Monday, 20 April 2015

Quick grab - What to look out for depending on your skin issue

A quick bullet point guide to ingredients/formulas that you may want to look out for when selecting your products. This list is obviously not exhaustive and I can add to it as and when other ingredients are suggested/recommended, but this is just to give you an idea of what to look for high up on an ingredient listing (within reason - it could go on forever!). Please feel free to suggest more in the comments - this will be a 'rolling' post i.e. updated regularly. :)


Dry skin:
Look for:
  • glycerin
  • jojoba oil
  • coconut oil
  • almond oil
  • avocado oil
  • borage seed oil
  • GLA (gamma linoleic acid)
  • helianthus oil (sunflower seed)
  • macadamia nut oil
  • evening primrose oil
  • palm oil (only if it comes from a sustainable source)
  • squalane/squalene
  • lactic acid
Avoid:
  • alcohol
  • mineral oil
  • soap
  • menthol
  • camphor
  • SLS
  • strong essential oils - rosemary/pine etc

Dehydrated:
Look for:
  • sodium hyaluronate
  • biosodium hyaluronate
  • hyaluronic acid
  • glycerin
  • jojoba oil
  • almond oil
Avoid:
  • SLS - sodium lauryl sulfate - too drying and dehydrating
  • alcohol
  • soap
  • menthol
  • camphor
  • SLS
  • strong essential oils - rosemary/pine etc

Acne/Combination:
Look for:
  • salicylic acid
  • benzoyl peroxide (not in high %'s - too harsh)
  • glycolic acid
  • lactic acid
Avoid:
  • shea butter high up on the ingredient list
  • mineral oil
  • waxes (some plant waxes are ok, as in Darphin Purifying Balm for instance - this can understandably lead to confusion!)

Sensitive:
Look for:
  • glycerin
  • aloe vera
  • bisabolol
  • almond oil (assuming you do not have a nut allergy) 
  • rosehip oil
Avoid:
  • alcohol
  • soap
  • witch hazel
  • menthol
  • facial cleansing brushes - no matter how many 'heads' they sell
  • camphor
  • SLS
  • fragrance
  • harsh scrubs
  • menthoxypropanediol

Rosacea:
Look for:
  • jojoba oil
  • aloe vera
  • bisabolol
  • glycerin
  • almond oil
  • rosehip oil
Avoid:
  • alcohol
  • witch hazel
  • menthol
  • camphor
  • essential oils
  • synthetic fragrance
  • scrubs
  • soaps
  • facial cleansing brushes - of any kind
  • strong peels
  • SLS




97 comments:

  1. Hi Caroline please can you do something on retinol, I kind of desperate for some advice such as recommend products for different ages etc, a sort if cheat sheet I guess.

    Thank you ! xx

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    Replies
    1. I'd second that (please!). I don't really know what to look for/where to start.

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    2. I agree! Caroline's blog introduced me to acid toning (thank you!) and now I'm looking in to retinol too. I think we all worry of were using the right types of products :) x

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    3. Not to come off as a wisearse, but she currently has a video on retinoids up on ze tube, and as far as ages and product I think it's the cheatsheet called Routines that goes in to products you should be investing in at what ages. It doesn't set out a complete list of products but from there you can look at her reviews on here and figure out where to go from there.

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  2. Hi Caroline can you do a cheat sheet on retinol i really need some advice thank you!! xx

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  3. Hi Caroline can you do a cheat sheet on retinol i really need some advice thank you!! xx

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  4. could you do a cheat sheet for rosacea? I think i have it and can't seem to do anything right to control it :( x

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    Replies
    1. Yes that b great if u could I think I have it to since the warm weather every time I get into my car and it's really hot in there my face goes bright red especially cheeks and they feel like they are burning takes hours for them to calm down xxx

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  5. Thanks, this is really helpful!

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  6. This was so great! I never know what to look for when choosing skincare as not all skin types follow the same guidelines : )

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  7. Never seen such straight- forward and useful post!

    www.julialundin.com

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  8. Hi Caroline, I was wondering if you've ever come across something like this: I think I'm allergic / sensitive to niacinamide (AKA vitamin B3 / niconitic acid). It's been cropping up recently in many skincare products and it's supposed to be good for dehydrated, sensitive skin and/or uneven skintone. Three times already I started using three different products including this ingredient and within 36 hours got a rash on my face than then disappears once I stop using it. I'm so worried I'm allergic to this that I now scan the ingredients of every serum / moisturizer to make sure it's not in it. But I don't understand how I'm allergic to something that's supposed to help skin recovery... xx

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    Replies
    1. What products are you using? I'm looking into getting products with niacinamide. Thanks

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    2. Unfortunately, allergies and good-for-you ingredients can easily co-exist. If the niacinamide is causing issue, then it doesn't matter if it's meant to be a good ingredient, your skin clearly doesn't like it and the best option is to do what you have already started to do, read the inci and not buy or use any products containing niacinamide.

      Speaking from experience here - I have sensitive skin but I'm allergic to half the things on Caroline's "Look For" list. It can get awkward to find appropriate skincare!

      ~El

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    3. Wow! I can understand. My allergy/sensitivity it's different, but I thought that same thing about how can I have allergy with something that's supposede to help the skin. In this case I think I'm allergic/sensitivity to Panthenol (for example Bepanthol). Can you imagine that? I've been reading every inci since I finally discover/observer that. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  9. THANK YOU!!!!!

    Alina
    www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

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  10. Thanks Caroline, this is so helpful!

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  11. Wow! Thank-you for a fabulously informative and honest post, and my skin thanks you too.

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  12. What a fantastic idea and such a useful post. Thank you for sharing x

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  13. Thank you Caroline, I have found almond oil in particular very soothing on my red, sensitive skin. The Merumaya balm when used as a morning cleanse really tones down the redness around my nose/cheeks.

    Also, could you perhaps specify what alcohols in particular to avoid. I've heard that not all ingredients with the word 'alcohol' are bad? I could be wrong.

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  14. and what to look for to an oily and sensitive/intolerant skin Caroline?

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  15. Hi Caroline. My skin is very oily and very sensitive. What should i look to? because it seems like i cant use acids but at same time with all that moisture that the sensitive creams have my face start having pimples and white zits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Second this

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    2. This is my drama too!

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    3. Have you tried some gel cremes? The body shop vit e aqua boost is a good one, and if you are willing to branch out, most asian skincare brands carry lovely gel creams. In fact, most of the moisturiser products are gel creams.

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    4. I'm another one with oily, sensitive skin and it gets spotty too! 6 weeks ago I started my new skincare regime after reading this blog and my skin is a million times better. I started off with just cleanser - I bought TBS Camomile Oil and their Nutriganics gel to oil for my second cleanse - I used these on their own (no moisturiser nothing) for a few weeks to see if there was any reaction then added L'oreal toner for mature skin - vitamin C one (didn't want to put anything too strong) and TBS vitamin E sorbet. None of these has caused any problems for me with sensitivity and my skin is now no longer oily, no spots, and visibly less wrinkles (it sort of looks more toned and hydrated). My advice is start slowly, add things to your regime one at a time and give your skin a couple of weeks to get used to a product and to make sure that there is no reaction.

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    5. I don't have any idea of sensitivity with acid, but I wanna know and try. I have combination and also sensitive skin. I can't say if it's acne prone skin but I do have some spots here and there. And I am trying to chage my skincare regime because this is my first time having a routine (27 years old). I really liked the advice above. Baby steps with skincare. :)

      Delete
  16. Another awesome post!
    Why is acne/combination the only one that does NOT say avoid alcohol? Typo or can i get back to more wine drinking ;)

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    Replies
    1. I'm going to risk sounding like an a-hole because I don't know if you're joking or not, but I'm sure she means alcohol as an ingredient.Drinking alcohol is bad for all skin types.

      Delete
  17. Hi Caroline, this is brilliant, thank you! Could you possibly suggest any products that have benzoyl peroxide in? I honestly can't find a single OTC product with less than 10% BP or does it have to be prescribed? There used to be a few products with 2.5% such as Oxy on the spot, but they have all mysteriously disappeared from the British high street! I was wondering whether you could shed any light on this?! I have such bumpy skin and I double cleanse (with a nice hot flannel!) every night and use pixi glow tonic religiously, but nothing gets rid of these damn bumps that occupy my whole face so I desperately want to try some BP! Hope you can help! Thanks Cx

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    Replies
    1. I have a 5% gel OTC from boots - it's called acnecide, not sure if 5% is considered too high though... My sister works at boots and she said for a long time they had trouble sourcing bp, unsure why !

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    2. Neutrogena does a BP that is 2.5%. It's the one that says max strength oddly enough.

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    3. Aw thanks ladies! :) Unfortunately on the boots website they only have the gel wash version of acnecide and I was hoping for a cream/gel to leave on. Also I've found the Neutrogena one Sierra, but they don't sell it in England anymore, I can only find it on eBay! :( So confused as to why nowhere seems to stock it, I'd understand if I just couldn't find it in stores but I can't find a single British website besides eBay, which are all shipping internationally anyway, which stocks the 2.5%. Has it been banned or something?! Cx

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    4. Hi, have you tried sourcing Panoxyl? That contains benzoyl peroxide and comes in different formulations, aqua gel and cream too also comes in different strengths 2.5% 5% and 10% depending on formulations. Any local pharmacy should be able to get this for you doesn't have to be Boots. Hope this helps and you are able to find some! X

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    5. Have you tried acne.org? It's an american brand but they ship to the UK. They have a 2.5% BP gel which works great and comes in a generous bottle so will last you a while :)

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    6. If you can get to a store the acnecide I got was a leave-on gel. That's a pain re website, I've found a few things missing from their website lately :/ also I used to use duac which my doctor prescribed - 5% bp with an antibiotic too, I stopped that though as didn't really feel like I needed the antibiotic. Good luck on your search !! :)

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    7. I think this is what I have! Is it showing in stock to you? Maybe wait and see if Caroline says 5% is too much, I imagine the lower the strength you can get away with the better https://m.boots.com/h5/cat_hub?path=%2Fen%2FAcnecide-5-w-w-Gel-30g_1677168%2F&unCountry=uk

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    8. Wow, thank you guys! So kind of you all to help :) For some reason when I just searched for Benzoyl Peroxide on their site only the 'wash' version of Acnecide comes up but when I followed your link the leave on product was there - so helpful, thank you! <3

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    9. Yes the website can be a little funny sometimes! You're welcome, good luck with it :)

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  18. I saved it to my skincare folder which seems to consist of Carolin Hirons posts only.

    LindaLibraLoca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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  19. New recruit to Team CH and slowly but surely transforming my skincare routine. Interested if Caroline - or anyone here who is a long term disciple..for she is a true goddess....- knows the value in Hirons Terms of using lip salve? I suffer from hideous allergies on my lips if using any kind of lip colour and the skin around them can often be sore or flaky, even plain lip salve can cause it/ make it worse. After some research into the benefits of lip balms, & am currently three weeks 'dry' and it's cleared up but does this mean I will be wrinkly mouthed one day?!
    Helen

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    Replies
    1. Caroline has said to treat your lips the way you treat your face, as in include them in your routine, oils, acid tone, etc. Lip balm wise I have seen her recommend Blistex Relief Cream (which I use and it is great).

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    2. If you don't use any lip colour, Helen, maybe you could try a little rollerball applicator with some sweet almond or jojoba oil in it. Just pure oil, and roll it over your lips as needed, then rub them together to make sure you've got all the surface. It would break down lippies but on bare lips, you'd get a dose of moisture and shine, hopefully without any problems.

      ~El

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    3. Thank you v much Anon, just what I was after
      Helen X

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    4. And you too El x have always assumed natural ingredients were aggravating it as a highly atopic person but rapidly realising prob something else (due to this very blog!) Hx

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    5. For my lip balms I've eliminated anything that contains mineral oil, these do nothing for your lips at all. I look for things like shea butter, almond oil, cocoa butter, caster seed oil, beeswax, all the good stuff. Burts Bees are good, so are Body Shop and White Rabbit (vegan, all natural).



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    6. I have problems with my lips too. For me shea butter is good but not enough. At least is one ingredient to deal with. I wanna look for another things but I fear for reactions. Well... soon (i think) I'll have courage to try other stuff.

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  20. Thank you very much for this! I have rosacea and acne and have just ordered some Zelens products so I'm hoping these wont annoy my skin. I was wondering though would you still recommend acid toning for my skin type?

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    Replies
    1. use only azelaic acid (only by presc. in 15%) 2 times a week and a uriage or la roche posay cream for rosacea because salicilic acid and otheres used in acne creams are to severe on rosacea .always sun protector

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  21. This is great! Thank you!! I've just finished reading Colin Sanders ebook on skincare ingredients so I even know what the bisabolalolol one is. (I got into http://colinsbeautypages.co.uk/ following your link, so thank you for that too) recommended for any of you skincare obsessives out there who also love a bit of chemistry. Off to apply Luna which arrived today from space nk.... So excited ...

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  22. Straightforward. Useful. Thank you.

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  23. This is the perfect cheat sheet.

    I think I will print it and revise my skincare products to see which ones are doing more harm than good ;) Thanks a lot!

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  24. Fab post! I would also love a post on rosacea. Its sickening that a lot off products I want to try or have tried just don't agree with my skin :-( Are brands like Pai as effective?

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    Replies
    1. I have rosacea with acne thrown in for good measure and Pai are my go to brand when all else fails! I cant use all their range as my skin hates rosewater and rose extract but their calming day cream and rosehip oil are my skins saviours :)

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    2. azelaic acid is good for acne and rosacea. See finacea 15% only in pharms

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    3. not to use every day.

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    4. I also have rosacea and can recommend Lierac Prescription Anti-redness Fluid as a moisturizer. (They also have it as a cream, for dry skin.) It was suggested to me in the pharmacy and I'm very happy I found it. It is hard to find products that are gentle for rosacea, but also not too heavy for someone with hormonal acne and combination skin. Until recently I was using REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream, but it didn't really made my skin happy, it was just ok and very basic. With this one you really feel that it moisturizes but feels very light on the skin.

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  25. Thanks for this, Caroline! Wish I had known all of this ten years ago.. but I guess that's just how it goes!

    Kristi
    www.beloverly.com

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  26. Bookmarked! This post is so brilliant & so helpful. Thank you Caroline <3 this will help me avoid skincare mistakes the effects of which take so long to rectify at my age. (Joy)

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  27. Great post! Very happy to see almond oil mentioned so often - it really has helped my skin out of many unsightly situations. I use it on my psoriasis too :)

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  28. Super helpful post, thanks! Now to try and work out what the heck my skin is 😩 One question - what is the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin?

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    Replies
    1. Caroline's previous cheat sheet here:- http://www.carolinehirons.com/2011/11/dry-or-dehydrated-cheat-sheet.html
      HTH

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    2. Dry skin lacks *oil*, and is a skin type. Dehydrated skin lacks *water* in the upper layers. Dehydrated skin is caused by the environment - central heating, drinking too much, using wrong type products that allow water to evaporate etc.

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  29. Thank you!!!! This is truly helpful and appreciated!

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  30. This is awesome Caroline! :)
    I was told at Mecca Maxima (from what I can gather, Australia's equivalent to Space NK) and one of the ladies said that with my sensitive skin I should avoid lanolin. I was going to get a sample of an Eve Lom mask and she said I should avoid it because of the lanolin. Would you agree with that? :) thanks of your great work!!!

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  31. Love your blog and how active it's been lately - really great for people like me with no skincare knowledge! I would love to see a post on what products you should not mix (sorta like your beauty myths on acids + retinols). There's so much information out there on how vitamin C + retinols + acids mix that it can get confusing... would great to see an example of a routine of how these 3 work together.

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  32. Caroline, Have you read India Knight's article on cleansing in this week's Sunday Times Style magazine?? She makes some comments in that article and I'd pay good money to see your face when you read it!! You'll know the bits I mean when you see them!!

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  33. Brilliant! Thank you C, I saved this to my phone and will review the list everytime I'm at the chemist's looking to buy:)

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  34. Caroline, could you please elaborate on why people with rosacea should avoid essential oils? (I have mild Rosacea and the idea of parting with my Emma Hardie cleansing balm and facial oils is unsettling :P). Many thanks! :)

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    Replies
    1. Not Caroline, obv, but as a fellow rosacea sufferer, it's because the essential oils can irritate your skin, as they can be quite strong. That said, if you are getting along well with your balm, there's no reason not to keep using it! The amount and types of essential oils in products varies a lot, and I find that I'm absolutely fine with some of them and can't touch others.

      So really, it's a guideline for what to avoid in new-to-you products, not things your face already loves!

      ~El

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    2. Thank you so much El for the detailed answer! :) x.

      Delete
  35. Hi Caroline!
    I'm 27 and I have started recently to use your regime, unfortunately I got a serious allergic reaction, sth like Urticaria/ hives :( I'm not sure what it may be as I added many new cosmetics so maybe you could pinpoint? I have combination skin with very sensitive decolletage, my skin is sometimes very spotty, redness everywhere and dry.
    I use:
    - NeutrogenaVisibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash/ L'Oreal Age Perfect Cleansing Milk (with vitamin c)
    - Clearasil Ultra Deep Pore Treatment Toner / La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Lotion 200ml
    - The Body Shop Vitamin C Energizing Face Spritz- devil in the liquid! Makes my face burn - stopped using after 2 days /
    Eucerin Dermo Purifyer Toner
    - The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil
    - The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream/ L'Oréal Hydra-Renewal Moisture Cream
    I'm afraid all with vitamins makes my face go crazy and this means L'Oreal cleansing milk and all body shop cosmetic :(
    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Obviously I am not Ms Hirons but would say it would be next to impossible to diagnose what you are allergic to from a list - the only way you are going to find out what it is, is stop using the products then just add them to your routine one at a time - when you get a reaction you will know which product is causing it then and should be easier to figure out which ingredient is causing it. I have reactive skin so now only ever add one product at a time and wait a couple of weeks to see if I react before I add something else.

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  36. Woop!
    Slightly off topic but I just this minute purchased a can of La Roche Posay Serozinc from my local Boots!

    Thought you might like to know (spread the word...)
    :0)

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  37. Absolutely fantastic, clear and straight forward advice! Thank you, Caroline!!!
    Could you also add an anti-aging list that would include main inci to look for beyond the obvious?

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  38. This is really helpful, thank you! I can't tell you how many times I refer back to your blog for information :)
    Surely Char

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  39. Caroline what do you consider as too high a % of benzoyl peroxide?

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  40. Great lists, Caroline, thank you.

    ~El

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  41. Oh, also - might be helpful to mention that bisabolol is a chamomile derivative. Plain old chamomile is usually considered gentle and soothing for sensitive skin as well. Feverfew is another derivative (in First Aid Beauty products).

    ~El

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  42. Please do top 10 retinol products and top 10 serums. Love the blog and videos. Thank you for all the good advice.

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  43. I was wondering if anyone can elaborate on the ingredients to look for to avoid 'soap'. I'm looking for a cleanser for mornings and second cleanse after an oil based balm in the evenings. I've used Philosophy's Purity for ages, but it doesn't seem to pass the Hirons test, and Paula's Choice makes it sound like it's a wonder I still have a face after using it for so long, since it is so horrifyingly bad (a wee bit alarmist?). Any suggestions for something mellow but effective for oily skin in a hot climate?

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  44. This is such a useful post. I've gotten a pretty good idea of what to look for and what to avoid from reading your whole blog through but this is so quick and simple to check and I will be pointing my daughter towards this post for her acne prone skin. I know she'll tell me 'Mum you point me in Caroline's direction every time I see you' but until she sits down and reads it I'll keep pointing!!

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  45. What about Dehydrated, acne-prone, sensitive skin going through menopause? :)

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  46. Excellent post, Caroline-very helpful! Quick question: I have been told that, as someone who suffers from acnaic skin, I should avoid rosehip oil as it will aggravate and worsen my acne. Is this something you have found to be true?

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  47. Hey Caroline ! LOVE your blog a lot and enjoy it very much ! I was thinking: can you do a post on deodorants ( i've tried to search on your blog, but with no luck :( ) ?

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  48. Excellent post!! As someone who suffers from rosacea and combination skin I was just wondering if I can use a damp cloth to take off my cleansing balm or if this will aggravate my skin even more. I tried it once but it got a little bit too red and I was afraid to try it again.

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  49. Thank you Caroline, this is exactly what I was looking for! Have a lovely weekend!

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  50. Hey Caroline,
    im not sure if my first comment got posted! Apologies if it did! If not then i must write another !
    Im 21, and recently my skin has been quite bad. Im dark around the cheek areas plus I've noticed the skin on my face is bumpy - I've never suffered from spots or ache - plus it doesn't look like spots or ache - its rather hard to explain: the bumps are under the skin..

    Also, im not sure what skin type i am, sometimes I'm dry and sometimes I'm oily (when i wear foundation) - its hard to keep up
    please help!

    PS: i love your blog ! I've recommended it to many friends and family! thank you

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  51. Great post, Caroline! To the point and very helpful :)

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  52. Dear Caroline,
    I am 15. I have spots particularly on my forehead. They are hard to describe as anything else than 'red bumps'. I have lots of these red bumps, and a few, usually 3 or 4, big 'red bumps'. Occasionally a couple develop into whiteheads. I am really struggling with them as the area around the circle of the skin is dry and when I apply foundation (bourjois healthy mix) it clings to the dry spots. My skin is, i guess, combination? Under my eyes is fairly oily, my cheeks normal, but round my nose and forehead is dry. So my foundation can look patchy after a hour or so of application and clings to the dry patches. Applying a moisturiser before i apply foundation does slightly help. I guess my main enquiries are- can you tell me about the spots I have, and how to reduce them? Is the foundation i use suitable, i have tried others and they don't work as well, however i have very little knowledge of makeup and don't know how to tell if its going to work before i buy it and of course, at 15 i don't have the money to buy different foundations often. If, unusually, my skin is clear, i wear very little makeup, or sometimes none at all. HELP ME! I will repeat by knowledge of skincare is low, although i love makeup, just don't know how to apply it!!!
    Lots of love, Abi x

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  53. Definitely need to sit down with this one and review my routine! Thanks! Xx

    ReplyDelete

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