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.

If I Lost All My Skincare - 10 Things I Would First Buy

Good, old school tags have a place in my heart; the kinds that share easy, interesting information you didn’t even know you’re dying to know. Not a big fan of the craziest, mindless entertainment tags on YouTube, but when I saw Michelle’s and Natalie’s videos I got excited and started to think about my own picks: If I lost ALL my skincare - what would I run and buy? I think ten is a good number that covers most of the essential skincare steps and maybe a good mask or a pamper product. I’ve listed the products in the order of application, so let’s see!

10 Skincare Items I Would First Buy Tag | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil

I’ve tried many cleansing oils: FANCL, DHC, Whamisa, Josh Rosebrook, Max and Me, but the number one for me would be THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil. I love how gentle, luxurious and fragrant with essential oils it is, but takes off all makeup without stripping the skin. It’s a great workhorse that I look forward using every night, so it’s a must on my list.

de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse and Exfoliate

I should pick a second cleanser here, but my heart says de Mamiel.. I’m absolutely smitten with this powder-to-paste exfoliant that I can leave on as a mask for ~5 minutes. It’s strong with purifying clays, botanical powders and brightening Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). I can’t wait for every use as my complexion feels so fresh and bright afterwards. I shop de Mamiel at Cult Beauty*.

Mahalo the Petal Mask

I’ve had my ups and downs with this mask. Initially in my review I wasn’t crazy about this mask, but after meeting the founder of Mahalo, Maryna, I learned the Petal is not a moisturizing mask, but has a potency to pamper when “your skin doesn’t know what it needs”. Annoying tagline, but it’s true: the Petal evens out the skin, balances oil production, hydrates and pampers. I feel it’s a great all-rounder mask for anyone’s stash!

January Labs Daily Brightening Tonic

This gentle lactic acid and which hazel toner is a multitasker and a firm favorite in my daily routine. The Daily Brightening Tonic gently peels the uppermost layer of the skin while balancing the pH and hydrates with aloe and glycerin. The ingredients also include calming oat kernel extract, which can also be found in the day cream. Simple, light and lovely for daily hydration and glow. Full review here. Available at Cult Beauty*.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50

I’m kinda cheating here and choosing two toners so I can rotate AM/PM. Lotion P50 is a classic, more “hardcore” exfoliating toner. It tingles, some say it stinks like vinegar, but the ingredients in this toner promise to diminish the look of fine lines, smooth texture, even out pigmentation and take care of clogged pores over time. I’m still struggling with minor acne scaring and I want to prevent premature pigmentation or signs of ageing, so this product is a must.

10 Skincare Items I Would First Buy Tag | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Kypris Antioxidant Dew

This serum is a saviour for a ‘prune’-like skin like mine.. The Kypris Antioxidant Dew is non-greasy, non-residue serum that provides an immense amount of hydration while packing the skin with plant extracts, oils and antioxidants. This serum quenched my skin’s thirst when I was feeling the dry due to seasonal changes. On my second bottle and will definitely repurchase again.

Max and Me I Am The Light oil

I’ve done a full review on the Enchanted oil/serum, which also appeared in my Best of Skincare 2017 post, but after I went through Enchanted and a mini of I Am The Light, I’m settled on the latter. Enchanted is more repairing while I Am The Light is for skin that’s more healed, I’d say. For dull or congested skin to give you the most beautiful illuminating glow. I love the calming scent of its essential oils and vibrant golden color. A must-have oil-serum in my ritual, but Mahalo’s the Vitality Elixir is a close second!

January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream

I can firmly say this is my “Holy Grail” daytime moisturizer. This lightweight lotion-like cream feels and leaves your skin silky. Packed with Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, botanical extracts, peptides and Beta Glucan to strengthen, soothe and plump the skin. My dry skin simply feels nourished every time I use this. The packaging is also excellent and one bottle lasts a good while as you only need to apply ~1/2 pump for your face and neck. Full review here. Available at Cult Beauty*.

Lina Hanson Global Treasures Balm

Balms are difficult because I love so many, but I chose Lina Hanson Global Treasures balm (not pictured) as it’s very emollient, not too “heavy” and doubles as a face and an eye balm. Also, I miss having this in my routine as I’ve run out of my current jar. Luxurious and lush, but I equally love the Max and Me and Mahalo balms.

Innisfree Sunscreen SPF50

Oldie but a goodie. I’ve used up well over 10 of these tubes over the years. The current formulation is called triple care for dry skin or something similar, I just go for the yellow tube (not pictured) and slather my face with its physical sunscreen that doesn’t leave me a bad white cast or a greasy feel. Read more in my sunscreen roundups or empties posts.

10 Skincare Items I Would First Buy Tag | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final notes

As you may have noticed this routine didn’t cover a proper 2nd cleanse or other serums (Vitamin C, Retinol) simply because I had “no room” for them in my routine and/or a favorite product at the moment. These are some products I simply can’t live without although I have many other favorites as well. Thank you for Michelle and Natalie for this tag! Finally, I’m tagging YOU! Please share your 10 products you’d first buy in the comments, Instagram or your blog! x

Btw if you love this Globe Hope makeup pouch as much as I do, with the code laura10 you can can get -10% off all purchases from their webstore! (non-affiliate code, valid until the end of November).