Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Cheat Sheet - Sudden breakouts - what to do and what to do it with


Last week happened to be half term and coincided with me falling off the 'face' wagon. You know what I mean, you drink things you know you shouldn't (coke), eat things you know you shouldn't (Kettle chips I'm looking at YOU) - and unbeknownst to me, I was also pre-menstrual.
You'd think after having periods for 30+ years I'd see the thing coming. But NO.
I couldn't figure out why I was so tired and craving all the bad things - I even took an energy supplement to see me through - with catastrophic results* - more of which later.

I digress.

Consequently I woke up on Sunday morning with my period and a random attack of zits that would make the most hormonally-challenged teen proud (cry).

I had 3 particularly attractive (what I call) 'throbbing cysts' that perched happily right in the middle of my face - just in time for a week full of appointments with clients. You know, the appointments where I advise people how to have great skin? Yes, those.

I immediately went into my usual plan of action - and as I've been talking about it a lot with clients on appointments I thought it may help some of you who suffer from those extremely irritating red spots/welts/cysts/whiteheads/swellings - anything really that comes on in a hurry and tries to teach you who is Boss. Rude. If the cause is unrelated to food/changes in diet or routine or you simply don't know why your skin is reacting...try this anyway.

First things first - food:

  • Pop an antihistamine (assuming you have no medical contraindications). Antihistamines job is to calm the redness and 'put out the fire'. Chlorphenamine maleate is better for the skin problems than cetirizine. This translates as Piriton over Zyrtec/Clariton - but ask your chemist/read the boxes. Technically of course, antihistamines do the same thing, I just found a slightly better result with the Piriton. To each their own.
  • Be honest about any dietary changes you've had and make adjustments. For me this means no coke or crisps - for a lot of the people I've seen in the office it means the 3 C's. Coffee (the extravagant kind that involves shots/cream/syrup), Coke and Cadbury's. Sadly you need to get rid.
  • Drink water likes it going out of fashion. Still. No fizzy. (Although fizzy is obviously my favourite. It would be.)
  • Ingest fish oil and salmon like you haven't eaten in weeks. My default 'fix my face' eating plan is pretty much anything Dr Perricone mentions in his 3 Day Diet. I tend to go overboard but in all honesty, nothing works as quickly for me as this eating regime. Dr P really is the King of the anti-inflammatory diet. He pioneered it when everyone thought he was crazy and has stuck to his guns to be proven correct. Read all his books. You won't regret it.
  • If you are vegetarian and fish isn't an option you need flax/Udo's oil and should binge on seeds and nuts high in omegas. Flax, walnuts and soy are your friends.
  • No sugar.
  • Minimal dairy - and dairy should always always be organic full fat.
Routine:
  • Evening cleanse is key. Balm/oil cleanse the skin. Make sure you've rinsed properly.
  • Acid tone. Make sure you go over the spots/cysts really well. If they are bleeding, go over them until the acid quells the bleeding, which it should. Don't be traumatised by a little blood, work your skin normally.
  • Apply something topically to the area - my go-to is Aesop's Control gel. It contains vit c, niacinamide and salicylic acid but its in an aloe base so it calms, gets rid of the redness and hydrates - as opposed to harsher products designed to 'dry-out' spots. They don't need drying out, they need nourishment.
  • Apply a facial oil. One designed for a combi/oily skin is ideal but in all honesty, most oils will do the trick (assuming you personally are not allergic/intolerant to them). My go-to here is Clarins Lotus oil. Put 3-4 drops into your palm, swipe across the other palm, apply to the areas affected first, then elsewhere. Don't saturate your skin. Less is more. Layer. Don't suffocate.
Now you need to monitor the situation. Keep the Control gel to hand, and reapply after you've used the oil. Leave it half an hour or so, check your skin, reapply the oil if its absorbed. I had to reapply 3 times last night over the space of a couple of hours. My skin was drinking it. Alternate: Control gel (your spot treatment)/Oil/Control gel/Oil.
Before you go to bed check your skin. Apply a last hit of Control gel, followed by your oil. I chose to seal the deal with some Kate Somerville moisturiser, in the way you would add an extra blanket to the bed. It was cold, I was just going the extra mile. This routine works best with little or no silicone. Layer upon layer of silicone gives you 'rolling' and gets in the way of absorption of the gel/oil.

In the morning:
  • Light cleanse
  • Acid tone
  • Hydrate tone - Darphin Intral is a bit of a gem for this - brilliant for redness
  • Control gel
  • Couple of drops of facial oil
  • Moisturiser

You should find the redness has subsided a little and the spots have either come to a head or started to go down. 
Keep an eye on your diet, check your skin regularly throughout the day - the Control gel is clear and can be used over makeup etc if you want to - and repeat the process the next evening until you start to see results.

This may not work for everyone - but when you're at the end of your tether it's worth trying!

*The energy drink I had was purely vitamin B6. B6 triggers my skin something shocking. B12 I'm absolutely fine with - but the other B's? - NO. I should have read the label. Never again. This is one of the many reasons I don't advise taking multi-vitamins. Target your supplement needs to your body. Don't just take a one-shot-hits-all pill and think it's doing the job. I promise you it isn't.


*No affiliate links and I've been using/buying these products forever.


156 comments:

  1. Thank you for this, Caroline - I'm sure it will come in handy pretty soon/every couple of weeks :) I need to check out that Aesop Control Gel asap!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Body shop massager - ordered
    P50 - purchased
    Darphin intral - out for delivery
    Trip to Holland and Barratt - booked in
    Thanks for all the advice today. Lizzi x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Caroline, you are a life saver! Thank you so much for this post! :)

    Kate :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, so much advice. Thanks a million, your a gem!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post, but what is wrong with sparkling water? I drink both still and sparkling but love sparkling water!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just about to ask that! My friend told me it was bad for me to drink sparkling water so I went on a Google hunt to prove her wrong and found lots of scientific articles which say that it's no different to still water.

      Caroline, you are Queen of all things beauty, so you must have a good reason for saying this?

      Delete
    2. I was particularly obsessed/addicted to sparkling water all last year. One of my clients is one of the top skin specialists in the world (A doc) who noticed I was drinking so much sparkling and said point blank at the beginning of a meeting: 'You drink too much sparkling water. It's bad for you. For your stomach, for your digestion. Stop it.' So I did. And was less bloated pretty much immediately.......and subsequently lost weight.

      Delete
    3. The problem is the bubbles, not the water!

      Delete
    4. Sparkling water is almost as damaging to your teeth as flavoured fizzy drinks- this is because your teeth are constantly being bathed in a weak acid solution containing carbon dioxide, which wears away our teeth. This acid can erode the enamel and is just no good- basically carbonated water is just devil juice disguised as a healthy drink!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this post, Caroline. I've been meaning to ask, is coffee ok for skin or should you avoid really? Also, 'rolling' is that when the serums/creams etc start going kind of bitty, or is it something else?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think she refers to when your moisturizer/foundation/etc. just sits on top of the skin, instead of being absorbed by the skin. When you then touch your face, it comes of in "rolls". I often experience it when I put sunscreen on my face. If it is too heavy, it will rest on top of the face and when you add another layer it all creates a very unattractive look. I hope that makes any sense. It can happen with new, just opened products as well as old ones.

      I'm sorry, but I don't know what "bitty" means.

      Delete
  7. I am absolutely at the end of my skin tether right now. After years of clear skin I had a huuuuuuuuge facial breakout of about 20-30 little rough red bumps on my forehead for the past few months along with a few larger spots, now the little ones are finally on their way but I have larger spots popping up all over my face (particularly right next to the nose and on the browbone above brows) and I was cleansing today and my skin felt really tender in two places on my forehead- I'm talking cystic acne kind of tender. Current status: terrified. Is there anything I can do to prevent 'Hideous Skin Take II'?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Any alternatives to Aesop's control gel? I love their products, but I am allergic to niacinamide, sadly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question! I also wanna know the alternative

      Delete
  9. Super, super helpful advice, thank you. And, I always need a reminder that diet is important. I'd love to hear more about the Clarins Lotus Oil, I have a sample in hand but wasn't totally sure I was using it right (you helped clear that up here), and wasn't entirely sure what it should be doing for me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is why you're the best!! Great post to bookmark.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is just what I needed today! Thank you soooooo much! Sounds cheesy but you have literally changed my life since I discovered this blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Does this work on cystic acne as well? Mine last for 1-2 weeks even with a control gel.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post! Niacinamide is B3, right? So that's another B!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great post - My 'go to' when I have cysty spots/lumps is Decleor neroli balm.

    Just a quickie whilst I'm here - I bought Hydraluron on your recommendation and it's making my skin feel tight - and yes, I moisturise as normal. Is that normal or shall I return it? Thanks x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. makes me skin feel so tight too, even with cream on top.

      Delete
  15. Superb advice! Just what I needed.

    I bought balance me oil after reading your blog saying it's good for spots.

    How is it different from Clarins lotus oil ? Which one is better for spots ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The balance me radiance face oil is super. I followed Caroline's suggested routine last night and this morning on my spotty chin (had a crazy PMS-breakout two days ago so this post was so called for) using clean&clear acne spot treatment gel (don't have the aesop) and the balance me oil and it really helped reduce my acne! One or two more nights and I expect them all to be gone. Brill!

      Delete
  16. Absolutely amazing advice...need to try this Aesop gel! Can I just ask though, what is wrong with fizzy water...I love it and drink it all the time,!

    Jo ♥ | A Little Pop Of Coral

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for this post, amazing advice. need to get some of this Aesop gel. can I just ask though, what is wrong with fizzy water, I drink loads of it! X

    Jo ♥ | A Little Pop Of Coral

    ReplyDelete
  18. My normally good skin has broken out really badly around my nose and chin. That Aesop control gel sounds right up my street. Love these cheat sheets. Thank you most sincerely Caroline your are a legend.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My normally good skin has broken out really badly around my nose and chin. That Aesop control gel sounds right up my street. Love these cheat sheets. Thank you most sincerely Caroline your are a legend.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Caroline, you are beyond legendary!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Caroline you are beyond legendary.

    Anonymous 21.07 YES i have noticed that about Hyrdaluron too!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Superb blog !
    Quick question :

    Exercise and acne . What should be the skin routine before and after exercise ?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before: quick light cleanse, light moisturiser.
      After: full routine.

      Delete
    2. Thanks you are a star ! :)

      Delete
    3. THANK YOU! My source of acne is exercise related. I was missing the light moisturizer - any recommendations?

      Delete
  23. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! x

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm a pharmacist, and I really don't think an anti-histamine would do anything for spots. At least in my five years of university and any publications I've read, I haven't learned/read about this anywhere. Anti-histamines stop the release of histamine from mast cells, which is caused by allergies.. The formation of spots/acne isn't histamine related, so therefore I wouldn't have thought that they would do anything. I don't mean to come across as a know-it-all, but I just wanted to give my opinion!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rachel! Thank you for commenting.
      They've honestly worked a charm for me - primarily because my original acne was triggered by food allergies and thus when one - or five! - rear their ugly head - it is invariably as a result of some kind of intolerance/allergic reaction - however mild - and an anti-histamine takes the redness around the spot/cyst down almost immediately. I'm not suggesting they fix the sebum part - merely the red/inflammation that nearly always occurs with these types of spots. Xx

      Delete
    2. That's really interesting Caroline.. I never really thought of it in that way before! Next time a patient comes to me with acne, after a few questions concerning possible food allergies I might recommend chlorphenamine to see if it helps.. xxx

      Delete
    3. It can really knock it on the head before it just gets too much.
      I sometimes use the analogy (God forgive me!): If a baby is in a burning building and you are trying to rescue it, you have to deal with the fire one way or another before you reach the baby. :)
      That's a TAD more dramatic than necessary but you get my drift.... :)
      If you react once in an allergic way - it's much easier for it to happen again - and the next time it usually happens much quicker....

      Delete
    4. Caroline,

      I'm so glad to see you pointing this out because I noticed the difference anti-histamines make to such breakouts years ago, thought I was crazy!! :-)


      Quick question for you,

      Neals Yard Wild Rose Cream for pale/sensitive/sometimes dry sometimes oily/acne prone on jaw/chin??? I have read all the amazing reviews but im worried about the fact that it has shea butter???


      Also just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your amazing advice and dedication to this blog, I have COMPLETELY changed my skincare routine since finding you two weeks ago, and I am already seeing a positive difference, I think finally I might have hit the nail on the head and may one morning be able to look in the mirror without wanting to cry my eyes out at the sight of my skin!! :-)

      I am currently using;

      Clinique take the day off balm
      Clarin's exfoliating toner
      Clarin's extra comfort toner
      Clarins hydra quench serum
      Hydraluron
      Clarins Hydra quench moist normal to dry
      Clarins hydra quench face mask (sample bottle)

      I have also ordered, liquid gold/alpha h balancing cleanser/balance me hydrating mist/balance me radiance face oil/balance me radiance face mask, and a sample of their eye cream!


      This all sound ok??? Anything else I should add??

      I cannot thank you enough!!! xxx

      Delete
    5. I can vouch for antihistamines too - especially when the breakout is caused by either a food or product reaction!

      Delete
    6. My face has, in the past 48 hours, literally crumbled. I've reacted horrifically to a new moisturiser, and my usually well behaved, never before had acne or oiliness, skin has overnight turned into a tight, burning, sandpaper-like bumpy, rashy mess. Living in hillbilly country, I have no immediate access to Darphin/Aesop/Clarins, so I made a mad dash this afternoon to the pharmacist at Boots, and she immediately told me to take an anti-histamine. I'm awaiting the results...! Is E45 going to help me at all? I desperately need to soothe my skin, and that is pretty much all that is available - I'm aware of its heavy mineral oil base, but I'm desperate :( can anybody offer any suggestions?!

      Delete
  25. Thanks as alway Caroline, dare I ask your thoughts on squeezing?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Caroline,
    love you and your blog! Thank you.
    could you possibly do a cheet sheet for oily skin, very oily...
    please thank you :)
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  27. I wish I had thid guide a month ago when i suddenly started breaking out like spots were in fashion! (Think it was stress/lack of sleep). Anyway, thats how i found your blog so i guess every cloud does have a silver lining! Trying to get a good routine going-at the mo using Algenist gentle rejuvinating cleanser, pixi glow tonic and a sample of a Ren moisturiser.... What do you think of the Algenist cleanser? Any suggestions for a good day/night moisturiser for combination/normal skin, £35 & under! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Omg this blogpost - you are adressing EVERYTHING about my life right now (massive spots everywhere). I haven't broken out this bad in almost a year. Why: Stress + pms + not eating properly + (maybe) too many new products at once in the past 2 weeks. Started using Ren exfoliating toner + Pai rosehip oil + cleansing with almond oil & flannel at night, thinking it would help but maybe it just made things worse? I'm back to using products I know does not break me out (kiehl's ultra cleanser, avene cicalfate)...........hoping this will not last. thank you for writing such an entertaining and smart blog!

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is a bloomin' godsend! I will be following this religiously, I had a huge breakout on my left cheek/chin area about three weeks ago- mostly nasty red, sore lumps, a few whiteheads and tons of tiny colourless bumps under the skin and I am yet to narrow down the cause. A bit of chaos with my progesterone only pill, plus a bit of PMT binging (as a result of the pill chaos) and a nasty run-in with a Clarisonic which has been swiftly returned... I have had near perfect skin all 21 years of my life and now it's a mess. My skin tends to heal slowly due to my hypermobility disorder but there seems to be a new spot everyday. Is the above the best course of treatment? I am so sorry for the essay but I am in despair!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I take wellwoman multivitamins are these bad, how do you know what vitamins your body needs?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you so much. :) This will be a godsend in the future as my skin has just recovered from an extremely bad breakout.
    One question, I know you say to cleanse your face after coming home. But say if you're going to the gym or walking the dog afterwards? Should you do the first cleanse on your makeup, and then do a second cleanser when you get home. Or will you have to still do a double cleanse when you get home?
    Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a great cheat sheet! Thanks you Caroline.
    I had a panic moment last week when my face felt dried out and I started to break out...partly due to overdoing products I think (REN glycolic mask after alpha h liquid gold the night before I think, after a purifying face mask, then a hydrating one that only made me drier!!!!) have realised a) stick to what I know when the going gets rough and b) listen to my body - if it's acting up, I'm probably not treating it right. Turns out, I wasn't - last week I was pre menstrual and ate terribly, drank lots of tea & coffee - which I don't normally do, and didn't sleep well.
    Ah my poor face,. No wonder it was cross.
    All sorted now, and next time I,m gonna try the Aesop

    ReplyDelete
  33. Again, thank you Caroline! Honestly, you have completely changed my skin routine for the better!
    I will definitely be checking out the Aesop gel! Thank you again! XX.

    amylaurenxo.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for this post! Really informative. I've got awful skin, I also scar really badly so want to prevent getting spots in the first place. As far as diet goes, I'm not huge on dairy, rarely have lots of sugary stuff etc. At the moment my skin routine is to cleanse, tone, sometimes apply tea tree oil and then moisturise. I've been put on antibiotics, a cream and the pill to sort my skin out and it's done nothing! Really getting to me as I just want to be rid of my lumpy, tender and horribly marked skin. Any suggestions for what I'm doing wrong?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can totally relate to you here! I'm off the antibiotics and creams now and it's just gotten worse. Going to come off the pill in a month or so I just think it makes it worse! Trying to go the natural route as I feel antibiotics etc are just a short term band aid for the problem! But I totally relate! Just want to be free!!!

      Delete
    2. Hi, I hope you've been able to sort things out. I was also on antibiotics for my acne skin which i never felt worked. I read that they completely take away all the good bacteria inside the body whilst treating the bad bacteria. I immediately stopped taking them.. Started on Probiotics (Solgar do great ones which are purse friendly) and i began taking fish oils. I also found out i had Coeliac Disease. Since cutting Gluten out of my diet and starting on the fish oils and probiotics i have noticed a huge improvement on my skin! Drinking plenty of water is great too!!

      Delete
  35. Great post, Caroline. As someone whose primary allergic reactions are skin-based, I just wanted to clarify what you said about antihistamines. You are absolutely correct that cetirizine does nothing. Chlorpheniramine maleate is better, but loratadine is what my doctor recommended as being the best option for treating skin-specific allergic reactions, which is the medicine that's contained in Clarityn. So Clarityn would actually be the best go-to if experiencing skin problems.

    Or the Boots own brand with loratadine, which is currently on a 2-for offer. I have found no difference in effectiveness between it and the more expensive Clarityn.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Past month or so my chin has erupted in a mass of under skin spots localised on my chin/jawline, doctor has said its an infection on the follicle and given antibiotics. Have you any advice on how to deal with them? Or will the antibiotics alone sort them out? Thankyou

    ReplyDelete
  37. Past month or so my chin has erupted in a mass of under skin spots localised on my chin/jawline, doctor has said its an infection on the follicle and given antibiotics. Have you any advice on how to deal with them? Or will the antibiotics alone sort them out? Thankyou

    ReplyDelete
  38. What great advice thank you! I only started getting spots when I was pregnant with my two children, I'm 36 now, I had nothing as a teenager. It got worse when I had my son and I still frequently get spots and have had quite a breakout on my forehead - small red raised bumps which normally turn into a whitehead. Will definitely try your advice. Can you tell me if the Aesop's gel is suitable for teenagers? My daughter who's 13.5 years has started to get them. Thanks so much xx

    ReplyDelete
  39. Ok - I've decided to become a pest. I'm desperate - please forgive me :-/ please please please will you do something for pregnant women - my skin is a mare and I know its only going to get worse. I'm so confused, my doctor was all but useless - advice was use only very simple skincare, no lavender (which seems to be in almost everything I use) and no chemicals (which seems to be in almost everything else I use) she did say I could use Liz Earle tho?? but like you, I dont feel its the best for my skin. I have contacted some of the brands I use direct who all seem to say "yes its fine none of our products have high enough levels to cause any issues in pregnancy", but wont commit and say "check with your doc", who I now know is going to say no to everything.Please... signed, the desperate pest :-)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Caroline,
    Thank you so much for your blog. My skin has just improved tremendously since reading it. I am really struggling to find a moisturizer for my very dry skin. I have blemish prone skin but mostly reserved to my chin/jaw. It is also pretty sensitive and doesn't appreciate loads of essential oils. t have tried REN Ultra Moisture and it is okay, but I need to keep reapplying it and it makes my skin prickle. I have really bad food allergies, especially to dairy, so I can't use Kate Somerville's Goat Milk Cream because I will cross-react to the proteins. I am looking for one for summer and winter. I live in the US, so I can't get access to some of the things like Hydraluron that you recommend, but that is still for under a moisturizer, which I don't have.
    Right now, I cleanse my face with either Clarins Extra Comfort Cleasing Cream (AM) or Clinique TTDO (PM), Exfoliate with Clarins Chamomile Toner, and use the REN alone in the morning and with a Darphin Chamomile oil at night. If you have a better oil, that would be great too. I am 21, but want to spend what I need on my face, because I know I will appreciate in 30, 40, and 50 years from now. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm suffering from a histamine intolerance and also have food allergies, so an anti-histamine helps to fight those food-related spots and calms the redness that comes along with these problems. I'm always amazed at the results!
    and I also swear on fish oil, zinc and vitamin e for an anti-inflammatory diet :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. These 'Cheat Sheet' articles of yours are pure gold, i always print them out and carry them in my handbag! I'v recently been suffering from Perioral Dermatitis, never had it before. I wondered if you think i should avoid putting to much product on that area (as in cleansing, oils, facial washes, serums, moisturisers). I can't tell if its aggravating it or keeping it at bay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was misdiagnosed with this for years. I actually have acne. But at the time I researched the hell out of it and think I read somewhere that calendula cream can be good? Particularly the California baby brand. That's what I read anyway!

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for replying, that's very kind of you. I'v just bought some Weleda Calendula oil so fingers crossed it helps!

      Delete
  43. These 'Cheat Sheet' articles of yours are pure gold, i always print them out and carry them in my handbag! I'v recently been suffering from perioral dermatitis, never had it before. I wondered if you think i should avoid putting to much product on that area (as in cleansing, oils, facial washes, serums, moisturisers). I can't tell if its aggravating it or keeping it at bay!

    ReplyDelete
  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Caroline, usually I've seen that "they" recommend to use products in order of consistency from lightest to heaviest (e.g. oils, serums, then moisturizer). However, in your posts you always recommend to use serums then oils. I was just wondering why? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is also what Caroline suggests. Oils are heavier than serums, oils take longer to sink into the skin so Caroline suggests putting them on after serums.

      Delete
    2. Serums are generally lighter than oils. I've recently updated the Routines Cheat Sheet which will give you more info. :)

      Cx

      Delete
  46. Hi Caroline! Is it possible that some skin just doesn't like oils? I use the una Brennan pre cleanse which my skin usually gets on with, but if I use an oil after cleansing (currently boots botanics), i think it is making me very congested and bringing me out in painful spots? I try to follow all your advice and have changed my routine significantly (ren cleanser and moisturize, pre cleanse, acid tone, detoxing etc not in that order!!) but am still suffering from these spots. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to butt in Caroline! Anon, the boots oil has rosehip oil in it which I think I've seen Caroline say is quite clogging for congested/acneic skin. I would give the clarins oil she mentions a try - you can get free samples at a Clarins counter in Boots. Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your input! I didn't think of getting a sample - was loathed to spend a lot of money if it wasn't going to be for me! :-)

      Delete
  47. Ma très chère Caroline,

    I'd like to say thank you .. thank you because all your advices litteraly saved my skin ... still have breakouts sometimes, but I do know how to control them (thanks to you :) ). But there is a problem that I can't get rid of ... my skin has a granular aspect ... I can't hide it . It's like if I had tiny tiny spots under the skin and they'd never breakout...Dermatologist in France are soooo bad, they just gave me cream that litteraly kills my skin ...

    I have quite a sensitive, prone to rednesses skin, but oily in the same time with acne ... I know ... I'm blessed :)

    Well if you could give me some advice that would be looooovely.

    Merci beaucoup !

    ReplyDelete
  48. Interesting post but as always very little actually backed by research or real evidence just 'it works fine for me!' which simply isn't good enough..
    Would be useful for readers who's skin have totally turned around (for the better) applying Caroline's principle to chime in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lili,

      This blog is full of readers comments saying how their skin has been helped by the blog. This is a blog. Not a paper published in the Lancet. I'm not quite sure what you were expecting - or why you are reading it if its not satisfactory for you?
      If its not good enough....go write your own love. :)

      Delete
    2. I've read a lot of blogs who all mention how amazing their skin has gone after following Caroline's advice - I love reading and finding out more about what's good and horrific for my skin, and mine is definitely getting better little by little changing little bits as suggested by Caroline :)

      So thank you Caroline for putting in all this effort to educate us all on skincare - I love your blog! :)

      Delete
    3. Perhaps you haven't actually read any responses to Caroline's posts? Otherwise you would realize how many readers have had their skin saved/improved by her tried and tested advice. I for one love the fact that Caroline posts things that "work for her" because I know she actually tries and tests everything, and not just use it once and say its great. She really expects products to do what they say, and if they don't she doesn't recommend them. She's a no bullshit gal who only writes about things that she believes in, and I for one find that SO very helpful and rare these days. I can also testify that her advice SAVED my skin when I went through a hideous allergic reaction/highly sensitized period a few months back.

      Delete
    4. Seeing as you want readers to chime in, I will. And yes, my skin has improved HEAPS in the last few months thanks to this blog. I'm not quite sure what you're trying to achieve with your comment but maybe you should read the comments sections more often.

      Delete
    5. Lili, in 4 weeks Caroline's regime has TOTALLY transformed my skin and, not to be over dramatic, my life. Suffering with acne can make you avoid social situations, makes you feel awkward at work when standing up and presenting or meeting with directors. Always self conscious. Caroline's regime has not worked 'fine' for me, it has worked bloody brilliantly.

      Delete
    6. Every bit of advice I have used from Caroline has worked - from cleansers, to toners to baby sun cream. When I have had a problem with my skin for whatever reason I've thought back to things I've read here, made the suggested adjustments and seen the results happen almost overnight. I am a working make-up artist and I often refer to this blog when I find a new problem I have to work with.

      I think you need to realise that the main point of beauty blogs is to see how products actually work for real people rather than reading what the company wants you to. And to find an person who works in the industry and isn't afraid to give an honest opinion about the products they use is exactly what you need and is invaluable to me and the thousands of other people who love this blog.

      Delete
    7. Not for the first time, I'm gobsmacked at the comments some people feel entitled to make. Still, maybe the easiest thing is for Caroline to refund the money these people have paid to learn from her expertise. OH WAIT>

      Delete
    8. Out of interest what do you think most of this evidence is? People saying it worked for them. My skin has been tenfold better since I started taking Carolines advice and reading well informed industry opinions from someone who really really knows her stuff.

      Delete
    9. 'Not good enough'. HA. Caroline writes this for free for all of us because she's a total badass skin hero who wants to help out those of us who don't have access to this knowledge through other means. That's a pretty rude way to speak to someone giving you free advice.

      Delete
    10. I would like to chime in and point out that perhaps Lili cannot read given every post Caroline writes is followed by multiple people commenting on how much their skin has improved after reading her blog. I'm chiming and my skin looks all the more fab for it. Thanks Caroline x

      Delete
    11. I would like to chime in and point out that perhaps Lili cannot read given every post Caroline writes is followed by multiple people commenting on how much their skin has improved after reading her blog. I'm chiming and my skin looks all the more fab for it. Thanks Caroline x

      Delete
    12. My skin has never been better since I started follwing the Hirons skincare method rather than just buying whatever was supposed to be suitable for my skin concerns according to cosmetic companies.

      Delete
    13. Is that enough chiming for you Lili?

      Delete
    14. Can I add my 10 cents worth? I have learnt so much from this blog, I read it, take what I want from it and carry on. I am grateful that someone such as Caroline is willing to share their experience and knowledge with the rest of us. Do I take it as being the only thing that 'works' ? No I don't, just as I am different to you and you are different to the next person, what works for one doesn't work for all, if that were the case there wouldn't be several solutions to a problem, several products for the one condition be is skin related,health related or just in general. One fits all is a myth!

      You have a choice if you take this information on board, you have a choice if you follow it or not, you also have a choice as to what comes out your mouth and what you choose to write in a public forum. You have a choice to be nice or nasty.

      I work in a department store and was moved from my role in clothing to cosmetics, bath and body. My knowledge was zilch. I have learnt from Caroline so damn much, I've also learnt from the women I work with that have collectively over 100 years experience in beauty. I pass on as much of what I learn to the customers I serve every day, some come back and tell me what I suggested works, others come back and tell me it didn't work and we try something new, none of them have come to me and told me how my knowledge isn't based on fact or research. I think they are intelligent enough to know that not all things work for all people. They are wise enough to know you either take it or leave it. They are also wise enough to know that medical research can be manipulated to provide a favourable outcome. Just because something says that it was tried and tested by 100 people and 98 had good results doesn't mean that it's a conclusive result.
      http://www.ted.com/talks/ben_goldacre_what_doctors_don_t_know_about_the_drugs_they_prescribe.html

      Lili if you are after foolproof evidence that something will work for you, you will be sorely disappointed for the rest of your life!






      Delete
    15. I've spent literally hundreds of pounds buying products that I'd previously never heard of that were recommended by this blog and never yet been disappointed with a purchase. Real evidence or not, it works for me. I haven't got money to throw away on products that simply look good in a glossy magazine advert but then do nothing, so honest advice from somebody who's tried the products is preferable to me, whether they have with a medical degree or not!

      Delete
    16. After 22 years of acne and following advice/instruction from doctors on information apparently "backed by research or real evidence" I have had no improvement to my skin. What I do appreciate and what has absolutely made a huge difference to me is advice from Caroline that works "just fine" for her. Seriously, what is wrong with people that feel the need to come onto blogs and be so negative? As I tell my daughter, all negativity is born out of jealousy and insecurity or just that the person dishing out the negativity has such a miserable life they want everyone else to feel as miserable as them. stop reading this blog lili and go find some happiness

      Delete
    17. Hi Lili,

      Firstly I would suggest you read through all of Caroline's blog and the comments in each post, seriously - from start to the present date. It's a lot to read but then that's because a lot of people trust and respect Caroline's opinion, especially after they have follower her advice and seen good results.

      Secondly, since following Caroline's advice, my skin personally has become less/not congested, more radiant, more even, I have not had a cystic hormonal spot for about a year now (thanks to the fish oil I believe), I also saw that cutting out dairy and sugar, and following Caroline's other tips, got rid of any other residual spots. Now last week I was under a lot of stress and I also had an adverse reaction to a new product (one downside of reading Caroline's blog is I have become a skincare junkie of sorts, and I cannot get enough of it so any time I see something new I want to try it). My skin was AWFUL - inflamed, cystic, whiteheads, red, itchy etc etc. This literally happened overnight. Now, at this point in time this cheat sheet did not exist but because I have been a reader for years now I have picked up most of the above tips along the way (minus the alternation of face oil and spot treatment which I have now noted). So immediately I put them into practice and pretty much exactly a week later I have no cystic acne, no whiteheads, no new spots, no itching, any spots I do still have are much smaller and less red. My main concern now is dealing with post spot marks (my skin marks extremely easily) which I also know how to deal with effectively because of Caroline. I am rather smug that I almost knew all of these things to do because of reading the blog and the feedback. It is an amazing feeling to know that even if you have a sudden and severe breakout, you have control over your skin and you have an action plan that WORKS.

      Caroline I think you are so generous with your time and knowledge, THANK YOU for fixing my skin and giving me confidence in it, and also in the fact that I can deal with whatever it throws at me. One addition I thought of to the cheat sheet is the spots around the nose? I see you saying to people a lot that they may need to ask their doctor for a cream for these - what sort of cream? :-*

      Delete
    18. I would like to add that my skin has improved significantly since I started following Caroline's advice in the summer. I have always had a routine that I stuck to faithfully but was not using the best products to help my skin.

      Specifically, this cheat sheet came at a great time - I had several hormonal spots on my face yesterday, followed Caroline's advice on this post last night and this am (Clarins oil and Origins spot treatment), and tonight they are GONE with no dry flaky patches of skin. I work in health care and have learned experience from an experienced practitioner is the best. Thanks Caroline!!! Maureen

      Delete
    19. And how would readers chiming in provide you said 'scientific backing?" if that's what you're looking for go to any of the clinics posted

      Delete
    20. Lili got told! Love Caroline's community on here x

      Delete
  49. Hi Lili

    My acne kicked off when I was twelve, my skin pretty destroyed all through my teenage years and is still that same sore cystic type of adult acne today at 33 years old. I've listened to all Caroline Hirons has to say about various products and her advice has been streets ahead of any dermatologist I have consulted. I don't need to tell you HOW or WHY. I don't need to justify myself or my skin to you. I don't need your approval. All I ever need is to look in the mirror and be happy with the condition (and I mean condition not appearance) of my skin. And I got to that stage from this blog.

    Love and Light
    Regina George

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't need to tell her how... But please tell me! X

      Delete
  50. Lili, this isn't a peer reviewed article published in PubMed. I don't come here looking for primary research. You need to look elsewhere if that is the type of hard evidence you need. Caroline's advise has helped me greatly. I had dry skin with ugly dry patches on my cheeks. None of the docs recommendations worked. All the products were loaded with mineral oils and silicones. I changed my routine based on Caroline's recommendations and my skin has never looked better. Thank you Caroline. Luv ya' :):)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you. Impeccable timing as I'm currently experiencing a worse than usual breakout bonanza. Some further questions if I may.

    Did you discover your food allergies through an elimination diet? Say the word and it's on.

    The other question is about sodium lareth sulfate et al.. I was just told by my hair dresser that my shampoo might be exacerbating my acne and the internet points to SLS. Now I've been using Kerastase for a decade on the advice of my salon. But it turns out that the two shampoos I rotate contain SLS. The horror! Of course now I'm also paranoid about fabric softener and washing detergent, etc.. What is your opinion on skin problems and these common household products? Maybe it's finally time to go all ECO/BIO big time.

    Finally, what's a girl to do if she lives in a flat with hard water? This has also been suggested as a source of skin inflammation.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thanks for this - so useful. My spots are caused by roseacea so I'm sensitive to essential oils. Would you say the Clarins Lotus Oil is best avoided for my skin type (oily)? I am so tempted by it!
    Thanks,
    Claire

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think your comments are really unfair Lili. What more evidence can you need? It works!!!If there was a medical article on the stuff, you know where that evidence would have come from? Testing. Same thing.

    I have RA and due to medication, in recent years I have bloated, become depressed and sern my skin dry and flake due to stress snd sorrow. I came across Caroline after seeing her praises being sung on various fora. I really let myself go and thought this would be a great start, look after my mug, the rest will follow. I cried, seriously wept when I saw the changes overnight. I know that sounds ridiculous but I'm disabled, depressed and in serious need of a pick me up. After wasting hundreds if not thousands of euros on stuff that promises the world and doesn't deliver, you have no idea how much its helped me. Boosted me, let me feel a bit better. It works, and if it doesn't, she will tell ya why and recommend something else. All for the price of NOTHING. I couldn't afford to go see someone like caroline, hell i can't afford most of the stuff here. How nice is she?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Caroline!
    I'm a huge fan of your blog!!!!
    Since I'm following your routine suggestions I've seen a real improvement in my skin!
    Now I'm pregnant and I find really complicated to find out if I can still use the same products or not.... I'm a bit scared about pregnancy pigmentations also because I'm still struggling with some scars and marks from some bad acne months... please, can you suggest me some safe products?
    I'm using:
    clinique cleansing balm and anthony glycolic cleanser in the evening ( in the morning ren clearcalm cleanser)
    la roche posay exfoliationg toner (or aveda)
    serozinc
    hyaluronic acid gel (...they don't sell hydraluron in Italy :( )
    la roche posay effaclar duo(morning)/ bioderma hydrabio serum
    ...thank you so much

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hello Caroline,

    I felt compelled to leave a comment. I just discovered your blog today and have been addicted for the last few hours. I almost feel like crying reading all the comments from people who have gone through what I have, and are still fighting the battle with acne!

    I am now 26, and have been suffering with acne since I was about 11. When at its worst, my folks paid for me to see a dermatologist at the local hospital. I have been on two horrible, painful courses of Roaccutane. Whilst undoubtedly this drug does what it says it will, I am convinced that it has also damaged my skin, which is now sensitive, prone to break outs, redness, blotches and dry patches.

    I wish that's had had access to someone like you, whose first course if action may not have been to turn to drug therapy.

    During the last 15 years I have continued my battle. I have tried a lot of skin care and never settled on anything. I chop and change constantly, forever searching for the product that will be 'the one'. I'm still on the pill for my skin and have been for over 10 years. I am terrified to come off it.

    My head is buzzing after reading all your advice, I don't know where to start. I was never given advice about skincare- only given the drugs and sent away. Can you help me?

    My skin is not overly oily, but prone to breakouts of whiteheads and cystic spits around my chin, mouth, jawline and lower cheeks. It is also sensitive and has dry patches. It always feels congested, which means I'm kinda terrified to moisturise (I know - bad!)

    Can you advise me on some products to get started with? I just don't know where to begin.

    I feel so lucky to have discovered someone who will talk openly and honestly about caring for your skin, and not just try to give me more drugs! Just wish I'd known about you all those years ago, I feel like I've been slowly torturing my skin all this time. And suffering alone.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us all.

    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  56. My face has, in the past 48 hours, literally crumbled. I've reacted horrifically to a new moisturiser, and my usually well behaved, never before had acne or oiliness, skin has overnight turned into a tight, burning, sandpaper-like bumpy, rashy mess. Living in hillbilly country, I have no immediate access to Darphin/Aesop/Clarins, so I made a mad dash this afternoon to the pharmacist at Boots, and she immediately told me to take an anti-histamine. I'm awaiting the results...! Is E45 going to help me at all? I desperately need to soothe my skin, and that is pretty much all that is available - I'm aware of its heavy mineral oil base, but I'm desperate :( can anybody offer any suggestions?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,
      obviously I'm not Caroline and am certainly not any kind of doctor or skincare professional or whatnot. I do have lots of experience of skin reactions though, as I have very sensitive skin, rosacea and dermatitis, so maybe what works for me could help you. Basically you want to take antihistamine tablets and use a cream with it in if you can get one, and use the most bland products you can with no fragrance (natural or synthetic) or dyes. Also avoid alcohol in products completely. A lot of these bland products are based on mineral oil but some are not, such as the La Roche Posay Toleriane range. Also, using virgin organic coconut oil in place of a serum or facial oil works wonders for me when my skin goes mad. If you use anything very active like liquid exfoliants or benzoyl peroxide I would stop using them for a few days to let the skin calm down. Cleanse very very gently and avoid massage in that time too. I would use muslin cloths rather than flannels too as they're smoother textured, I find that better on sensitised skin. My regime for skin reactions is Clinique redness solutions cleanser, Body Shop aloe toner, the coconut oil, Toleriane moisturiser and an antihistamine cream if necessary, usually on particular trouble spots rather than all over. It usually calms my skin dramatically within 2 or 3 days.
      I would also go and see your doctor and get them to check it out, especially if you've never had this kind of reaction before. I hope this helps in some way, good luck!

      Delete
    2. Not sure how much use this is going to be if you dont have access to many brands but I'm sure Caroline has recommended BIoderma – Soothing repairing cream in the past if you have a bad reaction to a product.

      Delete
    3. thank you so much for replying to me! i took an antihistamine, which it turns out helped greatly in lessening the redness and 'burn', and the next morning i took another, just to be on the safe side. touch wood, the redness and burn have gone completely now...

      I looked at the LRP Toleraine range over the weekend, so hearing someone recommend it is great, I'll be ordering the moisturiser shortly! A friend advised me to pop some porridge oats in a muslin, soak them and then rest the soaked bag on my face - short term this felt great, but after spending my Saturday night smelling like porridge, i woke up Sunday morning to skin that felt barely any better. It's the texture that's just so awful, it's literally like sandpaper, and beyond dull :( I found a small tester of a Bioderma Atoderm PP Baume knocking around my drawer and have applied that every three or four hours since yesterday lunchtime - i think it has helped, my face is certainly no worse than it was, and i'd dare to say maybe a little better, but I've almost run out of that now. Only thing left to do is to pop to the whole foods co-op to get some coconut oil, and await my LRP from the postie. Ooh one other thing, my only cleansers at the mo are Liz Earle C&P (personally, i love it and it's never caused me an issue in the 18+ months I've been using it) and a L'Oreal Cleansing Oil (which I never bothered to look at the ingredients for and have now found out it's bloody mineral oil based, but to be fair to it I've used that for 3 or 4 months and again never had a problem with it) - i daren't use the L'Oreal one now, and i think C&P might be too harsh at the mo, can you or anyone recommend a good gentle cleanser?

      Thank you again, so so much for taking the time to reply, I hope your advice helps me xx

      Delete
    4. If you're still looking for some ideas... I'd try aloe vera especially as it's the first ingredient in the Aesop product Caroline mentioned. Try to find a real plant and cut off a half inch section at a time and squeeze out the gel. If you can't get your hands on a plant then try to a tube or bottle at a health food store with as high a percentage of aloe - 99% if possible. They usually have some in the skin care section. If you don't have one close then you could try Boots. Also, get some vitamin E. Again, you should find that in health food stores - as free liquid or in gel caps (poke a hole with a clean needle & squeeze out). Sometimes the caps have other oils in them so aim for something pure. Both of these will calm and soothe your skin.

      Other idea - some kind of calendula or arnica gel but you'd need to scan the ingredients to make sure there's no mineral oil to be "Hirons Approved" ;-)

      With these ingredients, I'd probably alternate aloe vera & a good oil, then at night - or during the day if you aren't going out - I'd do aloe, vit E all over, pat oil over that. And if you're in a health food store, check out their natural skin care lines. You might find an oil mixture aimed at break outs or at least one for nourishing your skin. Some of them are even better than Clarins in my opinion.

      Good luck! Let us know what works! xo

      Delete

    5. No problem :)

      Re coconut oil, make sure you use virgin organic rather than refined or fractionated, as those processes take out a lot of the beneficial stuff that's in the virgin oil.

      In terms of cleansers, the Clinique one I mentioned before is really good, as is the Body Shop Aloe cleansing milk if you've got a drier skin. You could try the Paula's Choice Earth Sourced perfectly natural cleansing gel if your skin's oiler. That one does foam a bit but it doesn't use sulfates. Also her Skin Recovery softening cream recovery cleanser might be worth a go.
      I definitely think it'd be best to drop Cleanse and Polish for a while, the essential oils are pretty strong for delicate skin.

      Delete
  57. *Prints out, laminates, sticks to bathroom wall*

    x

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm so glad you posted this, my skin almost had me in tears in sainsburys car park today! From having pretty good skin that my patients commented on to now having worse breakouts than I did as a teenager, I'm definitely at the end of my tether!
    Jodi xx

    ReplyDelete
  59. In response to Lili,
    I have been following religiously the advice and routines outlined by Caroline on this blog for the past 6 months or so and it has honestly been the only thing that has ever made a difference to my skin. I have a hormone condition which was lovely enough to give me horrendous acne beginning at age 11. I visited countless dermatologists that my mom was lovely enough to bring me to because she saw how much my skin effected my life. I was told to burn my face in the sun by a dermatologist (no I'm not kidding, this was over 10 years ago however), I was put on all of the typical acne routines (proactive etc), given numerous medications and cleaners/creams, and as a last resort accutane. I have also consistently been on the birth control pill due to the hormonal nature of my skin. However, despite giving all of these things a real chance to work (sticking with each for a long time and really dedicating to them) my skin really never changed except with accutane but i did not like the side effects or the blood work so i decided not to continue after a year.
    Following Carolines advice can be scary because it is SO different from what most people have ever been told (especially when it comes to acne prone skin). But I have really stuck with it and purchased the products she recommends for my skin type and followed the routines such as this one. As of the last several months I very very rarely get cystic acne anymore which was always my issue, literally almost never, the condition of my skin has completely changed, it actually seems normal for once not insanely oily but at the same time flakey and red like it always used to be. My redness and scaring has diminished substantially and the other day i walked out of my house with no face makeup on and that has not happened since i was 11 years old and I am now 23.

    I just really felt obligated to stand up for the amazing things Caroline is doing on this blog. Thank you Caroline!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I get cystic attacks sometimes.... I sometimes use a topical anti inflammatory cream or gel, which works amazingly to take the redness down quickly...... My teens use nitntoo for their hormonal outbreaks! Then trick is finding a cream, so its not too drying.....

    ReplyDelete
  61. Thank you so much for such post, I really love your blog and have been looking for such advice.

    I used to suffer from severe dry skin all my life (i am 25yrs old) never had spots or acne not even in my teenage years, up until a couple of month ago where my skin changed from being very dry and eczema prone to being very oily and having a lot of spots (mostly white heads), on my cheeks. I cleanse my skin every day, morning and night, thus I don't think that my breakouts are caused due to lack of cleansing.

    I've since tried a lot of cleansers and the one that does not aggravate my condition is the EH balm. However I would like to use a lighter milk/balm for my morning cleanse, if you have any suggestions I would highly appreciate it.

    Also, how long is it best to wait to see if a routine is working or not? I'm afraid i've been impatient and haven't given anything I tried an actual chance.

    Thank you so much for your excellent advice, I've learned so much on skin care since I've discovered your blog earlier this year.

    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  62. I was directed to Carolines blog following a huge number of recommendations from an Irish Beauty blog. I must confess...my skincare routine up until two wks ago was awful - boots 3 for 2 cucumber face wipes! I suffer from constant spots on chin and around mouth so I really want to try the advice I have read here. Problem is I am BROKE. Saving hard for a house deposit - so I PROMISE.... I am not spending money on handbags instead of my face.

    I am going to have to overhaul my skincare regime but due to the lack of funds it is going to take me a while. The day after I read the blog I ran out and both 8 facecloths, cetaphil cleanser (recommended to me years ago by a dermatologist), boots botanics cleansing balm and my biggest splurge....Hydraluron. That has completely wiped out my bank balance.

    I was wondering if ANYONE could recommend an Exfoliating toner that is cheaper than Clarins. I have tried searching the blog. I know Caroline has recommended L'Oreal Age Perfect toner before but I have no idea if that is classified as exfoliating or not. Aveda also seems to be recommended but not easily accesible.

    I hope to slowly build up my kit...but it is going to have to be one bit at a time....so if anyone has any budget recommendations that work for Carolines routine I would be so so so grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,
      I use the L'Oreal toner and have found a real difference, I never used to tone before as the ones I had tried made me oily. This one doesn't and the magnesium and vit C helped with pigmentation I had. The Hydraluron is brilliant, you will find that you use less of it the more you use it, it absorbs really well after a while so you need less and you will notice that the amount of moisturiser needed will lessen as well, I think I've saved in the long run because I'm needing as much product.
      Best of luck with your new routine, I hope you have wonderful results like I've had.

      Linda

      Delete
    2. Pixi Glow is cheap. Not sure how much REN's version is?

      Delete
    3. Are you in Ireland? not sure if this is available there but I use Alpha Hydrox 10% AHA it is between $10-15 US (I purchase online).It has really improved my skin, and is formulated at the correct pH of 4 - so it will exfoliate. Expensive is not always better. The actives are the same and as long as the pH is correct it will work regardless of what you spent. In fact I wouldn't spend tonnes of money. It's like sunscreens, I don't spend lots on that either because there is no difference as long as it's a good quality product (and good quality does not equal expensive).

      Cheers,
      Hannah

      Delete
    4. Im the same Anon.!! I think we.ve been reading the same Irish beauty blog!
      I dont even know what "Acid tone" means!!! I have all my cleansers and toners lined up in front of me on the kitchen table, scrutinising the ingredients - to the extent that now I'm totally confused!!! UGH!

      Delete
    5. Let me know which ones and I'll try and help. And original poster - try Bravura for more affordable options. Keep me posted ladies I try and answer as and when i can. :) X

      Delete
    6. Thank you all for the advise. I caved and invested in the Clarins toner but its sooooo teeny! How long does a bottle last for? I dont think I will be able to afford to go through bottles of it so I was thinking of using it in the evening after my double cleanse and maybe a cheaper toner for the morning. any recommendations?

      Delete
  63. Some of these products look great and I'll have to look into them!! I'm a lurker but stepping out to comment about the taking the antihistamine suggestion. I have cystic acne and when I have a very painful/large cyst, I will sometimes take Ibuprofen. It gives me relief (it's not like an amputated limb, but if they're in the wrong spot, specially near the mouth or something so when you move your mouth, your skin moves and so it's constantly OW), and it also calms it down and I think may even help it go away faster. Also, for some reason, spot treatments with sulfur seem to really help with the cysts-- I used to use BareMinerals Blemish Therapy and got great results. I told my dermatologist and she said sulfur is good for that, and gave me a prescription for a stronger spot treatment, which I have been so happy with.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Bravura London (google it) ginseng toner but all their toners are exfoliating. About £8 a bottle

    ReplyDelete
  65. Well, if any more "evidence" is still needed, I will add my own and say that even my non-problematic skin has truly improved since I have been following Caroline's blog and adjusting my regime accruing to ghee advice.
    And what is the point of "scientific evidence" if it won't work for your skin? I certainly have reacted badly in the past to very "scientific" products that a lot of people sewer by, like EL ANR... The only thing Caroline is bad for is one's bank balance, alas.
    Thank you, Caroline, from another super happy reader!!!

    ReplyDelete
  66. When you say drink water, no fizzy. Does this mean sparkling water? Thankyou for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Can you recommend a fragrance free hydrating toner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. doubt it. . ..

      Delete
    2. Hi Anon,

      I would look at Clinique Clarifying Lotion MILD - no alcohol - aloe instead - it does contain a little salicylic though so if you don't need that look at their Moisture Surge Face Spray which is glycerin and aloe. That one has some camomile but its far down the inci list and at the strength is prob used to calm rather than fragrance. Try them first though.

      Cx

      Delete
  68. Hi Caroline, I have a quick question - I bought the Daphin Intral Toner as i have sensitive, dehydrated acne prone skin (around Jawline and nowhere else) and man my jawline exploded with large sore cystic acne. I think it may have been the camomile. I replaced it with pure witch hazel to help heal and thats worked but im a little concerned with the alcohol content which is why i switched to the Intral Toner - is there another toner you could recommend for redness and to help sooth? thanks xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hi there,

    Is it still advisable to put oil on spots when living in a humid climate like Singapore?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Greetings Mrs Hirons, just a quickie I promise! When I have acne/pimples that are just starting to heal, and the new pink skin is emerging, I tend to avoid these areas when using my exfoliating toner, because I think well thats nice new skin I don't need to put it there and geez it bloody stings when I do!! Sometimes the area can be a little moist ( sorry ) still, so....should those areas still get a swipe or not? I just find they take longer to heal if I am constantly banging acid on them. Does that make sense? I put a dab of rosehip on those areas instead..that ok? Good grief that took a whole paragraph to get out. Sorry again. Lou xo ( IG academy award winner ) xo

    ReplyDelete
  71. I take vegan algae capsules as a fish oil substitute - more effective than flax! http://opti3omega.com/opti3.html x

    ReplyDelete
  72. Thought I'd give this a shot! To any knowledgeable readers as well, please feel welcome to chime in.

    I'm purchasing either EH Cleansing Balm or Clinique take the day off cleansing balm soon and grabbed Hydraluron today but I can't afford to swap out my entire skin care line just yet.

    I own:
    Hydralight toner - Paula Begoun
    1% BHA Gel Exfoliant - Paula Begoun
    BHA 9 - Paula Begoun

    And numerous moisturizers that are done by her (Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 25, Skin Balancing Ultra Sheer SPF 30, Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel)

    I normally just cleanse, sometimes tone and then moisturize. I found when I used the BHA that I broke out quite consistently. I have no problem completely changing what I use to what Caroline suggests, but I need some suggestions that are lower in price and if I have to pick and choose, I have no clue what's best to swap out first besides the cleanser I'm currently using (also by Paula). I'm from Canada and trying to find a lot of these names from the UK are absolutely brutal.

    23 y/o, combination skin, prone to acne, have loads of scarring primarily around nose/mouth and chin area - rest of face is relatively untouched.

    Thanks in advance!

    (And if by some miracle Caroline responds to this, THANK YOU! I've read through 3/4 of your blog at this point and can only imagine how busy you are constantly!)

    Allayna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      How often are you using the BHA? I know Paula says to use it every day but I found that way too much, it made my skin raw. Cutting it back to around twice a week improved my results no end. The BHA is fantastic on my skin and has literally single handedly eliminated my painful acne cysts. Maybe using it every day is too much for your skin too? Just a thought. I would try using it less often before giving up on it completely.

      Also I'd recommend the Clinique balm over the Emma Hardie, my skin got on much better with it.

      In terms of swapping, I think cleanser is definitely the first thing to change and will give the quickest noticeable results. Also the Hydraluron, I noticed a difference after using it for a couple of days.

      Hope this helps.

      Delete
  73. Hi Allayna.

    You are so lucky to be able to get Paula Begoun BHA 9! Living in the UK, I can't purchase it because of EU regulations as only a maximum of 2% BHA is allowed. I'm surprised you didn't get on with Paula's BHA products. If you are prone to break outs and you start using a BHA product (especially a potent one like Paula's), you may get more break outs for a while, although it shouldn't be for too long! How long did you use them for? You need to give it time. I use Paula's anti-redness 2% BHA liquid and it has made a considerable difference to my skin.

    I use the Clinique cleansing balm. It's absolutely fantastic! I usually use The Body Shop's Aloe Soothing Cleanser as my second cleanse because it lives up to its name in that it is very soothing. Read and re-read and then read again Caroline's Routines Cheat Sheet. It took me a while to get my head around it all but it's completely changed my skin for the better (take note, Lili, if you've actually bothered to read the replies from Caroline's followers after your disrespectful message on this thread)! If you're using SPF in the day, double cleansing is so important. I started double cleansing after reading Caroline's advice and it's made a massive difference.

    Felicity

    ReplyDelete
  74. Ana Margarida Guilherme16 November 2013 at 21:48

    Hi! I absolutely LOVE your blog!! I'm 28, I have combination skin with rosacea in my forehead and cheeks and I just watched your video with Pixiwoo. I live in Portugal and we don't have Emma Hardie products here. Would you be so kind to recommend a cleanser that I can use in the morning and at night and that won't dry my skin like most products for combination skin do. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hi Caroline, I would really like to get in contact with you to ask you a few quick questions about my skin type, I was wondering if you possibly had a email address that I can direct these questions to you? I completely understand if you do not answer questions/have time/would prefer not too. Thankyou in advanced, loved this post.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Went on a little spree yesterday and equipped myself with all of the above, with only a small sigh in the back of my brain that this may well not work for me and I shouldn't get my hopes up, and very nearly doing a small cry at the girl in the aesop shop when she asked me gently how I would describe my skin, but LO AND BLOODY BEHOLD. Skin looks and feels so much better this morning. Fingers crossed no adverse reactions in the next few days...do we think Hirons-ism has reached religion status yet, or are we still in cult phase??

    Beth xxx

    ReplyDelete
  77. Thanks soooo much for this post... :)

    My skins gone crazy right now...!

    www.clareelisesparkles.com

    ReplyDelete
  78. Caroline, firstly thank you so much for all your advice, my skin has improvedd so much in the last 6 months since using EH balm, p50 and hydraulon.
    I'm looking for a recommendation for day &/or night moisturiser & eye cream. I'm 27, have combo skin prone to acne breakouts.
    Oh I'm in Ireland so can't get Kate sommerville!
    Would b grateful for any recommendations, thanks, Aishling.x

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hi Caroline,

    Which do you prefer, Aesop control gel or Balance me radiance oil?

    x

    ReplyDelete
  80. To Ana in Portugal-
    I'm NOT Caroline, but wanted to offer some thoughts-
    Do you have The Body Shop? Some of their new releases- The camomile cleansing butter (A balm cleanser like EH) and waterproof eyemakeup remover and the Vitamin E serum -in-oil night treatment are really nice; more affordable options but still great quality skincare.
    Also, companies like Feel Unique do international shipping which opens up your skincare access to many brands

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hi Caroline! Firstly, thanks soooo much for all this amazing advice!! :) I have seriously bad acne thats getting worse thanks to recently quitting my longterm antibiotics (approx 3 years) I'm 22 and having to face facts that my bad skin is not teenage hormones anymore! Thanks to your advice I have started to change anything/everything I can, have started the Dr P skin clearing diet, ordered Murad supplies along with an array of other vitamins, supplements and natural shampoos! The only thing left is make up, I noticed somewhere that another reader mentioned that they had taken your advice to stop using BareMinerals which I've been using for years as I thought that it was good for acne! I'm super pale which I find a problem with a lot of foundations, but any ideas for a good one to try? Ooh, and about shampoos, I'm guessing sodium laureth sulphate is the same sort of thing as sodium lauryl sulphate and should be avoided?
    Sorry for the long post! Thank yooouuuuu!!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Hi Caroline! Thanks for all your amazing advice! Any ideas for a foundation for pale skin good for not irritating acne? I have been using BareMinerals but have heard it might not be the best for acne… and a little question about shampoos, sodium laureth sulphate: I'm guessing this is similar to sodium lauryl sulphate and should be avoided? thankkkk yooouuuu!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.s. I have started taking holland and barretts hight strength cod liver oil despite my vegetarianism in my pure desperation! the tablets are 1000 mg and obviously it says 'do not exceed stated dose' silly question but is this the type of fish oil you mean? and if so its all fine to take up to 10 of these tablets a day if my skin is extra bad?! thanks!! P.p.s I've been doing dr p's diet for like 3 weeks now apart from 1 or 2 slip ups and it doesn't seem to be any better! bit disheartened, but guessing maybe its because i won't eat salmon cause of being vegetarian? help?! extra thanks!!!

      Delete
    2. Cod liver oil isn't fish oil - cod liver is great for joints etc. Try fish oil OR linseed or flax - try Biocare website xxxx

      Delete
    3. right i got me some fish oil! same question goes, is it okay to take more than it says to? in terms of fish oil, zinc, vitamin d etc. they all say 1 a day? i have been eating flaxseeds, udo's oil and taking veggie omega 3 for the last few weeks with no results so I'm really hoping the fish oil works :/ thanks for your reply! xxxxx

      Delete
    4. sorry caroline i have another query for as and when you may have a second, sorry to bother you! my gp has prescribed clindamycin (topical) but i don't know whether to use it or not! Dr P seems to find it works for some and not others in his book 'the clear skin prescription' and i don't know how to know if i will be one that it works for or not! in the past i have tried zineryt, duac and benzoyl peroxide, the first two to not much avail and the last to significantly redder! any advice on topical treatments? thanks! (i am super desperate so really want something to help out and not make it worse before my weekend away this weekend but no rush) dr p's diet still not a vast improvement :( xxx

      Delete
  83. Can I just say how much easier I sleep when I have a question and can go find it in the cheat sheets? It's awesome. I just followed these instructions, I have my oil and treatment on the nightstand at the ready and I'm full of confidence for my job interview tomorrow as the spots I was worried about are already seeing improvement. What grand luck as my new fish-oils came in the post two days ago, as well!
    Caroline, you Madame, are my skincare Sherpa. You have made me feel beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hey Caroline,
    I know it may sound ridiculous, but i found out lately that it also helps when you shampoo your hair witch somethinc zinc-ish!!
    Head & shoulder or something like that.
    Good luck !!

    ReplyDelete
  85. I'm a 40 something still struggling with the occasional breakout and now seeing fine lines. UGH. Thanks for the advice.

    ReplyDelete
  86. ..what is acid tone and do you have a brand that you like?

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hello Caroline.

    After reading and watching a lot of your great stuff I have got to a point where I need to ask your advice. I'm in the first trimester of my second pregnacy and have found my skin is becoming more oily and I'm suffering random break outs. I never really suffered much with my first pregnancy, but to be honest I kind of neglected my skin back then and was scared of moisturisers.

    I have been using Indeed Retinol Reface and Indeed Hyraluron, which have been working great, however I'm wondering if I need to try something different in case this is now what's making my skin break out. I love products that help cell turnover as I have a few areas I'm trying to heal. I would be so greatful for or any advice.

    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hello, Caroline!

    Boy, am I glad I found this little gem. I was using Elemis as I do every winter through to spring, and when summer comes, I always switch to a facial routine for more oilier skin. I bought Clinique's Liquid Face Soap and the Dramatically Different moisturising gel, and by Zeus's hairy armpits, what an absolute mistake.

    My skin was *gorgeous* when using the Elemis, it really was. All lovely and soft and smooth, even toned, not a spot in sight... Flawless is the word somebody would use. See for yourself.

    Photo was taken in my bathroom with my beloved Nikon D3200, so there is no Instagram filter, no editing (don't know how), no nothing but the sunlight that comes directly into my bathroom every morning in the summer.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Sunscorched/media/After%20Elemis_zpsuneqrkns.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4

    Since Elemis is a bit too much for my 'summer skin', when it's much oilier than winter and spring, I usually switch to Clean & Clear Morning Burst. Anyhow, since I had my Boots Advantage vouchers, I thought "Why not splash out on a lil luxury?" So I did, and this happened...

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Sunscorched/media/20150702_150312_zpsierecto5.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1

    I didn't know that the Liquid Face Soap only cleaned the epidermis, and the Dramatically Different moisturising gel only moisturised that same outer layer. One month, Caroline, and one month and my whole face has been destroyed. It started with flaking skin, then peeling skin, and then I noticed I didn't have pores anymore.

    I had the state of Alaska dotted about my face several times over. So blocked and chock full of dirt my pores were, that when I ran a dry cotton wool pad over my face, it came away oily and dirty. I went straight into town and bought a clay mask (I'd ran out of my Elemis). My skin is now purging an entire month's work of gunk, and my entire right cheek is covered with spots under my skin, it's red and so sore, I had to use vodka to take the sting out of my cheek.

    What's worse? In 12 days time, I'm supposed to be at the London Film and Comic Con, having my photos taken with Freddy and Jason, my two main men! I've spent the last four months of my life collecting the makeup I'll be using for my 'looks' on both the Saturday and the Sunday.

    I'll be sending my mum into town first thing tomorrow to buy me some Piriton, and my Palmer's facial products will be ready to pick up from Superdrug on Tuesday, so hopefully my skin will be at least halfway decent by the 17th, which is when I go to London.

    I really feel like crying my eyes out, I really do. If you have anymore tips and tricks, and I mean anything, then I beg of you to let me know as soon as humanly possible!

    So much love and gratitude for this article,

    Jude xxx

    P.S. If you would like to see my photos from the Comic Con, I'd would be very happy to share them with you :)

    ReplyDelete
  89. Caroline, I have recently come off my pill and my skin has gone crazy I normally have good skin barely any breakouts and minor congestion. Since coming off the pill my skin texture has change its almost dry and sensitive now not smooth at all sometimes itchy. I use a lot of dermalogica which worked fine in the past now they don't seem to help :( I'm trying not to put much on it but again it's not helping I don't want to go back on my pill but I feel like that's the only option do you have any advice please? Xx

    ReplyDelete

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin
Related Posts with Thumbnails