My skincare routine for problematic skin – Part 1

Balancing ageing prevention and acne fighting skincare

Once again I go on about my problematic skin. Get used to it. Working with Eucerin has given me a boost of confidence to keep talking openly about skin concerns affecting young and older people alike.

Think double trouble – when you are a little bit older (cough cough) and still suffer from breakouts, ageing is a concern but most acne effective treatments will drain your skin from hydration, promoting a dry, irritated and dull complexion. Which is wrinkle prone. Great.

Frankly, I don’t have time for that, on top of all the aggro acne has brought me, I now have a new set of issues to deal with, and they are the entire opposite end of the spectrum.

With make up not sitting well and not lasting, if your confidence is already knocked by the problematic skin itself, not being able to conceal it a little bit can be even worse.

So what to do Dani? Well, I have, through all these years, tried many combinations. I’m not going to lie: it is trial and error, and sometimes it just stops working, but hopefully my tips will be useful.

In short, I keep acne specific products for the night, adding a shot of deeper hydration, and favour shielding, protecting and moisturising products for the day. And I rotate a lot, depending on how my skin is feeling.

Because this post ended up huge (trust me not to shut up), I am splitting in two parts. Here, I talk about the beginning of the routine – cleansers, toners, serums and day moisturisers.

Cleansers

I double cleanse most days. First either with an oil pre-cleanse – my go-to are dermalogica precleanse cleansing oil or DHC Deep Cleansing Oil or a balm – my faves are this works light time cleanse & glow or Botanicals Hydration Boost Double Action Hydrating Cleanser.

Then I use a wash – always a foaming wash. If skin is a bit more sensitive, I use a mild one like the Evolve Daily Facial Detox Wash or Best Face Forward from Formula 10.0.6.

All of the above are very gentle, offering non-stripping deep cleansing.

If skin if feeling slightly tougher and can take more acid goodness, I love the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Cleansing foam or the Eucerin Dermopurifyer cleansing gel which are still gentle enough for my (most of the times) sensitive skin.

Toners

For the day, the Zenii Antioxidant Q10 Toner, Murad’s Essential-C Toner and dermalogica’s Multiactive Toner are ever so mild and efficient. At night, I use the Eucerin Dermopurifyer Toner.

If I am looking for something with a bit more bite, Pixi Glow Tonic and Clinique Anti-Blemish Solution Clarifying Toner are my go to (which incidentally need re-stocking!).

Serums

Usually during the day I apply the gorgeous Zenii Antioxidant Power serum and the lovely Lumène Valo Glow Boost Essence both for protection and promoting radiance. I use those mainly for day.

The Rainforest Rescue Blemish Serum, from Evolve organic Beauty, and The Ordinary Niaciamide 10% + Zinc 1% solution are helpful additions when blemishes are present, and usually at night.

Day moisturisers

I am a bit promiscuous when it comes to moisturising. At the moment, I have, on rotation, for the day: this works light time skin plumper, Zenii Moisturising Sun protection, Nivea Q10plus C, Neutrogena Moisture Boost and Perricone MD Photo Plasma (which makes a great makeup base).

If the SPF on the moisturiser is not enough, I complement the routine with one of my favourite sun creams, such as Eucerin’s Sun Fluid Anti-Age.

Very important: this mini series talks about a maintenance routine. If you are suffering from (especially) moderate to severe active acne, I urge you to talk to your doctor to discuss treatment.

Once you start treatment, you will most likely stick to a prescribed skincare routine, but depending on what your main medical treatment for acne is, some products will be off the table.

In a few days, I will be talking excitingly about night hydration, oils, masks, scrubs and other skincare bits that are also part of my routine – do not miss!

P.S. Since I photographed this post, new skincare came into play, like the new Nivea City Skin range, which has gone straight into my skincare drawer… But you know what they say (do they?): the work of a beauty blogger is never done – they will soon be featuring.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Indulge on beauty!

Beauty. Heaven. There is no other way to describe the haven that is Indulge Beauty at Westfield Stratford.

Think makeup, nails, fragrance skin, hair and body care for men and women from over 120 cult, classic and emerging brands under on roof. For all tastes, all budgets.

I was really impressed with the quality and selection of the brands present. Being a beauty blogger, obviously I knew many, but there was a lot still to discover.

Also, the dedicated male beauty area caught my eyes – a comprehensive and approachable offer even for the shyer men starting to get into skincare and grooming.

And their fine fragrance section? To die for. Got me all in love with Eight & Bob (the Original) and I shall get my claws on it at some point.

I left the shop with a gorgeous Capsule box, which only lightly touches on the breadth of the beauty offering from Indulge; from well know Urban Decay, Glam Glow and Beauty Blender, to cult Skin Laundry and classic Clarins and GHD; this just a tiny sample of what you can expect from a place which seems to have it all.

The idea behind Indulge Beauty makes me even fonder of it: a place where the real YOU is celebrated, with their mantra: Be bold, Be brave. Be you.

The best thing? At Indulge Beauty you can get a routine tailored for you – think a shampoo from one brand, conditioner from other, mask from a third; eyeliner from brand A, mascara from B; day cream from brand X, day cream from Y… you get the idea.

Most importantly, advice is neutral, focused on your needs and you can get all in one place!

What better than killer beauty to highlight that bolder and braver you?

From the guys behind The Fragrance Shop, Indulge Beauty is located at Westfield Stratford (Unit 20, The Arcade, Montfichet Road, E20 1EH), in London (soooo close to me, how lucky am I?).

I also popped in (I do all the time) yesterday and was received with friendly, but not obtrusive or pushy smiles, great advice and fun chat (I talk too much so I always initiate).

You can also shop online at indulgebeauty.com, as well as read a bit more about them and what beauty revolution they are plotting!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

A vitamin C boost to tackle dull skin

Valo [Light] Glow Boost EssenceWho’s with me in no longer bearing the winter? Thought so. I had enough. London is so miserable in the winter so I cannot wait for those longer, brighter days.

While those don’t come, my skin keeps suffering with the brutal wind and heating. Dullness ensues.

A while back, at my favourite place, Liberty, I came across Lumene, a gorgeous Finnish brand and its equally gorgeous Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence.

Now, we all love a bit of glow and we know highlighter can only do so much. I only “discovered” some glow in my skin in the last few years, so I am doing everything I can to retain even if a tiny bit of it.

Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence

This light serum is loaded with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, which makes it the perfect hydration and glow potion to fight the winter effects on the skin.

Its consistency very fluid, colourless and feels so smooth on the skin, which drinks up very quickly. I use about 3-5 drops for my face and it is suitable for all skin types.

I do feel it helps reset my complexion, especially when used at night. It also helps maintain the plumpness and hydration which my skin tends to lose in the course of the day, when I apply in the morning.

Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence

Apart from brightening vitamin C and moisture preserving hyaluronic acid, The Valo Glow Boost Essence contains Arctic cloudberry extract a and pure Arctic spring water.

Altogether, they works to help achieve plumper, smoother and more radiant skin, which subsequently appears more youthful.

I use it mainly at night, at times combined with other serums and oils and at times with some other vitamin C products on top. I sometimes add it in the morning too, with some more vitamin C products on top, because you know, bitch gotta glow.

You can get this the Lumene Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence from Liberty (always worth a trip over). It costs £29.90 for 30ml and you can also get it from feelunique.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

A blemish rescue oil. Yes, really

Votary Blemish Rescue OilThis year you haven’t heard it: oh how I love a facial oil. And this is a gem from a brand I got to know quite recently: Votary, which makes this post that little bit more exciting.

Now, my personal battle navigating between aggressive, drying blemish fighting and hydrating, nourishing age fighting products is known to an extent here (and I’ll publish a full piece on it soon), but this little hero addresses just that. Tamanu oil and salicylic acid, make it nourishing with blemish fighting properties.

Votary Blemish Rescue Oil’s 2% salicylic acid goes down deep in the pores dissolving dead skin cells and exfoliating all the way to the surface. This helps with the congestion that usually brings spots about.

And the blend of natural plant oils including rice, oat, tamanu and rosemary essential oil aids quicker recovery and promotes  balance.

Votary Blemish Rescue OilIt’s a great targeted, non-aggressive solution which is a bliss to use: it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy, and even though it’s for use on the spot, I feel it works wonders on the whole face or areas, like the chin, to help prevent breakouts.

And for that, I really want to get the Votary Clarifying Facial Oil, as I think it would be a very powerful duo for problematic skin.

The Votary Blemish Rescue Oil costs £35 for 15ml (it goes a looooong way!) and you can find the gorgeous Votary products at Liberty – I mean, any excuse for a trip over there – or online on their site.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Gimme vitamin…C

I’m no stranger to the Nivea Q10 range; a while back I was introduced to the antioxidant properties of Q10, which is a co-enzyme present in our skin.

Now Nivea has just boosted these properties with amazing vitamin C, also known for its antioxidant properties and to deliver radiance and energy to the skin.

The Q10plusC Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Eye Treatment (£10.99) is my favourite – you know I love an eye product.

It’s light and super smooth, I find perfect for the day as it keeps the area moisturised and bright, but also great for the night as it is not heavy and works wonder de-puffing and refreshing dull and tired skin.

The Q10plusC Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Skin Sleep Cream (£10.99) is a delight. It is a very fluid cream that glides and sinks so well in the skin.

It feels so light but works wonders: skin wakes up refreshed, rested and plump.

Last, but not least, the Q10plusC Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Day Cream with SPF 15 (£10.99).

Of course, any sun protection is always welcome and on top of it you have fantastic skin protecting antioxidants.

It has a firm consistency but spreads smoothly and behaves extremely well under makeup.  I don’t know if it’s me but it feels like it creates a good, non-greasy and even base for foundation.

This range went straight to my bedside table (ok, not a bedside table, but the packed everyday skincare drawer more like) and I’ve been using very regularly since putting to the test.

Oh, and the smell on the face products is rather nice; slightly reminiscent of the classic Nivea, but fresher and not overpowering. I love it!

You can check them out on the Nivea website and you can get them from major retailers, such as Superdrug and Boots.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

A beauty lift for eyes

Eye creams: I’m obsessed! No secret, I use them day and night and I juts love the feeling of applying and of course, having hydrated  round the eye area all day long.

DHC brought the Beauty Lift range out a while back and although it didn’t quite work for my skin, the Beauty Lift Eye Care Essence Roll-on is a complete different story.

Start with the three tiny metal beads that form the roll-on. They mean a more delicate and targeted multipoint gentle and cooling massage on application to ease puffiness.

Inside, a very light and fluid serum like formula containing firming and smoothing oat kernel extract, also firming mevalonolactone and ceramide 3, plus hydrating and lifting pentapeptide-18.

It’s light enough for multi-use. For the day, first thing is the morning, it’s a godsend to help with puffy and bed eyes. At night, it’s a refresher to wake up hydrated and refreshed.

I also like the click pen that delivers the exact shot for one application! No excess product or waste.

And how pretty does the pearlescent pink packaging look? Dreamy!

The DHC Beauty Lift Eye Care Essence Roll-on costs £24 for 6ml, but it’s currently on sale until 30/11/17 for £20, a real bargain! You can get it directly from the DHC website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Eucerin DermoPurifyer: much needed renewal for problem skin

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Skin Renewal TreatmentA little while ago, I was recommended the Eucerin DermoPURIFYER range at one of their events and since, it has my go-to selection when my skin is misbehaving.

No surprise I was extremely happy to work with Eucerin again in the month before the re-launch of the range.

Products have been reformulated, repackaged and the range now counts with a new hero night product, the Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Skin Renewal Treatment, which has a potent 10% Hydroxy Acid Complex to tackle blemishes and uneven skin surface.

It is an overnight treatment that reveals visibly clearer, smoother skin – thanks to its 10% Hydroxy Acid Complex.

The blend of Salicylic, Glycolic and Polyhydroxy acids deliver hydrating, pore-unclogging and anti-bacterial properties to the skin, and results can be noticed as early as a week after regular use.

I could see some changes to my skin in a couple of weeks: much better overall texture and the feeling of waking up with a fresh face. Even though I had a very difficult month and my hormones were all over the place causing some breakouts, I feel like they didn’t stay around for as long as they usually do.

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Skin Renewal Treatment

As it contains acid, dryness was present in the first few days, so I skipped 2 applications in the first week, then a couple in the weeks that followed. If you have sensitive skin, start using every 2-3 days.

Overall, my skin reacted pretty well and at no point it was uncomfortable. My lips were quite dry, so I reached out for the Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm.

A month on, I can see overall texture has improved, as well as tone. Makeup sits better and there’s certainly some natural glow. It’s one of the biggest problem skincare bargains around.

Those who know me will have heard I have struggled most of my life with a skin that does not reflect how I feel inside and bringing it close to that has been a daily, at times arduous exercise.

Most people would take this for granted, but when you have lived with really problematic skin that won’t give you a break for so long, the smallest improvement in texture and tone is noticed, and thankfully received.

Forget glow, flawless finish for a minute; that is all amazing but sometimes a good skin day for me is just not having yet another bright red (or infected) spot -or cluster of – well past your 30s.

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Cover StickNow to some more great news: the Cover Stick is back! I just admit I am not huge on concealer sticks but somehow this one stuck to my makeup bag and I find myself dabbing breakouts with this several times a day. It’s proven to visibly reduce blemishes and cover imperfections whilst calming irritation.

A massive surprise was the Micellar Water. No secret I’ve never been a fan of micellar waters (see a theme here?), but this one wormed its way into my routine. I find it’s gentle yet effective, especially for eye makeup. After use skin feels fresh and of course, clean.

The Adjunctive Soothing Cream is quite important here, as it gives the skin some much needed oil free calming moisture. A slight disappointment is that this product lost its SPF 30 in the reformulation.

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Soothing Adjunctive Cream, Mattifying Lotion and ScrubThe texture is rich but fluid, quickly absorbed and it contains symsitive, licochalcone A (licorice extract) and ceramides, which are deeply soothing and hydrating.

If you are not super young, as it’s the case here (cough cough), you might need to supplement the regime. I did it with an oil, the Eucerin Elasticity+ Filler Facial Oil under the cream at night only.

For the day, I mixed the Adjunctive cream with the brand new Mattifying Fluid. Super efficient, you can see that it immediately sucks up oil and pores, feeling quite dry to touch.

As my skin is not oily, it is not something I really need, but I can see the 8-hour anti-shine effect being a godsend to those with oily complexions or T-zone. It contains salicylic acid, so it’s also a treatment.

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Micellar Water, Cleansing Gel and TonerThe fab duo I’ve been using for a while now also have upgraded formulations. The Cleansing Gel now comes with a handy pump and is remains great: deeply cleansing, gentle and refreshing.

And the Toner, ridiculously fresh, leaves skin feeling squeaky clean without a hint of drying – on the contrary, I feel some suppleness after use.

Finally, we all know I love a bit of exfoliation and the Scrub provides a gentle but effective deep clean.

Needless to say, especially when using skincare that contains acids, make sure you wear a good sunscreen. Eucerin has tons of amazing ones and I used mainly the Anti-Age Sun Fluid.

Now, we know that what matters is what’s on the inside but packaging is something we like. Changing inside and out, packaging is now softer, fresher and must I say, unisex, as this DermoPURIFYER caters for men and women who suffer from problem skin.

The full new Eucerin DermoPURIFYER range, including the hero Skin Renewal Treatment, is now available from Boots and Superdrug, where we can also check the prices.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples and the four-week trial was sponsored by Eucerin. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

That peeling face mask…

Oh face masks… is there anything that screams being pampered more than a lush face mask accompanied by a fluffy dressing gown?

BLAQ mask (£14) is a peel-off facial mask with activated charcoal to target toxins and draw out impurities.

I must admit I’ve been a bit scared of peel-off black face masks as so many people seem to have had some asphalt mix that set on their faces, was damn hard to peel and took a layer of their epidermis off when finally pulled out, leaving them with that newborn panda look.

But when I got my hands on this, I could not resist and I am glad I didn’t.

After cleansing and using a warm cloth to open pores, I applied an even layer of the mask avoiding hairline, eyebrows, lips and eye area.

I waited around 15 minutes and I went off to peel the shiny layer of face mask that was set like plastic on my face.

Laugh away:

I found a little spot to grab on to and started. It did come off quite easily, and although I could feel the pull, it wasn’t aggressive on the skin, but there was a little bit of redness.

After a few minutes, my skin felt super soft, clearer, calmer; blackheads were pulled out.

Together with the face mask, I also got the BLAQ Hydrogel Eye Masks (£22), which I have to say, I’ve been very excited about.

The slug like patches come in a solution and are extremely soothing and cooling upon application.

After 15 minutes they easily come off and the area felt de-puffed and had a glow, brighter and tighter. Sounds a load of rubbish, but I did noticed a visible change.

It contains glycerin, witch hazel extract, bamboo charcoal, Irish moss powder (0.1%), konjac fibre, algin and citric acid.

Finally, the BLAQ Meteor Shower scrub (£19.95). I mean, just to start with: pretty. It fells lovely on the skin, and really exfoliates, leaving it soft, shimmery and glowy. It is perfect to prep for tanning!

I find it quite sweet that you can “track” the origin of the meteorites used on your scrub. Each pack has a number, here’s mine:

It contains sea salt flakes, meteorite powder, mica, activated charcoal, soybean oil, sugar and olive fruit oil. The meteorite powder as found in the scrub is 100% biodegradable; the scrub has no preservatives or additives, and BLAQ does not test on animals!

You can get them all at blaq.co.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

British natural skincare

Often I go on about the joys of discovering new beauty brands and when Evolve Organic Beauty popped in I was delighted to give a go.

And not just because I didn’t know them before; the fact they are natural and hand made in the UK with organic ingredients is a massive bonus. They also got me by sending all time favourite skincare: facial mist and eye serum.

The Daily Defence Moisture Mist contains prickly pear, known for its calming, firming and protecting properties, African moringa, which has skin protectant peptides, skincare sweetheart and water holding hyaluronic acid for extra hydration. all laced with gorgeous orange flower and rose water for a delightful fragrance.

I love applying in clean skin, under it over makeup for a quick burst of hydration and freshness. Kept in the fridge it’s an even better treat! Mine was made by Leanne and is 99.4% natural and 20.5% organic.

The dinky roll on Hyaluronic Eye Complex is still a little secret waiting to be told. It’s ever so light and perfect to keep the round the eyes area well moisturised during the day!

It contains active botanical cells, hyaluronic acid and is 99% natural and 34% organic. It was made by Freya and should be available early 2018.

As a(nother) bonus, I got a very special edition Tranquility Essence, which is great as a little tool to aid mindful breathing, with lavender, cedarwood, bergamot, mandarin and grapefruit oils, blended by Laura and made by Grace.

If anything, the should have a little less alcohol in the formulation (it’s not an issue for me but I see many having one).

Evolve has a great range of natural products, with some organic ingredients, all lovingly made in Hertfordshire, UK. I love the fact the gave the name of the person who made it on the label and their prices are really good – well worth checking out (Miracle facial oil at £30, I’m looking at you).

The Daily Defence Moisture Mist costs £20 for 100ml and can be bought at evolvebeauty.co.uk.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

My lips aren’t sealed…

Lately, my lips have been terribly dry, flaky and cracked? Am I kissing too much, you ask?

Well, I don’t kiss and tell, but what I can tell is that I freaked out when I saw a crevasse, which for me was Grand Canyon sized, and that got me thinking about around the lips ageing and how I haven’t come across a specific product for that.

Obviously, as it was around my birthday, I started thinking my lips look like those of a 100-year old with (no, I’m not dramatic, no, there is absolutely no exaggeration on this statement) and I started thinking about what I was going to do about that…

Enter the super compact (and rather effective) Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate. I mentioned the Hyaluron-Filler range before on the blog and absolutely love their CC Cream and the eye cream and realised their Concentrate would be the perfect boost to care for that so often neglected area.

This intensive anti-wrinkle in a serum form, it is great for the area as it is very light and absorbs so quickly.

The combination of high and low molecular hyaluronic acid and bio-active glycine saponin helps target prematurely ageing skin where the wrinkles originate and support skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid. Nifty, eh?

I’ve been using it morning and night, and have already felt a small improvement on the area. And while I am there, I also dab a bit around the lines coming from the edge of the nose to the corner of the mouth (known as “Chinese” moustache).

So, with six of those vials coming in each pack, I am sure I can be laughing through to 2018 without worrying about those lines (too much)!

The Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate costs £30 for 6x5ml., which I think is very good price indeed for a serum this potent. You can get it from major retailers and the Eucerin website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.