Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Skin Diaries #3+4

She's So Lucy Skin Diaries Febraury March April Oily Hormonal Acne PCOS Skin Retinol REN Wake Wonderful Vichy Suncream

Can we all just say a great big thank you to Easter and I suppose, my birthday for throwing a massive curveball towards the general wellbeing of my skin? *Inserts-hand-clapping-emoji*
Seriously, all of the masses of chocolate I have somehow accumulated over the past few weeks have been a total Godsend for my skin, it's never looked clearer. What's that? Sarcasm doesn't work on the internet?

I've joined February and March's results into one post as I realise, due to last month being so hectic, I didn't get the chance to write up my February skin diaries results. It's been a bit like a rollercoaster these past two months of my skin, so here are my results.

Skincare
I've seriously incorporated a proper acid/exfoliating AND retinol routine into my current skincare routine and whilst the results haven't been groundbreaking to the point of adios acne, I've certainly seen a difference.

The Peter Thomas Roth Max Correction Complexion Pads are something I have mentioned a good handful of times on my blog, but since using them every second or third day on a regular basis, my skin has been reaping the results. The infusion of 5% glycolic and 2% salicylic acid has meant excess sebum production has reduced and the tone of my skin has been much smoother.

The following evening I use the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate - definitely something you'd expect to see in a 22 year olds skincare collection. Retinoid is actually encouraged in skincare routines of those who are prone to oily, acne prone skin. It's my first proper foray into retinol use and so far, it's been a lovely experience. This is because the retinol and Vitamin A is derived solely from natural sources, rather than harsh chemicals like several other retinol based products, so my skin has taken to it well.

Finally on a Sunday night I've been enjoying the REN Wake Wonderful Night Time Facial, has the funkiest smell! It's a weird concept but it's a cream you apply before moisturiser  and you simply sleep in it to wake to smoother, refined, plumper skin which is all thanks to glycolic and lactic acids, and Omega 3. A serious wonder product that I noticed results from instantly.

Please note I NEVER use all three of these products in the same evening routine, nor two products. I tend to start the week as Monday = PTH pads, Tuesday = REN Bio Retinoid, Wednesday = Nothing, Thursday = PTH pads, Friday = REN Bio Retinoid, Saturday = Nothing, Sunday = REN Wake Wonderful Facial.

I also must give a shoutout to the Vichy Idéal Soleil Mattifying Face Dry Touch SPF30 - this stuff is brilliant. When you're using acid exfoliants and retinoid, it's important you protect your skin - something I didn't do initially. Since applying an SPF the morning after - and a bloody good one at that - I've certainly seen a huge improvement in my skin, and it's nice to know my skin is protected and safe. This absorbs brilliantly and leaves no such residue. I used it originally last Summer on holiday and thought it was a great product then, so it's great for use all year round if you have oily skin.

Diet
*Cue manic laughing*. No seriously, over the past two months my diet, despite having every intention of sorting things out, it's been a bit all over the place and the March ended with my birthday and Easter within a week of each other, which hasn't exactly helped matters (seriously, take all this chocolate away!). In all honesty, my skin isn't looking terrible but I'm beginning to see the effects of the harsh alcohol-sugar fuelled early Spring diet taking its effects on my skin so I cannot wait for the next few weeks!

I've been introducing more carbs into my diet as I've been back at the gym which I don't think is helping, though bare in mind these carbs are either brown rice/spelt pasta, Ryvita crisp breads or the odd bagel. Fortunately I received plenty of healthy cookbooks for my birthday for some healthier, lower carb, energy boosting recipe inspiration. I also received a FAB book called Eat Pretty which is a complete guide to 'beautifying' food which I'm devouring currently.

Water Intake
Since joining the gym again, I took it upon me to buy a big re-fillable bottle that I can take with me everywhere. I picked up one that comes complete with a straw (22 going on 2...) which means drinking water and staying hydrated is much 'easier'. I've definitely noticed the effects of this, and actually, I think to an extent always having a bottle with me has helped minimise the aftermath of my birthday and Easter upon my skin. Throughout April I'm aiming to drink a big glass of bottle of water before I have breakfast in the morning, and certainly before I even drink coffee.

Exercise
Due to work commitments and other life factors, March saw me only go to the gym a handful of times which I absolutely hate and my body is paying for now! There's not a great deal I can report on with exercise affecting my skin, but all I'm going to say is ladies - remove your make-up!

Lifestyle
The past two months have been incredibly intense, with March in particular just being a whirlwind of stress, exhaustion, anxiety to celebration. It's been mad and I think that certainly took it's toll on my skin, particularly during the beginning of March to mid-March. I took a photo of my skin at around 10am one day, straight out of the shower in the sunlight as a 'before' image to personally reflect upon my skin progress. It was sore, I had spots all over my cheeks and chin, and everything just looked sluggish and unhealthy. Whilst I'm confident I won't ever share those images, they have certainly proved as motivational for me to fight on with my quest for clear, healthy skin as those images fill me with such sadness and totally knock my confidence! All I want at the end of the day is to not have to put on a full face of make-up just to pop to the shops for five minutes, or to feel like everyone is looking at me in disgust when I'm walking back from the gym in broad morning daylight at 8am.

April is looking more promising in terms of my lifestyle getting back on track and getting myself to the gym as often as I can, and making the time to cook nourishing meals throughout the week, so I'm hoping this will mean next month, my skin diaries are looking more positive!

Are you on a quest towards clearer skin? What skincare products have you been enjoying this month?  Is there an aspect of your life that you feel makes the biggest difference towards your skin?
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