My Skincare Routine: Shani Darden
My Skincare Routine: Shani Darden

My Skincare Routine: Shani Darden

From acne to pigmentation, aesthetician and skin expert Shani Darden has seen – and treated – it all. Known for her straightforward approach and reliable results, A-listers like Jessica Alba, January Jones and Kelly Rowland are all part of her star-studded client roster. Here,we asked Shani what goes into her own skincare routine…
By Rebecca Hull
Photography: @SHANIDARDEN

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In The AM…

My morning routine is simple. My skin is already fresh and clean from the night before, so I don’t like to go overboard and strip it too much in the morning. The key focus – and it should be for everyone – is adding back as much hydration as possible, as well as incorporating a high level of SPF protection to set me up for the day ahead. 

It starts with a gentle cleanse. Once I am out of bed, I’ll sage the house and get my girls ready for school, then head upstairs to cleanse my skin. I use my own Cleansing Serum as it never strips or causes dryness. That’s thanks to hyaluronic acid and glycerin – both of which draw moisture into the skin and help it hold onto it. I also use a wet cotton gauze cloth for an even deeper cleanse, and to remove any product that’s left over. It helps to gently exfoliate the skin, too.  

A good facial tool is key. I love my skin to feel lifted in the morning, so after I cleanse, I’ll use my Facial Sculpting Wand. It’s a vibration therapy device that uses acoustic soundwaves to target wrinkles and reduce puffiness. Those soundwaves go 6cm below your skin’s surface – so it delivers deep muscle stimulation that no manual massage ever could. This action targets crow’s feet, eyebrow furrows and fine lines. I love how defined and glowing my face is afterwards. 

I SWEAR BY EXFOLIATION to remove the dead layer of skin on the surface so any products you use after can get to work properly.

Antioxidant serums are essential. Following my wand treatment, I’ll layer on iS Clinical’s Pro-Heal Serum for a bit of antioxidant protection. It’s an amazing vitamin C serum that helps to offset the effects of environmental stressors like pollution and UV exposure. It can also help reverse the signs of sun damage by brightening skin and boosting collagen – trust me, you’ll love it.

SPF is the final step. Wearing sunscreen is the single most important thing you can do for your skin every day – it’s something I never skip. I love Supergoop’s Play Everyday Lotion with SPF50. It’s gentle, hydrating and never causes congestion. 

I also love a good body oil. I don’t do anything drastic to my body first thing, but I do love massaging in the Honest Organic Body Oil – especially if my skin is feeling extra dry. Finally, before I head out the door, I’ll have my morning coffee, and if there’s time, I’ll also do a quick Peloton bike ride to boost my energy.

In The PM…

My evening skincare routine starts at 4pm. It’s early but I like to start the relaxation process as soon as I get home from work. I start with Garnier’s Micellar Water – affordable, yet so effective. It removes all make-up and build-up from the day, and its gentle formula never feels harsh or abrasive. Night time calls for a double cleanse, so I’ll follow up with my Cleansing Serum again. 

Once or twice a week I’ll use peel pads. I love the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel pads – I’ve used them for years. They combine both AHAs and BHAs to clear congestion immediately. I swear by exfoliation to remove the dead layer of skin on the surface so that any treatment products you use afterwards can get to work properly.

Retinol is my go-to at night. Once I’ve cleansed, I’ll massage in my Retinol Reform. It’s become a must-have for me, as well as my clients. Clinically proven to address multiple signs of ageing – think fine lines and wrinkles – it helps to smooth uneven texture and get rid of dullness. It’s released gradually while you sleep, which means minimal irritation. Added AHAs brighten and smooth, so you get the best of both worlds – and it’s well-tolerated by most skin types.

I love my skin to feel lifted, so I use my Facial Sculpting Wand. It’s a vibration therapy device that uses acoustic soundwaves to REDUCE PUFFINESS.

A hyaluronic serum is essential after retinol. Following on from the above, I layer on Dr Nigma’s Serum No1. Full of hyaluronic, it deeply hydrates and plumps the skin, giving immediately visible and glow-y results. 

I finish with an oil-free cream. My routine will always end with my Weightless Oil-Free Moisturiser which locks in the benefits of any treatments I’ve used. I prefer lightweight, oil-free creams so they never cause congestion, and I’ll normally look for one with hyaluronic acid in – it’s an ingredient everyone can benefit from using.

My final rule of thumb is less in the morning, more at night. At night, your skin is in repair mode, so this is when I use treatments products to get the most out of them. This includes any retinols, AHAs – like lactic or glycolic – and any other more potent ingredients that can absorb better while you sleep. During the day, your focus should be more on protecting your skin from environmental stressors, like UV and pollution. With that in mind, always use an antioxidant, vitamin C serum and most importantly, SPF. You’ve heard it before, but nothing else compares when it comes to keeping your complexion youthful, healthy and glowing.

Follow @ShaniDarden for more skincare tips & advice. Visit to shop her top products.

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