Things have been a little quiet on the blog in the past 6 months and we are long overdue a catch up about my skin as a lot has happened and I’ve had a lot of questions on instagram and FB about how I’ve been coping with it. So get settled for my Skincare Shake Up, covering the past few months.
I usually kick off my Skincare Shake Up posts with a reminder that I am not a trained professional in any capacity regarding beauty. All of my recommendations are based on my experiences as someone who has had rosacea for 14 years. I also have seborrheic dematitis (around my brows, hairline, temples, and forehead) as well as very oily skin on my t-zone. As a result my recommendations may not work for you but this blog serves as a starting point for people to find products and advice that they can then apply their own common sense to and do further research. I try to include as much information as I can about potentially aggravating ingredients where possible but, one of the things I’ve learned about rosacea (or any skin condition) is that you have to become your own expert about what your skin likes and doesn’t like. It’s a lengthy process but a worthwhile one.
So now that’s out of the way, let’s chat skin! As mentioned above, I have had seb derm for years. It’s always been relatively under control – a bit of uneven texture under my brows and a tight feeling around the top half of my head by the end of the day, but to be honest my focus has usually been on my rosacea. But towards the end of August last year, I started to get isolated patches of dry skin under my eyes and around my mouth. After a few weeks they had become worse, with the creases on my eyelids cracking and becoming so intensely itchy that I could not sleep. Luckily for me the skin gods were smiling on me and I was offered an appointment with Dr Justine Kluk. Those of you who follow me on instagram might remember this photo taken at my appointment. If I look like a fangirl meeting her rockstar hero, that’s because it’s exactly how I felt!
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Look at my happy little face! It was an absolute pleasure to finally meet @drjustinekluk in person today. We had a consultation about my skin which – if you've been keeping up with my posts you'll know – is so unhappy right now. Not only is she incredibly knowledgeable about rosacea but she is so kind and put me completely at ease during our appointment. Taking your make up off in front of a stranger is such a scary and vulnerable thing to do, but she made it so much easier. I now have prescriptions for my scaly skin and some skincare recommendations to investigate which I'll keep you all updated on 👏 If you're looking for a dermatologist, I really recommend getting in touch with Justine. And if you're a skincare junkie, her Instagram account is definitely worth a follow! Thank you so much to @rebeccaleecomms for setting up this appointment 💕
As I say in that caption, any kind of appointment regarding your skin can be an intensely vulnerable time. Dr Justine Kluk actually has first hand experiences of skin conditions as she suffered with acne herself, which I think gives her an added layer of kindness and understanding with those who come to see her. She was really kind and gentle with both me and my skin, and I would honestly recommend her to anyone.
We went through my current skincare routine and she recommended some products (most of which were available on the highstreet!) and talked me through each one. I felt very smug and proud that a lot of the products she recommended were already in my heavy-rotation skincare stash, so you’ll see some firm Talonted Lex favourites below. She also prescribed me Protopic 0.03% for my dermatitis which worked miracles – but please remember that you should only ever be prescribed medication by a doctor, please don’t try to self-diagnose and purchase this elsewhere.
I’m going to do a separate post on the products I used on my horrible dry patches while I was waiting for my prescription to come in, so keep your (itchy) eyes out for that.
ENOUGH WAFFLE! Begin the routines! The below is what I pared back my routine to while I sorted out my skin, then underneath I have included the bits that I reintroduced after my skin was back to normal. It’s pretty LRP heavy, but that will be no surprise to any of you as they are one of my favourite brands, so it was great to have a Dermatologist confirm that my love was justified!
SKINCARE SHAKE UP EVENING ROUTINE
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser* – This cleanser has been in and out of my routine for years and I flipping love it. It’s a very gentle and basic cleanser that leaves my skin comfortable and calm. It can either be removed with water and a flannel (my usual technique) or with a cotton pad (what I use when my skin is so sensitised that even water upsets it). As you can see from the picture, my bottle is drained to the very end, I need to top back up!
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective serum* – I have mentioned the mask from this range on here and on instagram a few times (I keep it in the fridge and it. is. DREAMY) so I was intrigued by the serum. It’s a light, green oil-free serum that contains lots of soothing ingredients as well as hyaluronic acid so hydrates and calms the skin.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra moisturiser* – Another wonderful, simple product from LRP. This moisturiser is light enough to be used in the summer, but heavy enough for winter (rare!) and is so gentle on the skin. It’s simple and no-fuss and I love it.
Protopic 0.03% – This is a prescribed topical ointment.
SKINCARE SHAKE UP MORNING ROUTINE
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser* – As above.
La Roche-Posay HyaluB5 serum* – I’ve been using this serum for over a year, which shows how great it is. It’s a hyaluronic acid serum that works in the short term to plump and smooth the skin, AND long-term to minimise the signs of ageing. It’s a little bit sticky on the skin but my sensitive skin adores it.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra moisturiser* – As above!
Protopic 0.03% – This is a prescribed topical ointment.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF 50+* – Regular readers will know that this is my go-to SPF. I’ve tried lots and this is the one I go back to over and over again. It’s lightweight, doesn’t leave a white tint on the skin, isn’t greasy, doesn’t irritate my skin, and doesn’t mess up my make up. I’ve tried a few of the LRP SPFs from the Anthelios range and, in my opinion, this one is the best.
So that’s the basic Skincare Shake Up routine I went for. Very scaled back to the basics of skincare: clean, hydrated, and protected. If you’re looking for a super basic routine, that would be my recommendation for where to start.
Once my skin had started to behave again after about 6 weeks (I used the Protopic for about 3 weeks and then removed it from the routine) I reintroduced my Vitamin C and Retinol products – with the approval and encouragement of Dr Justine Kluk:
In the morning I included my trusty La Roche-Posay Redermic C10* (after cleansing, before serum) – this antioxidant cream contains 10% vitamin c (great for brightening, evens skintone, helps protect against pollution, and helps with signs of ageing) and also contains hyaluronic acid (can you tell I love that stuff?) so it’s also hydrating.
In the evening, I reintroduced the La Roche-Posay Redermic R* (after cleansing, before serum). There are lots of people who believe that Retinol (also known as vitamin A) is a complete no-no for those of us with rosacea or sensitive skin, but you just need to find the right one. Retinol smooths the skin, helps pigmentation, and this one is a great introductory product as it only contains 0.1% retinol. I don’t experience any issues using it (and have used it for over a year and on and off before that) but bear in mind that – with any retinol products – you have to build your tolerance slowly. Actually – I might do a whole separate post on this as there’s so much to talk about: building tolerance, the length of time needed to see results, SPF requirements, side effects and what to expect… let me know if you’d find that useful? This post is already 1400 words and I’m not done… I don’t want to bore you!
I hope you enjoyed this slightly different Skincare Shake Up. Even though I’ve been controlling my rosacea for quite a long time and have it mostly handled, this flare up of dermatitis really threw me. I couldn’t wear eye make up for weeks and it really affected my confidence – I’ve spoken a lot on the blog about how I use make up to help me feel like me. so this period of discomfort and self-consciousness was really hard. I’m so thankful to Dr Justine Kluk for helping me.
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