A warning… this Skincare Shake Up is pretty long (even for me!) BUT I promise it’s worth it. There are some old favourites, some new staples, some expensive treats and some cheap must-haves… strap in for a mammoth Skincare Shake Up: October 2017 edition!
As always with my Skincare Shake Up posts, I’ll separate everything into my evening and morning routine. Everything is listed in order of use, but if you have any questions or want advice on products/use/order just leave a comment below or send me an email using the contact form at the top of the page.
The usual disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or a dermatologist. I have rosacea but that doesn’t mean my skin is the same as yours. I just try to give as much information and guidance as I can so you can make informed decisions based on your skin type, budget, and energy levels.
SKINCARE SHAKE UP: EVENING ROUTINE
Medik8 Red Alert Cleanse* – I usually avoid foaming cleansers as it was drilled into me that they tend to be drying and therefore terrible for people who struggle with dehydration like me… but this is absolutely lovely. It feels very gentle and soft on the skin and leaves no tightness or dryness. I use one pump and that leaves my skin feeling clean but comfortable. It contains some incredible ingredients: Teprenone (an anti-redness active ingredient to help with hypersensitivity); Vitamin K (to strengthen capillary walls, helping to reduce redness in the short term and prevent more damage in the long term); and Sweet Orange Oil (soothing and anti-inflammatory). There are also travel sizes available so you can try it before committing to a big bottle, something I wish more brands would do. [2021 EDIT: the ‘red alert’ range has been renamed as ‘Calmwise’, I’m not sure about formulations changes etc so please check before rebuying]
FYI I don’t use this for make up removal, I’ve been using my tried and trusted SuperFacialist Vitamin C+ Cleansing Oil (it’s featured in my Skincare Shake Up posts so many times I worry you’re getting bored of reading about it!)
Pixi Glow Tonic* – Last month I tried the new Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic 5% Glycolic Acid* as it was causing such a stir (you can read last month’s Skincare Shake Up HERE). This month I decided to try the product that is supposedly the inspiration behind it – the cult classic Pixi Glow Tonic. I can definitely see the similarities: when it came to how it made my skin look and feel, they were very alike. However I would have to say that the Pixi Glow Tonic was a little more hydrating and soothing for my sensitive skin, so if you have dry or dehydrated skin I would probably stump up a little more for this one. Chemical exfoliators take the place of physical exfoliators (grainy scrubs etc.) and are typically much better for sensitive skin as they aren’t as harsh – as long as you find the right one! If you’re new to these products, try using it once a week and building up to 2-3 times a week once your skin gets used to it. If your skin is very reactive, or you’re a bit nervous, you can try wetting the cotton pad with water/micellar water to dilute the product slightly. Let me know if you’d like a blog post dedicated to my favourite chemical exfoliators…
Dermalogica Ultracalming Mist* – This has featured in previous Skincare Shake Up posts but it’s back again. I’m a huge fan of mists as a way to calm and soothe rosacea flare ups and the associated heat and itching and this is one of my favourites. It contains green tea, Canadian willow herb, cucumber, liquorice and raspberry extracts which are designed to be anti-itching, with healing and antioxidant properties. I’ve been spritzing it onto cleansed skin and pressing it into skin to prep for the below serum and it’s really boosted the results.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is another product that’s featured on the blog before. Hyaluronic Acid sounds terrifying but is actually not like the acids I mentioned above. This is a hydrating ingredient that can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water so, although it’s a great addition to every skincare routine, it’s especially wonderful in the colder months. It’s a thick serum with a slightly sticky feel but it’s one of the only skincare items when you can see an almost immediate response from your skin: hydration lines are plumped up, skin looks dewier and healthier, and feels softer. The Ordinary serum is also alcohol free, silicone free, vegan and cruelty free. And it’s under £6. MADNESS. This is my third bottle and I’m already panicking as this one is perilously low…
IT Cosmetics Confidence In A Cream* – I purposefully picked this moisturiser from my ‘to try’ box as my skin is starting to react to the colder weather, so I wanted something with a heavier formula. This is a thick cream but isn’t at all greasy and sinks into the skin very quickly. It does contain some fragrant oils that may irritate some skin types although personally I haven’t had any issues. I really wish it wasn’t in a pot, for hygiene reasons as well as the fact that some of the ingredients will become unstable after exposure to light and air (as well as being really annoying to use with long nails!).
MASKS & TREATMENTS
The Cattier Pink Clay Mask is another product that the eagle-eyed among you will have seen here before. I bought this mask in Paris and I highly recommend getting it there if you can as it was so cheap (about €3!) and it proves that clay masks don’t need to be hugely expensive to work. This is the pink version which is designed for sensitive skin and it doesn’t aggravate my rosacea unless I apply it on my cheeks or forehead (my rosacea hates anything tight or drying so would kick off straight away!). Luckily the areas I’m oily and congested are my nose and chin so I stick to those areas.
Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Advanced Repair Cream* – This product reminds me of my beloved La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 (high praise indeed!) and I have a feeling this new cream will sit next to it in the Bathroom Cabinet Of Joy, where only my favourite products live. Like the LRP cream, it’s a thick almost emollient cream that instantly calms my skin if it’s feeling angry, warm, tight, or harassed. It’s even suitable for use post treatments like peels, needling, and lasers which shows how gentle and soothing it is. For my oily skin it’s a little too intense to use as a daily moisturiser – I’ve been using it as a mask treatment – but I think if you had very dry skin, eczema, or psoriasis, it would be dreamy for everyday use. It contains beta-Glucan (which boosts cytokine production to accelerate healing and moisturising); Arnica (anti-bruising and antimicrobial); and Perfluorodecalin (binds to oxygen helping to stimulate the recovery process). It’s pricey compared to the LRP but I find that I use less of it, so the same size tube will last longer.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution* – This product works in a similar way to the Pixi Glow Tonic mentioned above: it’s a product you apply to your skin and it exfoliates the top layers of skin to help the appearance of blemishes, scarring, dull skin, texture, and signs of ageing. The Ordinary describe it as a ’10 minute exfoliating facial’ and the most fun thing about it is that it’s red and gloopy, and looks just like fake blood! You use the pipette to apply a thin layer to your dry face, leave it on, then remove. It says not to exceed 10 minutes but I’ve been doing maximum 5 minutes as my skin is sensitive. It’s very tingly when I first put it on but it never induces a flare up or causes any issues with my rosacea, but I think if you know that your skin is reactive to these types of things then maybe give this a miss. HOWEVER if you have ‘normal’ skin and want to try chemical exfoliants for a ridiculously cheap price (£6.30!) then this is ideal for you. It contains 30% Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (Glycolic/Lactic/Tartaric/Citric), 2% Beta Hydroxyl Acid (Salicylic Acid), Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer, Vitamin B5, Black Carrot and Tasmanian Pepperberry (the latter helps to soothe and reduce irritation from exfoliation). On the website it says it’s not recommended for sensitive skin but if (like me) you’ve used chemical exfoliators before with no issues, I think you’ll be okay. Obviously, as with anything do a test patch, be ready to remove instantly if the tingling moves more towards burning, CONSTANT VIGILANCE etc.
SKINCARE SHAKE UP: MORNING ROUTINE
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water* – We all know that I love micellar waters. They are so convenient, gentle, and easy to use. Seriously, if you are still clinging to face wipes (I’m giving you my most intense judgey side-eye…) then just try replacing them with a micellar water and I promise your skin will feel and look better in no time. This is a lovely affordable product that’s available on the highstreet: non-drying, gentle, and kind on my sensitive eyes. It features in THIS video if you want to see it in action.
The Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water Spray is a long-term favourite and I’ve been using it in the same way as listed above with the Dermalogica spray. This is definitely the best water spray I’ve used: it’s so calming, soothing and kind to my skin, but it’s also a really fine soft mist so it doesn’t disrupt make up if you use it through the day.
Medik8 Red Alert Serum* – This is a very thin, almost oil-like, serum that sinks into the skin almost immediately, so I tend to apply it straight from the pipette onto the skin (without touching the two) rather than risk it soaking in to my fingertips before I apply it! This is a great product for rosacea and reactive skin types as it’s designed to help relieve and calm irritated skin, as well as soothe flushing and supporting the skin’s defensive barrier.
Simple Water Boost Hydrating Boost* – This is a lightweight gel serum that is a good addition to my ‘basics’ skincare drawer: products that my skin gets on with but that aren’t doing anything groundbreaking. This helps my skin to feel softer, calmer, and less tight than if I skipped it and went straight to moisturiser. In my opinion the serum from The Ordinary is better for my skin and is also cheaper, but if for some reason you don’t get on with the latter then this is a good staple serum.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream – This is one of The Body Shop’s best selling moisturisers but for me I think I need something with more oomph as this just felt lacking. It also has a really strong smell that put me off immediately, and from some research online it seems that it’s an artificial fragrance which is a strange choice. Again, I wish it wasn’t in a pot for hygiene and stability reasons. My kingdom for sealed, pump-action skincare products!
Medik8 Redness Corrector* – As the moisturiser above wasn’t cutting it for me, I have been applying this tinted moisturiser on top. It’s an oil-free, paraben-free, and alcohol-free corrective moisturiser with green mineral pigments to counteract redness. The green tint is very subtle so it won’t be enough to replace your make up, but it does help give the rosiness a slightly toned-down look without giving you a Hulk vibe. It’s a light, thin moisturiser that’s a great base for make up and felt very calming on the skin. For the ingredient-lovers among you, it contains Alpha-Bisabolol, Aloe Vera, and White Tea (to soothe and calm); Caffeine and Potassium Chloride (to reduce the appearance of capillaries and thread veins); Perfluorodecalin and Caffeine (to minimise the appearance of future redness outbreaks); Vitamin E (an antioxidant to protect skin from environmental damage); and Bakuchiol and Aloe Vera (to minimise the skin’s response to irritants).
Bioderma Photoderm AR Tinted Cream SPF50 – This is another repeat offender in these Skincare Shake Up parts, but I have already repurchased this SPF as I love it so much. Lightweight, slightly tinted, non-clogging, non-greasy – everything you could want in a SPF.
PHEW! This was a beast of a Skincare Shake Up, I hope you’re all still awake! If you are, head to the comments to tell me if anything here catches your eye, if you’ve tried anything mentioned, or to recommend your current favourite skincare products… or ones you are intrigued by but want me (your resident guinea pig) to try first!
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