My Current Skincare Routine – A Ramble and a Rave

I’ve always been quite pedantic about my skincare, but because of financial constraints (damn student poverty) and a lack of time,  I’ve not been as diligent with it over the past few months as I normally am.  As a result, my face had been starting to lose tone and fine wrinkles have been starting to appear and get on my nerves.  My skin is very dry for the most part, but oily in the middle of my forehead and on my nose, which adds some complication to the mix.

I’ve used many vitamin c serums in the past, and whilst I knew it was possible to mix your own, I’d never actually tried it. I think the success of my 10% Tetra C Serum inspired me to further investigate and refine my skincare regime, and I’m so happy with the results.  There’s a huge difference in my skin tone: wrinkles and laugh lines have been significantly reduced, hyperpigmentation and redness reduced, pimples eliminated, and the overall tone of my skin is finer.  I can even feel how much plumper my skin is when I’m cleansing my face in the morning!

I’ve included come very scary closeup photos of me without makeup to further illustrate the difference to my skin. They show my skin as it was, and then after only one week of using the regime below. I’m still not entirely comfortable posting pictures of myself without makeup on the internet, and I may even take them down at some point, but for the people who read this blog regularly, this is for you:

Starting point - this is my 'driving side' so sun damage is at its most severe here. Fine lines run underneath my eye and extend out to the cheek. There is some redness, and hyperpigmentation is apparent.

 


After 1 week of treatment - lines are still apparent, but softened, lines under the eye are significantly reduced, and hyperpigmentation has softened. The whole area has been plumped too.

As the pictures below were taken at different times of the day the lighting is quite different, and hence, my skin tone appears lighter in the first than the second. Just ignore that! :

 

Starting point - laugh lines around my nose and mouth are starting to appear, and the whole cheek area is heading south

 


After 1 week of treatment - the whole area is much firmer, and the laugh lines around my nose and mouth are significantly reduced. Tone is also more even.

 

Here are the same two pictures side by side and enlarged.

 

So I thought I’d share my current skincare routine with your here.   It incorporates really active ingredients, and although I might tweak the products from time to time (ie different vitamin c recipe, different retinol or rentin a etc) I don’t imagine that the basic pattern will change any time soon.  My regime centres around vitamin c, retinol, moisturiser, and sunscreen:

(morning)

Vitamin C serum (The 10% Tetra C Serum I mixed here)

MuLondon Moisturiser

Marie Veronique Face Screen SPF 30

(evening)

On day 1 I will use:

Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5%

MuLondon Moisturiser (whole face)

Raw, Unrefined Shea Butter used as eye and neck cream

And on day 2 I will use:

Marie Veronique Anti-Aging Face Oil

MuLondon Moisturiser (whole face)

Raw, Unrefined Shea Butter used as eye and neck cream

If you’re thinking that this regime doesn’t seem that revolutionary, you’re right. But what makes the difference here is that amongst these products there is no ‘dead wood’. Each is incredibly effective in its own right, and thus with just a few products I’m very happy with my skin.

Remember if you use a retinol start off slowly. I’m quite happy to use mine every second day at a low percentage (0.5%), but you may want to start off using yours once every third day, or once a week, then build up. Remember also that if you use a retinol YOU MUST USE A SUNSCREEN as your skin will have an increased sensitivity to sunlight. Also make sure to avoid the eye area.

Recentl,y I’ve also read that in order for vitamin c and retinol to be even more effective, it’s a good idea to pause before and after the application of products. When I cleanse my skin I wait around 15 minutes until my skin is completely dry before I apply either vitamin c or retinol.  Avoiding any contact with water whatsoever makes these very active products even more effective.  After applying the vitamin c serum in the morning, I wait as long as I can before applying other products on top of it to further enhance its effectiveness. Equally, when I apply retinol in the evening, I wait as long as I can before I apply my moisturiser on top to give the product time to sink in and work. I find that with the application of retinol this technique significantly decreases irritation.  I think this has helped in getting the maximum effectiveness out of both my vitamin c and retinol.  Of course, if you can’t do this, you will still gain many benefits from retinol and vitamin c, but this is the ideal system.

Added to these basics is my usual rotation of gentle exfoliation, hydrating masks, face oils, glycolic cleansers, and so on, and these are used as my skin needs them.

So where to from here?

I want to keep experimenting with different vitamin c and retinol products. Technically speaking, I should be using Retin A/ Tretinoin for maximum effectiveness, but the amount of peeling makes me a little unsure. I’m getting great results from my reintol at the moment, so we’ll see.

I’d also like to incorporate some niacinamide into my routine to further plump the skin and guard against breakouts (not that I’ve had any for a while).  Like the vitamin c serum, I’m going to try and mix this myself.

I want to start working on skincare for my body too. A body oil with vitamin c perhaps? To be used under a moisturiser? Stay tuned…

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23 Responses to My Current Skincare Routine – A Ramble and a Rave

  1. Wow- you can really see it in the texture and tone in the 1st picture. Can’t believe thats after 1 week. Am really curious now about the skinceuticals retinol too. Amazing. Your pics look absolutely fine, don’t worry ( but totally understand, I did one with just tinted moisturiser a while back and it was confronting!!)

  2. Dempeaux says:

    @MeMyBestAndI It’s comforting to know that someone else has put ‘confronting’ pictures of themselves on their blog! I can’t believe the difference in my skin. I haven’t done as much research into different retinols as I have into vitamin c, but my gut feeling is that there are cheaper options out there. However, in terms of availability, excellent packaging (it’s airtight) and availability, the Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5% is a good starting point :)

  3. ki says:

    Wow, I can really see the difference! I think I am still a little young for retinoids and such, but I do need to set down a proper skincare routine…

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @Ki It’s made *such* a difference. You have beautiful skin, so yes, you might not need retinoids yet! SPF and Vit C is all you need with great skin like yours :)

  5. Jan says:

    Quote “laugh lines around my nose and mouth are starting to appear” where?? you have no lines, all I see is clear skin, ahh youthful skin if I could bottle that I would be happy. I am glad that you are happy with the products and I share your pain of the bare skin photos, unfortunately I am older and less photogenic than you! Jan x

  6. Dempeaux says:

    @Jan Oh you are too kind Jan! Just trust me, they were starting to appear, and now are much better! :D Yes, I can’t stand the bare-faced photos – I’m trying not to look at them ;)

  7. emmabovary says:

    I love reading these in depth skin care posts, I know so little about all of this and it’s so nice to be able to understand more. And you are beautiful with or without makeup, do not stress for a second about that.
    emmabovary x

  8. Ayse says:

    Wow, it really is working! I can see the difference here. Keep up using these and never give up. For example, I own that retinol and sunscreen but I am too lazy to even use it. :( I should use it too! :)

  9. Ayse says:

    I think you should post again the difference in for example 3 months from now.

  10. Dempeaux says:

    @ That’s great! There’s a lot of info out there, but these seem like the most important and effective threads. Thankyou for the compliment! :)

  11. Dempeaux says:

    @Ayse Oh you should use it! I guess part of it is forming a habit, but once you do the rewards are awesome! Good idea about posting again in three months time. I hope my skin looks even better! Thanks for reading :)

  12. Jen W says:

    I can really see the difference to the fine lines around your eye area (they weren’t really very noticable to begin with, but I can see the softening)!

    Thanks for the closeups, I know they are scary to post, but so helpful <3

  13. Dempeaux says:

    @Jen Oh I’m glad you can see the difference! As it’s my face, I suppose I know what to look for, but it’s good that the improvements translate into images. The images are so scary, but I guess it’s all part of blogging ;)

  14. oooh cute blog! love it!

  15. Dempeaux says:

    @MsMadamemakeup Thankyou! :)

  16. That was such a fascinating post and I have to say the difference in your skin tone and texture between the photographs is visible! Thank you so much for sharing the pictures as it’s so interesting to be able make the comparison. I am extremely impressed with how well your routine is working for you. You’ve spurred me on to look at the Skinceuticals again.
    Jane x

  17. Dempeaux says:

    @ModestyBrown Thankyou Jane! Definitely check out the Skinceuticals – it really is worth incorporating it into your routine :)

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  20. Very interesting, great results!
    May I add that sunlight destroys Vit C so even if you’re not using Retinol and you’re applying Vit C in the morning, wearing a high SPF is a must! (I apply mine at night for maximal effectiveness)

  21. Dempeaux says:

    @MusingOnBeauty Thankyou! I’m glad my photos show the improvement :D
    There is a lot of debate about when the best time to use vitamin c is, and I think it does come down to personal preference. However, once vitamin c is absorbed, it stays in the cells for 72 hours, and when LAA is combined with Ferulic Acid it has even been shown to provide mild sun protection on its own (http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v125/n4/full/5603565a.html). Basically, once it hits the dermis, it’s safe from oxidisation. For this reason, I like to wash my face, wait 15 minutes, apply my vit c, then wait 20 minutes for it to absorb completely before applying my moisturiser and the rest of my base. This way, the maximum amount of vitamin c can penetrate the dermis where it can deliver the maximum amount of benefits. It is true however that the small amount of vit c left on the dermis will degrade a little under uv light (http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v100/n3/pdf/5611708a.pdf), so it’s a matter of letting the vit c absorb as much as possible! I agree that high SPF is always a must! Particularly in Australia :)

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