This is Basic Routine A for my nights. If I have time or if I feel like a pamper or if I feel like I seriously need it then I'll add in a face mask. If I don't feel like it then I don't bother with the faff of a mask.
At night, I always double cleanse. Whether I'm wearing makeup or not, I get stuck in and I'm finding that my skin is loving the extra TLC that I am giving it.
When I'm wearing makeup my first cleanse is always my Nima Mitt. I bought three when they were on sale at the beginning of the year and I am SO GLAD I did. It removes makeup and gunk like a champ with nothing but warm water. I'll do a proper post on its magical ways with lots of pics so that you can see just how well it does work. It is quite exfoliate-y though, and does leave my skin feeling a bit dry, it seems to soak up any trace of grease or oil on my skin, which is why I like it to take off makeup. Oh ja... its also Irish!!!
I'm using this Philosophy Purity Cleanser. It isn't the cheapest, but I was dying to try something from the Philosophy camp and I decided on this. 90ml costs €11 and its a bit odd. It smells okish, it reminds me a bit of my gran's rose soap bars that she used, so not my favourite favourite, but It'll do. The consistency is a bit odd too, it feels like it should at least lather a little, but for me it just behaves like a non-foaming-gel-oil. I am not sure about the "3-in-1" claims are either as it didn't properly remove my makeup when I tested it on a regular days makeup. So now I'm using it to get it finished. Purity works ok on make-up free skin, doesn't leave me feeling dry or tight but I'm not massively impressed.
Then I go in with my toner. Tonight's was from The Body Shop's Vitamin E range: Hydrating Toner. I use it in my morning routine too and it really depends on what I am feeling like, I alternate between this, La Roche-Posay's Serozinc** and the Vichy Pureté Thermal Perfecting Toner**.
Eye cream is very important to me. I'm noticing that its more and more crinkly around the eyeballs and this little bottle from Vichy is making see the light at the end of the tunnel... I'm using Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eyebalm** mornings and evenings and its gel-balm-cooling-goodness is soo nice on the delicate eye area. I am seriously in love with the texture and the results. My crinkles are not so deep and the whole eye area is looking fresher and hydrated. its LOVE.
I treated myself when we were in The States. I spent $98 on Sunday Riley LUNA Sleeping Night oil. I am using it every second evening, after I have toned. 4 drops spread between my fingers and massaged onto my skin and then I leave it so sink in and get working while we watch a bit of TV. LUNA is the retinol product I am using to try and get rid of my pigmented areas. I am noticing that my skin is looking brighter and smoother. My pores are also looking a bit finer as they are unclogging. I am liking this.
But because it is an oil and it is exposed to air via the dispensing mechanism (pipette / dropper) it may go rancid if not used quickly enough or if it is over exposed to air / light, so I haven't taken this out of its box. I lift the lid, unscrew the dropper, dispense 4 - 5 drops into my palm, close the dropper and put the lid back on the box. It gets used at night, so its not going to be exposed to a lot of light, but because it lives on my dresser (its the most expensive thing I've ever bought for my face... its bladdy going on show), its staying in its box.
As soon as its my bed time (when we go upstairs and read for a bit before lights out) I pop on a bit of this (also) blue gel-cream from Vichy, the Aqualia Thermal Night Spa. For me this is a moisture mask/night cream. I apply a thin layer and read for a bit, then what ever is left when I switch the light out is massaged in before I close my eyes. I love it. It smells divine, so calming and restful, perfect to send me off to sleep.
so, this is my "retinol routine". I follow this the next night with my "glycolic routine"... and the following night I use the above routine again, maybe adding in a face mask, it just depends. You get the point. I have been using this combination since May of this year (3 months) and I haven't had any irritation, but I have been doing it gently gently softly softly. I could probably be a bit more aggressive.
I am having very few breakouts at the minute, but I think that is down to a combination of eating more carefully, loading up on plain old water (3l a day guys!) and being meticulous about my skincare. So spots are finally not the issue any more. I am concentrating big time on trying to get rid of my melasma now, hence the combination of all of these anti-ageing and exfoliating ingredients. But to counteract what could be a potentially irritating combination I have added the soothing and hydrating lotions into the mix.
It is working. But it is slow going, melasma is notoriously difficult to get rid of completely, so any improvement is progress, the swathes of brown that used to cover my face completely are now just conjoined freckles. And it is kind of giving me the effect of subtle contouring without trying... almost.
**PR Samples gratefully received, opinions my own