My Skincare Routine: Summer 2018

summer skincare reviews

It’s been over a year since my first (and last) “seasonal” skincare update, so that idea for a regular feature worked out well, didn’t it? Why do I have such an aversion to my own deadlines? I can spend three hours thinking and writing about sink design, a topic so obscure and irrelevant to this blog that I should never have even penned the first sentence, yet I struggle to find the time and motivation to start what I’m actually supposed to be doing.

But let’s move quickly away from my inadequacies and into the glorious land of skincare; this post is all about what I’m currently using on my face. As with the previous skincare routine, this is more about the types of products I use and the frequency that I use them rather than giving specific beauty reviews.

I’d say that the most notable features in this skincare video are: 1) the guilty admission that I don’t do two lengthy cleanses a day and 2) the regular use of retinols into my evening routine.

If you’re feeling itchy over the idea that I don’t do a proper morning face cleanse then let me expand on my statement and ease your potential fears: I do cleanse, I just don’t – usually – do a thorough balm-and-flannel cleanse. I rarely have the time. It tends to be either a face wash (sometimes splashed on and off whilst I’m having a speedy shower!) or, if I’m in a desperate hurry, micellar water on cotton pads.

And the retinol introduction you’ll already be mildly familiar with, if you’re a regular reader; I did a video on retinol a while back (that’s here) and since then, I’ve been testing a few different bits and pieces. I only feature two products, here, because they’re the ones I’ve used most, but there are some exciting things coming up that haven’t even launched yet.

summer skincare reviews

The other – more season-appropriate – tweaks in this routine would probably be the daily use of a broad spectrum sunscreen (loads of reviews here) and then the addition of gradual face tanners into my evening rituals. You might think that face tanners would be more useful in the winter when there’s no sun, but I have to use them in the summer months because my body tans so easily and I don’t really expose my face so much. I end up with a head that looks as though it’s been patched onto the wrong body.

Anyway, I could waffle on for ages but I’d only be giving you a sort of weak, hot-potch transcript of the video below so I’d recommend watching the full thing and then reading the notes further on down the page if you need more info. Of course, as always, feel free to leave questions or comments and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can! I currently have a dissembled Louis XV armoire blocking my way to the door and a flat-packed child’s bed leaning up against the wall behind it, so you can guess what I’ll to be doing tonight…**

**disclaimer: I won’t be doing any actual constructing, because Mr AMR holds all of the tools and I just have to pass hinges to him and look around the house for the screwdriver that’s missing from the screwdriver set and try not to pass comment on the fact that Mr AMR never reads the instructions for anything before he starts.



CLEANSE (usually quick one!) 

SERUM (usually something antioxidant/hydrating)



CLEANSE (full, usually twice)








Morning Cleansers currently include: 

Garnier Micellar Water, £3.33*:

L’Oreal Age Perfect Micellar, £3.99*:

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, £9*:

Balance Me Face Wash, £16*:

You can find all of my cleanser reviews here

Serums currently include:

Paula’s Choice Antioxidant Serum, £35*:

Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum, £46*: or

£37.20 at Amazon*:

First Aid Beauty Serum, £23.77*:

L’Oreal Hyaluronic Serum, £11.14*:

Sunscreens currently include: 

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL here

COOLA Classic here

Clinique Mineral SPF30, £22*:

Find all of my sunscreen reviews here


Night cleansers currently include: 

PIXI Double Cleanse*, £24*:

Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser:

Clinique Take The Day Off Balm, £24*:

Acid Peel Pads currently include: 

Zelens PHA pads, £65*:

First Aid Beauty Pads, £24*:

L’Oreal Glycolic Pads, £14.99*:

You can (usually) use an acid peel or acid toner and then retinol afterwards but, as I say in the video, I tend not to. I suppose I just don’t like doing too many things at once! 

AHA acids (like lactic and glycolic) exfoliate the surface of the skin so they make it look really bright and renewed. The wipe-over-and-leave peel pads like the ones above are a really handy way of applying acids. 

Retinol is a different beast and something of an anti-ageing powerhouse – there’s pretty much no skin ageing issue it doesn’t tackle. Fine lines, lack of firmness, dullness, proper wrinkles… The ones I’ve shown here are a mixed bag. 

I don’t know the potency of the retinol in the This Works No Wrinkles Night Repair, I just love the texture, smell and general brightening and hydrating effect. 

It’s currently on sale at Amazon for £35 here*:

You can also find No Wrinkles at FeelUnique*: 

The Medik8 Crystal Retinal is a new, very clever product that delivers very effective and powerful ingredients with no side-effects such as flaking or redness. This is the serious one, I love it! You can find it on the Medik8 website, it’s £59 here:

Post-acid moisturisers currently include: 

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Night: here

Sunday Riley Tidal Cream: here

Herbivore Pink Cloud Cream, £42*:

Treat-to-self moisturisers currently include: 

Darphin 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream: here

Darphin Aromatic Renewing Balm: here

Gradual tanners I’m currently testing (all good!) include:

Isle of Paradise light drops, £13.30*:

M&S Overnight Glow Mask, £12.50*:

OSKIA Tanning Drops, £65*:

ESPA Gradual Tan Face Concentrate, £25*:

Eye creams I’m currently using: 

Pai Echium (ALWAYS! have used this for years), £32*:

DCL Peptide Eye Cream, £86 (sorry)*:

More eye cream reviews and recommendations here

DISCLOSURE POLICY. Posts published after 24th January 2019: if the post contains gifted items or affiliate links then it is indicated clearly beneath the title. Posts published prior to this will have a disclosure within the body of the post and then an asterisk * marking all affiliate links. If the content is a paid-for AD then it is marked as an AD in the title. For more information on disclosure please read here. 



  1. Angie
    October 28, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    You look amazing in this video!
    What products / make up are you using here? Your skin is glowing

  2. August 7, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    You have such a good skincare routine, it puts mine to shame :P

  3. Cristina
    July 31, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    How do you compare those self tan drops to hylamide’s?

    • July 31, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      Really similar. They all give me just about the same effect I think. x

  4. Kate
    July 31, 2018 / 9:53 am

    My routine is v similar to yours Ruth. Daily acid (ha, as if!) is just too much for me. As is whacking on too many products. I hate feeling sticky before the days even started. I’ve also started wondering lately about just washing with water in the morning as I did in my 30s. My skin seems to be going oilier again in my 40s and I wonder if it might balance itself if I didn’t use a (non-stripping, obvs) facecwash in the shower first thing. Ho hum. Your skin looks great – hope you’re feeling brighter x

  5. July 30, 2018 / 10:26 pm

    Interesting and informative. I stopped cleansing my skin in the mornings long ago and just do a quick cool-water splash followed up with a moisturizer. Two cleanses a day was just too drying for my skin and I have found that my skin looks and feels better now.

  6. Sonia
    July 30, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    Hi Ruth! Loved the video and post. Best self tan of the ones you’ve been testing?? Thanks!

    • July 30, 2018 / 5:39 pm

      Honestly can’t really tell much between them all! The M&S mask is probably the strongest, the OSKIA drops are MEGA expensive but nice and natural, but really they are all pretty faultless! x

      • Sonia
        July 30, 2018 / 11:11 pm

        Thank you :)

  7. July 30, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    My morning cleanse is usually a speedy one too, I rather snooze a little longer than spend longer than necessary on my face routine. No micellar water without at least rinsing my face afterwards though, otherwise I feel like I have disappointed Mrs. Hirons the whole day.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

    • July 30, 2018 / 3:29 pm

      Hahahaha!!!! She’s watching you….

  8. July 30, 2018 / 11:21 am

    Thanks Ruth. My routine is really quite similar to yours and there’s lots here that I want to try now. It’s good to hear your thoughts on Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser as I’ve seen it pop up on quite a few Instagram feeds. X

  9. July 30, 2018 / 9:02 am

    I’ve been interested in Retinol for awhile, but lack of knowledge has stopped me from pulling the trigger, this post definitely helped, so thanks a mill for that!!

    Rebecca |

  10. SomeGirlMel
    July 29, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    James Read Gradual Tan Sleep Mask is ace.

    • July 29, 2018 / 8:01 pm

      Yes I thought so too, when I used it! Must write that up x

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