Just so you know, I don’t know loads of really useful stuff about skincare or have cupboards bursting with loads of products. I get face wash in my eyes most mornings and recently had to throw away my favourite flannel because I spilt Ribena on it, so I’m not exactly on the ball with these things. However I have just, after a six year struggle, cracked a skincare routine that works. It’s seriously exciting times for me and my face. I literally keep stroking my cheeks which I should refrain from, especially in public.
So here’s some background: I started getting spots when I was about 14. SHOCK. At first I got the expected teenage flare ups and oily t-zone that you get when you’re in that gross phase and your hair is forever greasy and so on. For about a year or so i coasted a long like this, getting spots, getting rid, realising they’ll always be worse when I get a period and trying out lots of face washes. I also began toying with concealer but usually using one that cost about £1.50 and unsurprisingly just made me look a lumpy satsuma.
I used stuff like Clearasil and Clean and clear but surprise surprise, they did nothing. Many years later a scientist and skin specialist I worked with told me how harsh these products are. They actually always made my skin worse, as did face wipes. Basically, I had spots and it was tough luck. They weren’t shifting.
However at the end of college, after a good year of everything calming down, I got what I can only describe as a lumpy rash under my skin. No big red look-at-me zits or gigantic alien growths, just lots of small pinprick sizes lumps. You could only really see them under light, but they made make up look horrible and my face just looked dull and dry.
This rash-type infliction took hold and lasted around 6 YEARS. Yeah, it wasn’t always bad, a lot of the time barely noticeable. It just never went away. When it was bad it looked awful though, and it knocked my confidence massively.
I have tried everything. I had skin mapping at Dermalogica, facials, microdermabrasion, antibiotics, face masks, not wearing make up, expensive face washes, just doing nothing at all, spending more time outside and in the sun, steams. You name it, I tried it. I was recommended so many brands by colleagues, friends, even doctors and spent a small fortune across a few years.
It wasn’t until about 6 months ago though, that a good friend of mine who has been studying dermatology, told me to try a new routine. I had been using Nivea daily face wash, which is the best budget face wash I have ever and will ever use and I will always stick with it. It’s gentle, doesn’t dry up skin and definitely helps control oil. She told me to carry on using it in the evenings to take off makeup, then give myself half hour and try Elemis Tri-Enzyme resurfacing facial wash. You have to use this morning and night. So I started using it, leaving it on for about 2 minutes, then washing it off with a soft flannel and warm water. 6 months later- breakthrough. Everything looked better. My skin was even a nicer colour, because of the resurfacing
I used up one bottle and was advised to try something new, so I used Liz Earle, which immediately caused spots, so I had to stop and used just Nivea again. The rashy skin started to creep back in and when I was away in Thailand things got really bad. I immediately re-invested in Elemis and started the routine all over again, exfoliating once a week with Nivea, and now my skin is the best it has ever been. Patience, sticking religiously to a routine and finally finding a wash that works has paid off so much. I usually always stray from routines because I’m lazy, but I will not stray from this.
If you have skin troubles and haven’t tried the Elemis face wash I urge you to do it. It’s pricey but not over the top by any means at £28 a bottle. You can’t use it if you’re exposed to strong sunlight though, so don’t take it on holiday (unless you’re going somewhere cold). The Nivea face wash is about £2.50 on average, depending on where you buy, and the exfoliating wash is really good too. I realise I will have to stray from the Tri-Enzyme resurfacing wash at some point, and give my face a break, but I basically want to marry and start a family with it for what it’s done for my skin.