Recently I've been thinking about the lessons I've learnt over the years when it comes to skincare; and in turn the products which helped me to put these lessons into practice. The below edit features a few 'hero products' of mine, pieces which mark significant milestones in my skincare history, and which I credit with saving my skin [each in their own unique way]. Think of this as a skincare journey in stepping-stone form.

Ditch the facial wipes : Bioderma Sensibo H20 I cringe to remember the days when my skincare routine consisted solely of face wipes [always and only the cheapest I could find] - and in hindsight swapping out wipes for a decent makeup remover is one of the best [and let's face it, easiest] steps you can take towards practicing better skincare [whilst it may still not be the most virtuous of products, a micellar water is a significant step closer!]. I never think of micellar water as a cleanser, and would by no means advocate using it alone [I always follow it up with a second cleanse - usually a balm or oil which provides a bit of a moisture boost], but a few cotton pads soaked in this clear fragrance-free solution is a speedy and efficient way to remove the majority of my makeup without drying or aggravating my sensitive skin.

Do your research : La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + Instead of just buying whichever spot-treatment was on offer/had fun packaging, deciding to do some research and invest a bit more cash really paid off with this one; I can 100% credit it with saving my skin after years of teen acne. I'm still a devoted user of Effaclar Duo today, and always recommend it to those suffering with blemish-prone skin. A light, cooling lotion, which [when applied on a regular basis] works to remove blemishes as speedily possible; whilst simultaneously preventing new ones from occurring, and reducing redness and the appearance of pores. Unlike a spot-on treatment this can be applied all over [but should not be used in place of a moisturiser, and is best applied with a light hand - it's strong stuff]. Many [including myself] will find that ED+ requires something of a "purge"; I broke out terribly during the first few weeks of use, before being left with the clearest skin I'd had in years.

Don't skip moisturiser : Origins Drinkup Intensive Overnight Mask I spent my teen years convinced that my skin was drastically oily and therefore required no extra moisture. How wrong I was! My skin was overcompensating for its lack of oil [which I was repeatedly stripping away with harsh and dry scrubs], so it was only when I established a moisturiser within my routine that it started to calm down and become much more balanced and "normal". These days I wouldn't dare skip out on moisturising, and I always apply my night cream super thick and mask-like. Investing in a dedicated moisture mask was something I would never have considered doing in my teens, but has made such a difference to my [dehydrated] skin. After applying this one [which smells like peaches and apricots!] I always wake up with a noticeably brighter complexion the following morning.

Don't be afraid of oil : Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil* As above [but possibly 98443125417 times more terrifying] the thought of consciously and curatively applying oil to my face would never have crossed my mind pre-2012, but is today a commonplace element in my skincare routine. Even if you do have oily skin, using a cleansing oil or treatment oil can really help to balance out your skin, and I find that my makeup sits so much better when I'm using a facial oil on a regular basis. The first oil I used was pure rosehip oil [for the purpose of fading blemish scars], but these days I usually reach for a blend of oils such as this one which boast multiple skin-perfecting properties.

Use multiple masks : Aēsop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque* + Antipodes Aura Manuka Mask Face masks have always been a staple feature in my skincare routine, and there are a few absolutely stellar masks which I can 100% rely on as one-stop wonders to the worst of my skincare problems; however for a real boost of skincare goodness I've learnt that using multiple masks in series can have even more impact. The key is to separate your masks into categories [exfoliating, cleansing, hydrating, moisturising], before selecting two or three which will best address your concerns. My favourite combination is the above; a deep-cleansing decongesting mask followed by a soothing moisturising one.

Part II is set to land next week - but in the meantime, which products have taught you your skincare lessons?


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*PR sample