My Winter Morning Skincare Routine

I was watching some Youtubers sharing their skincare routines and thought it’d be fun to share my current go-to routine. Part of the fun is looking back my older routines and what products I’ve been reaching for. My routines are always a mix of “must-haves” and products I’m testing for a review - some of them will end up on the blog again and again while some might be left forgotten.. I recommend using the search and tag tools if you’re looking for a particular product review. Gifted products are marked with an asterisk (*). Also, say hi to Cara, my ~15-week-old maine coon kitten. <3

Winter AM Skincare Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Current skincare goals / Concerns

My skin did pretty good before November, but as the month changed I swear to you my skin turned a) dry as a parchment paper b) my under eyes darker than darkness. Winters in Helsinki are partly freezing cold, windy and partly just annoyingly rainy, while there’s central heating indoors. Right now my biggest concerns are dehydration and evening out my complexion. I had a grand zit after the holidays and it left noticeable redness behind. Lightening my old acne scaring is always an on-going process, but sometimes I pay less attention on it. My final concerns are some blackheads on my nose (which this routine doesn’t target as much, I do opt for stronger acids from time to time).

Winter AM Skincare Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Winter AM Skincare Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

My AM Routine

My “beauty sin” is to wash my face in the shower. Fortunately I dislike long and hot showers, so I’m out of there pretty quickly before my skin turns into a worse raisin than it already is. In the shower I have a couple of cleanser options, but lately I’ve been liking the Glope Hope Cosmetics Cleansing Gel* (33.1€ / 150ml). It feels mild and gentle, perfect for AM routine. The INCI list is short and simple: packed with cornflower water, aloe and hydrating glycerine. In the evenings I tend to reach for more heavy duty cleansers.

Next is the one and only - Januarylabs Daily Brightening Tonic (Cult Beauty* 29.7€ / 150ml) (review here). I think I was sent one back when this launched, then I purchased another, then another.. I can’t begin to imagine my life without it. Because of the packaging I feel the easiest application method is to pour some on a cotton pad and gently swipe face and neck. This multi-purpose toner both retains moisture and gently resurfaces the skin with lactic acid. I can highly recommend this to everyone!

After the Tonic I apply an essence. I had a small break with essences, only to notice how much I miss it. My friend Marinka was kind enough to shop for me during her travels and top 1. in my wish list was the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence (69.53€ / 150ml). I had seen some positive reviews on Fresh and not gonna lie, the kombucha trend did encourage me to pick this one up. The essence is just as I like it - light but thicker than plain water, hydrates, plumps and treats. I have noticed my skin is glowing after I started using this, but I won’t make any claims just yet.

After prepping my skin it’s time for serums. This is a bit tricky category as serums take a while to make a difference in the skin - especially if it’s lightening pigmentation. Globe Hope Cosmetics Lumi Strong* (54.90€ / 30ml) is packed with blueberry extract and arbutin from bilberry extract, which is a melanin inhibitor. If you’re HC about eco skincare and want to lighten pigmentation, Lumi Strong is worth looking into, but I unfortunately haven’t seen any change in my pigmentation issues during the good 4 weeks I’ve been using it. Clinique’s Hydrating Jelly* (61.50€ / 125ml) is also a slight disappointment for me. As much as I like hydrating serums and ampoules, I haven’t found one that would beat Kypris Antioxidant Dew or Esse Serum (reviews here) in that deep hydration my thirsty skin craves. If Clinique launches its Vitamin C and Retinol Boosters in Finland (which you can mix in the jelly) in Finland I’m willing to try again.

Eye cream is something I don’t use 100% of the time. Lately I’ve tried various eco beauty roll-ons, but this Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream*.. it’s a winner. Needless to say, as it’s very expensive (Cult Beauty* ~100€ / 15ml). Is it worth it? Is any eye cream (or skincare product)? If yes.. then Tata’s close. This eye cream is rich, moisturizing, but doesn’t give me any puffiness around the eye area or milia. Finally I feel my dark circles have improved and I hope the good INCI list can strengthen my eye area as it promises.

Another luxurious eco skincare treat in my routine is the Henua Organics Recharging Moisturizer* (129€ / 30ml), but it is a treat.. Not only Henua Organics is made in Finland, packed in the most exquisite bottles with birch wood caps, 85% organic farming and eco cert, but also this cream is packed with birch sap, pine park extract, sea buckthorn oil - just to name a few. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and supple, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I want to write a whole dedicated article about Henua Organics, keep your eyes peeled!

Finally the must have I keep on preaching about: SPF!! This Mádara Plant Stem Cell Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF30 (~15.2€ / 100ml, available at House of Organic (FI)*) was one of my Best SPF for Summer 2018. Don’t let the package fool you, some sites might even list this sunscreen on the ‘body’ section, but I use it for my face, neck, décolleté, hands, you name it.. This sunscreen is on the heavier, a bit greasier side texture-wise and does leave a bit of white cast, which does disappear when you massage it in. I was sent one tube to test, went through it and purchased a new one. In the Spring and Summer I might go back to my beloved Innisfree sunscreen, but Mádara is easy to purchase here in Helsinki, inexpensive and my dry skin simply loves it. Rain or shine, Winter or Summer - always remember the SPF!

Winter AM Skincare Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Did you spot any favorites in my routine or something you’d love to read more about? Leave questions, comments and your routine favorites in the comments below!

*Products marked with an asterisk(*) were kindly gifted me for consideration, with no obligation to write about them. My thoughts and opinions are my honest and my own.

Light but Lovely - Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream by Mia Höytö (Review)

As someone who browses Finnish eco boutiques I knew Mia Höytö Cosmetics and Globe Hope clothing and accessories by their name, but not much else. Mia Höytö's style was always top-notch, high end and luxurious eco beauty, which I particularly like. I was in the false understanding that her line was getting discontinued, so I felt hesitant to try more products - c'mon who wants to fall in love just to get their heart broken? But on the contrary - it became a part of Globe Hope as Globe Hope Cosmetics. Today I’m talking about her Valo Eye Cream** but more reviews will come!

Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Background of Globe Hope Cosmetics

Globe Hope Cosmetics is an organic brand, made in Helsinki, Finland. The products are same as the original Mia Höytö line, but beautifully rebranded as a part of the Globe Hope family. Globe Hope is a sustainable Finnish accessory brand from Nummela city. They use recycled or surplus materials to create beautiful and durable bags and pouches. The cosmetics line was founded from Mia’s interested for organic food that grew into a passion for natural skincare. As many cosmetic brand creators, she found it difficult to find products that worked for her, so she took up the challenge to create her own line. The production is in Finland to guarantee excellent quality and ingredient purity.

Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About Valo Eye Cream

‘Valo’ means ‘light’ in Finnish, which is a fitting name for an eye cream. The cream promises to be a light but hydrating and eliminate signs of puffiness. Other suggested uses are facial massaging or using Valo as a mask by pumping extra cream and applying on the skin. Fragrance free and certified by ECOCERT Greenlife. Valo comes in 15 ml opaque pump bottle and retails for €38.10 / ~$44.15.

Using Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream

I’m not a big advocate of using specific eye creams unless the eye area has specific concerns - such as puffiness. I usually apply my regular moisturizer near the eye area without suffering from puffy eyes, so I can’t really report back if Valo has helped preventing that. The darkness under my eyes is most likely genetic and gets worse from lack of sleep.. there’s nothing except makeup that can erase that.

I think Valo is a nice, solid eye cream: no fragrance, hygienic pump and elegant package design. The pump gives an adequate amount of product and it nicely gets absorbed when patted around the eyes. Despite containing some organic oils, the feel is not greasy and sits well under makeup. I even used this as a “primer” for my clients when I was doing a makeup gig.

That I like about the cream is the very clean INCI list and a reasonable price if your eyes really suffer from lack of moisture and dehydration.

globe-hope-cosmetics-valo-eye-cream1.jpg

Ingredients

Aqua, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water*, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil*, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil*, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract*, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter*, Cera Alba*, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract*, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate.
*Ingredient from Organic Farming
99% of the total ingredients are from natural origins
23% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming

After water, this eye cream is packed with black elder flower extract to prevent dark circles and puffiness. I couldn’t find very much scientific info on this, but at least elder flower has skin conditioning properties. Next there are emulsifiers, moisturizing glycerin, sweet almond oil, olive oil and sunflower seed oil. This formula contains shea butter, which I know some people can’t tolerate, but personally I don’t find if comedogenic on me. There’s hydrating aloe and one of my favorite ingredients - oat kernel extract, which is soothing and anti-inflammatory.

I’d like to see more antioxidant rich ingredients in this formula, perhaps more complex plant extracts in the base. Something to make it extra beneficial for mature skins to prevent signs of ageing. Right now I find the eye cream hydrating and moisturizing with many oils and humectants, but not much else.

Overall thoughts

While I enjoy Valo, it doesn’t blow my mind. Well, I don’t think there is an eye cream that would. So far January Labs’ and Exuviance’s eye creams have been excellent, but they’re both significantly more expensive. It simply isn’t possible to cancel my dark circles or totally prevent fine lines, but if I get a chance to give my eye area little TLC, I’m up for it. Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo is for someone who appreciates natural, eco certified ingredients mixed with elegance, but doesn’t want to break the bank. Perhaps most suitable for younger audience; if you don’t have very visible signs of ageing and like wearing makeup, this could be a potential eye cream for you.

Have you tried anything from Globe Hope Cosmetics?

**This product was kindly gifted for consideration.
My thoughts and observations are my honest & own.