You might be thinking that my use of the word ‘cure’ is a pretty bold statement to make. And three months ago I would have agreed with you. Because three months ago I was in the depths of despair over my skin – it was just getting worse and worse; adult acne was the bane of my life and it was taking over 99% of my waking thoughts.
I literally thought I had tried everything. Every mattifying moisturiser, every face wash targeted at clearing and cleaning my pores within in inch of their life, and every product that claimed to blitz my blemishes into oblivion.
Nothing worked. Even a healthy diet, a few litres of water a day and some exercise couldn’t seem to offer some relief. I was so, so close to going to the doctors and asking for something – anything – to stop the endless stream of painful, red spots all over my face that were plaguing my life. And then I did some research. Because the answer to most of my face-related problems was staring me in the, um, face. I had spent a lifetime (and a small fortune, no less) applying anti-ageing serums, lotions and creams. And while I’m utterly convinced that they live up to their claims when it comes to preventing wrinkles, what they categorically do not do is prevent spots. Anti-ageing products are heavy, oil-laden and, above all, targeted at women who struggle with moisture. And from the state of my skin approximately 2 hours after I’ve painstakingly applied my make up, the one thing that’s evident is that I definitely do not have a problem with retaining moisture. Quite the opposite, in fact; my skin is so oily that I find make up on anything and everything – pens, my phone, my keyboard, my clothes. The list could go on.
So I had a little think. I asked other people what they recommended. I spent a long, long time reading reviews on all manner of websites. Then I bit the bullet and completely changed my skincare routine. And you know what? It was the best thing I ever did.
If you’re way past your teenage years and still struggling with oily, acne-prone skin then these are the products that I would recommend you think about. I’ve been using all of these for 2 months now, and while they work wonders for me I obviously can’t 100% guarantee they’ll work the same way for anyone else. But if you’re stuck in a rut and getting to the point where a paper bag is looking like a viable option, then you won’t go far wrong with any of these…
La Roche-Posay Serozinc Spray: This spray is everything. Seriously. Designed to be used as a toner after cleansing, this is packed full of (as the name suggests) zinc – and skin loves a bit of zinc. This is really refreshing and light, and a little goes a long way. My face always feels really clean and fresh after using this, plus it doubles up as a treatment for other minor skin irritations like razor burn, too. Winner!
Messinian Spa Micellar Lotion: As you can see from the label I still haven’t taken off it, this was one of my skincare treats from Greece. It grabbed my attention in a Greek pharmacy because it claimed to be 100% organic. Plus the layers of suncream and sweat masking my face constantly by day 5 of the holiday were doing me no favours. I haven’t linked it because it’s not sold or shipped in the UK, but it’s what I’ve been using to take my make up off with in place of my regular micellar water and I’ve loved it.
Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser: This caught my eye several times during my research for a good face wash. I like to take my make up off with micellar water and then do a hot cloth cleanse to really finish the job properly. Trouble is, finding a decent cleanser that’t not Liz Earle is a mission. I don’t want to spend a fortune on face wash, and when this came on offer on the Superdrug website for £2.99 I decided it would be worth a go. I really do love this – if you want a great Liz Earl dupe, then this is the one for you (it looks like Liz, it smells like Liz, it cleanses like Liz and guess what, it’s cheaper than Liz).
Vichy Normaderm Anti-Age, Anti-Imperfection, Anti-Wrinkle Resurfacing Care: I actually had a brief dalliance with the Vichy range a spot-ridden teenager, when I woke up one morning and discovered I’d developed a BEARD of spots around my mouth. Attractive. I went to a chemist who recommended the Vichy range and I bought one of everything. Long story short, it worked – but it dried my skin out horrendously. Over 10 years later, I was willing to give it another shot. This is now my Holy Grail daytime moisturiser. Packed full of LHA, Glycol Acid and Vitamin C this is nourishing enough for daytime skin without being overly greasy. It sinks in quickly and makes a great base for my make up. I definitely think the ingredients in this have had a lot to do with my skin improving – the acids are prompting a bit of natural exfoliation, while the vitamin C is healing any little tiny pimples that are cropping up. This works particularly well with the Serozinc, in my opinion. Oh, and if you winced at the price tag, it’s much cheaper elsewhere online – I just linked to Boots so that you could read the reviews and see for yourself 🙂
Superdrug Vitamin E Skin Oil: Now, I know what you’re thinking – oil, on top of oily skin? Yeah, me too. One of the most interesting things I read about when researching The Cure for Oily Skin was that a good facial oil can, in fact, minimise oily skin. Apparently, it’s something to do with different types of oil; the one our skin produces can sometimes be a sign we’re lacking in other vital oils (and I don’t eat fish, so whaddya know, my body was crying out for them), so using the correct oil on top can actually cancel it out. I had nothing to lose at this point, I was desperate, so I bought this and thought to hell with the consequences. And it really does work. I apply this after cleansing my face and using the Serozinc in place of a serum under my night cream (once a day is definitely enough with this, it’s so moisturising). It’s light, sinks in quickly, doesn’t make my skin feel greasy and the Vitamin E has done wonders for the acne scarring on my chin.
Superdrug Clearly Youthful Glycol Peel: The one thing I’ve never incorporated into my skincare routine – even as a skincare fanatic – is a good face mask. I just assumed that as my skin was oily a moisturising one would be too much and anything that would draw impurities out would just cause even MORE zits. And then I found this. This is a retexturising, sebum-fighting, anti-ageing peel-off mask that’s packed full of glycolic and lactic acids – the highest, in fact, that can be included in drugstore facial product. I use this twice a week in conjunction with another exfoliator and am really impressed with the effects – my skin is definitely smoother, clearer and fresher looking as a result. Plus I’m addicted to peeling it off. Not even sorry.
Vichy Dermablend Foundation: This one happened by accident. I was actually quite happy with my L’Oreal Infallible 24hr Matte foundation, and then I got a sample of this in a beauty box and bam, that was that. I don’t usually bother trying foundation samples as they rarely ever include ones that match my pale skintone, but this one (in the shade Nude) caught my eye because of the brand. I had already been using the Vichy moisturiser for a few weeks and was impressed with the results, so wondered whether using the same brand of foundation would further enhance that. Also, this is a full coverage foundation, and as I’m still fighting a bit of acne scarring, I’m all about the full coverage. This is, without doubt, my new favourite foundation. It’s light – both to blend and to wear – covers all my imperfections, lasts all day and even has SPF35 in it, which was a big selling point to me after starting to use so many other products with a high acid content. The only downside is that this comes in a very small range of shades, so it’s quite tricky to get a perfect match.
I would 100% recommend all of the above to anyone struggling with oily, acne-prone skin. Skin problems, although not the end of the world, can seem like such a high mountain to conquer when you’re at the end of your tether.