So, I finally did it. I plucked up the courage and finally booked in with my doctor to try and tackle my acne.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know over the last two years, my face has resembled not only a pepperoni pizza, but also the moon – full of crater sized pores and a blinding glow (unfortunately in a I’ve-dipped-my-face-in-a-fryer way, rather than the pregnancy/post-sex/I’ve-spent-3-hours-crying glow that I’d murder a small to moderate army of people for).
You know what? It’s possibly the best thing I’ve ever done (And no, the doctor didn’t run away, screaming ‘monster!‘ when I walked through the door).
I’ll write another post talking a bit more in depth about Epiduo and what it does, but for now, I wanted to boast about my current routine that’s given me clearer skin than I’ve had in years.
Whilst I did get Epiduo prescribed to me via my doctor, you can purchase it directly through Superdrug, however it’s around £50 for 45g. Ouch.
Everyone always goes on about how important it is to remove your makeup every single night. Why? Because it is a bloody important step to getting healthy skin. Even though I don’t wear any foundation/base products now, I still wear mascara and a few brow products which still do need removing every day. When I first stopped wearing any ‘face makeup’, I wouldn’t mind the occasional night where I’d fall asleep in mascara. My main concern was clearing my face, so why did it matter if I left eye makeup on? I went through this stage for a few months, until I came across THIS article which quite frankly scarred me for life.
I try to take off my makeup as soon as I can. If I’ve popped makeup on in the morning and I’m not going out in the evening, I try to make sure I remove it around 6pm. Mainly because of that article, but also because the later I go without washing it off, the less likely I’m going to want to do it before I jump into bed.
I first take the The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil and massage it all over my face and eyes. It’s super gentle and I find it doesn’t sting my eyes at all. After about 30 seconds of massaging, I use a wet, lukewarm Microfibre Face Cloth to swipe all the oil and makeup away. I used to think I’d use muslin cloths until I popped my clogs, but these cloths are so soft and gentle, I now couldn’t imagine using any other cloth.
Very rarely the cleansing oil misses some eye makeup, so if I can see any left over, I pop a little Nivea Eye Make-Up Remover Double Effect onto a biodegradable q-tip and gently rub it into my lash line.
Even though oil cleansers are typically associated with makeup removal, I do still oil cleanse when I’m not wearing any makeup. Oil attracts oil, and since I have oily skin, I like to make sure that I’m cleansing away all that sebum and oil based impurities that my normal cleanser might miss (I’ve written a full post about cleansing HERE). So, no matter what I’ve used/haven’t used on my face that day, I’ll never skip out on oil cleansing.
After I’ve buffed all the first cleanser away with the cloth, I then use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, teamed up with my silicon vibrating brush that resembles something most women would keep tucked away in their bedside drawer.
Whilst the cleanser packaging definitely isn’t anything to shout about (minus the fact it gets a big thumbs up from me by having a pump), the cleanser is one of the best I’ve used in a long time. It doesn’t break me out and really hydrates my skin which is something I definitely need a lot of due to how drying Epiduo is.
The face brush I use is an obvious dupe for another product which I actually was considering purchasing before stumbling across this one. As far as I can tell, the only different between the two is the price tag. Obviously I’m definitely not going to spend £90 on something that I can get for £10, when they both do the exact same thing. What I like so much about it is that not only does it make my routine feel a little boujee, but it also really helps to clear out my pores, whilst giving my face a slight exfoliation.
I used to use the Pixi Rose Tonic* every single day, and then when I decided to try and reduce the amount of products I used in my daily routine (yes – I somehow used even more products than I do now), this got popped into the back of my collection. It wasn’t until I started getting super oily from the Epiduo that I decided to add this back into my routine. What I love about it is that its super lightweight and perfect to do the ‘7 Skins‘ method with. Ever since using it again, I’ve really noticed my face doesn’t get so oily, any redness is instantly calmed and it helps to heal up any active acne. Hydrating. Toners. Are. Life.
The only reason I was introduced to the CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence was because of how many people shout about it in skincare groups on Reddit and Facebook. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen many people mention it outside these groups and I’m not really sure why. This essence not only hydrates, but it reduces redness, fine lines and has healing properties, which is a big win for my acne prone skin. I also like to pop this on under any of my other treatment products to act as a buffer, so they’re not too harsh on my skin.
Before I started my Epiduo, I introduced the Revolution Skincare 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc serum into my routine, using it both morning and evening. Unfortunately, since Epiduo does contain Benzoyl Peroxide, I’m not able to use them together, so I now use the Niacinamide + Zinc serum in the morning, and the Epiduo in the evening. Whilst I’m not 100% sure that it’s this product doing it, I did notice that once I started to use it, my acne did seem to calm down and my PIE was healing a lot faster than before. It’s never caused me any adversed effects, so for the meantime, I’m definitely going to stick with it.
Now, for the main star of the show. The Romeo to my Juliet. The wine to my gums. The crimble to my crumble. Like I said before, I’ll write another post all about Epiduo and how it actually works, but I’ll still briefly talk about it here. Epiduo is a combination of Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. Its main job is to kill acne bacteria and speed up healing. A acne sufferers dream. The only downsides to the cream is that is causes extreme dryness and also can make breakouts worse in the first few weeks of using it as it brings everything in your skin to the surface. Fortunately, I didn’t seem to have that bad of a ‘purging’ stage and I didn’t suffer too badly with dry skin. If you’re looking to start Epiduo, my advice is to stick with it (even if you think it’s making things worse in the first weeks) and keep your skin as hydrated as possible. I only use the Epiduo in the evenings, and wait at least 30 minutes before popping anything (like a moisturiser) over the top.
Epiduo is known to cause skin to become more sensitive to the sun. For that reason I always make sure I’m using SPF everyday. Currently, the Dermalogica Clear Start Clearing Defense SPF30* is my go to. We all know by now that moisturisers containing SPF aren’t as good as using a separate SPF and moisturiser, so I always make sure I’m wearing a thick layer. Typically, I don’t tend to spend that much time in the sun. Working in a pub means that I spend a good majority of the time either behind the bar, or catching up on missed hours of sleep. However, on the days I know I’ll be spending a bit more time in the sun, I do apply an extra SPF over the top.
In the evenings I like to apply something thicker. I swear by the Aveeno Moisturising Cream. I used to use this a lot in my late teens and for whatever reason, I stopped using it and started to test out different moisturisers. After knowing what Epiduo does, I knew I needed a super soothing and hydrating night moisturiser, and thats when I decided to pick up another of tube of Aveeno. It’s thick, it’s soothing, it doesn’t break me out – basically it’s a perfect night cream for me.
Like I said before, even though I know I should really be wearing an SPF over the top of my moisturiser daily, I do only wear the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++ if I’m spending a lot of time in the sun that day. I will write a big ol’ post about why you should be wearing SPF every single day (even if you’re not on Epiduo), but if you’re currently looking for a sign to start wearing it, this is it.
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