The skincare edit | part 2 - how to boost your skincare routine

Part 2: Retinol, Masks and targeting specific skin concerns.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the importance of establishing a basic skincare routine, it’s the first step to glowing, healthy skin. Claire also put together a great video of her weekly skin routine over on Instagram and Facebook - hopefully this gave you all a bit of skinspiration (yes I’ve created a new word for it!)

So, you‘ve got a basic routine in place and your skin is starting to feel great, now it’s time to take it to the next level. You may have noticed a few issues you’d like to target so here are a few ideas for your next products.


First up is Retinol products, I love them. Amazing products for fighting signs of ageing. They take a bit of getting used to but definitely worth it!

Can be used for:

  • Wrinkles

  • Uneven skin texture

  • Unclogging pores

  • Creating a clearer, healthier, younger looking skin.


  • Apply at night (at the serum stage) you can use other products afterwards but leave at least 20mins before doing so for maximum effect.

  • You will need to build up your tolerance to this product. Start by using it twice a week for the first two weeks, then every other night for a week and then every night.

  • Do not use exfoliators (including acids) at the same time as using retinol. This will leave your skin sore.

  • Use an SPF everyday.

I am currently using an Obagi Retinol, but the Medik8 Retinol serum is highly recommended. Start on 0.3% and work your way up the strengths as your skin builds a tolerance to it. Don't go too hard too soon, believe me you'll regret it. Red, flaky skin is not a good look.

Retinol (or Vitamin A) is a game changer - you have to give it try.


There are so many masks on the market, it can be hard to know where to begin. Masks are also a great addition to you skincare routine. Schedule in some time once a week for some self care and treat yourself.

Here is a quick rundown of what masks work for which skin types/concerns:

CLAY: Deep cleansing, decongesting.

Best for: Oily/Combination/Breakouts.

Avoid: Sensitive Skin.

Try Clarins SOS Pure Rebalancing Clay Mask or Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

EXFOLIATING: Resurfacing, smoothing & brightening.

Best for: Dull/Dehydrated/Dry/Flaky.

Avoid: Sensitive.

Try Obagi Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask (this is my current favourite, it makes my skin feel smooth, soft and glowing. This is a medical grade product, message for more information about who to buy it from.)


Best for: Mature/Dry.

Avoid: Oily/Combination/Acne Prone.

Try Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask (Loved by Claire!)

HYDRATING: Water, Glycerin & Hyaluronic acid based.

Best for: ALL SKIN TYPES! If in doubt buy hydrating.

Try Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque


What causes oily skin and what can we do about it? Oily skin is largely hereditary but it can affect almost everyone to a degree. Here are a couple of tips for your skincare routine:

  • Cleanse. Use a clay based cleanser to help mop up oil on the surface. This will help to balance your skin by removing excess oil and impurities Active Clay Cleanser

  • Mask. Clay based once or twice a week.

  • Moisturise. Always use a moisturiser even if you think your skin doesn't need it. Oily skin can still suffer from dehydration. Try this light, oil-free moisturiser Active Moi

Breakouts can be caused by A LOT of different things. I have suffered with breakouts since my teenage years and tried lots of products and treatments, it takes a bit of experimenting to find the ideal products for your specific skin type, concerns and personal preferences. Here are a couple of tips you can try to help prevent blemishes:

  • Have a proper skin care routine in place, cleanse properly and keep your skin clean. Take a look at part one of the blog if you need some help with a routine.

  • Products containing salicylic acid are brilliant for helping your skin and they don't have to cost a lot. recommend nip and fab teen skin pads dermalogica overnight clearing gel.

  • Eat well. diet is a really important part of skincare. I know that if I have a heavy weekend, eat lots and drink loads of alcohol I always have a breakout the week after. Unfortunately sugar and chocolate are the worst culprits!


Sensitive skin is a tricky subject. Knowing which products to use and which to avoid will help you to manage your skin.


  • Soap, cleansing scrubs, and cleansers that leave your skin feeling tight and dry.

  • Abrasive cleansing tools.

  • Astringents, toners, clarifying lotions or any product containing alcohol or witch hazel.

  • Synthetic fragrances and essential oils.

Eliminate the problematic skincare steps and opt for products that are soothing, gentle, calming and fragrance free. This will make a huge difference.


CLEANSER: A gentle, non-drying, easy rinse cleanser.

TONER - this should be calming and skin replenishing with ingredients such as antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.

SERUM - a great way to hydrate the skin without over loading it.

MOISTURISE - opt for something light weight, soothing and hydrating.

I have worked a lot with Dermalogica during my career and really rate their products. I think their Ultracalming range is amazing. I’ve helped many clients get control over their sensitive skin using them.

As you will have seen if you watched our skin care video over on Instagram, we have two of the Charlotte Tilbury Dry Sheet Masks to giveaway. The lucky winners are Shanie Steel and Verity Salmon, enjoy ladies!

Thank you for all your skincare questions, please let us know if there are anymore areas you would like covered. Part 3 of The Skincare Edit will be about Professional Skincare treatments.

Helen x

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