Over the years I’ve come to realise that good skincare is so important – I have always suffered with my skin, during my teens and really to this day I suffer with spots. It’s drastically improved over the years I think really as I have become more knowledgeable about what I need to do in order to care for it as best I can. I really believe in taking the time every night to take care of my skin, there are a lot of steps in my skincare routine but, almost like a baby, I do it as part of my bedtime routine and it’s a lovely way to switch off after the day and enjoy a bit of self care. I get asked a lot about what I use and also about The Ordinary products that I use so I’ll throw it all into a blog post so it’s there for posterity. First up I love to wash my face, I just don’t feel like my face is properly cleaned any other way. I have been using this foaming cleanser from CeraVe which from what I can gather is a bit of a cult brand in the States. It’s relatively new to Ireland but you can get it in most pharmacies now and its reasonably priced at less than €8 for this size. Next up is the part I love, I settle down in front of all my lotions and potions and start the ritual. First up I start with some products from The Ordinary. The Ordinary is an interesting brand, it was a total game changer in terms of bringing previously expensive ingredients to the market in an affordable way. That said, in order to do that the brand has cut down on marketing, which it doesn’t really need, but it does lead to some confusion regarding the products and who should use what. I did quite a bit of research before I settled on what I wanted to buy based upon my skincare needs – congestion and antiaging. So I start with Niacinamide 10% and Zine 1% which you can read all about here but in brief it regulates sebum production and reduces the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion which is what I wanted it for mainly. I got the Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane because it was the most mild retanoid I could find, which is primarily for fighting the signs of aging BUT there appears to be mixed advise online about using this when pregnant and breastfeeding so I’m not going to recommend it but my research has shown that it will have no ill effects on the baby so I’ve been using it since Alice was born maybe 3-4 times a week. The last product I use from The Ordinary is the Salicylic Acid 2% which is a pretty low dose of that acid and still I would only apply this to the areas where I have a blemish or where I usually am prone to spots and I really do find this absolutely brilliant. I know that sometimes buying products from The Ordinary can seem daunting, they are technical and beyond what we would normally hear about but beautymatters.ie have a great selection of bundles from The Ordinary for different skin types, you can get the three I’ve mentioned before along with Rose Hip (which I also use but I’ve mentioned later in this post!) in a bundle for €31.18 but you can also use my discount code TWODARLINGS to get 10% off (applies to the whole website not just that bundle!) Next up I finish with a moisturiser, my absolute favourite of all time is the Advanced Restoring night cream from Irish brand Skinician. This is actually my second tube of this, I find it thick and luxurious and my skin feels and looks really healthy with no dry patches (I think!) thanks to this. My eye cream is also from Skinician and it’s their Advanced Eye Repair which I love, but I feel like eye cream is a hard one to comment on yet, because presumably I won’t reap the rewards of using it for years to come! Anyway I like this one, it soaks into the skin nicely and my eye area feels hydrated and so far I am not sporting any major wrinkles there and no dark under eye circles. I feel like I have two skincare routines really – this is the one I stick to 5 our of 7 days a week but somedays I take a break from all the acids etc and I stick to just using really hydrating oils or serums, my favourites being Buffet from The Ordinary and Rosehip oil from Trilogy. I use a serum in the mornings anyway before I apply my makeup but perhaps the morning routine is for another day (and yes its lengthy, even with all these children of mine I make time for skincare between changing nappies and doing the lunches!). This last one is from Primark and it is part of the new range of skincare by Alex Steinherr and it is a new addition to my routine. I use this maybe every second night or there abouts and it’s gorgeous, I put on a nice thick layer and it gives a lovely cooling sensation to the skin and my skin is insanely glowing the day after it’s amazing, I genuinely don’t need to reach for Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter half as much since I started using this.