Every skincare routine should start with a thorough cleanse and prep. It’s the fastest way to fresh, radiant skin and without it, your skincare products may not be as effective. The skin experts at Paul Edmonds London recently revealed their best tips for the perfect daily skin care routine at home, which they gave as part of a recent PE Live event.
Just in case you missed the live event (or weren’t taking notes!) we’ve written it all up here, so everyone can make use of the skin-saving tips our aestheticians gave. This routine will guide you through all the steps for properly prepped, cleansed skin, so you can get the most out of your active products. Once you’ve tried this, you’ll never look back!
Step 1: Cleanse
The first of your skincare routine steps is a thorough cleanse. Don’t be tempted to wet your face before you get started — cleansing is best done on dry skin. Our expert facialist, Gené, explains how to cleanse the skin properly:
“A lot of products in makeup contain oils and if you wet your face first, you can’t emulsify the makeup as well as you could if the cleanser goes onto dry skin. By working the cleanser, you will be able to break down the makeup formulation and the build-up of dirt and oils”.
A cream-based cleanser is the best way to kickstart the emulsifying process, so opt for a cream formulation over a water-based one for the first step of your cleansing routine.
How to do it
- Start with a cleanser suited to your skin type and skin needs. Our favourite is SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser (£31).
- Use circular motions to gently work the cream cleanser from your jaw up towards your ears. Start the process again, this time from your cheeks towards your ears. Then work the product from your forehead down towards your ears. By working the product in this particular way, you’re aiding lymphatic drainage while ensuring a thorough cleanse.
- Use a wet cloth to remove the cleanser. The action of the cloth against your skin is more likely to give you a much better cleanse by removing the larger granules of makeup and dirt. Want even better results? Try a ‘double cleanse’.
“Double cleansing allows you to further ensure stubborn particles are removed,” says Gené. “Cleansing won’t remove dead skin cells but a second cleanse is a great way to introduce a water-based cleanser — one that’s more active or has a prescribed formulation for skin types that need that extra AHA to work on acne or blemishes”.
- We recommend SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleansing Gel (£37) for your second cleanse. It’s also an excellent product for men who want to shave using a foaming cleanser that has added oil control benefits. This helps prevent post-shave pimples and pore blockages.
- Remove your cleanser with a wet cloth.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Exfoliation is an absolute must. It removes dead skin cells from the epidermis, preventing blocked pores, blackheads and enlarged pores. Dead skin cells can soak up the products you apply, stopping them from reaching deeper layers of the skin. Exfoliating also encourages new skin cells to generate, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation.
Choosing your exfoliant
You have two main options when considering which face exfoliator will suit your skin type: granular and gel-based. Although there’s been environmental concern around plastics in granular exfoliants, most manufacturers use water-soluble granules to reduce the impact on the planet. You can also get fruit or vegetable-based granular powder exfoliants and serums/gel-based formulations.
There’s a lot to choose from but, ultimately, they all aim to do the same thing. Here are some tips on choosing and using the best face exfoliator for your unique needs.
Granular formulations are excellent because you can customise how abrasive they are by mixing them with your cream cleanser. By diluting the level of granulation, you can test how reactive your skin is to this particular type of exfoliation.
Regularly using your granular exfoliant will cause your skin to react less over time. By removing dead cells, you’re removing irritants that could cause sensitivity and breakouts in the long term.
Using your granular exfoliant
You should use a granular exfoliant two to three times a week as part of your evening skin prep routine. This will help your night creams and hydrators absorb into your skin better.
We recommend Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant (£40) for its brightening, anti-inflammatory benefits. It comes as a powder, so you can shake a little of it into your cleanser to make your own two-in-one product.
Serum and gel formulations
If you’re not a fan of abrasive exfoliants, a serum or gel might be just the thing for you. They use ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to break down debris on the surface of the skin, leaving it clear without the need to scrub.
Using your chemical exfoliant
Apply your exfoliant to a clean cotton or bamboo pad and sweep over your face. In most cases, you don’t need to wash it off — you can apply your hydrators over the top.
For a ‘mini facial peel’, you can re-apply the Blemish + Age Cleansing Gel from step one and leave it on for five minutes (if you have sensitive skin, you may want to give this a miss!).
Chemical exfoliants can also be used on the body. If you suffer from keratosis pilaris (pimples or rough bumps), you can sweep a little of the product onto your arms and legs and leave for up to five minutes before rinsing off.
Step 3: Massage
Of all the skincare routine steps you expected to see, facial massage probably wasn’t one! Trust us when we say it’s well worth the effort. When you take a little extra time to do this, you’re helping your body flush away toxins. It also makes you feel wonderfully relaxed and rejuvenated!
When choosing a product for your facial massage routine, you should look for a gel-based mask or a product that will allow your fingertips to glide smoothly over the surface of your skin without pulling and causing capillary damage or surface trauma. Steer clear of oil-based products if you’re massaging at the start of your routine. It could create a barrier and stop your hydrating products from penetrating.
We recommend the SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque (£62) because its blend of hyaluronic acid, green tea extract and thyme are ultra calming, hydrating and anti-inflammatory. Eminence Organics Calm Skin Chamomile Moisturiser (£46) is also a great choice. It contains chamomile to calm and hydrate, and it’s nice and slippery smooth — perfect for massage!
How to do it
- Use sweeping motions from your chin outwards, working toward the area where the chin meets the ear. Then start working your way back up towards your face, remembering to sweep to the ears, where your lymphatic system works to drain toxins.
- Repeat the previous step three times to induce relaxation and detoxification.
- Optional step: use a jade roller or jade gua sha stones to massage your face. You can chill them (and your face mask) to really calm the skin. Don’t worry about inhibiting blood flow — the lower layers of your skin will warm up as you massage.
- Complete this stage of your skin routine by running a hot bath, lighting a candle (we love the luxury scents of Cire Trudon) and applying your chosen face mask. Massage gently, then rinse and remove. Pure indulgence!
Step 4: Hydrate
Your hydration routine should always start with the eyes. You don’t want to accidentally overload the delicate skin with products that aren’t targeted to the eye — using eye cream first should help to seal the area.
Using your ring finger, gently pat a small amount of eye cream or gel along the orbital bone around your eyes, taking care to avoid dragging or pulling on the skin. Applying product to the bone around the eye will help reduce dark circles and puffiness and can help stop product from getting into your eyes!
You can use a glycation end product to counteract deep ‘crow’s feet’ lines. These are caused by excess glucose attaching itself to the proteins and collagen in your skin, snapping them and causing a loss in elasticity and density.
We recommend the SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex (£85) and the Eminence Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream (£70), which is great for removing dark circles, reducing puffiness and tightening the skin. To use it, gently work the product into the crow’s feet with your ring finger, using circular motions.
Now it’s time to hydrate your face. In the video at the top of this article, Gené uses the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 (£130) by Skinceuticals for this step of the skincare routine. As you age, your body’s lipid production reduces, causing ageing. This product works by mimicking the normal lipid ratio in the skin. It aids cell turnover, so collagen production is amplified, and it’s the perfect companion to your retinol regime because it reduces irritation.
Your evening skincare routine is complete! Get your beauty sleep and let the magic happen while you dream.
Are you prepping your skin as part of a morning routine? You’ll need one extra step…
Step 5: SPF
Your morning skincare routine should always end with a high-quality SPF. There’s a huge variety of SPFs on the market, including oil-free formulas, tinted formulas, moisturisers and even primers for application under makeup.
Heliocare does an exquisite range that includes a unique, DNA-repairing ingredient called Fernblock™. Our favourite is the Heliocare 360 range — it gives the highest level of SPF protection in oil-free, water gel or invisible spray formulations to match your skin type and regime. We also love SkinCeuticals SPF products, ZO Skin Health SPF, and Eminence Organics Bright Skin Moisturiser SPF 40 (£54).
Are you ready to take your skincare routine to the next level? Book a virtual consultation today and get expert advice from our Paul Edmonds London aestheticians. You can find the full video of PE Live Skincare secrets here on YouTube — be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you never miss another live session or skin promo. Get set…glow!