Health, Beauty, Fitness, Life

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Evening Skincare Routine

My evening skincare routine is pretty strict, but I still use the same products and change them up a little. Usually if I find an amazing product I tend to stick to it because I know my skin is sensitive and doesn't respond well to dramatic changes.

Over the years my skin type has changed. In my teens I had oily acne prone skin and used products to reduce sebum production and spots. In fact, my teenage years was the time I started to become a skincare product junkie always on the look for better skincare. Now my hormones levels have found a balance, my skin type has changed to combination; dry patches and little, if not any, oiliness. 

The benefits I look for in skincare 

1. To minimise spot scars - because when I do get a particularly nasty spot the scar does takes a good few months to disappear despite not picking at it. Antioxidants are particularly good at this and help scar tissue repair.
2. Prevent future breakouts by using a toner to remove surface dirt and prevent pores clogging or creams containing antibacterial agent.
3. A good hydrating moisturiser designed for combination skin only. If I use a product for very dry skin it can be a bit too much.
4. A cleanser that effectively removes make-up and dirt and isn't too drying.
5. A gentle exfoliant such as a treatment.


1. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

I have been using this for over a year now and I don't think I will revert back to anything else. I  have tried other cheaper hot cloth cleansers because this is a little pricey (I buy mine from ebay for around £20.00). I have tried the Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser for around £10.00 in Boots and although this is equally good at removing make-up and in conjunction with the muslin cloth, is a great gentle exfoliant, I found that it wasn't as good as the Liz Earle in reducing breakouts. Liz Earle has been known to include ''naturally active'' ingredients in her products and I am a big believer in natural remedies. In the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, ingredients such as Chamomile provides anti-inflammatory and antibiotic benefits to prevent spot breakouts and clams red spots. Hops are also a natural antibacterial agent also preventing future breakouts and is an astringent, so cleanses pores by constricting the superficial (top) layer of then skin.

I use this 2-3 consecutive evenings then switch to using the Clarisonic.

2 & 4. Simple Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser

I use this with the Clarisonic only and  I bought this at the end of December so has lasted well, but then I only use this 2 times a week. At first I was a bit sceptical about the foamy consistency and whether I could work it into the skin. But since I use this with a Clarisonic the product does get worked into the skin well. The foam is light, and the ingredients such as pro-vitamin B5, glycerin and vitamin E moisturises and softens skin. Geranium regenerates skin and Chamomile soothes. For the price (£4.49 Boots) this is a nice little cleanser, but not as luxurious as others I have tried such as Clarins. 

3 & 4 Clarisonic Mia

Before I bought a Clarisonic I considered other products such as the Neutrogena Wave, but couldn't justify the product if it just vibrated. After weighing the pros and cons of the Clarisonic, one of the cons being the price, I gave in hoping this product would thoroughly cleanse my skin and prevent breakouts. Some reviews on this product claim to dramatically improve skin condition, and in a sense, yes it does. It depends what you want from your skin. I definitely noticed fewer breakouts and no excess surface dirt on my skin when I use a toner after using the Clarisonic. If you do have dry skin, I imagine that a Clarisonic would also be beneficial since it very gently exfoliates the surface of the skin which exposes healthier skin cells which are able to absorb the benefits of your moisturiser or serum. 

Treatments and Preparing Skin Before Moisturiser

1. Alpha H Liquid Gold

This has been amazing at minimizing spot scars to the point where they have disappeared. I use this once a week and apply onto a cotton pad. Upon application, it does feel rather tingly which I don't find off putting at all. It feels like it is working. The tingling sensation is down to the glycolic acid which is used in chemical peels, but for home use the concentration of the acid used is less than half than what a plastic surgeon would use. Glycolic acid loosens the dead skin cells on the upper surface of the skin and improves wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acne scarring. Alpha H also contains liquorice which is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial reducing rednessof spots and preventing breakouts. 

It is pricey however (£31.50 lookfantastic.com) but since I only use this once a week it has lasted well.

2. La Roche Possay Effaclar Duo

This is marketed at a reasonable price (£13.00 Boots) and along with the other products I use, I find it has helped to reduce blackheads and spots has a gel like consistency and feels silky upon application. Niacinamide and piroone olamine are antibacterial agents, removing bacteria associated with acne. LHA/linoleic acid removes dead skin cells which can clog pores and lead to blackheads, common problem with large pores. The thermal spring water used has soothing properties and improves the efficacy of the active ingredients.

3. Elemis Freshskin Skin Clear Overnight Serum

I use this twice a week under my moisturiser to keep spots at bay. I posted a mini review on this product a couple of days ago in my March Favourites. Click here to read the post and scroll down to skincare. 

4. Boots Botanic Rosewater Toning Spritz

Again, this was in my March Favourites post. I haven't used many toners but wanted one simply to remove excess dirt without the drying effects seen with some toners. So this ticks all the boxes. 


1. Simple Moisture Boost

My new found favourite moisturiser at a bargain price (£5.99 Boots) keeps my skin hydrated but isn't oily. It is a light cream you only need a little amount to fully moisturise face. The little 50 ml pump lasts forever too. I bought my second pump a week ago. I also use this as a day moisturiser too.

2. Clarins Daily Energizer Cream

I use this moisturiser once a week purely because it is a little luxury and smells so good. It keeps skin hydrated and my skin feels so smooth and radiant in the morning. For Clarins this product isn't too expensive (I think around £20.00) because it is designed for early to late 20's. 

Additional Products

1. Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning 

I use this 2-3 times a week to top up the tan, but then have a day off from the tan and remove everything to avoid tan patches. This was also in my March Favourites post in the Skincare section. Click here to read the post. 

2. La Roche Possay Effaclar A.I.

This is a treatment for localised spots. It is an intensive version of the Effaclar Duo, thus contains the same ingredients. Although it claims that it doesn't leave any markings and can be used under make-up, I have noticed that it does flake a little, but that doesn't matter too much because I always use spot treatments at night. It reduces the redness of my spots and speeds up the healing process. It also doesn't dry out my skin. Some spot treatments can have this effect especially if they contain benzyl peroxide. I had been using Freederm before I discovered Effaclar A.I. but find that even if the Effaclar A.I. (£9.19 Boots) is a little pricey, it works so much better than Freederm (£4.99 Boots). 

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  1. Great skincare post, I really enjoyed reading this especially being a skincare lover^^

    I love Liz Earle and I've been wanting the Clarisonic for a longgg time but the price of it has made me not purchase it yet, would still love to get it one day~~

    I've been reading a few reviews on the Alpha-H recently which makes me want to get that as well. Again pricey but I hope they will work just as well on my skin too x

  2. Yay! fellow skincare lover! I got my clarisonic mia cheap from ebay - I think it was £80.00.

    Here is a link to ebay and some cheap clarisonics:


    As for the Alpha-H, it is pricey, I know that Effaclar duo and Effaclar K have helped clear my skin pretty well too - the La Roche Posay range are relatively cheap!



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