Things like softening lotions and acid toners are creeping into our beauty lexicon and, whether it's the Caroline Hirons effect or the simple fact that more products are being marketed to us - or both - one thing's for sure: I'm spending lots more time in the bathroom.
I last talked about my skincare routine over here and discussed some favourite products in my skincare chat with Rosemary here, but this is an updated version of what I'm doing to my face each morning.
Despite trying to avoid cleansing balms - I was afraid they were too heavy for my spot-prone skin - I've lapsed back because they're my favourite way to clean my face. I've been loving this Ren version with a flannel - a recent chat with Ms Hirons herself (more on that soon) means I've binned my muslin cloths.
Then toning: first, Clinique's Mild Clarifying lotion which was recommended by the new Brown Thomas beauty personal shopper, Warren Dowdall, as it's alcohol-free and laden with salicylic acid.
This is a beta-hydroxy-acid or BHA and generally, when we talk about acid-toning, we tend to mean the stronger alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs): something with glycolic acid, lactic acid or fruit acids are the most common. So I switch it up with the Origins Modern Friction pads which use fruit acids, but they live in my swim-bag right now.
Toner #2 is a softening lotion, from L'Occitane's Immortelle line. The Divine lotion leaves my skin looking brighter, feeling smooth and supple and gives it a little bit of a hydration boost too.
Next up: Shiseido's pre-serum, Ultimune; I reviewed this in full over here and am still enjoying it for the brighter, smoother look it has given my skin.
While I'm waiting for that to sink in, I pop on a bit of Estee Lauder's Advanced Night repair serum for eyes. You can use this under an eye-cream but at the moment it's sufficient alone; anything too rich round my eyes can cause milia, those annoying little white bumps that have to removed by a derm. I love this stuff: it sinks right in and leaves my eye area smooth and refreshed.
Serum is important to me and I only have good things to say about the new Origins Plantscription anti-aging power serum, which gives noticeable results in just a fortnight. Its cocktail of skin friendly ingredients helps fight fine lines and wrinkles and plump and firm the skin; the clinical results are impressive and my personal experience has been great so far.
Lastly, Chanel Sublimage Fluide is perfect for those in their 30s and 40s who have normal to oily skin (and who like to spend big on their skincare). Addressing all of my skincare concerns - this targets fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, dehydration, sun damage and skin texture and tone - it also controls my oily tzone, has the most beautiful texture and acts as a great base for makeup. But be warned: it is VERY expensive.
So yes, lots of products: but all of them reasonably lightweight, so they won't overload my skin. What are you using and loving right now?