The Skincare I Keep Going Back To – My Night-Time Routine

Alison wearing a polo neck jumper at the beginning of a skincare post.

About ten years ago, I realised that one of the main culprits for my drying skin and thinning hair was the lack of oestrogen brought on by menopause. It called for a skincare and hair routine overhaul. I wasn’t looking for treatments to make me look younger, just, better!!

Since then, I have been on a quest to gather as much information as I can – doing my research – and finding out the active ingredients that are making a difference for others in my demographic. Like many things in life, knowledge is power.

I love to try new products without spending a fortune. So, if I hear about the effectiveness of a product, I check the ingredients and read the reviews, before purchasing. This has saved me so much money as genuine customers tend to be truthfully blunt.

Alison wearing a polo neck jumper and earrings at the beginning of a skincare post.

Two particular products that I have had to discontinue using are my “Revitalash” and “NYK1” eyelash serums which I both loved and found to be very good at restoring my ever-decreasing lashes. Unfortunately, I developed an aversion/allergy to them. My eyelids began to look and feel sore. Then, I started to see small white blisters along my bottom lash line (not a pretty sight). I was carefully applying the serums to the top lash line as instructed and never kept them beyond the stipulated timelines. But, I couldn’t ignore the problems I was having. So, I stopped using them, immediately, and the blisters disappeared. So, my lashes have reverted to their normal stumpy length. I am still using my “Revitalash” eyebrow serum because the skin around my brows is not as tender and more tolerant. Let me know in the comments if you have had a similar experience with any eyelash serum.

Beauty procedure-wise, I still haven’t had any Botox or fillers. Apart from the cost, it has simply never been on my radar. However, I did have the “UltraPulse CO2″ laser treatment, a few years ago. The effects of which go on long, afterwards, stimulating the collagen that has gone to sleep, hopefully not for good! This was a gift from “Kliniken” which is an Independent Healthcare Centre, based in Yorkshire. In return for my treatment, I wrote an honest account of my experience – you can read it, here. The only thing I have done, cosmetically, in 2023, is have my eyebrows micro-bladed. I was so nervous, beforehand, thinking I may look like Groucho Marx (google him if you are under a certain age). But, as you can see by the photographs, they are much improved, but, in a subtle way. I will be having a top-up at the end of the year, so I may ask for a wee bit of a bolder look – I’ll do my research and decide, then.

Night Time Routine

1. Johnson’s Baby Lotion

I am still using Johnson’s Baby Lotion to remove my makeup. It is cheap and it works for me. It gently removes mascara and my eye makeup, thoroughly.

2. Micellar Water

I follow this with Micellar Water on a few cotton wool pads. This one is from Primark and cost £2.50. It removes the remainder of my makeup and I find it especially good for removing the remains of any mascara. I have tried a lot of brands and find they all do the same job. This one is perfect and, for this size bottle, and price, what is not to love?

3. Retin-A (Tretinoin)

I then use my Retin-A (Tretinoin) which I have been using since 2016. If you have read my other posts, you will know this ingredient is hailed as the magical gold standard of skincare ingredients. It helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. The additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin, which I can vouch, does work.

It took a while but the age spots which were starting to appear have now faded, completely. This is a powerful skincare ingredient and must be applied, correctly. Otherwise, it can lead to side effects such as redness, dryness, itching and continuous peeling. It can take a good while to get your skin used to it. Read here how I started to use Tretinoin. You can buy this cream in various strengths, generally, starting on the lowest one. I have never ventured above the 0.05% strength. This is only available in the UK with a private prescription. So, I buy it, abroad, where it is available over the counter in pharmacies (in Europe). Now, however, there may be an answer to the problem of this unobtainable skincare (please see below).

4. Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Face Moisturiser with Retinol & Vitamin B3 50ml

I have been using Olay products for a long time. My all-time favourite is the night-time “Regenerist” cream, which I find myself returning to. However, this time, I decided to give their “Retinol 24″ face moisturiser a try. An effective moisturising cream can be an expensive splurge. But, Olay always manages to make their products affordable and effective. Olay have been clever with this moisturising cream, creating a gentle retinoid which can still deliver. Olay use a particular retinol that is less strong and less irritating. So, it sits very well with my Tretinoin (Retin A) which is a strong retinoid. This cream also includes two soothing and hydrating ingredients: niacinamide and peptides. I am not surprised that this moisturising cream has won awards and is so popular. As we are now in the winter months, I have been using this moisturiser during the day, too, as my skin is feeling drier. There is nothing more to add than a definite “yes” to this cream.

** AND BEGIN THE REVOLUTION“Serum-in-a-Cream”• 30ml • Lasts 6 weeks.

Not being able to obtain Retin-A (Tretinoin) in the UK without a prescription, means I purchase it when we visit Europe (over the counter in a pharmacy).

However, recently, I was asked to try a new “Nightly Serum-in-a-Cream and Begin ‘The Revolution’.”  You can subscribe monthly, which means Tretinoin would be accessible, hooray!   I have been using it for a few weeks so I thought I would give you my opinion on it. I will add, that there was no obligation to write a review. Still, as this product includes the “gold standard” of ingredients (Tretinoin Retin A), I thought you might be interested in hearing about it and my honest thoughts.

Initially, I underwent a ten-minute dermatologist-approved consultation (online, questionnaire). I then submitted four makeup-free photos, so my skin could be assessed by their experts. Then, having met their eligible criteria, I was tailored an exclusive prescription. There are quite a few (effective) ingredients in my tailor-made, formulated product. Here are a few of them.

Tretinoin (0.05%); Cosmeceutical Actives Matrixyl 3000 (3%); ACETYL Hexapeptide-1 (2%); Ceramide Lipid Complex Hyaluronic Acid (1%); and Soothing Hydrating Blend of Golden Algae (1.5%).

These components are the powerhouse of effective skincare ingredients promising to visibly diminish fine lines, brightening hyperpigmentation.

There was a free month trial with AND BEGIN so, if it appeals to you, get in touch with them to see if they are still offering this – then, if you like it, there is a monthly fee, going forward. I still have a small stock of Tretinoin in my skincare cupboard to use up but will certainly think this option over when my stocks diminish.

I enjoyed the personal touch and that the product is tailor-made to my needs.  I have found the cream to be effective and I can feel the active ingredients working on my mature skin. There was a little skin peeling, initially, as my skin got used to the new ingredients, even though I already use Tretinoin. So, the ingredients are highly effective. However, my skin acclimatised after a few days. I have not seen any dramatic visible difference – probably, because I already use Tretinoin, or because, so far, I have only used it for four weeks. The bottle is large. I am four weeks in and there is quite an amount left. So, it may last a while longer than that, which would make it more cost-effective.

So, if you don’t mind paying a monthly fee, this is a perfect way to acquire the best ingredients, some of which are unobtainable over the counter, e.g. my favourite Tretinoin (Retin A).

Thank you for reading my post, which is not sponsored – all products are my own.  Apart from the products marked with **.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through to the products, there is no cost to you. If you purchase anything, the small commission I receive will contribute to the running of my blog.

I hope it helped give you a few skincare ideas – I will be back shortly.

Alison xx



  1. Thanks so much for sharing this on Fashion Files! I need a new regiment, I am all over the place with brands and creams and need to use a few consistently! Boy, I’d love a laser treatment.

    • I seem to always go back to the same skincare as it works for my ageing akin. One of my favourites is the LED mask, which I use in the morning. The laser treatment was effective and I was told the effects will continue for quite a while – so we shall see. Thank you for calling by. xx

  2. I have had a number of laser treatments and hope to do another soon. I really think they have improved the look of my skin. I am seriously considering microblading my eyebrows because they are non-existent at the outsides due to thyroid issues. Yours look so natural! I don’t want Groucho Marx either! I will have to look for a tretinoin at my aesthetician. I believe they’ve just started carrying it. Thanks for sharing your routine!

    • I can vouch for the improvements following my laser treatments – and hopefully that will continue to improve the look of my skin. The microblading
      was a game changer, as my eyebrows were poor – the thing is to find the right specialist and check their work thoroughly. I did this and she did such
      a good job, it’s certainly improved the look of my eyebrows, though, she had problems with the right eyebrow as it was more sparse, so I use a soft pencil to fill
      in the gaps. xx

  3. /

    Good point! I need to learn more about retinol and Hyaluronic stuff. Thanks for so much information.

  4. The personalized formulation sounds amazing! I have been using tretonin at night for about 8 months and like the results, but have to be very careful to sandwich it between serum and moisturizer or I get dryness. Temporary dryness is worth the results though! Thanks for sharing what you use!

    • It can be so tricky acclimatising your skin to tretinoin. If I stop for any reason, which I have done for both my laser treatment and when I had my
      eyebrows microbladed, it took me so long to be fully up and running with it again. It is a game changer though as far as skincare goes…..And I agree, lots
      of moisturiser as it can be so drying. xx

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