In all of its delicious detail. Plus the celebrity whose skin made her do a double take...
Whether it’s making decent skincare genuinely affordable to the masses via her Primark range or answering streams of skin questions daily over on her Instagram , Steinherr knows skin. Here’s precisely what she uses herself, and when, and the one bit of her beauty routine that she can’t be bothered with.
The ultimate ‘Sunday facial’ edit
My Sunday facial of the course consists of products I use on myself but it’s also a good opportunity to inform people. I don’t have acne but I do advise people on what they can use if they do and the latest developments. It’s a weekly ritual that I do for myself but I also use it to explain different products and issues because if it was only me I would just do a Sunday facial for dehydrated skin because that’s generally where my skin is at.
For my personal ideal routine, I would do a double cleanse, even when I don’t wear makeup - mainly to properly wash off my sunscreen. My first cleanse would be with a micellar water (I’ve been using Garnier Skin Micellar Cleansing Water , £4.99 for 400ml, forever).
Then I would use a foaming wash - I love the Medik8 Micellar Mousse , £19.19 for 120ml. I was always a bit weirded out about foaming cleansers as I thought they were a gimmick, but actually I quite like them and Medik8 is a brand that I love, I think the formulators make really brilliant stuff. After that, I’d use an essence - I love SK-II , £62 for 75ml. It’s such a classic. Because I have dehydrated skin so I need lots of layers of moisture.
I’d follow up with my Primark Pollution Solution Dual Texture Exfoliating Pads, £5. They’re soaked with lactic acid and a polyhydroxy acid which are two acids that hydrate as they exfoliate and they’re gentle. They exfoliate and they add moisture to the skin and I’ve got niacinamide in there which is my number one hero ingredient for everything, it balances out the acid and brings down inflammation. So, as an exfoliator, these pads genuinely are my obsession. I test everything and so each product has to be something that I’m happy with. I just wanted to work with my dream team of acids and a lot of people said to me, ‘oh, your range is really down on acids’. I’m not against chemical exfoliants , but I just don’t like a glycolic acid particularly. My exfoliating pads just contain an acid balance that works for me and I believe works for a really wide spectrum of people too.
After exfoliating, I would do a mask...it’s no secret that I’m obsessed with masks. I have so many that I love, but Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask , £42 for 75ml, would make the cut in terms of an ultimate edit. It’s not a new mask but it’s beautiful - it’s very calming and de-stressing. If I were doing a longer routine I would definitely do something around my eyes. I get a lot of dehydration around my eyes so serum soaked eye patches are a go-to - Lancôme Advanced Genifique Light-Pearl Eye Serum Eye Masks , £55, are especially great.
If it’s a really long Sunday Facial, a cocktail of serums is coming up. A niacinamide based option would be my first choice - it’s an ingredient that every skin can benefit from as its a barrier builder. I tend to alternate Paula’s Choice Niacinamide Booster , £41 for 20ml, and Alpha H Vitamin B with Copper Tripeptide , £24 for 25ml. Then Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair , £58 for 30ml, is non-negotiable. My skin loves it, it’s soothing and hydrating and to me, it’s just one of those products that I’ve adored for a long time and really works for me so I would always use that. As for eye cream Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado , £26, is a lovely, simple, hydrating option that I turn to all the time.
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Next I would put on a moisturiser but again, my skin needs moisture so for me moisturiser is non-negotiable, but for people with oilier skin they could definitely leave it at that. I love the classic La Mer Crème de la Mer , £125 for 30ml, as it’s great for very dry skin.
I’ve also formulated my everyday moisturiser in the Primark range to be super, super hydrating. It contains squalane and peptides and it’s just amazing. In the winter I would probably pop on some extra squalane to ‘cushion’ skin. So that’s my absolute dream, desert island Sunday facial if time and money are no object.
The one bit of her beauty routine she neglects
My priorities obviously differ and I occasionally have ‘slobby’ moments but I can count on one hand the amount of times that I’ve left my makeup on overnight. I just don’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s a pain to remove makeup but just the thought of leaving it there just horrifies me.
Sometimes I’m too lazy to put on makeup because I don’t want to remove it so I won’t apply it in the first place, but then that’s a personal thing and I’m very happy being without makeup - many aren’t. I’m actually happiest without makeup I’ve got to say, I love makeup, but I’ve always been skincare first. I like makeup for the playful aspect and of course, sometimes a good concealer will save your life, but clearly skincare wins for me.
The secret to good skin really is consistency and it’s the one thing I’m very good at. If I was this dedicated when it came to going to the gym, I’d have a great body and I’d be fit, but I’m not. I’m disciplined when it comes to my skin, but don’t forget that it’s also my business. That said I think that I could do with applying the same approach to the skin on my body - I don’t look after the skin on my body as well as the skin on my face. I should because it’s not that hard to slap on some moisturiser after you shower but it somehow always falls by the wayside.
Why the JLo Glow is real...
I’ve met celebrities with amazing skin but the one that really stood out for me is Jennifer Lopez. I’m obsessed with her anyway but I looked at her and I was like ‘how is this even possible?!’. Her skin is just something else and I’m rarely envious of other people’s skin, but her skin is phenomenal. She mentioned the brand she was using but I was in too much of a daze to write it down, I couldn’t believe how good her skin was. Otherwise Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is very knowledgeable, and she knows how to layer her products - she’s very strict about her skincare routine. Overall though I’d say that my fellow beauty editors’ routines are probably the pinnacle in terms of maintaining healthy skin.
Her morning beauty routine
In the morning I don’t want anything too greasy or too rich, even though my skin is dehydrated and dry, as I’ll usually be applying makeup to sit on top. if I used something too slimy, like a facial oil, my makeup wouldn’t stay put and that’s the last thing I want because I hate retouching my makeup during the day.
I’ll adapt my skincare according to what I need, so if I’ve had a late night and my skin looks dry or tired I’ll do what I did this morning. I cleanse with The Organic Pharmacy Rose Gel Cleansing Gel , £49 for 100ml, which is so gentle. I’m not normally a fan of any kind of skincare product with fragrance but this is gorgeous.
Then I put on Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II £58 for 30ml, because you can use that in the morning too, followed by a brightening eye cream.
I use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream , £24.50, before makeup. For me, the right moisturiser replaces a primer, and this one always makes a great base for makeup. This cream is a classic that’s just been reformulated and I love it because I need hydration but I don’t want any extra greasiness. It helps my foundation to glide on.
Speaking of foundation I use the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick , £42. I blend it really well because I want dewiness. I don’t use a lot of powder but with this I never need it as it sets so perfectly.
Her bedtime skincare routine
This doesn’t actually take too long during the week because I usually leave it until the last minute and then I’m exhausted, I remember when I used to work at Glamour magazine, the first thing I would do when I came home was to take my makeup off. I’d put on my skincare as a transition ritual from work to home. Now that I’m self-employed I’m my own boss and because I don’t have to be in an office, its slightly different - I don’t quite need that break between work and home that I used to.
I’ll do a double cleanse (but as fast as I can) and then I’ll remove my eye make up with La Roche-Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Makeup Remove r, £11 for 125ml, because I have very sensitive eyes and I do like wearing quite a lot of mascara, so I need something strong yet gentle that can melt it off - this stuff is the dream.
Then I will use my oil cleanser from the Primark range. I rub it all over my face and then it rinses off easily to leave skin really clean. If I don’t have that to hand I’ll use a micellar water instead because a lot of oil cleansers leave a greasy film behind and I don’t like that. That’s why I made my own which doesn’t do that. Then I slap on the serums - normally a niacinamide based one as I mentioned earlier and then it will be my Primark Sleep Spa Face Mask, £5, the eye mask from the same range, £4, and then a moisturiser. At the moment it’s Hydra Calm by Alumier MD, £55. For me that’s a swift routine. I also always use my Hayo’u Beauty Restorer , £38, just before going to bed. I love it because it gets rid of puffiness but you have to use it over skincare to get a good ‘glide and slide’ for massage. It’s a bit of mindfulness to punctuate a busy day too.
These are the skincare questions that Alex Steinherr is asked the most