I’ve never had the best skin, like many people, when I turned 12/13 things started to get a little spotty and since then it’s never been perfect. It still isn’t. But equally I never had it as horrifically bad as some people very unfortunately get it. I wouldn’t say I really had ‘acne’, they were a different, milder kind of spots, but still bad enough to make me very self conscious of them. I’ve had phases in the past ten years where my forehead was most badly affected, but in recent years it’s my cheeks and chin that took the brunt of horrible spots that just wouldn’t go away.
But in the last half of 2015 I seemed to discover new products and do some new things that helped me gain the smooth skin I’d been missing! From my own experience, here is what I would credit with the improvement to my skin.
- Using a cream or balm cleanser – I started to appreciate that my skin was actually quite dehydrated and that my use of foaming cleansers aimed at ‘acne-prone’ or ‘oily’ skins was probably not helping my skin at all! So I switched to using cream or balm cleansers and they are so much more nourishing and gentle; I always use them on dry skin. If you haven’t tried a cream or balm cleanser yet then you definitely should and see if your skin prefers it. In the past few months I’ve used Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Cleanser and Alpha H Balancing Cleanser, which have both been lovely and gentle.
- Using chemical exfoliants – These have made such a difference and I don’t think I knew what they were before 2015! Now I can’t imagine my skincare routine without them. I’d used various face scrubs before, but chemical exfoliants I’ve found are much more effective. My favourites have been NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads and Alpha H Liquid Gold. I’m currently using First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads and NIP + FAB Glycolic Fix X-treme Pads but so far I don’t like them as much as the others I just mentioned.
- Keeping my skin hydrated – Moisturise morning and evening. I’ve always been good at moisturising so I just wanted to emphasise the importance. I also wear SPF everyday either in my moisturiser or within my makeup. Combined with using less stripping cleansers, the moisturisers have had less work to do which I think has helped with my overall better skin. For me I like a middle ground moisturiser, too thick and it clogs my skin, but too light and I wake up with my skin feeling tight. I’m using Pur Soak It Up Intense Hydrating Moisturizer at the moment, it’s pretty good, the formula took some getting used to though as it’s a gel more than a cream.
- Sudocrem – I’ve tried many products aimed at fighting off spots but I’ve never found any miracle cure. I think your skincare routine as a whole and your lifestyle can have more of an impact than any spot treatment. However, without breaking the bank Sudocrem is a good, reliable product to dot on your spots before bed and awake to a less angry complexion. No it won’t make them disappear overnight, but it does help with the healing process and contains zinc which is what makes it effective. Sudocrem’s not just for babies bums! The other products featured in the picture however are all good and I would recommend. The two masks – Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask and Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask – are great and have good ingredients. Use them regularly in your routine and they will make a difference. The Vitage® Correct and Perfect Skin Serum was a purchase on a whim from BeautyBay and I like it, it has some great ingredients and is good for spotty complexions. I just use it on my problem areas (cheeks and chin)!
- General lifestyle and health – There’s no escaping that our skin reflects our lifestyle and what we’re putting into our bodies. Since 2014 I’ve changed the way I eat and my general attitude towards my health and lifestyle. I make much more conscious decisions on what to eat, basing it more on what’s best for me not JUST what tastes the best. Of course ideally you want it to be good for you AND taste great 🙂 I know some people notice a link between dairy and the condition of their skin – I switched to almond/rice/oat milks but I didn’t notice any difference with my skin tbh, so luckily for me I don’t think a particular food group affects me. The ‘everything in moderation’ phrase is oh so true. The other aspects within this of course are getting enough sleep and drinking lots of water! Substituting drinks for water is a good place to start. Fizzy drinks and coffee every day is not going to help. And getting into a good routine of sleep is just in general good for your wellbeing! I feel so much better getting up early and going to bed well before midnight.
My skin is still not perfect, many previous spots have left behind annoyingly stubborn red marks on my cheeks that have been there for months so I’m not sure they will ever go. However what I now have is a smooth base, so when I use foundation and concealer I can get a much more flawless finish without all the lumps and bumps underneath! I still get the odd spots of course but with my current routine they clear up and leave within days. I’m so happy with it at the moment. I can’t remember the last time it was so clear 🙂
Now I’ve written this though what’s the betting it all goes down hill and I wake up looking like a pizza tomorrow…