beauty, Product Reviews, Tricks, Tips & Advice

Facial Skin Care Basics

I’ve always been a big believer that the key to gorgeous makeup is having healthy, clean skin as a foundation.

I’m lucky that I’ve never had issues with acne, although I do still get the occasional spot. I do, however, have issues with dry skin, blackheads and horrible wrinkles around my eyes (thanks to some terrible allergies!), so I’ve had to put a lot of effort into looking after my skin.

The basics start with making sure you drink enough water to stay hydrated (something which I sometimes forget!) and a good, balanced diet with plenty of veg.

Other than that, here are a couple of completely affordable products which I absolutely love!

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water 

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I use this stuff every day and it’s amazing! It takes all makeup off so easily, even liquid eyeliner and mascara, and it’s really gentle as it does it. There’s no need to rub at your skin at all.

As I’ll talk about in a bit, I have to be really careful with the skin around my eyes so I can’t use any kind of makeup remover where I’d need to scrub at or pull the skin, so this is the perfect option for me!

After a quick Google, apparently it work by having micelles in the water which are little lipids which form little spheres when in water (if you want to talk science it’s because they have one hydrophillic side and one hydrophobic one… but I’m only interested in that because I used to study Biomed!) – think of how oil collects into little droplets in water – it’s like that but on a really tiny scale.

Not to get too complex, but as you pass the liquid over your face, the hydrophobic side of the molecules (which don’t like water!) basically catch all the oils, dirt, old makeup and stuff and cling on to them. Then all the molecules go back to forming their little spheres with the hydrophobic parts on the inside and hydrophillic (water-loving!) bits on the outside – this traps all the oils and bad stuff on the inside of these little spheres. This lets them be easily swept away from the skin and onto the cotton wool pad you’re probably using.

This leaves your face all clean and oil- and makeup-free! Science is so smart. 

Quick Fix Facials Face Masks

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I probably use one of these at least once a week, if not more often. These two are my favourites: the Exfoliating Scrub Mask and Purifying Charcoal Mask.

I’ve popped the Amazon links for these 2 above but at the moment they’re really overpriced (around £13 – £15 at the time of writing) while I payed about £5 or £6 each in my local Boots, so shop around for these!

These are both so great though; with each of them you just coat your face in the masks, sit back and relax for 5 – 15 minutes, then rinse them off with water!

The exfoliating scrub is lovely although it looks a little strange when it’s on because it’s a pretty grim creamy colour with lumps… when rinsing this one I like to just gently rub my skin in little circles and it really does leave my skin so smooth and clean!

The Purifying Charcoal Mask smells amazing because it contains cinnamon extract and I love that it sort of hardens a little on the face so I know when it’s ready to be rinsed off. It’s especially nice to use on my chin where I tend to get a lot of blocked pores and my cheeks where my pores are quite large in places because it’s really great at cleansing deep down and leaving my skin looking really clear.

Garnier Moisture Matte Daily Oil-Free Moisturiser 

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My skin is terrible for being super-dry on the nose and chin, while also being super-oily on the cheeks and forehead. It is the worst. So I need a moisturiser which is going to help both areas!

This one is perfect for it and always leaves my skin super-soft and smelling lovely. Plus, the price is crazy, I picked my latest bottle up in Asda for £2!

Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur Eye Cream 

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Ok, Storytime: When I was living and working in Oxford I was allergic to something. To this day I still do not know what but I do know it destroyed my eyes. I was there on my year out from uni so I had to put up with 14 months of this hell before the doctor finally gave me eye drops which helped a little… and then a month later I moved away and go so much better!

The main problem was my eyes itching and watering and itching and being sore and ITCHING. I tried my best not to rub them much but sometimes it was just TOO MUCH and sometimes I was asleep and couldn’t help it. The skin around my eyes got dry and red and sore, some days I could barely touch it. It got loose and wrinkled and literally aged me about 20 years. I was 21 / 22 with the eyes of a 40 year old – no exaggeration.

I can’t believe I’m posting this because my eyes were seriously ugly for over a year… but here is my eye transformation:

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Quick note about ages: Before Oxford photos I’m 20 / 21 ; Living in Oxford I was around 21 / 22; and in the After Oxford photos I’m 23.

Other than just getting away from Oxford, this eye cream was my saviour and I’ve been using it ever since! You see an immediate improvement when you put it on; the skin around your eyes looks smoother, feels softer and wrinkles immediately shrink and don’t look as deep. I cannot state enough how lost I would be without this stuff!

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Cleansing Lotion & Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion

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Just to mention these two quickly because, again, these are products I use every day. I just sweep them over my face using cotton wool pads and they help keep my skin clean and looking great!

I’ve tried a few different cleansing lotions and these 2 are my absolute favourites.

L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Anti-Aging Super Serum

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m a big believer that when it comes to reducing the appearance of aging, like most things in life, prevention is easier than the cure. I don’t want to get to 40 or 50 and then start worrying about the wrinkles I already have. At 23 I already have the lines around my eyes and my ‘laughter lines’ (or nasolabial folds if you want to get scientific!) are already starting to deepen and become noticeable.

So, I want to do all I can to reduce the appearance of these wrinkles and any more that appear! I’ve not tried too many anti-aging creams or serums or lotions or anything but I am a fan of this one, that said, I wouldn’t be opposed to trying some others.

Bio Oil

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Bio Oil really is a miracle worker. It’s often spoken about in terms of getting rid of stretch marks which I thankfully don’t have a problem with but it’s also great for reducing the appearance of scars and helping even out skin tone which is what I use it for.

On the face, I like to apply a little to a cotton wool pad and just run it gently over my skin. It contains Vitamins A and E so it helps my skin-tone look really even, as well as making the skin softer and reducing the appearance of aging. According to Google (again!) it helps strengthen the collagen and elastin in the skin, making the skin more supple and elastic, which reduced the appearance of wrinkles – I’m sure this has helped the skin under my eyes get better too!

What are your skin care favourites? Let me know down in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Facial Skin Care Basics”

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