Thursday, 8 March 2012

Clinic on Thursday - Clinic is Closed.

CLINIC IS CLOSED. ANY FURTHER QUERIES RECEIVED AFTER 12PM ON 9TH WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED - SORRY!


The Clinic is officially back. Thank you for your supportive comments last week. You lovely people ROCK.

Remember - if your skin is really bad, a picture is really helpful. Feel free to email it if you want privacy.

And a very gentle reminder of things I usually say/recommend:
  • use a non-mineral oil based cleanser
  • wash your face properly and if you have to ask if you're doing it 'properly', you're probably not - go read this - it may answer some of your questions..
  • stay away from mineral oil/petrolatum on your face - especially when it's the main ingredient in a £150 face cream
  • if you are over 40 you need to step AWAY from the organic/natural trend and say hello to active ingredients, vitamin A and peptides - I hate to break it to you - but you need a chemical
  • if you would spend more on a handbag/pair of shoes than you would on skincare for YOUR FACE - you NEED to have a word with yourself
Alrighty then.

Crack on. *rubs hands with glee*

100 comments:

  1. Hi Caroline,

    I'm asking on behalf of my boyfriend -- he has really oily skin (the kind that gets oily quick!), large pores, quite a bit of scarring from acne, and definitely is acne-prone. The problem is, he doesn't moisturise because he's convinced all moisturisers will clog up his skin (he says he's tried both water and the usual mineral oil suspects). I'd really like to get him something good for the skin but I don't want him to just use liquid gold (which I'm purchasing for him). What would be a good innocuous moisturiser that shouldn't cause breakouts? Thanks so much for doing this!!

    Oh he's using alpha-h's balancing cleanser which he likes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No idea if Caroline will agree - but I've recently convinced my boyfriend (who has similar sounding skin) to use the Malin + Goetz Vitamin E moisturiser. He seems to really like it, as does his skin!

      And the bottle tells you thats it's (a) oil free and (b)non-clogging (which really is a horible word!!) - which made him happy to use it.

      Delete
    2. oo thanks. maybe I'll get him a bottle and force him to try it.

      Delete
    3. Erm Ladies - at least WAIT for me to answer! :)

      Yes Malin is good - also try Anthony Logistics Oil-Free Moisturiser. And the Glycolic Cleanser - Lush.

      Delete
  2. Any suggestions for good spot-treatments? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Aesop have a lovely new one coming out any day. Lovely light gel. Also just use any clay mask topically on just the spot. You can do that every day to dry it out.

      Delete
  3. Hello. Thank you for doing this. I'm 30,an Asian and have combination skin but still get zits and pustules like when I was a teen. They leave behind dark brown marks. I've also got some pigmentation on my face from my 2 pregnancies. Would you please suggest something for the pigmentation/ brightening skin up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of brands now have ranges designed to deal with these problems. Darphin, Decleor and Alpha-H all have products aimed at pigmentation and they are all great brands.

      Delete
  4. Hi caroline, i'm 23 normal to combination skin, not really sure about my skin type really. I used to have mild acne in my teenage years uptil i was about 16, when i stop washing my face and just moisturise, it worked fine, and but i had quite dry skin then. However, when i was 22, i started getting rashes on my neck due to a bad allergic reaction and started washing my face again. That's when the problem started, I was breaking out on my cheeks and getting clogged pores, as I believe i was using the wrong products.First i was using caudalie's foaming wash(which was too harsh) then i switch to origins oil cleanser(which was too oily) then i switch to neal's yeard wild rose balm (which was again too moisturising) and finally i switch to pai rose and camelia cleanser (which was better but still a bit oily for me). This all happened last year, up until december 2011 when i went to see a skin specialist, and she recommended using cetaphil gentle skin cleanser and neostrata ultra smoothing lotion (glycolic moisturiser). It worked really well for me as I have stop getting pimples, but i do still get dehydrated bumps? so i switch to a moisturiser which was working for me in my teenage years (anneborlin rose day cream) which works great now. I have stop the neostrata for about 2 weeks and no more dehydrated bumps/clogged pores. I've also been using the alpha h balancing cleanser on days when i'm wearing makeup to remove my makeup and the nuxe hydrating mask when my skin is feeling dry. However, my main concern now is some scarring, and sometimes i do get random bumps which looks like mosquito bites?or are they clogged pores?How do i diminish my scars, and am I doing everything right?Also I am planning on getting a gentle calming facial as my skin is quite sensitive, but i have no clue where to get it here in london. My budget's around 150 ,but i'm willing to pay more if it's really good.And i'm thinking or purchasing the firm's heal gel for my scars though i'm still not sure! Thanks in advanced!!! i really appreciate you helping us with all our skin issues!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try Fern Clinic in North London for the facial. Brilliant.
      Heal Gel is a definite recommend - try Victoria Health.

      You can also use the brands listed in the comments above and their ranges for pigmentation - for example Kate Somerville makes a cleanser called Detox Daily which helps with current spots and pigmentation from previous ones.

      Delete
  5. Hi Caroline, I just wanted to say thank you for your reccommendations for the EH cleansing balm and Alpha H liquid gold - they have changed my skin for the better :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank you for letting me know. :)

      Delete
  6. Hi Caroline, I was wondering if you would recommend estee lauder's advanced night serum? I am prone to spots and always get scars after them which has left my face with red patched everywhere and can't seem to find any products that work.

    Thank you x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to find a good product to fade red spot marks too, I've been left with a few on my cheeks.

      Delete
    2. For scarring? No!

      Try Heal Gel from Victoria Health. And keep them really well hydrated in the meantime.

      Delete
  7. How does one know if a cleanser has mineral oil in it or not? (sorry if that's a stupid question or has been covered before!)Is it obvious from the ingredients?

    Can you name a few of the best ones please? I currently use the MAC one, which I really like, but I'm unsure if it has mineral oil in it.

    Thanks! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was my question exactly! A list of your favourite would be really helpful, I'm very near the bottom of my current bottle of cleansing oil.

      Thanks!
      @photographamy

      Delete
    2. I have this list bookmarked - hopefully it will help you both:

      Paraffin oil; liquid paraffin; paraffinum liquidum; light liquid paraffin (paraffinum liquidum); paraffinum perliquidum; oil mist; oil mist (mineral); mineral oil mist; mineral; mineral syrup, mineral oil hydrocarbon solvent (petroleum); mineral oil (saturated paraffin oil); petroleum; white mineral oil; white oil; white mineral oil mist; hydrocarbon oils; petroleum hydrocarbons; paraffinic; petroleum jelly and soft paraffin.

      Delete
    3. Hi All.

      The MAC one to my knowledge is mineral oil free.

      I prefer a balm like I've said before. Emma Hardie, Suti, Clare Harvey all good. As long as you are staying away from mineral oil and rinsing with a flannel in fresh water - you should be fine! :)

      Delete
  8. Hello Caroline. Bit of a different skincare question from me, but I am hoping you will be able to help! I am expecting my first child in September, and knowing you have children and are a complete skin care guru, I was wondering if you think there is anything out there that is going to be genuinely helpful in preventing stretchmarks? Or is a case of just keeping the skin well moisturised and hoping you are lucky? My Mum didn't use a single product while she was pregnant and has not a single one, whereas my Dad has them just from a growth spurt in his teens, so I guess that means some people are more prone than others. People always seem to recommed bio oil for this, but I can't really see why it is supposed to be better than anything else seeing as its mainly mineral oil! Any suggestions would be gratefully recieved, thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the name of all that is good and holy STAY AWAY from Bio Oil. LesS said on that the better.

      Stretch marks are mostly genetic - but the good news is that you tend to follow your mum in all things birth related.

      Clarins Tonic Oil took me through 4 pregnancies with 10lb babies and I am mostly free of stretch marks.. Also lovely is Elemis Camelia Oil but Clarins wins it for me on the ease of dispensing.

      CONGRATULATIONS!

      Delete
  9. Almost scared to ask this, but here goes - Snoxin Serum, your thoughts?! (Apparently it has "six Next-Generation Age-Killing Peptides - the over use of capitals and hyphens has set alarm bells ringing tbh!) background - 46, fine lines, couple nice big frown lines between eyebrows that make me look permanently peed off, was sensitve now not so much, dry skin hoping to be proactive by slapping on peptides!x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried it - I actually don't mind the ranges like Snoxin - they're giving you what the big houses would charge you £££££ for.

      They work but remember it will always be temporary. When you stop using it - they are there in all their glory!

      Delete
    2. Thanks very much Caroline, I have actually purchased some of the Dr Nick Lowe The Secret is Out range but will bear the Snoxin in mind for future.

      Delete
  10. Dear Caroline,
    Apologies for how long this is – just thought it would be best to give you as much background as possible – I have reached disaster-mode and am really struggling with how to deal with my skin.
    I am 21, and had near-perfect skin (i.e. max 1 spot per month) until a year ago, and since then I have experienced extreme changes in my skin. In the last year, I have had various gynae issues that led my doctors to change my form of contraception three times in four months, which I originally thought were the cause of my issues. However, given I have been on my current contraceptive for 6 months now, and it is seen to be better for acne, so I don’t think this is the only cause.
    Currently, my skin is constantly sensitive, but varies between extremely dehydrated with an oily T-Zone and also slightly dry (with patches of eczema) and being oily all over at that time of the month (think 12-hr shift in a burger restaurant-oily). I have developed extremely deep, cystic acne that does not seem to shift whatever I do – I have been prescribed Minocycline which has done nothing, and am at a loss with what to do about them.
    My current skin routine is pretty much the same for morning and night: Liz Earle C&P, followed by Liz Earle Skin Tonic (the only things that seem to have calmed my skin down in recent months), followed by either Clinique moisture boost moisturiser (if dry/dehydrated), or Liz Earle Combination/Oily moisturiser if oily (which I don’t really like).
    So, my questions are:
    1) I have really struggled to find a good moisturiser for oily skin. Can you recommend anything?
    2) What are your thoughts on makeup setting sprays (such as Skindinavia)? –I have heard lots of good reviews, but am worried that they will clog up my pores and therefore cause further problems
    3) Can you suggest anything that might further aid my skin routine?
    Thanks very much! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well firstly if you've had to change your contraception so much its to be expected - so give yourself a break.

      :)

      Step away from the C&P- the camphor might be irritating you when you do get the spots. Darphin, La Roche Posay, and Elemental Herbology all do a good oil-free moisturiser - depends on your budget.
      I'm not big on 'setting' sprays tbh.

      Darphin Purifying Balm is amazing if you can afford it - they do good samples Darphin so you can try it first. Also try Liquid Gold by Alpha-H for 2 x week when you are particularly breaking out.

      Delete
    2. Thanks very much for the advice - I'll have a look at those, and will start saving the pennies for the Darphin and Alpha H!

      Delete
  11. I would love to know how you feel about using bio oil on your face? Many thanks. Also thanks for your earlier post I think it's great you highlight these issues xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't do it - don't do it - don't do it.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, so much for your reply x

      Delete
  12. Hi Caroline. Firstly thanks so much for writing your blog and answering all of our questions and queries. You have mentioned numerous times your love for cleansing balms rather than foaming washes so I'd like your thoughts on Cliniques's take the day off cleansing balm. Is it a goodie, or a baddie? I've had a generous sample from my sister to try and have enjoyed using it with no apparent ill effects on my skin. Massaging on dry skin and removing with the old hot water and flannel.
    I'm 45 with oily skin,large pores and suffering from expression lines around the eyes and number elevens, so I'd also like your advice on a simple suitable regime. I currently use AM Aveda Kinetics gel cleanser (I know - foaming cleanser, sorry) in the shower , followed by Aveda kinetics toner. SPF daily is MAC prep and prime SPF 35 as I have paler than NW10 skin, followed by full face of cosmetics. PM is MAC cleanse off oil to remove eyemake up (gel liner and w/proof mascara)followed by the clinique balm to remove everything else. I either use Lauder ANR or their CP Perfectionist serum afterwards - switching those up every 3 months or so as the bottles run out. I followed your dry or dehydrated post and I have dilligently tried to moisturise for weeks in a row, but it makes my skin produce more oil(using Clinique moisture surge)I never suffer from dry skin unless I've been a bit over enthusiastic with lavender oil on an occasional hormonal jawline spot. Thanks for any suggestions :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK after searching 10 websites - I shit you not - TEN. I found the inci for the balm. Its not mineral oil - its palm derived. So its ok on that score.
      I think I'm a little confused and that your skin may be too.

      You don't need to use two oil based cleansers at night - use an oil then a milk if you want to double cleanse - and I'm not sure the ANR or CP Perfectionist is ideal.

      If you've got oily skin why are you using moisture surge?

      We need to talk further! :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Caroline, thanks so much for replying, I'm glad the Clinique balm is on the OK list as I've really enjoyed using it.
      Here's some more detail to help clarify I hope!
      Cleansing
      PM I don't double cleanse per se, it's just that the Mac cleanse off oil gets rid of my eye make up very easily, whereas I have to really work with the Clinique balm to shift Urban decay liner, I didn't like how the Mac feels on the rest of my face, but enjoy the massage and removal of the Clinique balm with a flannel - hence 2 products.
      Moisture
      I am very naughty and don't regularly moisturise, so I only use the moisture surge if I get the (very occasional) dry patch, it was my preferred choice because when I first tried it from a GWP I liked that it didn't leave me feeling greasy afterwards. The diligent moisturising for a couple of weeks was to see if my skin was producing excess oil because it felt it needed it. I work in a customer services environment and spend a fair bit of the day talking, so I can drink 2-3 Litres of water a day - so didn't think I was dehydrating my skin from the inside.

      Current products in use.
      What are your thoughts on my morning Aveda routine and what can this glam lass of 45 be trying instead of the EL I currently use?


      As I said before I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to all our queries on skincare. It is refreshing that your product recs aren't coming from a single brand sales target , but are more about what is most suitable for our needs and concerns. You're a star!

      Delete
  13. Caroline, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping me with my skin over the last 9 months or so. I was at a loss before you recommended Alpha-h and Emma Hardie to me and since I'd started using the Liquid gold and Micro Cleanse my skin has had a complete turnaround!! (touch wood!) I'm almost at the stage where I would consider using a tinted moisturiser/really light foundation which would have been unheard of this time last year and probably for the last 15 years!!!

    So, thank you, from the very bottom of my heart for helping me find my skin confidence again!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Caroline, thanks for doing this again! x

    ok ill try and keep this clear and short.

    This would be the condition of my skin if i didnt use any decent skin care. If i skip a couple of days ( i very rarely do this ever) it goes back to this.

    My skin is very oily on the t zone. It gets extremely congested on the T zone ( like all pores full of blackheads or white heads ( not spots though ( but thats because of the skin care i use i think) my cheeks i get what i think is keritosis pillaris . they are small skin coloured bumps that make the skin red. My whole face goes red especially when im outside or at university .

    ok the skin care im using is Lush ultra bland cleanser ( which is an almond oil based cleanser ) morning and evening then followed by paulas choice 2% beta hydroxy acid lotion. I use origins vitazing as an spf. and i use eye cream.

    i feel that paulas choice works as well as anything i have tried for my congested skin, it also keeps spots at bay and doesnt irratate my red skin. I have found the balm cleanser to be good for the redness and feeel its not making my skin tight or irritated.... but it certaily is making my skin feel very oily and make up slips around on my face and i feel like my blackheads are worsening again because the paulas choice cant get to the pores because or the cleanser left on my skin. I cannot seem to use anything with alchohol dentat. on my face as it brings up the lumps on my cheeks ( eg alpha H liquid gold didnt do good things for me nor has any other glycolic treatment i have tried ) i have found face oils have worked well for my skin. i have only tried samples tho. and was also wondering about the clarisonic if that might help the redness and last few lumps and blackheads that wont budge? are there any natural balm cleansers that dont leave a residue? i remember eve lom didnt but i know that is FULL of mineral oil so no thanks! was interested in trying the boots balm but i hear that is oily feeling as well? I think i do best with natural products because they seem not to flare up the redness and kp in my cheeks. omg this was sooo long im sorry ! but any advice you have would be sooo lovely thank you for such a great great blog ! xxxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK I'm cutting to the chase: try Suti cleanser and Caudalie Beauty Elixir spray OR Pai Rosemary as a toner.
      Make sure you wash your face off properly with a flannel and clean running warm water. You don't need a Clarisonic.
      If you are prone to redness be careful of natural products with too much esential oil content. - Origins is lovely but may not be for you.
      Wild Rose Beauty Balm from Neals Yard is lovely for redness and soothing the skin. But as you're 21 I would head towards the Pai range - look at their site - its ALL GOOD!

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for the advice ! have been keen to try pai stuff actually so im really pleased you suggested that ! also the caudalie spray looks nice :) going to give them a go :) thank you so much again x

      Delete
  15. Hi Caroline, recently I've started to use the Emma Hardie Cleanser again after a period of not using it and also began using the Alpha H Liquid Gold. Since using these products I've broken out in spots where I never usually get them, but worse for me is that my skin is now incredibly, ridiculously greasy, especially on my nose and forehead. I'm not sure if the alcohol in the Alpha H is causing this, and am wondering if I should persist and hope things improve, or discontinue using the product. What do you suggest?

    Also I wondered what you thought about the Environ AVST line? I was using it for a few months and got up to the AVST 3 but got bored and stopped using it! I'm looking for a new day moisturiser, something that will give me quite a matte finish, and a night cream. I've just finished my Emma Hardie Rejuvenating Night Cream but thought I'd try something different.
    I'm 28 and have combination skin, prone to cystic acne on my jaw line/chin, what do you recommend?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i was also wondering about the AVST line from Environ. I also got halfway through a bottle of 3 but I don't think I was using it regularly enough and alternating with other moisturisers. BTW I am 42 now and I it just caught my attention when you said that over 40's need to drop the organic.natural stuff and go with the hardcore stuff. have you ever used it and do you think it's worth persisting with??

      Delete
    2. Hi, I'm sure Caroline will give you the professional's view, but for what it's worth here is my suggestion. If you've used EH Moringa Balm with no problems in the past, it may be the Alpha H Liquid Gold that's the problem as you have suggested. However, I wonder whether the culprit is the Glycolic Acid not the alcohol.
      Glycolic Acid is a skin resurfacing agent and as such it will bring impurities to the surface. Many products containing Glycolic Acid carry a 'warning' that a phase of purging may ensue for a while. Which is fine, to a point and I think it depends on (a)your own personal tolerance to seeing blemishes on your face and (b) having the self-control not to pick up them. Personally, I don't like this aspect of Glycolic Acid. I once paid for a series of 'lunch time peels' and even though my skin was prepared a month in advance by using Jan Marini products containing lower levels of Glycolic Acid, after the 2nd peel, my face literally erupted and I had spots where I'd never had spots in my life, my forehead was covered in whiteheads and pimples and in fact I had worse looking skin than I'd ever experienced as a teenager. I was mortified but the therapist tried to reassure me that it was 'normal' it was bringing all the impurities (my word) to the surface and afterwards I would have lovely clear skin again. Thing was, I had clear skin before I started, I was just looking for a bit more 'glow', and I couldn't see how all these spots were going to do anything other than leave marks on my face (they did and I'm a picker anyway so i couldn't leave them alone).
      I cancelled the rest of the course and I'm very wary of Glycolic Acid now. I think you have to start gently with it, say every other day, until you have assessed how well your skin tolerates it. I'm not saying i'm correct about you, but I know my skin reacts and I prefer other AHAs such as Lactic or Mandelic Acid.

      Delete
    3. PS - i meant to say that the purging (eeugh horrid word) is also to do with pores being cleared out I think! x

      Delete
    4. Hi Anon!

      Firstly I would say drop one or the other for a month and then you'll know either way if its one product or the other.
      The problem could be AVST - that is the 2nd highest % of Vit A that they have - and Vit A in high quantities has a similar stimulating action (on me anyway)!!

      Try the Caudalie Elixir or Pai Rosemary spray during the day and Darphin Purifying Balm at night - get a sample. Try Pai for a day cream - I'm a little obsessed with them at the moment.

      Delete
  16. Hi Caroline,

    Thanks for doing this! I have three questions, two of which are fairly general:

    - cleansing: in your cleansing cheat sheet, you recommend washing one's face in the morning with water and cleanser. In France (where I come from), dermatologists usually recommend only doing that in the evening, and sticking to a swipe of toner/floral water in the morning so as not to strip the skin of its natural oils. I know you make a parallel with washing your body, but surely most people shower only once and not twice a day? I'm not challenging your recommendation, just interested in your explanation.

    - moisturizing: should all skin types moisturize in the evening as well as in the morning? There seems to be a consensus that lip balm can become addictive (i.e the skin gets used to it and can't function without it anymore), but wouldn't this reasoning apply to excessive skin moisturizing too?

    - acne caused by cosmetic products: do you think that cosmetic acne, i.e closed comedones (tiny, flesh-coloured non-inflamed bumps) can be caused by a shampoo even if it is all over one's face and not just around the hairline? I obviously don't use shampoo on my face but seem to see a stubborn correlation between using my favourite volumizing shampoo and closed comedones outbreaks on my cheeks.

    Thank you so much again!x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      Cleansing - yes I cleanse twice a day. If your skin regenerates at night why wouldn't you want to wash off the dead skin cells the next morning? :)
      Moisturising - yes absolutely but not with mineral oil - lip balms are only addictive if they are mineral oil based - like vaseline - although for me the same applies to lanolin.

      Delete
    2. Sorry hit return!

      Acne - if you've seen it for yourself then just steer clear. Does your hair fall on your face?

      Delete
  17. Hi Caroline, I'm 21 with sensitive, breakout prone skin. I'm also very pale and suffer really badly with red marks left after spots (even though I never pick) which take months and months to fade away leaving my skin looking a lot worse than it really is. I've recently discovered the power of AHA treatments and I've currently been using REN's Resurfacing AHA Concentrate every night for the past three weeks (Ren recommends using it every night for three weeks and then taking a week break). My question is, do you think I'd be better switching to Alpha H's Liquid Gold?(Decided to try the REN version first as it's gentler to check my skin was okay with Glycolic, plus my skin seems to like their products.)

    Also, could you recommend me a good night moisturiser/treatment to use on non-Glycolic nights? I've been using Ren's Omega 3 Night Repair but I'm finding it a bit too heavy and oily for me and wondering whether it's comtributing to my break outs.

    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sophie,

      If your skin likes the Ren then stick with it - the Alpha is stronger so maybe you'll need it in the Summer for example?

      Try Pai - like I've said in previous comments - I'm getting on with their products really well and getting a lot of similar feedback from readers.

      Delete
  18. Hi Caroline, I've noted your advice above about anyone over 40 (sob!) should use products containing the active ingredients, vitamin A and peptides. I've just turned 42 and my current 'regime' if you will is as follows:

    AM: (i)EH Moringa Balm/or Nude Cleansing Gel, (ii) Nude Hydrating Water (iii) Nude Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum + Nude Advanced Cellular Renewal Moisturiser/or EH Amazing Face Plumping Serum, (iv) Perricone Acyl-Glutathione Eye Lid Serum + EH Firming Eye Serum

    PM:(i) EH Moringa Balm/or Nude Cleansing Oil, (ii) Nude Hydrating Water, (iii)*on rotation*: Clarins Blue Orchid Oil/or Nude Replenishing Night Oil/or Balance Me Radiance oil/or Trilogy Rosehip Oil (iv) Perricone Acyl-Glutathione Eye Lid Serum (used sparingly under eyes only!)

    Plus: Once a week: Nude Deep Cleansing Mask, Makeupartists Choice (MUAC) 25% Mandelic Acid Peel.
    Summer/sunny climes: La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Tinted Melt-in Cream/or Dr. Brandt UV Spf30 Tinted High Protection For Face

    Every day I wear a primer (currently Bourjois) followed by a full face of makeup (Sisley or Chanel Foundation and various other Bobbi Brown items). My skin 'likes' all of the above named products and I can use them without fear of breakouts or weird rashes/dry patches appearing. My question is what products would you recommend that contain Vit A and Peptides to supplement and improve my current routine? Apparently the Nude Advanced Cellular Renewal products contain 'natural bioactive peptides' and the Trilogy Rosehip oil contains vitamin A. Is that sufficient or do I need something stronger? I don't have a problem with using chemicals - I used to be devoted to Jan Marini Skincare, which you will know is choc full of chemicals. But, over the past couple of years, my skin has become hormonal and was actually getting a bit problematic until I started using Nude products.

    I should add that my skin does not love Glycolic Acid (my one and only experience with Alpha H resulted in dry peeling skin and blemishes and I had to discontinue a course of in-salon Glycolic Acid peels as I broke out so badly). Apart from that I think most things are ok, my skin is relatively unlined, I have little or no sun damage/pigmentation issues (amazingly a small patch above my eyebrow was faded to almost nothing when I used BioEffect EGF serum), my main bugbears are hormonal blemishes (and the little marks they leave behind), slight slackening of jawline and crepey eyelids!

    Thank you for taking the time to read my question and I appreciate any advice and product recommendations you can give.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want heavy duty Vitamin A but want to try it in a gentle way you could try Sarah Chapman's Overnight Facial to start with. Rosehip oil doesn't contain enough Vit a on its own whe you're our age. Sorry! :)
      Hormonal blemishes are a bugger aren't they?! And if you're my age you can add a moisturiser on top of those oils at night. Step it up.
      Also when you run out of Nude for the day you could try Perricone Face Firming Activator. Hardcore.

      Delete
    2. Dear Caroline, thank you so much for this. 'Hardcore' sounds good :)

      A follow up question for next week's clinic perhaps, but you appear to rate Alpha-H very highly so there must be good reason for that.Perhaps my experience with one product in the line was just unfortuate and I should try again - what would be suitable -Alpha H age delay oil perhaps, or a Vit C based product.?

      Best wishes, Niki

      Delete
  19. Sorry to bother you for a second week in a row - but do you have any recommendations for milia?

    The cost of removal seems extortionate and i'm not sure if it's even worth it if i'll always be prone to them.

    Meg x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep them hydrated and oiled up. What do you use in the evenings? I'll get them next time I see you. :)

      Delete
  20. Hi Caroline,

    A (big!) fan from the U.S.; thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!

    My question is really quite general: I have been trying to stop using products that contain parabens, /especially/ on my face. But I know that parabens also make products last longer, so my question is: how long do products without parabens last and is there anyway to preserve them better to prevent bacteria?

    Thanks!

    - Jasmine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In all honestly I wouldn't worry about parabens. But if you ARE really worried, there are plenty of good preservatives - a lot of products are fine for up to 2 years - sometimes 3.

      Delete
  21. Hi
    Firstly just wanted to say how fantastic this is!

    I have always suffered with breakouts around my chin generally, think hormonal but recently have got worse. I have used a full tube of Joelle Ciocco Lait Onctueux during which time my skin was the best it's ever been and am now on my second tube and have a cyst like spot and other spots. Have also switched foundation to Clarins Matte and use Alpha H SPF 50 daily moisturiser or Clinique SPF 45 Sheer Tint, could they be the culprit? Also tried Joelle Ciocco Mat Reverser which I have since stopped as I thought it was that and have gone back to Dr Haushka Balancing Oil when not using the Alpha H. Am using Liquid Gold every other night to treat spots and Caudalie Vinoperfect serum (which I've used forever as I have pigmentation). I am using Joelle Ciocco Lotion Aromatique as a toner in the morning.
    My skin is sensitive/combination and have tried glycolic but too harsh but seems ok with MD Formulations sensitive in the past.
    Also have crepey eyes, use Bioderma which doesn't irritate but could it be too drying? Also use Avene cleanser in the morning. Have just finished my SK II eye gel and am now using Caudalie Premier Cru.
    Occasionally use Alpha H Vit C serum.
    I would really appreciate your comments and am very tempted to switch to Emma Hardie if you think this would suit my skin type.

    Thank you in advance!!!
    Sally

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. You're almost as bad as me! :)

      I personally don't get on with Bioderma - it is a little drying. I love the EH cleanser. And Avene is fine.

      How old are you??

      Delete
    2. Hi
      Almost 40! And yes I am something of a product junkie...

      Delete
  22. Hello Caroline!

    What do you think of Alpha-H Essential Hydration cream? I was reading a review (after I bought it - doh!) and it said it contained Dimethicone (a silicone) and Propylene Glycol (petroleum derived product) and wanted to know if it's okay to use?! My skin is typically dry/dehydrated and I use EH cleansing balm (amazing), but need a good moisturiser :-(

    Thanks in advance - you're amaze
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like it - especially if you're dry and dehydrated.

      Delete
  23. Hi Caroline!

    Thank you so much for doing this, it's so kind of you to take the time - I love your blog!! My question is similar to lots of the people above I think; I'm Asian, 21 and had good skin up to 2010; after which I had a bad bout of acne two years in a row with lots of closed comedones on my cheeks and along the jawline, they've cleared up after a couple months of roaccutane which I'm done with now, but I find that my cheeks still have a couple of slight indentations and is slightly marked (so the texture and colour of my skin in harsh light/ sunlight is quite uneven...). Could you recommend anything not too harsh to solve this (since the Roaccutane seems to have left me somewhat sun-sensitive?)
    I'm using a Mario Badescu enzyme wash twice daily, with This Works/ First Aid Beauty cleanser to follow, and L'occitane immortelle toner. At night I use Avalon Organics Vit C serum, Avene Triacneal, Avene Skin Recovery Cream (with some rosehip) and in the day the AO Vit C serum and Alpha H Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+. The last has 'Paraffinum Liquidum' as an ingredient however (which I only just realised was a fancy name for mineral oil...)

    Also, is there anything you can recommend to shrink pores and prevent a shiny nose?

    Thank you lots and lots, again, sorry this was so long! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Firstly, nothing shrinks pores. It just dehydrates the area around the pore and gives the appearance of making them smaller. False economy. Don't buy into it.

      Why are you cleansing twice? Try the enzyme wash at night only. I would go for a topical toner/serum with lactic acid to resurface the rough texture you're left with. Where do you live?

      Delete
    2. Hi Caroline!

      Thanks so much for replying. I'm living in London at the moment. Noted about the pores thing - I didn't know that so thanks loads for enlightening me!

      Delete
    3. Sorry Caroline - what I also wanted to ask was, could you rec a toner/ serum to get? (also, and possibly this is cheating since the clinic is closed, is it worth getting something to put around the eye area in the day/ night?) Thanks so much again!

      Delete
  24. hello Caroline, I have a question! I really don't like it when my moisturiser leaves a slightly almost rubbery feeling on my skin -- not quite tacky but a definitely there, not smooth, sensation on the skin. I'm using good moisturisers -- the trilogy one, alpha-h's essential hydration, but somehow there's that feeling. Am I crazy for wanting my skin to feel smooth and plump without feeling like I put anything on it? Or does my skin have absorption issues?

    Also, is it normal for the skin to experience more difficulty when absorbing products at some times, more so than others?

    Thanks for doing this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like silicone. And if you are using silicone in skincare and then foundation then yes - they won't absorb. They're designed not to. Try Pai skincare for softness without slime :)

      Delete
    2. hm I use the EH cleansing balm, the aromatherapy associates toner and then the trilogy moisturiser. doesn't look as though any of them contains silicone.. could it just be me or hormones?

      ps. tried a sample of aesop's parsley seed serum... miraculously it left my skin smooth as can be! maybe I should be switching over from creams to serums? or is that irrelevant?

      thank you so much Caroline! this has been unbelievably helpful

      Delete
    3. Hi - sorry for butting in, but are you using the Trilogy day cream with SPF 15? If so, it does take a while to sink in, because it's zinc oxide and not a nano one. Most purely physical sunscreens feel a bit like cake batter on the face when you first apply them, but do sink in more after about 5 minutes.

      Delete
  25. Hi Caroline. This is hopefully a quickie for you.

    I have oily acne prone skin but currently (well today at least), I'm in quite a good skin phase, using LE C&P to cleanse in the AM, Neutrogena oil free moisturiser (cannot find any other moisturiser that doesnt give me spots!) and at night EH Moringe and Liquid Gold on alternate nights. I also use a home made mud mask once per week. However, I am a sucker for a product and am very taken by all these night serums and face oils but am terrified to use them as pretty much everything gives me zits! But I would like a little sutink sutink extra to give my skin a little pick me up. Can you recommend a night serum/oil for my skin type or do I even need one? I'm 33 by the way and do all the right things diet wise, just feel my skin could do with a boost. Thank you so much in advance! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try Overnight Facial by Sarah Chapman for the extra something. Or Pai or Pukka Oils for overnight use. All good!

      Delete
  26. Hi Caroline,
    Please can you help!
    I am soon to be 50, I have just finished perimenopause and am firmly menopausal.My skin has changed dramatically over the past few months in that it appears to have lost its lustre and life -its just plain dull (not particularly problematic ie not spotty or red) just crepey and thin, lines developing below my eyes, starting to grow jowls and chicken neck.
    I am using EH balm or Perricone MD Nutritive, to cleanse. I have an array of toners (all snaffled from your blogs). I use Perricone High Potency Evening Repair followed by Acyl- Glutathione and Neuropeptide Firmimg Moisturiser or Liquid Gold. I have some Alpha H - age delay oil which i like but am not sure where to fit it into my routine. I feel I need some moisture or plumping? I was thinking of popping to Liberty to the Anne Semonin counter - is that a good idea? Which products would you recommend? I particularly would like a specific recommendation for a day serum and moisturiser if possible. I can't say how much I would appreciate your help.
    Thanks for all your hard work, Megan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Alpha-H can be used under your moisturiser in the day or mixed in with it - its brilliant for a glow - especially when you massage it well.

      The Semonin range is great but you can get similar serums/oils for less £££.

      Try using the Alpha oil first, at night you can use it underneath everything else. It may be all you need to be honest.

      What can you spend £££ wise? Revive is tres ££ but SO DAMN GOOD when your a certain age. Shall we say. :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much!
      So should I use the Alpha oil instead of serum at night or after using serum (I assume the Pericone night serum I have is ok?)?
      I will happily forgo shoes and bags to get this right so will spend whatever necessary on day moisturiser and serum - sre you suggesting Revive for both? I have some of their (Revive) night moisturizing renewal cream lurking in my cabinet.Do I need both for day and night?
      Sorry for being so demanding/dumb...
      Have a great weekend
      Megan x

      Delete
    3. I think the Revive Renewal cream is great for night. Mix it up a little - do LG then next night oil then revive etc.

      Revive Creme Lustre is AH MAZ ING for day. But again £££ Perricone would be cheaper in this case. Stick to Dr P/Revive and Alpha and you'll be good.

      Delete
  27. Hi Caroline, you helped me a couple of weeks ago with some recommendations (clarins oil and alpha h) and yours is the first advice to ever improve my skin so thank you very much, you've made a massive difference to my confidence.

    You recommended that I switch from Neals Yard Power Berry moisturiser to something with vitamin A and peptides as I am fast approaching 30 :)

    I've been doing some research and wondered if you could recommend any of the following (I am scared of my skin becoming congested and spotty again) Darphin Arovita C Fluid, Sarah Chapman day creme, EH day creme or should I be using something with an SPF as I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't remember your skin type off hand but you could try any mixture or day creams - if you want to stay fairly natural try Pai, if you're not bothered go with Darphin or Decleor and if you could care less, go Perricone, Somerville etc

      Delete
  28. Sorry meant to finish by asking should I use an SPF day cream as I am using liquid gold and if so could you share any favourites?

    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use SPF in my make up only (I know I know - sacrilege) and when I do use it separately, I tend to put it on top - not IN my skincare. However, I know I'm in the minority :) - depending on your needs and preference - use any day cream with SPF if you want a simple life. I tend to make life harder for myself. :)

      Delete
  29. I hate to admit it, but for moisturizing I really do need the "chemical" formulas aka anti-ageing. As much as I hate that term. Makes getting older sound like a disease that needs eradicating.

    I love organics and use them in various aspects of face, body and hair care, but you are right in saying you need the heavy artillery when your face is the wrong side of 45.

    Ali

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. I LOVE mixing it up - hi-tech serums and nice balms etc on top though..

      Delete
  30. Hi, I really hope you will be able to help. I' age 34, my skin has always been oily, over the last couple of years the oil is now mainly restricted to my t-zone and I do suffer from open pores all over the face. My main concern is on my cheek area, my cheeks are red and sensitive, possibly rosacea like? There is a bumpy texture underneath the redness that looks unsightly even with make up on top. Sometimes the bumps will come out as a red angry looking spot but not the normal type of spot I would get with my oily skin, more of a ‘heat spot’ type that is sensititve, red and itchy. These normally die down after a couple of days, but there still tends to be a lumpy bumpy texture, as if they are flaring up and then calming down but never going. This problem only started a couple of years ago, at the same time as a really bad winter with snow and freezing temperatures along with my introduction to Bare Minerals foundation and my admittedly over-zealous buffing which was stopped after about a month once realising I was making the problem worse. I don’t know if this is purely coincidence but feel my cheeks have never recovered from this.

    My skincare routine is: morning – lush aqua marina cleanser (removed with a warm flannel) lush breath of fresh air toner and lush celestial moisturiser (there are details on the website of all ingredients but I can provide detail if it’s easier). I wear Estee Lauder double wear foundation as it’s the only foundation I’ve come across that gives me the lasting coverage all day. Night – Garnier 2 in 1 waterproof make up remover on cotton pads to remove the majority of the double wear, followed by Botanics cleansing balm (removed with a warm flannel), lush breath of fresh air toner and lush full of grace serum bar. I was up until a couple of months ago using the same cleansing routine but all Estee Lauder moisturisers and have found my skin is preferring the lush products but still not solving my problems. Prior to this I used Decleor’s full range for a number of years but felt I had to stop using the hydra floral as it stung my cheeks.

    The only supplement I take is B12 for a deficiency. I would really appreciate any advice you could give me. Thanks, Tracy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok i'm going to start from the beginning of your email and work my way through:

      you need Darphin Intral range for the redness - it's brilliant - you can ask @get_lippie her feedback I recommended it to her a while ago and I think she still loves.
      Bare Minerals I am the same - you could be intolerant to bismuth oxychloride (a lot of people are - me included) - used in anything light reflective etc - always check the inci in future.
      Lush, while admirable in the ethics stakes is not really (IMO) up to the game of anti-ageing (sorry Lush!) - try changing up one thing at a time.

      You'll probably get the most relief from the INtral toner as a first purchase. Then step up moisturiser to something by someone like elemental herbology/ren if you prefer natural - maybe your skin doesn't like silicone either judging by the EL comment.

      Supplement wise the list is really endless - depends on any other areas of concern and lifestyle - happy to help if you give me more detail?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your advice, I will look into the Darphin Intral range you mention. Since writing to you on Thursday I have changed my morning routine to Avene extremely gentle cleanser, kept the Lush toner and used steamcream to moisturise and have noticed a dramatic difference in the redness although I still have the lumpy bumpy under the skin type spots not coming to anything. Is there anything in particular you would recomend for those?

      I gave up the Bare Minerals 2yrs ago when realising that the buffing was making my skin worse. Looking forward to see what the ranges you have recommended have to offer, thanks for your time, it is much appreciated. So glad I finally found your blog x

      Delete
  31. oooh! I'm really sorry but I always seem to miss the thursday clinic cos of work :( Do you mind if I post a small one here? Just basically I suffer from hormone disruptions and this causes acne and really oily skin. I also have really dry areas around my nose, chin and corners of my mouth. I currently use DR Nick Lowe oil control creme which works very well for keeping the oilyness at bay but the acne (due to coming of the pill 5 months ago) won't shift. I've been reading about natural progesterone cream to help restore balance to my hormones. I was just wondering if you've come up against the hormone issue. Thankyou :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have it myself! I hit 40 and POW - ACNE!!
      I found the following really helped me: cutting out sugar - almost completely
      ditto red meat (hormones) and alcohol (it' a commitment but its your choice - your face!) :)

      Supplement with either flax seed oil or fish oil - quite high doses too 3000mg+ a day.

      It takes time but is SO worth it. Mine has gone from all over my cheeks and anti-biotics - to the occasional huge one on my chin line and no drugs or specific skincare.

      What else are you using in your routine?

      Let me know how you get on?

      X

      Delete
    2. Wow, thats a huge dose, but I'm prepared for it lol
      I've got lots of milla too, espcially around my chin, sides of my mouth area. These came up once I stopped taking the pill, oh and really sore acne on my back too. At the moment I am using Lush Ultrabland to remove makeup with a warm flannel and have been doing this routinely for 2 weeks now, plus cosmetic warrior garlic face mask, which I guess helps redness. Moisturiser I haven't really invested in any one. I did used Avene Rich compensating moisturiser for my face because of the sensitive areas but I find it does nothing at all. Infact, Lushs' Celestial is amazing for ezcema areas I get around my eyelids and nose area. I'm 22 and was recently introduced to the estee lauder pore minimizer and Daywear creme, but they are quite expensive. Oh and the only thing helping my spots is Clean and Clear blackhead remover and Sudocrem. :( I am currently taking a female multivitamin, flax oil (not sure how much, I will get on that), Vitamin C 1000mg, Vitamin A and B-Complex.
      Thankyou!! <3

      Delete
  32. Hullo Caroline,

    I wanted to ask you a general question, if you don't mind. I wanted your opinion on ultra-expensive brands. There are bloggers/make-up artists who swear by them, and then there's Paula Begoun (who I don't implicitly trust, I must add. I just don't consider her to be a wholly objective reviewer) who pretty much reckons all of them are rubbish. Brands like Biologique Recherche, La Prairie, Chantecaille, Carita, Sunday Riley, Kanebo, SK II, Visoanska, Found, sjal, La Mer, Sisley, Natura Bisse, Biodroga, Valmont et al price some of their anti-ageing/gold/diamond/pearl/sapphire/caviar/meteor dust/pixie fart products at $400-$500, and for that amount, I might just as well as get a shot of botox or a session of laser treatment. Do you reckon these brands are any more effective than mid-end brand?

    Secondly, I'd also like your opinion on "spa"/facialist brands, like Elemis, Omorovicza, Vaishaly, Oskia, Joelle Ciocco (literally every Parisian woman seems to swear by her) etc. Part of me thinks their products are engineered to work more topically and provide an overall pleasant experience, than necessarily work well on the skin in the long term, but this could be totally unfounded.

    Thanks. Renée

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Renee I think you've pretty much got it spot on with the spa brands.

      My opinion is this: If you're paying £££ for skincare make sure its a doctor/facialist brand. I wouldn't buy a £400 cream from a Dior/Chanel (purely for example) - but I would absolutely from Revive, Perricone, Biologique Recherche (I did my advanced training with them in Paris - that shizzle works), Kanebo etc.. And remember - the fancier the pot and packaging and spoons etc (!?) the cheaper the product inside.

      Spa brands I use for the 'lovely' feeling. So for example a Perricone serum at night with a balm on top perhaps...
      Does that make sense?

      Great question btw.

      Delete
  33. I'm so glad you're doing this again, I missed the last two and was horrified! I wanted to ask about sunscreens - I am both super sensitive, and also really neurotic about the texture and feel of a cream on my face - I just can't stand how most feel on my skin, and they tend to dry it out and leave it irritated. Hence I don't wear spf enough, which is just ridiculously stupid!

    I really love Caudalie's Vinoperfect SPF 15, but it's just not enough protection - can you recommend anything really light and gentle that you've had good experience with, that I'll want to put on every day?

    Thank you so much, I hope you continue to do these, but I know it must take a lot of time so I hope you know how much we all appreciate having out own personalized skin guru:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two that come to mind - neither are cheap but both are amazing. Chantecaille Firming Sun Cream and Kate Somerville SPF55 (which is so good its currently sold out in the UK). Both don't feel like a thick cream, and both are loved by myself AND people I trust implicitly. If you need cheaper try Hampton Sun Face Cream (SNK) - around the £35 mark and same texture/beautiful smell etc

      Delete
  34. Hi Caroline,

    Have you ever used Dr Bragi's marine enzyme moisterising gel? It's outrageously expensive, but I used a bit from a friend's tube and it felt wonderful... Is it worth the investment?
    Also, my skin is very acne prone, and I'm in my early 30s and do not yet have significant wrinkles or lines - do you think prolonged use could trigger a zit reaction?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

    Here is a link to the product
    http://www.drbragi.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have used it and I don't think it will push a zit reaction. :)

      For me it was just ok - nothing stunning. But I know the Pixiwoo girls LOVE it. So just to confuse you...! :)

      Again I have used Somerville's oil free moisturiser (SNK - and they sample) and it's brilliant.

      Delete
  35. How do you feel about sunscreen should I wear as everyday? I'm 20this year. What kind of ss would be good for me? I have normal-combi clog prone skin. Would chemical ss clog me? How should I be removing it? Would non-oil based makeup remover be sufficient for non-water resistant ss? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK lots of q's:
      I wear sunscreen in my makeup - not separately unless I'm in NYC or on hols!
      If you clog its a case of trial and error. Chemical wouldnt block you but the clay might.

      And no - if you are using sunscreen you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DOUBLE CLEANSE or you WILL break out. Most people that think they are allergic to sunscreen are usually just not washing it off properly and then breaking out...

      Delete
    2. hm, i mean would a normal makeup remover remove it as a pre-cleanse step? i don't do well with oil cleansers. thanks!

      Delete
  36. Hello Caroline
    Ijust send you an email with pictures of my skin and the products that I use ,
    hope to hear form you soon either here on by email .
    Regards and thanks for your great efforts its highly appreciated & I love you for that :)
    Dolores (F)

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am sure this post has touched all the internet visitors, its really really fastidious
    article on building up new blog.

    My blog ... Gerald

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Caroline! I`m a young teen (13 - 14), and I have just began wearing a little bit of make up (concealer and occasionally tinted moisturiser) and was wondering whether you have tried the Lush ultra bland cleanser or if you knew of any cheaper alternatives I could try?
    Many thanks x

    ReplyDelete

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