Rate The Routine: Kat From Sophistikat.ie Reveals Her Morning Skincare Routine

In our January issue, four of Ireland's leading beauty bloggers reveal their morning skincare routine - and we've got one more here to enjoy right here as well. Yay!

Kat from sophistikat.ie

Name: Kathleen McGrath

Age: 30

Blog: sophistikat.ie

Lives: Dublin

“I get up at 6:50 am, and I’m out the door to battle the M50 by 7:30am. I usually slap on a bit of lippy quickly in the car when I hit traffic, and I munch a banana and sip a protein smoothie I made the night before. I work in a lab in UCD (I’m actually a lowly PhD student) studying food safety and bacterial genetics. If there was an outbreak of something like E.coli or Salmonella in food in the news, our lab is probably analysing it. It’s fairly mentally draining, so I spend my spare time playing with and writing about fun make-up, skincare and girlie stuff to give my brain a break!

“I can’t really turn off the analytical side of me though, so I like to bring a bit of science into my skincare posts, breaking down the complicated ingredients and formulations to explain what they mean for you in real life. I like to make it easier for people to know what to use for their skintype, and what ingredients really work and what is just marketing hype.”

skincare products


“I shower in the night time, so in the morning I usually just swipe my face with some micellar water (Bioderma (1) or Garnier, I’m not picky) on a cotton pad. If I’m not being lazy, or my face is a bit flaky, I’ll use a strong chemical exfoliant like Neostrata Foaming Glycolic Wash. I leave it on while I brush my teeth, and after rinsing I have brand new glowing skin! Amazing stuff.”


“I love The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner (2). It contains glycerin, a humectant, which draws water into the skin to hydrate it. It takes two seconds to mist it over my face.”


“Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum is simply holy grail for dehydrated skin. It contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid, all important re-hydrators, in a water-based formula. Thirsty skin soaks this stuff up without leaving any trace or film behind. Gorgeous.”

Eye cream

“Vichy Idealia Eyes (3) claims to reduce the appearance of dark circles which I’m usually skeptical of. But it definitely provides an immediate improvement – if you’re prone to hungover eyes, even after lots of sleep, you deffo need this.”


“In the winter I tend to use moisturiser which contains SPF and forgo a separate dedicated SPF, like No7’s Early Defence Day Cream (5) with 5 star UVA and SPF 15. In winter it’s UVA you need to be concerned about, as you’re unlikely to burn (from UVB rays) but UVA rays can still cause aging. Hence I love the fact that the No7 moisturiser has full UVA protection.”

Kat’s add-ons

Lip loves

“Lip balm and maybe even a lip scrub are a must, as my lips tend to be dry and flaky. I love Lush Mint Julips (4) for scrubbing off dead skin, and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Levres for lip balm which soothes and moisturises really well, and forms a barrier preventing drying out during the course of the day. It does add a couple of minutes to my routine, but dry lipped ladies know how important it is.”

Magic mask

“Once a week I’ll apply my treatment trifecta: Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, followed by Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask, followed by La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Mask. Using the glycolic/lactic acid mask first removes the surface layers of dead skin, the clay mask helps to draw out oil from my pores and the hydrating mask puts back the hydration and soothes and softens. I’ve never had a better facial – and I’ve been to many spas!”

My HG product

“It has to be Neostrata Foaming Glycolic Wash. It’s the only skincare product I’ve repurchased three times in the past year. Nothing beats it for getting rid of dead skin in a flash, particularly since my skin gets horribly irritated by grainy exfoliants. I even credit it for getting rid of my spots, as it sloughs off dead skin so effectively it doesn’t have a chance to clog pores. You’ll have to prise this one from my cold, dead hands before I’ll give it up!”