Skincare is a massive thing for me. Like, it’s been a journey. And, even though I’m still not 100%, or even like 60% happy with my skin, I feel like the products I’m using now are the best I’ve ever used.
When I was really young, I don’t remember using anything on my skin. I think one Christmas when I was about 10 I was given a gift set containing cleanser, toner, and moisturiser. At the time, these were the only 3 things you ever needed to do your skin. Serum didn’t exist.
When I started wearing makeup (usually trying to copy Avril Lavigne’s eyeliner), I scrubbed it off at night with face wipes. I didn’t have what you would call a regime; more like I would do one of those 99p face masks whenever I had a sleepover.
When I was 13 my face erupted with acne and I decided I needed to do something about it. Whereas now, before buying a new product, I would research ingredients and read reviews online, when I was a teenager, I had to just go out and buy the stuff and hope for the best.
I subsequently tried every product advertised by relieved-looking teenagers who were able to look people in the eye with confidence after using it, and which showed magical dramatisations of spots reducing in size overnight. The best of these products worked for about a month, and the worst aggravated the hell out of my skin and made it red and blotchy.
I then decided that I was putting far too many chemicals on my skin, and adopted a more natural approach. I tried a hundred and one totally natural and homemade remedies, but oh my god, too much effort, and I didn’t notice any real difference.
Skip forward several years and god knows how much damage to my poor skin. I think I’m getting it now. These are the products that have made it into my top 8; the only ones I continue to buy when I run out rather than trying something else. They’ve all worked for me better than any other product in their categories.
The only face mask I ever make time for. I’ve always had the intention of creating a skincare ‘regime’ whereby I will do a face mask as part of ‘me time’ every Sunday to unwind before work the next day. But ha, that never happens. I do use this once every couple of weeks though, because it’s too good not to.
I recommend buying it in the self-preserving formula, so you don’t have to keep it in the fridge where it can accidentally be spread on toast you make when you come in drunk. That never happened to me. But if it did, it’s fine because, like all Lush products, it is fresh and homemade.
It’s all peppermint-y and scrubby which feels like it’s really doing your skin some good, and it was created to fight breakouts. It contains things I would probably more commonly use in baking, like vanilla and honey (anti-bacterial, you know), and as I write this I’m planning a scenario for this evening that includes sitting on the sofa with this on.
The bestest moisturiser in the world. BUT it’s not just a moisturiser. This is multi-tasking skincare. It can also be a mask and a cleanser. You can even use it on small people, but I probably wouldn’t because it’s like £20 for 75ml and they would waste it.
I mainly just use it daily as a moisturiser, whether I’m wearing makeup or not. It is thick and rich but not in a night cream kinda way. It’s layerable, as in, it won’t clog up your pores if you apply another layer before makeup. You need the smallest amount, so it lasts for ages.
I feel like this is what moisturiser should be. It’s basically an emollient oil plus shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera and soy proteins. It smells lovely. I don’t think I’ll ever stop buying this. And it’s one of those trendy French pharmacy brands.
OK, this is one of the best products I’ve recruited to work for my fuck off will you please acne campaign. They contain salicylic acid which is what all the Googles say you need to get shot of spots. It’s good for blackheads and generally cloggy pores.
They also contain benzoic acid which is anti-bacterial. If you have red/white heads, especially those ones under the skin that feel more like a golf ball on your face, benzoic acid is the ingredient capable of exfoliating the crap out of them. I don’t think the concentration is strong enough to dry out skin; I’ve certainly never had this problem, but I would do a bit more research on these if you need sensitive skincare.
Medically, these two ingredients are combined to treat skin irritation and inflammation. I just flipping love these things; they make your skin feel so clean and not chemical-y or sore. They’re really gentle and you can use them every day.
These ones I bought because I liked the blemish control ones so much.
I wanted something that was going to help me add a bit of gentle anti-wrinkling to my skincare, because my sarcastic resting bitchface has set me on a trajectory toward some deep-set forehead grooves. I’m not 30 yet, and I’m definitely not anti-aging, just feel like I want to offer a bit of encouragement to my skin to replenish better.
These pads are soaked with glycolic acid and lactic acid, which are both good for resurfacing/restoring. These pads are just a nice, gentle daily exfoliant which makes me feel like I’m feeding my skin and making it happy.
Absolutely loving Lush skincare. For years I avoided that shop because of the smell and the glitter and the extremely helpful assistants. So glad I eventually went in because I found Ultrabland and I love it.
It’s all natural, happy hippy stuff, so no harsh chemicals, no crap, just nice fresh ingredients. I wish all my skincare was like this. It’s like skin happiness in a recycled tub, and it’s such a treat at the end of the day to take your makeup off with this stuff.
It’s all creamy and you do a nice little massage and a warm cloth to take it off. It takes off all of my makeup, even the stubborn eyeliner. One down side is that I can’t travel with it because you really need a flannel with it and I cba trekking flannels round wherever I go.
It has like, 10 ingredients, though. And most of them I know to be natural skin-loving things like almond oil, rosewater, honey, and beeswax. I cannot rave about this enough.
I can’t think that it would be unsuitable for any skin type, unless you have allergies, because it is so lovely and gentle. Lush recommend using nothing but this for a month to bring problem skin back into balance. I know they would say that, but I completely agree. Ultrabland wins.
I have no problem spending £40 on a foundation, but for some reason I hesitated spending that amount on skincare. I bought it because I’d read somewhere that it was good for a shit skin day. I considered that it probably wouldn’t help me out an awful lot because I rarely have a non-shit skin day. Thanks hormones.
It doesn’t do anything to help me out there, but what it does do is make my skin look and feel (and smell? This stuff smells pretty nice) lovely. Y’know, under the hormonal acne.
I tend to slather it on at night, it’s an oily texture, and in the morning my skin looks less fatigued, red and blotchy, and more even and happy.
I’ve come to believe it’s a sign of a nice product when the name of it is on the packaging in both French and English. Although, come to think of it, this might just be a Clarins thing. Anyway, it contains plant extracts (lavendar, avocado, sandalwood, and soybean oils), apparently, and has been developed with sensitive skin in mind.
I believe in plant-based stuff, especially for spotty skin. It claims to soothe and revitalise skin, reduce redness and increase radiance. I’d generally agree with these claims, and I consider it a real treat for my skin.
I’m fairly sure if you’ve ever been on the internet before this visit, you’ve heard of Pixi Glow Tonic. People worship this stuff, and I kind of get that now.
I was shopping in London and bought this at their store on Foubert’s Place because, tbh, it had been two days and I was sad that I hadn’t bought a single thing. However! I love this stuff, because I want the clear, glowy skin of a fresh-faced yongster.
It contains 5% glycolic acid, aloe vera & ginseng, which all sound like things I need on my face. It’s also alcohol free which means it won’t dry out your skin.
I use it if I’m going to be wearing some kind of illuminating makeup, because it contributes to the look. It feels like it’s really cleaning your skin and removing the old dead skin cells. Mmm.
A body one for a change. This is the only moisturiser that actually moisturises my skin. Like proper works. I feel all soft afterwards and I smell like Dairy Milk all day. 5 points to Palmers.
I’ve tried their coconut oil and olive oil versions but it’s just not the same, man. I know it isn’t totally natural, but it feels like it. I can’t imagine anyone not liking this stuff, unless for some weird reason they don’t like the smell of chocolate.
My boyfriend actually uses this to moisturise his entire body, his face, and he puts it in his hair. I don’t know if this is recommended or indeed normal, but he seems to find it effective.
I could do without the artificial colouring, but it does contain cocoa extract, cocoa seed butter, and coconut oil. All edibly good things to moisturise with.
I’d love to know what your top skincare products are especially if, like me, you have kind of combination difficult to control skin. I’m always interested (desperate) in finding something that works, so let me know in the comments below!