We often use an awful lot of products on our skin, sometimes because we need them, sometimes because we feel we need them, and sometimes because we've been told we need them. Truthfully, if you're going to use anything at all, there are a few basic products designed to work together to give you the best results.


 Whatever your skin type, it needs to be cleaned. A dry or sensitive skin may feel more comfortable using a milky, non-foaming cleanser, where an oilier skin may only feel "clean" after a good foaming wash. Cleaning the skin does remove the natural protection offered by the oil and sweat on it, which is why a freshly washed face sometimes feels "tight". I personally choose not to use a cleanser anymore if it leaves a tight feeling, as I've found plenty that don't.


A very misunderstood product, and the one most often left out if a person wants to streamline their skincare routine. Remember that protective layer of oil and sweat you just washed off? Without it, your skin has a different acidity than it does with it. Toners help restore the skin back to its natural acidity. Moisturisers are designed to absorb most readily into a balanced skin, and that's what a toner gives you, so you'll be using less moisturiser and getting better results from it. There is a toner for every skin type and every concern you may have.

If you don't want to use a toner, look into "One Step Cleansers". These will almost always be a milk or a liquid, and generally remove non-waterproof makeup and cleanse, but very gently, so they don't strip the skin as much. To work as a toner, most of the milky ones need to be wiped off with a dry cloth or tissue rather than rinsed with water. Honestly, I have only ever found one I didn't feel that I'd still like to use a toner after, but some people love them.


So you've got a clean, balanced skin, now you need to give it the water, oil, or whatever else it needs that weather, air conditioning, and other aspects of daily life have taken away. What moisturiser you choose to use for this is up to you, but here are a few ingredients to look for.

I try to avoid moisturisers that have petroleum products in them, including mineral oil and paraffin. Petroleum products give the feeling of moisture but don't actually do much except provide a barrier between your skin and the outside world, but they are cheap, so you see them a lot. They are also likely to cause clogged pores.

Glycerin, another common moisturiser, at least has the ability to draw moisture out of the air around it and provide some moisture to the skin in that manner.

Hyaluronic acid is a fairly new ingredient in the skincare world. I love the results I have seen from products containing it, and so does pretty much everyone I know who has tried it. It is another ingredient that draws water into itself, but it is better able to penetrate the skin, so this allows for deeper moisture and a temporary "plumping" or "firming" effect. It is in more and more products on the market and is suitable for all skin types.

Shea Butter is a great ingredient to look for if you have dry skin. It is protective as well as hydrating.

Anything specific you'd like to know more about? You can leave a comment here or E-mail me, and I'll do my best to answer your questions.