Skin oh skin oh skin, where oh where do I begin with you?
My skin was pretty normal and dare I say perfect throughout my teens. I never had to worry about anything outside of the reliable hormonal break out on my chin at that time of the month. So you can imagine my horror when my skin went into turmoil at twenty five… TWENTY FIVE!? Adult acne you say? You’ve got to be kidding me!
Well, it was a mild form of adult acne but it completely knocked me for six, taking my confidence and my self worth with it. So after almost three years of battling it out with my skin I can safely say that after trialing and testing almost every blemish related product out there, I think I have gotten to grips with exactly what my skin needs.
This routine has worked for me and I thought it would be interesting to share it with you all, however everybody’s skin is different so what works for me might not work for you and it’s also worth noting that I have upped my skincare a notch in the lead up to my wedding day.
I’m going to be having regular skin peels from now until my big day thanks to the heroes at Alumier MD, my skin is in a great place right now, compared to what it was three years ago and even compared to what it was in these photos back in October in Saint Lucia, however I still have trouble with breakouts and even more annoyingly when the breakouts have gone the scars and pigmentation they leave behind. So my routine will be changing little bit but I still thought it useful to share the bits you can get your hands on easily and somewhat cheaply if you're in a similar boat to me.
Your skin is the first thing that someone sees when they look at you so to know it’s not its best was really upsetting for me. My self confidence was at rock bottom and I couldn’t even look people in the eye as I was so self conscious of the turmoil my skin was in (I have photos which I plan on sharing after my Alumier MD journey)
The products photographed in this post have helped get my sparkle back and more importantly my smile and my confidence; when I shot these back in October 2019 I was SO chuffed with where my skin was at, which totally shines through in the photographs; however, when I look at them now I can see how bad the scarring was, even just a few months ago, which I think says a lot about where my skin finally is now, it’s looking better than ever and it has a lot to do with these very products.
So let's start with cleansers and how I was going about my routine all wrong by stripping it with "acne prone" face washes which left my skin dry, irritable and often flaking off. As I have quite dry skin naturally these products simply weren't right for me despite them being for spotty skin like mine. Instead I decided to go down the gentle route and found the REN Evercalm gentle Cleansing Milk and have since made my way through at least 8 bottles of the stuff. My skin loves it, it’s a creamy milk consistency with no fragrance and no nasties, it takes my make up off easily when used with a warm muslin cloth and I’ve had absolutely no reaction to it whatsoever. I’ve introduced another REN cleanser recently as a pre-cleanse which is the brand new REN Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser. This cleanser is great to start off with as it completely breaks down make up, pollution, SPF etc ready for your second cleanse, mine being the Evercalm gentle milk; I’ve only been using the jelly oil cleanser for a few weeks so I can’t say too much about it BUT I’ve had no break outs, my skin is so silky smooth and I quite literally feel squeaky clean after using it.
Let's say I'm having a pamper night, which I LOVE to do twice a week usually on a Wednesday and a Sunday I'll use the Dr Barbara Sturm facial scrub, a really gritty exfoliator that makes me feel totally buffed. My skin looks and feels baby soft after using a pea size amount and working it into my skin, I truly, truly love this product! Following up with a clay mask, my fave is the Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask, apparently it's a 3-in-1 multi-tasker which can be used as a targeted spot treatment or a face wash but I've only ever used it as a good ole fashioned face mask. It purges pores of dirt without stripping the skin of essential moisture and oils, which is pivotal for me and my skin as I do get rather dry skin. I've gone through two pots of this stuff and can't see myself stopping any time soon.
Toner wise, I have yet another REN product (can you tell I just LOVE REN) I use the daily Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic and I truly, truly love it. A liquid exfoliant which is gentle enough to use every day, twice a day, is good by me and having used this for the past year I would say it has certainly given me my glow back.
Back in the day I remember everybody raving about the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo and I just had to give it a whirl. Back then my skin was great and I just didn't see the benefits that others did. However, when using it on skin that was pretty bad my goodness has this product changed my life. You know those annoying tiny under the skin bumps that usually grace our chin and jawline area? Well this product completely got rid of them for me.
And finally, I've got to talk about the Disciple Dreamy Skin which has really helped with tackling the scarring and pigmentation that my spots have left behind. Things like this take time and whilst it's certainly not an overnight cure (what is!?) Dreamy Skin has really, truly helped to speed up the process.
I completely adore popping this on before I go to bed every night; it's a powerhouse treatment that helps to regenerate skin cells while you sleep, which works to reduce pigmentation and dark spots, whilst also minimising fine lines and the appearance of pores, plus it smells and feels truly wonderful on the skin and I just can't get enough of it.
I've more recently introduced Vitamin C c/o a drop or two of the REN Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream into my daily Drunk Elephant Moisturiser and also a couple of drops of Hyaluronic Acid in the form of the Dr Dennis Gross Marine Hydration Booster but it's too early to say whether these products have helped the overall quality of my skin and I know that to help my scarring further I will need to introduce retinol into the mix... However scary this may be.
And when it comes to treating the actual spot or spots I must have tried every single spot cream out there but once again REN come up trumps with their Non-Drying Spot Treatment which you can actually use underneath make up, a game changer for me! I also adore the Glossier ZitStick too for overnight break outs, Zitsticka's are wonderful for beasts that are beginning to grow, literally a little sticker for your spot. AND for super troublesome skin I can't recommend the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, a series of at home peels for five days that transformed my skin. A little pricey but if you've got an occasion coming up and need that added boost then SO worth it.
It's by no means perfect but we've come a long way my skin and I and I'm really rather proud of where we're up to right now. I hope you found this post useful and I'd love to know if you use any of the products I've mentioned. Leave any other tips and tricks, lotions and potions in the comments below as I'm sure they'll help me and other readers alike.