I’ll start this post by saying my skin has really seen it all.
There were the years where I’d go to sleep with my face clogged full of Dream Matte Mousse and I AM VERY PINK blusher and I’d wake up in the early hours and drag a Johnson’s face wipe around for a bit before tottering out in my trackies for a hungover McDonald’s.
There were the years where I used a prescribed face roll-on which smelt like vinegar (I believe it’s official name was Zineryt), which led a girl at my sixth form to exclaim ‘nah but seriously Hannah, you have the best skin out of anyone I know’.
And then there was the time I went on Trek America and my skin was so batshit crazy that every morning I’d wake up and there would be new white heads all over my chin and cheeks and I got so panicked that I ended up slathering them in tea tree oil from a Tennessee Whole Foods and spoiler, dear friends, it did not make them go away.
I’ve been on three different contraceptive pills which have all had varying impacts on my skin, and have also been on a prescribed tablet and cream combo (Lymecycline and Adapalene) – but came off it because it wasn’t advised to use whilst pregnant.
And now? Well now I am through the other side of having a baby and no longer have hormones surging through my body at such an uncontrollable rate, and now my skin is pretty average.
It’s dull. It’s oily but sometimes dry in places. I have blackheads across my nose, inner cheeks and chin. And yes, I have acne across my chin and jaw line, a real mixed-bag of hello I am a white head ready to pop immediately and deep under the skin cyst-like beasts that last for weeks.
So, I decided, that now was the perfect time to trial a proper skincare routine.
The kind championed by experts like Caroline Hirons. The kind which include things like toners and serums and are so confusing that you’ll feel a bit like you’re doing GCSE chemistry homework when trying to work out which acid to place directly below your eye balls.
I would do it for a month and take before and after photos and then report back to you.
And guess what guys? HERE WE ARE. It’s six weeks later and I am ready to fill you in.
I used a combination of products I already had, products I had been sent and then also invested in a few new ones.
Everything I used had roaring reviews online.
Cleanser – Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser
Toner – PIXI Glow Tonic
Mist – Glossier Soothing Face Mist
Serum – Glossier Super Glow Serum
Moisturiser – Origins GinZing Moisturiser
First cleanser – bareMinerals Oil Obsessed Cleanser
Toner – PIXI Glow Tonic
Mist – Glossier Soothing Face Mist
Serum – The Ordinary Salicylic Acid
Moisturiser – Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturising Cream
Disclaimer here: I realise I could (and perhaps should) have used more products and switched things up further, but this was already blowing my mind (and costing a fair bit), so, uh, yes.
I also should have added in an SPF instead of just relying on my CC cream, and maybe thrown a face mask or two into the mix, but hey, I had to stop somewhere.
Three days in and I decided to move all of these products out from under the bathroom sink and onto a shelf at eye range because bending down and trying not to knock out three shampoos, a face mask and a bottle of fake tan at the same time as grabbing a toner was getting a bit much.
And I have to say, it definitely makes remembering to do each step far easier when they’re literally staring you in the face whilst you do a pre-bedtime wee.
It was also around this time that I woke up with a giant red lump on my chin that hurt me every time I tried to so much as smile at the person serving me my morning coffee.
So far, so mildly disheartening.
Three weeks in and I flew to New York and back, dragging my entire stash of skincare with me (big up to my oil cleanser for leaking all over my toothbrush, that tasted delicious upon arriving at my hotel after 15 hours of traveling).
And my face was, well, my face was looking somewhat the same.
The only semi-big change was that after my initial day-three super-size mountain, I had no real inflammation.
I had spots, sure, but they were all quite small and to the point, there wasn’t any of the usual redness, and there definitely wasn’t any swelling, and they did clear up a bit quicker than they had done previously.
But aside from that, after a month – and even here at six weeks, when you compare the before and after photos there isn’t any real noticeable difference. I might be glowing a bit more, but that could also be the lighting.
Of course I am a bit disappointed, but I’m also aware that a) I’m probably not using the perfect products for my skin – my gut feeling is that some of them might be a bit too heavy for my skin and are causing clogged pores and that b) maybe a month/six weeks isn’t a long enough trial period.
The one thing I do really need to shout about is just how much credit I hadn’t given to how long skincare products last. I’d assumed that if I actually dragged my skincare routine out the gutter and used products twice a day that I would be left with empty bottles within a month and would have to spend a small fortune replenishing it, but that hasn’t been the case.
Most of the bottles and pots still have at least two-thirds left in them, if not more, and I’ve no doubt that they’ll see me right through to the new year.
I love using an oil/balm cleanser to remove my make-up as it’s excellent for a self-confessed lazy gal like me to smear their mascara off at the same time as the dregs of their foundation. I kinda hoped that by using a lighter one like Glossier’s Jelly Cleanser afterwards, it would remove any oily residue. But maybe not?
Perhaps my night time moisturiser is also too heavy, and I’d be better off using something like my beloved Clinique Moisture Surge.
What have you tried? What do you love? What do you hate? What does your every day skincare routine look like?
I am sure I am about to be inundated with ‘OMG CAN’T BELIEVE YOU USED <INSERT PRODUCT NAME HERE>, IT’S SO SHIT! YOU SHOULD USE X, Y AND Z’.
The reality is that I am unlikely to run out and drop heavy dollar on a new haul of sexy skincare in the run-up to Christmas, but if the same products come up repeatedly, you might just tempt me…