I wanted to do a skincare post today that I hope will be helpful to others who have a similar skin type to myself and that struggle with the same problems I do when it comes to finding the right products.
Having suffered on and off with my skin since the age of fourteen, I understand exactly how it feels to have dreadful skin that constantly plays up and never seems to improve. It’s miserable, and if youre lucky enough to have amazing skin that never breaks out or is always perfectly hydrated, don’t ever take it for granted! I feel like good skin can be easily overlooked, but in reality, for those who’s skin is not so great, all they ever dream of is having a complexion that hasn’t erupted with a few Mount Pinatubo’s in the last week.
My skin type has always been blemish prone in some way, shape or form. Whether that’s full on acne or just a sudden outbreak around the time of the month. I’ve also had times where my skin has completely cleared up for a couple weeks before settling back into its old ways (it’s always too good to be true!) And all of this honestly does affect your confidence in day to day life, it sounds kind of silly because it’s only skin right? But the truth is, it’s not. Your skin is pretty important and you don’t realise how much it affects your self esteem until you look in the mirror one day and suddenly hate how you look, all because of ‘just a few spots’. Who would of thought that such annoying little eruptions would cause so much grief? But they really do!
You’re usually told to stop being silly because ‘no ones looking at your skin’ or ‘you can’t notice them’ (sound familiar?) … well I can tell you now that that piece of advice is completely meaningless when you’re actually the one with the problem. Having had days where I’ve genuinely cancelled plans because I’m unable to cover a face full of acne and am too embarrassed to leave the house as a result, I understand exactly how much breakouts can hugely knock your confidence and make you feel incredibly low. I’ve tried the whole ‘ignore it and get on with your day’ mentality and also the ‘do you ever properly look at other people’s skin? No? Then who’s going to be looking at yours?’ Yep, I’ve tried it all- nothing helps, and along with all that I’ve probably tried every single skincare product for breakouts that have ever existed, which have all failed and probably left me worse off than I was before.
It’s only really in the last three years or so that my skin has actually started to look up, whether that’s because I’m getting older or just because I’ve finally found some products that actually work, I’m not entirely sure… but I’m hoping that this post today will give those of you who also suffer with breakouts a bit of hope! Your skin can get better and there is help out there for you to try and improve it. Now obviously there’s a chance that every product I’m about to talk about, would do no good to your skin at all- every one is different and let’s be honest- skin can be very temperamental! So it’s always best to get some advice from a skincare consultant or even your GP. You don’t ask, you don’t get- and I definitely learned this one the hard way (more on that later)…
Right, let’s actually get onto the products themselves! Since adding these into my daily skincare routine I can honestly say that they have made such an amazing improvement to my skin and now I really can’t go a day without using them! I also make sure that I keep up with deep cleansing my skin every morning and evening- I think we all know how easy it is to just wipe off the majority of your makeup with a few cleansing wipes as you’re laid in bed watching Netflix (the epitome of laziness to be honest haha!) But we’ve all done it and it’s something I always regret the next morning when I wake up to a fresh new spot brewing under the skin- Love. It.
Cleansing Products (Breakouts)
- La Roche Posay ‘Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel’ – Okay, so I’ve been using La Roche Posay’s ‘Effaclar Gel’ for about a year and a half now and it’s honestly the best cleanser I’ve ever had. Now I know that’s a pretty big statement but seriously, this stuff is fab and I haven’t stopped using it- its just the BEST. And when I say ‘the best’ I mean- this stuff actually cleared my acne. About a year and a half ago I had a bad outbreak of really vicious spots across my cheeks, it came out of no where and worsened over the period of about a month. I was trying not to spend on any more skincare products as I knew they’d be a waste of time and money, so I held fire and waited to see if it would eventually clear on it’s own. Well that was just wishful thinking, it obviously continued to get a lot worse. After spending hours researching countless brands, products and reviews, I settled on purchasing this cleanser. And I’m so so glad I did- it’s the only cleanser I’ve used that actually does what it says on the tin. Within about a week of using it, I began to see a slight improvement in my skin, my breakouts were settling and my complexion overall didn’t seem as angry? After a few weeks it was looking 100x better and with continued use, my acne had cleared and the breakouts rarely came back. Miracle product? I think so. Well it definitely is in my eyes. I use it daily (morning and evening) and obviously I do get breakouts still but they are no where near as awful as I’ve had them before and they usually clear up pretty quickly, so overall this is my absolute fave.
- Avene ‘Cleanance Cleansing Gel’– This is my second favourite cleansing gel for breakouts which I’m really loving. It has a very fresh smell to it and feels so nice to lather into the skin. After using it, your skin really feels like it’s had a good deep clean, but without any harsh stripping.
- Origins ‘Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask’– This is a current favourite of mine that I can’t stop using! I only got my hands on it recently (it’s the old packaging as I know Origins have a fresh new look now which is very snazzy) but I wish I’d come across it before because it does an amazing job of calming down irritated skin. It’s advised you leave it on your face for 10 minutes but I usually leave this on for about half hour (woah calm down Court). It’s got a clay texture but is quite a soft consistency (if that makes any sense, don’t think it does), but it spreads really easily across the face and kind of melts into the skin? It’s just a really pleasant mask that I can’t get enough of.
Products I Use After Cleansing (Breakouts)
- Origins ‘Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner’– This is another product I’ve only just started using but it’s another lil’ beauty! It contains Saw Palmetto, Mint and Salicylic Acid to reduce shine and remove excess sebum which definitely adds a bit of zing-aa to your day (it sure as hell wakes you up first thing in the morning I’ll tell you that). If you have any fresh breakouts that need clearing quickly then this is pretty good at doing so, I usually feel like I don’t always need the toner all over my face, so I just pop a little onto a cotton pad and dab onto any blemishes. A Little Word of Advice- I found out this kinda stings if you get in your eyes so please don’t rush to get ready when you’re brandishing a cotton pad soaked in mint toner. It’s not too fun.
- ‘Differin Gel’- Now I’m going to try not to waffle on about this, as it’s not actually a product that is readily available in stores (but it’s something I will definitely do a separate post on soon). I was prescribed this by my GP some time last year I think, due to going through a patch where I had a cluster of breakouts in one area of my face. I was only going to use this until it had helped clear the weird cluster I had going on, but it worked a treat so I carried on with it. It’s not something I apply every night but it’s very good when I do. I am also on ‘Lymecycline’, an acne fighting tablet which really saved my skin about two years ago now but again, I will talk about that in a separate post as well. If I had never plucked up the courage to go to my GP about my skin, it probably wouldn’t be as improved as it is today. Lymecycline and Differin gel both made such a difference to my confidence by clearing my skin so effectively. Never feel embarrassed to go to a skincare professional or your GP if you’re really struggling with severe breakouts. At the end of the day, they’ve seen it all before and it’s always worth the trip as you never know what they may advise for you- it could honestly be pertty life changing!
- Simple ‘Oil Balancing Moisturiser’– You can’t really go too wrong with this moisturiser, it’s not too heavy and not too light (although if anything it’s on the light side), but it soaks instantly into the skin leaving it feeling supple and hydrated but not too much that it leaves you all slick and sticky which in my case, would probably invite in a lovely spot to wake up to… But it’s just a really good basic cream to leave your skin feeling healthy and refreshed.
- Mario Badescu ‘Drying Lotion’– Okay so I could go on and on about this little pot of heaven because this is hands down the best blemish clearing overnight treatment I have ever come across in my lifeeee. I’ve re-purchased it again and again because I get through it like it’s going out of fashion- it’s too good! The little bottle is really cute and it basically consists of a pink powder (the magic goodness) that sits at the bottom half of the bottle in what looks like water but perhaps there is more to it than just water. Anyway whatever it is, it’s blimmin’ good and I trust it to work it’s magic on any spot that rears it’s head now. In the evening, I just use a cotton bud to get a bit of product out (a little goes a long way) and then dab it over any areas I need it, it then dries overnight and usually the lotion has diappeared by the morning to leave a pretty much cleared up spot (or getting that way at the very least). Personally it leaves my skin looking 10x better than it did so it really is a little bottle of heaven.
And if it’s not breakouts that I’m battling, it’s usually dryness which is mostly down to something like a change of weather, which causes my skin to become really rough and flaky. It’s quite rare I get it but when I have it, I have it bad. The worst areas that are always affected are around my nose, mouth and eyes and it’s just the worst when you’re trying to apply makeup and nothing will sit nicely and it’s basically already crumbling off before you’ve even left the house. It ain’t pretty. So I’ve got a few favourites that do a really good job at making sure any dryness is scrubbed away so I’m left with hydrated smooth skin.
Cleansing Products (Dryness)
- B. Clean ‘Creamy Foam Hydrating Cleanser’– This is a really lovely moisturising, cream cleanser that lathers up into a foam and cleans deep into the skin but without causing any dryness. An added bonus is that it contains the antibacterial agent ‘Salicylic Acid’ which unclogs your pores (a win win for skin that is blemish-prone and dry).
- Simple ‘Smoothing Facial Scrub’– You can never go too wrong with Simple, I’m personally a huge fan and have always got some of the brand’s basics on the go. This scrub contains multi-vitamins to get rid of dead skin cells and has little rice granules that help to gently exfoliate the skin. It’s not a harsh scrub so it’s something that’s kind enough to use every day.
- Goldfaden MD ‘Doctor’s Scrub Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator’– I first came across this exfoliator when I received it as a sample in a purchase I had made from Cult Beauty I think it was. I was actually going through a dry skin phase as it was around November time, so my skin was struggling with the cold. As soon as I used it, I was amazed by how it instantly scrubbed away anything flaky or dry. Usually I have to go at my skin quite a bit to get rid of any tough dead skin, but the tiniest bit of this product goes a long way and you can really feel the fine crystals getting to work! After using, my skin doesn’t feel tight or sore from the exfoliating but instead really clean and smooth and it doesn’t give that red lobster look that some scrubs can leave you with. I’ve found it’s best used in the morning before applying makeup as it leaves the skin feeling soft and velvety so it’s the best kind of base for foundation to be applied onto! I purchased this 50ml pot within a Goldfaden MD Brightening Transformation Kit on Cult Beauty for £40.00 (link above), which was a really good deal as the big tub is rather pricey, so it’s a good choice for if you’re just wanting to try it out.
- Origins ‘Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash’– This is a great cleanser for dry skin as it froths up into a really moisturising foam that deeply cleans down into your skin. A tiny bit goes a long way so it lasts forever and it smells super fresh! (It honestly doesn’t whiff too dissimilar to minty toothpaste). I managed to get this little tube just to try out (again it’s the old packaging I believe) but it’s safe to say that I will definitely be repurchasing, Origins is a new brand favourite…
- Simple ‘Purifying Cleansing Lotion’– I use this lotion every single day, morning and night, and have done for yearsss! It’s very basic but is something I feel a bit lost without if I don’t include it in my daily skincare routine. It’s just a very light cleansing cream that absorbs comfortably into the skin and leaves it hydrated.
Okay, last but not least- where would a girl be without her face masks eh…? I feel like I’m always pottering around the house in my PJ’s with a thick slathering of mask on my face, it’s just the best feeling to know your skin is soaking up a load of goodness! And it really does makes everything better- feeling sad? Face mask. Bored? Face mask. Hungry? Face mask. It solves everything! (I don’t eat my masks btw).
My favourites at the moment are Superdrug’s ‘Moisture’ and ‘Coconut’ sachet masks which both hydrate and soften the skin- perfect when used before you apply makeup as your base is settling into the softest, smoothest skin ever! Am very addicted!
So there we go, I’ve finally finished the longest skincare blog post known to man! I hope it has been useful and given an insight into some products that I feel work really well for me and could hopefully do the same for you! Remember to always get advice from a professional if you have any concerns with your skin- they really know their stuff and can help find what’s best for you x
I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of the products I have listed and if you have, did you like? And if you haven’t, would you try any out? Do let me know of any products that you are addicted to, I love trying out new bits and bobs!
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