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25th September 2020

    Beauty Life

    My lockdown skincare routine (or rather: all I’ve tested over 6 months)

    25th September 2020

    My lockdown skincare routine

    I’ve been thinking about writing a new blog post for, well, a while. And it’s crazy that the last entry is a review of 2019. Yep. I know it seems a lifetime ago — and I’m sure that if I were to read it again, I would smile at how unsatisfied I was and how I was betting on 2020 to be a great, better, brighter year.

    It had all the right cards to play in January but then hey. We know what happened — and in a measure, it’s not over.

    But let’s not digress. I used to lead an unruly life, governed by tyrannical jet-lag and unhealthy plane or conference meetings’ foods. I loved my life — and I still want it back, TRUST ME — but clearly I couldn’t find a routine, I couldn’t exercise regularly and I was not sleeping enough.

    My skin has never been extremely problematic (even if I had adult acne once or twice, thankfully out at bay with the right treatments) so while I won’t say I’ve got model-worthy, picture perfect, photoshop-like skin I can’t complain about a stubborn spot of two from time to time.

    But I was not constant in sticking to a routine — which is what I actually tried to achieve when I was, well, forced to be home and put.

    I’m not going to lie — I am a sucker for a good and skin-miracle promising face cream so yeah, a mix of Instagram hype and a good dose of reviews later, this is what I have tried in the last six months of quarantine. By all means, I do not use them all at once – and i indeed tried to test in rounds of some weeks to see if I like the products or if they are beneficial.

    🧖🏻‍♀️ Current skincare on rota

    Acne treatment: Barbara Sturm spot clarifying treatment / serum | This is THE product. A month in, and the clarifying serum has really worked. I like how it absorbs quickly and how it has no scent at all. Sunday Riley oils are also great for stubborn areas but they are very rich for my combination skin and I don’t like the glowy effect.

    Retinol: Shani Darden | Sunday Riley A retinol. I read that retinols are the super product for all things wrinkles and fine lines so I went in and started using it every night.

    Lactic Acid: Sunday Riley Good Genes – one of the best products for me. Brightening and refreshing, it’s like a light exfoliant that makes my skin feel tighter.

    Hyaluronic acids: Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Acid Serum and UBeauty Serum are my favourite at the moment –- I will report on results!

    Vitamin C: Summerfridays CC Me and Sunday Riley Vitamin C. Vitamin C is very rich and I tend to not use it so often – it’s important to never mix it with retinol as it can create redness (it happened to me, just don’t!) Always follow an order when applying these:



    Lactic Acid

    Vitamin C


    Eye cream





    Eye cream

    Moisturizer: Lamer is a classic, it’s always worked for me (I prefer the light cream or the classic)  Augustinus Bader is amazing – the scent is not impressive but the hydration really makes me feel my skin is drinking up. UBeauty Super Hydrator: I just got it and while I love the light-reflecting effect, I have to road test a bit longer to report. And last but not least… the all-round winnder Summerfridays Jet Lag mask (i use it as a cream, and use a dullup). The SF girls are amazing and ALL of their products are working for me.

    Brightening serum: Dr Barbara Sturm serum and light cream are my go to for now. Brightening is the issue that, along with dark circles, is the most pressing for me. If you’ve been reading me for a while you may remember I have a mild melasma on the side of my face, so minimising dark spots and pigmentation is key for me. While I always wear SPF50 under makeup and when I go out, it’s crucial to treat topically to avoid fluctuations in the skin. Far from being totally rid of it, I think these two serums along with UBeauty has helped a lot.

    Eye cream/Dark circles: Shani Darden Reform retinol, Lamer eye concentrate, Dr Barbara Sturm, Sysleya, Sunday Riley AutoCorrect – This is THE issue. I mean, fixing dark circles is the holy grail of skincare if you ask me. I have very thin skin in the eye area and my veins tend to show esp. when I’m tired. I can definitely see lockdown has affected this problem further and it made me very upset in the first couple of month especially. What I have worked out over the year is that staying hydrated is the way – and in combination with masks and sleep, it may have settled a little bit.

    Detergent/ face wash: Summerfridays Super Amino gel cleanser and Dr Barbara Sturm enzyme cleanser seem to be the ones for me – they do not strip or sting on the skin and I have been seeing pores shrink over time. I haven’t had serious breakouts in months!

    Eye Makeup remover: Dior Micellar Water (but I always do a double cleanse!). Mascara can be stubborn – even if I do not use a waterproof one. So it’s crucial to really go in there without scrubbing I avoid all wipes unless I’m traveling) because I tend to get redness very easily in the delicate under eye area.

    Face oil: Lamer and Sunday Riley – I prefer to turn to oils in the winter because in the summer it really is too hot here. But at night, if you do not overdo it, it’s still a nice way to close your skincare routine.

    Lotion and toner: Sublimage Chanel | Dr Barbara Sturm. I use these toners right after cleansing, making sure there is no contact with the eye area.

    Exfoliant: Chanel Sublimage and Summerfridays mask are a good way to lightly exfoliate. I try to always follow with a toner and I never scrub or stress the skin. If you do not want to splurge, Summerfridays is more affordable.

    Anti-aging: Augustine Bader x Victoria Beckham is cute little thick serum that actually leaves my skin super soft and I love the feeling of it. Of course, my beloved Dr Barbara Sturm also has a set of serums for lifting and aging – I tried the Discovery Set and it was life changing.

    Masking: Sheets mask from LaMer, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair and 111Skin are my go to. Recently I found I can have 111Skin sent from the UK in just a few days to the States and I love the material and the fact they do not drip or move when you have them on. favourite is the SubZero Depuffing…Life saver! I also sparingly use the oh-so-expensive Chanel Le Lift patches (very cute and logoed) and I keep the Shiseido retinol eye mask in the fridge as it’s so much better to apply when you’re tired or puffy.

    Body creams: I have always been very bad at putting cream on my body – who isn’t it! – but as I’ve started having some more time at hands and due to the extreme dryness of California weather, I opted for an anti aging body cream by Dr Barbara Sturm which is not my favourite smell but it’s non greasy and absorbs very quickly.

    Body wash: Nécessaire Eucalyptus shower gel. This is so nice and lush, plus it’s available in a non scented version if you prefer it. Super practical bottle that you just squish in the shower.

    Hand cream: Augustinus Bader, Lamer oil, TheFeelist CBD are my current hand cream on a rota. TheFeelist is a new CBD based body cream with i love using on my hands because it smells like super fresh herbs. I also like using oils around my cuticles – my favourite is from LaMer but really any oil would do!

    Body treatments: Legology leg gel has been a nice discovery – I get heavy, restless legs despite the exercise and the non flying routine as of lately. It smells zesty and fress, and with the massage indicated in the booklet, you feel refreshed and lifted. DrBrandt and Sisleya Cellulite treatments are in tandem, I religiously made an effort to apply every night before bed and I can guarantee you the skin appears so much smoother after a few months.

    Tools: TheMassager by Joanna Czech, Jade roller by the Face Gym, LED mask, Quartz mask by Angela Caglia. The massager is a tool that always made so curious – once I learnt how to use it (thanks Joanna for FaceTiming me to teach me!) I now use it every day to relax my jaw, mainly and tighten the check and jaw area.