The idea of turning 32 this summer makes my skin crawl. I take care of my skin and I don't think I look 31 but it takes time to find a routine that works for you. To give you a better understanding of my skincare needs, I feel like I have to talk to you about my skin needs. I have a dry skin, that used to be very dehydrated, but thanks to acid peels and 10+ step regime, it's been blessing me with more dry to normal skin these days. My main skin concerns are dullness, fatigue, redness, sensitivity and sadly couperose skin. I'm prone to hormonal breakouts around chin area when I'm ovulating and PMSing. My forehead is prone to fine/dehydration lines and I see some smile lines around my mouth. Let me show you my guide to a more youthful complexion.
Never miss this step! Double cleansing makes all the difference in the look of your skin. Firstly break down makeup, I love Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser recently to quickly remove all traces of face and eye makeup. I use a warm cloth to remove the Cleanser and rest of the makeup from my skin. Ultrabland is a combination of oils to cleanse, Beeswax & Rose Water to give it it's unique balmy texture and glycerine. Let's have a look at the full ingredient list:
Natural: Almond Oil, Rose Water, Beeswax, Honey, Fresh Iris Extract, Glycerine, Rose Absolute, Tincture of Benzoin
Safe synthetics: Methyl Paraben, Propylparaben
I love how almost all natural it is but with the add on on some synthetics to give it a longevity. I really enjoy the cleansing process and use it either as first or second cleanse, depending on the mood. It works brilliantly for both.
Second step is about pure cleansing. I take my time, and do a facial massage when I'm cleansing. I love Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm which has a consistency of really thick gel that turns into Oil during the process and lathers when combined with water. I remove it with a hot cloth too! It smells incredible, has a great formula and I've been using it for a while now. This is my second sample size, but I'll be buying full size as soon as I finish up my samples. Let's be honest, if Caroline Hirons loves it, so will I. The combination of Sweet Almond Oil, Echium Oil and Omega 3,6,9 and Anti Oxidants makes this so gentle, yet so brilliant at the task it's been designed to do. There's few cleansers which gives my skin a radiant glow and it's one of them. Let's have a quick look at the ingredients, shall we?
Nci - Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Aqua (Water), Sucrose Laurate, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sucrose Palmitate, Parfum (Fragrance), Sucrose Cocoate, Sucrose Stearate, Citronellol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Garcinia Mangostana Fruit Extract, Limonene, Linalool, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Tetrasodium Edta, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol.
Active ingredients such as Echium Oil provide Omega 3,6,9 that work on wrinkles and fine lines, Sweet Almond Oil works as a moisturising factor and Mangosteen Fruit Extract is rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants. The wow factor's there. This works brilliantly as the only cleanse in the morning and both first or second cleanse in the evening making it a multi use gem. I find my skin to be velvety soft after use and it doesn't strip all the moisture out of it.
Sensitive skin needs a little extra TLC and on nights when my redness flares up, I calm it down with Lush Rosy Cheeks Mask. It's a light rose colour, clay like formula that goes on super smooth and makes all the difference. It cleanses and purify the skin whilst having calming effect on the sensitive bits. Super simple blend of Kaolin, Calamine and Turkish Rose Oil have restoring and calming properties. Cleansing Calamine and Kaolin will cleanse your skin and Turkish Rose Oil will soothe and nourish. Here's a full ingredient list:
Natural ingredients: Glycerine, Kaolin, Calamine Powder, Fresh Rose Petal Infusion, Water, Rose Oil, Benzyl Alcohol*, Citral*, Cintronellol*, Farrnesol*
*occur naturally in essential oils*
Safe synthetics: Rose Clay, Perfume, Geraniol
It's a perfect treat for when my skin is sensitive, feels just a little off. Rose Cheeks take the uncomfortable feel away, as it gently cleanses and moisturises. It's not only perfect for dry skin but combination types should also love it! This is as fresh mask from Lush, so it needs to be used within 3 weeks and kept in the fridge.
I'm all about formulas that work and when it comes in a simple and Pinterest like packaging, it's simply a bonus. Ordinary skincare by Deciem has revolutionised the world of beauty and the Ordinary 'Buffet' Serum works by delivering the multi-peptide benefits to the skin. It's super watery and two large drops are enough to cover the face and the neck. It gives the skin superb hydration but will also work for combination skin - for all the ingredient list and full review see - POST.
I've been using Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment* for couple of weeks now and I truly see the difference in the texture of my skin and the lines on the forehead and around my mouth. It's been kindly sent to me and I'm super grateful, as I love Merumaya brand, since I've tried their Melting Cleansing Balm!
Let's talk a little about the main ingredient. Vitamin A aka Retinol is the only proven anti-ageing ingredient and it's important to know the pros and cons of using any Retinol based treatments. Retinol is a high strength Vitamin A which delivers results not only to the top layer of the skin but is known to penetrate the epidermis and work on levels where your usual skincare just doesn't. It can be pretty drying, a good skincare follow up is a must. I haven't noticed any drying or increased sensitivity when using Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment yet but it may have something to do with the rest of the ingredients, which we'll talk about shortly. It's important to remember Retinol can make your complexion ultra sensitive to the rays, so please use it at nights only and follow up with a SPF the next morning. You should always use SPF but it's especially important to do so when treating your skin with Retinol as it can cause premature age spots.
Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment takes in the account that Retinol can cause irritation and inflammation by the way it works so it's been combined with other natural ingredients to combat the cons and bring out the pros. The maximum strength Vitamin A Palmitate (stable form of Retinol) is combined with other active ingredients like Aroleat Samphira, Matrixyl 3000, Mediacalm and Squalane. Let's talk a bit about them shall we?
Vitamin A Palmitate boosts cell turnover, peels the top layers to reveal brighten and younger complexion by also making the skin layer thicker and less prone to future wrinkles. It can be used by all skin types, it'll help with wrinkles, acne scarring and even age spots!
Aroleat Samphira is an active ingredient extracted from Sea Fennel, it imitates the Retinol results without causing irritation to the sensitive types. It's been proven to smoothe out the wrinkles and fine lines as it works at deeper skin levels improving cell communication. It's used with Vitamin A to improve its benefits and stop the cons like inflammation to occur.
Matrixyl 3000 is a wonder peptide blend of Oligopeptide & Tetrapeptife working at repairing skin at cell level. It restores Fibrillin Protein which is damaged by ageing and responsible for deep wrinkles.
Mediacalm has incredible calming properties and works against irritation and inflammation caused by Retinol, making the side effects virtually non existing. It restores the skin natural softness and improved the texture.
Hyaluronic Acid comes at two weights and restores the moisture as well as working to stop dehydration. It's a miracle product and very popular at the moment.
Lastly Squalane is naturally found in skin's lipid barrier. It reinforces skin's natural moisture barrier.
I found that even after first use, my skin felt more plumped and softer the next morning. I've only been using it for two weeks (5 days out of 7, when I don't use an overnight Acid Exfoliants) and it's been a wonder product. I was a little worried about drying my already dry skin but that's not the case thankfully. I love the scent and the packaging with the pump which keeps all of the above active ingredients safely 'fresh'. Huge fan already and I can't wait to see long term effects from this treatment.
Merumaya Concentrated Spot Treatment* is another new release from the brand kindly sent to me by their PR team. As I mentioned in the introduction, I suffer with only hormonal type breakouts especially around the chin area. The issue with breakouts and dry skin is that most breakouts relief causes even more dryness to the area and crustiness to the spot when it works, making concealing nearly impossible. If you using anti-ageing skincare, the spot treatments can work in reverse to your other ingredients rendering them useless.
I was quite intrigued to try the Merumaya Concentrated Spot Treatment as I was taken by the active ingredients in the press release. I've been PMSing for the last few days and woke up to a 'friend' on the chin. This may be the first time in my life that I welcomed it with a smile, eager to test the newbie :) I usually use a simple Sudocream to treat spots on the go but the creamy formula makes it for only at home application. My first finds about Merumaya are that it works differently to Sudocream. First of all, 3 days later the spot is still there, less red, smaller and less painful. At this point, all I would have is a crusty spot after Sudocream. It's certainly cheaper and quicker to use Sudocream but it'll leave the area dry and crusty. If it's just one spot, I wouldn't even mind but with more it could become a problem.
Merumaya Spot Treatment is less invasive and more delicate on the skin. It slowly reduces the spot, makes it less visible, less painful and reduces the redness. It makes it easy to cover up with light concealer and I apply the treatment every morning and evening and even during the day as needed. I'm impressed with the way it works and I would recommend it to anyone who suffers with dry and problematic skin. It's less harsh and it doesn't undermine the effects of your usual skincare.
I've mentioned active ingredients and I think it's time to talk about them a little more.
Concentrated Spot Treatment active ingredients are Ac.net, Sytenol, Mediacalm and Salicylic Acid. Ac.net fights the break-out's, reduces pore size. Sytenol provides antibacterial and antifungal properties and contains Retinol-lie anti-ageing activity so it works together with your skincare and not against it. Mediacalm was already discussed above and has calming effects and reduces spot inflammation. Lastly Salicylic Acid is the ingredients which fights break-outs and prevents them from happening. It can be slightly drying but given this is applied topically, it should not affect the sensitive dry skin in the slightest. It does have a tingling effect when first applied and the feeling lasts for couple of minutes. It's not really uncomfortable but you can certainly feel it. On day 4 my spot has nearly disappeared and haven't left a mark so it really made the difference.
I've been reading a lot about caring for sensitive eye areas and some experts claim that as long as your skincare works for you there, it doesn't have to be a specific eye cream, which is normally half the size and priced as your usual moisturiser. I partially agree. If your moisturiser is delicate enough and works for your under eyes, carry on, use it. The reason I still see the need for eye cream is that I feel this area needs special care. First of all, did you know that skin under your eyes is the most delicate? It's thinner than anywhere else and unless your moisturiser works to thicken your skin, I wouldn't recommend it for under eyes. Some ingredients can be in fact thinning the skin, so watch out for that. I've been loving my Origins Plantscription Eye Cream forever and I'm finally nearing the end so I started to test new eye cream. This time I've been using Caudalie Premier Cru Eye Cream. I like Caudalie and plan on testing more products as they come with zero use of parabens, phenoxyetanol, phthalates, mineral oils (paraffin), SLS and animal ingredients.
The active ingredients in the Premier Cru, inspired by the greatest wine, are Polyphenoles,Resveratrol & Viniferine. Polyphenols have strong anti-oxidant and anti-wrinkle actions. Resveratol works at forming and also have smoothing anti-wrinkle properties and Viniferine improves radiance and have brightening effects working great at reducing age spots and discolouration. I've only used it for a week or so, therefore I'll live my full review for later, but I really like this eye cream as it not only seem to instantly brighten the area but also reduces puffiness quickly. I'm looking forward to more long term benefits!
I hate to divide moisturisers as night or day creams. I choose my formula acocrdingly to my skin needs. I've been sent this Bravura Collagen Moisturising Cream a while ago - POST - and I've been liking it a lot recently actually. I usually prefer richer formulas but with excellent skincare that need is no longer appropriate. Bravura cream works at improving collagen restore in ageing skin, it's light in form and sinks in quickly. It leaves my skin smooth and it's been proving itself to work well alongside my other skincare. Choose a moisturiser that works for your needs, be that light in formula if you're more oily or richer if you're dry and dehydrated. I feel Bravura Collagen Moisturising Cream will work well with all skin types but mainly dry and combination-dry. I use it all over my face, neck and décolletage. It sinks in almost instantly, provides moisture to my skin when needs be and also keeps sebum at bay.
My guide to anti-ageing and youthful look may differ from yours in one or all steps. I think it's important to get to know your own skin. Yes it takes time and yes you'll find both great and awful formulas but with each, you'll learn something important about your skin and in the end that's a win! I truly believe my multi-step routine works for me. My skin is clearer, the texture has improved massively. I rarely see any dullness, actually I wake up with bright and radiant complexion. There's a lot of factors to it but simply, I love my skin and so should you.
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