40 Finds: Skincare

Something a little different from me on the blog this week, as for this week’s #40Finds I’ll be sharing my top skincare products.

I’ve been blogging about all things interiors for almost two years now, and whilst the interior content won’t be going anywhere any time soon, over the next few months I’ll be trying out a few different things and sharing more lifestyle content. Expect a lot more food and drink, too!

Anyway – back to the beauty list. I’ve always suffered with hormonal, adult acne for as long as I can remember and earlier this year, it hit an all time low. Since coming off hormonal contraceptives, my skin had suffered no end and I’d wake up every day with a new under-the-skin spot and more clogged pores. I spent some serious time researching skincare products and methods and a few months later, I’m happy to say that my skin is currently the best it’s ever been, and I’m finally happy with it. Here’s a little before and after to give you an idea of what I mean…

Before (taken March 2021, totally make-up free)
After (taken June 2021, totally make-up free)

Anyway – I’ll get started on the product list. I’ll break it down into the order in which I use them as part of my routine (e.g. cleanser, toner, serum etc). Some are a little on the pricey side (I can’t resist a Sunday Riley haul) but the others are brilliantly budget friendly – I’ll always be The Ordinary’s number one fan.


First up is the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. It’s a little pricey at £44 but it lasts for ages (around three or four months) and it seriously deserves every five-star review it gets. I use it as a daily cleanser (morning and night), and occasionally as a mask that I leave on for ten minutes before washing off with a warm flannel. This is one of those products that I’ve been using for around a year now and I think I’ll stick with for a very, very long time.

Next up in my skincare cupboard is the Lush Dark Angels scrub. It’s harsh – really harsh – and is a guaranteed good scrub for those days when I’m feeling a little oiler than usual and my pores are feeling very clogged. I don’t use this daily – maybe once a week and slightly more often when my skin is oily or hormonal – but I always have it in stock for when I need a deeper, rougher cleanse.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is a brilliant, budget friendly cleanser that does exactly what it says on the tin. Once rubbed into the skin, it transforms from a gel into an oil that feels a lot more luxurious than its £6 price point. Like many products by The Ordinary, it’s often out of stock so when you find it, buy a few!


There are only two toners I’ll ever use – either The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (£6.80) or Liz Earle’s Instant Boost Skin Tonic (£16) when I want something a little more gentle. I’ll also add that when using products like these, I use reusable, eco-friendly make up remover pads (£12.99) – give them a go!


Serums are my most important part of my routine and since I’ve been working from home, I treat my skin on make-up free days to serums that are super moisturising. You’ll have heard me bang on about this next product multiple times, I’m sure, but Sunday Riley’s Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil (£27) is the best product I’ve used and I’d say the most transformative for my skin. It’s pricey for a small bottle, but it does last and it really is worth it! For something a little more budget friendly, I do also enjoy The Ordinary Buffet (£12.70) – I pop this on after layering The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid (£5.90).


Most days, I won’t wear a moisturiser (the serum tends to be enough), but if I’m wearing foundation or oils feel a bit greasy, I’ll reach for Liz Earle Skin Repair Gel Cream (£23), Glossier Priming Moisturiser (£18) or The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors (£6.75).

Evening Routine

My evening routine is super simple – I take the day off with the same Elemis Pro Collagen Balm I use in the mornings (I double cleanse if I’ve been wearing make-up) and sleep in Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil (£45.00).


I’m definitely partial to a good face mask and there’s a few I use on rotation. First up, The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is just £6.30 (yep, really) and will solve all of your skincare sins. It’s an acid mask so stings a bit whilst you build up tolerance, but after just ten minutes my skin feels brand new and my pores feel clean! I’ve also recently been using the Beauty Pie FRUITIZYME™ Five Minute Facial £60 (or £10.64 with Beauty Pie membership), which does exactly what it says on the tin and I’ll definitely be repurchasing. If you’d like to become a Beauty Pie member, click here for your first month free, on me (or use ALICIA_MURPHY at the checkout page).


Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you gotta do is wear SPF. But seriously – SPF every day, no matter what! I use Heliocare 360 Colour Gel, £23, for days when I want to give my skin a bit more coverage – it’s tinted, and it’s better than a LOT of actual foundations I’ve used. This one was recommended by my friend Soph and I’m so glad I found it. For days when I want no fuss, just a basic SPF, I reach for La Roche-Posay Ultralight Invisible Fluid, £13.50.

Everything Else

I’m a lover of tanned, glory skin and we all know by now the only safe tan is a self tan – and thank goodness for the Isle of Paradise HYGLO Self Tan Serum, £21.95. I find that a lot of face tans can make my pores feel super clogged but this really fresh and luxurious. I pop on before bed a few nights a week for a fresh, summer glow.

I swear by the Glossier balm.com, £10, (and always have at least three or four tubes stocked up). It’s amazing for dry lips, dry cuticles, dry skin – anywhere you need a bit of TLC. It comes in nine flavours – my fave’s the coconut. Finally, a Jade Face Roller (£9.75) is one of my favourite tools that always makes putting my serums on feel that little bit more luxurious!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *