REVIEWS: My Current Skin Care Regimen!

      I was going through my daily skincare routine the other day and it hit me just how much effort us girls put into protecting o...

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I was going through my daily skincare routine the other day and it hit me just how much effort us girls put into protecting our precious, youthful skin! I have to say that I think the condition of my skin hasn't been this good in a long time, so I've put together this mammoth post to show you what I'm using right now.

To begin with, my skin type is Oily/Combination - Oily T-zone and normal cheeks. At the minute it's feeling really soft and smooth with a healthy glow to it. Also the hyperpigmentation that so plagued my teens and early twenties seems to be fading. As well as all the wonderful products below, I'm drinking loads more water and green tea than at any time in the past. I would say it's cheap and cheerful but my water bill is touching £500 a year and green tea tastes like ashtray. No pain no gain!

Whilst these two basic steps are playing an important part, I think my current skin care regime is reaping some big dividends. I did have a few requests on Twitter so here goes. FYI - this is a long post!

THE CLEANSING RITUAL 
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Review Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser RRP £14.75

First up then is the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser from Liz Earle. I've seen all the hype around this (which can be taken with a pinch of salt) but in this instance the product is certainly worthy of it.

So it's quite a thick cream, dispensed nicely from the pump provided. I massage it into my face and around the eye area, then rinse the muslin cloth (also provided) in hot water, wring it out and gently polish it all over my skin paying close attention to my eye make up.

I find that this dissolves every last grain of dirt, grime and make up. I've tried so many different hot cloth cleansers but I always come back to this one, purely because it works so well around the tricky eye area. I found that with other cleansers I'd go to sleep looking human but wake up as a panda, sneaky traces of mascara rubbing all over the place. With Liz Earle, no such trouble.

I tend to use this at night, but occasionally I will use it in the morning. On these occasions I tend to use less product as I don't often fall asleep with my make up still on. Using this with the muslin cloth really does slough away those pesky dead skin cells on the surface, and combining it with a good glycolic acid based product (see below) means I no longer need to use a facial scrub.


Another thing which makes this stand out a little is it's Eucalyptus fragrance, it's delightful and whisks me away to a luxurious spa every time. Probably the reason I look forward to cleansing so much!

Another thing, I find that this can used as part of a DIY Facial. I'll apply all over the face as usual, soak the muslin cloth in hot water, wring it out, mask my face with the cloth then leave it there for 30 seconds and repeat the process. The heat gets those pores opened and allows for a deep clean.

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Review Dabur Gulabari Premium Rose Water Toner RRP £0.36

I had a friend pick this up for me whilst on her trip to India a few months back (along with other products mentioned later) and I was not disappointed. I know that quite a lot of people tend to skip skin toning, as well I used to, but I think this is one of the very few toners out there that actually adds something.

I've used other Rose Water toners in the past, but I'd heard good things about this one and let's be honest: I heart Indian skin care products! Plus it's alcohol free so you don't get any of the harshness that accompanies it.

To use this I soak a small cotton pad in it and swipe all over the skin. It quickly refreshes my skin and preps it ready for some moisturising. I find that the rose-scented Gulabari actually helps my moisturiser sink into the skin, making them work far, far better. 

THE EYE RITUAL

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Review Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Vitamin C Ester Eye Serum RRP £46.50

Now, I know that eye creams & serums are a controversial and often touchy subject amongst bloggers, many believing that they simply do nothing. Well I have to say that I'd agree with that. I've tried so many in the past, buying into the claims of Keihls and Philosophy, to name just a couple, only to be left severely disappointed and out of pocket.

However, Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Vitamin C Ester Eye Serum actually works. 

I've suffered a lot of trauma around the eye area in my early 20s, at times during the summer I'd wake up to find my under-eyes and lids severely swollen. At one point the swelling got so bad I couldn't actually open my eyes! It was terrifying, what's worse is Doctors and allergy specialists identified it as an allergy, but couldn't pinpoint what I was allergic to! Thankfully it's not happened for a while, but it has left my under-eyes with fine lines.

I have attempted to rectify the damage it caused, but as I mentioned most of the products I've used have done little or nothing for me. That is until a friend gave me this serum as a birthday present in March. Bless her, she really did do her research. 

As the name suggests, it contains Vitamin C. I'm not sure what concentration it is but whatever it is, it's really smoothened the appearance of the fine lines under my eyes. It's plumped up and brightened the eye area dramatically!

The consistency is like water and at first it can be a little tricky to apply, even with the supplied pipette. I apply a drop to my finger tip and gently pat under the eye until it's absorbed, usually pretty quickly. 

Something else that has really impressed me is how far this tiny little bottle goes. I've used it every day now for two months, and I've got just over three quarters of the bottle left.

Perricone advise that once the product has absorbed, another eye cream should be applied. So I currently pair this with: 

Review Aveeno Positively Radiant Eye Brightening Cream RRP £9.99

Immediately after the Perricone absorbs, I pat a tiny amount of this cream under and around the eyes. Aveeno claim their product improves dark circles and puffiness however I couldn't possibly comment as I don't have dark circles, lucky me! But what it definitely does do is nicely moisturise around the eyes without leaving greasy residue. 

Since combining this with the Perricone the skin beneath my eyes has improved beyond all expectations, and as a little bonus I've found that make up doesn't crease under my eye when I've applied this.

 Perricone is fairly expensive but when this does run out, I'll be purchasing it again. So pleased to finally have found something that works :) 

THE MORNING RITUAL
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Indeed Labs Hydraluron RRP £24.99
Review
This is one of those products that you don't realise how good it is until you stop using it. 

I purchased this in Winter (it was a long winter so I can't remember exactly when!) and used it religiously in the mornings before applying moisturiser. I have to say that I didn't think a great deal of it. Indeed Labs don't make any outlandish claims, aside from keeping the skin hydrated. Once I'd applied the clear serum, I just could not tell what it was actually doing. My skin looked and felt exactly the same, and in complete honesty I thought one morning: 'Why bother?'

Well, after a week without using it I started to notice my skin looking a bit duller and feeling a bit weather-beaten. The harshness of this long winter was really taking it's toll on my poor skin. I spotted this lying on the dressing table and thought: 'No, surely not?'

So I started using it again and my skin is back to its former glory. I have no idea what this product is doing to my skin, and I'm certain that this is not the sole reason for my skin being in such great condition, but whatever it does do seems to make a big difference

I can see this becoming a staple in my skin care routine. As I get older, my skin will need all the help it can get in order for it to retain moisture and plumpness. And I'm sure this baby will play a part, I just need to do a little research and find out how!

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Review Super by Dr Nicholas Perricone Daylight Savings SPF 25 RRP £28.50

I managed to grab this on the cheap in TK Maxx, they seemed to have quite a little stash of Dr Perricone's 'Super' line at the time, particularly this one. I found out later that the whole line has been discontinued, and that puts you in a weird place with a new product. On one hand you obviously want it to work, whilst on the other hand you know that when it runs out you won't be able to re-purchase. It's like a recurring nightmare!

'Daylight Savings' is a light fluid, just one pump is sufficient enough to cover the entire face and it moisturises my skin perfectly without it being greasy which is a rarity for a high SPF'd moisturiser! I can't imagine this working for dry skin types though. For me though it's just right. Once applied, my skin looks a little dewy, I realised this may be down to the Mica that is in it, but once rubbed in I no longer resemble one of the Cullens in the sunlight.

I like that it doubles up as a sunscreen, I've been using SPF moisturisers ever since I can remember. It's filled with natural mineral sunscreens such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Normally these can leave you with a white, ashy tint but I've yet to encounter that problem with this. It absorbs easily into the skin leaving me with radiant, healthy looking skin and provides a good base for make up.

THE NIGHTLY RITUAL 

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Sanctuary Therapists Secret Facial Oil RRP £17.50
Review
First of all, I have to comment on the bottle. It's a simplistic, luxurious classic glass bottle that looks fabulous on the dressing table. Similar to the Vitamin C Ester Eye Cream above, this is dispensed by a pipette.

The product itself is packed with oils like Jojoba, Wheatgerm, Rose Hip Seed, Sunflower and even frankincense. The scent is very botanical and of the oils, Jojoba is the one that shines through. Its thick consistency and yellowy-gold colour resembles luxrious golden honey.

I usually dispense three or four drops on to my palms, warming it between my hands before rubbing it into my face. I'd always wanted to attempt a DIY facial massage, and my dear friend YouTube introduced me to the Tanaka Massage which helps to contour and sculpt the face. So once the product is warmed up, I do the Tanaka massage. As the massage involves a lot of firm strokes your skin needs to be slippery, otherwise you could stretch your skin. I find that once the oil has fully absorbed after the massage it doesn't leave a greasy layer behind. The next morning my skin feels soft; looks radiant, dewy and plumper.

I would normally alternate nightly between this and Alpha-H Liquid Gold but on occasion I will combine the two to give my face a little treat.

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Review Alpha H Liquid Gold Radiance with Ferulic Acid RRP £22.50

This isn't the original Liquid Gold, this one contains Ferulic Acid and is actually more of a serum. It comes in a cute little white ceramic bottle with a glass dropper and has quite a strong chemical aroma. The product contains Glycolic Acid which helps to loosen up dead skin cells to allow fresh new skin cells to shine through. You have to take care when using glycolic acid as the fresh skin is much more sensitive to UV Rays.

The instructions are that come with this are a little vague, it simply says 'Apply to cleansed skin'. For me though, I put a few drops onto my fingertips and dab it on to my face, for just a few seconds after application the skin feels all tingly. Over time I've found that my skin looks much smoother and slicker, as if all the ridges have faded away. I've used Liquid Gold & White Gold on and off since 2008 but I think that I actually prefer this one. I'm certain that this is another product that has helped to dramatically reduced the hyperpigmentation I had around my face.

THE FACIAL RITUAL

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Sanctuary Skin Renewal Gycolic Peel Mask RRP £22.50
Review
Yep, another Sanctuary product! I'm really liking them at the moment! This one is a thick, pink gel mask containing glycolic acid. I typically use this once a week at night, but if I don't have time to do my weekly home facial I may use it twice. It comes with a brush and an Anti Wrinkle Activation Serum which I seem to have misplaced. Whoops!

I apply a thin layer of this gloop onto my mug taking care to avoid the eye area and let it dry for 15-20 minutes. Once dry my face looks a little plasticy I peel it all off. Oddly enough it's quite fun doing this!

My skin doesn't tingle when I put this on which does leave me wondering how much Glycolic Acid there really is in here? But what I do notice is that once I've peeled it off my skin looks smoother, brighter and feels revitalised.

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Review Shahnaz Husain Oxygen Skin Beautifying Mask RRP £4.30

Uh huh, another gel based mask! I've ditched the clay-based masks as they don't give my skin the same kind of glow as their gel-based conunterparts. Also I absolutely love Shahnaz Husain's products. It's such a shame that they're not readily available in the UK, at least not in my area anyway! 

I use this when I'm doing my weekly facial, usually in the evening. I'll cleanse with Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish and lace the hot cloth over my face for 30 seconds and repeat, next I use the Dabur Gulbari toner, before finally applying this gel. 

The product iself is a super thick gel with lots of tiny blue beads which you need to press onto to break. However.. 

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They are a pain, in some cases even impossible, to break. Combine that with the thickness of the gel, this can be quite tricky to apply all over the face. I found that the best way to apply this is to squeeze a blob onto the finger tips, rub together then slather all over the face. Unfortunately due to my fail at breaking the beads, I have blue spots all over my face. Attractive!

I leave this on for 10 minutes to dry then rinse it off with luke warm water. The label suggests that it needs to be removed with moist cotton wool which is totally impossible to do as it starts going all gooey and icky.

The application and removal aside, the results are amazing. My skin feels tighter, more resilient and silky smooth to touch.

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Review Shahnaz Husain Shalife Plus Nourishing Programme RRP £4.00 

After masking, I apply this to my skin and give it a good massage using the Tanaka method. 

This is a thick cream, so a few drops of water is needed in order to make it into a fluid that can easily be massaged into the skin. The packaging tells me to massage the skin for 3 to 5 minutes, conveniently enough the Tanaka massage method generally takes me 5 minutes. Midway through the massage the cream  fully absorbed into the skin, so I squeeze a cheeky little blob out and continue massaging for a few more minutes.

I've totally fallen in love with this cream, it smells very rich and herbaly. I can just feel it nourishing my skin and it leaves my face feeling soft, supple and looks luminous. Most importantly, the morning after my skin retains that softness and gives off the healthy glow we all aspire to.

The packaging recommends this product for normal to dry skin, but I feel it suits my oily/combination skin pretty well. I've used the original Shalife in the past and found it far too heavy for me, it actualy broke me out on a few occasions. Shalife Plus, on the other hand, is perfect for my skin.

Review The Hisako Tanaka Massage RRP Free

I've mentioned this massage technique a few times in this post, so I think I should probably make at least some kind of attempt to explain what it's all about. I've been using this technique for three months now, as I felt it was time to include some facial massaging into my skin care routine.



The technique was invented by a Japanese Make up artist name Hisako Tanaka, designed to contour and sculpt the face. It focuses on applying pressure from your hand to the face using all of your fingers and your palms and claims to reduce wrinkles, pouches and bags; improve puffy eyes and reduce skin sagging. Big claims!

The technique insists that you follow a set routine (there are 11 steps) and it can be pretty difficult to get used to. It's vital that you follow the instructions to the letter, and it takes a lot of practice to get it right. Once you do get it right though, and you start incorporating it into your regime you do notice that your skin looks a bit fresher and feels firmer. Also after completing the massage, I find that I'm completely relaxed and ready to hit the sack! Visually, it's not really making a great difference to my skin but I think that's because I'm still quite young. The way I see it, if I start early it could slow down the signs of ageing.

I love that there's a technique included focusing around the eyes too as I do feel this area does get neglected, I mean, how often can we stick a face mask around it? Unless you purchase a special eye mask which apparently aren't so easy to come by.
For the most benefit you're supposed to do the massage once or twice a day, but I do it on alternate nights when using Sanctuary's therapist oil or doing my DIY facial. Be warned, for the first week or so your hands will hurt after completing the massage, but over time they'll adjust to it and you won't feel a thing.

The absolute best thing about this massage? It's free! Also the instruction videos are available on YouTube kindly translated into English for us. What is there to lose, other than time? 

For those of you who made it all the way to the bottom, I know it was a long, hard slog so thank you for reading! The obsessive beauty junkie in me is continually looking to improve my regime, so I'd love to hear of any products you guys think I should try!


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31 comments

  1. Definitely wrote down a few of the products you listed as things I need to try as I've only ever seen the Liz Earle. I love how long and detailed this is! I am always trying to improve my skin routine, so this was absolutely wonderful :)

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  2. Nice Review; very informative.

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  3. I really want to try the first one!! I'm assuming you can get this at boots?

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  4. Really enjoyed this post! I've only ever tried the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser so will definitely need to check out some of these other products!

    Hannah x

    http://b-l-a-b.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. Ooh, I always like getting a peek into other bloggers' routines! You've got some great products here! The Super Daylight Savings sounds like such a perfect daytime SPF and the Perricone eye serum seems lovely. Glad you've found so many products you're liking! xo

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  6. Love your daily routine and facials!! I would love to use some of that facial oil and glycol peel~ sounds so wonderful! <3

    xoxo

    glam-mania.blogspot.com

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  7. Loved this post, its really interesting seeing what others use! You clearly take good care of your skin!

    I have heard of Shanaz' products but never tried them - the prices are so reasonable. I think there is a shop near my house that sells this brand, I will have to check out that mask.

    I love using Rose water as a toner, I use the pure food grade from the Turkish supermarket near my house, its cheap but does the trick, its also really nice used as a refresher spray during the summer months, Iranians have used it for thousands of years :-)

    As you have seen from my post on Lactic Acid, I am getting into peels and products with acid, i might try the Alpha H at some point

    xxx

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  8. i love that you use such a cheap toner! i've been looking at rosewater to use as a toner but i've just been using alcohol free cucumber/melon witch hazel which is also supposed to be great for redness reducing. obviously it's not going to be as fancy as the high end toners but there are a lot of instances where i think natural products that have been tried and tested over hundreds or thousands of years are better alternatives.

    glad to see you have such a great variety of high end and cheaper products, i'm sick of seeing posts full of nothing but £40/$65.00 products that i won't be able to take any tips from.

    little henry lee

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  9. oh my gawd, your regimen made me feel like an ashamed slacker haha. usually i just steal whatever my little brother is currently using. but i know using the right products really makes a difference. my mom uses this creamy estee lauder face wash, and when i sneak uses from that my skin is just GLOWING. i need to start buckling up with this, haha!

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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  10. Great post, I love reading about other people's skin care routines. I haven't head about that massaging technique, I'll have to try it.

    LittlePinkRainBoots.blogspot.com

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  11. You have an AMAZING beauty ritual! I've heard wonderful things about the Liz Earle beauty line. Dr. Perricone and Aveeda skin care products are awesome too. Thanks for sharing your beauty regime with us. Also, thanks for stopping by my blog today! Following you on bloglovin now. :D
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  12. great product round up! so great to see what skin care products are working well for others. I love my aveeno moisturizer so I really want to try that eye cream. thank you for sharing this! xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

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  13. I always love to read what other's people rituals are, great review!

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  14. Ok my fountain of youth babe!

    The only Indeed Labs product I've used is their Peptabright cream, which is meant to lighten hyper-pigmentation within a few weeks, I hate the smell of it, used it for a few months with no change :( kind of put me off any other Indeed Labs.

    Oh I use to use Sanctuary Therapists Secret Facial Oil, I really liked that oil, I enjoy oils on my face especially at night just gives it time to plump the skin and absorb nicely must now YouTube this Tanaka Massage.

    I've been wondering about the Sanctuary's Skin Renewal Glycolic Peel. My skin needs a lot of glycolic care & attention lol. Those Shahnaz Husain sound lovely, isn't it a pain when things are too available in the UK and especially when they work wonders urgh.


    xoxo

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  15. Wow, you are thorough! Definitely a fantastic regimen. Looks like you've got a lot of great products :)

    Trendy Teal

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  16. hm,,, so many ritual right for us, girls. by the way I would love to try the eye serum :)

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  17. You obviously take amazing care of your skin, Halima - I think I need to take a page frmo your book! My skincare routine is relatively simple, just tone, cleanser and moisturiser with SPF morning and night, plus a mask twice a week. I definitely have to stay away from eye creams, even though I have terrible under eye circles, because my skin in that area is very sensitive and tends to swell when I put anything on it... sigh. At least I can take care of the rest of my face :)
    xox,
    Cee

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  18. I love using Liz Earle products, they feel so good :). I agree with you, us girls use so many products!
    www.101FashionStreet.com

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  19. Okay you've sold that Liquid Gold Radiance to me already! Love Hydraluron as well :)

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  20. I tried the nspa 'dupe' of the liz earle and ive never had a skin product make my skin as bad as this!!! need to splash out on the liz earle!

    http://perfectlyhappythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/

    xxo

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  21. Nice stuff, I love the glycolic peel mask. I use facial masks twice a week, and doing a peel is great to rejuvenate the skin and make the complexion brighter and more even.

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  22. I love this post! It's so detailed ! I love rose water - it has helped to remove those pesky little bumps from my forehead!! I also love using sandalwood powder as a face mask - it really brightens skin and makes it look really clean! Xx

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  23. I've had my eye on Hydraluron for such a long time and the more I read about it, the more convinced I become that I need it in my life! xx

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  24. I would say it's cheap and cheerful but my water bill is touching £500 a year and green tea tastes like ashtray. No pain no gain!

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  25. Nice review..I have used SH oxygen cream, but i found it way too oily for my oily skin.So i had to discontinue it and couldn’t see the proper results. But this one looks exciting.will grab one soon :yahoo: :yahoo:~ Wayne Wills

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  26. This intense exfoliator will ensure your body is just a smooth as your now-glowing face! With natural pumpkin, papaya, and lactic enzymes to exfoliate, plus caffeine to tone and smooth any dimples, this scrub has everything you need to keep body skin smooth and hydrated this winter.

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  27. Superb way in defining the skin. Thank you for sharing such helpful posts.

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