Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

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Beating the Blemishes

So just a few weeks ago I shared a post explaining how and why I've decided to be foundation-free in my daily makeup routine and that my skin has reaped the benefits and as if to mock me, the last 2 weeks have seen my face turn into the ugly blemish ball as my skin has went into a raging acne producing spree. Usually, my acne is something I've somewhat gotten used to but I realised the one reason I was usually okay with big breakouts is because a base product such as a foundation makes life much easier and disguises all of the horrors. So what on earth was I going to do now without such a glorious product?!

Well, it was high-time I hit the skincare hard and made sure my routine was consistent and included products to try and gatecrash this unwanted face party full of demons so I thought I'd share with you which products have been absolute life savers in calming down this shit storm before it got completely out of hand.

Face Masks
I feel like the trusty ol' face mask is something we all run to, screaming for help, when we're having a skincare meltdown. Two of my absolute favourites for sorting out my terrible skin when it's in a temper is two fantastic ones from The Body Shop. The first I tend to use when bad skin arises is the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mask. This smooth,thick, creamy mask is very cooling so it helps calm down aggravated or broken skin, but it also does a fantastic job of clearing up blemishes. For me personally, I find tea tree quite a purging product so it tends to bring all the badness to the surface which is initially intimidating, but bringing all your spots to the surface makes them much easier to deal with and eradicate. So later in the week, I will then go in with the Blue Corn 3in1 Deep Purifying Scrub Mask. This mask is possibly my favourite to use because this one really feels like it's working. This is another thick mask but has lots of "bits" in it making it extremely satisfying to wash off as it exfoliates the skin and buffs away dead skin cells. It does sting a little bit after first application which doesn't bother me as it is deep penetrating and gets to work after the first use. It's a brilliant mask for those of us on the oilier side of the skin spectrum too.

Serum Concentrates
Now this next product is something that does a lot of hard work but I only really use it when I've got terrible skin. The Eucerin Dermo Purifier Concentrate is a newish product for me but it's definitely something that will stick around in my blemish skin routine because it's a good'un. This milky watery lotion is fantastic at fighting breakouts and will do it's damnedest to prevent future ones occurring. I will usually take a couple of pumps of this and sweep it over the face either morning or evening (sometimes both!) after I have cleansed and toned the skin. It sinks into the skin almost instantly and can leave the skin feeling a little bit tingly - especially if you have any open, sore, or cystic acne on the areas you apply it. Once it's dried down, it leaves the skin feeling surprisingly hydrated, soft, and matte making it perfect to apply makeup directly on top of if you don't want to add any further products. The best thing about this stuff is that I can also apply it to my shoulders/back/chest where I also suffer from acne and it doesn't clog the pores or ruin my clothes. Result.

Toner Sprays
This product isn't necessarily advertised as a toner but that's the step it kind of fits into in my routine. I've sang the praises of this product so many times before on NB but I'm still a huge fan of the La Roche Posay Serozinc Spray. I tend to quickly spray this on a cotton pad and sweep it across my face both morning and night. It helps keep my oils controlled and keep my skin that little bit more matte under my makeup during the day and it has without a doubt positively impacted on my acne by reducing my breakouts and the severity of them considerably.

Something I always make sure I do - even when I'm feeling lazy - is moisturise my skin every morning and evening. This is a step I just can't skip in my routine and I certainly can't overlook it when I'm having a bad breakout. My go-to moisturisers most of the time are a couple from Vichy but they're especially my favourites during crazy bad skin episodes. Every morning after applying the Eucerin Concentrate, I will then go in with the Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Blemish Care moisturiser. This cream is lightweight enough for oily skin to not worry about but it also keeps my skin hydrated and as healthy as possible. It's got a slight green shade to it which helps reduce some of the angry redness in blemishes and upset skin and it creates a nice smooth base for makeup. It also does a grand job at fighting the acne breakouts alongside the other spot-fighting products so it always gets a thumbs up from me.

In my evening routine, I have been trialling some other products from Dr.Botanicals (which you can read about here) but as they're not specifically designed for fighting oily skin or blemishes, it means those precious hours when I've been sleeping haven't been utilised as best they could be. So I've went back to my old faithful Vichy Normaderm Night Detox cream for the time being as it is an anti-blemish, oil-balancing product that always works. Even after the first evening using it again, I noticed all the little bumps that were forming across my forehead had been minimised. Alongside the Eucerin Concentrate, I feel like my skin gets a thorough detox overnight and is deeply cleansed the next morning.

This last product has definitely been through the ringer with me. When I first got it, I was so excited to try it and was so disappointed as everything I had read about it just didn't happen for me. The Body Shop's Tea Tree Pore Minimiser promises to be mattifying and a shine-free last step priming product that is ideal for blemished skin yet when I first used it, it was beautifully matte until I had had my makeup on for an hour. I caught a look of myself in the mirror and my foundation had started to slip and slide and look wet whereas my usual primer wouldn't have started to do that for at least a few more hours. However now? Now I can't get enough of this when I'm going through a bad skin patch. Instead of my usual primer, I will apply this after moisturising, paying careful attention to apply it to the affected areas where blemishes are particularly bad. Although I don't wear foundation anymore, I do still think this primer isn't *that* mattifying or good at holding base products or keeping you shine free so I always add the Nivea Men Post Shave Balm over the top of this as a double prime. These two products work really well together to keep my makeup locked in place but the tea tree layer has the chance to penetrate the skin and blemishes whilst also acting as a barrier between my skin and the post shave balm as it can clog my pores.

So there you have it! What are your holy grail products for when your skin is in a tizzy?

- A.
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