Discovery GemZone: A shoutout to facial skincare galore

Hi all 🙂

Rounding up my official second Discovery GemZone is all things relating to skincare. For those of you who don’t know, Discovery GemZone is a public space I have created to share all of my favourite things with you- checkout the honorary Discovery GemZone (an ode to celebrity ASMR interviews for W Magazine) here.

So let’s get to it…

I had never been huge on implementing a facial skincare regimen for myself. I was very much of thought ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

However, two visits to the spa in which I was told I had very dry and stressed skin, a very hard look in the mirror later, there was no denying that my skin was lacking some serious TLC.

So I decided to do something about it, but I had no idea where to start. What moisturiser was best? What the hell is toner? What’s the point of serum? Don’t these things all just do the same thing?

Confused and bewildered as to how to approach this new foreign concept, I searched the internet for inspiration. I have a vast array of celebs I admire, and some of them have their own YouTube channels or are featured by magazines discussing their skincare routines, so I watched these videos/read interviews to find out what the fuss was all about.

After that, I discovered Buzzfeed’s beauty section and found a table that made things nice and simple for me:

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Source: Buzzfeed

Now that I knew what all of these products achieved and their purpose, I stumbled on an answer as to which order to put all of these products on. I’m sure everyone might have a different opinion on this, but I have used this as my guide as I’m going into the whole facial skincare regimen completely blind.

I then went on Boots and placed a bulk order for anything that I didn’t have yet. I chose what I wanted based on customer reviews and price, and I ended up with a whole lot of highly recommended products at drugstore prices.

Of course I’m not calling myself a skincare guru after this very recent regimen I have tailored for myself, but I want to share this with everyone as it’s something I actually really enjoy and I can already tell the difference in my skin. If you’re a skincare novice like myself, perhaps you can acquire some inspiration from this post or if you’re an expert you’ll be intrigued to try a product you haven’t heard of before.

So, here’s my current skincare routine, plus a few extra’s I add in at least once a week for a self pampering session.

Day

Cleanser: Boots Essential Cucumber Facial Wash

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Cheap, reliable, and gets the job done- not much to go wrong here. I don’t double cleanse in the morning as I don’t see the point- I’ve gone to bed with a clean face and no makeup so why would I add the same unnecessary repetitive step?

I like this product as it hasn’t irritated my skin and it also gives me a nice gentle yet effective ‘slap-in-the face you need need to wake up’ reality check as I stumble into the bathroom in zombie mode.

Toner: Garner Natural Rose Water Toner Sensitive Skin 

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This has a lovely smell, and makes my skin feel invigorated especially as I’m waking up in the mornings.

Moisturiser/Sunscreen: Nivea Daily Essentials SPF15/ Nivea Hydro Care Lip Protection SPF15 

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 08.10.18Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 08.12.54

My main hesitation with implementing such an extensive (by my standards) skincare regimen is that I’m not keen on the fact of layering/combining so many different products on my face- I’m always slightly paranoid that I will have a really negative reaction. That’s why when I was looking for a moisturiser, I knew I wanted to buy a 2-in-1 that is combined with sunscreen. I also added a lip moisturiser as my lips are hella chapped and dry, and with the unusual summer weather that hit London a few days ago, you can never be too safe in terms of protecting yourself from those rays.

Side note: I would prefer a moisturiser that is SPF50 ideally but they all seem to be significantly more expensive, please sound off in the comments if you have any affordable recommendations on this!

Night

Cleanser: Boots Cucumber Facial Wash + Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser + Garnier Micellar Water 

 

No, I don’t go from single to trip cleansing in the evening. At the moment, I’m purely using the Cucumber facial wash and the cold cream, but I need to give Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water a well-deserved shoutout. The only reason I’m not using it at the moment is because it ran out and I thought I’d give another makeup remover a go. Quite frankly nothing can compare to Garnier’s though, not only is it cheap (£1) but it is undeniably effective and gentle on your skin. It removes the most stubborn makeup and since it’s predominantly water it feels very hydrating on your skin. You know when people say they ‘swear’ by one product or they’re asked what beauty essential would they narrow down to their top 5, well this is that product for me.

I’ve just started using the Ponds cream- it’s nice and soothing (cold cream is an accurate description), albeit I’m not a huge fan of cream to remove makeup. Personally, I much prefer liquid makeup removers and will be going back to Garnier once I have finished with the Ponds cream. After I remove my makeup, I double cleanse with the Boots cucumber facial wash, which I’m told ensures you’ve made sure to remove everything.

Toner/Spot Treatments 

I use the same toner in the evening (see daytime routine for Garnier Rose water).

For spot treatments, check out the ‘extras’ section below. Frankly, I don’t personally believe I need to be implementing spot treatments into my skincare regimen on a daily basis. I don’t breakout very very often and usually if I do get a pimple, unless it’s really bothering me to look at, I’ve learned to let it be and run it’s own natural course (I was guilty of picking at them constantly back in the day).

 

Serum/Moisturiser: Olay Smoothing Serum 

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 08.52.39.png

Like I said, I’m not a fan of lathering on loads of different products in fear of any negative reaction (especially before I’m going to bed, so I was instantly drawn to this serum as one of it’s many combined benefits is that it also moisturises your face. It does what it says it does, so no complaints here.

 

Eye Cream: TBD 

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 08.58.59.png

Truth time- I have yet to implement any eye cream routine into my skincare regimen whatsoever. I have an eye cream from Exuviance which I had lying around from a blogger festival handout, and I finally gave it a proper go but as soon as I put it on my undereye started to burn so that was a no go. Yesterday, I purchased the Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll on (linked above), and will give it a try.

If anyone has any recommendations on this, please let me know in the comments or by contacting me, this is where I’m most lost in regards to what’s best (should I be using masks instead of cream?).

 

Extras 

So now that I’ve run you through my current daily skincare regimen, the below are extras I add in at different points of the week. Some are ones I like to add in once in a blue moon for a little ‘jujing’ (am I spelling that word right?), and others are ones that I add in once a week. Currently, I like to take an hour out of a Saturday morning purely dedicated to skincare pampering. So here they are:

For a stress free detox experience: Darphin’s Veltier Aromatic Care Stress Relief Detox Oil Mask 

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At a hefty £45 for a minuscule 50 ml container, Darphin’s detox mask is a splurge, but one that I didn’t have to pay for as I treated myself to this thanks to a Space NK gift card I was given for my birthday. It’s always easier to treat yourself to these things when you’re not the one paying for it, but I’m glad that my aimless Space NK browsing brought me to this product because I will definitely buy it again (gift card excluded).

Along with Garnier’s Micellar cleansing water, this is another product that I now swear by and would make my top 5 product list. Whilst the product only comes in 50 ml form, the great thing is you don’t need to use much to cover your face as it has a very thick consistency.

For me, this mask is the definition of a ‘treat-yo-self’ product. It’s also one of those products where the difference is noticeable right away, so I tend to use it on an ad-hoc basis. I particularly like to use it in the mornings if I’ve had a rough night of sleep. After leaving it on my skin for 10 minutes, my face looks significantly rejuvenated and brighter, and beyond making my face look wonderfully refreshed I also feel so as well. It also smells fantastic, and when you rinse it with water, it turns into a milk like consistency.

If you’re looking to splurge on yourself, which we all deserve, then this is my number one recommendation.

 

To strip away those nasty blackheads, I go for Biore’s Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips 

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My nose is full of blackheads and I had never really given thought to cleansing my pores- I chose the pore strips quite frankly because I always see them in TV/film and was amused by this frequently featured universal staple. I was surprised/horrified by the price of these things- nearly £6 for a mere 6 nose strips (and that’s on the cheap end it seems). However, I then discovered you’re only meant to use them once a week, so that alleviated some of my reservations (£6 every 6 weeks is reasonably justifiable).

Once I used the nose strip for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised in a very weird way (I couldn’t stop staring at how much blackheads were stuck on the strip once I peeled it off, it was oddly satisfying). This has now become part of my Saturday morning routine.

 

For a uniquely magical experience, amuse yourself with Exuviance’s Bionic Oxygen Facial 

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Another splurge, but yet another one that I didn’t have to bear the cost of as it was a giveaway during a blogger festival.

This mask essentially promotes the same effect that Darphin’s does, and I can’t say it does it as well, but it certainly provides an unmatched facial experience.

As you massage the cream into your face, it becomes a raised foam that within the following 5 minutes will immerse itself into your skin and completely disappear. Once you rinse with water (to ensure that the invisibly remaining product is off), your are left with incredibly soft and revitalised skin. It’s quite fun to watch the mask disappear off your face, and while it can be unsettling at first to feel it tingle into your skin (I describe it as ants crawling on your face), there’s no denying that the overall experience is unique.

Exuviance recommend you use it 3-4 days a week, but this is really a product I use once in a blue moon. Especially since Darphin’s is much more effective and essentially aims to achieve the same result, I can’t say I’d buy this one again, but I’m certainly enjoying it while it lasts!

 

For a straightforward makeup remover or a face refresher, try Botanics All Bright Cleansing Facial Wipes 

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I recently purchased these not necessarily as a makeup remover, but because I sweat so much during my fitness classes and I just want something I can carry around in my bag and wipe my face with if I’m feeling too hot- this does exactly that. I also thought these would be a good add-on addition to my routine for days I need an extra boost in removing any stubborn makeup. Until recently, I only ever worse mascara/eyeshadow/lipstick. I have now become a fan of adding highlighter, occasionally concealer, and quite a heavy brow tinter to my routine so I want to ensure it all comes off completely before I go to bed!

 

For a purifying and reliable cleanse, go for Soap and Glory’s Pore 2-in1 Facial Pore Mask and Peel 

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 10.01.36.png

Part of my Saturday morning routine, I chose this one based on the stellar reviews. It says what it does and it’s effective at it- it gives you a deep cleanse that you only have to use once a week. I leave it on for the full recommended 15 minutes if you’re looking for an intensive clean. I also think it’s fun because it’s blue and I’m easily amused by how weird I look with these masks on.

For the less talked about lip scrub, I chose Barry M’s mango flavour 

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During my spiral into celebrity beauty videos on YouTube, I discovered that lip scrubs were a thing through a Priyanka Chopra DIY skincare vide.

Let me be real, I cannot be bothered to invest time into DIY beauty products, so once again I relied on Boots and customer reviews to base my decision on.

I don’t see the purpose of using this on the daily, so I’ve added it to my Saturday morning routine. It’s easy to forget this is a lip scrub and not candy, the mango flavour is very tasty!

 

During the week, spruce up your routine with different products 

Like exercise, I have come to believe that once you have a core routine built in, noticeable change comes from trying new and different things so you don’t plateau. For me, this is simply walking into Boots or any pharmacy and picking up a couple of their individual sheet masks to try at different points in the week.

 

 

I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Discovery GemZone, and hopefully you felt inspired to try one of these products yourself 🙂 Any recommendations on skincare products or generally any comments and feedback, feel free to sound off in the comments or contact me below! My celeb skin envy, Lucy Hale, raves about retinol- any thoughts on implementing this in your skincare? 

 

 

 

 

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