My skincare journey…
I recently spoke about how I stripped back my skincare routine in order to give my skin a break and also to find out what was working for me. I was suffering from some questionable jawmonal acne (that’s hormonal acne on the jaw, FYI) and it just wasn’t letting up.
After a few weeks of a very basic routine I was able to understand my skin a little more, and then I chatted with a couple of skincare experts (Caroline Hirons being one, that woman! I bow down) for a bit more of an insiders perspective.
If you’re new to my skin journey (and believe me, it’s a journey), you’ll know I have suffered from breakouts for most of my adult life. Maybe even all of it!
I went on roaccutane a couple of years ago and, while it did help for a while, my skin has slowly returned to its spotty ways. I think my acne is mostly hormonal, but I can control it with the right skincare – which is exactly what I’ve been working on lately!
I thought I’d share a few ways in which I’ve worked on my skincare routine, in the hopes I can part with some of my new-found tips and tricks.
I honestly feel like sometimes I don’t know my skin at all, whatever I do seems to be wrong… but I’m absolutely determined to suss it out.
A Lighter Moisturiser…
Well, well, well. This was a bit of a revelation. All this time I’ve been layering on thick creams and oils, when really all they were doing was clogging my pores and making me breakout. I mean, it’s not exactly groundbreaking… and yet, somehow it was.
Choosing a lighter moisturiser was something Caroline recommended, and at first I didn’t think it would work. My skin is seriously dehydrated, I need a lot of moisturiser to really get in there and quench my complexion, but Caroline pointed out that I was moisturising with oil, not water. Ahhhh, a little lightbulb moment.
Since switching to something light (this Avene Hydrance one if you’re interested), I’ve seen a big difference in my skin. At night, I apply a couple of drops of my usual face oil (either Aesop Fabulous Face Oil or the wonderful Pai Rosehip Oil) and then moisturiser, which is the perfect balance for me. I try to stick to only three treatments each time; usually a niacinamide, oil and moisturiser. Then in the morning I’ll use differin, a hydrating serum and moisturiser.
Using A Rinse Off Cleanser
I’d been struggling a lot because I was wearing SPF daily, but it was really causing me to breakout. It was actually putting me off using sun protection, which isn’t really ideal! Instead, I switched up my cleansing routine to include a rinse-off cleanser to follow my usual cleansing jelly.
I will use something like my much loved Oskia Renaissance Cleanser or the brilliant Origins Cleansing Makeup Removing Jelly first to remove makeup, and then I will follow it up with more of a light gel or wash to really ensure I’m washing away that SPF before bed.
I still haven’t found a cleanser I swear by for this, but I’m in the process of finding one that doesn’t strip or upset my skin – and when I have the perfect recommendation, I shall let you know!
Acids All The Way
I’m a bit fickle with products at times because I really do like to see fast results, which just isn’t the case for some skincare picks – specifically acids. I find that acids really work best if you’re consistent with them, sticking to a routine over several months and really being patient with the results – instead of using them here and there, once or twice a month or whatever.
The trick is to find one or two and stick to them; for me this has been niacinamide and also an acne treatment called Differin which is a retinoid.
Alex Steinherr recommended the Garden of Wisdom Niacinamide to me and it’s been one of my favourite finds ever; it really works its magic on blemish-prone skin.
Less Is Still Best
So while I may have made some changes to my routine, added a few products in and seen a difference in my complexion, I do still think that less is still best for my skin type.
I love the idea of the Korean 10-step beauty routine, but my skin just does not get along with layers of products.
I used to chop and change my skincare routine a lot, but it made it impossible to understand what was causing me to breakout. Since sticking to a super specific routine, I’ve been able to make sense of my skin a whole lot more. A double cleanse, a layer of essence, an acid, maybe a couple of drops of oil and then my moisturiser is really all I need!
I’ve also stopped panicking every time I do breakout; I used to layer up the face masks, buy an entire new range of skincare and obsess over my skin. These days I take it easy, continue with my routine and try not to do anything drastic. It’s actually working!
I wish I was one of those people who just had an effortless complexion, but sadly I have to work at having clear skin. It’s probably the best it’s been in a long while at the moment, so I’m obviously doing something right.
Do you have any advice to share?