Are commercial brands like Neutrogena suitable for sensitive skin? 

opinion piece

*Disclaimer; I am not a trained cosmetologist or scientist, opinions included within this post are based on my own experience, skin type, research and opinion* 

I know I have previously mentioned all of my hundreds of skincare concerns, however I am going to reiterate for the sake of this post. My skin seems to incessantly hate me, for it doesn’t matter how much time or money I spend trying to love it – it still misbehaves almost instantaneously. The main problem is that I have suffered with acne for the last 10 years, meaning my t-zone is naturally full of oil. I was taking accutane for a year to treat my acne (a very strong drug used to treat cancer and other ailments). This drug severely dries out your skin, so now I have both permanently oily and dry skin. Oily overall with dry peeling patches. So not ideal really. 

Over the last few years, I have tried and tested a myriad of skincare brands and products. And there seems to be one thing in common with a majority of them.  They are super stringent on sensitive skin, and consequently cause an over production of sebum – making any skin issues worsen. You see, if you strip your skin of its natural oils, as a defence mechanism your skin will start to product more sebum (oil). An over production of sebum is what causes acne. This is counter productive to treating your oily skin problem, as you are in fact adding to the issue. 

If your skin feels tight after your skincare regime, you may be using a cleanser containing alcohol. Or simply over cleansing. A lot of drugstore / commercial brands use alcohol within their face washes and toners. 

I recently attended a press event for Neutrogena, where I received these skincare products in my goodie bag:Using these products just emphasised to me how there is an entire branch of the skincare industry misadvertising. If we take the above cleanser as an example, ‘gently cleanses..’ – there is nothing gentle about this cleanser I can assure you. I have attempted to use this cream wash and it totally dried out my skin. It contains alcohol AND salicylic acid. Now, although salicylic acid is known for its acne fighting properties. What these advertisers often don’t mention is that prolonged use can dry and thin skin, and cause excessive dryness. The combination of these two ingredients plus a whole host of other chemicals makes these products very drying. There are also websites where you can check if a product contains irritant ingredients, this is helpful as you can check before investing. It’s important to remember that some of these ingredients are necessary, however try to choose products with less harmful amounts of these irritant ingredients. 

I’m sure that these products may be suitable for those with less sensitive skin. However the fact that some of the ingredients are harmful to skin, rings alarm bells in my mind. 

If you do have sensitive skin, I would avoid brands that make products similar to this. Remember to check ingredients before purchasing. Here are some other tips to stop you from over-drying your skin; 

1. Limit chemical exposure 

If you can, try to cleanse with a plain oil or water. Of course you can use a gentle oil or make up remover to take off make up beforehand 

2. Tone it down 

A lot of toners are stringent and drying. They often contain perfumes, alcohol and salicylic acid. Check the ingredients, and remove them from your skincare regime 

3. Creamy dreamy 

Invest in an appropriate moisturiser for your skin type. Especially for over night moisturisation, this will help to repair skin and leave it replenished in the morning 

The conclusion is that you must be over careful when purchasing skincare products. Always check and research ingredients – and be aware of what your own skin can handle and needs. Every facial wash out there is going to emphasise how brilliant it is – we must learn to read between the lines. I think as consumers we can often become lazy, and we trust certain brands because they have a huge reputation. This does not necessarily mean that they always have our best interests at heart. Products are produced on a mass scale to make money. Sometimes, you have to stop and think about what exactly you are choosing to lump on your skin. 

Advertisements

November beauty heroes 

product review

The past month has been crazy busy; and what has been a flurry of beauty reviews, starting a new job and alcohol fuelled event launches has just flown by. Having a superabundance of products to try is certainly nothing to complain about, but it does however making choosing the best of the bunch a hard job. 

Here is what I’ve loved this month and why: 

1. Protect the skin your in 

What skin needs, Skin balm, £9.99 

Forever fighting a battle against my skin, I’m always on the lookout for ‘miracle’ products to surpress my ever growing list of skin concerns. This skin balm works at reducing several types of irritations, including eczema, dry skin, acne and sunburn. It is made in Australia, and derived from a Phyto Activated plant extract. From the first night I used it, I saw a visible difference to my skin condition. An absolute steal at £9.99. 
2. Perfect for Christmas, perfect for you 

Ghost sweetheart gift set, £38 

This gift set is amazing value for £38. It contains a 50ml version of the Ghost Sweetheart perfume (which is absolutely enchanting, without being overpowering), two nail varnishes, a candle, a make up bag and body butter. Everything smells divine, everything has rose gold on it. It’s a beauty bloggers dream. This would make a perfect Christmas gift for a loved one, or why not for yourself!? 

3. Sometimes natural 
Kiss Lash Couture Eyelashes in Little Black Dress, £5.32 

As a serial lash wearer (I feel terribly bald without them), it’s difficult to find daily lashes. The trouble of searching for a glamorous false lash that isn’t totally ridiculous in the workplace. I think I have finally found a feasible solution! Kiss’ latest Lash Couture range uses faux mink lashes, which are soft and easy to use but give a good length. They look really pretty on, a lovely flirty natural lash. 

Kiss Lash Couture Lashes in ‘Little Black Dress’

Current beauty faves that you need for Winter 

product review

Not to brag or sound terribly conceited but recently it seems I am being  sent products constantly! Several boxes arriving every week out of nowhere – it’s actually a little overwhelming. Amazing, but overwhelming. However, there are some products that are absolutely outstanding, and will be essential for the upcoming Winter season. These are the ones I need to inform you of. 

I have combination skin, meaning it can be oily and dry at the same time (it often is and it drives me barmy). It means that my face will be dry to the point of peeling skin, whilst also managing to look like I have been dipped in a chip fat fryer, all at the same time. So any products I find that can quench the dehydration my skin insistently suffers from is an absolute godsend. 
1. Spritz your worries away 

Mario Badescu facial spray, £7 

This bad boy is only £7, and contains some great ingredients to help feed skin in desperate times of dryness. Cucumber, Aloe Vera and Green Tea are all known for their renewing and rejuvenating properties. The spray is great because it provides a moisture boost before you even apply make up for the day; and I have the miniature version so it’s great for travelling and handbag use. 

2. Contour contour contour 

Nars bronzing powder in Laguna, £29

I really felt my usual girly pink shade of Blusher just wouldn’t suffice for winter. Winter make up should always be darker, in correlation with the weather and subsequent darkness we must endure. This Nars bronzer is great for dusting over cheeks to give a tanned effect, but it’s also great at one of my favourite tasks. Contouring. It gives definitive lines, and also has a slight shimmer so looks great on cheekbones. A worthy investment. 

3. Crusty lips 

EveLom KissMix, £16

This lip balm provides a cooling sensation which hydrates and protects lips, even in extreme weather conditions. Mandatory in the winter months which can leave lips chapped and damaged. A must have. 

Three reasons why you need an anti-pollution spray 

product review, top tips

So I’ve been using Verso’s anti pollution mist for around 1 week now; and to be honest nothing has changed. My skin is exactly the same as it was before. Ah I hear you cry, why are you still using it? It is not only about the visible differences, it’s not about improving skin texture. Ultimately it’s about protection. 

As we are all aware pollution is at a dangerously high level, particularly in London. And not only can it affect our physical health, it can also cause premature aging. 

Here’s why you should buy an anti pollution spray; 

1. Plan ahead 

So of course you won’t know right away if your skin is being protected, but think of the future. You don’t want damage to your skin – especially when given the choice to avoid it 

2. It’s an investment 

Some of the high end sprays can be quite pricey. But this is because the anti pollution sprays are still relatively new to the beauty scene, once they are mainstream, like anything they will be readily available in your local Superdrug for £10 and under. But it’s an investment in your skin, and you only get one skin after all 

3. Hydration 

Pollution can also cause drying of the skin, so using the mist before or after make up application can protect against drying elements. Brilliant for summer and winter. 

Deciem – far from Ordinary, AHA Peeling Solution review 

product review

The word ‘Deciem’ actually means ten in Latin, and that is exactly what the brand initially wanted – to own an umbrella of ten different companies. Deciem is the company behind The Ordinary skincare range, an award winning, yet humbly acclaimed ‘ordinary’ skincare range. 


After attending an event (an amazing event by all means) and talk between Deciem and CEO of http://www.reallyree.com, Anne Marie Lodge; I am now practically a brand ambassador. Let me take a brief moment to explain what The Ordinary is about. 


The brand has a strong focus on ingredients. They utilise seemingly ‘normal’ ingredients which have been established as popular for use within skincare. Hyaluronic acid for example, a firm favourite for skincare brands for improving elasticity. However Deciem doesn’t believe in exploiting its customers, here’s where they are different. An ingredient like hyaluronic acid is pretty bog standard nowadays, and not particularly expensive to produce. Moreover, a similar product which would contain the ingredient produced by a high end brand would probably be three times (if not more) the price. The Ordinary range is all amazingly affordable, aesthetically pleasing – and in my eyes, anything other than Ordinary. 

After attending the talk I decided to use and review the peeling solution facial peel, which is £6.30. Now, it is beetroot in colour and the same consistency as blood. But don’t let that put you off! 

The peel used a lot of free acids, and so it an be abrasive for sensitive skin. It is advisable to leave on for 5 mins if you have sensitive skin, 10 if your hardcore. (See the scientific listing of ingredients below). 

The peel promises to peel off dead skin in order to reveal newer fresh skin underneath. And it does just that. Admittedly it is very acidic and astringent, but if you don’t leave it on too long and use a good moisturiser afterwards, you should achieve amazing results. My skin is glowing from within after just one use. Considering the product is under £7, it feels like a high end spa treatment. How you could call this Ordinary, I can’t imagine! 

I was fortunate enough to receive an entire goodie bag full of the skincare range. And I have a sneaking suspicion that upon use my skin is going to be healthier, and positively glowing. ✨✨✨ 

Summer 17 skincare essentials – L’Oréal fine flowers review 

product review

I really do love a good skincare product. Even though I’ve got tonnes of skincare stuff coming out of my ears, I still shamelessly end up buying more. When I saw L’Oréal’s new fine flowers range on special offer in Boots, I really had no choice but to buy the milk and gel cream wash. 

L’Oréal is such a unique brand in that their product design is always so effortlessly classy – but yet their prices are fair in comparison to what else is on the market. Despite their good pricing, the quality is never compromised. 

Fine Flowers Milk 400ml – The cleansing milk advices you to sweep it across your face morning and night, in order to cleanse and remove make up. However, I found the milk is so soft, that I often find myself using it as a moisturiser. It smells lush, and 400ml? You’d be mad not to invest – 400ml will probably last me the entire year! 

Fine Flowers Gel-cream Wash 150ml – Both products are marketed towards dry and sensitive skin, and they both are very delicate to the skin. The face wash is free from soap and alcohol, and promised to cleanse your face without drying it. And it does just that. 

Overall review: 

I’ll be totally honest, initially I bought these products because they were so pretty. I was thinking gosh, they will look great in some Instagram flat-lays 💅🏻 

However I’m so happy I did invest, they are both great value products that deliver excellent results. I’m particularly impressed with the milk; I have very temperamental skin which is often dry, sensitive AND greasy (my skin seems to be fighting itself from within, even though I’m 24 it has not calmed down). But this milk really soothes my skin, it’s an absolute essential for Summer ’17. 

I mean, who doesn’t want softer skin!?