Friday, November 7, 2014

The secret to glowy skin?‏

My inexpensive skincare products.  All these added up would probably purchase one high-end item!

Do you want to know my secret?  The one that has people ask me what I use on my skin?  Sorry to sound un-humble when I say this, and it happens less as I get older, but I have had people actually stop me in the street and ask me what products I use.  Plus my lovely blog readers have asked, so thank you.

My skincare secret is not expensive products or fancy facials or even botox.  When I exclaimed to my husband that a sweet blog reader said I looked 19 in the photo on my last post (and even if she was exaggerating, thank you), he said... 

'well they don't see what you do.  It's little and often.  Every night you're in the bathroom washing and moisturising your face.  And in the time I've known you - 11 years - I can remember one or two times you did not wash your face and take your makeup off'. 

So there's the answer, from the person who lives with me and knows me best.  The secret then?  Little and often.

And it's true.  My mother ingrained in me from about the age of 13 that cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day is what you do, alongside taking a shower and brushing and flossing.  So I did, and it's been a habit for over thirty years now.  The most expensive cream in the world won’t help you if it’s not used. 

If you don’t pamper your skin twice daily, today is the best time to start.  It’s never too late.  It might seem a faff and too time-consuming, but just stick with it.  Your skin will look better and it will become part of your daily routine.  Washing your face is just as important as moisturising it, and I still wash my face the same way as I detailed here.

As far as skincare products go, once upon a time I worked for Parfums Christian Dior and was able to purchase their beautiful skincare and makeup at wholesale staff rates.  But these days I enjoy using simple and inexpensive skincare and cosmetics.  My day cream is Olay Complete SPF15 in a 150ml white bottle for a très inexpensive price.  I always check for mineral oil though as in my opinion it doesn't let your skin breathe.  Some Olay products have mineral oil and some don't (so I buy the ones that don't).

The picture above is my current range.  I actually have three different creams I use at night and switch them around.  I often put on the rosehip oil and then one of the three creams. I don't know how I ended up having three night-time products open at the same time but I did.

I've also worn foundation since I was about 14.  Just light water-based ones then (my first was a Clinique foundation that you shook the bottle to mix each time you used it).  I stocked up on Dior foundation before I left my old job, but now I'm trying a new Maybelline one - Superstay Better Skin that seems quite nice (it's even made in France.  I found that quite fascinating).  I apply as little as possible to even out my skin tone and then dab on a tiny bit more over areas that need it.  Then I press my palms all over my face to blend and set, and dust loose powder over top.

At night I use an eye cream and a night cream, and as a form of serum I use something like rosehip oil or vegetable glycerin.  I like to layer my skincare at night, but during the day I just use the Olay lotion over toner moistened skin.

I use a lot of body lotion and body cream too.  Every day after my shower I go from neck to toes.  Even my tummy but not the parts of my back that I can't reach.  I started this a number of years ago and now it's part of my morning routine.  I love using yummy scented ones.

Other factors I believe help are my love for water and herbal teas (on the opposite side of hydration I have one Earl Grey tea and two coffees per day), light activity (walking and yoga as per my last post) and lots of fruit and vegetables.  I have fruit every morning for breakfast with nuts and sometimes yoghurt, a salad with or for lunch, and steamed vegetables to accompany dinner.  I have written more about this here.

So there’s my secrets.  They aren’t really secrets though are they?   Just good common old-fashioned sense I think.

I'm not sure what else to tell you about skincare and makeup, so if you have any questions I'd be glad to answer them.


  1. It seems we share brands Fiona, I use Natio along with Sukin, the latter is an organic Aussie range. In the last year or two I've just reached the age (59) where I need a bit "more" but I didn't want to go the super expensive un-proven skin care route. I now mix a little rosehip oil or sweet almond oil into my night cream, it has done wonders for my neck.

  2. I am still so glad you started writing again! Your other reader is right. You do look very young and your skin glows :-)

  3. Thanks for the insight. Nothing replaces good habits!

  4. It's so nice to see a fellow Olay user with healthy glowing skin. I've been using Olay since my teens and now, in my mid-40s, my sister is accusing me of secret botoxing and facialists don't have anything to sell me. I get a lot of people looking down their noses when I tell them what I use, because it's not fancy or expensive or "Sciencey" enough, but I have great skin and a fat wallet and that is exactly what I want out of skin care products!

  5. Hi Fiona, thanks for sharing this detail., which combined with your photo from last week's post is very motivating. Your glowing skin is a great inspiration to be disciplined and also to simplify.

    I' recently moved home, and for the first time have under sink bathroom storage, in addition to the usual medicine cabinets. I googled images looking for bathroom organisation inspiration but was surprised to find so many images of disorganized bathroom cupboards loaded with products, many of them expensive brands, clearly going unused.

    As you said, there's no point investing in pricey products and then not using them!

    I've just added the Olay Pro-X cleansing brush to my routine, so soft & gentle and am enjoying the results.

    Love your bathroom display with the simple white roses! So chic...

  6. I completely agree. I've done the same thing for the majority of my life and I've had the same experience with people stopping me on the street. My other main thing is avoiding the sun. My sister used to joke that I was a vampire (when I was in high school! It's been a life long habit). Now in my late thirties I have very few wrinkles and am happy about it.

  7. It sounds like you have an ideal routine, Fiona.

    Organic virgin coconut oil has been a great addition to my daily skin care regimen. I use it as a general moisturizer, rotate it with natural skin care products for the face, and also use it to moisturize dry heels etc. If it works for your skin, it's possible to eliminate a lot of little jars by having a big jar of the stuff around.

    I've also had success fading sun spots and freckles by massaging it in, and it has been much more effective than expensive beauty products with the bonus of zero irritation!


  8. Yes, I too have been using Oil of Olay moisturizer since I was 16! I'm neatly thirty now, but am frequently told that I look much younger. Good, simple habits are not expensive, but they are priceless when put against costly 'miracle' products!

  9. Thank you so much, being lazy at night to do my face is the culprit, but I am really going to do my face 2 x daily.

  10. Thank you so much, being lazy at night to do my face is the culprit, but I am really going to do my face 2 x daily.

  11. Simplicity and routine are the key. I stopped buying into the hype of expensive products long ago. Yet, I still like to use organic. Currently I am using Kari Gran and I absolutely love it. I feel like I have had a spa facial after every use. Their serum is a bit pricey but a little goes a long way. And I am also still just using almond oil as my body moisturizer. Something must be working because a friend who hadn't seen me in a while told me I still look 26. I'll take it!

    You look beautiful! Keep on doing what is working. You have it mastered. : )

  12. You look great, Fiona, I can see why you get such compliments.
    Now I'm really inspired to step up my skin care routines--I'm usually terribly lazy about it and it unfortunately it shows. Hope it's not too late for me!
    I want to add that you might check the ingredients of your products for parabens--best avoided I believe.
    So glad you're still posting. I love it!

  13. Hi Fiona

    I only recently discovered that you've recommenced blogging and am delighted! I've read all the posts since your 'last' one and have enjoyed them immensely.

    It's lovely to have you back.


  14. Love this post-- this is something I've been thinking about lately. I have truly found (especially lately) that sometimes the most simple and inexpensive products are the most effective!

  15. Awhile back I read where a famous actress used a facial product that cost $500/ounce. I also read a research article that stated there was nothing in that expensive product that worked any better than Olay. Plus she was paying for fragrance in that product (bad for skin) and something that was nothing special. That always makes me smile when I read about famous people spending a fortune on something that doesn't work or doesn't work any better than far less expensive products!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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