Spring cleaning doesn’t have to refer to the house or your wardrobe – you can apply it to your skincare too.
Coming out of the long colder months, I find myself coming to the end of the thicker creams I used over winter and looking for some new products to switch up my routine.
The first product I tested was something I had seen much talk about over the years but had never tried before. A face steamer.
The Magnitone Steam Ahead hydrating facial microsteamer claims to open and unclog pores as well as deep clean to ‘noticeably improve skin condition’.
The gadget was simple to use. Although suitable with facial essential oils, I just stuck with water. The kit comes with the steamer itself, a measuring cup, and two attachments – a facial steaming mask and nose funnel.
Getting it up and running was easy, you simply measure out 40ml of water, put it in the metal dish at the centre of the steamer, put on your attachment of choice (I mainly went for the full facial mask) and hit the power button .
After around 30 seconds you will start to hear the water bubble and a few seconds after that, steam starts to emit from the bottom. It reminded me of a kettle both in sound and function.
For dry skin it recommends using the steamer for four to five minutes, for combination around eight minutes and for oily it’s 10 minutes. Before my first use I was confused by this as I assumed I would remove my face from the stream of steam and it would be sopping wet. However this was not the case.
I stayed in the steam for around eight to ten minutes and when I patted my face; apart from the residual condensation it was incredibly dry.
After the session you are supposed to leave your face alone for five minutes then pat it was cold water before applying your skincare. Magnitone even notes that your ‘creams and potions will just sink into the skin’.
And I will give them that. When I applied my moisturiser afterwards I squeezed out a little too much product but despite this, it all got used without my skin looking over moisturised.
While I can’t say that I’ve noticed any dramatic differences to the skin, it certainly does help make the face feel smooth and products go on nicely after. It also feels like a nice pamper session. I put on a guided meditation while doing it and it’s 10 minutes where all you can do is close your eyes and enjoy the warm steam. If you’re a fan of a sauna, I think you’ll like this.
As for new skincare products I use in the day, I am currently testing out a couple of items from the brand Q+A.
If you’re like me you’ll have a bit of skincare knowledge – you know your hyaluronic acids and BHAs – but you still struggle to figure out what things actually do. Q+A has a really nice feature on its packaging that helps with this.
As the name would suggest, Q+A uses a question and answer system on its bottles. Products having a ‘how does it help?’ and ‘skin type?’ label with a tick-box list of answers underneath. That way you know , at a glance, what you should use the product for and whether it’s suitable for your skin. It’s simple but it is such a nice touch.
I have been using the brand’s new hyaluronic acid daily moisturiser. It contains rice bran extract and polyglutamic acid to promote brighter skin and help encourage skin repair. It is currently in Sainsburys for £8.50 and I think it’s a great mid-priced moisturiser.
It has a really nice feel on the skin, not thick or heavy but not wet or gel-like either. This makes sense as it says it’s for all skin types. It has a very faint smell, a bit like pritt stick or an emollient cream, but it’s not noticeable once on the face. It doesn’t leave the face feeling oily but was able to tackle even very dry and flaky skin on my cheeks.
I have also been alternating between the moisturiser and the brand’s vitamin c brightening serum which says can be used either prior to or instead of moisturising.
Vitamin c is a bit of a crowd divider with people either swearing by it or leaving it out of their routine entirely. For me, I love it. I love the glow it can give and this serum is an instant brightener.
Claiming to be anti-aging, collagen boosting, brightening, calming and hydrating, the serum has quickly become a must-have in my routine and doesn’t seem to irritate my skin like some vitamin c products have done in the past.
At night I have been trying a new product from Nivea. If you were scouring the special aisle of your local supermarket in search of a Mother’s Day present this year, you might have spotted the Nivea Q10 ultra-recovery night serum.
Now I’m not condoning getting this anti-wrinkle serum as a gift for your mum but it is nice to add to your bedtime routine.
Currently on sale in Boots for £6.99, the serum helps optimise the skin’s repair and regeneration process as your sleep with a number of anti-aging actives. In the morning the face feels firmer and rested.
I really liked this serum. It has a nice light feel to it although it is more of a cream than an oil. It goes on to the skin well and sinks in quickly. I put it on the face and neck before bed and woke up with very soft skin.
It does say that after two weeks of use users can expect to see deep wrinkles visibly reduce, with even further improvement after a month.
My only issue is with the scent. Although it was not a problem for me, the product is heavily perfumed with what Nivea calls its ‘sweet night’ fragrance. If you find that parfum is an irritant or that you don’t like strong smells on your face when you are heading to bed, this might not be the product for you. That said, it is a nice smell, it’s clean and floral. It just packs a punch.