My Current Skincare Routine: Winter 2021

My skincare routine for what shall forevermore be known as The Winter of Discontent. Obviously, in true Crilly style, I am posting this just as we pip over into springtime, but as I’ve said before, this is more of a journal post recording my skincare routine rather than anything that’s responding to seasonal changes or trends. I like to look back on them. And, in the future, when everyone is Googling stuff from their Google glasses as they lounge about on floating hoverboards in their Martian villas, they will be able to access these posts and use them as historical documents.

“Look what shit they were chatting back in 2021, Brian! Arguing about scotch eggs and the EU when all that time the planet was about to implode! Ha ha ha!”

This skincare routine could really be subtitled The Retinol/Moisturiser See-Saw. I’ve been working my way up to some stronger retinoids (I really want to try the Crystal Retinal 10 and 20 from Medik8!) but every time I get too overly confident my skin revolts and starts going all itchy and tight on me. And yes I know there’s often a period of discomfort before you get to all the good stuff, like a smooth and shiny-glowy face that can be seen from the moon, I just can’t be doing with it. I’m the sort of person who feels cross all day if a gusset is too seamy, so having an itchy face is just not tenable.

What I do, therefore, is absolutely lard my face in between retinoid applications. (Hence the retinol moisturiser see-saw.) I find the strongest, most emollient balms and creams I can and slather them on and massage them in as though I’m one of those outrageously expensive turkeys you can get from the farm shop. I massage and pummel and when it has all soaked in I massage over another layer.

And “layer” is another key word this season; I’m usually one for keeping things very simple, with a cleanse, a serum and a moisturiser (the retinoid or whatever active I’m using would slot into one of those categories, whether it was an antioxidant serum in the morning or an all-in-one retinol+whatever moisturiser at night); this winter I’ve been adding in the odd extra coating of something just to try and banish the tight feeling.

One very good discovery (and I’m not usually one for mists or spritzes, unless it’s Emma Hardie’s one* or the LRP Toleriane 8 here*) is the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator (here*) which is brilliant for boosting the effects of whatever is piled on over the top.

Then it’s a serum (antioxidant in the morning, something hydrating at night, unless it’s a retinol night in which case straight on with that after cleansing) and a moisturiser to seal it all in. I’ve even been known to add a drop or two of oil into my moisturiser, though I forgot to mention that in the video!

The easiest way for me to show you the current skincare routine is to put it below in a list form. So here it is – beneath that you have a video with full explanation and whole joyous minutes of waffle.

Morning Cleanse

I use a quick micellar water sweep-over! Naughty but all I can be arsed with – currently using this*:

Antioxidant Serum 

Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense Serum*:


SkinGredients Skin Protein:

Day Sunscreen

Arden Great 8 (discontinued?!):

Some other favourite sunscreens: 

Evening Cleanse

Dermalogica Active Clay Cleanser*:

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser*:

BeautyPie Cleansing Balm*:


Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator*:

Emma Hardie Pump and Glow Spritz*:

LRP Toleriane 8 Spray*:

Eye Cream

Murad Retinol Eye Cream*:

Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream*:

Kiehl’s Powerful Line Reducing Eye Serum*:

Retinol (once every two or three days)

Murad Night Cream*:

Kate Somerville Retinol VitaC Serum*:

Medik8 Crystal Retinal 3 and 6*:

Rich Night Moisturiser

Weleda Skin Food Light*:

Lumene Night Balm here

REN Evercalm Overnight Balm*:

Darphin 8 Flower Necar Oil-Cream*:


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  1. September 5, 2021 / 5:47 pm

    Ohhh the dermalogica clay cleanser! I absolutely loved that. So many fancy brands I’ve never heard of before or tried, I really need to branch out!

  2. Lotten Lidén
    April 4, 2021 / 9:56 pm

    Is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Great 8 Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF35 45ml being discontinued? It is impossible the get hold of – online, in store, it’s on their website it’s gone… I’m desperate, it’s the only spf I actually enjoy using and my face loves it. I hope you have a positive answer to this question, or a good dupe that doesn’t feel like an spf.

    • April 6, 2021 / 9:36 am

      All I can find out is that production has stopped, whether that’s a permanent thing… I am really upset as it’s my favourite SPF by far. I have started searching for a dupe!

      • Lotten Lidén
        April 10, 2021 / 6:56 am

        Elisabeth Arden just informed me via email that it is being discontinued! I’m desperate for an alternative! This has been my go to for a few years, every day. I’m almost crying here! If you have a good alternative, not beauy pie since it is not available for us in the EU. Love your website. Keep up the good work.

        • April 15, 2021 / 8:33 am

          I’m on it! So disappointed that they’re discontinuing!

  3. Kim Kovarik
    March 15, 2021 / 6:39 pm

    Have you tried the RetrilnAL 0.1 from Avene? My skin feels amazing after I’ve put it on. Very gentle and soothing.

    • March 16, 2021 / 12:19 pm

      No not yet, sounds really good!

  4. March 15, 2021 / 12:43 pm

    That’s an amazing routine, thanks for sharing all products


  5. March 13, 2021 / 4:16 pm

    I am going to have to check out some of these items, my skincare has really been lacking!

    Danielle |

  6. Penny
    March 12, 2021 / 6:53 am

    Love it, like an expensive Turkey
    If you love the JR accelerator spray.. i’ve just got into his vital balm cream which would be a great addition to your night moisturisers!

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