Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Night Time Skin Routine: January 2015

Eh... its almost the end of January? Already?!? Bloody hell. Time is flying for me at the moment, the kids are busy at school and after school, the hubby is busy at work and I am trying to spend my mornings productively (cleaning, tidying, throwing out, making stuff, writing) because afternoons and evenings are filled with the kids activities. Moms Taxi is alive and well and parked in my driveway...

But I am making time in the evenings to treat my skin properly. I only need about 10 minutes, but I take the time, every evening to do the whole routine. Because 5 months ago my skin had a shit-fit. I am still not sure what caused the break-outs, I am careful with what I use on my face, so I am sure it wasn't a reaction to dodgy ingredients... I am putting it down to hormones (please let it not be "The Change" I'm only 35 for pete's sake), its the only thing that makes sense, especially since the breakouts are concentrated around my jaw, cheeks and chin. Sore, angry cysts started, and clusters of blocked pores that just got nasty. My T-Zone is producing oil like its being paid by a desert sheikh. I kid you not.
But after 5 months of struggling, I think I am finally seeing progress and a possible light at the end of the tunnel. This is what I am using:

I got this little tube of Balance Me Cleanse And Smooth Face Balm as a freebie in a magazine last year and I've been using it every evening since Mid November when I dug it out of my stash in desperation.

Give the tube a squeeze and you get a golden worm of balm that melts on contact with your skin and spreads easily. There are "Gritty" bits in it from the oat powder that are more soft than gritty, these provide the polishing effect. This lifts off all the days dirt and is a lovely way to start the wind down process of the day.

It smells delish and the best bit is it rinses off easily with warm water and a facecloth. Skin feels soft and smooth and clean without feeling squeaky. This says its for normal/dry/sensitive skins, but its not doing my combo-oily skin any harm especially since I make sure to rinse it off properly (a la Hirons). I am impressed by how long this has lasted me, especially since I've been using it every day for 2 months, and its just a trial size. I will deffo be springing for a bigger tube (£20 for 125mls) when this one starts running low.

TIME TAKEN: 3 Minutes

Next up is the Vichy Normaderm 3-in-1 Cleanser/scrub/mask. I'll be honest and say I don't like this as a scrub. As a cleanser its ok, its not going to remove makeup, but it does a good job at absorbing excess oil. It is great as a mask and its not that spendy at €13.50 for a 125ml squeezy tube. Its a light green creamy clay-based mask with blue scrubby bits that when spread on in a thin layer dries quickly (within 5 - 7 minutes).

I put a skinny layer of this on and let it do its thing for 2 - 3 minutes while I am brushing my teeth. The clay absorbs the excess oil and the salicyclic acid gets to work on the spots. Warm wet facecloth to remove being as gentle as I can I don't want to scrub at my skin. I am using this most nights, but never more than 3 nights in a row. 

TIME TAKEN: 2:30 - 3 Minutes

I bought myself a bottle of Alpha H Liquid Gold at the beginning of January out of desperation. For €37.50, from Cloud10 Beauty, I had high hopes. And after 3 weeks of using it every 2nd night, I think this stuff is Liquid Gold. Bah dum tish. 

Glycolic acid works to dissolve the bonds holding dead skin cells on the skins surface to help newer skin to the surface quicker. A little of this on a cotton pad and smoothed over my skin (it stings like acid on any open spots) leaves my skin a little tingly for a few seconds but once its dries: nothing. Nothing except smooth skin ready to accept/drink/devour serum and moisturiser.

My skin has taken to this quite well, I expected sensitivity and more breakouts but that has not been the case and I have been tempted to use this every night as opposed to every 2nd night, but in the interest of making it last (it is quite spendy for my budget) and not having a reaction to it, I am following the directions and using it every 2nd night.
If I have a particularly nasty and sore spot/cyst I dab a bit on a cotton bud and dab it on the spot directly every night as a spot treatment.

So far Liquid Gold is working quite well for me and I have started saving for my next bottle. I have a feeling I am going to need this in my life from now on.

TIME TAKEN: 1.30 Minutes

After allowing the Liquid Gold to work for 2 minutes I go in with my serum and eye cream. Serum of choice at the moment is La Roche Posay Redermic [R]. I stopped using this as I thought I was sensitive to the ingredients and that it was making my skin worse. But I was wrong and added it back into my routine after reading THIS post. So using Redermic [R] in addition to the Liquid Gold has proved to be the magic formula. My skin is much brighter and my pigmentation is loads better. I think that this combination is what is actually helping to clear the cysts and clusterfucks spots.

TIME TAKEN: 1.30 Minutes

Depending on how my skin is feeling and what the weather has been like, I use one of two moisturisers: Either the Kerstin Florian Correcting Rescue Créme or The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet. I use the Rescue Créme when my skin is feeling really dry and tight and windburnt or ravaged by central heating. But when I use this I find that I wake in the mornings with super oily skin: I need to wash my face immediately, so I am tending not to use this too often.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet (€15.00 ) is a strange one. It has a funny texture, sort of gritty but not, pillowy and soft and gel-like. But I was happy to hand over my money for this because I have a secret love affair with their Body Sorbets.

Amazingly cooling, which is kind of what I am after some nights: deep hydration without the oiliness. Its light and absorbs easily. The little bits dissolve on your skin like little miniscule waterbombs and my skin isn't greasy the next morning.  I like it. I really do.

TIME TAKEN: 1 Minute

This 10 minutes every night is finally starting to make a difference. I do this before I settle down in front of the TV, so that my skin can benefit from the products for those few extra hours.

So far my skin is playing ball. I have had a few new cysts (deep, red carbuncles that refuse to make a head they just sit there all sore and red and hot) and the spots that have come through are coming to a head (gross I know, sorry) and healing much quicker than they were. 

I am not wearing as much makeup, because I am worried about it upsetting my skin. If I do need to wear makeup I take it off as soon as I get home. I am also taking a vitamin supplement, eating more greens (specifically raw green coloured veg which I blend into a smoothie most mornings) and taking fish oil capsules and drinking plain old water (3l a day) to help my skin from the inside. Its all starting to kick in (its only taken 3 long bloody months) and I am seeing an improvement. I am just hoping I can get my clear skin back before May this year as I have a wedding to go to and I am sick of hiding when cameras come out.

Are you using any of these products? Do you have any recommendations? Leave them in the comments below or catch me on twitter!

 **Post contains samples gratefully received for review& products bought with my own money. Opinions my own


  1. Excellent post! I really need to settle into a night time routine instead of the newest thing by the bed side and within arm's reach (steady now).

    Must investigate Alpha H! x

    1. My skin is really not happy at the moment Sue, so I am trying to get it back in line. I am dying to try all the new stuff but not until I've sorted it out. Trying to give the stuff enough time to work is a killer though... I want overnight results but I know I'm not going to get that...

  2. I use none of these bu I love finding out what other people use! It's hard to get a routine that works when all you wanna do is try the newest skincare product on the block!

    1. I know Nora! But waking up with new cysts every day has been a real confidence killer for me. Its stopped me from blogging as well because I need to give these products time to work. So I am saving for the really good stuff once my skin is behaving!


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