Updated: Sep 4
In my last post I talked about the cleansers I use to kick off my cleansing routine and remove all the crap that I shovel onto my face. This post is looking at the exfoliators I use along with the toners and acids that seem to work well with my skin.
I mentioned before that I’m a sucker for a physical exfoliator, I love the smooth feeling after a good scrub – I always feel like you need it in the summer or on holiday if you’ve been using lots of suncream on your face.
At the moment my go to is Clarins One Step Exfoliating Cleanser with Orange Extract. It smells nice and has a slightly runny consistency due to not being a really stiff scrub, when using it you do really notice the effect of the exfoliator without it feeling like it’s being too ‘scrubby’ if that makes sense.
The other physical scrub I have is No7 Total Renewal Microdermabrasion Exfoliator. I do like this, but it is rougher and can be a little bit too much, again this is better when you really need a scrub like on holiday – but obviously watch out if you have sunburn. Ouch.
Toning isn’t something I really go in for. I used a Clean & Clear toner of my cousins years and years ago when we were visiting and she must have less sensitive skin than me, as it stripped my skin so much that I ended up with massive brown patches on my face that must have been down to sheer dehydration. So I steered clear until I used the Clinique three-step system as a teenager. It was alright, but again pretty drying so I avoided for a long time until I got the Clarins Toning Lotion with Camomile. It’s my least used Clarins product as I don’t always feel I need it but it’s nice and light and smells beautiful so even if I don’t necessarily need to use it I often will anyway.
Moving on to Acids. I’m a bit of a latecomer to this party, if someone tells you to incorporate an acid into your skincare I think your gut reaction is to avoid that person at all costs. I had purchased the Pixi dupes by Lacura from Aldi a while ago, these are the Healthy Glow rose toner with hyaluronic acid and the Healthy Glow exfoliating toner with glycolic acid . I preferred the hyaluronic one as it did leave my skin feeling soft, whereas if using the glycolic-based one too many days in a row my skin tends to feel a little irritated and I’m more likely to sprout a couple of spots on my chin.
I have used these more and more infrequently as I’ve invested in more specific products.
First up is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - this came in the July ASOS beauty box and I had no idea what it was or how to use it.
So back to my SkinCare book and Facebook group to find out what people thought. I saw a few people talking straight away about their skin reacting and having to stop using, though no specific reactions were mentioned so I thought I’d try it out. From what I could gather it is ideal if you have excess sebum on your nose, I have this and tend to extract it myself once a week or so from my nose – so I applied to my nose and on my chin as it’s where I tend to breakout whenever I do.
After around 4 days my chin completely broke out in a mixture of big red spots with a head on them and those really sore ones under the skin that never come to anything. I had applied the niacinamide along my lip line as I had a couple of bad blocked pores, so cue the humungous spots on my lip too so that was real pleasant. Wearing masks in public has been something of a godsend for me this week.
I stopped using, thinking that perhaps this is the reaction that people spoke about, then realised that you’re supposed to build up your usage. Doh.
So I haven’t used it for about another 4 days now and my skins really cleared up with the help of my secret weapon. Which takes me on to my next acid.
The newest product I’m using is Revolution’s 2% Salicylic acid, it’s a targeted blemish serum with the super simple guide to apply at night. I picked this up on the Tuesday when my skin was at it’s worst, and granted the moisture in my mask on my trip to Braehead probably didn’t help matters that day, but by Friday – upon writing this – my skin is completely clear.
If you look really closely there are a few little pimples left but nothing angry and no inflammation – so if you’re bothered with angry spots I’d seriously consider getting this.
The last product in this post is another from Revolution who have really knocked it out the park recently, their 2% Hyaluronic Acid is a welcome addition to my routine. I won’t get into the chemistry of it’; because I don’t know it, but this helps to trap moisture into your skin – so by using it on damp skin it retains this to help plump your skin. To be honest I’m plump enough and don’t really need help in this area, but we move.
These products alone have made a serious difference to my skin in a pretty short period of time and it’s been a great confidence boost to have skin that I’m happy to show off and doesn’t look dull or highly coloured.
In my next post I’ll be chatting all about moisturising – hope to see you there soon!