Establishing a skincare routine can be daunting. From AHA’s to sussing out what combination skin is, it can be difficult to find a skincare routine that is suitable for you.
To help you out, we have devised a simple guide into the world of cleansing and toning of your skin - and of course recommendations of the best skincare products from our range of tried and tested UK natural skincare brands...
What’s your skin type?
Firstly, it’s important to determine what your skin type is. The most common skin types are Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination (both oily and dry) and Sensitive.
- Normal Skin
Normal skin is neither too dry nor oily. It has a regular texture, little to no imperfections and has a clean, soft appearance. If you have this skin type, consider yourself lucky - and also be aware you’re the centre of skin envy right now!
- Dry Skin
Although dry skin can be caused by external factors such as weather, low humidity and hot water immersion, these are often temporary causes. However, suffering from dry skin can be a lifelong difficulty that people face. Common factors in dry skin include skin that cracks, peels and becomes itchy and inflamed. You may also have a dull, rough complexion, more visible lines and red patches.
- Oily skin
The human body is an amazing thing. The skin naturally produces oil to keep itself moisturised (that’s still no excuse to skimp on moisturiser - more on that later...). However, for people with oily skin, this process can go into overdrive, especially if you have enlarged pores. According to Dr. Doris Day, founder of Day Dermatology and Aesthetics in New York City “The bigger the pore, the more active the oil glands, and the more active the oil glands, the more they’ll secrete”.
Signs of oily skin include a shiny or greasy appearance, frequent blackheads and/or breakouts and large pores on the skin.
- Combination skin
As the name suggests, combination skin is a combination of two skin types commonly oily and either dry or normal. The T-zone area (the area across the forehead, the chin and nose) is normally oily, whilst the cheeks remain normal to dry. There may also be enlarged pores in the area, with some impurities.
If you'd like a complimentary guide for your skin type, click here
Basic step by step guide to cleanse & tone your skin
Remove your make up
If you wear makeup, it’s important you follow the cardinal rule - remove it before bed! We’ve all skipped this step, but it’s so vital to remove makeup before cleansing and bedtime in order to keep your skin clean, clear and healthy. Although makeup wipes are convenient, cheap and easy they tend to only remove surface makeup, leaving your pores unattended. It’s better for your skin, and the environment, to use a liquid, oil or foaming cleanser if you can.
We love using a cleansing balm as a make up remover because it literally melts your natural make up products away. Our favourites are AD Skin Synergy's Essential Cleansing Balm or, as a vegan alternative, Silvan Skincare's Radiance Balm which both work a treat. If you like something with a more liquid texture, why not try UpCircle's Cleansing Face Milk which is a cream cleanser that can be used as an eye make up remover with a reusable cotton pad or all over the face.
Aim to cleanse twice a day
Depending on your needs, as a general rule, we recommend cleansing twice a day. However, if you feel this is too much for you, or you have any reactions, then just once at the end of the day is absolutely fine. Wet the face with tepid water, as this will help remove the dirt without drying the skin. Then apply the cleanser to the face in upwards, circular motions. Ensure you remove the cleanser with a pad or cloth or if you wish by simply splashing tepid water. The face should be dried with a towel. For oily skin, we recommend picking a non comedogenic cleanser if you can as they remove oil gently. Also avoid washing your face more than twice a day if you have oily or combination skin as washing too often can actually cause your skin to produce more oil and pimples. For those with dry and/or sensitive skin, look out for products with soothing properties to ease flaky, irritated skin.
For those with dry skin, Odylique’s Organic Creamy Coconut Cleanser could be the Holy Grail to soft, smooth skin. It's made with skin conditioning coconut and extra virgin olive oil to gently cleanse and keep the skin hydrated. There's also anti-bacterial and detoxifying lemon essential oil and regenerative rose oil to help maintain your skin. The best part? It’s super affordable! The cleanser starts at £7.50 and can be found here.
For those with oily or combination skin, we seriously recommend AD Skin Synergy Essential Cleansing Balm. The fragrance from this organic cleanser cleansing balm is so delicious you will want to double, triple, quadruple cleanse. It also leaves our skin feeling so clean and refreshed without drying. It’s 100% organic and includes calendula, beeswax and sunflower as well as rose essential oil. This glorious cleansing balm contains jojoba oil which mimics sebum to help balance the skin and frankincense to minimise pore size and manage breakouts. AD Skin's Essential Cleansing Balm is available to buy here. We recommend using a muslin cloth to give you a gentle exfoliation - and the good news is we include one with every purchase of AD Skin Synergy Essential Cleansing Balm!
Apply your toner
Toner usually comes in liquid form or as an organic mist and should be applied to a dry face after cleansing. Simply apply toner onto a cotton pad (Ginger Green Co. do a great, eco-friendly alternative to throwaway facial pads here) and simply wipe over your face - no need to rinse!
Casa Mencarelli Acqua Di Miele Honey & Orange Toner is a delicate yet effective toner which is best for sensitive or acne prone skin as well as mature skin types. The toner also boasts Orange blossom water (which contains a natural alpha hydroxyl acid) that will gently cleanse and exfoliate, tighten and tone your skin while minimising pores and capillaries as well as honey, known for its moisturising and anti-bacterial properties. The toner is available to buy here, and prices start at £15.00.
Apply an organic moisturiser
Although this has caused some debate, dermatologists have backed moisturising after cleansing and toning. Moisturising can help protect your skin from pollution, stop it drying out and keep your oil production under control too. If you do have oily skin, we recommend using a lighter, more water based moisturiser. Odylique’s Organic Rose Moisturiser contains calming rose water, smoothing rosehip oil and sea buckthorn extracts to help improve the texture of sensitive skin.
Additional tips for achieving glowing skin
- We strongly recommend wearing sunscreen. Daily sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation and, premature aging. An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for all skin tones and types.
- Stay hydrated and avoid intake of alcohol, ‘junk’ foods, etc.
- Exfoliating once or twice a week helps remove the barrier of dead skin cells that can clog pores and uncovers fresh new cells below. Exfoliating also helps moisturising products penetrate deeper into the skin. Meadow Skincare Gently Resurfacing Facial Exfoliant will leave your skin bright, smooth and polished. It’s made with organic oats for gentle, hydrating exfoliation and beautifully fragrant apricot and hibiscus powders to lightly exfoliate even sensitive skin. It's also suitable for all skin types and smells great due to the blend of organic orange and frankincense essential oils. It’s available to buy here for £28.00.
- If you are struggling to find products that work for your skin, visit a dermatologist. They are professionals that can pinpoint underlying causes of skin problems that ordinary skincare haven’t resolved after months. - they may even be able to prescribe something where appropriate.
Whilst we hope the pages are informative it’s important to remember we’re organic beauty enthusiasts not scientists so the information is detailed here to the best of our knowledge or research we have conducted from third parties. Whilst we are continually updating our content based on new research, it may not always be up to date and as such it is the readers’ responsibility to conduct their own research in order to independently verify the information and make an informed decision on their beauty regime/lifestyle. Any opinion expressed on the efficacy of a product is based on tests performed by our team. As everyone has different skin types and concerns, please be advised that what works for them might not work for you but we try to give as much subjective information as possible which we hope you will find useful. If in any doubt, please consult a medical professional.