Monday, February 23, 2015

This year I've made it my goal to get my skin in shape - after years of bad habits and bad products, and still  dealing with flareups I couldn't leave alone, I decided that with it being a new year and turning 21 soon I should be treating myself, and my skin, better.

I've almost got the skincare down, there's just a few more products I want to invest in after I finish scraping the current remainders out of their tubes - Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, and Alpha H Liquid Gold are among the very long list of must-haves I'm hoping to stock up on soon *come on N.Dulge Points!* - but one of the best ways to get my skin in tip top shape is the weekly face mask. I absolutely love steaming my pores open, getting a declogging formula in there and sitting back for a few minutes whilst it gets to work, and the results are always good - so good in fact my skin is looking just as clear and in good condition as it was when I was about 12; that's a long time to be having ups and downs with skin and beauty!

But back onto the face masks, and over time I've whittled my collection down to a few key brands and essential picks that just always do the job properly and have helped my skin look alive and clear instead of a bit gross and blotchy. One of the things I was never quite good at was exfoliation, it was either too much or none at all so now I like to do two types of exfoliation masks per week - firstly, the Quick Fix Exfoliating Scrub Mask which is just like your old school scrub except it works a little bit deeper to get out those blackheads. I like to do this after a shower so my pores are open just a bit - not after an intense steam as it can be quite harsh - and it helps to buff away the dead skin cells and clogged plugs whilst I massage it in quite firmly with my hands so it's not too abrasive. Leave it on for 10 minutes and it will have bought out all the soap scum and grime from your face whilst giving it a little polish - sorted. For more of a renewal for my skin, I like to use the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask - don't let the marmalade texture put you off, it's bloomin amazing, and is more of a peel that contains Lactic Acid to take off the top few layers of dead skin to reveal your natural glow, whilst combating the deeply clogged pores by helping to just ease them up and out; definitely more of one to reveal your healthy skin than clean the pores but both work together to get things out and moving!

Another skin classic from REN is their Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial* and it's such a great quick fix in the morning; the Vitamin C helps lift those dull grey areas into the light and also reduces the appearance of imperfections so it's great on those lingering blemish marks. I've found it really helps give a quick boost of softness and smoothness to my skin which is nice without having to wait around for a while, and it feels boosted and plump for the day ahead.
Finally, the one that sets to get in there and clear out those pores good and proper, and is all a new firm fave in my collection, is the Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Mask. This sets immediately  which is hard when you've got a cup of tea to drink but the quicker it gets started, the quicker those blackheads are out of there! Because my skin has been good as of late, I've not experienced it dragging up all the 'lying in wait' spots but it has definitely dried up and bought out any plugs or lingering spots I have that were just waiting to be prodded - gross I know, I'm sorry - which makes it great not only as a clearing up mask but also an intensive spot-treatment; just dab a bit on the inflamed or bumpy area and overnight the chamomile will have drawn out the impurity, calmed any redness and significantly reduced the size of your spot. I use this once or twice a week to keep my pores clear of any dirt and build up, and I have to say I'm impressed so far as it really dries out spots and gets the T-Zone looking clear, and you don't need a lot on your face so the price tag is pretty reasonable - thank you Aesop! (update: mix this with Elemeis Herbal Lavender Mask and everything will come up, in a good way! It's also perfect to pop on redness and blemishes to stop you from touching them, letting them heal.)

So what's next? Well there's a few bumps and bits that I'd like to clear up and get rid of, but right now I'm so happy with how clear my skin is looking. No blemishes, no red marks, no angry spots or deep plugs, and I can go out just wearing a lipstick if I so fancy - I have actually done this, and got hit on by an old man, so it seems to be working pretty well (even if the target market is a few decades off....) Finally after years of stripping cleansers, chemical solutions and even antibiotics, I have a skincare routine to give my face some peace of mind, and a facial clear-up team to rival that of yours truly devouring a bag of almonds - pretty swift let me tell you. Skincare goals, you're looking good.

Have you got a favourite face mask? Do you have any skincare or beauty goals this year? Will you be trying any of these brands?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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