I have been very lucky with my skin in many ways. I don’t and haven’t suffered from acne or rocasia or anything dramatic, but I am very pale and that creates a world of issues. From the age of 10 maybe, I have suffered with the pleasure of dark circles, regardless of how well rested or how much sleep I’ve had. Because of the fairness of my skin, it is easy to see every single blemish from the moment it appears. Blackheads have been my nemesis along with breakouts but even white heads are visible on my almost snow driven shell. I am literally not far off the colour of a cockle shell actually. The older I’ve gotten, the more paranoid I have become about getting spots. Yes you are meant to have spots as a teenager but in your twenties, surely not. It also doesn’t help that the entire beauty industry is completely obsessed with flawless skin. Because of this paranoia however, I’ve actually started to learn about my skin, about what works and about how to feel about blemishes too. Silver linings. Now I do not and I must stress this, profess to have your answers. I’m not giving you a wonder cure or a fool proof plan and I’m not doing that,  1) because I’m not qualified to do so and 2) because my skin and your skin are not the same, so what works for me might not work for you, but it also might.  

I remember as a teenager my Ma (Grandmother) telling me that if I kept eating food that was bad for me, that I would keep getting spots. I also remember looking at her then and thinking  “has the old lady’s lost it or is she still living in the 60’s?” It seemed like such a bizarre notion that chocolate was betraying me. We should listen to our old people more often.
Different spots and blemishes meen different things and depending of where they are also plays a part. I know my face quite well and I can guarantee that if I am due a visit from mother nature that I’ll get spots between my eyebrows thanks to a change in my hormones . I’ve also found that if I get bunged up or have and upset tummy (so either shit too much or not enough) that my chin and the area surrounding my mouth will soon suffer. If I eat certain foods or use certain creams my face changes. At this moment I’m currently suffering with my yearly irritation rash that requires antihistamines to reduce. This rash, which I think I am now finding a cause of, creates red blotches, an under-surface rash and a raised collection of tight and itching skin. With the slightest touch of sun, the freckles that call my central face home begin to appear and they are my favourite blemish to have. Not all blemishes have to be thought of as a negative. Skin is the largest organ we have and listening to it can really tell us what might be going on with us internally.

It’s about to get personal. I know that I don’t drink enough water and water is key. I suffer with bouts of cystitis and water infections more often than I’d like, because I don’t stay as hydrated as I should. This increases my chance of breakouts. Whenever I go away to hotter countries I become obsessed with drinking ‘enough water’ and using sun cream (often as high as factor 50…yes I am that pale). This, combined with less stress, my sun-kissed illustration of freckles and genuine happiness to be having an adventure, means that my skin often looks better than any other time. At a time when a few tequila shots or glasses of wine at the end of a shift was my norm, my skin showed just how much my body was suffering, I had breakouts and blemishes became much more obvious than usual. What we put into our bodies be it physical or emotional shows on our skin and how you then tackle that is important. Fundamentally it’s better to keep your skin happy (which you of course can’t always do) than it is to fight with it once you’re suffering. If you are deeply unfortunate and are just born with bad skin or acne ect, and changing habits won’t ever be enough, do not fear, there will be a reason for it. Nothing happens for no reason. 

Now lets talk product… 

I am very much one of those who grew up being told and believing that beauty hurts and that if it hurts, it was doing something. Because of this I treated my skin terribly as a teenager and that is something I’m still noticing the occasional effect of even now aged 23. I used products that were harsh but I must admit did the job wonderfully and are products I go back to if need be. I have what I would consider normal if not combination skin. Like so much of my body with my hair as the main affender, it does what it wants, when it wants, with little consideration to consistently. There are a few products that I now would not be without and fear running too low. 

For deep cleaning and a touch of me time I turn to THE MASK OF MAGNAMITY (£11.50) from Lush or NO CLOGS ALLOWED from Soap and Glory (£7.67). One all natural and one not so much. It’s also green versus blue which adds a nice, bad lady from the rescuers vibe. The Lush product leaves my skin feeling fresh and smooth. It’s very thick so if you’re a frugal person like me, you might squirm at the amount required. The Soap and Glory option is a self heating mask, but really gets no more than luke warm. It feels great to use, smooths on really well and leaves skin both smooth and supple despite its long list of…ingredients. 

For day to day use I have made a new and beautiful discovery. I now have three items from the BAKING POWDER range that I now fear being without and use everyday. After a full day of makeup, creams and city grime I turn to the PORE CLEANSING CREAM (from £6.00). It must be said this product is amazing. You apply it like a cream to dry skin over your daily applications and wipe it away with either a cotton pad or even tissue. It’s super cleansing and takes off even the heaviest of my special occasion makeup. It does need to be kept away from our little twinkly eyes, so I do occasionally struggle to remove heavy eye makeup. This is solved as I then follow up with PORE CLEANSING FOAM (from £7.99), leaving my skin ready for bed clean, soft and kissable. Oh yeah. I then rise with another product from the range. BB DEEP CLEANSING FOAM (from £8.99) is used by lathering up enough to create a face mask style wash (the smallest amount is perfect) and has both a cleansing and BB elements to it. This means that the heavy cleansing my face sees, is then balanced with moisturising and nourishing final touches and a slightly corrective element. 

You’ve been up early all week. You’ve worked two closes and then an open and your not sleeping for as long as you would like. You have dark circles even after 12hours sleep and a day off. You are like me. Like me you should invest in By Nature’s SOOTHING EYE MASK (from £5.99). They are very slick (horrible word I know) but are not obviously sticky. They are perfectly shaped for my face to reach almost to my temple’s. Once removed they’re is of course a residue that is left over but with a few dabs of a finger it sinks in with ease and physically tightens and smooths the skin leaving it perfect for makeup and creams on top. 

Finally my go to for a blitz of my skin, with the stinging of my teenage years, finds me at the door of Clean and Clear. Washes, lotions and even the dreaded wipes do the job for my skin in times of need. 

Emi’s input…

My sister Emi has problem skin and she’ll never mind me saying that. She’s suffered from acne and continues to fight with her oily skin. She’s not quite won the war yet but my god she’s beating the shit out of every battle that dares to test her. Because of her warrior attitude towards her skin, and because her skin is so completely different to mine, she’s going to give her armoury too. ‘SKINOREN (medicated cream) is from my Doctor for acne, it’s alright I suppose. BALNEUM (medicated cream) is from my Doctor too,  to use with the SKINOREN as a moisturiser, because SKINOREN might and can dry out your SKIN (free NHS prescription). CARMEX because it’s the best (from £1.56) [she really is obsessed with Carmex]. Recovery Oil (from £1.00) (mainly use BIO OIL ((around £8.99)) but I’ve ran out) to help with my lovely acne scars 🤢. TEA TREE WATER from LUSH (£8.95) to make my skin all lovely, less red, smell nice, keep it clean and help my oily skin. GARNIER MICELLAR WATER (from £1.00) just to help remove my makeup, which works lovely. I use Tea Tree Oil based wipes, but I’ve ran out, either that or simple for SENSITIVE SKIN WIPES (from £3.45), for a quick cleanse.’ Emi's skin care total comes in at just under £25.00. Mine however comes in at a seemly massive £48.14. It might seem a little too much, but most are not for everyday use and so have real longevity, whilst those that are used daily, require no more than pea sized amounts. I’d be lying if I said it’s not a lot of money because of course it is, but fact is, for me it’s worth it! 

Its hard tying to make your face work for you and it’s so evident that good skin meen's a good body. It’s your outer shell, if your inner isn’t at peak and your armour isn’t kept shinny, then it just won’t sparkle as it should. It’s also worth saying that you are NOT defined by your skin or how you look, it’s represents you, but it doesn’t make you who you are. Take what nature has given you and mould it to your specification, whether you are a serial picker and skin nuker  like me, or a long game battle champion like my Emi, you can do this. I’d love to tell you that it doesn’t matter and in many ways it doesn’t…unless it does to you. Do what is best for you and tell the “flawless” mirages that cause you a crisis in confidence to fuck right off. You are gorgeous regardless of your skin, but you have to feel it for it to really count. Do you! 

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CONTENT IMAGE: http://pin.it/_KZcjYB

Published by Hannah Doyle