As I’m sure like many of you I dream of one day having clear skin, no more oil, spots or red marks, waiting for the day I am able to walk out of the house free of makeup ready to take on the world.
From a young age, I have had trouble with my skin, always experiencing oily skin and breaking out whenever the day changed. I must say however I have been lucky in the fact that I have never suffered from acne or have had to be treated medically for my skin, but as a young teenage girl, I longed for clear skin.
Now I’m my mid-twenties I still battle with breakouts, especially around the “lady week” a sure telltale sign she’s coming to visit again. I start to pile on the concealer hoping to disguise them only to create more grime and oil build up destroying my skin beneath. WHY CAN’T I have normal skin? Sometimes I even long for dry skin in a hope the oil will stop and my foundation will stay put for more than 4 hours.
Many of you now will be saying to yourself “this girl mustn’t be using the correct products” but believe me when I say you name it, I have probably tried it. From spending mega money on products such as Clinique, Estée Lauder and Kiehl’s to the high street must-haves, Simple, Boots tea tree products and Nivea I have the bottles to prove it, but yet nothing seemed to help. That’s when I hit rock bottom “was I ever going to have nice skin?” every night I was cleaning, toning and moisturising just as I have always done. Removing my makeup is a must before I go to bed, I just can’t stand that feeling of waking up with overnight makeup! So why isn’t it helping my skin?
I finally had, had enough and started my research into the skin, the way it’s built, how to care for each layer and why my skin was reacting the way it was- and there my answer lay, clear as daylight! Stop using soaps and chemicals and stick to natural products which probably most of you can find in your cupboard.
Now the next question you may have for me is “but how do you find the time” well the answer is I don’t, I don’t always use these products and I still do buy high street brands, such as Garnier skin active pure active sensitive range. Their Anti-blemish soap-free gel wash has truly made such a difference to my skin, with the active ingredient Witch Hazel it helps to clear and remove spots while keeping my skin hydrated. This is key to controlling oily skin, from researching into this I found out that when using harsh soaps your skin actually overcompensates and produces more oil to hydrate your skin, hence clogging up your pores and creating spots!
Another high street brand I have started to use is the body shop, their Seaweed toner, day gel and night serum, so soothing and light it’s the perfect way to add moisture to your skin while cleaning deep into the pores and helping to tighten them. The main ingredient seaweed helps to balance oil and excess sebum, leaving a matte, shine-free complexion.
By using these on a daily basis along with the Garnier micellar water to remove makeup and pure active toner my skin has changed dramatically. Now back to the cupboard ingredients, creating your own face scrubs and masks is easy, quick and they really work too! Below I have listed a few of my favourites that I use on a weekly basis, and please note only use these every couple of days as your skin will need time to recover in between otherwise you will be back to square one with breakouts.
Nutmeg and buttermilk
Nutmeg- to help get rid of excess oil and create soft to touch skin
Milk (preferably buttermilk)- the lactic acid helps break down dead skin cells so they are easily removed after washing.
Combine the ingredients until you create a thin paste
Clean face first
Rinse with water and apply paste in small circular motions to get the blood flowing
Concentrate on oil-prone areas (where your blackheads hide) but remember don’t rub too hard, you don’t want to damage the skin
Continue for 5 mins then rinse with warm water and pat dry
Honey- just honey, (the rawer the better)
Honey- natural antibacterial and antioxidant properties
Clean your face and dry well
Pour a small amount onto your fingertips and rapidly pat the areas that hold the most oil and where blackheads thrive
The dirt from your pores will stick to the honey and come away meaning what is left in your pores won’t oxidise and turn black
Continue for 3 mins then rinse well with warm water and pat dry
Some final tips for achieving clear(er) skin
- Stay clear of harsh cleaners- if it smells like nail varnish remover, it probably contains the same chemicals as one
- Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser- DO NOT sleep with your face dirty!
- If you don’t need to wear makeup- don’t! Take it off as soon as you get home and try not to work out with it on, sweat means your pores are open and dirt can get in
- If you are greasy throughout the day, remove grease with a soft tissue and reapply makeup as necessary, do not reapply over the greasy/oily skin, you are just locking in the dirt and helping it to breed! (Gross!!)