I know, I know. This title is wince worthy but the sad sad truth is that as much as we don't want to admit it, in the words of Ned Stark, winter is coming. This year I've decided to skip the first four steps of post-summer grief and skip right to the acceptance part. It's coming, there's nothing I can do about it, so I might as well embrace the autumn and get ready!
The colder months always take a toll on my skin, drying it out and causing it to look dull and grey but not this year! Read on for my guide to super soft and glowy skin year round.
The cornerstone of any good winter skincare routine is exfoliation. It's great slathering on tonnes of moisturiser to combat winter dryness but if all that dead old skin is still lying there, your face is always going to look dull. For years I relied on manually exfoliating with my trusty The Body Shop face brush (like a big toothbrush), a great option for when you're in a real penny pinch BUT this spring I got my hands on a Magnitone BareFaced brush and I haven't looked back.
I've been using mine for a good six months now and I can categorically say it's the best thing I've ever got for my skin. Electronic exfoliation is much more effective than doing it manually as it's faster so it really sloughs off all the dead skin (schexy). My skin feels so soft after I use it and it's actually true what they say about it helping skin to absorb moisturisers better too, it's really rather brilliant. Plus I'm not left with intense arm ache afterwards! This model has two speed settings so you can tailor your routine to your needs and you can buy other brush heads if you want a different level of exfoliation too. It also comes in pink, everything's better in pink.
The best part is the price. At just £70 it's almost half the price of more popular brands. In fact, I'll let you in on a secret - I was gifted a Clarisonic four months ago. I still haven't opened it yet. It's not that I'm not grateful, I've lusted after the Clarison for years ever since they first popped up in YouTube reviews. It's just that the BareFaced is so good I haven't felt the need to try to replace it... I do want to test out the Clarisonic though so perhaps I'll do that and then post a comparison review on my YouTube channel? The losing model will go to the bf haha, lucky boy!
As for skincare products, in the mornings when I'm makeup free I like to use a light and creamy wash that's not too harsh. I've been using Neutrogena's Visibly Clear 2 in 1 for years now as it doubles as a face mask and you know I love a bargain! It's a clay wash so it really helps to mattify my oily skin without drying it out.
In the evenings, I like to use a good foaming soap to really wash off all my makeup. My new obsession is black soap. It's the dark, marbled block in the photo above, a natural African soap that's really soft. My mum has been swearing by it for years and I finally got around to trying it and now I'm in love! It literally leaves my skin squeaky clean. Like it actually squeaks if I rub my wet hands on my cheeks - not a trace of oil left. The bar is really soft so I keep it in my cabinet wrapped in cling film and then just break of a piece every time I shower - a teeny bit goes a really long way as it lathers well. FYI don't buy the manufactured-looking jet black bars that you see in the shops. Real black soap will be lots of different shades of brown and it's made with moisturisers like shea butter so it's really soft. I got this bar from my mum but when it runs out I'm going to order more from this Amazon seller who has great reviews.
Since my Magnitone BareFaced and black soap do such a great job of cleaning my skin, oil and all, I need a great moisturiser to restore elasticity without making my skin greasy. I really like Johnson's Daily Essentials moisturiser for dry skin. It's thick in consistency so it really soaks in and softens unlike some watery creams but it's also very light like it's been air whipped and doesn't leave any greasy residue. My only gripe is that it comes in a jar rather than a squeezy tube so I have to dip my finger in it - I don't like getting it all under my nails but hey ho, small issue to contend with.
My secret to a naturally contoured look, make up free, is to always apply extra SPF 30 sunscreen in the areas I usually highlight, whatever the weather. Though it may not be as strong, the sun is present all year and the sun damage struggle is real. Not only does this trick do wonders for anti-ageing (because y'all know prevention is better than cure) but it also stops me tanning in those areas (yes, black people get a tan). Now that I do this, under my eyes and my T zone is always lighter, giving me a sun-kissed highlighted look even when I don't have makeup on. Sunscreen also works as a really great primer for when I wear makeup as it's a bit stickier than moisturiser. Pretty cool.
Have you used the Magnitone BareFaced, Clarisonic or any other holy grail skincare products? If so please do let us know in the comments below!
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x Jade Mercedes Fraser x