This is nothing like that. BUT! narrowing down my top skincare prods isn’t a task I take lightly because I have so many favourites I sometimes wish I had two faces.
A bit of background on #TheLeighDaily. It has that name because when I closed my old blog, The Daily Coverage, my girl group started a text chain called The Leigh Daily so they could still ask beauty advice. It’s in that group that I found myself recommending the products below over and over again, for a few reasons; they are not scary or hard to use, they really work, they aren’t crazy expensive.
This is not to say that these are all I use. Not even close. I use some of these products at various times while trying new ones (like right now I am having a great time trialling a regime from Rationale — seperate post coming on that later) but for many, many years I have always returned to these products and cry/quickly repurchase when I run out.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Bioderma Sensibio H2o (AKA micellar water)
I have oily skin. It sucks. For yeeeears I was using traditional cleansers to wash my face and was double-cleansing and all that stuff us beauty editors tell you to do, but it seemed to just make my oily skin more oily. Yes I switched from foaming to milks and balms but nothing helped. My makeup artist friend Natalia only ever used micellar water and I thought that was wild, until about two years ago I copied her and stopped using cleanser altogether — using only this Bioderma solution instead. In a week or two my skin was less oily. It still felt really clean (not slimey like when you use a face wipe) but never tight. Also I am a very lazy person so this was a step up for me because most nights I didn’t even cleanse my face. I knooooow.
Never has a beauty product’s name been more apt. I first got into Alpha H when watching TVSN (please, no judgement) and have honestly used and loved this stuff for a decade. It’s a chemical exfoliator — so it’s taking the place of a face scrub — and is intended to use every second night. You wet a cotton pad with the solution (it has the consistency of water), swipe it over your clean face and let it dry before applying serum and/or night cream. You can also leave it on by itself overnight for an intensive treatment. The active is glycolic acid so it’s safe for bumps and breastfeeding. It seriously makes skin look and feel smoother and works on sun damage, wrinkles and general glowiness.
This is the priciest of the lot (at $110) but it’s amaaaazing. PLEASE NOTE you wouldn’t use both this and Liquid Gold in the same routine — it’s an either/or situation. When you get to your mid 30s like me and all the many years of sun-baking is surfacing as hyper-pigmentation (plus general lines and ageing) so you might want to introduce a Vitamin A product to your regime. You’ll hear a bunch of buzzwords like Vit A, retinol and retinoids thrown around but essentially it’s all the same thing. That’s not to say that all Vit A/retinol products are created equal — these ingredients are highly active and need to be formulated well by a reputable skincare company. If used incorrectly they can cause more damage than improvement. That’s why I like this serum — it’s seriously effective (use it every second night) and you see results pretty quickly but it’s much safer to use than a lot of others I have tried (which made my whole face flake off). YOU MUST use SPF on your face everyday when using any Vit A/retinol product. MUST! Also, general consensus is bumps and breastfeeders should avoid these prods but check with your obstetrician.
In my mid 20s I was diagnosed with PCOS and have always had hormonal breakouts around my chin, jaw and neck. Fast forward a decade to about two months ago and surgery uncovered it’s actually widespread endometriosis, not PCOS. Fun! Anywaaaaay, I tried heaps of traditional acne products but they stripped my skin so it was simultaneously dehydrated and oily. Back then face oils were starting to gain traction and I had experts telling me that oil was good for oily skin because it was a language the skin understood. I’d already worked out that rose-hip oil made me breakout so did some research and came across jojoba oil, which is technically a wax, not an oil, but close enough. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory (tick, tick, tick for acne) and helps regulate oil flow. I started using it in place of a night cream and my skin improved 10 fold. It also helped to plump the fine lines around my eyes which I was pretty stoked about. I now use it on a cotton bud to remove stubborn mascara/eye makeup, too — it has heaps of handy uses.
This guy is the newest member to this list. BB and CC creams are essentially fancy tinted moisturisers with skincare benefits and this one is bloody good because it is SPF 50+ and provides really decent coverage for a CC. I wear it as my ‘everyday’ base. It’s super glowy (but not slick on my oily skin), covers most of my pigmentation and takes half a second to apply. Be warned — it sells out in a hot minute at Sephora so I stocked up in Hawaii a few weeks back to the point the sales assistant thought I was part of an I.T Cosmetics cartel.
I was going to stop at the five above because five is a nice number but it would be remiss of me not to mention Lanolips Fruities because I have, hand on my heart, 30 of them floating around in various bags/pockets/drawers. I prefer the Fruities to the plain 101 Ointment because the formula is thicker and feels more nourishing. I primarily use it on my lips but also on dry cuticles and tap a teeny bit on my cheekbones when I need to look glowy/healthy/alive with two seconds notice.