Pregnancy has done weird things to my skin. During those 9 months I broke out in zits like never before and am still experiencing nasty clusters of spots on my chin, as well as those really annoying big under the skin blemishes that sit on my cheeks mocking me in the mirror painfully for weeks.
I 100% blame hormones for these changes and I’m sure the spots will ease soon, but for now it is beyond frustrating. One thing on my life list is to care enough for my skin that I feel comfortable enough to go out without makeup on and that ain’t happening anytime soon.
So as I can’t control my hormones (if I could I wouldn’t be throwing books at my husband’s head. Sorry darling) I am tightening up my skincare regime. I cleanse, tone and moisturize daily but wanted to make sure I was doing it in the most effective way possible: here’s what I’ve discovered in my recent internet skin research.
Flannels are king. I came across Caroline Hirons‘ blog about six months ago and have learnt so much from this skincare guru. Seriously, there is nothing she doesn’t know about skin and I’ve spent hours browsing through her blog tags whilst I feed Hux; read her blog and you will never drunkenly wash your face with a babywipe again! Caroline champions the flannel and with good reason, there’s no other way to thoroughly cleanse your face. Even much-loved muslin cloths don’t do the job properly. Follow Mrs Hirons’ advice as I did, buy 10 flannels from IKEA and use a new one each time you wash your face.
Tone! I tone daily but admit to skipping this step if I’m short on time. Here’s why you shouldnt, and why I never will again.
Don’t clean your skin with skin wipes. I didn’t even use the nice makeup removing wipes; there was a period of time when I just used baby wipe. Basically they don’t clean your skin, so piling product on after this is doing nothing but block pores.
Similarly, don’t go to bed with your make up on. It leaves you with dull skin that ages quicker.
Get facials. I’m a total facial fan. If I had the time, childcare and budget, facials would be something I’d treat myself to weekly (along with spray tans, diamonds and rib-eye steak). But I don’t, so I stick to the home-based DIY approach. This would be easy before Hux came along; in the bath I would massage in my creme cleanser before washing off with a warm flannel. I’d follow this with a scrub , then relax with a mask. Once that was washed off I’d apply toner, massage in facial oil and finish with night cream.
But because I don’t have the luxury of bath time anymore (a toddler pooed in the last bath I took) I needed to come up with an alternative that I can use in less than 10 minutes. I found this in Bliss’s triple oxygen facial kit (above) which is speedy enough to do whilst brushing my teeth, or slightly more relaxing whilst in the shower. It consists of a cleanser, mask, eye cream and moisturizer, to which I add to the mix a no7 facial scrub. I noticed a change in my skin texture immediately after using this.
Drink water! I know this is lesson 1 of decent skin care but I rarely remember to drink enough and I see the effects in my skin. The first place that shows my dehydration is the palms of my hands which go slightly wrinkled, so I really try to drink water as often as possible.
My skin right now isn’t amazing – I still like to wear makeup when I go outside – but from following the above advice I see a big improvement from 6 months ago. My under eye bags are lighter, my cheeks aren’t so red and uneven and there are fewer dry patches.
I can’t deny this is a slow-burner but your skin is so important, especially as its exposed to so many temperature fluctuations, pollution and UVA rays on a daily basis. As I experiment more with different products I expect to see slight improvements, and have a wish list to help along the way:
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
No7 BB Cream
Eve Lom Cleanser
Also, still loving my good old favourites:
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream
L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil