My Skincare Ritual...

By Lucy Harbron - 21:16

The other day my friend passed on some wisdom that her mum had passed onto her;

'You only notice you've aged every seven years'

We sipped our gin and nodded; wise words.

Lately, I've really noticed how much my body has changed; my skin, my hair, my shape, aren't the same as when I was 13. And that's exactly how old I was when I started this blog, and when I first shared my skincare routine, if you could even call it that. I was using a microbead exfoliator, cheap Primark face wipes, and described my relationship with moisturiser as 'occasional'...  I'd just like to pause here and take a moment to apologise to anyone that's been here from the beginning for exposing you to such awful recommendations, and to my skin for the previous torture.

And you just know that I will have posted about my skincare routine, and then changed products the next time Company magazine came out and recommended something new. I spared no thought for the chemicals and intensity I was subjecting my skin to, and never considered the ingredients of the products I was using. I based my purchases solely off reviews and opinions of others, with no knowledge about what my skin needed, no understanding that it was different from anyone else.

As twenty-year-old Lucy, that's top of my priority list for skin care; how does it make my skin feel. I don't fully implement anything into my routine without testing it out before hand, finally aware that my skin is really sensitive and some products just don't work for me. I've learned a lot about essential oils, and the benefits of certain ingredients to look out for. My relationship with moisturiser is now official and forever.

I've also come to accept that I will never have perfect skin. My skin is extremely reactive to foods and hormones, so without constantly monitoring myself, I'm never going to be 24/7 glowing. And that's fine with me. I feel very in-tune with my skin at the minute, I think I've learned what it needs, and how to recognise when I need a little extra or a little less love. And I think that's the most important thing. Maybe I'm not more aware that I've aged, maybe I've just matured in my relationship with my body, more aware all round. I care mainly about how products make me feel, no longer looking for a quick fix, but fully involved with the meditation of a skin care routine as self-care.

I'm recommending nothing but that. Get to know your skin, listen to what it wants. But to redeem this blog from the awful advice of my younger self, here are the products my skin loves.

The Basics

Under the influence of my nana, I became a Liz Earle girl. Living on the Isle of Wight, my nana always returns with a bunch of goodies for me, and I've narrowed it down to an essential roster of 4 products.

Cleanse and Polish

The holy grail, the beloved. Everyone has raved about this, so all I'll add is that it's worth the hype. It managed to remove makeup with so much power while remaining one of the most gentle and calming products I've encountered. At the end of each day, I like to use this twice. Once to remove makeup. Then I thoroughly rinse the cloth and repeat, to get a deeper cleanse of my skin without pushing the makeup into my pores.

But also, the act of using this is so calming. I like to end my day with it, as the last thing before getting into bed and winding down. I let the warm cloth sooth me, easing my mind and the pressures of the day, comforting and loving. It's the product that I love using as a valued part of my night routine more than anything.

Instant boost skin tonic

On the other end of the scale, this toner wakes me up. I like to keep this in the fridge and use it as soon as I crawl out of bed, to bring my skin to life.

In the past month, this has taken on a big part of my morning routine as I've been trying to wake up and exercise straight away, even if it's just dancing around my room. I use the feeling of the cold product as a sort of go button, it's the start to the 15-30 minutes of action, shaking me to life.

Gentle face exfoliator

I use this twice a week, to scrub away the stress and regrets.

Superskin moisturiser 

Maybe I'm only saying this because it was gifted to me, but after using the regular moisturiser and the superskin one, the extra money is worth it. Pause for my purse to scream.

Neroli is one of my favourite scents. The scent is proved to slow pulse rate, easing depression and anxiety, combating stress and insomnia. Maybe it's my knowledge of that that makes me love the product, but it makes me happy each time I use it. It's rich and luxurious, but the scent makes it seem feather light.

After my previous neglect,  my moisturiser and I are inseparable. And you'll find me smoothing this on every morning and night without a care in the world for how I'll afford to repurchase it.

And the rest;

Eau Roma Water

Rose is one of my favourite scents and oils to use. It reduces redness, has a calming effect on both mood and skin, can help relieve headaches, has anti-ageing properties and much more. In short, it's magic.

In the spray bottle, this has a similar effect as the instant boost tonic, I spritz my face to snap myself out of bad moods or wake myself up. But when I need some calm, I like to spray this only a cotton pad and hold it over my eyes and temples, taking some deep breathes and hoping that aromatherapy isn't nonsense and I didn't waste £6 on this product.

Tea Tree Oil

Once again, magic. Tea tree is antibacterial so does wonders for spots, helps encourage healing of the skin, and helps with inflammation both of the skin and muscles, so is a great one for a massage.

When I was younger, I'd slather this all over my skin, the thought of it makes me cringe. If I'm feeling like I need a bit of spot-fighting help, I'll mix a couple of drops of this with my toner on a cotton pad, or dab the TINIEST bit directly onto the spot. But I've learned to be gentle and use sparingly, thank god.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution;

I get asked a lot about The Ordinary products. They seem to be shrouded in mystery, a real cult product that if you know, you know. And I know. I've used a couple of their products, and each one amazes me. But this one, wow.

Since using it from December to now, I see a difference. I actually look like a person who sleeps now.

But again, I love using this product. The bottle makes me feel like a scientist, and the process of patting the product in demands time and attention, a moment of pause. It's a product that makes you feel like you're caring for yourself, and that's worth it enough for me.

Also, the tiny £6 price tag is a beautiful little bonus.


The staple of any self-care night, the patron saint of the night before 'i need to fix my skin now' panic. I alternate between 2;

The pink one- Rosy Cheeks

Once again, I swear by the rose. When my skin feels especially irritated or angry, I grab this out of my fridge and let it work wonders. I like to use this in the morning because when I remove it, my skin is so calm and happy to don't feel the need to wear any makeup, I can glow about my day.

The red one- The Ordinary AHA 30 + BHA 2 Peeling Solution

Quite the opposite, this mask fights fire with fire, being just as angry as my skin. No, it doesn't make your skin peel off, but it takes no prisoners. This is my quick fix product, and out of my whole routine, I'd say this is the thing I now can't be without. I lay at its feet the credit for my newly clear skin.

It's not for everyone, being such a harsh product, but my skin loves it. It feels like tough love, exactly what I need twice a week. And once again, at £6, my purse loves it too.

In general, I'm a big advocate for The Ordinary products, using both their skincare and their makeup. They're vegan and cruelty-free, their products make my skin feel insanely soft, and I feel comforted by how scientific it all feels, like my adult skin as graduated to official, lab-proven products like serums.

Obviously, I still care about how my skin looks. I still get very hung-up on a spot and needing to have clear skin for a special occasion, with it definitely still being an insecure spot for me. But this routine works. And more importantly, I love it. Sticking to it is easy because of how good it makes me feel. It allows me time in my day to breathe and check in with myself, take a moment of stillness to just wait for it to sink it, knowing I'm doing myself good while doing nothing at all. I see it more as a ritual, just as beneficial for my head as it is for my face. It's balanced perfectly between comfort and excitement, helping me relax and helping me energise. And it's all mine, crafted with only my skin in mind, no longer the fickle routine of seven years ago. I think that's what they call adulting.

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