Recently, the condition of my skin has been on the up, and while there are several factors I feel have contributed to this, skincare is right up there at the top of the list. As you'll probably know, I'm quite the skincare conoisseur, always adding to my collection, trying out new things and generally trying to do the best for my skin. I like to keep myself educated about what I should and shouldn't be using, and generally try to avoid brands, or at least products, which contain too many chemical nasties. But for months, my skin had been at its absolute worst, and it didn't seem to matter what I used on it - nothing was making a positive difference.
Until I decided to make quite a big change.
For a long time, I have found myself steering clear of gel cleansers, often without even giving them a chance. Usually, they contain sulphates, which create the foam so many people believe is necessary to get their skin clean. Actually, all they really tend to do is dry out the skin, stripping it of its natural oils. The result? Tight, uncomfortable skin, and over-active oil glands. The complete opposite of what you probably want.
The Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser with Saw Palmetto and Mint is one of the few gel cleansers I've come across in which there isn't a sulphate in sight. Containing salicylic acid to stimulate exfoliation and unclog pores, and Aloe leaf juice to calm and soothe, this leaves my skin feeling clean, smooth, and best of all, oil free. I must admit, however, that it does leave my skin feeling ever-so-slightly tight after use, but it's nothing a bit of moisturiser doesn't sort out, and certainly doesn't seem to have had any detrimental effects on my skin - quite the opposite.
While Zero Oil makes the perfect morning cleanser for anyone with slightly oily skin, in the evenings I am usually in need of something a bit more heavy duty to get all of my makeup off as well as getting in there for a deep-down clean, and lately I've been turning to the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, which I picked up in duty-free on my way back to the UK last month. A gel in the tube, this becomes an oil when applied to the face, and emulsifies into a milk when water is added. The changing texture makes this the best of both worlds in all senses of the expression, leaving skin clean, soft and radiant. A definite winner in my book.
've really simplified down my skincare routine of late, and where before I was reaching for all manner of toners, serums, oils and masks, I'm now literally going straight from cleanser to moisturiser. Yes, I know, Caroline Hirons would give me a slap, but something I've really come to realise about my own skin is that less really is more. I wish I could keep on chopping and changing, trying out new products and using several in one go, but quite honestly, it has never done me any good, and my skin was always near-on
flawless until I started bombarding it with all those different ingredients. Funnily enough, now that I am going straight for the moisturiser - namely Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief - my blemishes have become few and far between, and my whole complexion is generally looking miles better. I do think a lot of that is down to the moisturiser itself - a gel-cream that sinks into the skin immediately, without leaving any greasy residue. Normal creams are just too rich for my skin, and tend to do more harm than good, but this little beauty is giving my it all the nourishment and hydration it needs, no negative effects included.
Do you believe in simple skincare, or does layering up lots of goodies work better for you?