As I’ve written before, I have oily skin and have been dealing with acne since I was 11 years old. It started with small little bumps on my forehead (which I used to cover with a ridiculous emo fringe, haha), then slowly made its way to my cheeks. My acne hit an all time low when I was 14- my entire cheeks where covered in red, painful sores and I was too afraid to leave the house without any makeup on my face, in case people started laughing at me. I don’t think I’ve ever been so insecure about anything in my life. When you’re 14, life isn’t exactly easy, and even though this might sound a little bit over the top, I had to deal with a lot of things. My self-esteem was practically non-existent and in the evenings I used to cry because I felt so ugly- I felt like I was my acne. I remember thinking ‘I would be the happiest girl if my acne just went away’ and hoping that when I woke up the next day, it would have just magically disappeared. It didn’t.
So after about a year of having to deal with angry, red lumps on my skin, I literally begged my mum to put me on birth control. My doctor told me that it would clear up my acne a lot, and it did. I was so happy. It wasn’t completely gone, but it had calmed down and I was so grateful for that.
My skin cleared up but I still had a few breakouts every now and then. I was pretty content with my skin, until about two years ago. I had just finished high school and was getting ready to go to uni, when my skin started freaking out again. I don’t know if it was stress, hormonal changes or just being in a different environment (I moved to uni), but I started getting horrible hormonal breakouts on my cheeks. It was at its worst in November 2012- I kept telling myself that it wasn’t so bad, that it would go away and that there were people who have much worse acne, but looking back at pictures I took of my skin around that time, it was really, really bad. So I did what I always wanted to do: I went on acne medication. I started medication in February 2013 and had to take it for three months straight. I also got a prescription acne cream which totally burned off my skin, but it helped. After about a week I already started seeing results, and after two weeks, my skin was completely clear! I couldn’t believe it, because I couldn’t remember the last time my skin was completely clear. So a few months went by, and then in September, it came back. I think it was a combination of hormonal changes and using the wrong products (NEVER use Origins products if you have sensitive skin and suffer from acne- the essential oils in them will make your acne even worse. I know, I bought a lot of Origins products last summer and even posted about them and said that they were incredible –which they were, initially- but after a few weeks my skin went CRAZY). So I went on the same medication. It went away, again. My skin cleared up for a few months. So now I don’t really have acne anymore, just the casual breakouts that I try to keep in control with a simple skincare routine, targeted at sensitive skin.
My skin is also pretty oily. I used to use products that would dry my skin out, but those resulted in my skin producing even more oil. So now I opt for a mattifying product in the mornings, and restore the hydration in my skin with a more nourishing product at night, to balance things out.
I always double cleanse to make sure all of the makeup and dirt is removed, before I continue my skincare routine. I first use a micellar water to take off my lip and eye makeup. At the moment, I’m using Bioderma Sensibio H20, which is a true blogger favourite. I think most other micellar waters are the same though, I’m not really picky when it comes down to them. I really want to try the Garnier micellar water next though, since it’s much cheaper than the Bioderma one and they basically do the same thing.
After that, I remove my face makeup. For this step, I use an oil or a balm. I really like the feeling of cleansing your face with an oil. Even though my skin is oily, I find that using an oil or balm cleanser balances my skin out more and doesn’t make my skin feel dehydrated. My skin feels really nourished and soft afterwards, not dry like you get with some other makeup removers. At the moment, I’m using the Body Shop’s Camomille Silky Cleansing Oil. It’s really amazing and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It doesn’t irritate the skin, doesn’t leave an oily residue but still leaves the skin really soft, supple and hydrated. It doesn’t have a strong scent and as far as I know, doesn’t really contain any irritating ingredients.
I always follow up with a milk or gel cleanser. At the moment I’m using a cleansing milk, and I always tend to opt for cleansers targeted at sensitive skin. My current favourite milk cleanser is the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser. It’s nothing really fancy- just a simple cleanser, which does the job really well and I love using it.
I always tone after cleansing, to restore the pH balance of my skin and to prepare it for any following treatments. I tend to avoid toners that really dry out the skin, and tend to look for toners that have a few extra properties, like a little bit of exfoliation or toners that give that extra boost of hydration. The current toner I’m using is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent Lotion with Micro-Exfoliating properties. This contains citric acid and salicylic acid, which exfoliate the skin and gets rid of dead skin cells. I’m not quite sure about this toner; it contains a lot of alcohol, which isn’t really good for the skin. It doesn’t dry out my skin, but I’m still looking for another toner.
TREATMENTS + MOISTURISER
I always make sure to use an eye cream. I’m only 19 years old, but I’m terrified of getting little wrinkles underneath my eyes, so I always make sure to moisturize the under-eye area. I don’t use an anti aging treatment, just a cooling eye cream to reduce puffiness and give a little bit of hydration to the skin. I’m currently using the Lierac Dioptigel, which is really gentle and feels amazing.
My treatment/moisturizer is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. I really, really love this. It’s targeted at acne-prone skin and aims to declog the pores and purify the skin. At first I thought this was breaking me out even more, but now I’ve been using it for a few weeks I definitely see a difference in my skin. It really helps to keep my acne under control. Sometimes it does feel like it’s burning my skin a little though, but because I apply a soothing moisturizer afterwards it’s not too bad.
The moisturizer I use after that is the La Roche-Posay Toleriane moisturiser. It’s just a really simple moisturizer which doesn’t contain any fancy ingredients, but it’s super soothing and my skin feels really velvety and smooth after I’ve applied this. I just massage this into the skin. I really like this moisturizer, it helps to keep my skin in check and I will definitely repurchase it, like the most products in my skincare routine.
I thought I would include two little extra products I always use after completing my skincare routine. The first thing I use is a lip balm, and I always make sure to have a little pot of the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm on hand. When I first started using this, I thought the texture was quite weird. It’s a really stiff lip balm, and you need to use the heat of your fingers to warm it up and make it melt. This might be a little bit weird at first, but after you’ve gotten used to that, it is literally amazing. It is the best lip balm I’ve ever tried; I love the texture, the scent, the packaging, just everything about this product. My lips feel super hydrated in the morning and I will always, always repurchase this.
I also use a hand cream. I own a ton of hand creams, because my hands tend to get really dry at times. At the moment I’m loving the Body Shop Wild Rose hand cream. It’s actually aimed at mature skin, to help with wrinkles and sunspots on your hands. It contains SPF 15, which is really nice because we often forget to apply sunprotection to our hands, which can result in premature aging of the skin on our hands. I love rose scented products, and this hand cream sinks into the skin immediately. I hate having sticky hands after applying a hand cream, so that definitely makes this a winner.
I only filmed my evening skincare routine because in the morning, I use the same products- I just cleanse with the Bioderma micellar water, tone with the Effaclar toner, use the Lierac eye cream and moisturize with the Effaclar Duo treatment. I don’t use an extra moisturizer in the morning, because my skin can get really oily during the day. A lot of French pharmacy products, especially La Roche-Posay ones, but I just really like them. They're simple, targeted at sensitive skin and effective; what more could I possibly ask for?!
Thank you so much for watching my video and reading this enormous blog post. Please leave a comment with what you think of it so I can improve myself! What’s your skincare routine?