#SKINCARE101 – MY CURRENT ROUTINE

Following on from my acne post, I thought I’d give the full lowdown on what I’m currently using on my face.

Makeup Remover

I am so so so against makeup wipes, they just drag the dirt and bacteria across your face and never really clean your skin. I used to love Liz Earle hot cloth and it is fab but Clinique Take The Day Off Balm is an absolute game changer! A coconut oil like texture which you apply it straight to your dry face, a splash of water later and the makeup just melts away. It’s that simple.

Cleanser

I use a Clinique Foaming Wash along with the Sonic Face Brush and I don’t mean to alarm you but at the time of writing this post the brush is half price and I strongly suggest you take up that offer as I actually paid full price and would do it again because it’s just that amazing. Treat yourself. Honestly, like Kardashian Bible, that face brush is the best thing I think I have ever bought. I can’t go a night without it. It makes such a difference to your skin texture and really cleanses your face, like gets right down into the skin. Along with the pill, I also think this has been why my skin has cleared up so well.

In the morning I use the Tarte Deep Dive face wash. I bought this when I was in America, obvs cause Tarte is everywhere there, and I wish I bought like 5 cause it’s amazing for dry skin. It’s an oil texture so cleanses the skin but doesn’t dry it out at the same time.

Toner

At night I use a Clinique toner which ngl does feel quite harsh on the skin so maybe find an alternative if you have sensitive skin. But, it does really get rid of all that excess dirt you thought you got rid of when you washed your face. 

In the morning I use Liz Earle as it’s so gentle on the skin and just radiantly preps my skin pre moisturiser and make up. I don’t have a particular reason as to why I use this, it doesn’t do anything major I just haven’t had any issues with it and it seems to be lasting ages!

Moisturiser

Okay so, my moisturiser collection is rather large but I like to switch it up just because sometimes your skin has different needs! I’d like to say I give every other part of my body this much attention. At night I usually use the Clinique Smart Night Cream, which is pricey but fantastic, I actually feel like it does the whole smooth, lift, nourish malarky. Which to be honest, for £50 it probably should. 

For daytime, aka under makeup, I use either Clinique Moisture Surge, Clinique Dramatically Different or Clinique Smart Day. Moisture Surge is amazing in the summer because it’s so incredibly moisturising but the gel like texture makes it so light weight on the skin. Perfect. Dramatically different is perfect because it leaves a tacky texture which I quite like, esp when I’m wearing makeup because it kinda feels like a primer. Smart day has SP5 in it so I’m kinda saving it for Spring/Summer so I can offer my skin some protection against the sun, which is obviously very important. 

Additional Extras

I always give my skin some extra TLC at least once a week, such as exfoliating or a face mask. It 100% makes the difference and also it’s so good to have some me time too!

Masks: Every week religiously I use the Dr Jart+ clay foaming mask. It’s super quick and easy to do, just leave it on for 3 mins and then wash off! It’s just great at detoxifying my face and giving it a good extra cleanse. I always follow with a sheet mask, the Dr Jart+ ones are also really good. I used the Bubbling charcoal one the other day and thought all that stuff was a bit of a gimmick but it actually worked wonders for my pores, I was so glowy afterwards. Sephora sheet masks are always amazing, the pomegranate one is my fave. Tony Moly Korean ones are fab too, I’m obsessed with this brand called MaskerAide from Selfridges, Garnier Moisture Bomb is also a strong contender! The majority of sheet masks are fab but they’re a few of my faves, I have an ongoing collection. 

Mini Facial: I’m calling this my mini facial ATM because it has the results of one. I am obsessed with The Body Shop Vitamin C liquid peel, oh my god it’s gross but so satisfying. Essentially it’s a liquid which you blend into your face and your dead skin comms off, as in like actually balls up on your face whilst your rubbing this liquid in. Gross right? But do that for like 1 minute and wash off with water and you are left with the best glow ever! Not to mention makeup then goes on like an absolute dream because your base is so smooth.

Extra Hydration: Whenever my skin needs some extra hydration I use Boots Botanics Facial Oil. I’ve used this stuff for years and it’s always on offer for a £5 so you can’t go wrong either. I like to pat this into my skin and let it absorb for 20-ish mins before locking all of that goodness in with a night cream on top.

 

#SKINCARE101 – MY ACNE JOURNEY

I’ve been no stranger on my blog to openly talk about my skin struggles. I’d been wanting to do this post for a while but I’ve annoyingly let my blog go AWOL whilst I finished uni & kinda just like… grew up. I can see from stats that plenty lovely people still read my blog (thank you, love you!!) but I was just worried that nobody would read this post. Anyway, I did a poll on my Insta story and SO many people voted yes to an acne update post. So thanks gals (and guys), this ones for you x

Before I start this I just want to say, EVERYONE’S skin is different. There’s so much stuff out there which worked for tones of others but it didn’t work for me. I have honestly tried so many things and it’s taken about 2 years for my skin to go blemish free, overnight success doesn’t exist with acne, you must be patient. Another thing I learnt was that skincare is effort. Like just never neglect your routine, apart from those 3am nights where your too smashed to navigate a wipe across your face, those we can allow. But if you continually follow a cleanse, tone & moisturise routine, then the results will show.

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So this is my skin sometime in 2016, I had just started using La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3 Step System on my skin. My skincare routine was something along the lines of Soap & Glory Ultimelt hot cloth cleanser/Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser. La Roche face wash, La Roche toner and La Roche moisturiser. If you have minor breakouts I really would recommend the La Roche set, especially the moisturiser if you have oily skin. I loved it but my skin is more on the dry side so in the winter months I needed something way more hydrating. It’s a great affordable starter set for those wanting to get into a skincare routine. You can see that my acne is just all over my cheeks and mostly made up of little clusters of spots and some larger ones in the middle of my cheeks, soz for gracing you with this rank photo.

I remember a brand reposted my photo on Instagram but FaceTuned my face and I was so upset. Not because they’d got rid of my spots! But because they saw it as something gross that they needed to get rid of.

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Next up is my skin probably 9-12 months of using the La Roche set. It;s obvious it helped clear up all my smaller spots but I was left with these really big painful spots on my cheeks. These big spots were the worst because not only did they hurt but you couldn’t cover them with makeup because they were so textured. I remember a brand (not gonna name n shame) reposted my photo on Instagram but FaceTuned my face and I was so upset. Not because they’d got rid of my spots! But because they saw it as something gross that they needed to get rid of, my bad skin which I was struggling to control wasn’t allowed for their Instagram aesthetic. #Rude. 

So my issue was, I had okay skin everywhere on my face but my cheeks were made up of these big painful spots that wouldn’t budge. I’d started to research into skin mapping and apparently acne on your cheeks is down to hormones, fab, but it probably explained why no product organic or chemical would get rid. I knew that maybe I should try something medical but I really, really wasn’t wanting to use Roaccutane, to me my skin was bad, but I knew it wasn’t bad enough to go onto medication that strong. I thought if I’m getting such bad spots due to hormones why don’t I try the (contraceptive) pill? If my spots are due to hormones then why not treat it with hormones? I knew that there was a certain type of pill which apparently helps with acne but going to the doctors to ask for help about my skin really was last on my list. I have a mini phobia of doctors anyway but after a few weeks of motivating myself I made the appointment, eeeek.

Now is when I feel like it’s best to say that I’m not at all suggesting you go on the pill for acne treatment. There’s a lot of side effects that come with the pill and it’s not for everyone. Please do your research before making any medical decisions and I can’t emphasise enough that I had tried everything and this was my last resort. 

I asked my Nurse if I could go on Dianette and she was like no hun. She told me straight up that it would be too strong for my skin. Instead, she suggested I tried Gedarel for 3 months and see how I got on with it. If  it didn’t do much then she would prescribe me Dianette. I think I’ve been on Gedarel for a year now, and it took about 3-6 months to reduce my spots but approx 9-12 months in my spots have completely gone. I get the odd one now and then but it’s an absolute dream.

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I’ve helped maintain my clear skin by sticking to a very strict skincare routine, majority Clinque based, but you can give it a read here if you fancy it cause it would make this post longer than my dissertation.

I hope this post has somewhat helped those struggling wth blemishes and acne. It’s such a long process but one day they will go! x

#SKINCARE101 – CHARLOTTE TILBURY MAGIC SHEET MASK

….That is such a long title

SO I am obsessed with sheet face masks at the moment and nearly had a heart attack when I saw that Charlotte Tilbury was releasing one this year, because like everything she does, it’s going to be amazing. I was presuming an ordinary wet sheet mask, but no, she went hella extra and decided to create a whole new concept… a DRY sheet mask!

Priced at £18 for one, it is pricy. But then it’s also reusable?! As the mask is totally dry, it doesn’t hold any bacteria. Charlotte claims you can use it up to 3 times so really its £6 per mask if you break it down.

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What I really loved about this mask was the way the mask fits, it loops over your ears so it actually fits and stays on your face. To use, you just gently massage the mask into your skin to activate the product, then sit back for 15 minutes! I didn’t take any photos of myself in the mask because it looks terrifying, it reminds me of something in Doctor Who.

So the mask claims to hydrate, lift, reduce wrinkles, smooth & brighten. Afterwards my face definitely felt hydrated and had a gorgeous glow to it. I wouldn’t say that it lifted or reduced any wrinkles (not that I have many, yet!) but I’m presuming thats something that would come with continued use. However the next morning (I used it before bed) my skin didn’t look any different, if anything it was worse! My skin had a weird texture to it and my makeup just wouldn’t apply nicely on my skin.

Overall, I think as this is a dry mask its fascinating how it works and it’s a great piece of cosmetic science. But, because it’s dry I think I was amazed that it actually worked whereas realistically it has the same outcome as any other wet sheet mask. What its perfect for is when your skin is looking dull and needs a quick pick me up before you apply makeup, e.g. every Monday morning!

I’ve added in 2 YouTuber reviews on the sheet mask as these guys had a whole PR pack on the mask so can go into all the little bits of detail x

 

 

 

#SKINCARE101 – NIGHT ROUTINE

Since my previous post about skin care was in May 2016, I thought an updated post was needed. Just so it wasn’t a lengthy one, I’m going to post the day and night routines separately, starting with my night routine, as it’s slightly more longer as it isn’t the same each night because I alternate between days.

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I remove my makeup with the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser. I just find the ingredients in this really calming and gentle on my face. I start with my eye make up first, then face and then face again just to make sure all the dirt is off my face. Don’t forget to do your neck too!

Continuing the cleansing process, I’ll wash my face but depending on the day I’ll use either The Body Shop Tea Tree foaming cleanser, St Ives apricot face scrub or La Roche Posay Effaclar cleansing gel. If you have oily skin a gel based cleanser its best suited for your skin, and if you have dry skin then a foam cleanser is more suitable for your skin. So if my skin feels a bit textured and my make up has been clinging to dry patches then I’ll exfoliate, I only really do this once a week, at a push twice. Just as if you over exfoliate then your skin will end up producing more oil which is just not ideal. If my skin just needs a refresh then I’ll use The Body Shop Tea Tree foam cleanser. Finally, if my skin is looking really blemish like/my pores look huge then I’ll use la Roche Posay Effaclar gel cleanser as it does have a noticeable effect.

Up next is toner, before bed I always use the La Roche Posay Effaclar toner. I feel it helps my pores close and tighten over night. I only use this at night as it’s more chemical based and possibly harsher so I don’t want to use it in the morning on my face where I apply make up after incase that irritates my skin. Using it at night gives it time to work overnight on my skin.

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Following this I’ll use a serum also depending on how my skin is looking. If it’s dry, then I’ll use Hylamide Hydrating Boost serum, if it’s looking red and blemish like then I’ll use Hylamide Sensitive Fix serum, then finally if it’s normal/blemished (it’s never bloody not blemished) then I’ll use The Body Shop Tea Tree Daily Solution. The Tea Tree solution is really good for blemishes and problem skin, just the Hylamide helps support with red ness and irritation on my face.

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Finally moisturiser, every other night I alternate moisturiser. I only started doing this in the winter as it got colder my skin got dryer and basically just shit. On night 1 I use La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo cream. This is great for acne, and you can really notice the difference after one use, but I don’t feel like it REALLY moisturises my skin as it has a matte finish. If you’re oily this is will be absolutely perfect. On night 2 I use the Embryolisse cream from France, which Boots now sell!. This just adds a bit of radiance and really helps improve the elasticity of my face. So one night I’ll do one and another night I’ll do the other! I get all of my La Roche Posay Effaclar products in the 3 Step Anti Blemish System. If you suffer from blemishes then I honestly really do recommend this.

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I do a face mask probably twice a week. I have a huge collection of sheet masks I I’ll dedicate a whole post to them. I’m a big fan of sheet masks at the moment, however I’m looking for a cream mask that’ll really get deep into my skin. I’ve used GlamGlow before but I accidentally left the lid off and it dried out (fuming), but it really was amazing I will most likely repurchase. Anyway, I aim to go for a sheet mask for tired skin that radiates and hydrates, something along those lines anyway. I’ll pop this on my face for about 45minutes or until I feel the sheet going dry, then I’ll massage the remaining serum into my face.

And that is it! Sorry it was a long one. Any recommendations for a cream face mask let me know.

#SKINCARE101 – MY NEW ROUTINE

If you read my post about my new skincare products from Lush, you’ll see what I tried ‘n’ tested. But about a month or so later my skin was just as spotty as what it was when I bought the products Although, I do love the Tea Tree Water, I do rate that. Just read that post and you’ll understand what I’m banging on about. So basically, nothing from lush really worked on my skin so I went on another search for perf skin… and here’s what I found.

Night Time Routine:

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Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser

This is holy grail best make up remover on the market RN. Removing make up is SO important. I NEVER use make up wipes, they’re an absolute no go for my skin. Some people can get away with them but they’re so bad for you, they just drag the make up around your face. I used The Ultimelt by Soap & Glory for about 3 years as a cheaper Liz Earle dupe but I had to use it twice to remove all of the make up from my face, probably didn’t help that I was wearing MAC Studio Fix Fluid all day either. I ran out of S&G and for some reason just didn’t bother repurchasing it as I think I was just bored of it. I used a Garnier cleanser for a while which was actually really good and moisturising but I just ended up going through cotton wool pads like there’s no tomorrow. My student loan had came in and I just thought, f*ck it I’m pushing the boat out and getting Liz Earle. For some reason I thought it was really expensive, but at £14 it was only £4 more than S&G and I ordered from Feel Unique so I had 20% student discount off it! It costs slightly more if you buy it with the muslin cloths, but I had loads from the S&G days so purchased without.

It removes my make up in one go and leaves my skin looking calm and refreshed, no mascara panda eyes or red irritated patches on my skin. Just make sure you thoroughly rinse the muslin cloth so you’re not trapping any dirt.

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La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System

La Roche had been recommended to me by a few people and I’d noticed that in Boots they had a set targeted towards acne prone skin. I was just a bit reluctant to try it as me and face wash don’t get on and I was sceptical if the toner would be too harsh on my face. But I thought it would be better than going to the doctors and prescribing to acne medication, and for £33 plus 20% student discount I thought I would give it a go, and I’m SO glad I did. I  only use this as part of my night time skincare routine. I didn’t want to over clean my face and I wasn’t sure how the products would sit under my make up. I take my make up off with the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser, swipe over my face with Garnier Micellar Water and then shower. NEVER wash your face in the shower! In London especially. The power of the water is too hard on your face causing redness, and think about the temperature of your shower compared to washing your face.

Firstly I wash my face with the face wash, this was what I was sceptical about incase it ripped my face of natural oils causing spots and redness as my face is quite sensitive. It gently foams on your face and you can see the cleanliness straight away, it leaves your skin so soft, there’s no need to scrub with this product. I haven’t experienced any extra spots whatsoever from this, really rate it. I then follow with the toner which just helps remove any excess dirt off my face and tighten pores, you can kind of feel it tighten your skin after. Finally, I moisturise with the Effaclar Duo+. Just apply a thin layer on the face, you really don’t need a lot of this product. My skin feels baby bum smooth afterwards.

I’ve been using this for just over a week now and I just can’t express enough how much this works. I’m surprised that after a week I can see so much difference. My acne has visibly reduced and my skin is more even and smooth. I’m going to do a before and after review when I’ve been using this everyday for a month so you can see the difference.

Morning Routine:

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Garnier Moisture Match – Ultra Hydrating

My friend used one of these when on holiday and really rated them, so I added the hydrating one to my basket on Feel Unique as it was only £2.49. When I opened it to test it on my hand, it had the same smoothing texture as my Sephora primer so I thought this would be perfect to use as my morning moisturiser under my make up. I usually use MAC Comfort Cream but was getting bored of it and it was so expensive for a moisturiser.

So in the morning I shower, then swipe a cotton wool pad of Garnier Micellar Water on my face, then again with Lush Tea Tree Water and then gently apply this moisturiser on my face and neck. I always wait a minimum of 5 minutes for my skin to absorb the moisturiser before I apply make up, so I go off and make breakfast or dry my hair in this time. If I apply make up straight away, I find that my foundation doesn’t sit right.

When I sat down to do my make up, I noticed that the moisturiser had given my face a blurring effect just like my primer usually does. So I thought I’d give my primer a miss and try this out. OMG, 10.30pm when I’d finished work, my make up was still in place. I got home and checked out the ingredients and realised that glycerin was the second ingredient. If you don’t know what glycerin (aka, glycerine or glycerol) is, It’s basically what sticks product to your face. Although, when I put it like that it sounds kinda grim. But anyway, even as a moisturiser this product is great. I don’t get any dry patches when wearing foundation and my skin looks glowy and moisturised. However, if you have oily skin I would avoid.

#SKINCARE101 – LUSH

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If you follow me on Instagram then you would of seen my plea for help about my skin. Recently I’ve developed acne on my cheeks and forehead, so frustrating as I never had much of a problem in high school with my skin. I can cover it up quite well with make up, but that’s not the point it’s still on my face and won’t budge! I decided to try out some products from LUSH as a few people recommended them to me. Now, I never usually purchase from LUSH but I could see the logic… all natural ingredients will work well on my face right?

Ocean Salt Scrub: This contains alcohol and I think my face is a bit too sensitive for it so it just feels like it’s making my skin more irritated. However, it’s great for scrubbing off fake tan. There is an alcohol free version which I will probably purchase for next time.

Cosmetic Warrior Mask: Not going to lie, I haven’t even used this yet. The lady in the shop says that it pulls all the toxins from your skin and under the surface so spots usually appear worse for a couple of days after using. So I’m just waiting until I have a chance to try it out.

Tea Tree Water: I LOVE this stuff, I wish I knew about it when I was 15. I use this as a toner after taking off my makeup and before applying make up. It doesn’t irritate my skin and I noticed my skin was less inflamed than it was with my previous toner (Clinque). The natural antiseptic in it is perfect for getting dirt off your face before applying make up, great for spot cleaning your make up brushes too.

Angels on Bare Skin: When I tried this in the shop on my hand it made it so smooth and soft but on my face it’s not the same. Personally I’m a bit unsure and unbothered, doesn’t make a dramatic difference.

Ultrabland: This is such a hydrating cleanser to take off make up with! Perfect for those with dry skin. However, not great for heavy eye make up. Spray your cotton pads with the Tea Tree Water, they work great together.

Herbalism: Seems to do the same thing as Angels on Bare Skin so not really fussed.