This post was highly requested and I am so excited to be able to help you all, because I know a proper skincare regime can get a bit confusing!
I am going to guide you through my daily skincare regime in the morning as well as nighttime and include products I love to use on a regular basis as well as products I have used in the past. I personally include a lot more in my night regime than in the morning as I believe it is more imperative to focus on mastering the PM before getting more complex with the AM routine (though SPF should ALWAYS be a part of your AM routine).
PM – This is my favourite part of my routine because all of the dirt, oil, and makeup from the day are finally being washed away! Cleansing every single day is important, but it is especially important at night because your skin goes though much more during the day and since cell regeneration is accelerated & skin repair occurs at night, it is essential that you make their (cells) job easier by removing environmental pollutants/bacteria that was built up during the day. My favourite nighttime cleanser, out of gels, creams, oils, balms, etc. is PC Skin Recovery cleanser, which is a cream-based cleanser – an excellent option for dry skin.
AM – Since my morning regime is a bit more laid back, I simply use a contain pad with my Bioderma Sensibio cleaning water as my cleanser. It is gentle, mild, and does the job. PS, Cleansing water is also great at removing stubborn makeup at night if you are wearing heavier makeup.
PM – I absolutely love using toners that have amazing beneficial elements such as ceramides, antioxidants, and cell-repairing/communicating ingredients. I would consider this as an extra step – though not absolutely necessary, toners definitely add an extra boost of hydration & nutrients for your skin. It is especially important to consider a toner if you are looking to add hydration, improve skin tone, or are simply into a more extensive regime.
AM – In the morning, I generally skip my toner. However, when I notice that my skin is a bit more dehydrated/dry, I will go in with a hydrating toner like Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Replenishing Toner , which I use every single night.
3. Chemical exfoliant
PM – Chemical exfoliants play a huge role in removing dead skin cells during cell turnover. Using an exfoliant(s) regularly in moderation will reveal a smoother texture and more even skin tone.
I’m a big advocate for daily exfoliation (primarily BHA’s & AHA’s) – I talk all about chemical & physical exfoliation in this post. If you do prefer physical exfoliants, the step should be taken before the toner, and I recommend the Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream. I like to use physical exfoliants in the shower as opposed to over the sink, as the pores are open and I do feel/see a better difference in my skin. If you prefer a chemical exfoliant, I recommend PC Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, or PC Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Exfoliant (for more sensitive skin).
In terms of my preference, I favour chemical exfoliation because in my opinion, chemical exfoiants show long-term results, whereas physical exfolicants show short-term results and can’t get as deep into the layers of the skin as chemical exfoliation can. *Remember not to over-exfoliate, because your skin is delicate and you don’t want to create micro-tears.
AM – I never use a chemical exfoliant in the morning. I will sometimes use the Clinique physical exfoliant (that I mentioned above) in the shower about twice a week.
PM – There are a variety of treatment products that you can include in your regime depending on skin concern. For example, if you are looking to brighten and firm, a product like DE C-Firma Day Serum, containing vitamin C, would be an excellent option for you. If you have very dry/dehydrated skin, then a product containing hyaluronic acid like SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier is a good choice. Retinol, which is a form of vitamin A, is a very popular anti-aging product because it helps with diminishing fine lines, builds collagen, and is also a great option if your skin concern is acne as it acts to unclog pores. PC 1% Retinol Booster & Mad Hippie Vitamin A serum are both retinol options to try out. Niacinimide (vitamin B3) is a great option for those wanting a more even skin tone/texture and are looking to diminish the size of pores.
AM – I love to use a light serum in the morning. The one I have been using for about 6 months now is the PC Redness Relief Repairing Serum. I also love and have used the PC RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum in the past. Both are excellent options as they are hydrating, super lightweight, and contain potent ingredients that help to nourish and improve the appearance/firmness of skin.
PM – Choosing the right moisturizer can be a bit tricky but once you have found the perfect one, it is smooth sailing from there. When considering a moisturizer, or any skincare product in that case, always pay attention to packaging and ingredients – avoid jar packaging, colour, certain alcohols, and fragrance (even essential oils)! If you have oilier skin, go for a lighter gel-based moisturizer. If you have acne-prone skin, choose a moisturizer containing salicylic acid (BHA). If you are a bit more on the dry side (like myself), go for a light/medium cream like PC Redness Relief Moisturizer. In the winter, I love to mix my moisturizer with an oil like The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil.
AM – SPF!! If there is one anti-aging product that truly does its job, it is a well-formulated SPF (30+). There are both chemical and physical SPF moisturizers on the market, but I prefer physical (titanium dioxide/zinc oxide) because I find those to be more gentle for sensitive skin. If you are looking for a non-tinted SPF moisturizer, my holy grail is PC CALM Redness Relief SPF 30 Moisturizer. Another option for non-tinted is Di Morelli SPF 35 with Vitamin E. If you do prefer some colour, I absolutely love the tinted SPF 30 moisturizer by Riversol. If you like a more full-coverage look, I highly recommend the mineral pressed powder by Jane Iredale which is formulated with mineral sunscreens (SPF 20). I should mention though that you should still wear a sunscreen underneath if you choose the pressed powder as its SPF is not over 30.
6. Eye cream/Gel
PM – This one is going to be short and sweet. My opinion on eye cream is this – If you have a great moisturizer with all the good stuff (antioxidants, ceramides, etc.) you can honestly just save your money and use your moisturizer as an eye cream.
AM – If you prefer an eye gel to help you wake up in the morning, I don’t blame you. The Clinique eye serum I have used in the past has a metal tip so it does help to wake up the eyes! Again, this isn’t an essential step but if you do tend to have puffy eyes in the morning you may want to try it out.
Jade roller – The moment I started using my GingerChi Jade roller about 3 months ago, I instantly fell in love. I write all about this beauty gadget in this post if you are interested in having a read! In general, Jade/Rose Quartz rollers are excellent at waking up the skin in the morning (especially if you keep the Jade roller in the fridge), improving circulation, de-puffing & minimizing dark circles, and promoting lymphatic drainage, among many of its benefits!
I hope this post has been helpful and that the thought of your new skincare regime is now less scary and less intimidating than before you read my post. Until next time!