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Question: What Skincare Products Do I Really Need And In What Order?

Toners, serums and scrubs – oh my.

Quarantine wrecking havoc on your skin? Allow us to help. We've teamed up with Nimue Skin Technology to give one lucky Irish Tatler reader the chance to win a skincare essentials kit worth over €150.

With the days merging into a nonstop loop of TikTok dances, Instagram Live notifications and photos of banana bread, the first rule of self-isolation is that there are no rules. Although I may now start the day with an intensely whipped coffee, my morning skincare routine is a little more ambiguous.

What was once an eight-step routine to achieve the perfect base for my foundation has no become a light smear of serum if my face is lucky. I've truly let myself go. But asides from the stress-induced breakouts, my skin is surprisingly fine. Sure, not having cramped DART commutes and the lack of smog-ridden strolls in town is definitely helping my skin but could the lack of skincare be helping me too? Quite possibly. 

I mean, how many steps should an average skincare routine contain anyway? Five? Ten? None? With growing regimes becoming the norm and an overwhelming amount of products to choose from, it’s difficult to know what we actually need and what we could really do without.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what works best for your skin, but the experts agree - when it comes to skincare, less is more.

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While skipping out on skincare entirely is an experiment for a different day, there are some essentials you should be making time for: a cleanser, a hydrator and SPF. But for peak skin condition, it's a good idea to add in an exfoliator and eye cream. 

Here’s our cheat sheet to a simple, effective skincare routine:

step one: cleanse

The obvious first step: a good cleanser sets the stage for your whole routine.

Ultimately, your cleanser should be gentle, water-soluble and able to remove your makeup. Avoid anything with soap in it—soap’s pH level is too basic and will dry out your skin.

When it comes to finding the best cleanser, let your skin type be your guide and choose a product designed to target your primary skin concern (whether that’s acne, dryness, oiliness or sensitivity).

We’re loving the Nimue Cleansing Gel (€41) for combination skin. Formulated as a soap-free creamy gel, it removes traces of make-up, oil secretions, impurities and pollution leaving the skin perfectly clean, revitalised, fresh and comfortable. 

step TWO: exfoliate

This is a crucial, though definitely not daily, step in your skincare routine.

The best ways to go about exfoliating your face is to either use a cleanser with chemical exfoliants in it or use a dedicated physical exfoliator. Either way, look to use this product about once a week.

We’re loving the Nimue Exfoliating Enzyme (€46) for sensitive skin. This is a non-irritating, non-abrasive exfoliator that penetrates deep under the skin. This enzyme complex forms an important part in your skincare routine as it gently detaches dead skin cells and promotes cell renewal. 

step THREE: eye cream

Some say eye creams are a myth, but chances are those people have more than likely been applying them wrong. 

The skin around your eyes is ten times finer than on the rest of your face. The muscles in this area are the most active muscles in your body, so from your late twenties, it's worth investing in an eye cream.

We’re loving the Nimue Anti-Ageing Eye Cream (€57). This clever little concoction of Cyclotetrapeptide-24m Saccharomyces, Rhodiola Root and Betaine complex protects, plumps, stimulates and energises tired skin giving a radiant morning glow within seconds.

step FOUR: moisturise

No matter what state your skin is in, it needs to remain hydrated. Luckily, moisturisers are made for all kinds of complexions, either oil-free or loaded with super ingredients like antioxidants and vitamins.

You can use a facial oil as a moisturiser, too, no matter what your skin type. Different types of oils have different benefits, but generally, skin likes it because it matches its own sebum texture. If your skin is particularly parched, you can even use both: a thick cream-based moisturiser during the day and a facial oil at night. 

We’re loving the Nimue Day Moisturiser (€63), a multi-functional, light-textured day moisturiser that assists to restore and rejuvenate the skin, resulting in improved hydration and smoother skin texture. 

step FIVE: spf

Yes, even in Ireland. Yes, even there's no sun out. Yes, even if you are staying inside on your couch all day.

An oft-neglected but absolutely fundamental step, sun cream is the number one way to protect against premature ageing. It’s often not enough to rely on SPF in your moisturiser or foundation since many don’t offer the amount of coverage necessary to shield skin. But, standalone sunscreens are getting even smarter, with many now offering protection against sun rays, pollution and even damaging blue light from our digital devices, in one. 

Nimue Sun-C Environmental Shield SPF 50 (€62), is one such multi-tasker and defends against all three. The formula is clinically-proven to ‘shield’ the skin from free radicals and offer high protection against the key causes of premature ageing; UVA, UVB, Infrared and blue light radiated from our phones, computer screens and televisions. 

And now you have the routine down – wouldn't it be nice to have cleanser, SPF and eye cream to go with it? That's why we've teamed with Nimue to give one lucky Irish Tatler reader the chance to win a skincare kit worth over €150

To be in the chance of winning a skincare kit from Nimue, simply answer the question below: 

Create your own user feedback survey

This competition is open to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland residents aged 18 or over unless any other age restriction is specified or implied. T&Cs apply. Closing date 20/05/2020.

Main image by @irishtatlerbeauty on Instagram

READ: At What Point Do 'Extra’ Skincare Routines Become Too Much?

READ MORE: How Stress Affects Your Skin + What To Do About It