My anti-pollution, radiance-restoring skincare routine

It’s been a while since I posted about skincare, but I’ve been working on getting my routine sorted, since I’ve started working in the city and commuting on the tube again. It’s amazing what a difference being exposed to pollution can make to your skin! I started to get blotchy patches of irritation and pigmentation after just a couple of weeks. But I’ve finally got it sorted, and frankly I haven’t been this happy with my skin in a LONG time, which, given that I’m almost 30, I’m very happy about! Let me talk you through what I’ve been doing to look after my sensitive, combination skin.

skincare over 30s liz earle aesop herbivore botanicals caudalie sensitive skin anti pollution anti ageing

First Cleanse – Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

I recently started using Liz Earle’s legendary Cleanse & Polish to remove my makeup at the end of the day, and it’s been an absolute game changer. My skin feels so clean, calm and lovely afterwards. Because of the slightly abrasive nature of their cleansing cloths, it also removes pollution particles too. I’ve never been a fan of cleansers you have to remove with a cloth, but the Liz Earle cloths really are on another level, they feel incredible on the skin and the thickness of the cream is a joy to massage on/polish off. My skin feels soooo smooth and clean after using this. You don’t have to take my word for it, just search on Youtube for ENDLESS reviews from other people who love it!

Second/morning cleanse – Herbivore Botanicals Bamboo Charcoal Soap

I’ve been desperate to reduce my plastic consumption, and have made lots of headway in other areas, but was struggling with my face wash. I double cleanse at night, and like to use a wash-off gel type product. Together with morning use, I seemed to be endlessly ploughing through cleansers and it was producing so much plastic waste! So I decided that enough was enough, and I started trying out my husband’s Herbivore Botanicals Bamboo Charcoal Soap. And omg. I was stunned. My skin loves it?! All those years of being convinced that bar soap would destroy my face, and ever since I started using it, my skin has been merrily chugging along just like it was when I was using expensive gels and foams.

Exfoliate – Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser

A glass bottle!! Yay! The Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser is my favourite exfoliator and has been for at least two years. It uses lactic acid, and is very gentle on the skin but really leaves it feeling smooth. It’s a gel that you smooth onto damp skin, leave for a little while and then wash off. Along with the Liz Earle cotton cloths, this provides ample exfoliation, and leaves my skin really well balanced. This also removes pollution, which is another added bonus!

Serum – Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

I used Caudalie’s anti-pollution VineActiv Serum for about two years, but recently I noticed my skin wasn’t feeling so good after I applied it. I think my skin was being sensitised by the pollution of my daily commute, which meant that the vitamin C in the VinceActiv Serum was irritating it. So I switched to Caudalie’s iconic Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, which helps to combat pigmentation, deeply hydrates and evens out skin tone and I haven’t looked back. It’s super moisturising without being at all greasy, extremely soothing, and gives my skin that glowy, plump look! I love this serum, I’m now a total convert and I see why it’s such a cult favourite all over the world. It also comes in a glass bottle – yay!

Moisturiser – Caudalie VineActiv Moisturiser

There’s a reason I use Caudalie for so many of my leave-on products, and it’s because I’m extremely sensitive to preservatives. One in particular called phenoxyethanol reacts really badly with my skin, and Caudalie is one of only two brands I know of that don’t use it (the other is Eau Thermale Avene, a sensitive skin brand, go figure). I loved their VineActiv Serum so much because of its anti-pollution formula, so when I stopped using the Serum, I decided to try the VineActiv 3-in-1 Moisturiser instead, with the logic that moisturisers don’t penetrate as deeply into the skin so should be less irritating. And I was right! My skin loves the moisturiser. Even better is that the moisturiser creates a layer on the skin which is supposed to shield it from toxic pollution particles. As you may or may not know, particulate matter is REALLY hard to get off the skin, so if you want to completely remove it you either need to exfoliate, or stop it from sticking to you in the first place. This moisturiser is supposed to do the latter. Whatever it does, my skin feels calm, plumped, and hydrated after I apply it, and my foundation sits on top of it beautifully!

Eye Cream – Caudalie VineActiv Eye Cream

If you have breasts, you may remember that short period of time (around 11 for me) where you owned a bra, but you didn’t necessarily need it, so you’d forget to wear it most the time. But then a day came months later where you actually needed it, et voila, your ‘forgetting to wear a bra’ days were done and dusted forever. That’s where I am with eye cream now. I always used to forget to use it, but now that I need it, there’s no forgetting. My eyes drink it up, and I can see a visible difference when I use it vs when I don’t. The Caudalie Eye Cream is again, very gentle, and contains the same anti-pollution formula as the moisturiser. It’s great for dark circles, and is super non-greasy – I can even put it on my eyelids!

Night time care

So I had to take a separate photo of these because one is so massive it takes over every photo I put it in and everything else becomes impossible to see, and the other just looks like a crumpled up piece of paper. Unphotogenic they may be, but these are two staples that I’ve been using for four, almost five years now: Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion and Thermal Water Spray (aka Eau Thermale). I prefer to keep it very simple at night – my skin is completely clean, it’s been well protected all day, now it’s time to just let it do it’s thing overnight. I love these two because they’re soothing, and lightly hydrating, enough to help my skin balance out after cleansing, whilst only having 6 ingredients between them.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing with my skin recently, and I’ve been finding it to work wonderfully. I don’t have any breakouts at all, my skin is calm, smooth and glowy.