Tuesday, 27 August 2013

#theSoproject - Skin Care

So, today, we start #theSOproject. How exciting!!
I know that there are many blogs that will be going live at the same time as mine today and all will cover the same topic - SKINCARE. This will happen each and every week for 10 whole weeks. If you want more information about the different areas to be covered, have a look at my last post - which covers the collaboration and topics. So without further ado, lets get started.

This post is probably the most complex of the series, given that there is so much to skincare.
There are several steps that are important in achieving good skin. I can't say that I am a skin care expert - a lot of it is most definitely trial and error and learning from those around you.

Good skincare starts when you are younger, but some don't know enough about the various elements of skincare or even skin types. I hope that this will assist people in working out their skin types and then establishing what kinds of products are out there after this!

 If anyone wants me to do more specific posts about the use of certain products, or would like specific information about any of the products that I have tagged, please comment below and if possible, I will do a follow up covering any specific areas.
There are a number of different 'skintypes' and a number of features of different skin types, that will help you determine the most appropriate way of caring for your skin. Getting this part correct is the first and most important part to making sure that routines and products are going to benefit your skin and work to improve the appearance of your skin.
I have normal/combination skin. This  basically means that on occasion, my skin a mixture of dry and oily - other days, bizarrely, there is no problem and my skin is fine. It sounds worse than it is. Because of this, I sometimes experience a little more oiliness or dryness in certain areas and I use products that balance my skin and enable all areas to act as similarly as possible.
Picture courtesy of http://www.skinician.com
Once you have worked out your skin type, you can go ahead and start buying products to 'care' for your skin. There are several steps that are important in doing this, to ensure that your skin is 'clean'.

Nowadays, most companies have specialist ranges for Teens and they have specific products to cater for young skin. I am commenting on individual products that I have used past and present below, so I hope that this can assist in some way.
Step 1 - Cleansing
Cleansing is a crucial step in any skin care routine, especially when someone wears make up. Basically, your make up is a layer covering a part or all of your skin and therefore,  it is vital to take this off and make sure that your skin is clean. It is also important to make sure that your skin is clean before you apply make up, so that you start with a 'blank canvas'.
CLEANSERS - creams, gels, foam washes, make up wipes
I have tried and tested so many cleansers over the years and I am still yet to find one that I love. When I was younger, I swore by Garnier cleansing cream, but as I got older, my skin didn't continue to agree with this and I moved on.  This worked brilliantly until I became about 18 and my skin was just not happy and I had tonnes of break outs. When this did work however, my skin looked great and felt super soft. I did really like this initially.

Some people (like my cousin) love make up wipes or cleansing wipes in general. I must say, for some time, I did use Johnsons Baby Wipes. If they're good enough for cleansing a baby, I thought they would be good enough for my skin. They removed make up without much effort and they were incredibly convenient, however, face wipes tend to dry out the skin and do not always remove all of the impurities and make up on  your skin.  As I have read more about skincare, I have been moved away from this and I have now developed a new routine.

I now DOUBLE CLEANSE. This is definitely something that skincare and beauty bloggers are aware of and most seem to do.
FIRST CLEANSE - removal of make up. I personally use Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser, which removes easily. I will use this one forever - unless at some point in the future it is discontinued (or I find a better version..) It's a bargain and a jar lasts about 2 months, with daily usage.
SECOND CLEANSE - remove any left over make up and unclog pores. I have two products that I have been trying recently - Clarins Cleansing Milk and Clinique Foaming Cleanser. Both are not the best for me and I am definitely on the hunt for a new and improved cleanser.
I think a gel cleanser is my next try. I definitely prefer a 'wash' cleanser, rather than a cream one. Unless any bloggers have some good ones to recommend?
Things to take from the above;
  • Removal of make up is crucial - skin needs to breathe and be free from impurities.
  • Cleaning your skin and cleansing properly can help keep breakouts at bay.
Step 2 - Exfoliating

Some people exfoliate. Others don't. This is personal preference I think. This step is to remove dead skin cells from the face and smooth out the skin. It is not always necessary to use an exfoliant all over the face. There are a few areas where it is important to use an exfoliator or to target the use each week. I would suggest the T-Zone (across the forehead, above the eyebrows and down the centre of your face, including your nose and chin). These are the areas that people usually suffer with black or white heads and where people with oily skin will find problematic.

I do, however this was only over the last year. If I had started previously, I believe that this may have aided my skin now and put me in a much better position, as my skin has been on a rollercoaster ride during the last 10 years or so. I have written a blog on my preferred exfoliants here. St Ives are renowned for their Apricot Scrubs - I have just purchased this in place of the others that have run out. Another gentle exfoliator I have tried recently is the Clarins Gentle Skin Refiner. This is creamy and soft.
Things to take from the above;
  • Removing dead skin cells helps improve the appearance of your skin.
  • A little bit of exfoliant goes a long way.
  • Use sparingly - Too much dehydrates the skin and causes dryness.
Step 3 - Toning
I have always used a toner - again, I had the whole set of Garnier products when I was in my teens and I also was very impressed with the Simple toner at one point. I didn't really know what it did, but I knew that on the back of the cleanser, it said 'follow with toner' - so buying into the advertising and marketing, that was exactly what I did.
A toner is used to tone and purify your skin and remove any remnants of cleanser. Depending upon the type of toner, my understanding is that these act as a purifier and ensure that your skin is clean, whilst tightening pores. This can also be used to 'brighten' the face and, given that this works to minimise the pores, improve your complexion.  Toner can also improve the appearance of blemishes, reduce redness or puffiness and aid the skins overall appearance.
My go to toner at present, was recommended by Suzy. It's the Clinique Mild Clarifying Toner. This is free from alcohol and other harmful substances and it contains Salicylic Acid. My understanding is that this is used as a kind of 'antibacterial' agent - to ensure that pores are clear and any bacteria is stopped in its tracks. It's alcohol free as well, which is good. Alcohol in skin care products can dry out the skin.
Some people do double tone, with a further more antibacterial cleanser. I just use the one above at the moment and this is the only part of my skin routine, aside from the Ponds Cold Cream, that I wouldn't change!
Things to take from the above;
  • Removal of make up is crucial - skin needs to breathe and be free from impurities.
  • Toning the skin is just as important as cleansing.
Step 4 - Moisurising
Moisturising is a crucial element of all skin care routines. It is extremely important to have moisture in the skin. This increases the elasticity of the skin and without moisture, skin is dry and flaky and there will be little point in applying make up - because it will also look dry and flaky.
A good moisturiser should soak in to the skin and in my opinion, be light. Heavy products seem to sit on top of my skin, like another layer and they just make my skin all greasy and oily and more often than not, cause me to have break outs. Not a good look. I would definitely try to find a light well absorbing product.
I have been consistently using the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion. I do like this, but I don't feel any amazing benefit from this. I do think that there must be some better moisturising lotions out there and I have heard that a moisturising gel may also be a good thing to use. Like toners, you can get moisturisers with additional features or benefits, such as brightening, anti-aging and firming. Some moisturisers also have SPF (sun Protection Factor).
Things to take from the above.
  • Hydrating the skin is important and increases the texture and appearance.
  • Moisturiser helps make up sit better on the skin
  • Drinking water and moisturising will make skin look healthier and younger.
Some Additional Steps

Acne Treatments

I have never had bad acne, but I did have break outs, for which I had a wealth of products. I used and continue to use (when required) the same product in the end, which in my opinion, is fantastic. The Witch Stick is incredible. I truly believe that this is the think that assisted in alleviating the redness of the spots and 'nipping them in the bud', so to speak. I would definitely recommend this. It has witch hazel which everyone knows combats spots and acts as an antibacterial agent. I know that I tried a wealth of products - I wish I had found this product sooner.
Like moisturisers, these can be used for specific reasons, including brightening and smoothing. They can also enable you to ensure that your skin receives important vitamins and nutrients. Serums can penetrate deeper than moisturisers and other products, so they are an important step.
Skin is subjected to all different environments every day. The Sun, especially in summer, is a huge contributor to the aging of a persons' skin and for this reason, the use of SPF is crucial. Now many products have SPF included. My SPF is within my foundation, however, I know that some people do apply their SPF on top of their moisturiser for additional protection. This is a very important step to ensure that skin is looked after and protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Eye Creams

Eye Creams are incredibly popular now and used for reducing puffiness and rejuvenating tired eyes. I have tried a number of eye creams and I am still searching for ne that I actually like. I have used the Simple Soothing eye cream for a long time. This has been one that I have used the longest, but I have not really noticed any benefits from using this. This would be used after moisturiser, around the eye area only.
Well,  that is it for my take on skin care and the benefits, along with my products that I am currently using. If anyone does have any alternative suggestions or recommendations - I would love to hear about them.

If you have managed to keep reading - I didn't imagine it would be this long - Thanks!

Hope you've enjoyed  reading.
LL x 


  1. This is so detailed it's great! I didn't know about double cleansing - will start to do that from now on! xxx


    1. I hope it helps! I didn't want to leave anything out! Fingers crossed you will find that the double cleanse is helpful and improves your skin! My face just never feels clean enough after my initial cleanse now!! :) LL x

  2. Really informative, great written post! :-) Love it xx


  3. Love the table for skin types! Have you tried Lush's Ultrabland cleanser? They also have charcoal one called Dark Angels. Love them both. I used to use toner when I was younger but got away from it for some reason. Might have to try it again! I would love my pores to shrink a bit!

    1. Definitely! I would recommend the Clinique mild clarifying lotion, it leaves the skin feeling so refreshed! :) I haven't heard of those, but ill keep my eyes peeled next time I'm in Lush! I do love their bath bombs and lip scrubs!!! LL x

  4. Wow! This is so detailed, I'll use it as a reference for looking after my skin! Great post x

    1. Hope you enjoyed it! :) thanks for reading!! :) LL x

  5. Such a good idea to double cleanse - I think I do it without realising most of the time! Love the skin type chart - confirms I am indeed oily! Thanks so much for getting involved! xx

    1. Thanks Steph. No Problem. It's giving me a reason to write about everything I've wanted to write about anyway. Good motivation. I tried to start a skincare blog when I first started my blog and I just couldn't get off with it. The deadline gave me a reason to get it finished! :) Hope you enjoyed reading! :) LL x

  6. Wonderful post...I like your pretty blog.^^
    Maybe follow each other on bloglovin?
    Let me know follow you then back.
    Lovely greets Nessa

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! :) Hopefully will be useful to know! :) LL x


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LL x