Ok guys, let's talk about body hang ups shall we? We can save the discussion about the spare half a stone gathering around my thighs for another day - I like brownies, ok - but I'm thinking of that elusive goal, the holy grail of beauty, clear skin.
I have discussed at length on this blog about skincare, and yet nothing seems to have calmed my woes. I'm starting to get fine lines for goodness sake - I am too old for spots. I don't smoke, I don't eat that much rubbish, I exercise twice a week. I'm partial to the odd crazy alcohol fuelled weekend, but which 24 year old isn't? On balance, I'm pretty healthy and yet that doesn't seem to rub off on my skin.
So, in a bid to change my complexion fortune, I read loads of reviews, theorised what my tricky uber sensitive, oily skin might like, filled up my bathroom shelves with some new products, and took the plunge. And here's the before and after....
These snaps are completely make up free, and are 8 weeks apart.
Before The first was taken the day I started mynew routine, and it was probably an average skin day for me. I was getting flare ups during that time of the month, and I antagonise my condition by scratching and scrubbing - which was making things worse. I was tested for rosacea and was told my skin rejuvenates itself quicker than an average person's skin, hence the overproduction of oil.
After 8 weeks later, after concentrating really hard on a routine that would work for me, and I'm not having to wear a full face of make up every day. My skin tone is more even (though I'm sure the tan has helped!) and I have hardly any proper spots. I can't claim my pores are smaller, but my skin is much brighter, plumper and fresher. As well as looking (I think) better, it feels better too. And I'm all for something material to make us feel happier, folks.
This Clarisonic Mia 2 (c/o) has been a little lifesaver. Combined with this decongesting kit which comprises a clay mask and a foaming cleanser, my skin has never felt so smooth. It's a strange sensation that took me a few days to get used to (you're essentially buffing your skin) but it's super soft and doesn't leave my skin raw like other harsh exfoliators have done. It's pricey, but maintenance is affordable and I think the cost is certainly justified from the results.
If I've been in a hurry (and let's face it, some days I am just too tired/drunk to bother) these 3-in-1 wipes from Clean & Clear (c/o) have been great. So much so in fact, this is an empty packet! I'm still using Etat Pur micellar cleansing water - which doubles up quite nicely as a toner.
Nighttime skincare posed a problem for me. In the past, night moisturisers have made me break out, but a combination of La Roche Posay and Eucerin has sorted my evening care right out. Effaclar Duo + has been all over the blogosphere and rightly so. It's absorbed quickly, is really light on my skin and at around £15 it's not a miracle cure that will bankrupt you. And last but by no means least - the Dermo Purifyer night cream is my absolute fave product of the bunch. It's got a thick consistency and reminds me of suncream but without the stickiness. It's super smooth and leaves my skin feeling plump without the grease. Wonder product.
Of course everybody's skin is different, and I cannot stress enough the importance of exercise, and drinking enough water. It's a clique - but feeling hydrated wakes my body up as well as my skin. If you don't like water on it's own, I don't see anything wrong with a dash of squash or chopped up cucumber. I've been running loads and have started playing netball too, sweat it out!
Let me know your skin woes guys - it can sometimes not be a pretty picture but it's a subject close to my heart. If you don't need to worry about your complexion you really are so lucky!
Some of these products were gifted for review, but as always, my opinions are honest. I've tried enough skincare treatments to spot bs! I can't guarantee that this routine or these products will work for you exactly how they did for me - but if you have similar type then perhaps it's worth a shot.