I was one of those annoying people who just had good skin throughout their teens without trying, I hardly got spots, my T-zone wasn’t oily and I never suffered from dark circles. So naturally I never gave a skincare regime a second thought, it just seemed to add more hassle to the laborious task of getting ready. Ladies and gents, in my 20th year on this planet I got my comeuppance in the form of hormonal under the skin chin spots and blackheads on my nose. I had to take action because it was really starting to bother me, not to mention I found the spots to be really painful and distracting. Since then I have almost perfected my routine and my skin is finally in a good place after a lot of faffing around and experimentation. I’m not a dermatologist or an expert in any way so do take what I say with a pinch of salt and understand that what works for me may not necessarily work for someone else. We are all unique and special snowflakes afterall.
I have combination skin, so it’s important to try to strike a balance between moisturising and drying. Some people seem to think that combination is the perfect skin type but I beg to differ, any slip up results in painful breakouts. For example trying to dry out oily patches with a clay mask can result in drying the skin out too much – which causes the skin to crack resulting in spots. Trying to hydrate the face with a nourishing cream can be too heavy on the skin and clog pores which results in even more spots. My advice would be to tread carefully where your skin is concerned and never overload your face with too many contrasting products.
So first thing’s first, I always remove my makeup using a micellar wipe (if I’m on the go), a micellar water and cotton pad or an oil cleanser. These types of cleanser gently lift away the grime with minimal scrubbing action, they also contain no alcohol – which can be drying on the skin. Once my makeup is all gone, I hop in the shower and use a clarifying wash such as Lancaster Foaming Facial Wash or Lush’s Let The Good Times Roll if my skin needs a bit of moisture. Every other day I use an exfoliator like St Ives Apricot Scrub or Malin Goetz Grapefruit Scrub using my facial brush from Soap & Glory, this just buffs away any dead skin or hangers on, afterwards I tend to turn the shower down to its coldest setting and let the water wash over my face to shock my pores shut and keep my skin really clean. After patting dry, I often use a L’Occitane Angelica Toner or if I’m breaking out I’ll use my homemade Peppermint and Tea Tree Toning Water in a spritzer bottle, this just ensures that those pores stay tight to stop any dirt from getting in.
If I’ve used LTGTR from Lush I won’t usually need to moisturise but any other face wash and I need a little TLC or my face feels tight – at the moment I’m keeping in super simple with a Vitamin E Serum from Superdrug which does the job. I used to use Waitrose brand Vitamin E oil on my face to moisturise, no need for anything too fancy in this arena. In my experience most facial moisturisers are pretty similar. Every couple of weeks or so I treat myself to a painful yet satisfying black peel off mask from Pilaten to rip all my blackheads out (not for the faint hearted) and then I’ll put on a pore shrinking mask The Fab Pore from Soap & Glory that feels like soothing tingly perfection after the ripping of the blackheads. When you rinse it off the cold air hitting your face reacts with it and shrinks your pores right down.
Since maintaining this routine my skin is so much better and generally more clear. I love experimenting with makeup and in my opinion there is no better canvas for your artistry than a smooth, balanced base to build upon. I hope you’ve found this useful, to my knowledge all the products mentioned are cruelty free.
EDIT: I found a budget version of the Pilaten black mask from Shills which works just as well!
Have any of these products worked for you? I love hearing what you guys have to say, let me know what you want to read!