Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Clinic Lessons. November.

During my appointments I keep a running record of things that I find myself repeating, or that seem to need clarifying - or that I have just become aware of because I suspect you may find it useful.

In no particular order:

Double cleansing
Unless you wear a high SPF or a lot of makeup it's not necessary every day. Save your money. And time. Do it at the weekends pre-masks etc.

Cetaphil
Yes, once listed as a 'staple' on this very blog, overuse on the wrong skin can be drying. When I originally wrote the post on Staple Cleansers over 3 years ago, the recession was in full swing and I think I probably felt pressure to stick a cheaper product in there. So: I've done what I don't normally do which is remove it from the post. It's not that I don't think you should use it - it's just that me stating that something is a 'staple' is very different in November 2013 than it was in September 2010. Ditto Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. It's not the same as it was. It can be too much for some skins so to say it is for everyone could prove misleading.

It would be a huge job to keep check on every post I've ever done and clarify when I've changed my mind but when I can really see that something is written that I no longer think is accurate I will try and update. Bear with!

DUAC
If you are recommended/prescribed this I would urge you to use it with caution - and only on the areas of acne themselves - if you use it all over the face you may become horrifically dry very quickly, which will lead to inflammation and a whole host of other issues. If it works for you, great, but don't smear it on like butter on hot toast.

Effaclar Duo/range
See above. If you get occasional breakouts but otherwise have 'normal' skin, this is not for you. Please, please, stop using it all over your face and to the exclusion of good oils. Your skin will very quickly become dry, agitated and in desperate need of a drink - like me after reading the beauty 'advice' in the Daily Mail this week.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliant
Out of all the recommended exfoliating toners, this one has proved a tad problematic when used too often. The exfoliating stage is to be done with varying products, using one 2 x day for the rest of your life is not the best for your skin. Please don't be put off. It's perfectly fine used in conjunction with other toners - just not all day everyday.

Eysilix
Great for younger skins. Not hydrating enough for older, dryer skins. Either use under a serum/moisturiser for the added peptide benefits or consider stepping it up a gear if you are 30+.

Mag Mirrors
Good Lord please stop. To be used for tweezing and tricky eye liner if you must. Otherwise, no. Just NO.

'Using it up.'
Something I hear all too often. If something isn't working for you, or isn't for your skin type, or if your skin has changed since you bought it, don't 'use it up'. To continue using it could do more harm than good.
Bin it, or put it to one side the way you would a Winter coat in Spring - just in case - but don't 'use it up'.

78 comments:

  1. I laughed out loud at the magnifying mirror comment! My sister has one and I'd get stuck in her bathroom for an hour! Not good...

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  2. Now I have just purchased a mag mirror but then being 47 I need it! Goodness no more wonky eyebrows. and no more dried up concealer under my eyes, but then as someone once said about mag mirrors "if anyone is actually getting that close to your face they have something else on their mind other than the size of your pores" or in my case state of my eyebrows - my pores have long since given up the ghost. Thanks for a pithy roundup.

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  3. Thanks for this Caroline! What do you think about the Ren Clarifying toner for daily use as opposed to the Clarins? Also, can the effaclar duo be used as a spot treatment for skin that occasionally gets blemishes or all over only on spotty days?

    One last question - I'm on a budget and I have sensitive skin that is breaking out due to pregnancy. I'm planning to get the Clinique balm cleanser - can I use that AM as well asPM if I'm not double cleansing? If I double cleanse, can I use the Ren cleansing milk for the second cleanse?

    Thanks!

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  4. Thanks Caroline, fantastic advice, as always!

    emmazingbeauty.blogspot.com

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  5. Thank you for sharing this! I have realised when I use the Effaclar Duo daily it does dry out my skin, I now only use it when I break out! Once again another very helpful post!

    www.britishbeautyaddict.com

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  6. Fab post, I like that you don't mind changing what you think, that is the sign of someone who actually cares and wants to learn! I love my eysilix but have been thinking of using something extra.

    Ineffable Beauty

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  7. what do you mean by Clarins not being good for skin when used too much? i've been using it twice a day with liquid gold couple of nights a week - is this too much? could it be causing more breakouts? what do you think of Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid toner http://www.beautybay.com/skincare/mariobadescu/g/glycolicacidtoner/ could i use this in conjunction with the clarins? sorry for all the questions haha! xx

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    1. Not Caroline but I'd pass on that toner - it has such a low amount of glycolic acid - less than most face washes (like 1-2% while Anthony Glycolic Face wash is like 4% and Peter Thomas Roth is 10%) You need at least 5-10% for it to work as an exfoliant plus an effective pH. Any lower and it will help to add moisture only but not exfoliate. The MB is . .how do you say this nicely? Le garbage? I got a bottle from my dear sister who said it was as effective as "wiping water" over her face. I have to agree. Into the bin it went. I'd go with any of the glycolic acid toners recommended here by Caroline instead or Alpha Hydrox or Paula's Choice 5% or 10%. Both are great.

      Also acids are a very "your mileage may vary thing" - many people use them daily but some can only use them 2x a week. It only removes the dead layer of skin and you shed more daily than toners can remove. The warning is there because over-use can irritate the skin (redness, dryness,peeling, etc) so if your skin has any of these signs you just need to cut back a bit and find what works for you. Personally I used Clarins daily and saw no difference in my skin so I have switched to a different acid toner and use that one every night with no problems and great results.

      Cheers,
      Sandy

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  8. I love these posts. Thankyou.

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  9. I love your posts like this, they are always really interesting & manage to solve a skincare worry I didn't even know I had....

    http://wheelingalong24.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. Thank you for the post Caroline!
    My toners are all acidic i.e. glycolic or salicylic. I have Pixi glow tonic and paula choice BHA and clarins. Would it be ok to acid tone everyday but alternate the use of these toners? Or should I use an exfoliating toner 2-3 times a week?

    ps. I'm just starting to get into oils. I have the Clarins lotus one (and so far so good) but don't know how it compares with the Clarins blue orchid and balance me oil. I have combination skin (quite dehydrated in the winter and oily in the summer). Any advice on whether I should buy another one to pick and choose depending on my skin's needs?

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    1. hope you don't mind me replying to you. But it sounds as though I have the same skin as you and Caroline recommended on her blog an oil called Sjal Sapphir Concentrate. It is really expensive (£120) but I got mine on ebay (bad I know but the seller seemed reputable) for about £50, but will last you for ages. Ive had mine for about 8 months now with one drop a night. It's citrus based with omega oils too. I think you can find the post she did about it on the sidebar

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    2. Sorry but citrus is extremely irritating and numerous studies show is linked to inflammation and other damage such as photo-sensitivity on the skin (especially oils).

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  11. I'm so glad to read a second cleanse in not necessary everyday, specially with finals coming up! Caroline could you do a post regarding best French pharmacy finds? There is so much hype around the pharmacies, but I (and I guess other readers) would love to hear your recommendations for cleansers, moisturizers, and facial oils.

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  12. So glad to read a second cleanse is not necessary everyday, especially with finals coming up! Caroline could you please write a post on French pharmacy finds? There is so much hype regarding the pharmacies, and I (and probably other readers as well) would love to read your recommendations on the best cleansers, moisturizers, facial oils, and the like.
    Love your blog, by the way! My skin has really improved in the last few months, and I now feel comfortable without wearing concealer or foundation everyday. You are a savior :)

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  13. Thank you. If in doubt I double cleansed even though I don't wear heavy makeup at all and most days none! I wouldn't feel guilty now ;)

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  14. please advise, i was using the clarins toner twice a day-i know you said in an old post that this was fine- what would you recommend now? i'm 25yrs old, combo skin, used manual scrubs all the time as i had flakiness (probs due to overly scrubbing!) so found clarins helped with where i have flaky skin, and combined with clarins x2 a day with ren glycolic once a week. but then i had a sudden build up of under skin painful spots near chin for first time ever, and overdid effaclar duo, and ended up with extremely dry skin that peeled off and now i have some scarring and pigmentation but it is slowly improving. confused what to do think its due to acid but was only doing what i thought you recommended. i'd be greatful for your advice.

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    1. Ditto on this, I had a similar experience recently with under the skin bumps. I stopped using REN Clay Cleanser and started using Clarins Extra Comfort and Darphin Purifying Balm and its helping. I now have red scarring and need something to help combat that. Will Estee ANR help that (I have this but dont use it often), also have Clarins Lotus (I think it may be too rich for me but my husband loves it).

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  15. also i keep getting bumps under skin/ the odd spot on chin in the same area, never had these before

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  16. Awesome advice as always! I find that the Effaclar Duo in a thin layer all over my face, once a day, does wonders for my skin (which is oily, but less so during the winter months, and very VERY prone to clogging). I think it's the best product I've ever found for treating my clogged pores/blackheads.

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  17. Thanks Caroline, it's good to get a reminder! Can we hope for a 'winter skin' post, please?

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  18. I spend hours when I go to my parents in front of that BLOODY magnifying mirror. I swear I go in to wash my hands then walk about looking like I've been attacked...

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  19. Ive always hated magnifying mirrors! Only good to make funny faces in while in the shop.
    I found that the effaclar duo does nothing to help my skin. I have oily skin prone to breakouts every other day, but this just makes my makeup slide off during the day. Alot of bloggers claim this is a good primer, which for me, is the complete opposite.

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  20. I recently purchased the clarins gentle exfoliator and have been using it twice a day for about two weeks. When you say it can become problematic what do you mean? Also, how often do you suggest to use it?

    I have normal skin but I get breakouts on the sides of my chin, like from the sides of my lips down to my jaw.

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  21. I am glad you posted this! I love a little clarification on previous posts especially helps to answer questions for us since you can't answer everyone's questions

    I was using cetaphil, effaclar duo and clarins gentle exfoliator for a couple months and all was fine (or so it seemed) and then about 2-3 days ago i woke up and my skin had dry chapped red/bumps all over WOOPS

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    1. Ditto! Although I also use a moisturiser as well and an oil at night. My skin's acne-prone and oily and the Cetaphil was great in the summer until a few weeks ago my skin felt tight after using it (especially after coming in from the cold). Tried a sample of REN's Evercalm cleanser and that left my skin feeling really comfortable but clean afterwards, so am looking into that to replace the Cetaphil in winter.

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  22. Hi Caroline, lovely post! Re Eyesilix, I agree as an older reader. I use use mine about 1 hour after using Alpha H eye serum and the combined effect works really well for me.

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  23. Thanks Caroline!

    Only one question, what do you mean by Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner being a tad problematic? I just recently bought it following one of your recommendations.

    Krissi

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    1. Hi there, i hope you don't mind me butting in! I have had the Clarins toner for about 6 months, probably the best buy i have ever made! I use it 4 to 5 times a week (once a day) and that is more than enough to really get the great effects. Perhaps everyday twice a day is too excessive for this particular toner (which is what has been recommended in the past). Don't worry though, it is a great product, completely eradicated my dry flaky skin.

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  24. I too am a little confused about the clarins point. Are you saying twice a day every day is two much? Or that it should be used in conjunction with other (hydrating?) toners? Apologies if I'm being stupid. I use it twice a day with serozinc afterwards - too much?

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    1. I was a bit confused here too. Mrs. Hirons, oh wise one, are you saying use sparingly (as in, not daily) if I find it too drying for my skin? I currently use Clarins yellow toner (chamomile???) and a hydrating spray toner but am almost out of the yellow and was going to switch it the gentle exfoliant one.

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  25. Oh I wish I lived in the UK just to have a consultation with you! My skin has always been clear, but for two months now it's a disgrace. I've been stalking your blog for advice. I've just finished the REN clay cleanser, should I repurchase it or go for the Michael Todd charcoal cleanser one?

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  26. Oh I wish I lived in the UK just to have a consultation with you! My skin has always been clear, but for two months now it's a disgrace. I've been stalking your blog for advice. I've just finished the REN clay cleanser, should I repurchase it or go for the Michael Todd charcoal cleanser one?

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    1. Marta,

      I too used the Ren Clay Cleanser up and it was the cause of the most horrible breakouts of my entire life. My entire jaw chin area was covered in those under the skin horrible painful red bumps. I didnt realize this was the cause since Caroline had recommended it as a good cleanser. As soon as I stopped using the RCC, my skin began to heal. I now have started using the clarins extra comfort cleansing cream and I really like it. Its not one of those cleansers that is going to do miraculous things but its is very pleasant and my face doesnt feel dry after I use it. I think something in that RCC did not agree with my skin. I am finally on the road to recovery thanks to the clarins cleanser and darphin purifying balm. I hope you are able to find something that works for you. I have used michael todd products before (honey and oat cleanser, lemon toner, few others) and I find them to be ok. The honey and oat dried me out, but I have not used the charcoal one. Hopefully RCC isnt the cause of your problems and then maybe the Michael Todd will work for you

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  27. I am so guilty of thinking I have to 'use it up'. I definately need to get rid of a couple of things.

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  28. Hi Caroline, can you please expand on your comment about Clarins Gentle Exfoliator? What are some alternatives? I can't get P50 or that other one (pixi something?) here in Canada. Thanks!

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    1. Hi carrie,
      i live in canada and managed to order the p50 from a new york spa called 'paul labrecque'. just google it and i hope you find what you are looking for! the shipping wasn't crazy either.

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  29. The darn magnifying mirror gets me every time. I have super dry skin and the fact that it is freezing out and I am all about keeping my house warm the radiators get hot and my face just begins to peel and flake off but at least I am warm. I don't think anything can hydrate my extremly sensitive dry skin.

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  30. The darn magnifying mirror gets me every time. I have super dry skin and the fact that it is freezing out and I am all about keeping my house warm the radiators get hot and my face just begins to peel and flake off but at least I am warm. I don't think anything can hydrate my extremly sensitive dry skin.

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  31. New to your blog and absolutely love it. Like many others have mentioned above I too have just purchased the Clarins Toner and am now wondering what to use instead. Same with the Eyeslix. I'd be very appreciative if you could please recommend:
    1.what to use instead of Clarins Exfoliating Toner
    2. what to replace Eyeslix with (I'm 48)
    3. a good hydrating toner (I've searched your blog for a brand name and can't find one)

    Thank-you from Canada!

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    Replies
    1. A good hydrating toner would be Darphin Intral (good for sensitive skins)

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. I'm reposting my comment out of desperation. Sorry...*runs and hides*

    Apologies for my name (anonymous). I didn't want to take up space in your inbox, so I thought I'd post my question in a comment instead. I hope you don't mind. I read your blog and follow your routines religiously...until recently. I was just diagnosed with perioral dermatitis. I rejected the doctor's suggestion of antibiotics and steroid based topical creams. I'm curious of what you recommend for this condition. Based on my own research, it seems "less is more" when dealing with PD. I even read a blog post by a young woman who fought the urge to exfoliate for 9 months, and is finally able to not wear any makeup. I read that toners, exfoliators, and excessive cleansing will make it worse. I am changing my toothpaste and shampoos/conditioners (Fluoride and SLS free), and plan to cleanse only at night while it is at its worst. I will also be avoiding oils and heavy creams until it betters, from the advice of other sufferers. I already use sensitive cleansers and moisturizers (Only CeraVe now...only one without SLS and other bad things), all fragrance free and hypo-allergenic.
    My question is: what are your thoughts and suggestions when dealing with PD? I'm 30 years old, very fair skinned with freckles and blonde hair. Normal to dry skin with very little acne, but tend to get congested pores.
    Thank you for all your advice on this blog!
    Greetings from the US.

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    1. I have just got over a bout of PD looking through Caroline's previous blogs on this she advised someone to google the condition. I did and stopped using all creams and fluoride toothpaste after 4 weeks it still hadn't cleared so I went to the Dr's and got some tetracycline after using for 2 weeks it has cleared up and I have gone back to my original Routine with caution. I just didn't have the patience to wait to see if it cleared without the medication.

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    2. I have also just got over a bout of PD. The toothpaste and shampoo change was important for me but what really worked for me was a home made oil: Grapeseed oil (get it in Holland and Barretts) with Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil. I applied it all the time and it went away after about two weeks. They say that using steroid creams will get rid of the problem only short term so i would use them as a last resort. I am now back to my old skin care routine, i even put clay masks on the area and it hasn't reacted.

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    3. Thank you both for your kind replies. I'm curious to try some type of oil has you suggested. I will continue to refuse antibiotics and steroid creams as they are only temporary, and can definitely cause long-term bad effects. Advice regarding oils seems to be so different from one person to another. Some say to avoid it completely, while others swear by one particular one and they always seem to be different.

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  34. Hi Caroline. What eye cream do you recommend for the 30+ age group.
    Thanks.

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  35. Hi Caroline,
    Great post and great advice, but I do have a question re the double/ single cleansing. So - if on most days I use Clinique Super Defence 25 (have to use high SPF in winter too, as per the dermatologist) and no make up, only blusher and concealer, or just CC cream (SPF 30) - still double cleanse?
    I must that since I've been reading your blog I do double cleanse (either with two cleansers or with Bioderma and cleanser, depending on the day) and my skin is super smooth.
    And yeah, those mirror are a disaster!!!
    Thanks!!!

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  36. Oh god, "all my life" I have been told that double cleansing is so important, and now you're telling me it's not necessary? I think I may need to sit down...

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  37. Hello Caroline,
    Thank you for these explanations.
    Husband (yes, husband!) and I follow your recommendations about cleansing, hydrating, fish oil,... and both our skins say thank you! My skin isn't dehydrated anymore and his acne is better cured than with antibiotics and other stuffs.
    We use the Clarins toner and everything's OK but I would love to hear more about the problematic that it may cause.
    Thank you and best wishes from Belgium!

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    Replies
    1. I second that! I use the Clarins toner every day (on my third bottle now) is it somehow harming my skin?

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  38. Thanks for this post Caroline. I use Eysilix and really really like it. But I agree it is quite drying on the eye area, so I pop a bit of moisturiser over it and that takes care of the dry bits.

    I am soon running out of it, might be worth amping it up a notch!

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  39. Oh yeah, ever since I started reading your blog I have double cleansed religiously every single night... This is a bit of a shock for me, but will definitely save me some time and money... I do not wear that much makeup.

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  40. Such helpful and down to earth tips, I always feel like I can trust your advice :)

    Sophie
    http://what-sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk/
    xxx

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  41. I think all the contradictory advise on these blogs is making my skin worse! I have more blemishes than I had when I was a teenager 10 years ago. I was gong to purchase the clarins toner but now I'm not so sure. Maybe an updated post on how and when to use toners would be helpful, thanks :-)

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    Replies
    1. I have dryish very sensitive skin and am 64 years old, my skin is great thanks to much of Caroline's advice, but there is no "one size fits all" For the sake of my skin and my wallet if I want to try something new I try to obtain a good sample from the SA before buying, if they cannot supply, as with the Clarins toner in question, I buy a gwp size from the bay of e, 10ml in this instance. I use Gentle Exfoliator once daily (morning) followed by a spritz of hydrating toner - the exception is if I have used Alpha H or any manual exfoliator in the previous 24 hours, then I only do the spritz in the morning. Gently, gently for me. Thanks again Caroline for more great tips.

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  42. Thank you for clarifying the double cleanse issue! I have to be careful with creamy/balmy cleansers (La Roche Posay Toleriane will break me out, but Clinique Take the Day Off hasn't so far) so I don't want to use them every day. And I came to the same conclusion about Cetaphil, after using it for 15 years, once I read the ingredients and saw the sulfates and parabens! I immediately stopped and it turns out it was drying my skin out and I didn't realize it!

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  43. Hi lovely Caroline,
    I need to use mag mirror can't see otherwise to put my make-up on have used for so long it's not scary anymore. I am using balm cleanser & decleor facial oil a good facial massage at night as done wonders for my skin
    Thank you joy

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  44. Hi Caroline, love the blog, thank you so much! Would just like to add my voice to the over-40's asking for an eye cream/serum recommendation. If you could let us know what you are using at the moment fir the eye area, that would be wonderful.... Please? Thank you! Nicola x

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  45. Ah! Effaclar Duo destroyed my skin -with light acne- years ago. A pharmacian recommended me this product but it was SO strong I stopped only after the first use.

    And I personnally find more advantages (super smooth skin, no more pimples, great skin tone) at double-cleansing every night than not doing it. It improved my skin condition so much. Plus, double-cleansing takes me no more than 2 minutes and my cleansing oil can lasts 8 or 9 months. So yeah, I'll keep it ;)

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    1. What cleansing oil do you use?

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    2. This year, my favorite was/is the Shu Uemura's Ultime Beauty 8, formulated without mineral oil. My other all time favorite is from a South-Korean brand called Cara (now called Re:cipe) :)

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    3. Sorry to butt in - the origins clean energy oil cleanser is amazing and worth a try x

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  46. Thank you Caroline! Love these clinic updates. Duac is available in 3% or 5% strength. I have gone with 3% and it's not to drying as long as I do oil and moisturiser as well. Bit scared of 5%, will only go there if absolutely necessary!

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  47. Hi Caroline,

    Thank you for all your wonderful advice.....please can you recommend the best eye cream for over 40's.....any budget! It's my aging eyes that bother me, the rest I can deal with!

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  48. I've recently started antibiotics (topical and oral) in an attempt to cure my acne which is making my usually oily skin really really dry. Is there any product you could recommend to help with this, or would you just leave it until the acne clears and not mess around with new products? My skin feels tight, dry and flakey.
    I'd like to stress I did try your advice about oils etc for three months before giving into the antibiotics. But nothing was effective!

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  49. Thank you so much for this post! I finally convinced myself to put my Ren Radiance serum in the bin, I knew it was doing more harm than good but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. And also since I started to use the Clarins Toner every second night instead of every night my skin became so much better. It just can't handle to much chemical exfoliation!
    Love your blog so much and I wish you the best holiday season!

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  50. Ha ha, I think my partner may alternatley curse and worship you. I am now spending more time (and money) on my skin, more time in the bathroom and less time with him. Will let him ono that the 'mouth' says I can have a few days off.

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  51. Where's Caroline? Wish there were some responses to alternatives to Clarins Toner and Eyeslix :)

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  52. Hi Caroline! Just wanted to say how much I appreciate you writing posts like these out of your busy schedule. Its wonderful advice for people like me who cant make it to meet you in person. I love your blog even more for it. Thank you so much!

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  53. This post was great! However I'm now rather worried about the guidance on the use of the clarins toner/glycolic toner! I use p50 everyday in the evenings and zeroinc in the mornings.... should I be worried that this is not doing my skin any good? Would be so grateful for some reassurance x

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  54. Hi Caroline, can you recommend an alternative to Eyeslix? I am 36, nearly 37!

    Thanks

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  55. The duo is the only la roche posay product I'm not sold on. It works when I genuinely have a bad blemish but you're right, for general paranoia or a couple of ok skin days, it doesn't make my skin any better. My skin has to be pretty bad in the first place to benefit. Meanwhile, the hydreane riche sensitive moisturising cream is the one moisturiser I swear by. LOVE that stuff! : )
    www.essjay23x.blogspot.com

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  56. I use the Clarins toner in combination with P50 and have had no issues. I am thinking of switching to Glow Tonic & P50 though, mainly because glow tonic is better value (if it is ever in stock again anyway)!

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  57. what constitutes a high spf? is 30 a high spf?

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  58. Hi Caroline, I only found your blog a few months ago and hopefully have taken on board your advice and my 48 year old skin will start to reap the benefits. Fingers crossed.

    I have battled with acne all my adult life and still have very, very oily skin. I have recently purchased many of the cleansers and toners, probiotics and vitamins you recommend together with the Clarins lotus oil, liquid gold, Alpha H hydration cream and Alpha H age delay intensive anti wrinkle night treatment cream. Do you think these will be OK for my skin type. I'm concerned with wrinkles now as well as controlling the dreaded spots.

    Also, I have two children, a girl aged 14 and a boy aged 12 who are showing signs of problem skin - which makes of skin care would you advise for their age group?

    My last question may not really be a question. A lot of people thank you on your blog for your advice and comment on how much their skin has improved. I wondered if it would be possible to ask these kind people to share exactly what changes they made to their lifestyles/skin care routine to change their lives around. If they could detail exactly what products they have used it would help me and others I am sure. I know things work different for everyone, but it might just help some of us.

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