It’s been a while since I did my last skincare update, so who would like to see a year of lockdown skincare in one post? All of the bits and pieces I’ve tried over the past year, sorted by product type. Let’s go…
It’s worth noting that alongside these new lockdown skincare products, I was filling in the gaps falling back on my old trusted favourite skincare items – you can see the products I go back to over and over again in this post. Whenever I try a new product I try to introduce it slowly and carefully, as I never know when my skin might object, so it’s good to keep a stable routine in the background.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, a dermatologist, or an aesthetician. I use research and personal opinion to put these posts together: I’ve lived with rosacea for 16 years and have been blogging about it for 8+ years. I have rosacea type 1 which is mainly under control through trigger management, as well as stress management, and finding skincare like the below that works for me. If you have questions about rosacea in general, this post is the mothership, covering skincare, make up, triggers, lifestyle, psychological impact and everything else you can think of.
Products with a * next to them were PR samples, if there isn’t a * it means they were bought by me – my reviews are always honest, regardless of who bought them. Links may be affiliate – this means that I get a small commission if you buy using my link, at no extra cost to you. It’s a great way for you to support my work and I really appreciate it.
LOCKDOWN SKINCARE: CLEANSERS
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser – This cleanser comes highly recommend by others with sensitive skin so I have wanted to try it for a while. It’s a gel-cream formula that, on contact with the skin, turns into an oil. It makes short work of make up, although it’s not the best at removing mascara. I got the 50ml size which is only £5.50.
Murad Prebiotic 4-in-1 Multicleanser* – This cleanser was a lovely surprise. It’s a gel cleanser that on application turns into a smooth oil. It dissolves make up easily and feels oddly luxe even though it has no fragrance – which may sound like an odd thing to say unless you’re used to using products aimed at sensitive skin which are usually simple but a little boring.
REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk* – I am a big fan of REN products and the Evercalm range is a lovely one for anyone looking for skincare items that work but won’t annoy the skin. This is described as a milk, but I would say it has more of a thick cream texture, I’ve just had a look on the website and they have a gel cleanser in this range that I think I would have preferred from a texture point of view so I may try that next!
SVR Sensifine Cream Balm Cleanser* – I did a full review on this range HERE but my thoughts on the Cleanser for ease: “It squeezes easily out of the tube, and quickly turns into a light oil on the skin. It dissolves make up and then instantly emulsifies when water is applied which makes removal a dream – no oily film left on the face, no greasy mess, and no sticky hands. It’s also only £15 which is brilliant value for 100ml, especially as I use a blob the size of a grape to cleanse my whole face. The only small negative is that – to me – it smells just like melted butter which is really off-putting, but I persevere because the cleanser itself is really wonderful!”
Kate Somerville DeliKate Soothing Cleanser* – This is a lovely cream cleanser that is apparently so gentle that it’s used in the KS clinics on patients after a peel. It did everything I want in a cleanser, leaving my skin soft, without tightness or heat.
LOCKDOWN SKINCARE: SERUMS
SVR Sensifine Aqua Gel Serum* – I did a full review on this range HERE but here’s what I said about the serum: “I never thought I could feel so strongly about a serum but this is lovely. It contains 10% aloe vera as well as panthenol. The latter is often used in after-sun as it’s soothing, hydrating, and helps with healing, all of which makes it great for irritated, compromised, or sensitive skin. It contains 8 ingredients and 97% ingredients of natural origin. The gel formula is very lightweight, and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight, sticky, or dry.”
Murad Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum* – This is a lovely serum that’s great for those of us with sensitive skin. It feels very calming on the skin, very light, a little bit sticky (which I don’t mind but wanted to mention it just in case you’re not a fan), and – as the name would suggest – very soothing. The only reason I’m not raving about it more is that it arrived at the same as the above and had really strong competition for my favourite serum.
LOCKDOWN SKINCARE: MOISTURISERS
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA – I don’t know if my expectations were too high for this moisturiser but it was just… okay? It is a pretty simple product and it didn’t cause any issues for my rosacea, but it just didn’t rock my world. Over the winter I felt like I needed another product afterwards (see below). If you’re looking for a standard moisturiser that is very affordable then it could be worth a try.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane Oil – This is the product I was applying after the NMF + HA and I really like it. It’s not greasy, feels lovely on the skin, and you only need a few drops for your whole face. If you are having issues with your skin barrier, I think this would be a lovely (and affordable) addition to your routine.
Murad Intense Recovery Cream [*Sponsored content but I was not required to talk about it here] – You can read my full review HERE, along with some tips on reducing stress which can impact your skin, but the summary is: “This cream has a beautiful texture: thick enough to feel like it’s truly protecting and soothing my skin, but without any hint of a heavy or greasy feeling. I’ve been applying it daily, after my morning dog walk, and occasionally I’ll reapply in the afternoon if my skin feels tight or a bit sensitive. You don’t need much product as it melts into a balmy texture upon application and a little goes a really long way.”
SVR Sensifine Nutri-Balm Moisturiser* – Full range review HERE but my initial thoughts on the moisturiser were: “The key ingredients in this product are Panthenol, shea butter, and squalane. Interestingly, the website says this product can also be used as a hand cream and I think that helps to describe its texture: slightly thicker than the average face moisturiser, with a little bit of a residue left on the skin after application. I really like this type of product in the winter months, when I want something that almost cocoons my skin and leaves it feeling protected, but it was a little heavy for the warmer weather. I will definitely dig this back out in the next month or so to retry it.” Reader, I DID* dig it back out and I was not disappointed. It was exactly what I want in a colder weather moisturiser. Highly recommend!
REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm* – This is another product that really came into its own in the colder months. My skin really likes balms, but sometimes they can be a bit claggy (is that just a northern word? It means kind of sticky, wet, and heavy). This one is light on the skin but still feels like it has some oomph behind it. On the days my skin felt a bit wind and cold-beaten, I would put this on in the evening while I watched TV. The whole Evercalm range from REN is really lovely and is aimed at people with sensitive and/or dry skin.
Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Cream* – I originally saw this on Rose Gallagher’s Instagram and we have very similar skin so I was immediately sold. It’s a lovely thick cream that I have been using on my Vitamin A evenings (more details below). You only need a small amount and it leaves my skin feeling very comforted and content.
LOCKDOWN SKINCARE: SPF
Bioderma Photoderm MAX Aquafluid 50+* – All of the SPFs in this round up are quite similar because I’m super picky when it comes to my sun protection and I know what I like: it has to be quite runny, it can’t leave too much of a white cast on my skin, it has to sit well under make up, and it can’t be tinted. This is a lovely SPF that ticks all my boxes and is quite affordable. (NB: if you have dry skin, the cream version – rather than the aquafluid – would probably suit you better).
SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral Defense SPF 50* – I tried this a few years ago and loved it and rediscovered it this year. It’s very lightweight but I’m not sure I’d agree that it’s a ‘transparent fluid’ – it definitely leaves a white cast on my skin which isn’t too much of an issue for me as I’m pale, but for darker skin tones it may be something to bear in mind. I’m not a fan of tinted SPF but if you are, the tinted version of this SPF is also nice.
Garnier – The version linked is the only one I can find, but mine isn’t the dark spot version. I’m wondering if my simple version has been discontinued/rebranded as I can’t find it anywhere, including the Garnier website. TYPICAL. Anyway, this is very similar to my all-time favourite SPF (La Roche Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid) which would make sense as they are owned by the same company. If you’re looking for a ‘dupe’ of the LRP SPF, this is a very affordable option.
LOCKDOWN SKINCARE: EXFOLIATION
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% – This is the second time I’ve tried this product over the years. So many people in my Rosacea Facebook group rave about it but I just don’t think it suits me. My skin seems to like Azelaic Acid but I think the formula of this specific product isn’t right for me. It feels dry and tight as soon as I put it on the skin (I think that’s the texture of the silicones which some people like) so I might ask my derm for an Azelaic Acid prescription to see if the difference in texture and carrier helps.
Pixi Hydrating Milky Peel* – Do not be scared by the word ‘peel’! This is a very gentle exfoliation alternative. The product is a liquid-y cream that – when applied to the skin – begins to ball up. Similar products on the market try to imply that these balls are your dead skin rolling up and being removed… this isn’t true. It’s just a reaction of the product on the skin BUT these squishy little bits are what helps the product to gently exfoliate the skin. If you can’t tolerate physical or chemical exfoliation this could be a good alternative.
Medik8 Press And Glow* – Another wonderful product from Medik8, this is a chemical exfoliant toner. But, instead of the more common exfoliating ingredients like AHAs (glycolic or lactic) or BHAs (salicylic), this one contains PHAs (poly hydroxy acids). These are widely considered to be the more gentle, sensitive-skin friendly, form of acids. This product is marketed as a ‘daily’ exfoliator but I don’t think my skin needs or wants that much exfoliation, so I use it 2-3 times a week. It goes in my morning routine (after cleansing, before serum/moisturiser and SPF) and I use it on these brilliant reusable pads from Garnier. No irritation, just lovely glowing skin. PLUS the packaging is fully recyclable except for the pump AND you can get refill bottles so you can continue to reuse the original plastic pump.
The INKEY List PHA Toner – As listed above, PHAs are considered more suitable for sensitive skin. This is a toner product similar to the one above, but I found it a little harsh on my skin. Every time I used it, it resulted in quite a lot of heat and tingling in my skin. For those without rosacea/sensitive skin, this is what they look for in their exfoliating product but for me it is a warning sign that if I continue, it will result in a flare up. I tried wetting the cotton pad with water before pouring on the toner (to water it down) which definitely helped, but I’d rather just use the Medik8 version and save on the faff!
LOCKDOWN SKINCARE: MISC
Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1* – I’ve been using this product on and off for years and have been promising to do a blog post about my experiences with Vitamin A for just as long… I promise I will get to it at some point! This is the introductory Retinal product from Medik8 and it’s very gentle (it contains 0.01% Encapsulated Retinaldehyde). I started off using it twice a week and slowly built up to 3-4 times a week (and by ‘slowly’ I mean over MONTHS, please don’t rush this process!) I apply it after cleansing then leave about 15 minutes before continuing with my skincare routine, which usually includes a slightly more intense moisturiser (e.g. the DeliKate moisturiser above). You will need to be (even more!) religious about SPF if you use retinal. I’ve recently started slowly introducing Crystal Retinal 3 (which contains 0.03% Incapsulated Retinaldehyde) so I’ll keep you posted on that.
Medik8 Bakuchiol Peptides* – If you’re a bit nervous of Vitamin A products, this could be the product for you. Bakuchiol was EVERYWHERE last year, touted as a more gentle, plant-based alternative to Vitamin A. It’s an oil-based serum so it feels very silky on the skin and I had absolutely no issues with sensitivity or flare ups. I use 5-6 drops to cover my whole face, neck and décolletage. (NB: I did not use this while I was using the Crystal Retinal, it would be a one or the other type deal).
SkinCeuticals Epidermal Repair* – This is described as a therapeutic treatment for compromised skin which is a great description. This falls in the category of ‘panic stations products’, alongside trusted favourites like La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 and Avene Skin Recovery Cream.
La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Anti-Itch Stick / Bioderma Cicabio Soothing Repairing Cream / Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream – I’ve put these in a group because I did a whole post dedicated to them which you can read HERE.
Woah that’s a lot of lockdown skincare! I hope you found something here that catches your eye, if you have any questions just let me know in the comments. If you would like to see my previous skincare updates which contain some of my tried and tested favourites (which filled in many of the gaps around these new products) you can find that HERE.
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- Get more information on rosacea and my journey so far in my ROSACEA FAQ POST.
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