Penny A Unwin

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Does It Work For Spots? | Skyn Iceland Blemish Dots With Salicylic Acid

Spots... those pesky little, sometimes even huge, under/on top of the skin blighters. Have somewhere nice to go for the week? Hi Hun! Sitting in all week in your dressing gown and greasy hair? Nowhere to be seen. Always popping up in the most inconvenient times and always a pain in the ass to try and tackle.

I, myself, have encountered a fair few spots in my time. I've been suffering with acne for around 12 years now and can guarantee you almost every two weeks, a new one suddenly takes up residency on my face. Sorry, but there is no available vacancies this week for you! They almost always pop up around 'that' time of the month or normally when I am stressed out, or actually instantly if I eat something that is high in dairy i.e. milk and cheese. So, you're probably wondering how I deal with my spots as it almost seems as though I know how to get rid of them in an instance. I'm sorry I don't. I am still looking for that holy grail product, but for now I am all for trialling and testing to see what works.

Back in December, I was lucky enough to win one of the 24 days a month advent calendar prizes from FeelUnique that they host every year around Christmas time. My prize included a skincare set from Skyn Iceland featuring masks, lip and eye products, spot treatments and more. There will be an entire post on the entire range of products I received after testing them, but for now I want to focus on the Skyn Iceland Blemish Dots with Willow Bark and Rich in Salicylic Acid

I have been wanting to test out blemish dots for a while now, rather than using a typical spot gel/cream to actually see whether or not having a potential barrier to lock in the spot fighting product would make the process of reducing my spot(s) a lot quicker. I also found the whole concept of using a small amount of material that contained product that would adhere to the skin interesting, as I have found a lot in the past products similar to blemish dots didn't stay on longer than 15 minutes for someone like me who tends to get very oily skin, so putting them to the test made the whole process a lot more fun.

In my little stash of products, I received 1 sheet of 12 blemish dots, which if purchased alone would include 4 sheets of 12 dots and be priced around £17.50. A bit pricey personally I feel to keep on top with, especially if you're someone like me who tends to get spots on a regular basis. But, if you are finding that spots aren't a regular occurrence then maybe these could be a holy grail product for you. Also, with each set comes 6 larger blemish dots and 6 smaller blemish dots, making it easy for you to pinpoint the right size for your blemish and also lessens the wastage of product depending on the size of the blemish you have.

Each set also comes in a sealed, easy to rip open packaging, similar to how a blackhead strip would. Personally, I do find this a bit unhygienic for this type of product, especially since once you've ripped open the set you then potentially have the strip of blemish dots either lying around on their own or contained within their original packaging but rather than sealed is open until you use that entire set of dots up. So, I would have liked if each dot came individually packaged that way I know nothing is going to contaminate each blemish dot and then clog my pores around the blemish I want to use it on.

The product is free of harsh chemicals, parabens, PEGS, formaldehyde, silicones, sulfate detergents, fragrance and dye and are also 100% vegan friendly. To use them it is recommended that you apply the patch directly onto the blemish (I personally washed my face beforehand as I didn't want any dead skin cells or anything that could clog my pores sitting under a contained area) and then gently press until the dot adheres to the skin, leaving it on for several hours or overnight for the best results.

When it came to testing out the product, as mentioned above, I was a bit iffy to the fact my strip would be out in the open, pretty much ready for any bacteria to come and make a home on. But after the sheer shock and potential bad thoughts of more clogged pores and spots, I began to proceed with testing out the product.

As you can see above, the infected area I am mostly focusing on is pretty raised, inflammed and one of those spots which is going to take a while to reduce and then even longer to control the redness and scarring (I'd also just like to point out that we are looking at the raised area closest to you in the photo and not the area behind it - I unfortunately have a rather large mole that sits on the side of my face and this particular spot decided to appear just near it). This spot had just reared its rather unwanted self a few days before testing out the product, but I thought it would be the perfect time to test it out and therefore put the blemish dots to the test for a week.

During the time of testing out the blemish dots I also received another unwanted visitor just a few inches away from the spot I am focusing on in this post. I did try out the blemish dots on that area too as that blemish actually produced a white head within a few hours of appearing, unlike the other one which even after a week still hasn't produced a whitehead and I also wanted to see whether or not it would add enough pressure to the whitehead to make it pop or just reduce it even a little bit. Unfortunately, it did not help reduce the whitehead and I did have to turn to using my spot/blackhead removal tool.

I used a variety of the smaller and larger blemish dots, ensuring that the larger ones were used when it was at its most painful that way it had enough room to breath and do its thing whilst also at the same time not cause me any discomfort. (Note: the patches sit rather comfortably on the skin and even stay put whilst sleeping!) The smaller ones were then used when it had started to reduce over the days and I could lock it down tighter to try and help it reduce more quickly. Both sizes were kept on for around 6 hours per day.

After around a week of using the blemish dots, about one a day, I ended up using 8 of the 12 blemish dots, minus one for the whitehead I mentioned previously, so essentially 7, in order to get this final result. Both pictures have been taken in the same position at the same time of day on the same camera (Olympus Pen E-PL8) and as you can see after a week of using them, my spot has reduced very well, whereas if I hadn't used the blemish dots this would still be very inflammed. The redness has pretty much all disappeared from the salicyclic acid that was in each dot which is used to help reduce redness and it has also caused a slight bit of flaking, which I think is essentially the spot healing and being ready to go through its last healing process before it has officially gone.

Overall, the process of using these blemish dots I found to be very easy and quick with no difficulty, besides the fact sometimes you forget they are there due to them blending into the skin so well, so are great if you need to pop out and run some errands but don't want to wear makeup but battle any pesky spots at the same time. They also stay put whilst you sleep which was a bonus for me, as I ended up having an afternoon nap at one point and I tend to move a lot in my sleep and found when I woke up it was still in place, with no movement at all. As for how the product worked, I feel it worked very well for more under the skin, angry spots more so than those little ones that come and go very easily, so essentially I would use these dots for those, but overall I am very happy with how they performed and I'm hoping by the end of this spots little vacation on my face it won't have left any scarring!

Have you tried out blemish dots before? What are your thoughts?

This product was received in a giveaway. I have not been asked to review these products and all opinions are my own.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

New Radox & Dove Shower Mousse Collections

One of my favourite ways to wind down/end my day is to have a bath. No matter what the weather is doing outside or time of day - I will always choose to have a bath over a shower. I guess with a bath comes the amount of choices you have to decide on with what you want to focus on for that particular day, whether that be distressing, uplifting or detoxifying to name a few or if you're like me just add a little bit of everything as you just love the smells, the colours and the amount of bubbles!

Now, although I do enjoy picking out what I'm going to use in my bath each day, my other favourite part is deciding what products I am going to indulge my skin in. I've tried everything from shower milks, to shower foams, to mousses and even just your standard shower gel. But ones that have always been my favourite are the shower mousses/foams. I find with this particular formulation you're getting more for your money's worth as a little goes a VERY long way and also because the scent tends to linger more.

An all time favourite of mine is the Imperial Leather Foamburst in Vanilla and Cherry - the scent is amazing, it lathers really well for such a small amount and also doesn't react with my oily/acne prone skin. The only downside to this particular product is the price tag with it being priced at around £3.00-£5.00 depending on where you purchase it from, which is not something I want to be paying especially if it isn't a luxurious product. Therefore, I made it my mission to find something that was similar, had a nice range of scents and had a much lower price tag that way if I went a little bit crazy with how much I used (I'm sure all of us enjoy going a little bit crazy with these sorts of products) then I didn't have product guilt when it came around to repurchasing again.

The two products that I found however, were the Radox Feel Shower Mousse which is a three product range, each having a different scent for the sense you're feeling these being; bright, vibrant and lastly vivacious and the Dove Shower Mousse range which also has a three product range, these being; argan oil, rose oil and lastly, coconut oil. 

The difference in these two collections, although quite similar in formulation is that they focus on something completely different. The Radox range focuses on what mood you're feeling whereas the Dove range focuses more so on using essential oils to help soften the skin. Therefore, these products could be used in conjunction with one another, such as using the Radox range to uplift your mood and then using the Dove range in areas you want to soften the skin such as after shaving. 

Another bonus to both these ranges as well is, that they come with a scratch for scent sticker on the lid. I feel more products should come with this option, especially bath products, as I am someone who prefers certain scents over others and who hates getting home to find out the product works amazing but is going to have to use it here and there just because I don't like the scent and don't want to waste it. So, essentially by having this option I am not only saving money but am also cherishing my bath times a lot more by using products that I enjoy.

A downside, however, to both these products is the material used for the applicator compared to the metal bottles that holds the product. On both products the applicator comes in a plastic material, which essentially is good in order to keep the price down to make them affordable but from personal experience the minute you snap the tiny bit of material keeping the applicator attached to the main part of the bottle, it's pretty much a fiddly process of trying to get the product out. Unfortunately, you can't screw the applicator back into place or press it down enough to attach to the small tube in which the product comes out from, so you may find you have water collected in the main rim as well as will find it fiddly to get the applicator to sit properly to get the product to come out.

The products itself are priced at £2.99 each for the Radox ones and £3.99 each for the Dove ones. Again, not the most affordable of shower mousses/foams, but I did find with these ones compared to my beloved Imperial Leather one is that firstly, a lot does go a long way and the scent lingers a lot more compared to the Imperial Leather one. Each range also has an amazing selection thus far to cater to something everyone will like. Another bonus also is that the Radox and Dove range have a much easier applicator compared to the Imperial Leather in the sense that you simply press down and the product will distribute without any fuss. Whereas I have found with some bottles of the Imperial Leather Body Foam is that you may have to press down a lot harder in order to get the product to come out, as well as sometimes even have to try and find a click point within the lid to make the distribution of the product a lot easier.

The product and formulations for both brands are very smooth and creamy. They glide onto the skin effortlessly, ensuring every inch of skin is pretty much gone untouched. They both rinse off really well, ensuring no residue is left behind such as a sticky feeling that you may find with mousse formulations themselves. Skin is left really smooth, as well as works amazingly with shaving ensuring the skin is protected and moisturised. As for moisturising the skin afterwards once you've finished showering/bathing, I found it worked really well with my normal moisturisers and didn't clog the pores or cause my skin to become overly moisturised.

Have you tried either of these ranges? What are your thoughts?


Thursday, 22 February 2018

An Easy Banana Bread Recipe

When it comes to snacks I am always one to grab the share bag of chocolate, but more recently I have been loving baking at home and having homemade snacks available whenever I want them. One of my favourites recently has been banana bread. Honestly, before now I hadn't even tried banana bread, but after discovering Mary Berry's recipe and knowing fine well I would love it - I had to try it!

This recipe is pretty simple and for someone new to baking like myself, I feel it would suit any beginner. It takes around 1 hour to bake with an additional 10-15 minutes on top to prep and mix everything and in the end it comes out so deliciously moist - you will find you want to come back for more.

100g butter, softened (as well as some additional for later)
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas (make sure they are as ripe as can be as this will make it extra delicious!)
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk (cater this to your preferences)

1. Begin by peeling and mashing your bananas and set aside for later.
2. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas Mark 4.
3. In a loaf tin, begin by lightly greasing the sides and line with non-stick baking parchment.
4. Measure all the other ingredients into a mixing bowl, not forgetting to add the mashed banana that you set aside for later.
5. Beat all your ingredients together for around 2 minutes, until well blended.
6. Once mixed together, spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the surface until level.
7. Place in the oven and bake for around 50 minutes to an hour. The skewer should come out clean once the baking time is over.
8. Once baked, take your banana bread out of the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, before gently loosening the paper from the tin and placing on the cooling rack. You should then be able to easily remove the baking parchment once cooled, before placing it on the decorative tableware item of your choice.

What are some of your favourite recipes to try?


Thursday, 25 January 2018

A Minimal Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin

When it comes to my skin I like to keep things pretty simple. I've gone through numerous skincare routines - ones that are your basic 3-step routine such as cleanser, toner and moisturiser and others that include serums, oils, exfoliating pads and all those fancy treatments. I've gone down the basic route and the lengthy route and feel like after much trial and error I am finally onto a routine I feel benefits my skin not only in appearance but also in texture.

Before I get into the products I use, let's start with a little backstory into my skin if you aren't aware already. When I was around 10/11 years old I started getting acne. I would say it was somewhat in the severe category as I had clumps and clumps of sore under the skin spots, blackheads, whiteheads, dry skin, clogged pores, oil build up and everything else that is associated with acne. My acne didn't start getting to a manageable stage until I was around 15/16 years old, I am now 21 years old and throughout the period of those 5-6 years, I tested out every product on the high street. To name a few I don't like; clean and clear and neutrogena - I found these products just irritated my skin and left it feeling and looking worse than if I didn't apply anything. I also went to the doctors to see if they could help with my situation, only to be told I could take a tablet every day but the disadvantage would be is that I couldn't go outside otherwise my face would turn black. So, being a student at school and having to walk between buildings 5 days a week, that wouldn't have been an option for me and therefore, I declined the medication I was offered.

After this, I started to look into products and ways in which I could personally help myself from the comforts of my own home. I have already written a post on 7 things you can do at home and out and about that can help reduce your acne, but other things I did was watch YouTube videos that focused on skincare and two of my personal favourites were Bubzbeauty whose videos I found really helpful and MyPaleSkin who teaches young and old people who have acne that they are beautiful no matter what anyone comments on your skin. Other things I found on my search for remedies were the sorts of food that would react with my skin which I'll talk about later in this post and that, if consumed in large amounts would react with my body and in turn produce a range of spots amongst my face, most common places being my cheeks, chin and jawline (I very very very rarely get any spots on my forehead and nose, but do tend to get very oily in this area). It also allowed me to figure out the right category of products that worked and didn't work for me. The likes of heavy creams, oils and products which have certain acids in them to help remove the dead skin cells are just a few to name which I can use but only in very small amounts.

Face mapping is also another solution I've seen some people use in order to establish what is causing breakouts in that specific area of your face. Face mapping if you aren't aware, basically colour highlights (like above) the area of your face and suggests what could potentially be causing that breakout. I haven't personally used face mapping to the extent it suggests to establish my breakouts, but from doing a tiny bit of research into it whenever I got a breakout that wouldn't be in its usual space it was surprising to see that both things related together. 

To give you an example of how I feel face mapping and my spots collerate together is firstly, I get spots on my chin mostly out of every other place. By then checking the face mapping chart above I can see that it has suggested what I would essentially expect which is breakouts. It then states external things you could potentially be doing that is causing those breakouts, then continues on to state the possible organ within your body it is effecting and what you're doing internally to affect that organ.

So, from the information I have received from this chart and whether it ties in with what I'm doing externally/internally, I can strongly say everything does relate together and it makes sense why. My main concern is breakouts which it suggests, then goes onto stating three main pointers which the stand out ones for me are makeup, which once I've come to the point in the day when I will remove it (I will always remove my makeup before bed!) I can either notice I have a new spot appearing or if I already have a spot I can notice it has become a lot more irritated. The other pointer that stands out for me is leaning my head on my hand, which I am guilty of doing every day especially if I am sat at a desk. Possible solutions to help with these are to check the ingredients of my makeup against each other to establish which ones are reacting with me and which ones are safe and from there make product purchases based on them not including one ingredient that is irritating my skin. As for leaning my head against my hand, I feel I am going to need some sort of personal assistant to stand next to me every second of the day and spray me with water or something whenever I accidentally do it. I feel that should be a job. Anyone else?

Internally, it is suggesting I have a poor diet with possible allergies or a history of digestive problems. Thankfully I don't have a history of digestive problems but I have found I can have a poor diet especially when I don't feel like cooking (anyone else guilty?). Allergies on the other hand, I feel I do not have any that have given me serious side affects to the point they need checked, but I have found foods such as dairy, red meat and a lot of sugar can cause really bad breakouts on my face and therefore try to avoid these as much as possible. Fun fact: dairy has been noted to be a food category which affects a lot of people from my research and if this appears to be an issue for you, then I would suggest trying to cut it down for a while and see if you notice anything different. My main concerns within this food category is milk and cheese. Yoghurts I can eat in small amounts.

My Skincare Routine

As mentioned before, I am one for keeping my skincare routine simple. Having acne can limit you to the amazing factors such products have due to ingredients that can easily clog pores and irritate your already existing blemishes. However, even the simplest of products can sometimes work out to be amazing in the end. I use this routine both morning and night besides the eye cream which I focus more on night time.

Cleanser: To start my routine off I like to use the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. I've been using this for around 6 years now and have never changed it out of my routine, besides from the couple of months I switched it to try out the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Balm - unfortunately it didn't work out as well. However, the cleanse & polish works like a dream. The product itself is a really lightweight cream which can easily be distributed across the entire face. It doesn't sting, irritate or make my face red. It does, however, aid my acne in slowly reducing down and keeping my breakouts until control. Until I started using this product religiously, I noticed my skin would breakout It was becoming a nuisance in itself. But after using this my skin has thanked me a lot.

I will normally use this cleanser alongside their muslin cloths as a gentle daily exfoliator and find it to be less abrasive compared to a normal exfoliator. It helps me create a smooth base and I find my makeup sits very well on top with not a dry patch in sight. After this, I will then go over my skin as a smoothing agent with the Emma Hardie Face Cloths just to make sure every bit of dirt and cleanser has been removed. 

Product Ingredients: Rosemary, Chamomile, Cocoa Butter, Eucalyptus Essential Oil

To read about my favourite products from the Liz Earle range, check out this post here.

Dark Spot Corrector: Kiehl's is not only a new brand I have recently started testing out, but introducing redness products into my routine is also a new venture. Their Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is a product I wanted to try for ages after hearing that around 87% of women saw a more even skintone and that 89% of women saw a reduction in dark spot intensity, and when you suffer with acne this can be one of your biggest problems alongside blemishes. I won't talk much about this product as I am planning on doing a full review separately, but so far I have been testing it out for nearly a month and can say that I have began to notice a slight difference in my skin. It doesn't irritate my spots or cause any redness from irritation, the smell is manageable and the product itself is easy to distribute due to the applicator it comes with. But, make sure you come back within the next couple of weeks for a further review!

Product Ingredients: Potent Complex of Activated C, White Birch, Peony

Moisturiser: Keeping things pretty simple with Simple Skincare (see what I did there?) in the moisturiser category, I have been using their hydrating light moisturiser which promises 12 hours of moisturisation. This product is simple, lightweight and is cheap and cheerful - everything you need and more and plus, it works! When I first picked this up I was a bit apprehensive about the way high street products would react with my skin (in the past they've made my skin worse), but after trialling and testing more higher end brands such as the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Moisturiser and finding they worked amazing and slowly began falling in love more and more with them, I couldn't possibly keep up the amount of money I was spending on moisturiser with everything else I had to pay for, especially with the frequency I was using it at and wanted to look for a cheaper solution - and I found it! This moisturiser does what it says on the tube, it provides me with all day moisture. It helps keep the oils in my skin at bay and also works amazingly as a base for my makeup even without a primer. It sinks beautifully into the skin, doesn't leave a greasy residue and especially doesn't clog the pores. For £4.19 this product is insanely good and I don't think I ever want to change back to high end moisturisers ever again (but I will, because I love trying out new products).

Product Ingredients: Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Glycerin, Borage Seed Oil

Eye Cream: The last product within my current skincare routine is the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream. The product within this photo is a sample so don't get confused as to how much product you get for the price tag, as I'm sure I would if I seen the photo and the hefty price tag. I recently received this in my foundation order and was very much excited to give it a go. Eye creams in the past haven't always worked for me and have either left under the skin bruising, given me dry skin around the eyes or just generally didn't do anything. This one, unfortunately, falls under the fact it works amazingly at hydrating my eyes with the thick consistency when I go to sleep, but I find when I wake up my eyes can sometimes feel dryer than normal which has led to cracked skin around my eyes at some points. I don't know whether this is because my skin has literally drank up every last little drop to the point it is trying to suck up more, or my eye area needs a certain type of cream to help it. But in the end, I will be using this up due to it only being a small amount and find it helps me sleep better but in the long run it won't be sitting in my routine for very long.


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Sanctuary Spa Body Moisturisers: Body Butter, Body Lotion & Wet Skin Moisture Miracle

When it comes to my skin, I'm always looking for products that will sink in quickly, won't leave a greasy residue or that won't clog my pores. I have fairly oily skin and find face moisturisers are very limiting for me. But when it comes to my body I find I have a lot more choice in terms of what I can use, as my main skin concerns are only on my face, which is my acne, whereas on my body I'll only get the occasional spot here and there. 

For Christmas I received this 3-piece body moisture skincare set by Sanctuary Spa from a close friend. Sanctuary Spa is a brand I've heard of before but never tried any of their products before now and didn't even realise how cheap they were as well! Within the set I received for Christmas I got the Body Lotion, Body Butter and the Wet Skin Moisture Miracle. Now, the one that intrigued me the most was the Wet Skin Moisture Miracle. It's similar to the Nivea in-shower moisturiser in terms of you apply it when your skin is soaking wet, don't rinse and dry yourself with a towel as normal. A concept I haven't really tried before and one I was a little worried about would interfere with my oily skin. But here are my thoughts...

Sanctuary Spa Body Lotion: Now, body lotions aren't really my favourite and I hate the feeling on my skin, I'll just say it now. The fact you have to sit and wait for it to sink into the skin or be able to touch anything - I'm not a fan of that. However, after testing the consistency and comparing it to the others it is definitely not the thinnest consistency and certainly not the thickest consistency of the bunch, but the consistency is just enough to sink in fast enough without leaving a greasy residue or clogging any of your pores, perfect for anyone with oily skin like me or even combination. The scent also lingers afterwards which was pleasantly surprising and left my skin feeling pretty smooth, especially around the elbow areas which tend to get dry pretty quickly.

Key Tips: Fast Drying | Quick Absorption | Non-thick Consistency | No Greasy Residue | Acne Suitable

Sanctuary Spa Body Butter: A thick butter like consistency as the name suggests, making this product slightly on the heavier side compared to the others. I found I had to rub it in that little bit longer, so I suggest using this product when you have a little bit more time on your hands - however, if you find your skin gets irritable quite easily or your pores get clogged by heavy consistency products, then use this product in small amounts and gradually layer it up and you should be okay. When completing sunk into the skin, I found it hydrated any dry patches I have thoroughly well and therefore, mainly focus this product currently on my feet, due to wearing silly shoes and encountering endless amounts of blisters. It also didn't irritate the cracked skin, but just helped boost the healing process a long that little bit faster. In terms of how long it takes to sink into the skin, I would say it needs the most out of all three, but not that much longer than the body lotion. It did leave a tiny bit of a greasy residue afterwards, but this can be combated by simply rubbing the product in more, so would advise using this on any dry patches or someone who suffers with dry skin.

Key Tips: Thick Consistency | Extra Time To Sink In | Slight Greasy Residue | Not Acne Suitable

Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Moisture Miracle: I remember when Nivea came out with their in-shower moisturiser, a much faster and simpler way to apply your moisturiser when on the go and was always intrigued to try it but never managed to pick it up. So you can imagine how happy I was to see a product similar within this set. The consistency is very thin, probably the thinnest of the set. It applies almost like water, which essentially is what you are doing, applying it on top of soaked skin. When rubbed in, it takes mere seconds and even leaves a rather lovely glow on top. You then towel dry like normal, which to me thought would leave a sticky residue afterwards, but was pleasantly surprised to see it had sunk in amazingly, no sticky residue insight and no greasy residue left over either. The scent doesn't linger as much as the other two products, but it has left my skin feeling incredibly smooth and also made putting my clothes on that more easier, as if there was no moisturiser on my skin to begin with.

Key Tips: Thin Consistency | Quick Absorption | Great For On The Go | Acne Suitable

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with this set. I found it didn't clog my pores, didn't transfer off the skin onto anything else, left my skin feeling smooth, absorbed quickly into the skin and also found each product mentioned is priced below £10 individually, so won't break the bank. Each product also lasted a rather long time, besides the body lotion (depending on how much you use), especially if you shower every day like me, so it was amazing to see a little bit goes a long way. 


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

7 Acne Reducing Tips When You Have Oily Skin

7 Acne Reducing Tips When You Have Oily Skin

When I first started getting acne around ten years ago, it was something I didn't have much knowledge about or even knew existed. Being a mere ten year old I always thought it was something similar to chicken pox, that would hang around awhile and eventually clear itself up. It didn't. It got worse as the days went on. Months later and even years later and my once clear skin was just now patches of redness and lumps. This than began a process of going through numerous drugstore products, to trying remedies from friends and all I remember was my skin stinging, burning and looking even worse. It was horrific. 

It was then I wanted to look for a solution and take my own skin concerns into my own hands. I didn't want to jump straight in to the side of acne which was all about the chemical peels and tablets etc. I wanted to see if I could make any at-home, non-harmful changes that would help reduce even just a little bit of the redness and lumps in my skin, that I could then use as a starting point in order to help me work around, and found throughout the years these top seven tips are the ones you should at least practice and put into your daily routine as kind of a background solution to help you along the way. Let's see where you can begin... 

Remove Your Makeup The Minute You Don't Need It Anymore
I will always try to wear none to a little amount of makeup every single week. I find my skin loves me the most and benefits from it, when I don't wear any makeup and can allow my skin to breathe. Makeup is essentially something that can clog your pores in an instant, especially heavy coverage and matte finish products which create a thick layer on top of your skin to stop anything coming through. When you put this with oily skin that keeps trying to produce those oils that can be caused by dehydration, hormonal imbalance, poor diet for instance, it then makes your sebaceous glands work double time to produce more in order to keep the skin moisturised and waterproof to which the oils aim to do. Once both these components start fighting against each other, this is when you'll begin to notice spots appearing on your face, as your pores will begin to get so clogged that there isn't enough room for anything else and a spot will start to form. So, if you are into wearing heavy amounts of makeup or makeup with a heavy consistency or even for a long period of time, I would suggest the second you don't need to wear your makeup anymore to remove it. Letting your makeup sit on your skin for as long as possible, will increase your chances of spots developing and the sooner you can remove it and cleanse your skin, the less chance you are putting your skin at risk of developing spots, due to their being a reduction in your natural oils fighting against the beauty products you are putting on your face.

Tie Back Your Hair When You Go To Bed
This was one of the first things I put into practice many moons ago and found it was probably one of the biggest indicators to why my acne wasn't getting any better no matter what I tried. When you have oily skin, you'll also find that your hair can become increasingly oily a lot faster. Like mentioned previously, this is due to your oil glands trying to produce more oil to create that natural moisture within your skin, but in this case your hair to keep your hair healthy. Also, a change in your body temperature and doing daily activities can cause your skin to produce these oils through sweating. There are two types of sweat glands within your body; apocrine glands which are caused by emotions, and the eccrine glands which cool the skin. In the instance in which you sleep, you'll also find that sometimes you can wake up sweating, this is normally caused by your eccrine gland. When this gland kicks in, normally when your body temperature gets too high it will then cause you to sweat, which then will active your oils glands to produce oils in order to keep up with the moisture you are losing through sweating. Once the oils start running through your hair and skin, and your hair is pressed against your face whilst you sleep, this is then transferring more oil onto another section of your body and therefore causing an oil-build up within your pores. Therefore, it is recommended when you sleep to tie every inch of your hair back away from your face, not only to reduce the amount of sweating throughout the night especially if you have long hair, but also to limit the amount of natural oil build up which fills the pores and causes spots. 

7 Acne Reducing Tips When You Have Oily Skin

Frequently Wash Your Makeup Tools
Alongside ensuring you pick the right products for your skin, you also need to ensure that the tools you use alongside your makeup products are cleaned as frequently as possible. Makeup brushes and beauty sponges are known for being big breeding grounds for bacteria and other nastiness, and although cleaning your makeup tools won't rid them completely of all bacteria it will help reduce the amount by a lot. It is always recommended to wash your brushes at least once week, which I agree with, but for the likes of foundation, concealer and even eye brushes for that matter, I would recommend washing them the minute you've used them or before you next need them unless you have spare clean brushes to hand. This will not only help prevent bacteria from spreading but will also stop you from getting infections which could potentially irritate your skin and lead to acne. To see further evidence of bacteria growth on makeup tools, check out this article.

Wash Your Hair Every Other Day
Another indicator I soon found out was catering to my acne was the fact I would leave my hair long periods of time without washing it. This was mostly due to laziness, but who can really be bothered washing their hair every single day? I couldn't once over, but now I almost wash my hair every single day or every other day. For me, having oily skin means my hair gets oily very quickly. I can almost guarantee within 24 hours of washing it prior, it will be greasy and almost sticking to my face. I've changed products, tried going for long periods of time without washing it to try and get my hair use to it and found none of this worked. The only thing that does work for me is to have a schedule. A schedule to some is not always easy especially if you have a busy schedule yourself for the day, but having that specific time where you can put in your daily hair wash knowing it will last throughout the day will not only become one less stress on your shoulders, but you'll also find your skin will start to came down, due to the natural oils not building up within your pores. If you find yourself struggling with oily hair, check out this post I did a while ago where I share some tips for dealing with greasy hair.

Splash Your Face With Water When Shiny Rather Than Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse...
Having acne can make your skin go in different directions all the time. You may find yourself having a dry chin, an oily forehead, normal cheeks or vice versa. It's an endless battle of finding a balance with skincare and beauty products which aren't going to overload the skin but at the same time aid you with your issues. I know myself when it comes to trying out new products that my skin can sometimes go through an extra oily phase when it is trying to get use to a new ingredient or set of ingredients, and although it is easy enough to grab your cleanser and wash away the shine. Over cleansing can be quite bad for the skin. Instead, splash your face with water a few times and gently pat dry. If you find you're getting some slight tightness, take your moisturiser and dab it in the areas you need it the most and you're good to go before your next cleanse. It's quick, simple and good for the skin!

7 Acne Reducing Tips When You Have Oily Skin

Change Your Bed Sheets Regularly
You've tied your hair up and you've done your skincare routine. You now feel like you're onto a winner with battling against your spots and helping reduce your acne, but there is one thing between you and aiding your skin - your bed sheets. Just like everything else, your bed sheets also collect a lot of bacteria, dead skin cells, sweat, dirt, grease and anything that builds up on your skin throughout the night. This can then lead onto attracting a number of bugs such as dust mites which will also deposit their own dirt and excrement into your bed. Disgusted yet? I know I am. That is why it is recommended you wash your bed sheets at least once a week if you can, otherwise two at the most. I personally wash my bed sheets if and when I feel there is build up or normally around the week and half mark. I've noticed this has made a good difference in my skin and acne and personally, who doesn't love getting cosy and warm in fresh, clean bed sheets?!

Use Organic Products Unless Prescribed
When I first started using products to help with the healing process of my acne, I always noticed that my skin afterwards would sting, be very red and sore to touch. Nine times out of ten, most of these products had some harsh ingredient in them that were labelled to kill the bacteria within your pores and although this might have been the case, it seemed to have killed off everything good within my skin as well. My pores were getting more clogged because of the amount of natural oils being produced due to my skin becoming so dry, and this then led to my acne becoming inflamed and producing more. I also tried over the counter as well as prescribed products such as Acnecide which the side effects left my skin in a pretty bad way for around a week or so. You can read about my full experience here.  Until eventually I switched all acne targeting products for good ol' organic products that include ingredients such as beeswax which help relieve chapped skin, eucalyptus essential oil which helps with muscular pains and aches, glycerin which draws out atmospheric water onto the skin to aid hydration, hops extract to help tone the skin, cocoa butter to help moisturise the skin and many more amazing ingredients. 

What are some helpful tips you've found that work for you when reducing acne or spots?

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