Sunday, April 25, 2010

put your best face forward...

I have had several requests to post about my skin-care regime - so here we go!

I have to preface this by saying that my skin has not always been in the best condition. I have very, very dry skin (largely due to an auto-immune disorder I had as a child), and it is quite reactive, so I have spent years flirting with different product lines and regimes. My skin was prone to redness and dry patches, and I used to get stress spots with alarming frequency. I had to wear concealer every day, and I longed for a clear, glowing complexion.

I think the breakthrough for me was switching to all-natural skincare products about a year ago - I read an interview with the lovely Abbey Lee in Vogue, where she raved about Lush products, specifically, their cult product Angels on Bare Skin. I thought, if its good enough for Abbey Lee, its damn well good enough for me, and high-tailed it to my nearest Lush store to pick up some sample products. And its just gone from there!

These are a few of my skincare staples:

Ultra Bland cleanser - I LOVE this cleanser so, so much! Its made of peanut oil and beeswax and yummy essential oils, and its absolutely perfect for my dry skin. I think we are too obsessed with the idea of a "squeaky clean" face, and the need for chemical cleansers that foam and bubble and strip our face of all its lovely, natural oils. This stuff is the exact opposite of that - it is gentle and nourishing and leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated but definitely clean.

Angels on Bare Skin - This product is definitely deserving of its cult status - it does live up to all the hype! Its one of the "fresh" products that Lush stock, meaning it contains absolutely zero preservatives - its essentially just kaolin clay, ground almonds, lavender and rose absolute oils, and lavender flowers. I only use it once or twice a week, as an exfoliant, but for people with oily/combination skin, I imagine it would be fine for daily use. It leaves my skin feeling exfoliated and softened, but hydrated at the same time. Gorgeous.

Skin's Shangri La moisturiser - This is a truly delicious moisturiser, packed full of yummy, rich oils. Its not excessively heavy, its actually quite light in texture, but its the first moisturiser I've ever used that leaves my skin feeling hydrated all day, and not in need of a top-up.

Rose hip oil - Hello, gorgeous. Well, you all know what I think about this stuff - people, it is LIQUID GOLD! Enough said.

My daily routine is pretty simple:

I don't actually cleanse my face in the morning - I use the water cleansing method. I just massage my face under warm running water, then pat dry and apply moisturiser. And I have a confession to make here - I don't use a sunscreen during the day *shock horror*! I used to, but after reading some of the medical literature out there on nanoparticles, I've come to the conclusion that its not advisable to be slathering my face in chemicals on a daily basis. I don't work outdoors, in fact I get barely any sun exposure in a normal day. So I figure sunscreen is not a necessity for me. If I go to the beach, or spend time in the sun, I will of course be reaching for the SPF30+. But otherwise, I just use a normal moisturiser during the day - and I have noticed no change at all in my skin.

I don't wear much make-up during the day, just liquid blush, so there's not a lot of make-up removal to do. I massage the Ultra Bland in to my skin and remove with damp cotton pads, then rinse. A couple of days a week I will follow this with a light exfoliation with Angels on Bare Skin. Then I apply Rose Hip Oil, let it absorb for about 15 minutes, and then moisturise with Skins Shangri La.

So I guess my top skincare tips would be:
1. Keep it natural - steer clear of products with 50 different ingredients, half of which you don't even know what they are.
2. Try to break the habit of over-cleansing your skin - its your body's largest organ, treat it nicely!
3. Avoid the sun as much as possible - obviously, if you have to go out in the sun, a good sunscreen is your best friend. But avoiding sun exposure is better still!

Disclaimer - obviously, natural is all well and good if your skin is relatively healthy and normal. But I fully understand that some people have underlying skin conditions, such as acne, which require much more serious treatment, and often the assistance of a good medical professional.



  1. I have shockingly dry skin - from eczema as a teenager. The Lush moisturizer sounds awesome! Will have to give it a go!

  2. Thanks for posting this.
    My daily regime is vaseline, vaseline and more vaseline. Heheheh :)
    But I may try some rosehip oil and some of the Lush products you recommend.
    As you say, if it's good enough for Abbey-Lee...
    Did you know, I once dressed her for fashion week. And one of my friends is friends with her family and went to her Dad's birthday party. That is my Abbey-Lee claim to fame.

  3. Seriously girls, the Lush stuff is excellent! :)

    OMG Carly, I cannot believe you dressed Abbey Lee!! I would have been so starstruck, I adore her! Like, "I'm never washing my hands again!" type of starstruck haha

  4. Well I needed to wash my hands a lot to avoid getting the clothes greasy, hehehe
    But yeah, she was really nice. One of the more down to earth ones. She didn't ask me to take off her shoes.
    I also dressed Michael Klim's wife, Lindy.

  5. i owe you BIG TIME for blogging about the rosehip oil. i am one of those girls who doesnt read reviews and updates in magazines etc. i have used the trilogy rosehip oil for a week now, and even Mr L said to me 'wow D your skin looks fantastic, what are you doing to it lately?'...umm nothing except water cleansing and rosehip oil, i had NO makeup on!

    so big thanks and hugs and stuff from one blogger to another.

    carly, i do tend to worry that you use vaseline, isnt it a petroleum product? and isnt that ultimately drying? the rosehip oil is seriously amazing and cheap compared to most mass produced moisturisers. its simple, quiet, and awesome. it has no need for silly boxes, slogans or catchy songs and models.

  6. Thanks for the insight, I have crazy sensitive skin (thanks to atopy) and can't actually use a lot of products because of a certain preservative. Will have to give Lush a go!

    danielle: petroleum jelly is a water impermeable barrier. It doesn't actually moisturise as such but rather prevents moisture from 'escaping'.

  7. I am guilty of probably over cleansing and over using masks! I just love trying out new beauty products!

  8. Great post, your skin sounds very similar to mine. My skin is also at it's best when I use natural products, and I don't use a cleanser in the morning. How heavily fragranced is the Lush stuff? I'd love to try it but I can only tolerate essential oils in small amounts. I'm especially enamoured by Angels on bare skin, it sounds divine.

  9. Cate it was interesting to see you said you have dry skin relating back to an auto-immune issue years ago. It got me realising my dry skin is also from an auto-immune issue some time ago too! Your skin looks really lovely.

    I 2nd the rosehip oil, it is truly amazing.

    If you ever get to Leura in the Blue Mountains i really recommend the products in ikou. You would totally appreciate their philosphy and their products are amazing (i especially love their handcream)

  10. Florence you really do have a lovely glow. Well Done.

  11. I've never quite got into the Angels on Bare Skin... don't know why?

    Do you use it on damp skin or dry? Maybe I'm not using enough?

    Great post though, I might give rosehip oil a go.


  12. Thank you for this great post! A visit to the Lush store is in the planning. And I should dig out my bottle of RHO :)

  13. Ah I discovered rosehip oil a few months ago and I can't believe how amazing it is for my skin. I use it at night before bed and the next morning my skin is glowing and so soft :D x Sushi

  14. With the onset of winter my over-sensitive skin has been crazy dry so i bought some of the rosehip oil you reccomended. I just wanted to say THANK YOU. My face feels better than it has in months, no more horrid, dry, flakey skin for me. I look lush! You are wonderful!