‘Your skin looks beautiful.’ As someone with an oily, blemished and spot-prone complexion, this was a never a compliment I’d heard applied to me. Until recently. Throughout my life I’ve been without the blessing of flawless skin and of course, sod’s law would have it that I’m surrounded by porcelain beauties with barely so much as a freckle. My skin however, is something that I struggled with greatly during my teens and have continued to have problems with even now, in my early twenties. After years of chopping and changing my skincare routine -if we can call a quick run over with a baby wipe ‘routine’- I have finally found the products that work best for me in improving an oily, blemished and generally unsightly face. For just over a year, these are the products that I have finally found and stuck with religiously, and I believe have contributed to a considerably cleaner, clearer and fresher complexion. And it’s about time…
First up is this bad boy. The Clinique Sonic System has been an absolute wonder product. I would highly, highly, recommend investing in one of these no matter what your skin type, but especially if you’re prone to acne/spots like me. I honestly wonder how I managed without it. Once I’ve taken my makeup off, with a botanics facial wipe, I wet the brush head and put a pea sized blob of my cleanser on. I cannot tell you how soft and smooth this step makes my skin. My pores look immediately clearer, lifting any surface dirt for a thorough clean. Obviously, there are travel versions of this product available as this one can be a little bulky. I think an absolutely fantastic and more cost friendly alternative is this little sponge below…
I first came across the the Konjac Sponge in the You Magazine beauty advent calendar and I can confirm that it is an absolute gem. A little cleanser mixed with this sponge and rubbed gently across my face gives the same, smoothing and exfoliating effect as the sonic system. Since I began using either of these two beauty tools morning and night, my breakouts have become a lot less frequent, and my complexion brighter.
Three Step System
I’ve heard contradictory information regarding foaming facial soaps, but the ‘foaming sonic facial soap’ by Clinique has one has worked like a dream for me. It has a lovely, rich and creamy texture and is completely oil-free. Hooray! Leaves my skin feeling soft and fresh.
I read an interesting article on Manrepeller here which emphasised the importance of exfoliation, and as a result became immediately alarmed that my new skin care routine didn’t appear to feature any specific exfoliating product. However, step two of my Clinique routine can easily be mistaken for a mere toner, when it is in fact also an exfoliant for combination and oily skin. Just a small amount on a cotton pad gently sweeps away dead surface skin cells and any final traces of make-up for a smoother base. I love.
The Clinique dramatically different moisturizing gel has been an absolutely blessing for me. After reading numerous mixed reviews on the product, I just went for it and took the plunge. And I’m so thankful I did. Again, moisturiser is something that breaks me out and I’ve made the mistake of avoiding it altogether which makes the skin produce even more oil as it feels starved. The oil free gel moisturiser solves this problem. A little goes a long way and I find a pea sized blob is enough for my whole face. Again, it feels lovely and light making my skin hydrated without being greasy.
Enlarged pores have also been an issue for me. Is that person checking out my perfect eyeliner flick ? OR STARING AT MY PORES!? Really though, I do think we are more self conscious about our own flaws, and I really think people notice them a lot less than we think. My lovely friend Tori let me try this Murad product and I’ve never looked back. Unlike similar primer products that feel like poly-filler on the skin, (we all know the one) the Murad Pore and Line Minimizing Hydrator gives a lovely, light finish that feels so sheer on my sensitive skin. This always provides me with a perfect base for make-up. Another somewhat similar yet less pricey product would be the oil free Laura Mercier primer (here) which is also light and never causes me to break out. Makes for some seamless foundation application!
An overnight facial tanner/ moisture mask that agrees with oily skin? Surely not. But Vita Liberata are the absolute dream. This mask is perfect for concealing blemishes and redness and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. I think that more often than not, oily skin takes a tan really well (hey- we have to have something going for us!) so I always think I look so much better with slightly darker skin. I’m naturally a pinky white tone so I use this every other night to wake up with a light, even tan. This always adds a nice, natural glow, helping my skin to look considerably better on my make-up free days.
Finally, I will never not have oily skin. No matter what I do. So a really, really great way to deal with it is blotting paper. I’ve found Bobbi Brown’s little sheets to work the most effectively, mattifying my skin and saving me from putting on 124 layers of powder a day. Minimum.
I’m so glad I’ve eventually found a routine that works for me. Now, ‘Your skin looks beautiful,’ is no longer an unheard of compliment! Are there any other products that I should be aware of? I’d love it if you would let me know!