From my experience with skincare, I know that it can take quite a while to fully establish a routine that works that you can rely on. I love skincare products, so testing out which ones work and which ones don't is a rather entertaining process for me. But, despite the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of products to choose from, there are only a small number of principles to every routine that are essential to include; this, in my opinion, is a combination of product types that aid in detoxification, hydration and blemish control. Once you have that sorted, you can add as many other products as you like around the essentials. I'm no expert but from what I've learnt these are my skincare routine essentials. 

1. Find a cleanser you can rely on. My go to cleanser at the moment is Sk:n's Vitamin Rich Cleanser* which is perfect for me because its light enough to cleanse the skin in the morning, but also perfect as a second cleanse in the evening after exfoliating. I find exfoliating can damage the skin if you don't treat it with gentle products afterwards, so using a calming milk or cleansing balm every evening repairs and protects the newly exfoliated skin. 

2. One things for sure, make acid toners your best friend. I don't know about you but its just so satisfying wiping newly cleansed skin with an acid toner that perfectly balances out the skins ph and ensures all the toxins are gone. Not even the most thorough cleanse gets rid of all the dirt your pores collect during the day and night. if you're a regular reader then you'll know I only use one which is the famous Pixi Glow Tonic. It contains Gylicolic Acid, which for me is the main reason I suffer from less blemishes than I used to. 

3. Hydrating toners are always a valuable asset too. The key to healthy, dewy skin is using several products that are light and hydrating. A toner in the form or a light spray prepares the skin to take in more products like moisturisers and serums, ideal for making the most out of your routine. A popular choice for many including myself, is La Roche Posay's Serozinc, a fine choice if you've never used hydrating toners because you will see results. 

4. When I first started venturing into the vast (and expensive) world of serums, I didn't realise just how many types there were! Oils, Serums in oils, creams and lotions, it can be hard to decipher which ones to use. I recommend a lighter serum in the morning like the Botanics Facial Serum, and then a thicker, heavier serum like an Oil in the evening. I like to use the Body Shops Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil in the evening because its an instant hydration and it helps to smooth out the skin and remove blemishes. Now, serums are a major skincare saviour

5. Depending on the level and amount of blemishes you experience, a good blemish control cream can be very useful. I get the odd blemish every so often, or I can completely break out, but when I incorporated the regular use of a spot serum, La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo+ to b specific, I noticed that I got less blemishes and my breakouts lasted only a few days, plus the spots weren't as noticeable on my skin. I recommend the regular use of a spot serum, but increase the usage during a breakout or to get rid of a particularly pesky blemish. I'm currently using Sk:n Blemish Control Serum* which is perfect for those who get mild breakouts, and those suffering from systems related to and caused by acne. 

6. Despite what a lot of people say, eye creams and serums aren't as useless as you think. I'm currently using Estée Lauders Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum, and although at first I didn't notice a difference, after a while it became a key product in my routine. I mainly suffer from dark circles and tired looking eyes, so a good eye cream can make you look like you've had 10 hours of extra sleep when you probably need another 20. Eye serums are all about being patient and waiting to see the results, they're not instant but regular use can eventually be highly beneficial. 

7. Pores are like the holes on a sponge and they'll absorb whatever you put on them but also a lot of the toxins that are in the air. This is especially important when you live in a busy town or city where there's more pollution. Thats why using a mask twice a week keeps the skin clear and detoxified, preventing breakouts and and unhealthy skin. My favourite masks are Origin's Clear Improvement and Drink Up Intensive, they work so well on their own but also brilliantly when used together. 
Sticking by these principles has ensured my skin is healthy and clear on a long term basis and has definetly maintained a glow and a smoothness thanks to this combination of essentials. Skincare is the best way to sport a clear glowing complexion, I can't justify putting layers of makeup on my skin without an efficient routine to detoxify and protect. 

What are your skincare essentials? What are your go-to products?

*Press samples, all opinions are my own, reference my full disclaimer

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