As part of psychotherapy I was told how important it is to look after oneself properly. Easier said than done when it comes to things like regularly exercise, healthy relationship choices and good sleep hygiene (yes, this is a medical term).
As an ex self-harmer, being good to my body doesn’t exactly come naturally to me. I like restrictively diets (temporarily) and other unpleasant things like that.
But the one bit about me that I look after quite religiously is my skin.
I’ve always wanted to have good skin, but I never really managed to get rid of my spots. I didn’t have a set skin care routine and swapped products regularly – I didn’t have any holy grail products (picking up the blogging lingo) for a long time. In hospital I got temporarily obsessed with dead sea face masks – they are the German drugstore version of clay masks. They are about 60 pence per sachet, which lasts for two applications. It’s literally like putting mud on your face that slowly dries. It does leave your face feeling very clean and stripped. At one point I seriously scared a fellow patient, who knocked on my door when I was halfway through the drying stage – my face half grey half brown.
Face masks are nice, but on their own they weren’t enough to turn my skin around. However, for the past month or so, I did some extensive research and put together a small set of products. I only half heartedly believed that it would work – I cannot imagine what it’s like not to have spots.
But then I noticed the other day that they were all gone! I still have the odd clogged pore on my nose, but no pimples, no blackheads, no painful spots on my chin.
It makes me so happy. My skin feels much softer as well. I look forward to my evening routine because I now have pretty good evidence that I am doing something good to my skin. I am being good <em>to myself</em>.
So – if your therapist tells you to be good to yourself, one way to start is to be good to your skin!
Enough rambling. Here are the products I use. Note that I have normal to dry skin and that every skin is different.
Simple nourishing eye make-up remover
I like this because it removes waterproof mascara and doesn’t irritate my eyes. My eyelids tend to get dry patches so this feels nice and moisturizing. Possibly not ideal for oily skin.
Boots Tea tree and Witch hazel Cleasing and Toning Lotion
I use this to remove any face make-up before cleansing properly, using a cotton pad. It smells of tea tree oil, which is good for blemish prone skin. It does give me a slightly “disinfectant”-like feel, which I like.
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
This is a cult product that in my opinion is worth the hype. You massage the cream into your dry skin and then wipe it off with a wet muslin cloth. I love this part – it makes me feel like my skin is getting a really deep cleanse and also gets exfoliated.
Sanctuary Fresh-faced Purifying wash
Usually I use this in the shower in the morning and the Liz Earle cleanser at night. I have to note that it does sting if it gets into your eyes.
Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask
I use this once or twice a week. The mask has a nice texture. When you apply it onto your skin, it immediately warms up, which feels nice. While it is meant to be cleansing, it does not leave my skin feeling as stripped as other clay masks. I do like that as my skin tends to be dry rather than oily.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
This is an amazing product, recommended by beauty gurus such as Ruth Crilly (in this video) and Tanya Burr (in this video). It is meant as a treatment for “severe imperfections”. It helped me clear up my skin and get rid off acne and breakouts. I use it as a daily moisturizer morning and night after cleansing. It has the texture of a light gel that is immediately absorbed into your skin. The only complaint I have is that it does not have SPF, so I am using an additional suncreen or foundation with SPF on top.
Origins Super spot remover
This is little bottle is very potent stuff! I don’t use it much these days as the Effaclar Duo seems to successfully prevent any breakouts at the moment – but in the past I have applied this to any newly forming spot. It has at times managed to clear them up over night without them ever breaking out properly. As I said, it is strong stuff that will dry out your skin and will sting – but I don’t mind that. Contrary to other blemish treatments, it makes me feel like it is actually doing something.
What are your thoughts on skincare? Does it feel like a chore or do you enjoy it as a nice way to be good to yourself? Any product recommendations?