Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Beauty: Current Skincare Favourites

Skincare has eclipsed my love of make-up. Hours spent reading posts about different shades of red lipstick and new Mac collections have long ago been replaced with hours of reading Beautypedia, this Reddit and the entirety of Caroline Hirons. I keep my make-up pretty simple these days, obsessing more about clear, glowing skin and concentrations of active ingredients than green glitter eyeliner or a matte red lip.

Moving to Dubai has meant stepping up my skincare - both to deal with the sun, pollution and oiliness that a change in climate has brought about and because skincare (/all forms of vanity) is serious business here. Every mall trip now seems me weighing up tiny, precious bottles of claims and promises rather than swooning over shoes and bags. In an attempt to cut down my possessions and simplify my life a tiny glass vial can somehow justify its presence more easily than a new pair of shoes. Said tiny vial may be the same price but I subscribe to both the Caroline Hirons routine and mentality that we should be willing to spend as much as we do on a bag on our faces (the photo above is equivalent to purchasing this pouch to store them in).

This post isn't a complete breakdown of my routine as I'm not quite there with finding one where I'm 100% happy with each component but these are my current favourites / recent purchases that have improved my skin.

Serums - SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is a product that had been on my "want" list since it was recommended at Silver Mirror Facial Bar in NYC last summer. This product is not cheap and I purchased it slightly guiltily but if I had to pick one product from the above photo this would be it. In short, C E Feurlic is an antioxidant / pollution blocker which works with SPF to protect skin from a city environment and environmental aggressors which contribute to ageing and dull skin. I use three drops of this every morning, on clean skin before moisturiser and SPF. The product looks and feels pretty unremarkable - it's a yellow-tinged liquid with no discernible smell and doesn't have a particularly luxurious feel on application. I was a bit non-plussed after my first few applications of a product I'd wanted for so long but a week or so later, my skin just looked better - more even toned, a hint of a glow despite more time spent at my desk, quicker healing of blemishes and no breakouts or reactions from my sensitive skin.

iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum - a purchase made at Silver Mirror, this serum has a similar texture to C E Ferulic and also contains vitamin C for its antioxidative properties. This was recommended to me for redness (literally anything and everything makes my skin go red) and for healing the occasional cystic acne I get on my jaw line. I use this when my skin feels a little irritated which is common in a climate that varies between intense humidity and aggressive air-conditioning. I recently had micro-needling (that's another post for another day, my friends) and used this in the week after to keep my skin calm and happy.

SPF Eye Creams - I poured over this post by Ruth Crilly / A Model Recommends before moving to Dubai as I found it strange that there were so few eye creams containing SPF on the market and that most facial SPFs specifically state to avoid the eye area. Hmm. Clinque's Superdefense SPF 20 was purchased after reading Ruth's post and it's a great daily eye cream with a light texture and light reflecting particles which brighten the eye area even without make-up. One warning - wash your hands before touching your eyes / waterline after application as it has irritated my eyes if it gets in them or too close to them.  SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense is, you guessed it, more expensive (technically its the same price but compare sizes in the photo above) but it's a definite step above the Clinque formula as it just doesn't have that "SPF" feel to it. At first the tint appeared way too dark for my pale skin but it blends seamlessly, is a perfectly matte formula, blurs out fine lines (eek) and means I can go concealer-free at weekends while knowing my skin is protected.

I buy SkinCeuticals products online here in Dubai.

Acid Toner -"acid toning" has to be the biggest skin lesson learned from Caroline Hirons. I hadn't previously used a toner since my teens when cleanse-tone-moisturise seemed like the key to being an actual grownup (I had a mini Clinque 3-step kit in a clear plastic make-up bag which I treated like a prize possession). In the UK I'd had a few dalliances with Pixi Glow Tonic and Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel but nether made it into my suitcase for the move. Since moving to Dubai my skin has been back to its oily teenage best and I'd been lamenting my pore size on far too frequent basis for someone who has More Important Things To Worry About. My dermatologist recommended Image Clear Cell salicylic acid toner and despite the rather strong smell and my fear that it would dissolve my skin it's been amazing for both de-greasing my t-zone, sweeping away drier skin from my cheeks and helping to fade scarring from breakouts past.

The Curiosity Purchase - LiLash seemed to sweep the Internet a few years ago. I was unconvinced until I saw Elodie's results (I've seen those lashes in real life) and decided to give it a go. Back in the UK I thought I had pretty decent lashes until I moved to the Middle East and frequently see girls with glossy Bambi-like lashes (semi-permanent extensions may be due the credit here...). I looked into lash extensions but memories of hay fever and my eyes getting irritated by air-con (again...) put me off getting anything glued to my own lashes. I've only been using LiLash for three weeks but already when curling my lashes and applying mascara they appear fuller, stronger and fewer lashes seem to be dropping out when removing eye make-up. I'll report back as to whether I get more noticeable results in the next couple of months. Obviously this isn't really an essential purchase but my curiosity is always peaked by things like this.

Phew, this turned out pretty long. I could actually talk about skincare all day. I guess this blog is back to fulfilling its original function of letting me ramble about things that the Real World around me ins't interested in.

What are your favourite new products? 



  1. I love your picks! The SkinCeutical products are so intriguing - especially the C E Ferulic one; I have v sensitive but super acne prone (double trouble ugh) skin and currently battling THREE giant cystic acne on my chin (pesky hormones)... for me it's all about layer moisture and making sure my skin is coping ok with the dry winds and crazy air cond in the office too!

    I'm not using any new products per se but I am enjoying Madara Peel mask, it's an AHA mask and I love how it feels the day after I use it. I have the Cosrx BHA toner but haven't tried that out yet!

    I'm definitely into skincare over makeup these days too...

    Cherie ✿ sinonym

  2. I've heard such great things about Skinceuticals - I must try them out. I have acne prone skin (STILL) but it also becomes quite dry, so serums are my favorite product to use at the moment for that extra bit of moisture boost!

    xo Jaime

  3. Your post on skinceuticals is awesome. You have shared very valuable information to us. Thank you so much for sharing this.


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