A shift on my skincare routine

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsFrom time to time I like shifting my skincare routine and over a month ago I introduced five Image Skincare products to it. I had never heard of the brand, so was very excited to see that they are paraben free and have an extensive range catering for all different skin concerns.

After describing my skin, I was sent a mix of products from a few ranges, including the gorgeous the Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum, the Ageless Total Eye Lift Cream, the Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser, the fabulous ClearCell Salicylic Clarifying Gel Cleanser and the Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Masque.

I used them almost exclusively for over 4 weeks and here’s what I found…

The serum

Because I am a sucker for serums, that’s where I’m gonna start: the Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum (£72) is fluid and spreads very well on the skin, sinking quickly. I felt it gives my skin radiance; and that seem to be persisting throughout the day and not only in the morning.

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsThe hydrating serum has oil-soluble Vitamin C which helps soothe the visible effects of environmentally damaged skin. Vitamins A, E and highly potent anti-oxidants help on the nourishment front, for that youthful glow.

Keep it clean!

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsOne product I am in love with is the Clearcell Salicylic Clarifying Gel Cleanser (£28). Foamy and with a light scent, this cleanser makes skin feel super clean and not a tiny bit dry.

I feel it’s been a god send on these hot days where you sweat a lot at night. It contains a 5% blend of salicylic acid, neem leaf extract and granactive acne, and does a decent job of removing makeup, even eye. It has anti-inflammatory properties and gives skin a gentle exfoliation, so perfect for blemish and acne prone skin.

The eyes (always) have it

Now, eye creams are amongst my favourite type of skincare and the Ageless Total Eye Lift Creme (£48) delivers extreme hydration and nutrition to the area. I use at night as it has a richer consistency, but it applies super well and absorbs super quickly, not upsetting my sensitive eyes.

It contains a retinol-derivative glycolic blend  to help tighten the skin, chamomile, green tea and coneflower soothe and a peptide blend to reduce inflammatory processes, as well as potent antioxidants.

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsDaily protection

I was looking for a multitasking face moisturiser and that’s exactly what I found on the oil-free Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser (£46).

With a microsponge technology that absorb surface oils to mattify and leave skin shine-free, a blend of anti-oxidants that scavenge free-radical, and broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 32+, it helps reduce the damage caused by the sun and environmental exposures, so it’s the perfect shield for everyday.

As all other creams from the brand, it applies well, absorbs great and sits amazingly well under makeup. All points!

The treat

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsAnd because everyone loves a sheet face mask, I also tried the Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Mask (£9), which is laden with concentrated ultra-hydrating ingredients: amino acid Complex, Jeju volcanic oxygen water, Onsen-Sui mineral charged water, hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica extract, portulaca, oleracea extract, green tea, ginseng and beta glucan.

Skin feel plumped and hydrated after use; a real treat (and treatment!) suitable for all skin types.

Overall, a great brand discovery with products that kept my skin in check. And they have so many more exciting products I think would work for me!

You can browse their range on the Image Skincare website.

Also, I tried to take pics where the products live, my bathroom. Needless to say I won’t be doing that again, so the conclusion is the products are WAY better than my photography in this instance…

written by Dani

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

My skincare routine for problematic skin – Part 2

Getting the balance between ageing prevention and acne fighting

A few days ago I started talking about how tough it is to tackle blemishes and anti-ageing -basically how I balance a skin that decides to be a teenager and an old woman at the same time – and the skincare challenges I face trying to address both issues.

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 (read Part 1) and here, in Part 2, I talk about the rest of the routine – my beloved oils, night moisturisers, serums, masks, scrubs and some extras: eye creams and lip balms.

Oils

I know many people, just like me a few years back, would never consider oils for acne skin. In fact, I was terrified of them.

Truth is when you give it oil, your skin doesn’t feel the need to produce as much. And because the oil you are giving it is good, it won’t clog and cause inflamation the pores, starting the acne process.

At the moment, I am loving (really loving) the Votary Blemish Oil, which contains tamanu oil and salicylic acid. Other sweethearts of mine are Dr Jackson 03 Everyday Face oil and Caudalie VineActiv Overnight Detox Oil.

I have also recently started dabbling with the Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Anti-Ageing Therapy oil in Kapha, which in the summer was a bit too heavy for my skin but in the winter worked out a treat – an individual review is coming soon!

Oils will go better at night, and I will wear them when at home during the day with no makeup on.

Night moisturisers

Admittedly, a mix of moisturisers and a serum. Blame my lack or coordination when photographing!

Night moisturisers are very tricky for me as my skin will complain about anything heavy and those are often quite rich; after a few days of use it will feel congested.

For that reason I usually reach out for very light products or mix with serums and oils to obtain extra hydration and nutrition, without the “weight” on my skin.

Again, this works features heavily. The no wrinkles midnight moisture moisturisers is a bliss. Potent but not super heavy, it’s great for my skin. With the no wrinkles night repair, it’s a winning night combo.

Vitamin C has featured heavily in my skin regime, and I love the Nivea Q10 Plus Skin Sleep Cream. It is light, absorbs quickly and skin wakes up refreshed.

Finally, the Botanics All Bright Night Cream; also super light, easily absorbed, affordable and effective, really promoting brighter, rested  skin.

Scrubs

skincare routine for adult acne - face scrubsTLC said I don’t want no scrub, and that type I will also pass, thank you very much. However, when it comes to facial scrubs, I am a little bit obsessed.

They are really important in my routine, and even though overscrubbing is aggravating to acne, a gentle exfoliation is great for renewal. I usually scrub once or twice a week.

My go to scrub is the Botanics Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion Polish and Alpha H glycolic scrub comes very close!

I have also been using the Previse  Marine Granules Skin Brightening Botanical Scrub. It is super light and suitable for super sensitive skin, vegan, naturally unscented, paraben, mineral oil, petroleum, PEGs free and counts with blend of fossilised algae, jojoba and botanical extracts. It is is also great to add to any cleanser for a deeper cleansing boost!

Face masks

Now, I love a bit of pampering and face masks just scream that. Here, I am not even touching on some fab sheet masks – hopefully I’ll have a few on the blog soon!

If my skin is feeling more sensitive, I opt for a hydrating mask such as Caudalie Moisturising Mask or dermalogica Multi-Vitamin mask. Even the Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure, which has clay but is mild enough, for some purifying.

Otherwise, charcoal. I love the dermalogica charcoal masque or the BLAQ Mask which is a black peel off one (see those black heads popping off).

Also in heavy use is the Amie Spring Clean Deep Cleansing Mask, which I have recently discovered and is a total joy to use – it has French white clay, zinc, lime butter and tingly peppermint so it is a super cleansing, antibacterial and detoxifying mask I am a little it in love with!

All the other bits

Not blemish related but I always wear an eye cream – day or night – and my favourites at the moment are the DHC Beauty Lift Essence roll on, the Nivea Q10plus C eye cream and this works light time open eyes, dermalogica age reversal eye complex.

Also relatively new is the Marula 3-in-1 Rejuvenating Eye treatment with Marula oil, vitamin E, marula bright complex, and peptides and an amazing ceramic applicator which soothes, massages and freshens up the eye area on application.

On my lips, Elizabeth Arden 8-hour Cream before bed or Nivea Lip Butter 1000 times a day. Always.

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.

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.

 

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.

Flawless cover for problem skin

Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h A good coverage is very important to me when settling for a face makeup product. At the same time, caring for my problematic skin is also a concern.

The Vichy Dermablend has quite a feel solutions to tackle both problems with one smooth sweep. The Vichy Dermablend Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h is not different from the Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction, which I tried before – it also does not disappoint in terms of coverage. Even though it’s super buildable, it does not look cakey.

Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h The power powder

The powder comes in a little compact with mirror and a handy sponge for application, which is great on the go.

The texture is velvety and the finish matte but fresh, and not a lot of product is needed to achieve a really good coverage – trust me when I say it, I rarely settle for sheer.

Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h Is it just make up?

No way! It is non-comedogenic, paraben free, hypoallergenic and 100% mineral pigment. Its non-greasy, oil control and shine-fighting formula contains active dermatological ingredients including sebum-regulating zinc gluconate and anti-imperfection salicylic acid and vitamin E.

I know some will shoot me for saying this, but for me, it makes for the perfect coverage for the gym because the durability is so good – up to 12h.

It also took me through my post-laser treatment, where I could (and needed, not to scare the passers-by) wear very light makeup. The fact very little is needed to achieve good coverage made it ideal that situation.

The Vichy Dermablend Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h, as well as the other Vicky Dermablend products, is available from retailers nationwide, comes in 5 shades and costs £20.

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.

written by Dani

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.

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.

Well oiled up

Oil on my face. That is something I never thought I’d put on deliberately. Having had problematic, blemish  skin all my life, I always struggled with the oiliness of my dry skin.

Three years ago, facial oils changed my life. And my skin. For the first time, I felt radiance coming from my acne-treatment-battered skin. And oh, boy, did I get addicted!

And now, I cannot live my life without it. For those that like me ran away from facial oils, give it a go. The reasoning behind it is that if you provide oils to the skin, it won’t produce, or produce much less of it.

On top of it, oils carry a great concentration of raw nutrients, nourishing the skin and working mainly on texture and condition.

Some nights, all I put on is face oil. I give it a lovely uplifting circular massage to my face and neck, breathe in the natural aromas and off to bed I go!

The this works stress check face oil is a bliss, I’ve been loving it recently. On top of its redness relief, calming and hydrating properties, thanks to its botanical oils, vitamin C, E and omega 3, it has the most calming neroli, patchouli, lavender, vetivert and camomile fragrance. A treat for face and mind.

Caudalie has just launched a fab facial oil, the Vine[Active] Overnight Detox Oil, perfect for city skins which are exposed to pollution and free radicals.

It is 100% natural and works towards detoxifying and regenerating stressed skin. Full review coming soon!

And while on the natural subject, other pure blend oils such as Dr Jackson’s everyday oil and the Skin & Tonic London Naked Beauty oil, a bit richer, are perfect for overnight.

I feel they work their magic getting deep in the skin, healing and supporting the skin regenerating process.

I love that Dr Jackson’s everyday oil also comes in a handy roll on, perfect for travelling, and perfect to carry on the plane. Definitely one to invest on for the holiday season, for its portability and to help sun exposed skin heal!

Super light oils like the Body Shop Oils of Life facial oil, the Eucerin Facial oil and the dermalogica phyto replenish oil are perfect to add to the foundation for extra hydration and glow.

For more specific needs, the GOSH Primer Oil Essence doubles up as a night oil that preps the skin for the next day and the Indemne Gimme Clear! oil is a helping hand for blemish prone skins.

Of course, I cannot leave out the first oil I ever put on my face: balance me radiance face oil. On the “natural, richer” category, this one really changed my skin and I owe it my absolute love (ok, obsession) with facial oils.

The market is brimming with great products, for all budgets. It is a great time for facial oils. And my skin is grateful!

What about you? Have you tried facial oils? How do they feel on your skin? Or are you like me in the beginning, scared of using them?

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.

Adding some oh-la-la to my skincare routine

Indemne.

Eau de Génie is a multi-tasking facial toner. Organic, it is basically fruits (lemon, grapefruit, apricot and tomato) water that revitalises, tightens pores and soothes skin while also removing micelles. It is also brightening and lightly moisturising as it contains lemon peel oil.

Because it is so gentle, it is suitable for all skin types and adolescent skin. It also works really well as a refresher; it behaves well over makeup. You can even keep it in the fridge!

As a toner, apply to cleansed skin and remove it a cotton pad, without rinsing. Skin feels fresh and comfortable after use. personally, I find it great as a facial mist.

And if you suffer from breakouts like me, you might want to use, in conjunction with Eau de Génie, the Gimme Clear! lotion.

In reality, it is a light oil that smells rather herbal formulated with natural essential oils and vegetable oils, such as hazelnut, hemp seed, carrot, citrus peel, cinnamon bark and oregano flower,  to purify and help reduce sebum and shine in the skin.

It works on blemishes and spots prevention, by helping declog pores and also aids in healing existing pimples. As it is an oil, it also contributes to skin hydration and improved texture.

One pump is enough for the face; the oil is light and absorbs quickly. I personally prefer using it at night, sometimes I just rub it on the blemishes themselves instead of using on the whole face.

You can get Indemne on their website. Eau de Génie cost £15.53 (135ml) and Gimme Clear! £18.42 (50ml). They also do haircare and beauty accessories.

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.

Let it be light!

A while ago I appeared on Instagram bobbing along looking like something out of a sci-fi movie. remember that?

Well, I’ll refresh your memory. It turns out I had just started to try the revolutionary Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask, a device that bring the dermatologist LED therapy into your home, safely and at a fraction of the cost.

But what does it all mean? Basically, the futuristic looking mask emits therapeutic blue and red lights that penetrate intro the skin to kill the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts.

The blue light kills the bacteria while the red light reduces inflammation (is it just me our it feels should be the other way round? Hehe).

After using for about a month, I noticed my skin is calmer. Usage overlapped with my pre-menstrual period, when my breakouts are more active. Although I still have some, I feel they disappeared much quicker.

I did notice some changes pretty early on. Small breakouts seem to be zapped, larger ones subdued quicker, skin tone, texture and general condition seem to have improved. I feel it is a bit addictive.

Using it is very easy: wash your face, attach the activator device, make sure the metal pin is all the way in, pop the mask on like sunglasses and hit the button.

The daily treatment lasts 10 minutes and the mask turns off automatically. In the activator, you have a display with a count of how many treatments you have left.

And that is the catch and what people have been feeling uncertain about: the mask itself costs £59.99 and can be re-used. Now the activator, which is a necessity for it to work, costs £14.99 and deliver 30 treatments of 10 minutes, enough for a month.

Some find it is unfair that such a revolutionary treatment is made available to the masses but has an ongoing cost. As someone suffering from acne for 20 years, I will put it out there: this has always been the way.

And a lot of what is now readily available, wasn’t when I was a teenager that could not afford expensive treatments. And what was available was extremely costly.

Again, making your skin a priority might require some compromise on other areas and back up from your parents. This is how I went through countless treatments when young.

Also worth bearing in mind that this product is not suitable for severe acne, which I did have for a few periods of my life. In those cases, seeing a doctor and seeking a dermatology referral is always the way forward.

However, if you suffer from mild to moderate acne, which seem to be the case for me nowadays, this products is great and I highly recommended.

Furthermore, I’d say that after a while month I will get extra activators and not do it every day. Maybe every other or even every three, just as maintenance.

Also, the depleted activators can be recycled and Neutrogena offers information on it, so they can be disposed responsibly.

The Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask costs £59.99  and comes with one activator for the first month. Additional activators cost £14.99 each, and multipacks are available. The recommended initial treatment is 3 months.

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.

The rise of makeup and skincare hybrids

effaclar-duo-unifiant-review - 1We all love makeup. And we need (ok, we do love it too) skincare.

When 49% of men and women in the UK suffer from spots, blackheads and oily skin*, and 21% of those look for some blemish coverage, how great it is to have products that work towards beautifying skin long and short term?

Many brands now are investing in innovative products that not only prettify, but also care for the skin.

Plus, if a brand caters for problematic skin, you can guarantee I’m already half way being a fan.
And when they work… that’s how love comes about.
La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar range covers all acneic skin needs and recently they started branching out into tinted products.
effaclar-duo-unifiant-review - 2I raved about the Effaclar BB Blur, which I use quite a lot still, and now they are pulling more out of the bag.
The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant tinted moisturiser carries the same formula as the best selling La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + cream, but has  mineral pigments to make it a tinted moisturiser.
It delivers a very sheer and glowy coverage; used alone, for my skin, only in extremely good skin days. However, I find it’s a fabulous base for makeup. It is light applies very well.

I put it on after my primer, before foundation. Of course, I’m resting assured I have treatment on my face, as well as a sheer base that surfaces a bit of glow.

It contains anti-inflammatory niacinamide, bacterial infection-fighting piroctone olamine, healing/skin renewal agent LHA, sebum-combating linoleic acid and the ceramid procerad, which fights inflammation and helps minimise hyper-pigmentation scars.
Since getting it, I’ve been using everyday.
The new La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant comes in two shades: Fair/Light and Light/Medium, costs £16.50 and can be purchased from retailers nationwide.
*Influencers and path to purchase study, 2014.
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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.