#JanuaryJoy – Overhaul your Skincare

January is a time for fresh starts, clean slates and good intentions. I don’t know about you but I’m always in need of a kick up the behind when it comes to skin care and I can’t think of a better time than now, when I’m feeling motivated and thinking about all the events I have coming up this year that I want my skin to be glowing for.

In a moment I’m going to share my skin care resolutions and I’d love to hear yours. As with so many of the #JanuaryJoy prompts, just writing something down makes me feel much more committed to the idea and it’s fab sharing tips and thoughts with you all.

Image of and credited to Keiko Lynn

First though, I want to update you all on something I have been doing for my skin for a while now. Back in June I wrote 2 posts on Adult Acne… One busting the myths and encouraging you all to seek treatment if you need it, instead of putting up with less than perfect skin and a second detailing the acne treatments you might be offered. At the time, my skin had been particularly troublesome. Barely a day went by that I didn’t get a new red lump under my skin and whilst they were easily coverable with make-up, who wants to have to do that everyday? The spots were also leaving areas of increased pigmentation behind and after looking back at some honeymoon photos of ours, (when I had been on treatment for spots) I realised how good my skin had been and how I had really just got used to the spots, kidding myself when I had a good few days that it wasn’t that bad. Don’t get me wrong, I was by no means acne-ridden, but I certainly fell into one of the categories of women who I was trying to target in those posts – Living with acne and not feeling like I really warranted medical treatment for it.

Fast forward 6 months and after 5-6 months of treatment, my skin is massively improved. I barely get a spot now and if I do they are much less significant. My skin tone is also so much better. All the pigmentation I was worried about has almost completely faded and apart from my desert island beauty item of blusher to brighten up my monotone skin, I’m happy to go completely barefaced any time, any where. (Here I am, doing just that.)

I’m so glad I went back to my GP (GP’s have their own GP too!) and got it sorted out. As with all my other skin care tips I wanted to remind you, if one of your resolutions this year is to sort your skin out, before forking out on expensive cosmetics and skincare, go back and read those posts and think about whether you actually need professional help. (It was interesting to note, even after writing those posts, that when I tweeted about how much my skin had improved yesterday, everyone was hoping I would reveal a miracle cosmetic product.)

Ok, so skin sorted, what am I focusing on this year when it comes to my skin?

  1. My devotion to Eve Lom is unwavering but my laziness seriously gets in the way of maintaining her regime. I’m going to try my very best not to fall into bed without taking my make up off and at the very least, keep some make-up remover wipes in my bedside to use if tiredness gets the better of me.
  2. Now I’ve turned thirty, I feel like it’s time to start thinking more seriously about anti-aging products. I’m not entirely convinced any anti-aging product actually works but I am going to endeavour to apply my eye cream at night and to moisturise my neck too.
  3. On the same note, I’m going to start the search for a super-serum to improve my skin and at the very least hydrate it better.

So let’s hear your thoughts now. What are your skin care resolutions? Did you visit your GP after reading my Adult Acne posts and have you seen a difference? Or has this post made you realise now is the time?

Here’s to your best skin ever in 2013!


PS. Here are those Acne posts if you want to re-read.

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28 thoughts on “#JanuaryJoy – Overhaul your Skincare

  1. This post has def given me the kick I need! Although I still get spots, they aren’t as bad as they have been but I feel like my skin is looking a bit tired and could do with a spring clean!

    I’ve started to use a new face wash after years spent using my old reliable. This one is a Simple one and seems to be ok. I’ve also started to use a St Ives scrub once a week as a treat to exfoliate and scrub away the dirt.

    What I found that worked for me in the run-up to my wedding was microdermabrasion and so next month I’m going to start doing that again, but only once every month.

    Am really loving January Joy!

  2. My skin is also acne prone (specially one week before my period, systematically) and oily in general (with some dry spots) so I fall in the “mixed skin bag”.
    A trick I learnt during wedding planning (of all times) and it truly does help is that by fully giving up caffeine (tea, carbonated sodas and coffee included) my skin got better. I am not sure of the reason, apparently it has to do with the detoxification processes in the liver, but what I know is it worked. My skin has been much better and calmer.
    The second thing is to finally accept that as much as my skin tends to be oily I still *need* moisturizing (it is a challenge in itself to find oil-free hydrating / moisturizing lotions but there are some great products available now). I spent most of my teenage years and early 20s hating the stuff, I would not be caught dead smearing cream on my face.
    Now that I have slowly forced myself to do it, I also see the difference, and living in a mostly cold and windy country requires extra hydration.
    Of course remembering to wash my face before bed is also a struggle (at least I don’t wear makeup everyday, so in a way, it’s not *that* bad) but I know I should.

    • Funny you should mention coffee Amanda. Since being of work for the holidays I hardly drank coffee and my skin is fresh, I thought it was catching up on my sleep but now I think it could be the coffee.
      Now Im back Im going to try and stay off the coffee!

      • I’d thoroughly recommend Origins Oil Free Moisturiser. I don’t use their Oil Free Cleanser as it dries me out and I’m not that oily, but the moisturiser is so light it barely feels like you’re wearing it but by God it works!

        • Good to know, thanks for the tip 🙂 And yes, I was skeptical on the coffee trick, but there is evidence that caffeine is pro-inflammatory, so I thought I’d give it a try and it worked.

  3. My skin care is a bit of a mash up but I can finally say Ive found a routine.

    I use Liz Earle face wash with hot cloth, I only tone 2-3 times a week. I use Bobby Brown hydrating moisturiser, a day cream morning and night. I feel a night cream very heavy. I started using eye creams last year and to be honest I dont see a diiference and I tried a few. I have an avon eye cream and I stick some on at night hoping that after all this time I will wake up wrinkle free!
    When I get spots I use Sudocrem, cheap as chips and seem to do the job.

    I also can be naughty and go to bed without taking my make up off which I going to stop !

  4. I have terrible skin. Awful awful. It is the number 1 reason I am terrified to get married in 3 months. I have pretty bad acne that never entirely goes away.
    I’ve been on the pill (4 of them infact, and the implant) which eaither made it worse or made me fat. Then I ditched the lot and got some prescription ointment…which made my face so sore for 4 months I wanted to cry.
    A couple of weeks ago I went home over Xmas and forgot to take my usual skin care washes etc (Phytomer, tea-tree oil and dettol. Yes, really) so borrowed my mum’s bar of Dove soap, loved it and bought one for myself.
    Today? No spots and a few red patches where there were spots a couple of weeks ago. I don’t feel tight after washing, and yet feel squeaky clean all the time and not oily. There’s no dry patches and the little bumps on my forehead have disappeared.
    I’m holding my breath…

    I’m holding my breath that’s for sure.

      • Oh Becca, I am just alright with a make-up brush! I wear a thick layer of foundation and then concealer on top every day! I am hoping one day I can go out sans-caked in gunk.


    • Interesting! I used to use Dove to wash my face and a facialist told me it was resulting in me getting little white milia on my face and that I needed to use a face wash, but if it works for you!

  5. Definitely agree re getting more serious about anti-aging – I’m 28 and its on my mind more! I make sure to moisturise my neck, decolletage area and hands/wrists (as for some reason I find crinkly wrists very aging on other people!). I use Protect and Perfect serum and moisturiser, its the only stuff that’s proven to work so that’s good enough for me!

  6. My skin is pretty much what you have described and I too have previously fallen into the trap of just living with adult acne because I always got the impression from my GP that they had more important things to deal with and my skin wasn’t one of them!

    I know you’re probably not keen on saying but it would be interesting to know what prescription worked for you.

    A few months ago I paid to see a specialist dermatologist who prescribed an oral antibiotic, deffierin cream and duac gel. Thankfully my skin has seen a vast improvement 🙂

    Only problem is I’m not sure how long I will need to stay on antibiotics for not keen on taking them long term.

    • PS: I cannot recommend Avene Cleanance Cleanser enough! It has helped massively and I notice a real difference in my skin when I rum out of it or stop using it. My dermatologist approved or it too 🙂

      • PPS: If your skin is really getting you down, please please don’t wait like I did, get straight on to your GP and if they cant help you see a specialist if you can, I wish I had done so years ago.

  7. I started using Eve Lom after a recommendation from Rebecca and use it as many evenings a week as I can. My biggest tip is to change your pillow cases regularly because that linen touches your face for 8 hours a day. I then use follow it up with Origins eye cream and zero oil moisturiser. Sometimes, if I’ve done the whole “holding my face for ten minutes thing bla bla bla” I won’t moisturise because my skin feels soft enough.

    I regularly go without make-up and probably only wear it two or three times a month. I find that when I do wear make-up, I get problems with my skin whereas, usually, I probably only have a spot or two at that time of the month on my jaw line or side of my head.

    • Becca some time before my wedding I read that you weren’t wearing make up (either here or on aow) so I tried it and my skin improved beyond all recognition. I used to wear quite a bit for work but now just wear a bit of powder and mascara unless I have a big meeting and when I started wearing more a few months ago I really noticed the difference in my skin in a bad way. Eve Lom and decleor oils for me; the fewer irritants the better!

  8. In recent months, I’ve started to notice that my skin is aging more. Not from a distance but up close, I’m not liking what I see!

    I too am making a conscious effort to take off my make up and moisturise every night but I’m on the look out for a decent eye cream that works and won’t break the bank! If anyone can suggest anything I’d be v grateful.


  9. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Rebecca for the previous skincare posts. After reading them last year I finally realised I should go to my GP and do something about my acne.

    I’ve just turned 30 and whilst I religiously use good products (Dermolgica) I found I was getting regular spots particularly around my period and increasingly a lot of uncomfortable blind spots. You know the ones where although they’re ok to cover up but they feel HUGE and so sore! A combination of an upcoming wedding, regular monthly facials and a course of Zineryt from my GP meant by the end of last year and the time of my wedding my skin was soo much better. I’ve not been using the Zineryt since the beginning of December and I’ve noticed my skin breaking out again…I think a return trip to the doctor may be in order.

    But I would never have considered my GP if it wasn’t for Rebecca’s post and the part about sticking with a treatment religiously to see the results was great advice and so true. I emailed the post to my best friend who was in the same position as me and she has since visited her GP too!

  10. I thought somebody would wonder what I am taking (still) and V&R you’re right, I don’t really want to say as I don’t want any of you to think that what worked for me will work for you. Everybody is different.

    However what I will say is that prior to my wedding I had had 2 topical treatments. The first one was ok, but I didn’t like using it, then I went back 10 weeks prior to my wedding in a flat panic and was given something else which worked really well, quite quickly. With hindsight I’m not sure if I was more invested in applying it religiously given the impending date and I certainly tailed off using after the wedding as my skin only slowly started to deteriorate, so again I wasn’t as motivated.

    More recently I still had that topical treatment but despite my skin problems I found (because I’m a bit sloppy at removing my make up) I wasn’t applying it consistently and as a result wasn’t getting results. So when I went back to the GP I asked for an oral antibiotic and am much more compliant with that.

    This is why I say it’s much better to discuss with your GP – compliance is a huge issue when you need to take something for 6 or more months for optimal results and something that fits with your lifestyle is always going to be more effective than something you don’t like. Some of you may on the other hand prefer to avoid an antibiotic and be happy to religiously apply the cream. Do go back and read the treatments post – just because one hasn’t worked for you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try one (or as many as it takes) other.


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  12. I am prone to breakouts, especially around my period. I think because my skin was much worse when I was younger, I feel that I can deal with the small breakouts that I do get. I used to go to the doctor and try different things but in general I hate going to my doctor and so I’ve pretty much given up on that route.

    I have been using ESPA products for over a year and me skin feels healthy and I cannot praise their moisturisers enough. The pot lasts for several months and I think my skin looks more ‘glowy’ than ever before. I am worried about wrinkles and so feel that I need to invest in good products now. For these harsh winter months I have been using their ‘Cellular Hydration Intensive Serum’ under my moisturiser and it has helped me to combat dry patches. I have raved on about their products so much that I have now converted both my mother and mother-in-law. I think that a treat to a facial every now and then is a good idea too. 🙂

  13. Rebecca, would you have any advice for skin pigmentation that’s sun related? I’m 40 and although I’ve always used sunscreen I’ve developed a noticeable patch on my cheek during the last year (my childhood years at the beach are coming back to haunt me). I cover it with concealer and I’ve been trying Garnier’s Dark Spot Corrector, without success. I’ve been considering Avene’s Dark Spot Lightener and Clinique’s Even Better version, but it’s an awful lot of money to spend.

  14. Bit late to the party here, but I just wanted to say I am really bad at doing the Eve Lom/ Liz Earle hot cloth routine at night as I just can’t be bothered. I asked for some Shu Uemura make up removal oil for Christmas as an alternative and I am loving it! Just one pump massaged into your face, rinse with warm water and done – it makes my skin feel just as clean as a hot cloth cleanser (it’s even fab on mascara) but it seems so much quicker.

    I think I am one of those people you are talking about who thinks their skin isn’t bad enough to take to the GP. My husband is a GP and always says they won’t mind (they’ll just be glad you aren’t a “difficult” patient!) but I still ignore him. I was on low dose antibiotics for about 6-8 months before our wedding, which made a huge difference, but now my skin is getting worse again and like you, I kid myself it’s fine when I have a few good skin days.

    What I’m wondering is, how long should you stay on the antibiotics for? I presume not for ever, but after I stopped them things seemed to get gradually worse again. With using the antibiotics long term I worry about excreting them into the environment unnecessarily (I know, I’m wierd!)

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