Facial Oils : Why, how and which ones ?

fullsizeoutput_2217DSC_0035I have been using oils at night on my face for as long as I can remember. When I first got into skincare, I was immediately drawn to them because of how luxurious they sounded.

WHY

I have combination/dehydrated skin. My t-zone sometimes gets oily so why would I you might think ? My skin truly benefits from the use of face oils. First I have to say I use them at night because I have combination skin. If I were to apply an oil during the day, it would be too much and probably sit on my skin. But in the evening, it calms my skin down, nourishes it which tends to make my face product less sebum and helps it recover from any reaction… i.e if I’ve tested too many different products which I’m often guilty of, or simply had a reaction because my skin’s extremely sensitive.

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HOW

I cleanse my face, spray thermal water, sometimes use an acid exfoliant (thought I haven’t lately because it’s too much for my skin) and then, take whatever oil I’m using, apply a few drops in the palm of my hands, and rub that on, gently. Here’s the secret : I have recently come across for the second time (can’t believe I forgot the first time I saw this), a video of Caroline Hirons explaining how to massage your face with an oil. I have been doing this technique for a few days now, and it has simply changed the way my skin look when I wakeup. I’ve talked about Caroline Hirons before, she’s simply the queen of skin. Her blog and videos are no non-sense, no bullshit, you will learn from her, I know I have ! Watch this, and do it tonight, and go thank her !

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4VpzSWd0uo%5D

Which Ones

The first one I got, that I should repurchase quite soon, is the Paï Roseship BioRegenerate Oil. I would highly recommend this if you have sensitive skin, that tends to take ages to heal and recover from spots and scars. But Paï says it works on all skin-type, so honestly, if you want to try a face oil, this could be it ! The smell is quite intriguing but in a nice way. The texture is lush, and it absorbs really quickly into the skin. It’s also a good yet reasonably priced product, and you really need the tiniest amount.

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Next up, Clarins. Clarins is a brand that I deeply trust and I haven’t yet come across a product of theirs I don’t absolutely adore. So, there’s that. Their oils, are no exceptions. Story time : I, when cleaning my bathroom last week, smashed a full bottle of the Lotus Oil on the floor. My bathroom floor’s now looking very hydrated and plumped… Anyways, the two face oils I’ve tried (they have three in total) worked wonders. I alternate between the Lotus Oil which is targeted towards “Oily/Combination skins”. Clarins says “this face oil is Clarins’ exclusive blend of Rosemary, Geranium and Lotus extracts, which purify the skin, tighten pores and refine skin texture. Hazelnut Oil softens, soothes and seals in moisture to prevent fine lines and moisture loss.” I could not have said it better myself. Whenever I’m a bit hesitant on what to use if my face’s erratic, I slather my face in this and it instantly feels happier.

The other one I use, less often nowadays because my skin’s more in need of the Lotus one, is the Blue Orchid. The smell of this one is to die for. It is soothing, hydrating, and helps fight fine lines.

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The last one, is a recent discovery. A friend gave this to me, and thought it’s not as pleasant to use as the ones I already mentioned, it’s lovely enough. It is the Overnight Detox Oil by Caudalie, aimed to detoxify and regenerate the skin. The texture is very light, which you might like if you’re scared of oils (but honestly, don’t be).

A similar one that I’ve been enjoying for years now, is the Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant facial treatment. It’s thicker, and gives you a little more playtime if you want to really massage your face. It’s quite intense so I would not use it every night, whereas I do use the others every night, not at the same time of course !

So, there you have it ! I would never be without a face oil, they’re a true game-changer, and they add that little something to the actual application of products. The smells, the textures are really comforting and luxurious, making it nicer to actually apply skincare when all you ca think about is your bed…

Do you use face oils ? Would you be kind enough to share which ones ? I’m always up for trying a new one !

 

 

The serum I would not live without

I remember distinctively the first time I bought this serum. It was the most money I’d ever spend on a beauty product. I had just started to really get into skincare, but did not know that much about it and thought it would be wise to spend money on a serum. Because if you don’t know, serums are complexe formulas that have a much bigger impact on your skin than moisturizers.

I remember thinking “Isn’t it a bit risky to buy and potentially fall in love with an higher end serum ? Because if you like it, you’ll have to buy it again, and again…” Needless to say, I certainly did !

I loved it ! And I haven’t been without it since I first got it 3 years ago.

It ? The Advanced Night Repair Serum by Estee Lauder. Yeah… That kind of it.

Whatever the state of my skin is, this serum makes it better. Truly a multi purpose product. It kind of does it all ! Sadly, it does not make me coffee, but you get the gist…

It’s always been a cult product for sure, but no one around me has ever really been into beauty, so I would read about it in magazines but always thought it maybe was too good to be true. And I bought it, tried it and fell in love with it.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way : I love the packaging, the smell is sort of medicinal and the texture is light. Also good to know : one 75ml bottle lasts me for around 6 months.

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So why would I recommend this serum to you ? Because, it has changed my skin.

My skin is now smoother, brighter, more even and seems to recover from dry patches, hormonal breakouts, reactions to too many products testing… way more quickly.

It contains hyaluronic acid, and reduces signs of ageing. I’ve noticed I’ve started to have lines around my eyes and mouth, I don’t really mind to be honest, but I feel like using ANR now, may help my skin to age beautifully.

HOW I USE IT I tend to apply it at night, after cleansing and toning. It’s quite hydrating, at least for my skin which is combination. What I really enjoy about this serum is how it simply fixes my skin. If I have spots, it calms the inflammation. If my skin’s reactive, it instantly makes it feel comfortable again. If I’m tired, I apply it morning and night, and it definitely wakes up the complexion. Whatever the state of my skin is, this serum makes it better. Truly a multi purpose product. It kind of does it all ! It does not make me coffee, but you get the gist…

Also, little tip… When I reapply concealer before going out for example, I usually mix a couple of drops of ANR with my concealer/foundation, and it wakes up the under-eye area, brightens up the skin, and makes the application even more dreamy.

It’s a hero product in my bathroom. Advanced Night Repair is a good starting point if you want to see a real change in your skin with a serum but still use something gentle that just feels really really good and soothing. I know it’s not cheap, but it lasts a good amount of time and your skin, in my opinion, is a good element to invest in.

What’s the serum or beauty product you could not live without ?

“Stick to a routine” they say. “Try everything under the sun” I thought.

You may know I’ve had skin issues for the past few months and I seem to have found products which do not make my skin angry. I now understand that my skin is very sensitive, which means that fragranced, rich or acids based exfoliating products make it react.

I think I may have had too much fun trying out many different products at the same time. “Stick to a routine” they say. “Try everything under the sun” I thought.

Now, my skincare “routine” is not the most exciting, but who cares ? I suppose I liked to have fancy serums or cheap-ish amazing moisturizers, but my skin was telling me it was not happy, I just would not listen for the sake of staying in the loop I guess. My skin’s a bit snob…

I was always shit at science in school, but suddenly my bathroom became my lab, and I could not have been happier to play the scientist.

Skincare is a magical perspective to me. It can change how you face feels, fights the outside, repairs itself at night and not like makeup, you have to wait days, months to see a difference. It’s like watching a seed grow into a flower, takes time. I have to admit that I felt great joy experimenting with products. I was always shit at science in school, but suddenly my bathroom became my lab, and I could not have been happier to play the scientist.

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But hey, guess what ? I was a shitty scientist. My skin was good, and I wanted it to look even better. I had no spots, but dark circles, what tackles that ? I had a good skin texture, but lines on my forehead, was there an acid that would make a difference ? My skin was not dehydrated but a bit grey, was there a serum that could help ?

Also, in my defense, there is a product for pretty much anything. My curiosity had no limits, because the beauty industry seemed almost limitless. Consequently, my skin reacted. More redness, some areas were a bit itchy, I thought I had allergies. I then realized seborrheic dermatitis was the main issue and so I had to give my skin a rest. More importantly, I had to be consistent with the products I was using. Same serum morning and night ? Had no other choice. If I’d change one (trust me, I did), it would completely freak out again.

So here am I, telling you all about how I stick to a strict skincare regime… Now, let me tell you about this new serum I tried.

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I KNOW.

After finishing my Avène Serum, I came across this one on Asos. I like the brand Hylamide, it’s part of the Deciem company, which also owns the Ordinary.

The name “sensitive fix” appealed to me, and I simply trusted the brand. Verdict is in : I love this serum. I use it morning and night after toning, it has massively helped the sensitivity of my skin. Paired with the Ducray moisturizer it is the skincare routine made of dreams. The serum is light, non fragranced, is absorbed really quickly by the skin, and leaves it feeling calm, protected. Also, it’s around 22 euros which is a very decent price to me, though I think I might run out soon and only got it a few weeks ago. Will update you on that !

I do have learned my lesson though. I now understand and take in consideration that I have sensitive skin, and that if I want to include a new product, I need to be very cautious, read the ingredients list, incorporate one new product at a time, and little by little…  Won’t be playing scientist in the bathroom for a while, my skin’s never been so relieved, and so much so it has stopped being snob !

 

 

Anatomy of a skin crisis

A few months ago I got a reaction on my forehead. Picture very angry skin, super irritated and extremely sensitive. Yes. Was joyful. It came back a month later, and basically now every other week my skin, well on my forehead only (and sometimes around my nose), is majorly freaking out, and I have no idea why.

First, I stopped all the lovely, beautiful, chic and somewhat expensive serums.

My GP suggested it could be seborrheic dermatitis. I’ve been trying out this Ducray cream, that seems to help, but I might actually have to just book an appointment with my dermatologist but it takes ages here in France to get one. 

So in the meantime, I have tried to save my skin. I will however, keep you updated if I make any major discovery related to the issue my skin seems to be having !

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Back to basics

First, I stopped all the lovely, beautiful, chic and somewhat expensive serums. I thought it might be best to go fragrance free in my skincare and come back to basics. We are very lucky us french, to find the brand Avène in every pharmacy. Though if you live in the UK, La Roche Posay is a very similar brand, brilliant as well.

Avène basically covers every skin condition. Just for a little bit of background, it is a cult brand, based on the use of thermal water which Avène itself describes as “a natural soothing source clinically shown by over 150 studies to soothe, soften and calm the skin.”

There’s a range for very sensitive skin with sterile products. I thought it would be best to be ultra safe with my cleanser and moisturizer. It helped a lot, now I can calm my skin down very easily when it’s irritated.

Also, anecdotic but I stopped to put makeup on my forehead. I only wear minimal makeup anyway so I’m pretty sure only I can see it… And I don’t even care if anyone can to be honest, I have to save my forehead people !

So here’s what I do now, not just when there’s a crisis, but every day since I’ve had this major reaction that keeps coming back.

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Morning 

Cleanse : when in crisis Avène Tolérance Extrême Lotion, if not, the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser which is very gentle as well.

Tone : Avène Thermal Water or Serozinc by La Roche Posay

Moisturize : Avène skin recovery cream

Night

First cleanse : I just bought the cleanser Caroline Hirons recommends for intolerant skins, the very famous Take The Day Off cleansing balm by Clinique. I absolutely love it. It’s not fragranced which surprisingly does not make it less joyful because the consistency is perfect, and it leaves the skin extra clean and soft. I think it is going to be my n°1 cleansing balm now.

Second cleanse : back at it with the Avène Tolérance Extrême Lotion.

If I travel, I’d only bring this Avène Lotion, and cleanse twice with it.

Tone and moisturize steps are also the same as the morning ones.

Voilà ! Hope it’ll help some of you.

What do you do when your skin is angry and you can’t figure out why ?