I’m not made of money, and my skincare reflects that. It’s skincare on a student budget.
That said, when you look at my skincare you’d also be forgiven for thinking that I was the ripe old age of 14 and puberty was bitching about with my face. Like I’d seen a few adverts on TV with some cool looking youths like ‘wow, I’m so attractive thanks so this spot gel’ and thought damn, time to get me some of that.
And hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes we need to strip everything back to simplicity and then build from there.
I’ve been through a million different skincare regimes in my life. A million different cleansers and toners and whatever, from budget to high end. Nothing has ever really lasted me longer than a few months, and nothing has ever given me that wow factor. I’ve never really found anything I’d ‘swear by’.
But, a few months ago, I had a thought. Things haven’t wowed me because I haven’t needed to be wowed. My skin is in excellent condition, and in fact whenever I changed my routine it all went a bit tits up. What I’ve been doing all along has been perfect, and I never even knew.
So what is this miracle skincare? How much does it cost? Is it created from dragon tears and unicorn blood? Nah. Not even close. In fact, it’s the kind of stuff you’d dismiss as ‘skin stripping’ and generally awful. All that teenage skincare that we’re all told is actually terrible for us.
First up is Clean & Clear’s Deep Action, Oil-Free, Cream Cleanser, bought at Boots for a whopping, wait for it… £3.15. Wild times. I’ve been using this since forever and ever. Literally since that first spot appeared that first time and I panicked and went and bought whatever TV told me to buy. In fact, for a long time this was only really used when I was home from uni – my ‘normal’ skincare tended to stay up in Durham and I just made do with what was in the bathroom over Christmas/Easter or whatever. Weirdly I never noticed that I went back to uni absolutely glowing and came home again at the end of term like a great grease monster. Good times.
The cleanser is mildly drying, like all good blemish care tends to be. It goes on ice-cold and tingles like oooo, and is fab first thing in the morning when all you want to do is curl up and go back to bed. You do need to moisturiser after, obviously, but it actually isn’t that bad. Especially compared to some other absolutely awful brands out there. Overall, I’m happy as a clam.
Boot’s own Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Toning Lotion, at a staggering £3.59 a bottle. Wild wild times indeed. I use this after cleansing for a really deep cleanse and tone, or simple by itself as kind of a micellar water thing. The latter tends to only happen a) when I’m far too tired and lazy and just need to go to bed asap, and b) when I’m not actually wearing any makeup anyway, and can’t be bothered to wash my face properly. All good. The scent is a bit strong (as you’d expect) but it’s all cool. Excellent toning and even better with all those ingredients that are supposed to keep you clear. Anti-bac and skin calming go together like tea and biscuits.
Finally, for when I need a little something stronger, we have Sephora’s Double Duty Exfoliator & Mask. Okay so maybe this isn’t all teenagey and stuff. Maybe I’m going a bit la-de-dar and going to Sephora and living in Paris. You’re just jealous. This stuff is the bomb. Annoyingly I can’t find it as a single product on the website, which might explain why I picked it up for about 4€ by the till. Here it is in a set, including a body scrub and moisturiser. This goes on as a mask for 5 mins, normally while I shower, or can be used as a scrub. Smashing stuff. It leaves the skin super soft and clean, perfect for clogging up again with makeup. The dream.
What do you use to keep your skin happy?
Is there anything you think I should try?