Laurentine’s Everyday Routine for Beautiful, Radiant Skin
Many people think the key to beautiful skin is what you’re putting on it. And they’re right, to a degree, but there are a few other important factors that play a part too. We know how important a healthy, balanced diet plays a role in happy skin, and that lots of hydration is needed for a bright glow. But one of the most overlooked elements in skincare is consistency. Even the most powerful products won’t work if you’re not carving aside a little time each day to look after your precious skin.
A routine doesn’t have to be expensive or laborious, you can think of it as an opportunity to wake up in the mornings or wind down before you go to bed at night. I love to use this time in front of the mirror to vocalize positive affirmations for myself, and the beautiful essential oils in my favorite products add a touch of aromatherapy to the experience. The specifics of our skincare rituals will differ between us, but there are a few non-negotiable steps I have discovered over the years that I know your skin will thank you for.
Upon Waking In The Morning:
My morning routine is a quick, simplified version of the ritual I opt for in the evenings - it’s really a get-up-and-go to prepare my skin for the day and whatever I may be doing in it.
Beginning my day with a good cleanser is one of the best ways to wash away the sleep. Our skin works while we’re sleeping to produce oils and undertake cell rejuvenation, which are both very beneficial, but starting the day with a clean slate is important. A quality cleanser will gently remove the oils before they trap bacteria that leads to pore clogs and breakouts, without stripping the beneficial substances for the skin. Depending on your skin type, your cleanser should also offer you the right kinds of nutrients - whether this is hydration or antibacterial properties. Plus, it helps to rinse away any of the sleepy dust that can gather in the corners of your eyes.
Toning the skin is a simple, often-overlooked step in skincare. I know people who just use water for the same reasons, but I prefer a botanical blend. A good toner will gently refresh your skin, without stripping it of all the good stuff, and prepare the skin to absorb all of the moisturizing nutrients you use later in your routine. A good toner will also help to ‘close the pores off’ to the outside world, meaning they’re less likely to absorb any of the bad bacteria floating around, and giving you the quintessential ‘minimized appearance’ look.
This step is where the magic truly happens. Some people like to use lotions as their moisturizing, nutrient-delivering step, but I prefer an oil-based serum. In lotions, many of the ingredients have been through an emulsification process, making the molecules bigger than the skin can traditionally absorb. So no matter how wonderful your product is, your skin may not be able to make the most of it. Oils, on the other hand, are precisely what the skin has been designed to absorb, in part because of the skin’s ability to produce oils through the sebaceous glands. There is a common misconception that putting oil on already oily skin will worsen any skin worries, but when you’re using the right kinds of oils they will work together to balance the production out. You’ll find many forward-thinking companies taking this approach to skincare, meaning this kind of treatment is more readily available.
Living in a tropical, sunny climate, I quickly got used to the need for sun protection. Whether you’re at the beach or even driving down the road, the hot sun will be beating down running the risk of sunburn or even developing skin cancer over time. I’m quick to cover my body in sunscreen when I jump out of the shower in the morning, but for a long time, my face was neglected. As it turns out, your face is one of the first places you should protect from UV rays. Sunscreen, or even a tinted moisturizer with added SPF, can prevent discoloration and dark spots associated with long-term sun exposure while ensuring the skin layer stays intact and protects the face from wrinkling.
5. Face Yoga
Here’s the most fun part of my morning routine. It was recommended by our friend Kevin Gianni and it always gives me a little giggle. Just as I would practice yoga for my body in the morning, I spend a few minutes practicing yoga for my face. Our bright, plump complexions are supported by the hardworking facial muscles. As these muscles begin to lose their strength, we may start to notice any of the drooping or sagging associated with aging. So there’s never been a better time to start hitting the gym for your skin; you can begin with this easy exercise for forehead wrinkles.
Before Drifting Off To Sleep In The Evening:
Once the kids have gone to bed and the excitement of the day is over, this is an opportunity to begin to wind down. Whether it’s after a long soak in the bath or just before I hop into bed to read a book, carving out a few gentle moments for my skincare routine is a must.
1. Double Cleanse
A double cleanse at night is an important part of the pre-sleep ritual. Many of us wear make-up, or at least sunscreen, throughout the day and the first cleanse is purely to remove any of the remaining products from our face. Some may choose to use the same cleanser they use in the mornings, others may opt for an oil-based makeup remover for their first cleanse. This step is an important part of my routine - that way I can be sure when going in for the second cleanse I’m really getting to any oils or impurities that may have built up during the day.
For the same reasons I love it in the morning, a spritz of toner is a non-negotiable in the evening to prepare my skin for all the goodness coming its way. Depending on the seasons, and the kinds of masks and serums I’m planning for the evening, the toner may vary - but typically a lovely rosewater blend is suited to all occasions.
3. Face Mask
Sometimes my skin is calling out for a little extra love, whether it’s some intense hydration or aiding in detoxification, so I bring a facemask out to play. I love to make my own, natural facemasks at home from delicious wholefoods, or sometimes I treat myself to one from my favorite skincare line. I do face masks once or twice a week, and use it as an opportunity to exfoliate and rejuvenate my skin cells.
4. Eye Cream
Between bright computer screens and sunny days (coupled with some slowly-aging eyesight), squinting and straining often taking a toll on this delicate area of skin. I use my nightly routine, where my eyes are blissfully closed, to provide extra nutrients to this area. Because of the fragile and mobile nature of our eyes, the skin surrounding them is a lot less thick than other areas of our face - for that reason, take care with the area, and pat in rich, nourishing blends that address your needs with your ring finger as it’s more sensitive than your index or middle. It’s all about being kind to your skin.
5. Oils & Serums
Here is where I get the most creative when the evening comes. While there’s some evidence to suggest you can lather on too many oils and serums for your skin to understand, when you begin to develop a closer relationship with it, you quickly learn what oils and serums blend perfectly to your needs, and when your face actually needs them. My advice is to start simple, maybe with a slightly richer oil or serum to what you would use in the morning
6. Gua Sha & Face Roller
This is face yoga taken up a notch. Gua sha and crystal facial rollers are tools that have been used for centuries, and they’re just regaining notoriety for the soothing effects they have on the skin. Not only do they help the skin to absorb the incredible richness of your chosen oils (with a little crystal goodness) but they’re a profound facial massage tool, aiding in lymphatic drainage. This can help to release any stagnant energy, blood, and toxins carried in lymph while releasing tension that we tend to hold in our faces. For me, it’s worked wonders on my jaw, where tension creeps up the most. Gua sha are wonderful tools for daily use, but I only use my face roller two or three times a week, as not to encourage too much cell turnover.
Just like healthy eating, or any meditative or yogic practice, a much-loved skincare routine comes with time and commitment. You just have to make a promise to yourself to show up for a few minutes each morning and night to help take care of this miraculous organ for years to come. And you can make the ritual more lovely and exciting with truly natural, beautiful products like our favorites from our dear friends Annmarie Skin Care.