My Acne Journey: How I cover my scarring and redness

After my first post about the troubles I’ve had with acne, and the hyper pigmentation it has caused, it was suggested that I do a post about how I cover my skin, makeup-wise. I had planned to do it anyway, as being able to cover my skin makes me so much more comfortable about my skin, but really, I like applying makeup and taking time to do it. With the fame that the ‘no makeup selfie’ has amassed and an article recently on Mail Online, I felt it was a good time to do this post.
Continue reading “My Acne Journey: How I cover my scarring and redness”


My Acne Journey: The Routine







I got some really good feedback from my Acne Journey post last week, so I thought I’d show you exactly what I’ve been using and doing in order to improve the state of my skin.

My favourite cleanser to remove makeup is Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with cottonseed. I’ve used this for years and it just gets rid of everything!! I use this as a my main first cleanse to remove my makeup at night. It’s soft on my skin but just dissolves makeup so easily, I couldn’t be without!
One of the main changes to my routine was using a cleansing balm. Both of the ones I’ve used are organic and just give me that extra deep clean feeling afterwards. I’ve used the Jennifer Young Improve and Remove Cleansing Balm, and a DIY one. I’ve found that massaging these into dry skin after my first cleanse seems to work wonders. For one thing it relaxes me before going to bed, but my skin feels soothed and rejuvenated by just a 5 minute massage!
I saw the DIY Cleansing Balm on Gemsmaquillage a while ago. Click the link to see how to make it.

I’m not great with toner, but again I’ve been using the Jennifer Young Facial Spritz after my cleanse. It instantly refreshes my skin and preps it for whatever I use next.

For the morning I like moisture, so I reach for the Clarins HydraQuench Bi Phase Serum. So light, but so powerful and effective for dehydrated skin! Although I have acne, my skin is definitely dry/dehydrated so getting water and moisture into my skin is a priority!
For evening, I’ve been loving the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair 2. A tiny drop of this and I’m warding off any early signs if ageing as well as intensively hydrating and repairing my skin!

For morning, I follow my Clarins serum with the Clarins HydraQuench Cream. This range is all about boosting water levels, so even if your skin is oily, you can use this range. You just need the right texture. The cream is for a normal/dry skin. It sinks into my skin so quickly, and instantly feels comfortable and ready for primer or foundation.
For night I’ve been using a slightly richer formula, the Jennifer Young Improve and Remove Moisuriser. This one can be used for daytime too, I just find it’s slightly too rich. However, it’s perfect for nighttime. It smells like a spa and just relaxes me before bed!

I try not to over exfoliate my skin, but I’m aware that it improves the results of all other products you use so try to do it around twice per week (oily skin should only really need it once). I flit between a chemical exfoliant, Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner, and a manual scrub, Clarins Gentle Refiner. I sometimes even mix a little of both of these products at the same time, as they do a similar thing in their TriActive Facials.

I have recently been using the Origins Clear Improvements Charcoal Clay Mask once per week. It literally feels like it’s drawing everything bad out of your skin. Although, I don’t really like how my skin feels after using it, so I whack on some Clarins (surprise surprise!) HydraQuench Cream Mask. This again just gets more moisture into my skin.

I feel that routine in itself is what has helped my skin so this is the basics of what I do:
Evening – Double cleanse, toner, eye cream, serum, moisturiser
Morning – Single cleanse with cleansing balm, toner, eye cream, serum, moisturiser
Twice per week (usually at night)  Double cleanse, exfoliate, mask x2, eye cream, serum, moisturiser.

I have also kept these products for a good few months. I’ve not been chopping and changing what I use, which I also think has helped.  My skin is settled into this little routine and it seems happy with it, so I’ll be sticking with it for a while.  The only thing I’d really like to try is the Alpha H Liquid Gold. Anyone tried it?

Thanks for reading!


Links from this post (not sponsored):
Clarins HydraQuench range
Jennifer Young
Estee Lauder

Take 4 #4

A rare weekend off for me! I would normally be lolling around in bed until the wee hours of the afternoon, but today I’m actually heading to London to be part of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway audience! There’s a small possibility that I’ll be picked to play Win the Ads, but if not I will have had the best time there!

Whilst in London we hope to go to Angel after the show, take in a few bars and grab some munch. Any recommendations there or anywhere else close to the south bank would be greatly received!

I’ve had a great response so far from my Acne Journey post, so thank you for tweeting me/commenting or getting in touch with words of encouragement. It really means a lot!

Going all out and proclaiming my love for the Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express Smokey Eyes mascara. I’ve been reaching for this all week, even over my Benefit They’re Real!

Have a lovely weekend, what’s everyone going to be up to?

My Acne Journey

Ever since starting my blog I’ve wanted to talk about my skin. I have referred to it when talking about products, but I wanted to speak more openly about my trials and tribulations!

I have had acne since the age of 14, I’m now 25 and still suffering from angry looking redness and scarring over most of my face. When I refer to ‘scarring’ I don’t mean pock-marks where skin is dented, just extremely red marks from where spots have been. (I will be including some pictures throughout this post to illustrate different things.) The scarring is not painful and most of it is smooth to touch. I do still get bruise-like spots under the skin, and the usual ‘monthly’ type but I can usually deal with them and cover them up until they depart. It’s the red scarring that I’ve not been able to rid.

That’s how my acne is at this moment, but over the years it has changed. At around 14-16 it was on my forehead, chest and back. I used to keep my hair really long so that it would cover my back when I was wearing vest tops or anything that showed part of that area. Between 16/17-21 it started to ‘drain’ down my face. Where I had never had any skin issues (cheeks), I started getting a spots, and, more importantly, scars. (FYI my forehead/chest/back are not scarred at all.) At around 22 I felt I was starting to grow out of it, when another health issue arose meaning I needed to take a very very high dose of steroids over a short time frame (5 days). This dose was so high the pharmacist questioned if my prescription was correct. Since I had to take this type of dose two years running (2011/2012), my skin has never really calmed down.

In terms of looking after my skin, I’d say I haven’t been the best and haven’t been the worst. I trained as a beauty therapist and worked for a luxury skincare brand for 4 years, I know how to look after my skin. However the one thing I neglected on a semi regular basis was removing makeup at night. I know , I know there was a huge intake of breath then(!), but to be honest, I was just a bit lazy! Obviously I would thoroughly cleanse in the morning so my skin always got a good daily clean, I was just too lazy of an evening.

I know many people will say that that was the culprit of my bad skin, but I have to say I partly disagree. How can my mom (1/2 same DNA) have spot free skin her whole life when I’m stuck with what I’m stuck with! I really believe it is more down to a hormone imbalance and probably a lack of drinking water, (I really do not get the time/opportunity to drink during the day) combined with not removing makeup at night.

Since I am a girl, I’m lucky enough to be able to cover most things on my face with the joy of makeup! It was only when my makeup started to look terrible and wear off too quickly that I thought I should really give myself a talking to.

The pictures below show a few images of the redness at its worst.

Admittedly the iPhone flash is the worst camera flash in history, so some images look worse than I felt it was in ‘real life’ but you can see how angry it is.

I have been sporadically taking pictures of my skin over the last 18 months or so. Mainly to just keep a tab and compare for myself, maybe I always knew I’d start a blog and talk about it! So the 9 above are anything from 18 months ago to 9 months ago.

The next two images show me immediately after a Clarins Tri Active facial treatment. This one was also taken in daylight.

You can see I have some enlarged pores on my cheeks, but luckily I don’t get too many blackheads. The redness is obviously still prominent but it’s less angry than the first images. These two were taken around 8 weeks ago.

These pictures have been taken this week. I took them just before I did my Cat Flick makeup look. To me, my skin seems much calmer, less irritated and looks much smoother. In real life, I may be tempted to leave the house without makeup, only on a day off though when I won’t see anyone I know!

I think I’ve come a really long way from the first set of images, and I think most of the improvement has happened in the last 5 months. The one thing that I can say I’ve done in that time is to stick to a routine. That has consisted of an evening routine of removal of my makeup followed by a second cleanse with a cleansing balm, exfoliate around twice a week, use two different masks once per week, and apply a serum and hydrating moisturiser afterwards. I have been trying to do this as soon as I get home from work, but if not that I have always done this before I go to sleep.

I will most likely do a post on the products that have been helping me over these past few months, but I feel I’ve babbled a bit much now! I’d love to hear what you use if you have similar skin issues to me, or link me to a post if you have done one.

Happy weekend guys!


Other posts about my acne journey:
Skincare Routine
How I cover my scarring and redness