Sunday, 19 June 2016

How to: Perfect Skin?!

Hi everyone,

I know what you are all thinking.. I have been MIA for the best part of a year, so I must apologize.. Any requests that you may have do not hesitate in requesting them, I love to hear your feedback!

Disclaimer: This is a long blog post, make a cup of tea & put your feet up.. ;)

The Perfect Skin?!
Today I am going to be talking about a topic that I have been asked immensely within the past year.. A guide to the perfect skin.. As much as I am flattered, I have imperfections of my own, just as much as the next person.. My point, it's important to love the skin you're in!

Embrace Your Skin!
For years I went on a crazy manhunt for a full coverage foundation to which I would mask my face to cover my freckles.. Layer upon layer, & money spent it took a long time, but I found that technique is more valid than paying an astounding amount of money for foundation each month..
I ended up doing more bad then good to my young skin..
I learned to accept & embrace my freckles, which to me was the first step on my journey to boosting & perfecting my skin..

Pricing!
I am extremely fortunate to work in a job that caters to skin care, and to receive extremely beneficial information on skincare from my manager.. I learned in all my experience you do NOT need a lot of money or products to get your skin at it's peak!
Take it from me, from the age of 12 I invested in skincare from 5-50 euros, I saved up every single cent I had & experienced every mental breakdown a 12 year could have when the product didn't work straight away? hmm I want a refund..

The Products!
My main focus today is on treating.. SPOTS!
It is something we all experience, & is part of human nature.. It is nothing to be conscious about, and if you learn something today I hope you will love your skin & find the products that suit you!

                                                                      Face wash:
                                 Available from all Tesco branches across Ireland & the Uk!

This is a gem of a product, wait for it.. it's 89 cent?! It has to be hands down the best face wash I have tried in a long time.. Enriched with cucumber & vitamin E it's main focus is to repair & even out the skins complexion! It has a light gel formula, which melts into the skin seamlessly, and for all my gals & guys it melts away makeup like nobody's business!

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Effective
  • Light refreshing scent (cucumber)
  • Removes full face of makeup (including waterproof)
  • Suits all skin types
  • Travel friendly packaging (tube)


CONS:

  • Stereotype on Tesco products deemed as 'cheap'/ 'damaging to the skin'.. 


When & How to use?!
Morning & night time, place a pea sized amount into the palm of your hand. Work this product into wet skin to produce a lather effect which uses less product.. Pat face gently with a dry towel..


Toner:
 Bioderma Sensibio H20
        Available from Donaghmede Pharmacy & selected pharmacies across Ireland!
This is a product I cannot live without.. It is something I thought I didn't need to use and was I so wrong! This toner in my eyes, acts like a cleanser & toner all in one! I adore the light micellar water like feel as it glides onto my skin removing any impurities and excess makeup..
It does not contain any alcohol (sorry to inform) which means it will not dry out the skin, and it is free from parabens which is a chemical that may cause sensitivity within the skin to summarize..
It is a bit more on the pricey side, but believe me when I say I have had mine 3 months and the water level has remained the same.. So it's a win, win situation!

PROS:

  • Effective
  • Lightweight formula
  • Cleanser & toner in one
  • Available in small & large size
  • Paraben & alcohol free


CONS:

  • 14 euro for 500ml in comparison to Garnier Micellar water @ 4 euro for same amount of product.
  • Difficulty finding stockists of this brand


When & How to use?!
I like to use this product on an every other day basis.. Using a cleanser/toner based product every day will strip the natural oils from the skin and encourage excess oil (sebum) which as a result will cause breakouts and newly produced combination skin (oily & dry).. Take 3-4 drops of this product on a cotton pad & work it into the skin after using the face wash.. It is important to note that it is recommended to wash the face first to achieve optimum results.. I prefer to use it that way..



                                                                    Face Scrub:
                                                 St Ives Apricot ''Blemish Fighting'' Scrub
                           Available from all Dunnes Stores & Allcare pharmacy outlets across Ireland!
Face scrub is something I recommend to all customers when asked a question on skin.. It is very important to note that it is recommended to use this product 1-2 times a week due to it's grainy texture.. It lifts excess dead skin and dirt (disgusting I know) from the skin, giving us that smooth, glowing & baby face complexion we all thrive for! This product has helped me clear my breakouts, so much so I have gone through hundreds of bottles in the past 4 years especially..
Enriched with salicylic acid, it wears down that stubborn surface of spots, reducing redness..

PROS:

  • Affordable @ 3.95 euro
  • Effective
  • Great Packaging (tube)
  • Enriched with spot fighting ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Creates a silky feel to the skin
  • Quick results
  • Can also be used on the body
  • Removes excess dry skin


CONS:
Over-usage will lead to dry skin & breakouts

When & How to use?!
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of learning how to use this product correctly. I use this product once a week sometimes twice if needed & NO more! Over exfoliation will lead to excess sebum (oil) causing breakouts! I use one pump, massaging it gently all over my face, focusing on my breakout points, for me personally that is my chin & my nose.




   Moisturizer:
      Estee Lauder, ''Hydrationist''..
 Available from Debenhams
Every person you meet will have a certain skin type. For me personally at the moment due to climate imbalances I am experiencing quite dehydrated skin.. As well as other things spot prone skin.. I wanted to find a moisturizer purely to hydrate my skin  while applying nothing too heavy or oil infused that would cause breakouts.. The hydrationist is a light weight moisturizer that has catered to my every need.. (In skincare terms of course)..

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Effective
  • Hydrating
  • Refreshing
  • Enriched with antioxidants
  • Promotes healthy skin


CONS: 

  • Expensive @ 46 euro
  • Stocked only in Debenhams/Arnotts, other leading beauty departments..
  • Jar packaging resulting in constant dipping of fingers for product (not hygienic vs a tube packaging..)
  • Not much product compared to the size of the jar


When & How to use?!
I use moisturizer every morning before makeup application, and nightly after my skin care regime, applying a generous amount onto cleansed skin.. I apply a good two layers all over my face, concentrating on my dry spots..


Spot Fighting Moisturiser:
Effaclar Duo, La Roche Posay
Available at Donaghmede Pharmacy & selected pharmacies across Ireland..
Let me start by saying.. WHERE HAS THIS PRODUCT BEEN ALL MY LIFE!! 
(Yes the caps were necessary).. This product has been an absolute life saver to mine and many other's skin.. After using every prescription cream/gel possible I was slowly losing hope.. My skin was at it's lowest point & stress my friends only made it worse.. This product is fueled with spot fighting ingredients and antioxidants & free from harsh chemicals.. I saw results within 2-3 days, I could not believe my eyes when my breakout was completely banished within 7 days.. This gel formula moisturizer is vast becoming a blogger/cult favourite for obvious reasons..

PROS:
  • Effective
  • Quick acting, clearing breakouts within days (My experience)
  • Infused with spot fighting ingredients (Salicylic Acid etc..)
  • Light gel formula
  • Can be used alongside normal moisturizer
  • Promotes even skin texture
  • Free from harsh radicals/chemicals
  • Bottle lasts over 6 months, money well spent!
  • Tube packaging (hygienic)
  • Suits all skin types


CONS:
  • Expensive @ 17.50 a tube (Worth the investment)
  • Over usage may cause dry skin texture


Prescription Product:
Differin gel/Duac
Available on prescription given by your local GP..
I could sing the praises all the of the above products I mentioned, but unfortunately they may not work for everyone.. If you are curious about attaining a prescription for something stronger I would 100% recommend going for it, regardless of the fact my experience with prescription gels was not pleasant.. (Burning & flaking of the skin).. Each person is different, and in my case I now know that it didn't work as my skin wasn't as 'acne prone' as I thought.. These type of gels for instance would be for someone who has cystic acne (Breakouts all over the face with discolorations lasting for over 6 months).. Yes they are more expensive but let me be the one to tell you these prescription gels are extremely professionally made products, infused with high quality ingredients & approved by the top dermatologists.. (Yes I work in a pharmacy & no I cannot get you one without a prescription ;))  

PROS:
  • Effective in most cases
  • Quick results
  • Infused with spot fighting ingredients (Benzoyl Peroxide etc..)
CONS:

  • Can only be used at night time, no direct contact with the sun, it's prohibited!!
  • Expensive, ranging from 15-45 euros
  • Not easily attained, only given by prescription from a doctor/GP
  • May cause damage to the skin due to it's strength (flaking & redness)
When & How to use it?!
During my appointment with my local GP, I must have fallen asleep due to the information overload that was put before me (don't do that).. It's important to listen to your doctor to see what they recommend & for the love of God do not say ''Well JensBeautyBible said I could get this from my GP and now I can't?!'' They are many alternatives like mild antibiotics and creams so there is always a plan B.. I'm getting distracted, WHEN to use it, right.. With prescriptions gels, they can only be used at night, I cannot stress this enough.. When I was 12, that rebellious age where you didn't care for the facts and done you're own thing, I applied it morning and night and due to the sun experiencing contact with my face it burned my skin!! BURNED! Do not do that to yourself.. Night time only!!
You use a tiny pea sized amount in each area, it's important to note that you do not use more than that because it will burn your skin causing flaking of the skin & trust me no matter how much moisturizer you apply there is no going back from that damage for a very long time! I can hear echoes of people asking ''Are you okay''? with me replying ''Yeah I'm just peeling from the Sun, I'm only back from Tenerife'' says me ever so smoothly whilst portraying the whitest skin in all of Ireland..



Overview of Prescription gels
I may have rambled on too much there, I don't blame you if your eyes subconsciously lost focus..
  • Prescription only! 
  • Use at night time only, no direct contact with the sun!!
  • Use sparingly, pea sized amounts, it will burn and cause flaking to the skin!
  • Expensive than your average over the counter cream/gel
  • Many different brands & alternatives
  • Doctors will evaluate your case & recommend the perfect product for you
WHAT TO REMEMBER!!
  • 'Perfect skin' nowadays is achieved by Photoshop & misleading magazine shots.
  • Embracing your own skin is more important than spending hundreds of euros on skincare.
  • Learning to accept your flaws is step one to achieving perfect skin.
  • Find the products that suit you, different products suit different people.
  • You do not need to spend a lot of money on skincare, my favourite face wash is 89 cent?!
  • It takes time to find your perfect skin care regime, patience is key (took me 5 years!)
  • They are many alternatives like antibiotics & prescription gels to suit your needs.
  • Drinks LOADS of water, it works wonders!!
  • Years from now, you will regret being so critical on yourself.. I am.
  • You are flawless, do not care for the people who say different!!

Here's an unnecessary photograph of me gazing at something obviously very important, contemplating my skincare probably.. 
For my next blog post I was considering doing my top 5 foundations to cater to all skin types, but of course I want to hear your feedback that's all that matters to me!!

(All photographs are mine unless stated otherwise..)

Until next time..
Jen XO




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