So some reevaluating had to take place. Everything that went off and came off my face had to be reexamined. I thought about everything I used; what it was, when I used it ... did I use it right, did it work?
I made some investments, brought back old favourites and I was really honest with myself about how I felt about various products - not just using them because they were there or the smell nice or have a cute name. Using things that work!
First off - I have concluded that I have dry/combination skin. I used to think it was just dry, but I was getting slightly oily breakouts too. It is so important to know what type of skin you have - otherwise it's like going shoe shopping without knowing what size you are.
My day-to-day routine varies depending on the time of day, how much time I have and how my skin is; but it's always some combination of these products. I've tried to supply official links where I can
And the results are in:
Vichy Purete Thermale 3 in 1 Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution: I bought this on a whim - but I instantly fell in love. It takes make-up right off, feels lovely and clean without feeling like I'm using a load of chemicals. Also; it doesn't dry out your skin as soon as you use it, it does feel lovely and soothing. I manly use it when I'm lazy and taking off my make-up, my sister has become quite partial to it too. I got it on sale at €14.95
e.l.f Mineral Facial Cleanser : I was recommended it by the elf people themselves on Twitter and was excited to try out all the natural ingredients which initially drew me in (as well as the £8 price tag). First off - I was disappointed that the bottle was not full. I never questioned this, as the powder is very fine, but it was a little annoying. To use, I do like it, it lathers up into a thick foam and it does feel fresh and clean and my skin does feel smoother after use. I use it every few days - but I am yet to fall in love with it. I don't see it as some amazing, change-your life product; but it's a good price with nice, natural ingredients - so I would say for dry or sensitive skins you can't go too far wrong.
This product has a cult following, and for good reason, I used it once and fell in love! It's a combination of the rosemary and eucalyptus that feels refreshing and the camomile and cocoa butter that is lovely and rich on the skin; my skin is so much happier since Liz Earle came into my like. I also bought my Mum a bottle as she also has dry and sometimes sensitive skin - she also loved it almost immediately. The hot cloth element of it contributes a lot to how this product works, I feel; opening up your pores to let the ingredients do their work and the splash of cold water in itself does a world of good for skin tone and pores. The website also has lots of skincare advise, so be sure to check that out at least. For €17 you can get a 100ml bottle and two cloths or just €15.25 for just the cleanser. It's worth every penny.
Boots exfoliator sponge: I'm always reading how important it is to exfoliate for dry skin, and I can't stress how true that is. But don't OVER do it. I don't bother with buying exfoliating lotions, the bits do my head in and I never feel like I rinse them all off. I use this sponge with a light cleanser whenever I feel it needs it. You can be as light or as harsh as you want, and for €3 - what more do ya' want?!
Boots Botanics Olive Oil Cleanser: I thought the olive oil would help moisturize my dry skin, but it does edge on the side of being a little rich for me. It's nice with my exfoliator sponge, or for sweeping off make-up, but I don't think I have much need for it.
Dermalogica daily microfoliant : Initially I thought the e.l.f cleanser would be a dupe of the dermalogica, but they have they're differences. This product is my Mum's, she bought to try and combat her own dry skin problems. While it does foam into a slight lather, some of the grains remain to help with exfoliating - but I don't know if my skin needs a scrub like this every day. It's nice and light and cleansing to an extent ... but to be honest, especially for the high price tage, I was underwhelmed.
The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Facial Wash : This is also nice with the exfoliating sponge as a nice sensitive facial wash. Everyone in my family, including my Dad, has used this at some point. I haven't found anything particularly spectacular about this product; it's a nice, run-of-the-mill cleanser, bit of an all-rounder but I can see myself keeping a bottle around for rainy days.
Boots Botanics Organic Rosewater Toner: This toner is marketed for fair and dry skin - which is me down to a tee. I personally like to use natural and organic products and rosewater is a natural toner in itself. This is my second bottle, and I can see myself buying more in the future. It does what I expect toner to do for me; leave my skin tingling, fresh and doesn't feel dried out. It would take off most make-up if I needed it, and feels refreshing when swept over bare skin. All in all - this product makes me happy :)
Pharmacy Brand Rose Water (or Rosewater/Witchhazel): **Not pictured** My sister bought the Witch hazel/ Rose water combination after reading a review online. I bought the Rose Water the same day it was nice, but compared to the Botanics it seemed a bit harsh - which didn't make sense seeing as it should be soft and natural. My sister really liked the combination toner, as she has slightly oily skin. I recommend them as a way to figure out how these ingredients suit your skin and they're also quite cheap (if not somewhat awkward to find in the shop)
Nivea Soft Intensive Moisturising Cream: My sister originally bought this as part of her own skincare stock - and being the good sister I am I stole some a few times. It spreads out, absorbs right in but what's important about this is it doesn't disappear once it had soaked in - it stays soft and moisturised. This is also an all-purpose cream; face, body hands - I've used it on my tattoo while it was healing. Nivea has always been an old-faithful in my books, this is an every-day all-purpose take on the richer original cream. I can't stress enough how much I love it; make-up goes on over it, skin stays soft for hours after applying it and it never feels oily or heavy. Where has it been all my life?!
Boots Botanics Day Shift: Part of my 3 for 2 Botanics binge, I had high hopes for this cream and while it goes on nice, it tends to disappear after a little while, and I just didn't feel like it did the job. Make-up didn't see happy over it, and my skin didn't show any improvement. I'll use up the pot, but I won't repurchase. I don't think it's suited to dry skin at least.
Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator: I "borrowed" this from my Mum on a few occasions when I was having a major skin crisis. This particular cream is for very dry to dry skin; it's super intense moisturising. It's also €40 ... so I wasn't allowed borrow it much ... or a all. Hours later it felt like it was still freshly applied, stilly dewy and super-soft. Almost ... too soft, though - if there even is such a thing! I don't think my skin was quite dry enough to warrant such an intense cream - and €40?! I was almost afraid to use it. Also, I've heard some rumours about Clinique that once you stop using it your skin freaks out and you have to either start using it again or try to get it back to normal. While it feels nice and rich - my Mum has told me she's thinking of switching to an other brand, and frankly I don't know if I'll miss it.