Starting off: Skincare

Skincare… pretty much what it says on the tin really, caring for your skin. Your daily skincare routine tends to start as a wee nipper, when your mother or some other relative, guardian or carer washes your face with warm soapy water and a face cloth, or as I like to call it, the flannel of dooooom. Generally speaking this is sufficient, but as we get older and skin gets dryer or oilier depending on your age/skin type, it is best to switch this for something a bit more productive/useful.

So the basic 3 step formula I was taught when I grew up was this:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Moisturiser

I then sort of threw this out the window…okay so really I only  threw step 2 out and for many years step 3, as my skin was so oily, I couldn’t even use a light moisturiser, even after using tough anti blemish type cleanser.

So cleanser then, any kind of face wash you like really, or rather any that your skin likes is good. Personally, I have super sensitive skin and as a teenager tried many brands, but found that they dried my skin out far too much. A lot of brands aimed at reducing spots WILL dry your skin out, I found the best, having sensitive skin, being ones that were gentle, like the Simple range and one or two of the creamier ones from Neutrogena. I remember one Christmas my mum bought me the Clinique anti blemish gift pack, and whilst the other products were harsh, the cleanser was pretty good and gentle. These days for cleanser I stick to products made by Lush. Use this once a day, I would suggest on an evening especially if you wear make up.

I would personally avoid Toner, they contain alcohol and will dry your skin out and make it more irritable, however, Lush do some nice toner waters, especially their Grease Lightning, which is brill for teenage skin. Toner is mainly used to remove any remaining dirt and make up, but really you should use decent make up remover specifically made for your eyes and then your cleanser should do the rest. You can find Lush’s spot treatment/good for spot prone skin products here.

Moisturiser can be a pain to get right as a teenager, but stick with it ’til you find a good one. I used to use Simple moisturiser whenever my skin felt like it needed it, and a lot of the other bloggers involved reading this will probably gasp in horror when I say I didn’t use it everyday; my skin didn’t feel like it needed it and was pretty oily most of the time. If you suffer from similar issues, I’d say moisturise as you feel you need it e.g. when your skin feels dry and tight and remember not to use too much; a little goes a long way!

These days my skincare regime consists of cleanser: Angels on Bare Skin by Lush unless I’ve been wearing make up, which I don’t do everyday…I know, I know, please contain your gasps of horror. On those days I use 9 to 5 by Lush or Ultrabland by Lush. I prefer 9 to 5 for ease of use, but sometimes Ultrabland is necessary for removing waterproof mascara effectively and is really good when my skin is really red and sore and having an allergic reaction. As it is so thick, I prefer not to use it everyday as i find it hard to get off sometimes! I follow this up with Neutrogena Multi Defense moisturiser, as another good tip is using a good SPF to help with anti aging! Using sun cream is highly recommended, but I’ve never been able to get away with this so I use this Neutrogena moisturiser which is SPF 25 instead. I’m sure its not as good as a sun cream, but if you’re worried about oily skin, a moisturiser with SPF will do in a pinch. I have however, recently purchased some of this Steam Cream, and will be giving it a go.

I love using Lush products because I have incredibly sensitive skin and am allergic to all sorts of random things. Because Lush is all handmade products from all natural ingredients it means there are no harsh chemicals to bother your skin. I cannot recommend them enough. That’s not to say everything is perfect, I once had a disastrous incident with their Oatifix face mask, which is meant to be super gentle and kind…it would appear I am allergic to one of the ingredients.

Now, Angels on Bare Skin is my all time absolute favourite skin care product. Love, love, love it!

How to use it:

On days when I’m having bad skin or fancy giving it a treat I often buy Lush’s fresh face masks. Catastrophe Cosmetic is brilliant for red, spotty and bothered skin. It is my miracle cure for bad skins days! Last year Clipper tea included vouchers in their green tea boxes so you could go to your local Lush store and have a free face mask making work shop. I went with my friend (whom I refer to as Bird if you’re not a regular reader) and we got to drink green tea while they gave us a skin consultation and tried different products on us (on our hands though, not face in case of allergies etc though I believe some stores did do this as a full facial) then had the opportunity to make a batch of Catastrophe Cosmetic which we got to take home.

Someone else enjoying their workshop:

I honestly think that discovering Lush skin care products in my mid to late teens was my savior! They have genuinely made a massive difference to my skin. Many times I have strayed and tried other brands but always seem to return to them. So if like me, you have sensitive skin that products seem to dry out, but at the same time you have oily teenage skin that seems to be a complete nightmare to buy for, try some Lush! As I said, with them being handmade from all natural ingredients they will be kind and gentle to your skin. The staff are brilliant and know their products well; they can advise you and you can test products in store.

Other tips and tricks you may not want to hear:

  • Drink plenty of water – keep your skin, mind and body hydrated, Alcohol and caffiene dehydrates so tea, coffee and cola type products won’t help.
  • Don’t smoke – smoking damages your skin as it restricts oxygen to the blood vessels which dries skin out and can make it even take on a greyish appearance; attractive! (Not to mention all the other icky stuff it does to your body!)
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol – again, it dehydrates and will help to age your skin.
  • Avoid sunbeds – this should be self evident, if you should wear SPF to stop the sun aging your skin, sunbeds will have the opposite effect and age you well before your time!

Remember, when in doubt, try it out. Test products if you can to see how your skin will handle it, look on websites for free samples and find stores that will let you test them there and then. Everybody’s skin is different so what works for your friends may not work for you.

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6 thoughts on “Starting off: Skincare

  1. I’m obsessed with Lush as well. Didn’t start using their skincare products until recently, but as you’ll see on my blog…SCORE! Great post.

  2. Lush’s Cosmetic Warrior face mask is really good for spot breakouts, as I discovered this summer when hot and sweaty disagreed with my skin! Nivea Soft is a good moisturiser too and cheap if you can’t afford Lush prices. My mildly sensitive skin prefers it to most of Lush’s moisturisers, to be honest but I haven’t tried some of their newer ones yet. I doubly recommend Grease Lightening for blemishes; I find it often stops a blemish turning into a spot, and if it does then it lessens the ferocity of what feels like Vesuvious on one’s face!

    • I can’t get away with Nivea Soft, it brings me out in spots but husband uses it every day and loves it. I don’t tend to bother with Lush moisturiser as although I’m sure they are lovely, they are a bit too pricey for me. I’m on the prowl for a good one with a higher SPF than the one I use.
      I’ve never tried Cosmetic warrior, the smell always puts me off but after reading this I think next time I have a breakout I’ll give it a bash! Vesuvius is never a good look!

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