In almost two years of beauty blogging (seriously, how the hell did that happen?) I've been incredibly blessed in that my sometimes sensitive skin hasn't broken out in boils, blotches and mysterious rashes. Until recently, that is. Something I've been using near my eyes has caused a hot, red, itchy rash, and, to put it mildly, I'm not happy!
I've narrowed down the possible offenders to three potentials, one an eyecream, one a moisturiser, and one ... er ... something else. I forget which now. Most likely a cleanser. Yes, I tried a new cleanser recently. Must have been that. Oh, and there's a fourth thing it might have been, but I really, really can't remember what that was. Anyway.
So, in order to try and get my skin back into some semblance of normality, I've pared my skincare routine right back, and I'm using just three products until my skin calms down enough for me to start re-introducing items in order for me to weed out the irritant.
These products are: Nude Cleansing Facial Oil, Darphin Intral Toner and Avene Extremely Rich Compensating Cream. I've completely removed any skincare with more "active" ingredients from my routine to stop my skin flaring up further and that means "bye-bye" to my beloved Alpha H for a couple of weeks! Here's how I've been getting on with my new routine.
Nude Cleansing Facial Oil
An old standby, and very much an old favourite, this is gentle, effective and luxurious to use. I never used to really like the smell, but I've grown used to it over the years (this is one of the first things I ever bought to blog about, and I've never been without a bottle since), and now I love it. Thick, rich, and feels intensely nourishing, which, when your skin is as red and reactive as mine is at the moment, is just what the doctor ordered. Mine cost £24 from Space NK, which reminds me, I'm running low - very low - right now, and it might be time to re-invest in a bottle. Did I mention it's organic? It's organic. And it's very nice indeed. If you're not sure you like oil cleansers, this is a good one to start off with, it'll kind of spoil you for the rest.
Darphin Intral Toner
I'm not much of a one for toners. Some people think I'm wrong, but hey, it's MY skin, and I like what I like, thank you very much. And, it turns out I like this particular toner very much indeed. Formulated specifically for sensitive skins, this alcohol-free (the only time you'll ever see me approve of this phrase is when it comes to my skincare, btw) delicately flower-scented pink liquid is something I've been using every day recently to soothe and cool my inflamed temples. It is moisturising, and calming, and I think I might just keep it in daily rotation once the current skin-crisis is over. I'm trying to think of toners as the beginning of my moisturising routine, and not as the end of my cleansing one, I wonder if that will help me keep them in my routine?
Anyway, this is a nice toner, and I like using it. So there. I'm thinking of decanting a little of it, and keeping it by me at all times over the summer for a more moisturising spriz than usual. My bottle cost £27, again, from Space NK.
Finally, I've been using Avene Extremely Rich Compensating Cream, which, on first look I thought was just going to be far too heavy for my skin. I was assured otherwise by a certain Mrs Hirons who assured me, when she handed the pot over, that, as well as being irritated, I - sorry, my skin - was also dehydrated. Turns out she was right. I hate that. Anyway, this is a fairly heavyweight little pot of soothing, calming and rehydrating goodness. Yes, it is a little heavier than my normal moisturiser of choice, but it has worked wonders on my perpetually re-occuring patch of dry skin on my forehead, and for that alone, I have to love it. It does, also, I have to say, seem to be soothing my irritated (and irritating) skin. I can't use this one all over my face, but applied just to my dryer areas: forehead, temples and cheeks, mainly, I can definitely see that this is about the most hydrating thing I've ever applied to my face, and that has to be a good thing.
You can buy this for £16.50 from Boots, but my pot (the design of which I detest, by the way), came from Caroline's Magic Beauty Cupboard, which I'm hoping one day to get her to blog about ...
So, my skin is now not at all hot, flaky or burning any more, which is wonderful. And it's less red, which is great. I'm just waiting for the bumps to subside now, and all will be well. Then I can start using more sexy products again ... that said, I've been so impressed by the Darphin and Avene products I've tried as a result of the flare-up that I'm sure I'll be investigating more of their ranges, so for a beauty addict like myself, there has been a bright side!
The Fine Print: I bought half of this, and the moisturiser was a present. Kind of. More a bribe to stop me whining, I suspect, but hey ho, it worked, anyway.
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