Updated: my 2018 skincare must-haves


This title is a bit of a misnomer because I'm sure I'll have a whole new list of skincare must-haves before the spring is out (yes, it's spring, despite what Accuweather would have us believe). Anyway – I have been asked a couple of times this week (hashtag humblebrag) what I use on my skin, so I thought I would write a blog post so that I could just answer by referring people over to my site and getting dem hitz. (In an ironic twist – or is it irony? TELL ME ALANIS – I have now, for the first time in months, got about four big spots in random places on my face. So, y'know, take my skincare advice, I'm clearly an expert.) Anyway, I thought I'd go through a few of the skincare must-haves that I believe I must have – along with when I use them, and how (if there are any special methods – if I don't specify, you can just believe that I slather them on and hope for the best).

AM (post-shower):

Okay, so sometimes I am lazy and I don't wash my face in the morning – especially if I have washed it before bedtime. But ordinarily when I wake up I'll use a micellar water; I've been using the Garnier Micellar Water for sensitive skin (currently on 3 for 2 in Boots). I don't know that I'd actually consider this one of my skincare must-haves because I don't love it, but I do like it and it does the job (the job being: making my face feel clean and ready for serum, moisturiser and makeup).

I talked about this on Instagram Stories the other day and I got at least three people telling me I should try the La Roche Posay micellar water. I haven't yet, but if you're happy to go on the recommendations of random strangers, you can buy that here*. It's way more expensive, which makes me think it must be better (because when it comes to skincare, I believe in spending money, sorrynotsorry).

I then do step one in my skincare routine which is serum – I'm loving the Clinique Moisture Surge serum*, and am about to repurchase it in fact. It's €45, but it's worth it; it feels gorgeous on the skin, very hydrating without being oily, looks great under makeup, has a minimal scent and right now at Debenhams (hashtag notanad) there's a free gift with purchase where you get six or seven little Clinique minis, and good stuff like cleanser and a lipstick. I'm into it.

After serum, it's either moisturiser or facial oil – and my choice there largely depends on what I'm up to. If I'm staying in the house I'll do facial oil (because it does tend to leave my skin a bit, well, oily) and if I'm going out it'll be moisturiser. For the latter, right now I'm loving the Avène Hydrance Optimale Light. Like I said, I'm kind of oily and this goes on really nicely, soaks in pretty much instantly, doesn't leave my skin oily and it feels moisturised pretty much all day.

If it's facial oil, I'm either a Sunday Riley bitch (but you already know that) – right now I'm using U.F.O*, which I truly believe is keeping blackheads at bay, or else I'm just convincing myself of that because I spent €90 on it. I'm also using a Facial Boost Oil I was given by Zile Organics, a Dublin-based beauty brand that seems to be currently offline (although if you hear different, please do tell!). It's a lovely product – leaves the skin really moisturised and dewy without feeling heavy.

During the day (maybe):

That's it for the morning! Maybe one day a week I wear makeup; the other six I don't, or I might lob on a tiny bit of Glossier Stretch Concealer* and Boy Brow*.

Then, during the day, I do a lot of hand-and-cuticle moisturising, mostly using Glossier's Balm Dotcom* or Kiehl's Lip Balm #1*. Basically, I put on the lip balm and then rub the excess into my cuticles – but I don't really have dry lips, so mostly I'm putting on lip balm in order to put it on my cuticles. It's a whole thing. The Kiehl's lip balm was donated by the lovely Kirstie McDermott, who gave it to me when I needed something to soothe the itch, post-laser tattoo removal.

PM (pre-bedtime):

If I have makeup to remove, that stuff comes off with a little Byotea Hydrating-Stimulating Cleansing Mousse. In general I'm not the biggest fan of foaming cleansers, because I find they tend to be quite harsh, but this one is the exception – it's really gentle, enough so to remove eye makeup, removes everything (including eyeliner, the bane of my life) and leaves skin feeling fresh but not tight. If I've gone for an extra makeup look (think: Doublewear), I'll go back in with my micellar water to make sure not a trace remains.

After cleansing, I'll lob on a good pump of Trilogy's Very Gentle Calming Serum*, which is a dream to use. It's really light, barely fragranced (at least, not that I've noticed) and feels silky smooth on the skin. (I can't remember where I got this. I'm 99% sure I didn't buy it but I don't think I've ever been on Trilogy's press lists, which makes me think this is another Kirstie McDermott donation.)

Post-serum, it's more oil: Sunday Riley's Artemis this time, which is no longer available. The skincare gods are frowning down upon me. I don't actually know what I'll do when this runs out. It smells like stale hedges, but I still love it.

(If I'm feeling mega fancy, I'll put my Kinvara Eye Wow on before my serum, but a lot of the time that's just a step too far for my lazy ass.)

On my hands, I'm currently using Sally Hansen's cuticle oil (which I think is really good for the price) and Nuxe Nuxuriance Anti-Ageing Hand Cream, which I wouldn't have bought for myself because I'm totally deluded and believe I'm 16 years old, but I'm really enjoying. It's not too scented, it soaks in easily and doesn't leave my paws feeling wet and greasy. I pretty much slather this on and get to sleep within minutes.

So there you have it! I'm not a hugely loyal person when it comes to skincare, and there is a strong chance this will all have changed in six months' time (perhaps I'll do a thrilling update), but right now this is where I'm at. Point to note: the Clinique serum will be in all and every skincare update I ever do because I honestly do adore it and think it's worth every euro of the 45. So there.

Press samples: Avène moisturiser, Zile Organics oil, Byotea cleansing mousse, Kinvara Eye Wow, Nuxe hand cream.

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