Formulating, creating and testing for her own global skincare brand Oskia means Georgie Cleeve knows a thing or two about skincare. With vials of raw ingredients lining her bathroom shelves and testing multiple new products every day, we were seriously excited to get an insight into her multi-layered skincare routine. Read on to find out how she balances all this with three small children . . .
The Wind Down
Winding down on a Sunday usually happens once my three children are in bed – which can take quite a long time as I’m adamant that I put each of them to bed with a story and a lullaby. Once the children are tucked up in bed, I go down and get all the bags ready for school the next day which takes ages! I always prepare breakfast the day before because if I don’t the morning is chaotic. Then my husband George and I finally start winding down. I used to be a food editor and I love food, love cooking, but now with the three children George does more of the cooking. Luckily he’s a fantastic cook, if he’s cooking I’ll potter off and do things, or – I can’t decide if I want to admit this or not – sometimes we do pretend that we’re on a cooking show and we’ll cook together, it’s a little bit silly!
I take my makeup off and do my first cleanse while the children are in the bath. I believe you don’t have to pile all your products on at the same time – to give skin the best benefit I spread them out over the evening. My routine entirely depends on how my skin is feeling, probably in a day I try about 20 new ingredients or products, so my skin gets a real pummelling, I’ve also got rosacea and very dry skin. I always use my Renaissance Cleansing Gel – I love it and my skin is not great with acids, but this contains enzymes so it’s a very gentle daily exfoliating treatment, I leave it on for about 2 minutes and then wash it off. About twice a week – I do a deeper exfoliating treatment – a lactic acid or AHA based wipe or toner or mask like Oskia Renaissance Mask, but no glycolic unless I want to look like a tomato. Then I use my first serum, at the moment I’m using my Brightlight because I’ve got a bit of pigmentation and it really works to clear it. And then while that’s sinking in I’ll put the three of them to bed, and then an hour or so later I’ll apply another serum, I would prefer to use 1 product that can do 10 different things, but I formulate products and I’m very aware that it’s not just putting ingredients together– it’s also about putting them together safely. I usually stick to my own serums but I’m loving By Terry Liftessence Global Serum at the moment. I’ll then spray on a lovely hydrating mist, I love mists, not the ones full of alcohol and essential oils, but ones full of actives. I am a massive fan of massage, I think it’s one of the best, best, best things for your skin – spa treatments are wonderful – massage is something that you really do pay for in a treatment but you can get the same benefits at home with a little practise. I will always do a massage in front of the television with a facial oil – I adore facial oils I think they’re much more beneficial to your skin than a moisturiser for lots of different reasons, the main being there’s a lot of bulk in moisturisers and then the actives. Whereas oils are 100% active plus they can take on oil soluble actives. I like all the De Mamiel Oils and recently I’ve been using Tata Harper Beautfying Face Oil.
Before bed is when I like trying different moisturisers – Radical Extreme Repair Cream is really good, also Clark’s Botanicals Retinol Rescue Overnight Cream or if my skin is stressed Clark’s Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream. I do believe that most products you can use around your eye area, unless you’re targeting something like dark circles, I’ve got one product (admittedly my own – Eye Wonder) which is purely targeting dark circles with vitamin P and I notice when I’m not using it. I use so many other things and then when I suddenly come back to a product I remember – oh this really works for me! I don’t like night masks at all, they’re basically just very thick moisturisers and don’t sink in and smear on to my pillows, especially as I sleep face down. I’m early/mid-forties now and I’m not a fan of botox or fillers but there’s loads of things that you can do like LED Light Therapy, I’m a massive fan of that. I’ve been dermarolling myself for about ten years which I think is great and the electrical current machine – the NuFace is brilliant too. Before your late thirties it’s worth protecting your skin with antioxidants. There so many amazing antioxidants that are far more powerful than Vitamin C, astaxanthin being one of them.
I love aromatherapy and I love perfume. I’ve just formulated a spa body range for Cliveden and Chewton Glen which is heavily perfume-related. Oskia doesn’t really use perfumes but working with them has given me a massive renewed respect for perfumers and aromatherapists. I don’t like body scrubs as I think they’re a faff so I use an exfoliating glove with a shower oil – it’s not messy. On Sundays I always use a body brush to stimulate lymphatic drainage. I’ll have a bath and the more bubbles the better, I love bubbles, I love bath salts and bath oils. I would never have a bath without something in it. I love Mauli Himalayan Healing Salts and Susanne Kaufmann’s Mallow Blossom Bubble Bath – mallow as an ingredient is lovely. I also love Susanne Kaufmann’s Oil For The Senses which I always take travelling, along with De Mamiel’s Altitude Oil. I prefer body oils to body moisturisers, they’re absorbed better. Saying that, I do like the Laura Mercier Crème Brulée Soufflé Body Crème because my mother used to buy it for me when I was a teenager. And candles I love candles, I always go for natural candles, like our Rose de Mai Candle which is also a face and body oil. We use it in all our treatments – you basically burn it during your bath and then when you come out pour the warm oil onto your skin. It’s really lovely.
I have really, really fine hair, if I have a blow dry it lasts probably 2 minutes! I can’t spend lots of time on my hair because it’s just completely pointless, but I do choose my hair products quite carefully. I find dry shampoos brilliant for volume, I like Living Proof PHD Dry Shampoo. At the moment I’m using Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care which is a hair mask and it’s got colour in it, it lasts about ten days and always leaves my hair nourished. I rely on Malin+Goetz Peppermint Shampoo which I love because it’s really uplifting and refreshing for the scalp.
I always put lavandin everywhere at bedtime, it’s more exotic than traditional lavender and more sleep inducing too. I’m obsessed with anti-pollution so every bedside has got a peace lily beside it, and a couple more dotted around the room. Each plant clears the air of pollutants for about ten foot. Once I’ve done all my skincare stuff I read a paperback book, I used to use a Kindle, but I think books are more therapeutic and they feel like more of a treat, plus it’s nice to be away from a screen.
I’m always excited on Monday morning, I love my job. It’s hard work – manufacturing is stressful, formulating for other people is a challenge, but I feel a lot of my job is helping people’s skin which I absolutely love. There’s a lot of problem solving, sometimes it can take years – our Citylife range took two years to get right. Every day is different and I’m raring to go, but I’m not a morning person. When I wake up I look at my phone, I loathe it, but I’m working globally and I need to. I do like to get up before the children, but it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. Mornings I need my routine to be fast, so it’s Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel and Nutri-Active Day Cream – I keep it very simple. Only if the sun is out do I put on an SPF – melanin should be our best friend, it’s our skin’s natural defence. I feel like I haven’t done my job very well if I need to wear a lot of makeup so I tend to steer clear of heavy base products, I do love the Nars Radiance Primer though – it’s lovely and pink and makes me look fresher.