l-r: Dove Foaming Make Up Remover, Dove Cleanser & Toner in One, Pixi Glow Tonic, La Roche-Posay Serozinc, Trilogy Very Gentle Moisturising Cream, Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil
Taking off every scrap and trace of makeup at the end of the day seemed of utmost importance, so I begin with three pumps of Dove Foaming Make Up Remover. This comes out in a cloud of white foam, but applied and worked into the skin, I imagine it's similar in consistency to a cleansing oil that's been emulsified with water. This stings if it gets in the eyes, so it's not ideal to take off eye makeup on the lower lash line, though it's fine for eyeshadow, eyeliner on the upper lash line, and mascara. While the Foaming Make Up Remover takes off mostly everything, to get rid of remnant eye makeup and ensure nothing's left, I double cleanse with Dove Cleanser & Toner in One. That's probably going slightly overboard with the cleansing, but the lather it produces is creamy and rich, and it thoroughly and effectively cleanses my skin without leaving it feeling dry or stripped.
Next, I strictly adhere to Caroline Hirons's recommendation of two toners post-cleansing: one exfoliating and one hydrating. Both products were purchased as a result of her influence (her rave about Pixi Glow Tonic, apparently a cheaper dupe of Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion, here, and rant on La Roche-Posay Serozinc not being available in the UK here). I use two pumps of Pixi Glow Tonic on a Daiso cotton pad all over my face. I like that it seems to calm and balance my skin, while gently exfoliating it and giving it a smoothness and softness. I then follow up with a liberal spritzing of La Roche-Posay Serozinc. I purchased mine from Paris during my holiday last September after succumbing to incredible hype, and originally felt a little underwhelmed. It seemed virtually indistinguishable to my beloved Avene Thermal Spring Water, except with more sodium chloride and zinc sulfate. I'm no chemistry whiz, but from experience this doesn't do much if your skin type is normal and relatively blemish-free. It's designed more to be an astringent toner for oily, problem skin. I find it helps to soothe and hydrate my skin, reduce redness and diminish the appearance of pimples with regular use.
I tried to keep it simple with moisturiser, treatments and serums. I opted for the most "natural" cream in my skin care stash, Trilogy Very Gentle Moisturising Cream. Free of supposed chemical nasties and designed for sensitive skin types, it's not something I'm absolutely in love with, but at least I know it won't break me out or result in an adverse reaction. To boost moisture and add extra nourishment to my cream, I add a few drops of Sukin Rose Hip Oil and mix the cream and rose hip oil together with my palms before smoothing it onto my face. I'm a renewed believer in rose hip oil after using it every night for a couple of weeks straight. Forget other face oils, rose hip oil does the job and does it brilliantly. I'm most impressed at how it genuinely leaves the skin appearing softer, smoother and well-rested the morning after. It seems to target discolouration and scarring and generally improves the texture of the skin. I feel that more than any other product mentioned here, it's been instrumental to bringing my skin back to a much happier state.