***Warning-long rambly post about skincare ahead***
I recently saw a skincare item that was described as being good for 'easily upset' skin and I thought that was a brilliant description of my own skin. I've talked about my skin concerns a lot in the past and specifically how my skin changed since having major surgery following my cancer diagnosis I believe that my hormones play a massive part in my skins behaviour as all of my issues are localised to the jaw/chin/neck area and mostly on the right side of my face. Some of you will know I have just been though another big operation and this time I have had my right ovary removed. I will be interested in the next weeks and months to see how my skin adjusts to a lower production of hormones and coping with one ovary. So far my emotions seem to be pretty much in check despite the loss of 50% of my hormone production but I am a really emotional person so I need to keep a close eye on that situation.
The reason for this post is to share my skincare routine in the morning currently as since my surgery recently, following an initial flare up of my easily upset skin (which I am attributing to general anaesthetic/ stress / adjustment of hormone levels / not being able to shower for 5 days and using a skincare routine of purely Bioderma) my skin seems a lot more settled and calm. I've reintroduced one product that I used a few years ago and at the time it had a massive impact on my skins conditions immediately but I totally forgot about it, repurchased it about a year ago and it's been in my skincare stash since. And using it again has had a massively positive impact on my skin over the past 3 weeks. I've been using nourishing and hydrating products to try and bring my skin back to life and add hydration and radiance whilst soothing and calming the skin-sounds like a tall order but this supercharged routine seems to be doing just that.
There are currently 3 products in my shower for cleansing-one I use daily, one I use three times a week and one I use once a week.
Emma Hardie Moringa Foaming Cleansing Wash-My daily morning cleanse. I used to use the Emma Hardie cleaning balm but I found the texture to be really inconsistent-sometimes my tub had gritty granules in it and sometimes it was totally smooth and it put m off.
However this lightly whipped mousse is the perfect refresher for skin in the morning. Personally, although it is recommended for make up removal on the Emma Hardie website I would not use this for that purpose-I need an oil or a balm to get my make up off.
I apply one pump to dry skin, massage lightly and rinse off. It contains rose, neroli, jasmine and orange essential oils to balance the skin and pumpkin fruit enzymes (a natural AHA or chemical exfoliant) and Moringa extract to brighten, add radiance and lightly (chemically) exfoliate dead skin cells. My skin feels refreshed, balanced and soft after using and doesn't feel dry or tight. I also think although this costs £34, because you need only one pump, it will last a long time.
Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask-This is the product I have reintroduced into my skincare routine and it is amazing and I love it so much! Ok so I will give you my laypersons take on it and then google some actual real life technical stuff on it. This is a pink gel that you apply to very slightly damp skin and within seconds the pink gel reacts with the water to foam and so you look like you have a face covered in shaving foam. You leave on for 5 minutes (I tend to cleanse with the EH first then put this on and then wash/wash and condition hair/shave) and then just rinse off. It rinses cleanly, no need for a flannel. Any spots I have just seem to disappear really quickly and I haven't had a spot since using this-and I have used it every 3 days for two weeks. And that makes me super happy and my skin is so soft after using.
Ok so the actual science behind it is that this floods the skin with oxygen to brighten, clarify and revitalise skin. It also contains hefty doses of Vitamin C and E which help boost radiance and hydration giving healthy glowing skin.
I get that this is a surface treatment rather than a skin penetrating treatment but I have seen a tangible visible difference by reintroducing it and I am hooked! It is expensive, I bought mine from Feel Unique who usually run a discount code.
Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser-I have to admit to not being blown away by Tata Harper products so far. I tried the Nourishing Oil Cleanser but I just felt it was ok and overpriced. I bought all three cleansers when I was in the US last year as they are cheaper there than the UK (and are not in Dubai) and I didn't realise at the time that this was a traditional exfoliating cleanser with granular bits in it. I have steered clear of these for a long time now, preferring chemical exfoliants on my face. But the grains in this are really really small so it doesn't feel harsh/stripping at all.
I use this just once a week maximum just to slough away any dead skin cells, particularly when blemishes are drying out. It's packed full of interesting ingredients: Willow bark which is naturally rich in salicylic acid, something my skin really responds well to; Aloe Vera, well renowned for its reparative and skin soothing properties to quickly combat irritation, inflammation and relieve sensitivity; Pink Clay to draw out impurities from the skin and minimise the likelihood of blemishes while apricot seed kernels provide gentle, physical exfoliation so skin feels smoother and looks polished. It's 100% natural and contains no detergents or alcohol.
Eye serum and toner
After my cleanse (after whichever one I use) I have two simple steps-an eye cream and a hydrating mist. I am not using an exfoliating toner in the morning at the moment.
Hylamide SubQ Eyes*-My eye serum is a great all rounder which addresses pretty much all your under eye concerns such as ageing, dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. The texture is almost as light as water and it absorbs immediately leaving no residue behind. Make up sits really well over it too. I really like it because it's perfect for every day use.
First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist-I love a good facial spritz and this is a great one for using in the morning because it has a nice powerful spritz to it, the toner isn't too wet and it feels cooling and soothing on the skin. The mist is infused with aromatic extracts that claim to energize and invigorate skin. I have the 50ml size so it's perfect for throwing in your handbag or gym bag or in your travel bag if you're taking a flight and FAB say it can be used to set make up too. I can't say I have seen any tangible results but I just like to spritz my face in the morning!
Serum and moisturiser
I've been trying out the newest additions to the Oskia Renaissance skincare line for about 8 weeks now and I am loving both of the products Oskia kindly sent to me. Bear in mind my skin is so 'easily upset' that sometimes all I look for in a skincare product initially is that it doesn't break me out! But if a product does break me out I tend not to keep using it and unfortunately, as much as I love love love the Renaissance cleansing gel from Oskia, my skin didn't like the Renaissance Mask and every time I used it I did break out around my chin.
So I was interested to see how I got on with these two new additions, the Oskia Renaissance Brightlight serum* and the Renaissance 360 Supreme Cream*.
Oskia Renaissance Brightlight-Intensive pigmentation and dark spot serum-I've used a hefty amount of the serum and I really like everything about it. I use a full pipette on my skin and it has enough slip to it that you can massage it in without pulling at the skin. It does have a slightly tacky feel to it but once you top up with moisturiser (and I have used this combined with a couple of different moisturisers apart from the Oskia) that feeling completely disappears. The star ingredient is ‘Nanobright', a unique, encapsulated liposome that combines vitamin C, arbutin and glutathione with Swiss garden cress, niacinamide, glycine and sulphur-derived MSM to penetrate the skin and visibly fade pigmentation whilst battling old acne scarring. This is where I see the most improvement in my skin-particularly around my chin. The serum also contains naturally occurring fruit enzymes to gently exfoliate (I spot pumpkin fruit, passion fruit, lemon, pineapple and grape oils in the ingredients) and eliminate the dead skin cells that cause a dull complexion. The serum also contains ingredients to support your skins overall health-elasticity, resilience and strength.
I don't personally really have any dark spots or hyper-pigmentation, the benefits I see are in my skins overall health and the fading of old blemish scars.
The packaging is brilliant as well-the pipette dispenses just the perfect amount and there is no dripping or wastage.
Oskia Renaissance 360 Supreme cream-Before starting my make up I finish my skincare routine with two pumps of the moisturiser from the range. This was the product I was most concerned about using because it is a relatively intensive cream and I was worried it would clog my pores-I usually go for a water based, gel textured moisturiser. My fears were totally unfounded though and my skin feels calmed, non greasy and plumped. I've had no problems at all with it breaking me out or it interfering with my make up-I hate it when skincare causes make up to 'pil' on top of it but that doesn't happen with this cream. The Renaissance 360 Supreme cream is a moisturiser specifically targeting concerns about ageing such as fine lines, loss of elasticity and dullness. The formula contains Oskia's signature MSM (here's a link to the benefits of MSM) and the Nanobright complex that is in the serum. It also has Cactus extract to calm irritation and hyaluronic acid to attract and retain moisture. My skin literally drinks this moisturisor up, making it the perfect end to my current supercharged skin routine.
I'd love to know if you have tried any of these skincare products and if you feel they benefit your skin as much as I do?
*This post contains items gifted to me. Opinions are of course, as usual, my very own