Friday, 20 March 2015

Beauty - My Skincare Routine

So I mentioned I was going to do a blog post on my skin care routine a few blog posts ago, and here it is! Bear in mind that this routine might not suit everyone's skin. I have the complete misfortune of having both really sensitive skin and unpredictable combination skin, which means my skin could be oily one day and dry the next day (or worse - dry on my cheeks and oily on my forehead), so it's really difficult to find a skincare routine that suits me. This seems to be working quite well at the moment though.

Although I have mentioned quite a few products here that I use frequently, personally I find that no amount of products could ever come close to the benefit my skin gets from exercising regularly (you don't need to go mad in the gym either - a quick 30 minute walk in the fresh air once a day does the job quite well. The exercise is also a great stress relief, which plays a big role in preventing breakouts), cutting down on the amount of alcohol I drink (I'm not saying you have to become a pioneer, I'm just advising to watch how much you drink), cutting out the takeaways and fatty foods except for once a week (life is far too short to be completely depriving yourself of the nice stuff) and drinking plenty of water during the day. It's not easy to stick to I know, but I find it does make a world of difference not only to your skin but your overall health. Often breakouts on the external of the body are mirroring a problem on the inside of the body (e.g. digestion problems, the difficult task in detoxifying alcohol).
It's also worth noting that breakouts are sometimes caused by dirt transferring off your pillowcase onto your face, so make sure you change yours every few days (I'm a bit paranoid about this and change mine every 2 days). Plus if you are putting on moisturiser make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap wash. Sometimes it's these little things that make the world of difference with your skin, and if you're trying to banish breakouts, you will often see results much quicker using these simple methods rather than if you buy a lot of high end skincare products - that if you're a broke ass college student like I was - you don't have money for anyways. The products I've mentioned here range around the €5 mark anyways.

Regarding taking off my makeup after the day or a night out, the easiest thing for me to do is reach for the makeup wipes. I never ever ever ever ever go to sleep with my makeup on these days. Of course I did in the past, but now I realise it's just not worth it. It just blocks your pores and all the makeup is transferred to your pillowcase too (ugh!). I mentioned Penneys beauty items a good few times in my blog posts so it will come as no surprise when I say the face wipes I have been using for the last two years are their Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes (in Penneys they are the wipes with the pink packaging). I tried them out because they come in a twin pack of 25 wipes per pack for €1.50. I thought they would be quite crap, but they're surprisingly really good! Like the name suggests, they are super gentle for the face and don't sting at all, like a lot of makeup wipes have done on my face in the past. I know Penneys have other options in wipes available, like with tea-tree oil for breakout prone skin, but I find these work best with myself.

After removing my makeup, I then like to use a toner. The toner I'm using at the moment is Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing Vitamin Enriched Toner. I had been using Simple's toner (which is brilliant, and great for someone with sensitive skin), but a few weeks ago, I ran out of my Simple one and had to use this one which belonged to my sister. I loved it so much that I bought one for myself. Before using toners, I thought they were a gimmick, but if you look at the makeup pad after using this on your face you will see the huge difference! This toner gets rid of any excess makeup, and any excess dirt on your face, so it makes it super clean. The soft feeling you get on your face after using it is really nice too. It's alcohol free, so it doesn't dry out my skin, so often I use this after removing makeup and find I don't even need to moisturise (I still do though!). Best of all, it doesn't sting my face, so it's perfect for someone with sensitive skin like myself. It costs €4.49 in Boots.

The cleanser I've mentioned in other blog posts I use  is Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Foaming Face Wash. I've been using this for about three years now. There was a 3 for the price of 2 offer on in Boots on these products at the time (there often still is now) and I got this, the blemish stick and the night cream. The blemish stick didn't seem to do much for my skin and the night cream was hit and miss whenever my skin took the whim to be oily. But I found the wash to be quite good so  have continued to buy it every few weeks since then.
Tea tree oil, as many of you are aware of, is an antibacterial disinfectant and unlike other acne treatments, will not strip your skin of it's natural oils and cause further damage. Before I tried this, I was afraid of using tea tree oil as I had used it before and it caused a reaction with my sensitive skin. However, combined with soothing witch hazel in this wash, it works quite well. A bottle of this would last me about two months. I'd typically use this in the morning and then again in the evening before I put on makeup for nights out to completely wash my face. It's very light and kind to sensitive skin, so it doesn't sting whatsoever. This will get rid of light breakouts, but I have frequent reoccurring stubborn breakouts on my chin that this won't get rid of though.  It's €4.79 in Boots.

Another product I recently bought, and immediately fell in love with, has been the Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream wash. I got it because like I mentioned above, I'm very prone to stubborn reoccurring breakouts on my chin, and this range of products has got good reviews so I wanted to give it a try (the Boots one above just wasn't doing the job). It doesn't sting whatsoever, and after you wash it off, you get a very refreshing sensation on your face, which I really liked. It got rid of the breakouts I was experiencing within a few days of usage as well, so for that reason I couldn't recommend it enough, and is oil free too, another bonus. I'd only use this when trying to get rid of breakouts, it wouldn't be a wash I'd use every day. It costs €3.49 in Boots.

Regarding a moisturiser, I use a light moisturiser in the day time and if my skin is in good condition, usually under makeup as well, and then at night I obviously use a nightcream. The light moisturiser I have been using for the past five years is Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light moisturiser. I got it - plus other Simple products -  when I suffered from stress breakouts in my Leaving Cert (final) year at school. It was then my love for this Simple skincare range began, and has continued! I have so much love for the range I could probably rattle on about their products for a week! These products are so good if you have sensitive skin like mé féin - no artificial perfume, no colour or no harsh chemicals, so it really won't upset your skin. It contains vitamins - pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E - as well as glycerin and borage seed oil.
To explain some of these so you know exactly what's going onto your face: Pro Vitamin B5 acts as a skin moisturiser, helping to keep skin smooth, soft and healthy. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory by stimulating your skin's natural healing process. It is deeply hydrating and even helps to keep skin moist by absorbing moisture from the air.
As an anti-oxidant, Vitamin E helps to protect skin from damage from free-radicals (in really really simple terms these are by products caused by the oxygen we breathe). In small quantities they are OK but they can cause premature aging, hence where this baby comes in to counteract this.
Glycerin as a compound helps absorb water from the air and increases hydration within skin cells.
Borage seed oil contains high levels of essential fatty acids, which are part of the skin's natural moisturisation process helping to keep skin soft and supple.
But to get down to the basic stuff! It's super hygienic as it comes with a cap that contains just a small hole - there's no putting your fingers in a pot and worry that you're going to transfer dirt to your face or contaminate it. It's oil free, so no horrible oil residue is left. It is absorbed into the skin super quickly too, so you can get started on your makeup base just five minutes after application. It acts as the perfect under base - keeps any sort of makeup I have going for the whole day and the whole night. I use it as a daily moisturiser even when I have no makeup on after cleansing and my skin is super soft the whole day. Can literally not recommend this stuff enough! It costs €5 in Boots. When I was drafting this blogpost 2 weeks ago, it was out of stock on - no wonder! It's the UK's No.1 beauty brand for a reason!

The night cream I use is Cien Anti-Wrinkle night cream. Cien is actually Lidl's own beauty brand. I know what you're thinking - surely she doesn't need anti-wrinkle cream at 22?! - but I firmly believe caring for your skin and body when you're young is one way to get into a good routine as you become older and good skin in your youth becomes good skin in your older age. The Q10 you can see on the label is short for the co-enzyme 10, and like Vitamin E that I've mentioned above, is a anti-oxidant. It helps fight off free radicals therefore counteracting premature aging. Overtime, the body starts to produce less and less of this co-enzyme 10 due to aging, stress and medications. Therefore, it stands to reason that it is in most - if not all - anti-wrinkle creams.
 This stuff smells absolutely gorgeous. It's quite heavy so a little goes a long way (I've had this a few months), and when I wake up in the morning my face feels so so soft. Obviously, as I've ranted about other products that have this - the only thing I dislike is that it comes in a pot so you have to put your fingers in it, therefore risking contamination of bacteria in the pot to your face. But for the price (around €3), I think it's worth trying out. Over the coming weeks I will be doing a full blog post on other Lidl own brand beauty products.

If I have a lot of eye-make up on after a night out or a day out, I use Garnier Express 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover. I bought this for my college graduation in October as I wanted something to gently remove the individual eyelashes and the strong smoky eye look at the end of the night. If you shake the bottle, you will see that it looks oily, but it doesn't feel very greasy, and the beauty is of it that you only have to use a little of it to have an effect, so the 125ml bottle would last you at least three months. You put a few drops on a cotton pad and put it to your eyelid while the makeup quickly dissolves, then gently wipe it off, so no rubbing is needed. I find though that if you use it around a sensitive part of your eye that it does sting quite a bit, but I put up with that personally because it's the only thing I find that will remove waterproof mascara from my eyelashes or a waterproof gel eyeliner from my eyelid super quickly. It also contains arginine, which helps care for your eyelashes by coating them in a protective layer so as not to damage them in the eye makeup removal process. It's ophthalmologically tested too, which means if it gets into your eye it won't blind ya! It's €4.29 in Penneys.

Regarding facemasks, I have been using two the past six months.

I bought the Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-1 Wash & Mask about three months ago because the brand is quite reputable and supposed to be good quality. It was also a good price for €5.49 in Boots. You can use this as either a wash or a mask. It didn't a great job reducing or removing any breakouts I had as a wash, so I decided to try it as a mask. I applied it in a thin layer to my face. Within a minute, it started stinging so violently that it made my eyes water and my nose runny. I persevered and left it on for the five minutes recommended. The stinging only stopped when I washed it off with warm water. My skin did feel super smooth after it and even the next day after but I don't think it was worth it for the horrible stinging sensation I experienced on my face, so stopped using it and haven't used it since then. I definitely wouldn't advise it for someone with sensitive skin.

The face mask I use once a week nowadays is Montagne Jennesse Very Berry. You can buy this sachet in Dunnes or Tesco or Penneys. I bought it in Penneys for €1.35. The sachet comes perforated at the top, so there's no scouring the house for a scissors like I had to do with the hair mask I reviewed in the blog a few weeks ago.  I cleanse my face first with the Boots Foaming Wash before applying this. The formula is bright purple in colour as it contains pressed blueberries and crushed cranberries, which both contain antioxidants - the role of which I've mentioned above. I applied it in a thin layer (there's still loads always left after I apply), and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. It stings slightly for about a minute but then it calms down. Then you wash it off. It contains peach kernel oil which nourishes and aloe vera which soothes. I love this range of skincare masks as it's completely natural. The ingredients are all written in basic language as well, for example it says it contains aqua then has in brackets that it's purified water, so you know exactly what you're putting on your face. This company doesn't test on animals either - the packet actually says that they "don't bash bunnies or add bits of animals"! - so you can rest assured you're using an ethically produced product.

No comments:

Post a Comment