Tuesday, 27 August 2013

#theSOproject WEEK 1: SKINCARE

So welcome to theSOproject!
I haven't done an introductory post to this series as I think it's pretty widely known and no one wants to read 150 versions of the same thing do they! It is going to be 10 weeks on different themes relating to starting out with make up and beauty, with a view to giving younger and less experienced readers some handy hints and tips about super duper products and techniques for using them.

This post is all about skincare, which I think could be a difficult one for me as I can tend to wang on about this to anyone that dares to look in my direction! I shall try and keep it short, sweet and not too ranty, however.
I should probably mention that I have oily skin, which results in the odd spot and perennially clogged pores. So my routine might not suit those with dry skin as you'll maybe need more moisture.

Keeping skincare simple and without 1000 steps is what's important as far as I'm concerned.  Who has the £££ to be buying superfluous lotions and potions and more to the point who the heck can be faffed with a gruelling 30 minute routine either in the morning or evening?! I'm pretty much of the opinion that if you're putting on 10 layers of various toners, serums, oils and moisturisers, at least some of them are cancelling each other out.  Pointless.

So keep it simple: cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturise.  Then leave well alone and get on with the rest of your day!

If you are using soap...STOP. It isn't 1945 and we don't still have rationing. I find it bizarre that soap even still exists! It strips away your natural oils, dries your skin out terribly and most are so heavily perfumed that they're likely to irritate your skin and cause nasty spots.
Cleansing wipes: these really are vilified in beauty circles.  Okay, the ingredients wont do your skin any good as such, and they should never be used as your only cleanser, but for me, as a quick first cleanse, to get rid of my eye make up especially, I haven't found anything I prefer.  Bioderma is ineffective at removing my mascara and I have to use far too much of it, which is expensive and time consuming. In my opinion as long as you're washing it off with a proper cleanser afterwards, a face wipe is absolutely fine for a pre-cleanse.
At the moment I'm really enjoying using Boots Essentials Fragrance Free Wipes, which are £1.50.

Next you need a proper cleanser: preferably not a foaming one as SLS, which enables the cleanser to foam, strips the moisture from the skin. I'm currently using Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Cleanser, which is 70% organic and wonderfully gentle on my skin.
A cleansing milk also gives effective but gentle cleansing, I love Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Milk, as it can be gently massaged into the skin to remove the make up and dirt, and then washed off with water and a flannel. 

I recently wrote about using a cleansing brush such as Clarisonic, or No7, which is something to think about but certainly not an essential purchase when you are first getting into looking after your skin.


To have lovely clear skin you need to be exfoliating regularly.  I don't mean the god-awful manual exfoliants that my FiancĂ© describes as rubbing bits of rock on your face, but an acidic exfoliant, to clean out the pores. It doesn't hurt at all, despite sounding quite extreme.

I use Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion morning and night as it is so gentle, but efficiently cleans my pores with salicylic acid. I have also tried Pixi Glow tonic, which didn't go so well as I explained here.
I also love Paula's Choice 2% BHA lotion for this purpose, as it does a wonderful job on any blackheads.  I usually use this at night, never in the day because the BHA can cause sun damage if not protected by using an SPF.

It might seem a little extreme to essentially double tone - exfoliating toner and then normal toner, but it's important to get some moisture back into your skin after the acid has worked it's magic.
The toner should never contain alcohol as it defeats the purpose by drying out the skin.
I'm using Michael Todd Blue Gree Algae Toner which I blogged about recently as it is super moisturising due to the hyaluronic acid it contains. I also like LancĂ´me Tonique Douceur, but for £22 I don't feel there are enough skin care benefits compared to the Michael Todd which is around £11.50.

Moisturiser is the area of skincare I feel least qualified to talk about: I still don't feel I've found what completely works for my skin and I'm still pretty much on a merry-go-round of trying new ones out.  The one I've stuck with for the longest, purely because it protects me with a high SPF and it doesn't irritate my skin is Clinique Superdefense, but I don't feel like it's working hard enough to justify the colossal £38 price tag. I'm going to have a look at REN next for moisturiser, but on the more budget-friendly side, Adam absolutely swears by Aldi Lacura Aqua Moisture Cream, and he has ridiculously sensitive skin so it must be good!

What products would you recommend for cleansing, toning and moisturising?  I would love to hear about them!

Suzy xx


  1. Ah Michael Todd is a god send isnt he? His Charcoal Detox cleanser is a personal favourite too!

    I'm taking part in the SO project too : rosiemickhaiel.blogspot.co.uk

    Rosie xo

    1. Hi lovely, thanks for stopping by! It's amazing stuff isn't it! I love the kaolin clay mask too, it'd be hard to pick a favourite from the range! :) ill head over to yours for a nosey now!xx

  2. Great post lovely, I really want to try some Clinique skin care products, I've heard great things!

    I'm involved in the SO project too, find my post at bethanyworrall.com if you fancy a read x

  3. Thank you for your lovely comment on my #theSOproject post! I felt quite proud of myself!!

    It's funny a lot of us, and others seem to be finding it hard to pinpoint the perfect moisturiser.


  4. Love what you said about soap, haha - so true! I use those Boots wipes sometimes too but the yellow ones! And I'm exactly the same with moisturiser! It's a pain! xx

  5. I feel you when you say you cant find a decent nighttime moisturizer or any moisturizer try Olive oil -apply is generously on your face and neck and sleep with it in the morning you will see a major difference :)it will be a good one I promise even I have oily/Acne prone skin
    Check my http://asqgenerates.blogspot.com/2012/09/skin-care.html
    Even i am in #theSOproject have a peek on my blog xx