After chatting about my current morning and evening skincare routine I thought I should touch on the products that are more than worthy of their spot in my bathroom cabinet but that I don’t use daily – either because that would just be OTT for my skin or because they’re products I only reach for if I’m having a specific skin problem (unusual dryness, a breakout etc. etc.)
Alpha H Liquid Gold 200ml, £39.00 › available here
Or as it should be named magic in a bottle. I don’t use this every day purely because I prefer not to add any other products on top of this so that the effect is stronger. Also, it’s nice to feel like you have something held back in your skincare arsenal to really go to work when your skin in playing up and at it’s worst. The claim list of what Liquid Gold can do is long: revitalise dulled skin that’s lost its lustre, gradually lessen the visibility of fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, blackheads, blemishes, pigmentation, scarring, redness…
I can’t speak for the effect on lines and wrinkles but the rest – all true. This will always be a definite repurchase for me.
Dermalogica Clear Start Overnight Treatment, £13.00 › available here
I wouldn’t say it clears up spots entirely overnight but it does a seriously good job of making them MUCH less noticeable and inflamed. At this price, it’s well worth it. It’s a completely clear liquid so even though this says it’s an overnight treatment I will sometimes slather this on throughout the day and use it as a mask if my skin has really broken out.
Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel, £15.00› available here
I actually keep this in my bedside beauty kit as it’s handy to grab if I feel a spot brewing, it’s also a brilliant size for travelling. If I pop this on as I notice a is spot brewing it’s probably 50/50 as to whether the spot will never fully appear of not, which I think it actually pretty decent odds. On a spot that has already surfaced this will really minimise it overnight and usually have made it completely disappear within two days.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, £12.50 › available here
I use this on hideously massive and vicious spots as it’s a pretty strong product and will dry out any surrounding skin that I get it on. For me though, that’s worth it. The best way to apply this is to dip a cotton wool bud / Q-tip into the bottle, all the way down to the pink sediment at the bottom – you don’t shake the product up before you use it, leave it as the two separate layers – and then dab onto any spots you have. It does go on pink (it contains calamine lotion) so this is definitely one for just using on an evening. Other ingredients include salicylic acid and zinc oxide. I love it for those emergency “I need this spot to disappear right now” situations but it does contain a fair amount of alcohol, in fact it stinks of the stuff when you apply it, so it may not be for everyone.
Eucerin Even Brighter Spot Corrector, £14.50 › available here
I use this once I’ve had a spot which has disappeared and left a red mark (so every single spot I ever get). For the first couple of days after having the spot I’ll add a dab of this to help the process of getting rid of the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I do think this helps but I’m not really using it as directed as I only use this for a couple of days – to be honest I’m a little scared of using it too regularly because it does come with a warning to not get this onto skin around the pigmentation spot as it would also lighten that skin too. I think I need to be braver and just use it repeatedly to see if this would actually get rid of hyperpigmentation entirely by itself.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, £33.85 › available here
First up, it’s a 75g bottle so this stuff will last forever! If you can get your hands on one of the 13g travel sizes then do – quite a few online sites offer a free gift with purchase if you’re buying a Dermalogica product so I’ve picked up a couple of the mini daily microfoliants that way when buying other Dermalogica products and you can also get their mini skincare kits, like this one, which are pretty decent value.
Onto the actual product – I’ve used this on and off for years and I’ve always really liked it. I try to avoid manual exfoliants where possible and tend to stick to acid toners to do the job, but this is always gentle enough for me to come back to it when I feel like my skin could just do with a bit more of a refresh. It’s a super fine rice-based enzyme powder which you add a little of into your hands, along with a dash of water, which makes a kind of paste that you then rub into your skin before rinsing off with a damp flannel. It contains salicylic acid along with ingredients like grapefruit and licorice to help balance uneven skin pigmentation and a combination of green tea, ginkgo and colloidal oatmeal to help calm skin. If I had to pick just one Dermalogica product to recommend to people it would always be this.
Glam Glow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment, £45 › not currently available
I’m at the stage where I’m trying to just use this up – I have liked using it, it’s a decent product, but it’s really pricey for what it does. I don’t feel like it performs any better than other, cheaper clay masks – it lists a whole host of AHA/BHA’s but they’re in such small quantities that I really don’t believe this has any exfoliating properties. I certainly can’t tell any discernible difference. As a clay mask this does a nice job of drawing out impurities, but pretty much any clay mask will do that for you so… I feel like I just bought into the hype with this one, although I will say it is still fascinating to watch the colour change and the gross black bits appear in the mask when it’s pulling out gunk from your pores! Overall though, this just wasn’t worth the money.
I could only find this on US websites for sale ($69 at Sephora) as I was writing this post so if you did want it you may have to hunt it down.
Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask, £10.00 › available here
Another clay mask, but at a much cheaper price point. I find the self heating nature of this mask weirdly satisfying so I always enjoy using it. I don’t find it dries my skin out and does a good job of drawing out impurities / gunk from my pores so it gets thumbs up for that. It sometimes can take a bit of scrubbing to remove though, which then leaves my skin looking a little red for a while after, which is my only complaint, but it’s not a long-term irritation or anything – more just some redness for fifteen minutes or so afterwards and it doesn’t happen every time I use it so I suspect it’s probably when I’ve not kept an eye on the clock and it’s been on for longer than it should. I do like to keep a clay mask to hand though and this is probably my favourite of the ones I’ve tried over the years.
So those are the current “extras” I use in my skincare routine.
I’m on the search at the moment for a couple of good masks, I ran out of the REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial about a month ago so, apart from loads of little samples, I’m down to just clay masks at the moment which I only want to use at the absolute most once a week. Ideally I’d like a mask that’s really hydrating and one which is all about radiance / skin renewal so if you have any good recommendations let me know!