My summer skin care routine

This post is a bit out of my comfort zone as I typically stick to travel and food related content, but after spending an inordinate amount of time preparing myself for my Ibiza trip (read about it here) in every conceivable way I thought ‘hey, why not share some of this?’

One of the upsides to lockdown was that I decided I had absolutely no excuse for not doing all of my skin care routine every day as I didn’t have to rush out the door to make it to the office (not that it’s much of an excuse usually!). I decided that after many years of, firstly not knowing what to use and secondly, not doing it consistently, that I had a good range of products I liked and used and thought were worth sharing.

This was, give or take, a pretty similar range of products I used before my wedding and my skin was literally perfect on that day so I’m either very lucky or these products are doing something!

I’ve tried to put this in a sensible order so it reads like a routine and I’ll let you know which products I genuinely think are amazing vs. stuff I use but can’t necessarily pinpoint what good it’s doing me. The problem with a routine is you don’t know whether it’s specific products or the combination of the products that works so you kind of have to carry on with the whole thing, which is why I’ve included everything I used even I couldn’t hand on heart say it was individually amazing.

I usually buy my products from Feelunique because they have good offers, a loyalty scheme and also send good freebies. If you can’t buy the product there I’ve either linked to the brand website or (in some cases) the only place I could find the product – I’ve noted where I’ve never used the website before. Some products can be bought in multiple places where you may be able to make use of other loyalty schemes like Boots and John Lewis.

Summer skincare essentials


First up, cleansing. I didn’t start some of this routine until after my wedding as I bought some of these products on my ‘mini moon’ in Korea (you can read about that trip, here). Before my wedding I was literally washing my hand in the handwash next to the sink (I can just feel people judging me when I say that. It was Aesop, I swear).

So my new routine is to use this Etude House Wonder Pore Deep Foaming Cleanser , which I bought in Korea (and have linked to the Etude House website). It has a very light bit of exfoliant in it so the texture is a bit like toothpaste. It leaves your skin with a real squeaky clean oil-free feeling, which I quite like. I’m not sure whether it really does much to the appearance of pores but I do like the way it feels and the kind of minty fresh finish.

Etude House Wonder Pore Deep Foaming Cleanser

Toning and moisturising

After washing my face, I use Missha Time Revolution Treatment Essence (bought in Korea, linked to a Korean skincare site I’ve note used) which is to tone and hydrate. It’s an ‘essence’, which I understand is one of the many many steps in a Korean skincare routine. It’s like water and I apply it with my fingers; it does give a feeling a slight hydration.

Missha Time Revolution Essence

For some extra hydration I think use The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum all over my face and neck. I’ve used other B5 serums before. I used to use the SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5, which I honestly prefer to The Ordinary’s serum as it feels much more hydrating and feels like it goes further. I’ll likely go back to it when my The Ordinary serum runs out but it’s hard to argue with the price: £5.90 for The Ordinary and £68 (yep you read that right) for SkinCeuticals.

The Ordinary Caffeine Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Next I’ll use The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG for my undereye area to shrink my eye bags (which are huge!). I used this in the run up to my wedding to bring down the puffiness (in combination with reducing salt and alcohol intake – this is also crucial!) and I think it works.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5%

If I have more time, I’ll use MasqueBAR Hydrogel Eye Masks instead which are little jelly eye masks you leave on for around 15 minutes and which leave a nice cooling feeling and certainly feel like they de-puff and tighten the area.

Masque Bar Gold Hydrogel Eye Mask

Finally I top it all off with Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Cream which I like for its rich texture and SPF30 protection. It feels really dewy on without feeling greasy. If you prefer something lighter feeling then I also really like the Laura Mercier Repair Day Crème with SPF15. I only ended up with the Charlotte Tilbury cream when I couldn’t get hold of the Laura Mercier one, and it still seems tricky to get these days, I’m not sure why.

Charlotte Tilbury, Charlotte’s Magic Cream

Night time

I don’t actually use a night cream. Instead I do the same routine with the Etude House cleanser, the Missha Essence and then I use The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA for superficial dermal peeling, instead of the B5 serum I use in the morning. Before going on holiday (or spending any time in the sun) you should discontinue use of this a week ahead of time (which I did) as it makes your skin sensitive to burning. For the same reason this is a product to use at night time and not during the day.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

Periodic use products

I always want bigger, fuller lips (who doesn’t?) but I’m not quite ready to go down the filler route, so thought I’d give something else a try. Herbal Dynamics Beauty Volumising & Smoothing Rapid Lip Mask seemed well reviewed so I gave it a go. It’s supposed to both smooth and volumise lips after a 5 minute application. I used it a few times before going out but I didn’t really see any different except a bit of a tingle. I’m not even convinced it made my lips any smoother and it left a kind of purple residue you had to really scrape off. It had good reviews though, so maybe it was just me!

Herbal Dynamics Beauty Volumising & Smoothing Rapid Lip Mask

Twice a week I used Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub to exfoliate. I’m not sure I really noticed the difference between this as an enzyme scrub and a normal exfoliant, but it didn’t do me any harm either!

Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub

Once a week I’d treat myself to an OhK! Sheet Mask (various) (can be bought from Fellunique) for some extra hydration. I also used one on my last day in Ibiza to start the damage control! I like these because they’re kind of cute and quirky and also pretty easy to use.

OhK! face mask

Suncare (face and body)

I always take super good care of my skin in the sun, especially my face. Again I opted for Korean products: Eco Beyond Eco Daily Defense Anti Dust Sun SPF 50 and Eco Beyond Eco Daily Defense No-Sebum Sun Milk SPF 35. I bought these two facial sun creams in Korea on a whim because they were in the sale, having not researched them or tried them but they are the best thing I’ve used. I’ve linked to the few websites I could find that seemed to stock them.

Beyond Eco daily defense

They’re nice and thin and light when they go on, don’t feel or look greasy or sticky and provide really good sun protection (I’ve used them in South East Asia as well as the Mediterranean). I especially like the no-sebum one but often opt for the higher SPF 50 if I know my skin will be really exposed. I wear the SPF 35 in the UK during the summer when I’m out and about as an extra layer of protection to the Charlotte Tilbury day cream. These bottles also look really cute and fit in even a small handbag.

I took a punt on a new sun screen for Ibiza as I wanted something in a cute bottle which would offer good protection, have staying power and not be greasy. I cannot tell you how much I hate wearing sunscreen on my body because of that sticky, greasy feeling so I’m always looking for something I can wear without just feeling gross the whole time.

Saltee Body Active Sun Lotion SPF 30

I opted for a UK-based business, Saltee with their Saltee Body Active Sun Lotion 30 SPF. Their products are vegan friendly, cruelty free, paraben and gluten free, Oxybenzone-free and the packaging is made using recycled materials. I cannot recommend this enough, it goes on really nicely, feels as non-greasy as a sunscreen can and it offered really good protection in the sun and in and out of a pool.

In Ibiza I was out in the sun a lot with a full face of makeup so tried out a product I got free at an event, the Sport FX Mist + Fix Recovery Face Spray. It’s a makeup fixer and cooling spray and it was actually really nice to be able to cool down my face without messing up my makeup so I thought it was worth including in this list (although I have nothing to compare it to!)

Sport FX Mist + Fix Recovery Face Spray

Make up base

I’m not a big fan of foundation and hardly ever wear it so sometimes I’ll wear a makeup base / finisher on its own if I’m not using it under my foundation. I opted to take Etude House Face Blur 33 SPF to Ibiza as I loved the way the cute pink bottle looked in my makeup bag. It provides great protection due to the SPF 33, so I like to layer this on top of the Charlotte Tilbury cream and facial sunscreen to make sure I’m uber protected!

Etude House Face Blur

Etude House Face Blur gives a nice enough finish but I didn’t think it really changed the appearance of my skin. Before trying this (also an impulse purchase in Seoul- link is to Etude House website) I was using the Hylamide Photography Foundation, which honestly I think works amazingly well. It gives you a lovely pearlescent sheen to your skin and is super reasonably priced.

Body and tan

I spent a whole load of time trying to prep my skin for Ibiza to make sure I had the perfect (fake) tan. In the two weeks before I was trying to exfoliate my whole body at least every other day. I didn’t bother with a body scrub, instead just using my shower gel with an exfoliating glove.

I then moisturised with my favourite body lotion, Palmers Shea Body Lotion. This is cheap as chips but I really love the smell, the texture and the fact it soaks in nicely and leaves you really well moisturised.

Palmer’s Shea Body Lotion

I never use fake tan so didn’t know where to start. It was the hardest thing to choose of everything because there are so many options at so many price points. I was all set to go for something in the £20 + range, which I thought would guarantee a better product and then saw a really cheap option which was also on sale (in Superdrug) taking it, I believe, to £5.99: St. Moritz 5 in 1 Tanning Mousse. I thought I may as well try it as it was so cheap and could always try something else if I didn’t like it.

St Moritz 5 in 1 Tanning Mousse Dark

I can’t say enough good things about this cheap tan! It doesn’t smell bad, goes on easily, is almost impossible to streak, fades gently without coming off in patches and leaves a really natural colour. Obviously these things are likely to vary from person to person as it’s so dependent on your skin but I’d say it’s absolutely worth trying given the low price; I thought it was a great fake tan.

Something I bought but never used was the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or, Golden Shimmer Dry Oil. This is a body oil to give a shimmer to the skin. I did test it before Ibiza and it really gives a lovely glow in the light and smells good too. I’d definitely use it on a night out in future to smooth my skin out and give a nice glow.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or dry oil

So that’s everything I used or thought I’d use before and during my trip to Ibiza!

Summer skincare essentials

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