My Clear Skin Journey:
So, I’ve never had terrible acne or anything, just clogged pores that I thought was acne. Because I thought my skin type was oily and acne prone, I was purchasing products targeted towards that skin type. So my skin never got any clearer using these products for oily/acne skin. It only kept breaking out more, and becoming very red and sensitive. It wasn’t until I went, on recommendation from a lot of people including my mother, to the Clear Skin Clinic in Double Bay. My beautician, Dee, said that I actually had beautiful skin (which I didn’t believe at the time), that was very dry/sensitive. My beautiful skin was hidden under my clogged pores from liquid/cream foundation and oil based skincare products. I think it’s very important to know your skin type as it makes all the difference in how you take care of it. I was shocked because I had spent a lot of money buying the wrong products, because of past dermatologists wrong diagnoses.
I would never recommend something unless i 110% trusted and believed in it. I’m a very harsh critic and have been to many dermatologists in the past who have done nothing as effective or fast in clearing my skin as the wonderful beauticians at the Clear Skin Clinic in Double Bay. On first visit, you bring all makeup and skincare products that you apply to your skin, and she will examine them. I had to throw everything out (i literally had 10+ items for my face) and start with her recommended skincare regime for me. For my skin type, I have to use water based products as my skin was clogged from all the heavy oil based products. I won’t say that this clear skin journey was cheap either, but I have never had skin this clear before so I’m willing to pay to keep it that way. I was given a simple 3 step system to follow: Cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Then, once a week I would exfoliate my skin. Before that, I was using a million different products and I would exfoliate twice a day everyday thinking I would scrub away the pimples, but really it was damaging my skin. I like how they have refined a simple, but very effective skincare routine, that limited the amount of products I was putting on my face so that i don’t suffocate and clog my skin. You are also not allowed to wear any liquid or cream foundation (which scared the hell out of me at first!), as they are VERY pore clogging (even if it is non comedogenic or “natural”). You are matched up to a shade from the Jane Iredale Purepressed Base foundation, which is my holy grail foundation! I have a blog post all about it here. If you need a little more spot concealing, they will give you a small jar of the Dermalogica Treatment Foundation (which is unfortunately discontinued). At first it was hard just wearing a powder as foundation as I was used to liquid foundation, concealer, powder. Honestly, my skin has never looked better with just this base! I love how simple they have made both my skincare and makeup routine, which i think is key in maintaining clear skin.
All of the products recommended to me are water based, oil free, with a simple and short ingredient list. They are appropriate for people with very dry to dry/sensitive skin that is prone to clogged pores. Someone who is struggling with maintaing a clear complexion, and is finding that their makeup and skincare products are constantly expanding but not effective, should really visit the clinic, or just stick to a simple water based 3 step system. I’m all about natural, organic beauty and health, however out of all the organic skincare lines i’ve tried out there, a lot of the oils are very comedogenic on my skin. And trust me i have tried a lot! I’m always on the hunt for a cheaper, more natural alternative, however until then if something as great as this routine for me is working for you, then my suggestion is to just stick with it! Most of the products i’m using however are gentle, simple, free of parabens, fragrance, and contain quality minerals and select natural ingredients proven to work. The products are a perfect blend of natural ingredients and science, working synergistically with the skin. You definitely get what you pay for with each product I will mention. Keep in mind though, everyone’s skin is different, and that’s why I would really recommend you go to a trusted skin clinic, recommended by a lot of people. Also, I’m sure some of the brands I mention are only available at skin clinics because they are very potent and are very specific to certain skin types.
I will also mention that I was recommended 2 sets of treatments. I had their AMAZING “Steam and Squeeze facials” once a week for 4 weeks in a row, and then just once monthly. These facials really unclog your pores, getting all of the gunk out. If you have a lot of clogged pores like I did, it will take a few goes! These facials were also not expensive at all. I’m sure it is around AUD $60. After that to deal with the red marks, not scars, left behind, I was recommended their Herbal Green Peel (which is VERY expensive-AUD$400). It is worth every penny! A mixture of herbal greens are scrubbed onto your face until you are red, and then you recover for 5 days where your skin will peel off 4 layers (which is very thin). You cannot wash your face or use any product for those 5 days. You also cannot peel the dead skin, you have to let it peel itself and then on the 5th day you can take it all off! Your skin looks more even, fresh, and youthful. You may, however, experience some small breakout as it lifts off all that dead skin, and reveals new skin.
–Clear Skin Clinic Website: http://www.theclearskinclinic.com.au
My Skincare Routine:
Step 1: Cleanse
This cleanser is by far the best! The Environ Cleansing Gel removes my Jane Iredale Purepressed base (eliminates the need for makeup wipes) as well as cleasnsing my face. I wash once to remove my makeup and use 2 round cotton pads to remove and gently micro-exfoliate my skin. I then wash a second time to cleanse my skin, again with a cotton pad. It is clear and gel like, but once you add water it foams up really well. It feels more moisturzing than watery, and leaves your skin feeling soft, not stripped, but clean. You also only need the smallest amount, so it lasts quite a while for the size it comes in. I love how short and simple the ingredients list is, and so does my skin!
*Unfortunately, Environ skin care can’t be purchased online as, “...These are consultation only products due to high levels of active vitamins.” I’m sure you can go on the environ website and find a stockist near you, where a professional can prescribe what suits you! If not, just choose a mild foaming, water based cleanser with no parabens or fragrance.
Environ website: http://www.environ.co.za
Step 2: Tone
I have never used a toner before that has no irritating alcohol, or that had worked SO effectively and fast! The Environ Alpha Toner Forte is known as “the pimple killer” and rightly so. It’s recommended for congested skin, and works very well to not only treat pimples, but also prevent. I’d say for me it takes around 3 days, without picking, for this to work if i’m having a hormonal breakout. I only use this at night though, because my skin is sensitive and dry and this product has a sunburn alert (if you wear the Jane Iredale Purepressed Base, it is a sunscreen, foundation, and concealer all in one!). Again, it is water based, and contains only 3 ingredients. So simple, yet very effective! Glycolic acid really helps to gently exfoliate and encourage cell turnover to promote clearer skin. It still is very strong though, so if you have an open breakout, you will feel it sting a little, but not too bad. I use a cotton pad to sweep the toner all over my face. If i’m experiencing a breakout, I will then go in again with another cotton pad and this time I will pat the toner into my skin. I don’t know why I do this, but it works very well for me. This product also lasts a while. I’m pretty sure this costs around $70/75. It’s not cheap, but I literally can’t live without it! I will link the website below for the description:
Step 3: Moisturize
The Dr Spiller Collagen Creme is by far the BEST moisturizer i have ever used! And it’s blue! (from the German Chamomile). It doesn’t make your skin blue though, only less red! The chamomile really helps to soothe any swelling and redness, and by morning my face looks luminous and more even. It’s very rich, creamy, and moisturizing, but still doesn’t break me out! It’s water based and so it doesn’t clog my pores. It also comes in the light version (more watery), the Collagen Aqua Plus, however I don’t find it as moisturizing and it breaks me out a little. It’s also anti-ageing, with bees wax and avocado extract (i love avocadoes!). It also makes a great makeup base for my Jane Iredale Purepressed base, because I do have very dry skin and need this when applying my powder. Even though it is thick, it doesn’t feel thick under your makeup. However, if you are wearing it by itself in the summer months, it can feel a little sticky to the touch, but not heavy. It makes your skin look so healthy and glowy, and feel silky soft. I LOVE it and can’t live without it! I can’t recommend it enough. The only con is it’s price and longevity. I believe it is AUD$120, and for me it doesn’t last very long because my skin is so dry. Again, you have to buy this through a selected stockist, so i will link it below:
Once A Week: Facial Exfoliant
The Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub is by far the best scrub I have come across. It’s not too abrasive, yet you can still feel it “scrubbing” away the dead skin cells. It feels like small sand particles, which is very pleasant. It’s very suitable for sensitive skin. I use it once weekly because my skin is so dry, however it is recommended to use 2-3 times weekly. It makes your skin feel so incredibly smooth after, allowing for the toner and moisturizer to be absorbed so much better! This product is very easy to obtain and you can buy it online!
*The Clear Skin Clinic in Double Bay Stocks Environ, Dr Spiller, Dermalogica, and Jane Iredale.
I hope that this helps some of you out there. If you can, I would really recommend going to the Clear Skin Clinic or one near you that has great reviews. If you aren’t able to purchase any of these products, just stick to a simple water based 3 step system and a scrub once a week. Keep it paraben, colour, and fragrance free. Make sure the ingredient list is simple and short, and you should be good to go!