'I'm 24 and work in an office in London. I currently use just a Neutrogena Oil Free moisturiser, as being 24 I was still getting the odd spot, someone suggested that I try something without oil. It worked, for a while, but now my skin is dry, lifeless, and still getting the odd spot. I'm nervous about changing moisturiser though. I try a Kiehls one about 6 months ago, but my skin just went haywire. I do however know that I need to find something to start giving my skin back its moisture, stop being flaky, hopefully keep away the odd spot and stop me feeling ancient before my time! If you could point me in the right direction of a relevent post, or have any advice I would be so grateful!'
Hey sister, I can relate! Ever since I popped out my little'un, the skin has been having an extended schizophrenic moment. It's superficially oily, deeply dehydrated, prone to dry patches and, out of nowhere, the odd forehead blemish has also made a determined comeback. Darn it to hell. The thing is, I've learned from past experience that it does no good to chop & change - to gauge if something's working or not you need to allow at least 6 weeks. Having said that the gut's a good indicator of the skin's proclivities - and it's pretty easy to tell if something's not going to suit you, full stop. The range I’ve always relied on to right my up-and-down days is ESPA. I’ve written about them several times in the past, but it’s the combination of balancing oil, balancing moisturiser, cellular hydrating complex and that lovely creamy easily-emulsifying oil-based gentle cleanser that most often gets my skin back up to scratch. I must say, however, that without the cellular hydrating complex, the combo is not quite hydrating enough as my skin switches from combination to dryness-prone the moment winter appears – but using a more moisturising line-up, such as, e.g. Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, which is packed with avocado, borage and wheatgerm oils, does leave me superficially ‘slick’ looking [even when using the LIGHT formula – I get that suspect 2pm shine on the ol’ forehead]. So, my advice would be to supplement a skincare routine that you’re happy with – i.e. a cleanser & moisturiser that seem to work with your skin – with masks, serums and concentrates. That way you can ensure that you’re not changing things up too much or constantly trying and testing formulas out on your complexion (which is the shortest cut to skin chaos). Some of the very best hydrating and ‘enlivening’ masks I’ve used over the years include:
DERMALOGICA MULTI-VITAMIN POWER RECOVERY MASK
REMEDE ALCHEMY LINE-MINIMIZING MASK
ORIGINS DRINK UP INTENSIVE OVERNIGHT MASK
JURLIQUE INTENSE RECOVERY MASK
ALPHA-H CALMING & HYDRATING MASK
I’d also like to stress the fact that I’m a massive fan of oils for ALL skin conditions. I’ve never ever found the oil-free method to help with my oil- or spot-proneness, in fact, whenever I’ve used entirely oil-free formulas in the past – from Leaf & Rusher; Dr Brandt; Dermalogica; REN – my skin has initially settled (for a day or two), before becoming increasingly oily and spotty. My theory (and several skincare experts would agree with me), is that by using entirely oil-free products, the skin begins to overcompensate by overproducing sebum. However, by selecting facial oils designed to treat OILY skin (wonderful combinations are made by Aromatherapy Associates, Daniele de Winter, Darphin, Decleor, Clarins and, as previously mentioned, ESPA), the skin seems to settle down far more easily – and provides a far more successful longterm solution.
Please, do let me know how you get on!
A sympathetic sister in search of skincare perfection