My mum and I discuss everything, and that goes tenfold on the topic of skincare. She's one of the most product obsessed people I know; if it's available to buy, chances are she's tried it. It hasn't always been this way though—her intense skincare obsession started about ten years ago, growing from a novelty interest in Youtube beauty videos to full-fledged enthusiasm combing through hundreds of product reviews online.
As she tells me, her carefully curated nine-step skincare routine has been years in the making, testing and recalibrating every step until finding that one formula that doesn't break her out or exaggerate her hyperpigmentation. And, it seems to be working. It's not uncommon for my mother to receive a flurry of compliments on her skin when we're out in public– like that time we were shopping at a TK Maxx, and a woman stopped her to proclaim that she couldn't believe that my mum was over 50.
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At this point, she gets more compliments on her skin than I do, so I've come to learn to take her word for it when she raves about something new. After years of trial and error, my mum finally revealed the secret sauce behind her luminous skin.
If you're like me and can hear about skincare for days, keep scrolling ahead to see the full lists of products she swears by.
Step 1: Cleansing Balm
"I'm a big advocate of double cleansing–my face just doesn't feel clean without it. I love how cleansing balms don't dry out my skin, giving me a bare luminescent canvas for the next steps of my routine. I usually start with a cleansing balm or oil from either Eve Lom or Elemis, and just a tiny bit is all it takes to glide away the day's makeup. The Eve Lom scent is probably my favourite skincare smell of all time."– Yolanda
Step 2: "Deep" Cleanse
"The next part of my double cleanse: I add a bit to a small pool of water in my hand and gently smooth it onto my face with my fingertips. Although my daughter loves her PMD Clean Pro (£225), I typically don't use any tools or brushes to cleanse my face to minimise exposure to bacteria or germs. I find that when I do, I break out more easily. Once I'm done with this step my skin feels smooth and prepped for the rest of my routine."
Step 3: Mud Mask
"I use a mud mask about once or twice a week without fail. I know sheet masks are super popular, but I just can't get over the wet, cold feeling of the serum on my face. Plus, you have to be pretty stationery with a sheet mask on your face, and I'm not that patient. The black Glam Glow is without a doubt my favourite, but I've started trying out this Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment, and it has impressed me thus far. My skin feels so renewed and supple after using them."
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Step 4: Toner
"This is easily my favorite step of my entire routine. I first came across Erborian's Liquid Lotion after borrowing it from my daughter, and needless to say after that, she never got it back. I consider it my secret weapon because this toner is super hydrating and leaves my skin glowy. Paula's Choice Repairing Toner is another one I have on rotation– I splash a little into my hands (again I never use cotton pads!) and pat it into my skin. My face just soaks it up, leaving it moisturised with a luminosity that I can’t explain."
Step 5: Essence
"Some people ask me if an essence is truly necessary after a toner, and I firmly believe so! I find that they restore a bit of glow in addition to added elasticity and moisture back into my face. It's basically like giving your skin extra moisture sans the greasy feeling– I swear after I put these on, my skin is like butter. SK-II's essence is really amazing, but I just couldn't justify the price, so that lead me to Royal Fern and Clarin's versions which I have now incorporated into my routine."
Step 6: Serum
"Until I started becoming obsessed with skincare, Vitamin C wasn't really on my radar. Honestly, it wasn't until Indya kind of forced me into using it that I discovered its usefulness. Sunday Riley's CEO brightens and tightens my skin like nothing else, giving me a radiance that carries me until the next use. When I want to go the affordable route, Klairs Vitamin C gives good results too. I notice my pigmentation fades more evenly using this."
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Step 7: Eye Cream
"To be completely honest, I haven’t come across an eye cream that wows me yet. Out of all those I tried, this is the only one that I've noticed a difference after months of use. You can say I use an eye cream as a preventative measure to retain moisture within the delicate corners of my eyes."
Step 8: Moisturiser
"For me, this is a Holy Grail. It never fails to deliver continuous moisture to my face no matter if I'm in a blizzard or outside in 80-degree weather. It's not sticky at all which is another plus."
Step 9: Lip Treatments
"My biggest pet peeve is dry lips, so of course I have to have a balm that remedies that all day. The Laniege lip mask in berry is everything! It’s called a sleep mask but I use it anytime my lips need extra moisture and a hint of berry. As my backup, First Aid Beauty's Lip Repair is a worthy runner up. They both help me keep dry lips at bay."