I’ve written about mental health and skincare before. And whilst it may not seem like an obvious choice of topic. I’ve really noticed the impact looking after my skin can have on my mental health. There’s something about the simple act of caring for my skin that makes me feel better. This small act of caring for myself boosts my overall wellbeing. When we’re looking after the smaller things; it helps the bigger things fall in line. On the days when I prioritize my skincare first thing in the morning I notice an improvement in my mood. Knowing that I’ve done something good for myself before the day has already begun. Likewise, even on days when my mood is low it’s an easy win to look after my skin. Even if I don’t have the energy or motivation to look after myself in any other way.
For Why Skincare Equals Self Care read here.
My Morning Routine
Cleanser. I try and start my skincare routine off with a quick cleanse to wipe away any build up. For me, this means micellar water with a reusable wipe. I use bamboo cotton ones which can be chucked in the wash with the rest of our laundry. And have the bonus of being good for the environment. I like the purity and simplicity of micellar water. It’s uncomplicated. But you can use any cleanser which suits your skin needs.
Toner. Picking a toner that is right for you is important. Toner can help shrink your pores after cleansing. And deliver hydration first thing in the morning. I currently use a tea tree based toner as I have oily and acny prone skin. Historically, I’ve also used Vitamin C toners which can brighten the skin. It’s all about finding the right toner for you. Similar to the cleanser, I simply wipe the toner across my face with a reusable wipe.
Serum. You don’t need to use serum or essence. It depends on how simple or quick you’d like your skincare routine to me. For me, a serum is an opportunity to spot fix any issues with my skin. You’ll need to know your skin type or skincare concern before choosing your serum. I use a tea tree serum in the morning to combat any developing acne. Tea tree isn’t for everyone and can irritate more sensitive skin. So, find the right serum for you by doing research or speaking to a dermatologist. Serums can be expensive but there are also more affordable options that don’t compromise on quality.
Eye Cream. I’ve only started using eye cream recently. I had noticed some darker circles developing. And whilst signs of aging aren’t a current concern. It’s never too early! I use a Vitamin E eye cream which is more generalised and could for hydration. If you’re concerned about dark circles or aging there are specific eye creams which can help. I simply smooth it under the thinner skin under my eyes. Making sure not to put any other products in that area.
Moisturiser. Moisturiser is a great opportunity to give your skin some much needed hydration. But there is a huge variety of moisturises depending on what you are looking for. I use a Vitamin C moisturiser in the morning for brightening my skin. I find it gives me a healthy glow. But you can find other moisturisers to suit your needs. Whether it’s extra hydration, mattifying your skin, acne, dull skin or aging skin. There’s also options for texture. Creams can be thinner or thicker. My preference is a thinner cream for the morning. I find thicker creams don’t sink in as quick and I don’t enjoy the thickness on my skin. But it’s all down to personal preference.
For Skincare for Self Care read here.
My Night Routine
Make Up Remover. I have a faster skincare routine for the evening. I know myself and therefore know that by the end of the day I have less energy. Therefore, less is more and means I’m more likely to do it. I start with make up remover when needed. Nowadays it is rare for me to wear make up. But when I do I try and be diligent with it’s removal. It can be the first step towards better skin.
I use a make up remover balm for my face and neck. I prefer the silky and soft quality to it. As opposed to a liquid make up remover. I smooth the balm on my face and wipe it away with a reusable wipe. For eye make up, I wipe a bit of balm over closed eyes and follow up with an eye make up remover. I hate waking up with gritty eyes, so thoroughly removing all eye make up is a must. Getting the right product can be the difference between sore eyes and fresh ones.
Cleanser. For no make up days this is my first step in the evening. Instead of micellar water I use a foam cleanser for night time. I like the feeling of washing my face with warm water before bed. It helps me feel more relaxed and calm. Whilst the foam makes it gentle and helps me to feel clean. I use a generic foam wash as I’m not trying to target any specific skin concerns. But you can find ones for different skin types or skin concerns to suit your needs.
Serum. I skip the toner in the evening and go straight to the serum after cleansing. It’s another opportunity to spot fix and after a long day I use a serum which combats the impact of pollution and blue light from screens. This all helps to clear our skin, hydrate and reinvigorate.
Moisturiser. I finish off with a quick moisturize by gently rubbing my moisturiser in with circular and upward motions. I find the act of application quite mindful and calming before bed. For the evening I use a moisturiser for tired skin. I really value the added hydration particularly in the winter when the weather is harsh and my skin can feel dry from being indoors. In terms of texture, I use a gel cream in the evenings. These tend to be thinner in texture and you’ve guessed it more gel like. I find they smooth on easier, sink in quickly and the gel feels more hydrating to my skin after a long day than a cream. As with the other products, find a moisturiser that works for your skin type or concerns. And has a texture which you enjoy applying.
Whilst it might not seem like much. These quick steps only take under 5 minutes. And just that small amount of time and effort can make a difference to my day. Helping me feel productive and energised before I’ve even gotten started. Likewise the impact of knowing I’m looking after myself feels great. Particularly on days when I don’t have much other time for self-care. And lastly, having had acne prone skin I really struggled as a teenage. Knowing I’m being proactive and seeing the results is great for my confidence too!
Do you have a skincare routine you swear by? What is the impact on your mental health? Let me know below!