Understanding your skin
Your skin is probably as individual as you are, and it definitely takes time to understand what it needs. Super Facialist has six ranges, which are colour-coded so you can easily see which products are part of a collection that will work for your skin. Rose is to hydrate, calm and nurture, Hyaluronic Acid firms, hydrates and lifts, Salicylic Acid is amazing as an anti-blemish, oil control and detox ingredient, Pure is fragrance-free for balance and comfort, Vitamin C+ is to brighten, rejuvenate and renew and Retinol+ is anti-aging, to smooth and moisturise.
I’ve often said on my blog that my skin is the worst of both worlds! It’s combination (I get patches of dryness but the t-zone is forever shiny and spot-prone) but also dehydrated and often prone to dullness. One of my key learnings over the years is that no matter what your skin type is, you can suffer from dehydration, and that actually applies to other concerns. As well as addressing whether you’re oily, dry, normal or anything else, it’s important to consider other factors, such as if your skin is sensitive or dehydrated or mature or dull, because there’s often more than one thing going on!
Someone with dry and sensitive skin would be best opting for a combination of the Hyaluronic Acid and Pure ranges, over the Rose collection, for example. Someone with dry skin that suffers from the odd breakout might prefer to use products primarily from the Rose range with a serum or face mask from the Salicylic Acid collection for when they really need it.
You can use the brand’s online tool here to find out which products will work for your skin.
The core components of your routine
For me, the absolute essentials of a skincare routine are: a morning or second cleanser, a makeup remover, a serum, a cleanser and an occasional treatment.
There are other bits that I often use or will occasionally swap in and out, but this is the backbone of your routine. I always, always use a cleanser that will remove makeup and then one that will clear impurities from the skin afterwards. Moisturiser is obviously a staple but serums are amazing as a concentrated everyday booster for whatever your specific concerns are. I also keep an overnight treatment or face mask on hand for when my skin refuses to behave and my everyday maintenance isn’t quite enough.
Ingredients for dull and dehydrated combination skin
Next I’ll take you through the ingredients I use to tackle my combination skin, that can be prone both to dullness and dehydration. The two ranges I use are Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C+. Salicylic Acid is a BHA meaning it’s a chemical exfoliator that’s really great for spot-prone skin types. The chemical composition makes it soluble in oil and therefore it can penetrate deeply into the pores and clear them out. I actually think that every skin type can benefit from occasional use of salicylic acid, as we all get the odd breakout and this ingredient can a) clear up your skin really quickly and b) help fade blemish scars.
There aren’t many BHA products you can just pick up in Boots, so Super Facialist was actually the brand that introduced me to its magic.
It’s amazing and really works for me, plus the products in this collection are balanced with Vitamin B3 (AKA Niacin) which is a calming, anti-blemish, antiredness ingredient. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can smooth, brighten and firm the skin, as well as evening out its tone. It can also reduce the effects of environmental pollution on the skin, helping to prevent fine lines.
To remove my makeup I’ve been using the Vitamin C Skin Renew Cleansing Oil | £10.99 | which contains a blend of natural oils. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to try this again because I gave it a go a few years ago but found it way gentler on my sensitive eyes this time round. I massage it into the skin and over my eyes and it’s incredibly effective at lifting even the most stubborn waterproof liner. I remove it with a warm, damp muslin cloth. It’s lightweight but nourishing and doesn’t leave any excess on the surface of my skin. My skin looks and feels smooth, soft and fresh afterwards.
In the morning and / or after removing my makeup in the evening, I’ve been using the Salicylic Acid Purifying Cleansing Wash | £7.99. This isn’t a superconcentrated product, so I find it suitable for daily use, however even if you don’t always have oily or spotty skin, if you switch to this when you are having a breakout then it’ll help calm things down. What I really like about this is that it isn’t a foaming product, like many cleansers aimed towards spot-prone skin, it just has a nice gel texture that leaves my skin clean and clear without stripping it or sucking it dry of moisture.
Another great everyday way of incorporating BHAs into your skincare routine is with the Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clear & Correct Serum | £16.99. On bad skin days I use this lightweight, fast-absorbing gel formula serum all over my face and when I just have one or two blemishes, I spot-apply it where it’s needed. It’s not at all harsh but still works magic for my skin. It also includes aloe vera to calm and hydrate.
I’ve been loving the Vitamin C Skin Defence Daily Moisturiser | £16.99 | over the past few weeks too. I’m not sure why I haven’t heard more about it, because it really is an excellent option you can just pick up in Boots at a reasonable price. It’s incredibly hydrating without being thick, heavy or greasy on the skin. It smooths and plumps my skin (with the help of Hyaluronic Acid, which can retain an incredible amount of water), making it look fresh and healthy. It also contains broadspectrum sun protection, which is perfect for this time of year, when I’m not really using a dedicated product but want that extra barrier there to protect against the daily effects of sun damage.
A couple of times a week I’ve been using the Salicylic Acid Purify & Refresh Facial Scrub | £8.99. I really focus this on my t-zone and pores, which is when my problems generally occur! As well as salicylic acid acting as a chemical exfoliator, it also contains physical exfoliation particles, so gets rid of that congested, oily feeling. It isn’t overly harsh and doesn’t leave my skin red but still does a really good job of smoothing things out and leaving my pores feeling totally cleansed. I’m hoping that over a longer period of time it will also help reduce the size and appearance of my pores.
When my skin is in meltdown, I know the Salicylic Acid Pore Purifying Clay Mask | £9.99 | can be relied on to fix things! This is an old school favourite for me and I have to say, I’m very glad to have a nice, fresh tube… As it’s a clay mask, it does harden on the skin but isn’t too drying. Though, given it’s a amped-up salicylic acid treatment, it isn’t for those with sensitive skin. I leave it on for around 8 minutes before rinsing. You get an immediate glow-boost using this mask – my skin just looks so nice and fresh and even! Of course it works miracles for my breakouts – I often use this in the evening and by morning my spots are pretty much gone, with smaller blemishes vanishing and the really large ones (that often lurk under the skin) reduced and calmed.
I love that Super Facialist has made these really incredible skincare ingredients so accessible and their ranges makes it easy to identify which products are right for your skin without the jargon. This method also allows you to mix and match a routine that’s customised to your specific concerns, so make sure you check out the online tool!