamin C is also extremely unstable, so finding an effective formula that works with your skin and stays active can be difficult. A great guide to Vitamin C and different forms and products can be found hereby one of my favourite skincare bloggers, Chris. I think the camp is split on Vitamin C - those who swear by it and those who think it’s too fickle to be spending money on it. I am in camp A and have been using three 15% L-Ascorbic Acid Serums for almost three months and have seen significant benefits with consistent use. My skin is noticeably brighter and my sun spots are lightening. I can’t comment on its effects on fine lines and wrinkles because I get those puppies Botox’d away, but I can say that I’ve essentially stopped wearing foundation because my skin has been so bright and much more even toned.
SPF is the second focus of my morning routines ALWAYS. SPF on sunny days, SPF on hazy days. SPF in the summer and SPF to shovel your driveway in the winter. In the winter, I am comfortable using a BB or CC cream with SPF for adequate coverage, especially living in a city that doesn’t get much winter sun. By contrast, in the summer I use a dedicated SPF every day, and then re-apply a spray SPF as the day goes on. I figure I’m spending so much time and money on this face, why go outside unprotected and ruin all my efforts? SPF is another tricky one to find. Personally, I prefer a lightweight SPF with no white cast that absorbs quickly and leaves no sheen. Tinted formulas can be too dark for me in the winter, but in the summer I can get away with it since I usually fake tan my body twice a week. My advice is to find one you love and you’ll wear (and reapply) religiously.
Here's how my morning routine comes together:
LAURA'S MORNING ROUTINE
STEP 1: CLEANSE
I prefer lighter cleansers in the mornings. The goal is to wake up my face without stripping my skin. Current favourites: iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, Drunk Elephant Beste Jelly Cleanser*, and Biologique Recherche Lait VIP 02.
STEP 2: VITAMIN C
Vitamin C - Right now I am alternating between the famous Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, and PCA Skin C&E Strength*. I apply this right after cleansing onto dry skin, wait about 5-10 minutes, and then continue on. When I first introduced a dedicated C serum I had some irritation around week 2. I backed off to every other morning and now at month 3 I am able to tolerate it every single day without problem.
STEP 3: MIST
Secret's out - I love mists. I own about 20 and will happily make space for more. They are my favourite to use before hydrating serums as an extra moisture layer and to help the serum absorb into my skin. If you ever run into me on the street and need a mist, I’ve probably got 3 in my bag.
STEP 4: Hydrating Serum
Hydrating Serum - a must for me no matter the season. I have dehydrated skin that needs a water or aloe based serum every morning and every evening. My favourite for mornings is Bioderma Hydrabio Serum. Light, gel texture that sits well under makeup and plays well with others. Couldn’t ask for more.
Step 5: Moisturizer
Moisturizers aren’t my favourite, and in the summer on humid days I can get away with skipping this step and going straight to my SPF pending it’s moisturizing enough, but I prefer a light layer of moisturizer before my SPF to seal in the hydration. My ride or die is the Allies of Skin 1A All Day Mask. It’s jam packed with good for you ingredients, is light on the skin, and not greasy in the least bit. I’ll also use Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion which is great for really dehydrated days.
STEP 6: SPF
SPF - always. Shall I say it again? Always. I am forever on the hunt for the perfect SPF that is lightweight with no white cast. Right now I am testing Drunk Elephant's Umbra Tinte SPF 30. My current loves are Paula’s Choice Resist Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30, Murad Luminous Shield SPF 50, and Biore Aqua Light Watery Essence SPF 50. Throughout the day I use La Roche Posay’s Anthelios Invisible Mist SPF 50.
This morning routine has been consistent for a good 3 months and I can’t see too much changing. I can honestly say my skin is in the best shape it’s ever been in, and a large part has to do with this morning routine and the addition of Vitamin C. I am however dangerously low in both my Bioderma serum and the Allies of Skin mask. I have other things to test once they are done, but I’m not sure if I can live without them.
My evening routines are where I tend to mix it up a little more, and I’ll share my methods for night routines in my next post. Until then, let’s connect on Instagram! I can be found @lathertolashes and am always around to chat all things beauty.