I've had problems with my skin since i was 10 years old, for half of my life i've been plagued (slightly dramatic) with spots, cystic acne and marks. You name it i've tried it: acids, dodgy masks, £60 facial oils to £1 pore strips. Lots have made zero difference and some have had an effect, but nothing ever completely cleared my face, until now friends ..oh yes we've cracked it.
Over the last 2 years or so there has been one product that has made a visible difference to my skin, and that product is Liz Earle cleanse and polish; I feel like everyone has used this at some point in their lives, it's a classic and for good reason. The first time i ever used cleanse and polish my work colleagues at the time even noticed a difference in my skin the next day, having only used it once - but with my love for skincare i constantly wanted to change up my cleanser, and never stuck to using it.
Fast forward to recent months, i repurchased the supersize 200ml bottle of Cleanse and Polish. It meant i was using it twice a day and thanks to the size of the bottle it also meant i used it for long enough for my skin to really see the benefits. It wasn't until the bottle of Cleanse and Polish ran out and i started using an old cleanser again, that i caught onto just how much of a difference Cleanse and Polish was making to my face; problems that i experienced before with my skin like little whiteheads and general "unevenness" started to come back after i stopped using it, so i gave in and admitted to myself that Cleanse and Polish was the one. (In cleansers terms.. obviously.)
The huge difference Cleanse and Polish was making to my skin aside, it was never completely clear; don't get me wrong it would've been like world war 3 on my face without it, but i was still getting breakouts. That was the case up until a few days before Christmas when i started using my current routine, and in at least 5 years my skin has never been clearer.
After cleansing with a Liz Earle muslin cloth (or a regular face flannel if i've run out, but the cloths are the best option), i've brought the Instant Boost Skin Tonic into my routine. This is essentially a toner but without the usual things you'd associate with old school toners, like a huge alcohol content and a horrible burning feeling on your skin; the Instant Boost Skin Tonic however is alcohol free and like all Liz Earle products, packed with natural ingredients. This goes straight onto a cotton pad and i sweep it across my freshly cleansed skin, i had fallen out of love with the toning step before using this but the tonic has changed my perception of the step all together. Without wanting to call this a "toner" but that is what i'm comparing it to, i've never known a product like this to make such a difference to my skin, i've tweeted about this product specifically in recent weeks because i just can't get over the difference i've seen and felt after using it. I do get a mild (very mild) tingly feeling after using this, which i've learned from the skincare goddess Caroline Hirons, is a good thing. I originally had a mini version of this which was part of a set my best friend got my for Christmas, but as you can see from the pictures i've now got a big old full size, i've already repurchased this.
Jumping away from the Liz Earle party that this post is turning out to be so far, i wanted to bring up a product i talked about in my first ever blog post, the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, which i believe has been instrumental in clearing my skin within this routine.
Having acne i've always had this weird relationship between cleansing and then applying product onto my skin directly afterwards. It's well known that you layer products in order of thinnest consistency to thickest - so i've always insisted on applying something before i moisturise, so i don't go straight onto my breakout prone skin with something that might have the potential to break me out.
The Effaclar duo has been filling that skincare sandwich between the skin tonic and moisturiser, and providing that level of acne/blemish fighting that turns the routine from a regular routine to one tailored to my breakout prone skin. This is probably one of the highest rated anti acne products on boots' website (don't hold me to that, but it's definitely up there), it's gentle, no fuss and it works.. what more could you want?
At this moment in time i don't have a single spot, looking back to over a month ago i would've never thought that was even possible for my face. At the start of using the routine however i did have spots, and whenever i would wake up with a new mountain on my face i would reach for the La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I breakout corrector. This is an on the spot treatment which not only helps reduce the spot much quicker than if it was left alone, it also helps to prevent the spot leaving a mark after it's gone - basically it's everything you'd want in a spot corrector and more. Even though i'm currently spotless (get it..) i don't doubt that one will pop up every now and then, so i'm keeping this in my cupboard until one decides to come along and try to ruin my day.
Finally (if you've stuck around this long) we have moisturiser. It's almost as if i can't write about moisturiser without doing my standard speech about using moisturiser when you have oily skin, but i promise i'll condense it this time.. To cut a long story short, most people with oily skin are tempted to skip moisturiser because their skin is already oily, but that is the opposite of what you want to do - often your skin is producing more oil than usual because it's dehydrated, and therefore overcompensating by producing oil. So basically, moisturise and your skin won't panic and become an oily mess, okay? It's all about balance. The moisturiser in question that I've been using is the Liz Earle Superskin moisturiser, somehow this is a fairly creamy consistency without being heavy, it absorbs quickly leaving my skin so soft and hasn't caused any problems in the breakout department, quite the opposite actually i really think this has helped.
The combination of using these products together has completely changed my face, i've been struggling with my skin for 10 years now and i can't believe i can see a light at the end of the spotty tunnel. I'm sitting here in disbelief really as i'm writing this, i've been feeling so much more confident in myself as my skin has improved and the next step will be to find something to get rid of the old marks that are still on my face, so if anyone has any suggestions, send them my way!
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Disclaimer: The La Roche Posay products we're sent to me, but as i've said in the post i've purchased them in the past and we all know around here if i get something sent to me and i don't like it, you won't be hearing about it. Everything featured from Liz Earle has either been bought with my own money, or given to me as a gift for Christmas from my best friend (who has been getting regular "look at my skin" selfies since she bought me the Liz Earle set.) This post contains affiliate links.