Sunday, 8 December 2013

Skincare Skincare Skincare...

I have had problems with acne for over a decade now. I went from a kid with painful cystic acne to a young adult with minimal acne troubles and scarring from old traumas. A person who truly suffers from acne will try everything under the sun. If a voodoo man told you to lay out in the sun naked with a dead chicken on your face you'd do it which (to me) doesn't sound as bad or is at least on par with taking round after round of antibiotics for years. I took antibiotics for roughly 5 or 6 years on and off and I wish I never touched them. They did more damage than good. For years I'd hear from doctors, "Oh it's because you're going through puberty, it's normal and will clear up, take this to help it" or "when you're  17 it'll be gone, or 20…or any day now….it'll be gone" Then one doctor told me "it's never going to go away at this age or that, it's not the foods you eat, it's not this or that, it's most likely just bad genetics or hormones." With that I was both disappointed and relieved. I was sad I just had shitty genes or hormone problems but relieved that I could just breathe and not feel like I had to keep taking all these prescription drugs and topical creams that could cause birth defects and all that fun stuff…I decided right there and then that it wasn't worth it and that I was going to figure it out on my own. And from then on I've taken advice with caution. Please read on for my latest experiences with skincare and discover what brands and routines have worked for me. :)

First let me start by saying, that it always feels good to have strangers judge your skin (NOT). A couple of months ago, not too long after I moved from Ireland back to Texas, my skin exploded into a cystic acne freakout. I chalk it up to the long plane rides and extreme difference of weather/climate coming from a country that stays pretty constant (cool and cold) to my lovely state of Texas where the weather doesn't know what the hell it's doing. When I arrived it was in the high 80s-90s and very humid and then two days later it'd drop 20 degrees…back to 90s. My skin couldn't hack it and my aunt took me to Sisley Paris counter at Neiman Marcus department store at Northpark. I guess my aunt thought a miracle cure was lurking there. I was hesitant but went along with everything. What I wish I could have had was my Super Facialist by Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Products back:

I unfortunately had to leave them behind, but folks, let me tell ya, this stuff got my skin looking the best I had ever seen it. I particularly loved the facial oil. It removed my makeup brilliantly!!! The creamy cleanser and scrub was also wonderful. My skin was soft, and scars had started to fade and I rarely had any new breakouts. I also used a couple of products from Indeed Labs that I feel did my skin some good as well, Hyrdaluron  and Pepta-Bright. They made my skin very soft and smooth and faded some old scars.

 My Irish and UK gals are lucky…as soon as I visit Ireland again I'm gonna stock up!

Anyway…back to the main story!

Here I am at the Sisley counter in Neiman Marcus and these two women are looking at my ferocious break out going "oh my, so sorry honey." and "You're skin is so oily, and your pores are very large" and asking me silly questions like, "Do you wash your skin….everyday?" I just feel like I'm on display as a freak and all I can think is, if they think this breakout is bad they'd probably just hand me a paper bag as a solution if I came to them 10 years back. I smiled and nodded as they kept examining my skin and making remarks that slightly stung. And then they pushed a whole range of products on my aunt to buy for me. Now, I vaguely knew the brand Sisley and I knew it was a pricey brand but nothing blew my mind more when the register rang up over $600 for a few items. I was floored and quietly urged my aunt to not purchase, to say never mind. But being the caring aunt she is, she said don't be silly and I found a range of products in my lap:

Sorry the pic is a bit blurry
The Tropical Resins Range is what they had picked out for me. A range targeted to purify and fix my oily acne prone skin. I voiced my opinions on this decision, as I had purchased "acne" ranges before and they just made things worse. These women told me that my skin was oily and didn't need heavy moisturizer (and yeah maybe not) but they told me the only moisturizer I could use was a mattify-ing one. So overall we purchased the Toner/lotion with Tropical Resins, a Tropical Resins face mask, Soapless Facial Cleansing Bar, Tropical Resins Complex moisturizer that is suppose to control oil production and overtime "balance" the skin, and just for good measure (because I'm 25 and will start wrinkling up like a prune at any given moment) Botanical Eye and Lip Contour Complex creme. The women claimed that within 2 weeks I'd be amazed with how my skin will look. Well…I wasn't amazed….I was THIRSTY….my poor skin was like a desert wasteland. I used the products for about a week and a half and I felt like my skin looked better slightly oily and broken out than it did after using those products. They did dry out the breakout but also dried out the rest of my face too. My face was soooo tight and it looked like I had wrinkles that didn't exist and dull dull dull. The Lotion with Tropical Resins in particular caused my face to turn bright red and burn anytime I tried to use it, even if it were only on the "affected" areas. Needless to say I returned all of the products except the face mask. I use this particular mask once every 2 weeks and also use it as a spot treatment when need be. It does the job. I figured this could all be returned and I could get something I wanted for a fraction of the price….and in walks Kiehls :)

All of these products are Kiehl's except for the Boots Botanics Softening Cleanser, which is excellent for using as a pre-cleanser (removing make up and such). 

I am a big believer in moisturizing and using anti-aging products. Personally, I've found that my skin reacts really well when I use anti-aging products and heavy moisturizers (night time only). It may not seem right to put moisture on the oily but I believe that your skin is oily because it needs moisture. It produces an overabundance of oil because it is THIRSTY!! and that's where the trouble starts. But if you give it the correct moisture it craves, everything fixes itself. This has been my experience and has gone again any doctor's advice or skin care sale's rep's advice I've ever been given. Knowing this, I marched into Kiehl's (having previously researched their products) and picked out everything I wanted. Every item was either anti-aging or sensitive skin related, not an acne product insight. Within a few days, my skin looked significantly better and within 2 weeks was glowing. I'm still working on fading old acne scars but I'm pleased to say that I rarely have a breakout and if I have a spot or two they go away as quickly as they came. 

Here's a look into my skincare routine:

If I've worn make up or been working up a sweat I use a pre-cleanser:
 Boots Botanics Softening Cleanser

Then I wash my face with:
Kiehl's Washable Cleansing Milk

Tone with:
Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol Free Toner

Dab on:
Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treament (Avocado) 

Smear on:
Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate (Day)
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (Night)

And finally…
Moisturize with:

Ultra Face Moisturizer
Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream

I am not disappointed in the slightest with any one of these products. The moisturizers absorb well, and the serums, particularly the Midnight Recovery Concentrate works wonders. After two nights of using it my skin was completely different, in the miracle glowing way. And my skin has remained quite wonderful ever since. Now these are my current staples in my skincare routine but I also add in or rotate a product or two and because this post is probably the longest post I've ever done and I've mentioned more than a handful of products as it is, I'm going to do separate posts for the other items for two main reasons: 1) they deserve their own post and 2) I feel I need to use them a little longer to do a sufficient post.

Well, I hope this post was decent for y'all. Please please please comment or contact me if you have any questions about any of the products or ranges mentioned in this post or let me know if you'd like to have a singular post on any particular product and I'd be happy to do so!


  1. I have acne prone skin and no matter what I do I cannot shake my acne -_- great post though! (:

    1. I feel your pain. Acne is very hard to even get under control let alone shake altogether. Keep trying different things and take advice with a grain of salt! xx

  2. Thanks for posting that kind of informative Blog. It is true that Acne is a common skin problem and Super Facialist By Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Products make happy the people . As a skin care specialist, I recommend this creamy cleanser for regular use. I also inform that Obagi has produced obagi nu derm for giving acne and blemishes free skin. You can avail this from any
    obagi discount store.