When skincare is your job, it’s always a challenge to test-drive the latest launches while also maintaining your skin with the products you already love. That’s why it was hard to say goodbye to my my winter routine (one of my favourites in recent memory) in order to try a new lineup for spring. But hey, I’ll always offer up my face so I can report back on what is worth it... and what is not!
In this routine, I’ve included some PR samples that piqued my curiosity, products I bought myself that I wanted to try, and of course, my Holy Grails that I just can’t quit.
First, the highlights (and what’s changed versus last time), and then I’ll walk you through it all step by step.
My Spring Skincare Routine: Overview and What’s New
Red Light Therapy Device
Alright, here’s what’s up with my skin and my routine for this season:
- Pigmentation fighters: My skin is acne-prone, but what bothers me more than the occasional pimple (which I’ll get before my cycle) is the dreaded post-acne mark that is left behind. Those suckers can take forever to fade! So, I decided it was time I test-drove a new product that was created specifically for this issue, with six ingredients to fight pigmentation.
- EltaMD sunscreens: Everyone (including celebs) goes crazy for EltaMD sunscreens, and I’m often asked which ones I recommend. For face, there are two. I’ve been testing both all spring, and you can find out my thoughts (and the differences between them) below.
- Retinyl retinoate: I love retinoids for their anti-aging and anti-acne effects, and this is a next-gen one that I’ve been wanting to try. It’s a retinoic acid ester that is said to be eight times more effective than retinol, but only half as irritating.
Alright, now for the details on everything I’ve been using (with mixed results 🤔) this spring.
My Morning Skincare Routine
I was recently sent the Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser to try, and it’s so good, I’ll be adding it to my list of favourite gel cleansers. Similar to The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Cleanser, which I loved in the winter, it is gentle, sulfate-free and non-stripping. This one has more of a cream-gel texture and doesn’t lather quite as much, but it still rinses away thoroughly without any residue.
I would recommend this for everyone, especially sensitive types, because it makes your skin feel so clean, soft and soothed.
I don’t use toner in the morning because I wash my face in the shower (so the water removes all traces of my cleanser). Then, I go straight for my most beloved exfoliant: COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. For a while there, I had stopped this product in the mornings because I was using SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF and then C E Ferulic, and it seemed like too much acid for my skin to handle. But now that I’ve switched to a different pigmentation treatment—which is non-acidic, and a lot more rich!—I decided I could safely add it back.
This exfoliant makes a huge difference in preventing not only blackheads but also breakouts, as well as brightening my skin and reducing excess oil. See my review here.
3. Eye Cream
At the same time as my BHA, I also apply my eye cream: Summer Fridays Light Aura Vitamin C + Peptide Eye Cream. This one was sent to me, and it’s loaded with ingredients (including niacinamide, THD ascorbate, peptides and caffeine) to improve the eye area.
I knew from covering the launch that it had light-reflective particles in it, but what I didn’t realize is that it’s also orange-tinted—both of which can create an immediately brighter look for dark circles. The problem is that it becomes patchy, so you get these little orange bits sitting on top of your skin (and orange is not my colour!). Otherwise, it’s fine, but I think they need to reformulate to make the particles more evenly distributed (or ideally, remove the colour and shimmer altogether!).