Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Skincare Heroes and Skincare Zeroes

I have quite a few staple products when it comes to skincare and have myself quite a routine, and thought I'd mini review them and mention a couple that didn't work out. I've got dry (sometimes very dry) sensitive skin, and a lot of face washes and wipes etc. strip my skin too much and leave it flaky, raw and red. Because it's so dry, I don't get breakouts per se but like everyone I do get spots. I have to use gentle products and rich moisturisers but also have to cleanse thoroughly (but not excessively). I've found if I switch my routine around too much, my skin just isn't happy, and becomes dull, dry and sore. Whilst there are a lot of posts out there reviewing products are good for oily skin, there's not so many for skin like mine.

So here are my heroes, some of which have been part of my routine now for over 10 years!

Face Wash

Dr Nick Lowe Purifying Foam Cleanser

This is pricey at £10.16 but it lasts and lasts. In fact, I bought my first bottle perhaps 3 years ago using a £5 off Boots voucher, and then replaced it when the £5 voucher came around again (and the Nick Lowe ones don't come around often, so it must have been a year afterwards, at least?) I use it pretty much every day, morning and night, so that should give you some idea of its incredible longevity. I've just bought a similar type of foaming face wash for sensitive skin to keep at my mum's, a cheap Boots version - and the difference between the two is amazing. The NL one never leaves my skin feeling tight or dry, and definitely reduces the number of spots I get (and those annoying tiny bumps). It leaves it looking bright and feeling soft. Rave! It has a slight medicated kind of smell, but nothing overly offensive.

Day cream

Olay Complete Care Multiradiance

My mum has amazing skin, and she puts it down to using Oil of Ulay (ULAY) all her life. I swear, they should get her on a billboard - she's in her 50s and doesn't have a single line. I have more (I've been less loyal, that should teach me)! She uses the original Beauty Fluid, but it's not rich enough for me. I love the Multiradiance creams though (I use the fluid version in the summer, cream in winter) - it has SP15, is wonderfully hydrating and softening, and the shimmer in it is absolutely finer than fine (no glitter here!) working to just lift my skin tone very subtly. In winter in particular, my skin looks dull but this really makes it look its best, even without makeup. I've used this for over 10 years now!

Night Cream

Olay Complete Care Night Enriched Cream

This is a beautiful night cream, it has the Olay/Ulay scent which makes it wonderfully nostalgic for me, and it feels very soothing, healing and nourishing. When staying at my mum's I switched to a Superdrug Vitamin E night cream and my skin started looking duller in days. Not switching again!


Olay Regenerist Daily Thermal Skin Polisher

Yes, yes, this is getting to be a bit of an Olay ad. But this is a great facial exfoliant - a chemical rather than physical one, so not too harsh for sensitive skin (though I still only use it once a week at most, I wouldn't recommend using it everyday) which leaves the skin feeling so soft and smooth. I love the warming effect and it smells of apple pie! I always restock when the Boots £5 skincare vouchers come around.

Makeup remover/deep cleanser

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

I think pretty much all that needs to be said about this product already has been, but my it certainly lives up to the hype. It really does melt off makeup and leaves the skin so soft and not at all dry. However, I tend to use this only when I've been wearing makeup (surprising, that's not every day!) as using a muslin cloth on my skin every day tends to upset it a bit (it's such a diva!).

Skincare Zeroes

Good Things Creamy Cleanser

Wow did this break me out like a mofo. I'm a bit slow sometimes, in that if I get a whole bunch of spots I'll think it's because my skin is changing from being dry to oily, or because I've eaten badly, but I don't always immediately associate it with changing one of my products. Which is what happened with this, and I have a row of spot scars on one of my cheeks to show for it. I picked this because it didn't have SLS and was one of the few high street face cleansers not to, and I figured all the natural credentials and it being targeted to a youth market would make it quite gentle. I was wrong! I can't imagine what this is like on oilier skin than mine if it broke me out. But, I guess all skin is different so it might work for some. On the upside, it smells lovely, like a fruit yoghurt!

Balance Me Eye Cream

I'm sad to write this as I love the Balance Me body wash range (well what I've sampled of it through magazine freebies). I want to hug any brand that doesn't use SLS, SLES or ALS. But it's ironically the natural credentials themselves that make this not work for me. The eye cream smells lovely as it contains essential oils, but as essential oils can be irritants, this just hasn't worked out for me (my eyes are as sensitive as my skin). I thought I had an eye infection for the couple of days I used this, my eyes were so red, dry and painful. It's fine because the eye cream was a freebie, but I'm still searching for a staple eye cream (currently Boots Sensitive but I'm not keen that it doesn't have SPF).

What are your skincare heroes, and which proved to be zeroes?


  1. Interesting post, thanks for the reviews. I have pretty much the same skin type as you - sensitive and dry. I use Avene products (cream cleanser, toner, day moisturiser with SPF and night cream) but recently I tried out the new Superdrug range for dehydrated skin. Oh my word, my skin broke out in HUGE spots, particularly in the area just under both eyes. I've gone back to my trusty Avene and they've almost gone. I'm never straying again.

  2. The daily regenerist thermal polish is one of my faves! Unfortunately I've just realised it's been discontinued! So I made a panic order from eBay and purchased around 5! Haha. xx