Nine years ago I decided that I ought to look into having a proper skincare regime. I had never suffered from breakouts, even as a teenager, but was prone to the odd spot or, more often, dry patch and occasional dull skin. My wedding was in the autumn of 2008 and I thought it would be good to get into a proper routine in the months ahead so that I’d have a flawless complexion on the big day.
In the January I started this process by venturing to a large department store and perusing the beauty counters, before selecting one to have a skin test on. I left around £100 lighter with a bag not exactly bulging with products. I was determined and positive however that they would work and that it would have been money well spent. They did work. For about a month. Then I experienced my first spotty breakout and, after chatting to a colleague, found that they had experienced the same with the products that I was using. I promptly discarded the remainder of the lotions and potions, waited for my skin to clear, then booked myself in for a proper skin consultation at a local beauty salon. This time I left nearly £200 worse off, with a similar stash of products that were chosen specifically for my skin type (which had been assessed during an hour long process of prodding and looking at it up close!). I was warned that it might take a couple of weeks for my skin to acclimatise to them and to expect the odd spot during this time, but that my perseverance would pay off. I waited for one month. Spot after spot after spot and I realised that there was simply no point. I would much rather deal with the odd dry patch than this, so they went out too.
After these pitfalls I decided that perhaps I knew my skin type better than I thought I did, after all, I had been looking after it pretty well for 27 years at that point (ok, maybe 20 years ish, I doubt I was at all responsible for it when I was a baby or young child). So I set about doing exactly what I had been doing since, basically, puberty: nothing. Washed with water and soap, sloshed a small amount of vitamin e enriched moisturiser over my face and, done. Voila. Finito.
The turning point came during an appointment with a nail technician for a manicure (something I knew that I was better off having a professional deal with). She said that her top tip was to ask my mother or female relatives what they use, and to try those. With great excitement I asked my mum; would she be able to give me the answer I needed? She said that there were only two brands that suited her. “Olay, as it is called now” (she’s not the only one who calls it this and I’m starting to wonder if I missed the communication that Olay changed from “Ulay” to “Olay as it is called now but you can just call us Olay if you like”) and “Nivea”. I set off with a spring in my step and after carefully looking at nothing more than the boxes and marketing jargon, settled on a bounty of Nivea products (which, incidentally, set me back about £15). Guess what? They worked! This simple but important advice set me on the right track and I haven’t looked back (sorry, Proctor and Gamble / “Olay as it is called now”, although I do use Max Factor make up products 😉). Not only does this save me a great deal of money but I’m sure that just by substituting the soap and random cream for something slightly more specific my skin is better looked after. Sure, if you know me or watch my Instagram stories you’ll see that I have plenty of wrinkles (no botox here!) and yes I do still have the odd dry patch, but my skin doesn’t feel tight and there are no major breakouts in sight.
So there you go. Is this the big secret that the beauty industry wants to keep from you or a fluke? Or perhaps you already knew this?! I’d love to hear your thoughts 😊 feel free to comment below or drop me a line.
N.B. This is not a sponsored post, I am simply passing on the love. See my disclosure page for more information.