Real-Life Routine #1 – Combination Reactive Skin

Though I have a super awesome routine already, maybe it’s not for you. ISo, thought it might be nice to showcase some other skin care routines every so often, to introduce you to some different skin types and preferences aside from mine! So I’m kicking the series off with a guest post from The North Left, sharing her skin care routine with us. Enjoy!

One of my favourite things about the internet is that I can search any skin care product I’m considering buying, and I’ll find an honest review about it. It’s so great that people are informed about what they’re using which, certainly whilst I was growing up, was not the case! 

I’ve chatted a little about my skin over on my own blog but, for those of you who don’t know, I’ll get you up to speed. My skin has, over the last decade or so, been a bit of a nightmare to try and deal with. It’s just not been very happy – it can be both dry and oily depending on the week, sensitive yet stubborn, and plagued with moderate persistent acne. Gentle treatments don’t really scratch the surface but strong products cause adverse reactions. So, when it comes to my skin, it’s really all about finding balance

I love skin care and cosmetics and I’ve tried and tested a lot over the years. I always have a mixture of drugstore and more expensive brands, and a mixture of natural and synthetic products. Like a lot of people, I have a load of stuff like face masks, treatments and odds and ends that I might use on occasion but my current daily routine goes something like this: 


I wash my face with plain old tap water when I get up. I’ll sometimes use a cotton pad soaked in Eau Roma from Lush if I feel like I need more freshness, especially in summer. If I’m wearing makeup that day and I want a good base, I’ll use Pixi Glow Tonic.

Next, I use a vitamin C product. Some are quite gritty, which I’m not a fan of in the morning, so I use Indeed Labs Vitamin C-24 Serum. It’s in the L-Ascorbic Acid form, which is the easiest for your skin to absorb and use, no conversion required. 

Next is SPF. If I’ll be out in the sun, I’ll use my trusty La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+. If it’s a mostly indoor day, I’ll use Skinfood SPF15. Skinfood is a natural brand I’ve discovered whilst travelling New Zealand. I’d prefer a higher SPF but I’m happy to use 15 during the winter and if I’m only going to be outside for the commute to work in the morning. 

If it’s a makeup day, I’ll move on to that next. It’s important that my skin care supports long-lasting makeup application. Previously, I couldn’t understand why my foundation would slip off by lunchtime and my forehead was like a chip pan. Since I started using the Skinfood moisturiser I’ve realised it wasn’t the foundation, it was the skin care underneath that was unsuitable. 


If I’ve been wearing makeup, I’ll take it off with a balm cleanser. I’m currently using Lush Ultrabland which is such an underrated product. I have repurchased probably 3 times. If no makeup, I’ll cleanse with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish to take off the SPF. Big fan of a hot cloth cleanse. 

I’ll then swipe over a First Aid Beauty Radiance Pad if my skin is fairly happy that day. If I’m having an out of control breakout, I’ll use the Blemish Control Pads (also by First Aid Beauty). I use these down my neck and onto my chest as well, until I’ve used all the product and the pad is dry! 

My current night time serum is Clarins SOS Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate. I don’t use it every night but, when I do use it, my skin is really calm the morning after. 

Night time moisturiser is currently the oil free one from Mario Badescu. I haven’t found a nice night cream to replace the Vichy one I was using which I can’t get anymore, so that serves as a non-intrusive substitute for now. If I have a particularly offensive blemish, I’ll use one of my Cosrx pimple patches overnight. 

Whenever I can be bothered, I’ll use a clay mask in either the form of Pixi Glow Mud or Lush Mask of Magnaminty as a little Sunday night treatment.  

So that’s what I’m currently using as someone who has reactive, hormonal and acne-prone skin. It changes all the time and, if I’m not impressed with a product or I don’t see any real results, I’ll swap to something else. I’m always interested in what works for others with similar skin to mine so, if you have any recommendations, hook me up! 

Find more from me at my blog: The North Left – Instagram: @thenorthleftblog – Twitter: @northleftblog

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