Capsule Wardrobe Essentials Skincare Edit
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Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: Skincare Edit

By Kate Limond
16/04/2023 | Read time: 5m

Just like clothing, skincare is seasonal but some products are ideal whatever the weather!

Introducing the capsule skincare wardrobe

There’s some capsule skincare products that work brilliantly all year round and will form the core of your routine.

And then there’s some you’ll want to add in and out to suit the weather. As I have combination skin, I do need heavier products in the winter for dryness but I need lighter products in the summer or I get too oily on my T-zone.

Bianca has posted autumn skincare tips and it’s full of great ideas for when the weather is getting cooler.

Of course, things change when the weather gets warmer. We’re not at blue skies and sunshine yet but it’s worthwhile to reassess your routine before the weather changes too much.

I use all of these products all year round and some are definitely more suitable for warmer weather, whilst others are better for cooler weather or when your skin need extra care.

The Skincare Capsule

The basics are cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. I find a few watery and hydrating products essential, too.

You don’t have to ditch your holy grail products as seasons change: you could use more of a thinner product, less of a thicker product.

For my combination skin, my routine is built around lighter hydrators and medium moisturisers all year, and I’ll add in heavier moisturises as well as oil when it’s colder – this is why a lot of my products stay in my routine all year round (to some extent).

Cleanser capsule

Beauty of Joseon Radiance Cleansing Balm is a great cleanser but I don’t love it as much in summer. The oily texture makes me feel like I’m massaging sweat into my face!

Whilst the Axis-Y Quinoa One-Step Balanced gel cleanser doesn’t feel especially comforting to use in winter because it’s slightly cooling on the skin. I get an effective cleanse that’s very refreshing, as the oil cleansing step is blended with the water cleansing step so I don’t feel all greasy.

You might need or want to use two separate cleansers, which is totally fine – this is just what works for me!

My summer essentials: Axis-Y Quinoa One-Step Balanced gel cleanser

Toner capsule

In winter, I’ll prefer more oil-based and oily feeling toners but there’s some I’ll use all year round as part of my toner wardrobe!

Cosrx Full Fit Synergy Propolis toner is great all year round – it’s not too light for winter and not too heavy for summer. For the seven skins method, I apply more layers in winter and less in summer – so in summer, I will use more Pyunkang Yul essence toner.

The Pyunkang Yul is cooling, refreshing, light (despite being thick) and very hydrating so it’s ideal for hot, humid weather.

My summer essentials: fewer layers of Cosrx, more layers of Pyunkang Yul.

Essence capsule

A very thin and light essence that absorbs quickly and has a high content of a fermented ingredient is the foundation of my routine all year round.

I might skip this step in winter, because i know I’ll be using Dr Ceuracle Vegan Kombucha tea essence. In summer, I find the Dr Ceuracle a little heavy because I don’t love oil when it’s hotter. As I suggested in my review, you could just use less when it’s hot!

Ideally, I’ll want to get that ferment in a light step in summer so Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Rx essence is ideal but there’s some new ones from Mixsoon that would work too. I haven’t tried them yet so my pick will be the Missha for now.

Snail is a must have for me all year round – I’m switching between Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence serum and Tia’m Snail & Azulene Water essence. There is a little oil in the Tia’m so I might find myself preferring the Cosrx in summer – but the Tia’m is super refreshing so I’ll just need to try it out!

If I’m going to use oil in summer, it will probably be the Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water essence – a serum-texture hydrating product and the oil absorbs really well. Generally, however, a purely hydrating serum is key for summer – a great option is the Mary & May Blackberry Complex serum, which I reviewed here.

My summer essentials: Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Rx, Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence serum and Mary & May Blackberry Complex serum.

Moisturiser capsule

This can be a tricky category when the seasons change, especially when you don’t want the feel of anything too heavy but you still need to lock in moisture!

I will still use Illiyoon ATO Ceramide Concentrate cream and Mary & May Idebenone + Blackberry Complex Intensive Total Care cream in summer but I’ll generally want to switch to gel creams.

Gel creams are much more refreshing and don’t become a sweaty emollient mess when it’s really hot! Plus, in summer, I find I don’t need as many moisturising ingredients, like ceramides and capric / caprylic triglycerides, so I can easily choose a lighter formula.

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water Sleeping mask is my top last step PM for summer but I do find it can be a little shiny if I’m not wearing makeup AM.

For oily skin, sunscreen could be the last step AM but I still find I want a gel moisturiser for my combination skin.

UNBLEMISH have some gel cream products I want to try this summer so keep an eye on the blog for future reviews: I’m trialling Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Soothing Cream but I’m also considering Dr Ceuracle Vegan Kombucha tea gel cream.

My summer essentials: Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water Sleeping Mask, Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Soothing Cream

Sunscreen capsule

When it’s colder, the Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics sunscreen is wonderful because it’s very moisturising whilst not being too heavy.

However, I want something lighter for warmer weather, which is less moisturising and more hydrating. Are you seeing a theme yet?!

I’m trialling the Missha All Round Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk, which is pretty lightweight on first impressions. Of the sunscreens I already use, Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun gel is the lightest, most hydrating sunscreen I’ve tried, whilst still adding some moisturising effects.

My summer essentials: Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun gel (so far!)

Final Word

Have a think about what is your core routine: key capsule skincare pieces that can be customised with other products that you might just use seasonally.