Gone are the days of being “low maintenance” and nonchalant about one’s skin. City living is bound to get the better of you and in case you’re the kind to be easily flustered with sudden blackhead infestations and invasion of breakouts, then you’re in for a lot of stress. I for one have been living this nightmare for a while now and if the pollution around wasn’t bad enough, add to it the atrociously hot and humid weather on week 1 followed by rainy and cold on week 2 and my skin is set to collapse.
While it wasn’t long enough that I was complaining about how cruel the summer was here, now it rains constantly and the temperature has suddenly dipped to near fall levels. This only means patchy, dehydrated skin, dry in some parts, oily in the rest. This battle is never quite won but to make some progress its imperative to make some changes in my routine, especially for morning because that’s when I need to feel comfortable, look good and keep it that way till evening.
While I am at it, let me also point out that I am not averse to chemicals in skincare, not entirely at least. I do recognize the importance of using clean, natural, eco-conscious products but I have also read enough horror stories about skin reactions to certain plant based oils to know better than to follow a trend blindly. If my skin feels lacking in anything and needs immediate attention I’d always chose the chemical route. But the steps in my routine which can be effectively substituted with a natural green product, I’d do so happily.
Cleanser // Tata Harper’s refreshing Cleanser
I have been using this for a while and it’s the perfect blend of cleansing and hydrating. [Hydrated and clean skin is key here, because clogged and dehydrated skin is recipe for disaster]. It cleanses gently yet thoroughly without ever being drying. When I feel I need to have superbly prepped skin, I still go back to my balm cleansers. The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (Have I mentioned that one before!?) which, be it morning or night never fails to amp the glow and fill up the skin with enough hydration to last through severe air conditioning trauma!
On another note, I am unsure if I’ll repurchase the TH cleanser because as with everything in the beauty world, there are plenty of dupes to be found for it. Its good but not exceptional and one can certainly not justify that price tag!
I am recent face mist / toner convert and this is at the top of my favorites right now. Rose Water is purported to be very hydrating and soothing and I couldn’t agree more; more so after my own experience. While it may not seem obvious that something akin to water in form can really do much for the skin, but just the mere act of swiping this (refrigerated) liquid on a cotton pad, across the face, is both rejuvenating and soothing. I don’t see an immediate effect but in the long run my skin feels more even and balanced and I don’t notice “textures” on the skin. It could be this or it could be something else but if the combination works I am not going to alter it.
Eye Cream // Pai Echium and Argan Eye Cream
Eye Cream was something I’d previously reserve for the evenings but recently I can see my concealer settling into lines I didn’t know existed and almost looking bad and patchy which I never thought was possible! (Yes I clearly have a very high sense of self.. but it helps to be that way!) To cut the long story short, I have been seeing a hell of difference when I wear an eye cream under concealer and when I don’t! Until I get myself an eye cream suitable for day wear (with spf, that is) I have this one to slap on in times of emergency, which is now! This not just helps everything look more seamless and natural around the eyes, also makes cream eye shadows look smoother and more vibrant. Don’t ask how.
I have previously penned lyrics praising the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and while its still part of my nightly skincare gang (more on that in another post) its a tad too oily to be slapped on in the day. So naturally I was on the lookout for a hydrating serum which isn’t too rich for the day and lets whatever makeup I wear on top go on nicely. Remembering how much I loved the Clarins Hydraquench Cream last summer, and suppressing any revolt for the fragrance-laden ingredient list, I bit the bullet and got hold of not just the cream but the bi-phase serum as well. First, the smell is heavenly and brings back old beautiful happy memories! I could just keep buying it for the sake of that but, putting aside the smell, the bi-phase serum is proving to be just the thing I was looking for.
Like all bi-phase products (a layer of oil over another liquid) I have to shake the bottle before use and dispense a squirt or two of the light, slightly oily liquid and press it into the skin. This is even lighter in density that the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery concentrate and thus sinks in even more rapidly. As soon as I am done pressing it into the skin, which is about half a minute or less, it disappears. It is definitely very glow-giving and my skin looks healthy and supple and feels oh so comfy!
Moisturiser // Clarins Hydraquench Cream-Gel
Sometimes I need it and sometimes I skip it. If its a terribly hot day I can head on to the spf otherwise I take a small spot of the cream-gel and massage it allover only to add another layer of hydration. Since the formula is gel based its not greasy and there is no risk of going overboard. I have reviewed it here previously.
Sunscreen // Supergoop Sunscreen Day Cream Spf 40
This is currently my favorite sunscreen which is Paraben-, fragrance- and oxybenzone-free. This is in fact a physical sunscreen which provides Zinc-Oxide based spf. It is supposed to be a day cream but I find it a bit drying on its own so I always wear it on top of a moisturiser. The good thing is that it has no ashy tones on my skin which is a common issue with sunscreens especially physical ones. It is also oil-free and matte in texture so there is no way that I’ll grease up wearing this. There is no discernible smell in this (being fragrance free) but fortunately, it also doesn’t smell of chemicals. I bought it as part of a set and have not been able to find it online, sold separately. It would crush me to find out its discontinued *shudder*
Lip Balm // Nuxe’s Reve de Miel
There is nothing that I’ll say about this lip balm which hasn’t been said before! If sore, cracked lips are the bane of your life and you have nearly given up on all drugstore offerings then look no further. While not exactly drugstore price, this is still one of the more affordable and exceptional lip balms in the big bad world of beauty brands! The waxy thick texture takes a bit of massaging (especially in colder months) but once settled, it coats my lips forming a cover and keeps it nourished for hours. Since its one-of-a-kind matte lip balms it works well under lipstick and doesn’t break it down. If you want to know if its worth your time and money, then the answer is a resounding YES!
Whats your Summer Skincare like?