I haven't done a Skincare Update post in quite a while, so what better time than the present? Experiencing an extended period of shitty breakouts a few months ago really made me re-assess my skincare routine (or lack thereof!). After switching up a few products and sticking to a morning and nightly skincare routine, my skin is clear and looking pretty healthy on the whole. I'm not going to lie, I am using a lot of different products right now (partly because I'm trying to use up my samples). Most of them are geared towards either clearing and preventing breakouts or anti-aging, as those are my two main concerns. Here's what I'm slapping on every day....
I use Lush Ultrabland Cleanser (see my review here) when I don't have any spots. It leaves my skin feeling plumped out and super-soft. The thick, oily texture means I have to remove it with a washcloth, but it's totally worth the extra effort. When my skin's playing up, I cleanse with Paula's Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser (Blemish-Prone Skin) which is an amazing gel that clears my breakouts up fast. I would highly recommend this cleanser if you have problem skin.
Again, I alternate between two products when it comes to Toner. My old favourite is TN Dickinson's WitchHazel which I love for the super-cheap price (around $6) and its ability to minimise my pores and clear my skin. I also use, albeit less frequently, The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner. Anyone else love the smell of tea tree, or is it just me? Confession time! When I can't be stuffed cleansing before bed, I actually use one of these toners to remove my makeup. Hey, it hasn't killed me yet!
I've pretty much switched from gritty to liquid exfoliants now. The two products I'm using are Alpha-H Liquid Gold and Paula's Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment (with 2% BHA) both of which are pretty potent, so I only use them every two to three days. I like keeping my skin on its toes by using Liquid Gold before bed, then in a few days I'll use the Paula's Choice exfoliant, and so on and so forth. Although Liquid Gold isn't classified as an exfoliant (it's marketed more as an acid toner), that's the way I see it. It's actually a treatment containing Glycolic Acid and licorice that firms, revitalises and boosts radiance. The Glycolic extract does exfoliate, but I really appreciate the multitude of skin concerns Liquid Gold addresses. When a product reduces fine lines, tightens my skin, makes it glow, reduces pigmentation, smooths, clears and makes me look younger, I will keep using it.
So many eye creams (mainly samples)! I love trying lots of eye creams, even though I know my Holy Grail is La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift, a true miracle worker. I've not featured it here because I only use it for special occasions; I have a tiny amount left in a sample tube and the full version costs $380 for 20ml. I just can't bring myself to buy it yet. I've been using La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex instead, which has a watery consistency and is still effective. I've also been enjoying Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Eye Cream and Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Eye, both of these do work well. FreezeFrame Revitaleyes (which I wrote about in Five Fabulous Faves) has also been improving my under-eye area, and once a week I use Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisture Cream (not pictured) under my eyes for an added moisture boost.
I am loving facial serums at the moment! I'm using a number of different products, basically just depending on how I'm feeling that day. And again, I'm working my way through the various samples I've accumulated. La Prairie is a favourite brand of mine (why do they have to be so expensive, though?!) and the La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster is great. Their products work so well. Since hubby bought me the Elizabeth Arden GWP a few months ago (blogged about here) I'm falling more in love with this brand. I'm really enjoying the Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Daily Serum, with the Flawless Future Powered By Ceramide Caplet Serum a close runner-up.
Every morning I pop on Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Firm and Reflect Moisturizer half an hour before applying my makeup, as it needs that amount of time to properly absorb. I love the way this makes my skin look as it really does give my face a firmer appearance. Nightly, I use Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered By Ceramide Night Cream, another winner in my book. About twice per week I'll use Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rejuvenating Cream before bed instead, but not on a night where I've used Liquid Gold itself, as it might be a bit much for my skin. This cream is pretty sticky and I wouldn't even attempt to use it under makeup!
My go-to for any spots is Paula's Choice Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatment, which I bought as part of the Clear Extra Strength Kit. This range is amazing and completely cleared up my persistent breakouts. I rarely need to use this anymore, but I like knowing I have it on hand, just in case. If you're interested in purchasing from Paula's Choice, you can use my link to get $15 off your first order, and I'll get $15 credited to my account!
I'm not really using Face Masks at the moment, because I don't love any of the ones I have. However I have found a few sample sachets and once-off masks in my stash (hello SK-II Facial Treatment Mask) so I might bring back Pamper Sunday!
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Disclaimer: All products were purchased by me, my husband or were free samples I got instore or with online orders. All opinions are my own. Using my Paula's Choice link means you get $15 off your first order and I get $15 credited to my account.
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What's your favourite skincare brand or product?