Monday, 25 May 2015

Step-by-Step Skin Care

On a day to day basis I get asked when do you apply serum?/ How often should I exfoliate?/ Do I really need an eye cream? Among many, many other questions.

To me it can sometimes be frustrating, but I need to remember not everyone knows how to use products correctly, when in their routine they should be using them, how often, how much to use- the list goes on!

So I thought I would create a basic structure of a skin care routine to help enlighten people who may not be in the know.

Lets start at the beginning, which is also my favourite step #CleanserObsessive

Amount to use: grape size/ 10p piece/ Thumb nail

You should be cleansing twice a day, once when you wake up, and once at the earliest convenience when you get home.

For me it's practically as soon as I walk through the door. I cannot wait to take my makeup off. plus it gives my skin a good four extra hours to absorb all the goodness from my night oil than it would if I took it off right before bed. PLUS the nearer to bedtime it is, the less I can be arsed to clean my face, so it improves my chances of taking the day off my face too!

In the evenings wash your face twice too; The first cleanse is to remove the makeup/ pollution/ grime/ off your face, the second is to clean your skin. As a rule of thumb, use a basic/ cheaper cleanser to remove makeup, and the more $$ one with do-good ingredients second.

Oh, and use a damp hand-hot flannel or muslin cloth to remove your cleanser. A fresh one daily. You'll thank me later.

Amount to use: 50% of cotton pad soaked. Also see variation.

I only use toners that do something i.e exfoliate/ hydrate/ anti blemish.

They are not used to remove excess cleanser any more, especially if you take me up on the flannel/ muslin cloth note.

If you want to use one for a purpose, now would be when. Most you apply to a cotton pad and sweep over the face. I would encourage gentle 'buffing' (especially a salicylic toner on blemishes) to get the most out of your product. Also flip your cotton pad over and repeat.

Variation: Some toners are spritzed or sprayed on in bottles or aerosol cans. Don't spray too liberally.

Wait for product to dry 30 secs - 1 min. Then on to the next step.

Amount to use: pea size/ half soaked cotton pad (dependant on type) 1-2x a week.

With scrubs, use one with fine exfoliating granules. Favour sugar/salt crystals if you environmentally protest man made micro beads.

DO NOT use apricot kernels/ ground nuts. Just don't.

For liquid exfoliators follow steps for toner.

If you don't exfoliate, don't come to me asking for a richer moisturiser for your dryness, when removing the dead skin from your face will improve the flakiness aka dead skin ten fold, and your moisturiser will be moisturising your face, not DEAD SKIN. *and breath*.

On a side note, 'exfoliating washes' are more of a 'maintenance' than a weekly treatment, so still use a exfoliator once or twice a week. And ditch that scrub wash thing for a proper cleanser.

Amount to use: normally one pump is one usage. But if it's taking ages to sink in, try half a pump

Serums are different to moisturisers in that they penetrate much deeper into the skin. They're able to do this because they are finer in texture, and have concentrated ingredients.

They come in varying textures from runny almost like water, to much creamier like a moisturiser. So it's understandable that people confuse the two.

You should use them to target a skin concern, be it hydration/ acne/ fine lines.

Yes you DO need to also use a moisturiser. No either/or option.

Amount to use: Chick pea/ 5p piece/ the size you want that diamond to be

Think of moisturisers as your skins protection for the day, like a bike helmet; Everyone should wear one, some people don't. Those people are idiots. Ignorant idiots.

I hate to break it to you but they don't offer miracle cures.

You need a moisturiser that offers enough hydration/ moisturisation to get you through the day without your skin feeling that you need more.

If you want to splash out on a product, make it a serum, not a moisturiser.

Night Creams
Amount to use: same as moisturiser.

Night creams do tend to have a bit more oomph than day creams, but still proceed with precaution.

You also don't need to use the same brand/ range day and night moisturiser. Despite what the sales consultant tells you... Funny that.

Amount to use: 2-4 drops/ 5p piece

Like serums, they are full of skin-loving ingredients and will give you that little boost.

Some can be used on their own, others in conjunction with a night cream in lieu of a serum.

Don't be afraid of putting oil on a 'oily' skin. Plant oils are great at rebalancing an oilier skin as they trick your over active sebaceous glands from producing excessive oils.

Amount to use: Layer all over your face and neck. So you can't see your skin, but not so much you're wasting product.

Masks are great at for stepping up your skin came game. Like serums they'll be targeted to treat something.

Use after your weekly exfoliation is best as you have removed all the dead skin so your skin will receive optimum results.

I hope I have covered and clarified how/ when/ why to use products (and thats it's coherent!)
There are specialised products which I haven't explained as they are not general enough, and it's a whole different kettle of fish!

If you have any questions please comment below, I'd be happy to answer any queries.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Meet My Friends

As in skincare friends!

I said I would do a post on my 'current skin care'. Although it does change rather frequently, as I'm always on the look out for other products.

OK, lets start at the beginning


I tend to use the Clarins Extra Comfort Cleansing Cream as my morning cleanser, although I have used it to remove makeup in the past. I probably stopped because it's not the best to take off eye makeup. It's a lovely texture and really gentle on the skin.

Note none of my cleansers are foaming.

Clinique Take The Day Off (TTDO) is a really simple cleanser which does what it says on the tin, well, jar. It comes in other forms (milk/oil) but the balm is my favourite.

So once I've removed my makeup, I always go in with a second cleanse. Depending on how my skin is feeling. Normally after work my skin is feeling GROSS so I use Soap and Glory Ultimelt which is a purifying cleanser, and makes my face feel super clean with out stripping it.

Alternatively I may use The Body Shop Camomile Balm, which is quite similar to TTDO or Neals Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm; full of antioxidants and good stuff. The most expensive of the lot too.

It's also probably worth noting I apply all my cleansers to a dry skin and remove with a damp muslin cloth or flannel.


I only use acid toners, as they offer gentle exfoliation, and I alternate Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion which contains salicylic acid and Clarins Gentle Exfoliator* which contains glycolic acid.

In the past I have used acid toners from Avene and La Roche Posay, but they don't quite cut it.

I have recently started using the La Roche Posay Serozinc as a kind of second toner step. It's still early days so I can't really offer an opinion yet. But it's supposed to help reduce blemishes.

*Clarins recommend this product as a weekly treatment, but my skin is quite used to the acid toners so I use it alternate days- but listen to your own skin. It does increase sensitivity to the sun, so always wear an SPF.


I'm not an experienced user of serums. I haven't found a 'problem skin' serum I really liked, so I use a hydrating one. 

Any good serum for dehydrated skin will contain hyaluronic acid like Vichy Aqualia Thermal serum is actually one of the few products I have repurchased more than once. It's a beautiful texture, and suits my combination skin. Previously I have tried Clarins HydraQuench bi-phase serum, which does essentially the same thing, but I preferred this one.

I know I said I wasn't keen on problem skin serums, but I do have the Vichy Night Detox which I have used on and off for a while now. Not a particularly avid fan though.


I'm unsure whether you should use different moisturisers for different purposes like with cleansers or serums. 

Either way, I only have one which is the Vichy Aqua Thermal, to match the serum. As you can see it's practically empty, and I have brought a backup. But thats not to say I wouldn't change if another came along. I haven't seen anything that takes my fancy yet!


As I said, I only have one moisturiser, and I don't get along with night creams, so I use Clarins Blue Orchid Oil. It's a hydrating treatment oil and smells gorgeous. 

I normally apply it on it's own after cleansing, and occasionally I will use it after the Vichy Night Detox. It lasts for ages too, as you use such a small amount.


In the lead up to my wedding I wanted my skin to be as good as it could be, so I bought a more intense glycolic and salicylic acid from Bravura, which make the Dermaflannel I have previously written about. 

These are nightly 'peel' treatments, although NONE OF YOUR SKIN PEELS OFF. I would highly recommend these products, as they are so affordable (under a tenner) and work incredibly, but please only use them after an email consultation they offer on their website. 

Finally I try to use the Clarins HydraQuench mask once a week... But it's more like once a month.
It's a lovely cream mask, so it doesn't set, and it's super at getting the hydration back into the skin and making it look plumped up and healthy!

As you can see, it's not too extensive- or expensive. I've managed to find a lot of great products that my skin loves that don't cost the earth!

You also don't have to stick to products that are solely for your skin type. Hardly any of my products are specifically for a oily/ combination skin.

What skin care product can you not live without?

Which part of your routine are you looking to change?

Monday, 11 May 2015

(Another) Skin Update

So a little over a year ago I did a post update on how my awful irrational skin had improved to a slightly more manageable state.

And me being the eagerly presumptuous person that I am thought you might all like to know how me and my skin are doing.

I think the easiest way to tell you is just to show you the pictures...

So above is the picture I posted last year on my blog when I was just starting to get to grips with controlling and understanding my skin.

And below is my skin now...

As you can see, it's far from perfect. But I'm surprised myself how much of an improvement there has been! Especially compared to the first picture.

I guess the key to my progress is investing in products for your skin. That certainly doesn't mean spending a fortune on skin care, just do research, read blogs, articles and reviews. Find out what works for your skin.

Also, your skin takes time to heal, repair and adjust to new products. No product, I repeat NO PRODUCT is a miracle cure that will give you 100% improvement overnight. Allow your skin time to reap the benefits of the glorious ingredients from your products.

I may do another post with my 'current skin care routine' and I'm trying to keep these posts short and concise! 

But that's all for now.

See you later peeps

Friday, 8 May 2015

Long Time No See...

Right, guess I have been MIA on the blogosphere for a little while (nearly a year... whoops).
Well, you'll be glad to know I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth- just been busy with life and such, aren't we all?

But I have decided to pick up from where I have left off, and get back to blogging.

I'm hoping I have gained a lot of experience in the last year, so I have more to offer you lovely lot.
The blog style may change a little, not so much product reviews, more things that have helped me day-to-day and life rambles.

I hope you're looking forward to reading some up coming posts!

Until then, TTFN