I make no secret of the fact that my skin is quite frankly a bit of a pain in the arse; I struggle quite a lot with blemishes and I have the most awkward skin type ever - it's combination with dehydrated patches which makes it really hard to deal with in terms of what products I can use. However, without putting a total jinx on the situation I am pleased to announce that I am going through quite a good time with my skin at the moment; it's looking clearer than it has for months and there doesn't seem to be any angry redness or dry flakey patches and it's not looking overly shiny in my t-zone which is pretty much unheard of for me! After having a long hard think I think I've narrowed it down to a few things that have really helped my situation and surprisingly (to me, probably not to skincare pros) it's not just down to products.
Cutting down on dairy - I'd heard on the grapevine that dairy is linked to acne and other skin problems but I never actually considered that it might be affecting my skin because I've always had dairy products and never given it a second thought. However, over the last 3 weeks I've cut down massively on my dairy intake; I was going to go dairy free but then realised that eradicating cheese and yoghurts completely from my life was too much for me to think about (even though I haven't actually had any cheese for 2 of the weeks and I haven't noticed it) so I've just stopped having regular milk and I'm slowly working my way through trying different types of milk replacement products like soya, almond and coconut milks. As I mentioned in my recent favourites post, I've been absolutely loving Alpro Chocolate milk and it really surprised me how nice it actually is. I'm going to carry on trying different dairy alternatives and see what works with me because I feel like it's really helping my skin; to think I might have been living with some kind of dairy intolerance and never realised is quite weird!
REN Clearcalm Clay Cleanser - I repurchased this after not using it for a good year or so and I've totally rekindled my love for it. It's so gentle yet it removes every bit of makeup (even when I've broke out the big guns for a night out) and I think the clay element is really calming on my skin without actually having to leave a product on my skin for any length of time. Although I can't deny I love my Bee Good cream cleanser this has also been working brilliantly for my skin and it's nice to remember that I don't just have to stick to one product that works.
Face Masks - I've been using two just lately that my skin seems to have really thanked me for: the Una Brennan Superfacialist clay mask that I mentioned the other day and also a Jurlique Purifying Mask. I use each of these at least once per week because not only do I find the whole face mask experience really relaxing I also think that they're keeping my skin calm and decongested. I also believe that the Superfacialist mask is helping with the dehydration on my cheeks because they don't seem anywhere near as bad as they were and any old blemishes have disappeared without spending a week or more just sat being all dry, flakey and ugly on my face.
Gel Lotion Moisturiser - I wouldn't dream of using a really heavy moisturiser, similarly I didn't think I'd dream of ever using a moisturiser containing oil, however I've been using Jurlique Rose Moisture Gel Lotion for a good 2 weeks now and my skin seems to be responding really well to it. Any combination/oily skinned folks out there will know how daunting it is to start using any product containing oils on already oily skin but it has really helped to even out my skin because it's treating my dehydrated cheeks whilst not being too heavy because it's still a gel lotion as opposed to a heavy cream.
Changing my pillowcase twice per week - Until about 6 months ago I never considered my pillowcase to be a breeding ground for bacteria but after realising that I kept getting spots on the same side of my face funnily enough it turned out to be the same side that I spend most time on in bed so now I make sure that I change my pillowcase at least twice per week because I don't think that even once per week is enough. One day I'll invest in a silk pillowcase but until I can bring myself to shell out £40 I'll stick to buying cheap ones and rotating them more often.
So there are the four things that I think are contributing to my surprisingly good looking skin. I feel like I've jinxed it massively now and I'm going to wake up in the morning with the mother of all breakouts, I hope not though because I'm enjoying feeling like I have skin which resembles some kind of normal - it's proving much easier to apply makeup on!
Do you have any products or lifestyle changes that have helped you deal with your skin type?