So if you follow me on social media you’ll know that me and my skin have fallen out recently. Big time. I sailed through my teens with pretty perfect skin and as I reached my twenties my blemish free skin kind of hung around. I don’t know if it’s down to good luck, good genes or the fact I often ‘borrowed’ goodies from my mum’s Clarins stash, never used skin wipes and always, always stuck to a skin routine. I don’t think I have ever left my makeup on over night. Ever.
But over the last few months my skin has got the better of me. An oily t-zone, breakouts on my cheeks and a collection of spots that can only be compared to the Andes has broken out on my chin, refused to calm down and keep inviting more to the party. I’ve battled with a collection of angry, yellow and oozing (sorry) spots on my skin for the past month, which my sister who is a nurse, tells me are all due to my cray cray hormones. Oh great, another perk of being filled with oestrogen.
So instead of continuing to cry into the mirror at work, which has THE worst lighting in the world, I decided to take control. I set myself a challenge, 7 days to better skin. So on Monday 27th October I raided my beauty stocks so see what I had already, watched tonnes of beauty vlogs online and wrote a list of the products I needed. I also decided to lower my diary intake, avoiding cereal for breakfast and allowing myself just two precious cups a day. I also increased the amount of fruit I ate each day, invested in some ‘proper’ beauty products and booked myself a much needed facial. But did it all pay off?
Spots – 1,600
Skin tone – Dull, washed out and what my mum would describe as ‘peaky’ looking
General Aesthetic – Orc like
Thoughts – “Oh wow, so this is what I look like. I look like I haven’t slept in days. I look like I’ve had a botched lip job*.”
*Haven’t had botched lip job, have several spots on lip line which have created illusion of a Tulisa like pout.
Spots – 1,650
Skin tone – Still dull, with patches of red owed to angry spots
General asthetic – Angry Orc
Thoughts – “So the red patches are new, maybe I scrubbed my face too hard. It looks like the Red Sea is parting on my face. Let me put some Sudocrem on my spots…several minutes later, still applying product to spots.”
Spots – 2,000 and counting
Skin tone – Patchwork like due to dryness and oily areas fighting it out for the best spot on my face. (No pun intended).
General aesthetic – A flea-bitten, mothballed patchwork quilt circa 1930s
Thoughts – “I can’t actually go to work today, I know looks aren’t everything but my spots are taking over. My skin is getting worse, all those products I just bought!! They’ve made my skin worse. What is this injustice? Wait maybe my wild eyebrows will disguise my skin.”
Spots – 1,500
Skin tone – Very shiny
General aesthetic – Swimming pool with beach balls floating in it
Thoughts – “Oh so this is new, my makeup has fallen off my face by 12pm because my skin is so greasy. I actually have less spots today but they are more raised and made more obvious by the fact they look like they’re swimming.”
Spots – 500
Skin tone – Brighter, healthier yet still battling with redness
General aesthetic – Half woman/Half orc
Thoughts – “Okay so I think things are finally working. My lips are still swollen due to underlying spots round lip line but those blighters on my chin seem to have calmed down and I’ve definitely got rid of a few.”
Spots – 15 (Okay this time I actually counted just didn’t include black heads because I’ve got a million of those)
Skin tone – Healthy, glowing (I need to use better lighting more often) and clean
General aesthetic – Me circa 2007
Thoughts – “This is actually working, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to write a blog post, can you imagine ‘7 days to worse skin’? My spots are no longer 4D. My eyes look like I’ve actually slept.”
Spots – 15
Skin tone – A little red, I think due to my facial yesterday but overall so much healthier. To feel, it’s spongey and feels taut.
General aesthetic – Happy Mary Olivia
Thoughts – “I’m so happy I did this. I feel so much more confident about going to work tomorrow. I’ve still got spots but who hasn’t? My skin won’t ruin my day anymore.”
FYI: You may not be able to tell a whole lot of difference but hey I’ve just uploaded 7 no-makeup selfies. I feel so much more confident in my own skin and those spots you can still see can now be covered with makeup, before they were too inflamed to. I also look a lot healthier and less Gollum like. Very happy lady.
Cleanser – Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash (AM) & Garnier PureActive Intensive Exfobrusher Spot Fighter (PM)
Toner – No7 Soft & Soothed Gentle Toner
Moisturiser – Clinque Anti-blemish Solutions All-over Clearing Treatment
Blemish Treatment – Sudocrem (you can buy this anywhere and it’s so cheap, I’ve got a diddy one and often take it to work with me and use a tiny bit if I’ve got a hideous breakout)
Eye Cream – Simple Revitalising Eye Roll-On
Mask – Eve Taylor Anti-Bac Skin Wash
What I actually did:
The first thing I did was invest in some quality products. I already had the Kiehl’s cleanser but I realised that it wasn’t an intensive enough product to use twice a day. It’s a really enjoyable product that doesn’t contain any of the nasties so many products do. I find it is the best product to start my day as it is gentle and has a mattifying effect which is perfect for my oily skin.
In the evening I used the Garnier Exfobrusher, which using, can only be compared to that moment you take your bra off at the end of the day. I just used a tiny bit of product and used the brush to get into every pore and breakout and give them a good ol’ clean. I will never just use my hand to wash my face again. I can see half the underground coming off my face when I use this. It’s perfect for scrubbing off the day.
I bought a gentle toner as I have found in the past that toners designed for breakout prone skin often contain too much alcohol and just dry my skin out. I made sure to use both sides of the cotton wool pad to apply the product and never go over the same spot twice.
I spoke to a Clinque expert about the best moisturiser for my skin, I didn’t want to splash out on a day and night cream, so she recommended this for my skin where blemishes are the biggest issue. I never find Clinque products particularly enjoyable to use and this does leave my skin a little red and tingly but I’ve noticed such a difference using this. I can actually feel it re-paring my skin and I actually spend time massaging the skin into my product which is another tip I’ve learnt off beauty bloggers.
The Sudocrem I’ve had for years and have used occasionally. So many of my friends and family swear by it and I’ve actually included it in my routine over the past 7 days. So often it’s just smeared across my skin and ruins my pillows at night but for the past 7 days I’ve applied just a small amount with a cotton bud and found, over night, my skin actually absorbed it.
I’ve never given much thought to eye cream but my bags have been calling out for it. I actually get really dry skin around my eyes and this Simple roll-on has really changed that. It has a cooling effect and is a delight to put on before bed. I think I will use eye cream permanently from now on.
The Eve Taylor Anti-Bac was a serious splurge but was recommended by my beautician after my facial. She used Eve Taylor products during my facial which felt incredible and really cleared out my skin. I only bought it yesterday and I’ve used it just now. I really concentrate on my chin and mouth area with this one and can literally feel it extracting the dirt I’ve accumulated over the day. I’ll be using it every day at night for the next week then going down to just 3/4 times a week. It’s a cleanser, face mask and exfoliator in one which is another perk! It does smell a bit of hamster food (I have no idea why) but overall its’ a super product.
- Massively cut down my dairy intake.
- Drank 3-4 cups of Green Tea every day.
- Spent more time on my skin care routine. 10 minutes in the morning and at least 15 at night.
- I drank tonnes of water, I find using a bottle really helps and manages the amount I drink.
- I massaged products into my skin rather than quickly applying them.
- I ate more fruit but still ate lots of chocolate because I require it every day!
- I treated myself to a facial which included a steam wash, extraction (which was pretty painful), a consolation and a quality face-mask.
- I did my research, watched lots of videos, read blogs and read product reviews.
- Whenever possible I washed off my makeup the second I got home from work.
If anyone is having any issues with their skin I would highly recommend investing some time and ££ into your routine. I know looks aren’t everything (I preach this all the time) but bad skin can really knock your confidence so try and regain the control and sort your skin!
PS Non of the above products were sent by PRs I just did my research and bought the best on the market on my budget. All the reviews are honest, promise!