When my Grandfathers both fell ill in November the stress of it all really destroyed my skin. Like really destroyed. I seemed to game these horrible under the skin bumps on my forehead and my chin was constantly a mass of angry red spots. It was gross and horrible. For months I battled. I’d always had dry sensitive skin, and suddenly my forehead and chin were so greasy. Still sensitive but no longer dry as it usually would be in the middle of winter. That meant completely scrapping my old skincare routine and starting from scratch with something new. It was weeks of trial and error, and although I still have those horrible bumps on my forehead they’re not as visible without make up as they were before, I think I finally have a system that works! I occassionally still get the odd hormonal under the skin spot but I can nip it in the bud easily and by morning it’s usually smaller and no longer red.
There have been five key products that have really helped me and they deserve a shout out on my blog about how and when I use them. I’m really hoping over the next month they can have my skin holiday read, also known as, able to wear no foundation and no look like I have the skin of a teenager.
Remember last year when you got that free sample of REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser? Well when my skin first started to go down hill, I obviously asked for advice on Twitter and a few people suggested it, so I dug mine out and gave a try. The little sample lasted me 2 weeks of using it every other day, and before I’d even finished it I’d ordered myself a full size one from the REN website for £16. It was love! Even the bad areas of my skin feel silky smooth after using this in the bath. It’s also REALLY good at removing make up. I tend to use it on the days I wear make up then follow it up with an antibacterial wash to make sure my skin is really clean. Although it’s marked at being good for all skin, I was a bit dubious with mine being so sensitive but I have never had an irritation with it! It’s not heavily scented and I actually find rubbing it into my skin really relaxing because it’s such a smooth cream. I can see us being friends for a long time. I even bought another sample size to take with my on holiday because I just can’t imagine going that long without using it.
Next up, another REN product, this time the ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser RRP £19. When I first bought this last year we did not get on. I was using it every day as my chin had been quite bad and it just resulted in more break outs. However when I tried again around December I decided to try it once a week as a mask instead. I’d read that clay masks were great for blemish prone skin and since this was the only clay product I had to use I thought I may as well give it a go. Once a week while I’m lying in the bath I apply a layer to my nose, chin and forehead and leave until it dries, then I wash it off with warm water. I was surprised at how well it worked as a mask and it definitely draws on those pesky black heads. I actually think it works better than any products I’ve used that claim to be a face mask and as I’m now only using it once a week to give my skin a deep clean I no longer have any problem with irritation.
I’m not even slightly ashamed that as soon as I saw my skin heading back in the direction of my teen years I reached straight for the Garnier. I swore by it when I had problematic skin as a teenager so naturally I went for what was familiar. I purchased the Garnier Pure Active Toner RRP £4.99 because I needed something to tighten my pores again. As soon as I poured it out onto a face pad I was taken back 10 years, that same chemically smell. Thankfully it works a treat and is probably the main reason those annoying bumps on my forehead are getting smaller every day. The best part is these days since my skin is not longer as dry as it was, I don’t need to use it localised. Now I can put it all over my face without the fear of flakes which is definitely a bonus. I personally always feel like I need to use a toner, not just to help reduce the appearance of black heads, but to ready my skin for the moisturiser.
Just after Christmas Boots had a load of products reduced, one of which was this Simple Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser which although it still retails on the website for £4.59, it was actually on sale for £2.50. The Anti-Blemish claim is what drew me in as in the past I’ve never bothered with Simple. Not sure why now I’m on the my second tube of the stuff! Before I bought this I had resorted to not even wearing moisturiser as my skin was so greasy. Everything I used just made it worse! Then I tried this and it was amazing, the shine was gone, the heaviness was gone, and it absorbed well instead of lying top of a layer of grease. I would have never thought for a second a high street skincare product would work such wonders. I had practically given up hope after going through so many high end samples. It has no fragrance and is actually quite thick but it goes on smoothly and mattifies my skin instantly.
Finally, another after Christmas sale bargain was this La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I reduced to £7.35 on Feel Unique. I needed something to target individual blemishes but also reduce marks, as the Effaclar Duo [+] didn’t work for me, I thought I’d give this a try as it is for oily blemish prone skin but also suitable for sensitive skin which describes exactly what I’m dealing with nowadays. As soon as I started to use this combined with the four other products I saw a dramatic difference in my skin, especially on my chin. I had quite a few scars from spots over the last few months due to the fact I suffer from dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking) which is worse when I’m anxious or stressed, something that has been incredibly prominent since mid November and so far Effaclar A.I is the only thing that has made any difference to the scars. It has reduced them in colour and the way they feel which has definitely helped with my need to pick and perfect them. OF COURSE though while I’ve been writing this post I just picked all the heads off without realising until on started to bleed. THANK GOODNESS I have found Effaclar A.I so tomorrow everything will have healed up again.
ANYWAY I can’t recommend these products enough if you too suffer from oily sensitive skin. Together they are slowly returning my skin to it’s former glory of early last year.