This week has been a nightmare with my skin. It has been horribly unbalanced and not quite right. I’ve had those nasty under-the-skin hormonal red bumps that cannot be squeezed/picked/attacked and refuse to move. I’ve had odd huge bumps/spots on my cheeks – where I never, ever get spots! My skin has reverted back to a teenage, greasy mess – when it was doing so well- having been re-balanced by Clarins and REN (as I mentioned in my previous post). Generally, it was grim and making me miserable. (As a side, I *think* the outburst is down to falling off the wagon diet-wise, what with my brothers wedding, the chocolate fountain, Starbucks at service stations and general crap food – it is true what they say about your skin: if you are having problems like I was, sugar is often to blame …. along with dairy and caffeine. Which is depressing.)
Anyway – luckily enough I have a small arsenal of products to try and treat my skin issues.
Firstly, I really had a look in the mirror (eurgh). I know it sounds daft, but I wanted to see what the hell was going on. I spent a few minutes pulling and prodding my skin around and having a good old look. My conclusion was that my skin looked raw/sore/red/unhappy. Confession time: I had picked at the few under the skin bumps with my tweezers in the vain attempt to get them to do something – without fail. They were staring back at me, all red and raw, having won the battle. I do not know why I pick them!!!! Every time they come up I pick them. I try to pick them. It always fails. I end up being annoyed and miserable and they end up looking worse than they did before. I never learn!!
So, I did a rummage and this is what I came up with that *seems* to have done the trick (fingers crossed, knock on wood!):
I decided to avoid the ‘chucking all salicylic acid products on my face in the matter of a 14 year old Clearasil addict’ as my skin looked like it needed a bit more care, not burning off.
1. La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel. This is aimed at sensitive skin that reacts easily to products. It is a non foaming, SLS free cleanser that is very mild but still does the job. I used this every morning and removed with a CLEAN flannel (new one each day!). It doesn’t really have a smell and doesn’t strip the skin at all. It just felt ‘clean’ on my skin, which I liked.
2. La Roche Posay Serozinc. This is a much hyped about, much blogged about, spray toner. It has only recently become available in the UK (escentual.com) and before that I used to get my brother to send it to me from France. It is a water spray but contains zinc sulphate, which is known for it’s healing. Serozinc is designed for blemish prone, breakout skin, so was perfect for this. It is also excellent on oily skin too. I used it after cleansing, morning and evening.
3. Clarins Blue Orchid Facial Oil. I used this at night only, after cleansing and toning. I skipped serums and just went straight in with this. 4-5 drops on my fingers and patted over my face. This is the one for dry/dehydrated skin (the Lotus Oil is the one for oily skin to re-balance). It feels nourishing and my face just wakes up looking better in the morning after I’ve used it. I won’t ever be without a Clarins Facial Oil again.
4. Origins Make A Difference + Rejuvinating Treatment. On the nights I wasn’t using the Clarins Oil, I used this. This is a lovely, cooling, gel like moisturiser (actually marketed as a treatment not a night cream) that I think, really does something! It makes my skin feel better and smoother and more nourished in the morning. I really love the Origins Make A Difference Range.
5. Bioderma Sebium Hydra Moisturising Compensating Care for Acne Prone Skin. Now, I know I don’t have acne per se, but when the spots start erupting on my face, by my standards, I feel like I have acne. This day cream is good because it provides hydration and moisture, whilst remaining balanced and not too oily; I don’t know how it does it but it does! My skin really likes this and it did keep oil at bay during the day.
6. La Roche-Posay Redermic R – Retinol anti-wrinkle solution. This is the scary bit: RETINOL! Eeek. I was scared of Retinol before I started researching and reading aricles about it. Retinol is the strongest ingredient we have available to us to sort out wrinkles/scarring on our skin. Without retinol, a product probably isn’t going to make much of a difference where wrinkles are concerned. Now, I’m only 31, so I’m not hugely concerned about major wrinkles yet, but I probably will roll out the intensive retinol when I’ve reached 45 ish (sorry anyone reading who is 45!). However, this product’s other use is scarring. It was recommended to me to sort out big cystic acne scars. It is quite potent (I only use it three times a week, at night only, and always followed by a high strength SPF the next day) but it does the job. I apply it as a serum, before moisturiser, after eye cream, all over my face. I think it has faded my scars slightly, but I need to use it more regularly to make a true comment: I tend to roll it out whenever I have a bad breakout, so I need to be a bit more consistent.
7. Avene Cicalfate Repair Cream. So I said I had avoided the salicylic acid products that tend to leave a bit of a sting when you apply (that isn’t a bad thing, but I just wanted something more gentle). This product from Avene is perfect and has been working wonders. I used this on Elsie when she has a nasty scratch on her leg. I’ve used it on a burn that Steve had on his hand. It contains zinc and is purely designed to heal the skin – simple as that. I applied it on the worst spots (the ones I had picked with the tweezers and that looked awful) and after 3 days, they are almost gone and certainly 100% better than how they looked a few days ago! I love this stuff. I keep it in the drawer and always get it out when something needs repairing. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
8. Not pictured above Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion – I still use this all the time on the cystic spots under the skin that never come to the surface. If you remember from a previous post, this is the only product on the market specifically designed for cystic female acne. I always use it, certainly every month as I get cystic spots every month. It doesn’t bring them to the surface, but it does take the pain and throbbing away and they go down quicker. So far, it is the only thing I’ve found that does anything for cystic acne. If you’re a sufferer- get some
I hope this post helps someone … we all have bad skin weeks every now and then. I feel your pain, but my skin, thanks to the products above, is on the mend! 🙂