Prior to January of this year, I'll admit that my skincare routine was a little on the sloppy side. I used nice products I'd received in goodie bags and used my Clarisonic facial brush religiously but I wasn't particularly loyal to any brands or products. However, I decided at Christmas time that getting my skin in tip top condition was going to be my 2018 resolution and vowed to implement a new skincare routine. But where to start exactly?
In all honestly, understanding skincare is easier said than done these days as the simpler times of cleanse, tone and moisturise are long gone. It’s all very well being able to name drop some beauty buzz words like retinoid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid but my lack of chemistry/dermatology knowledge makes it difficult to know whether or not I’m using the right products to reduce the size of my pores or perhaps make a homemade bomb.
I bought quite a few products from The Ordinary when it opened in Frasers beauty hall but, although it's super cheap, the names of the products are all so technical that I wasn't sure I was using the right products for my skin.
For a little bit of background, I was put on Roaccutane for acne about 10 years ago. I was convinced that as soon as I could get rid of the often painful spots around my jawline that I'd be happy with my skin. Roaccutane is a pretty hardcore drug and definitely not a quick, risk-free remedy. About six months after I had taken the four month course of the tablets, I noticed that my hair started to break really badly. I had little tufts of hair that stuck up near the top of my head and this was just as difficult to cover as the acne. My skin did clear up though but I've always found it really difficult to get any moisture into my skin; my skin doesn't get dry patches but I just really struggle to 'get the glow' without highlighters.
33 DOWANHILL SIGNATURE FACIAL
As I mentioned, I’d bought quite a few products in the quest for perfect skin but I wasn’t quite sure I was using the right products for my skin type, at the right times or in the right order. Who knew implementing a skincare routine could be such a minefield? When I was invited to try a signature facial at 33 Dowanhill, I couldn't have been more excited. I knew that 33 Dowanhill specialised in completely bespoke facials and that I would be able to get some unbiased advice about what products and brands would be best for my skincare routine.
The treatment studio is situated in the West End of Glasgow and is so calming and relaxing. Jo, the owner of the clinic is so friendly and welcoming and went over my current skincare routine (or lack, thereof) with no judgement or raised eyebrows. She then let me get comfy in the treatment bed (the heated blanket and duvet were a dream!) and took off all my make up so she could get a good look at my skin. She noticed more congestion on the left hand side of my face and asked if I slept on this side. I always do but I've never even thought about it about being related. She suggested that, although it seems excessive, changing my pillowslip every night or flipping my pillow so that it is perfectly clean every night would make a difference to the congestion and, guess what - it has made a difference!
She used a plethora of products during the 80 minute (of sheer bliss) treatment and also used facial massage techniques to improve my circulation. It was so relaxing and I really didn't want it to end... EVER!
33 DOWANHILL - THE VERDICT
I cannot explain how soft and full of moisture my skin felt after and even to look at, it already looked so much less congested and clearer.
Obviously if I go to Clarins or Murad or a salon that is partnered with Dermalogica then they are going to be loyal to the brands they sell but Jo only recommends products she loves and has tried herself. Later that night, she sent me an email with a list of products that she thought would be suitable for my skin. There was a great range of products from different brands and different price points too, for example The Body Shop and The Ordinary which are really reasonably priced and I added them straight to my skincare routine.
I would 100% recommend the facial and it made such a huge difference to my skin. Jo's amazing advice and knowing that I'm not wasting on my money on using expensive products that are of little good to my skin is worth the money alone, never mind how good the facial itself was.
SWITCH UP YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
The biggest thing I think I took away from picking Jo's brain about skincare (she has SO much knowledge) is that you shouldn't use the exact same products every morning and night. For example, if you did the same workout every single day, it wouldn't be as effective as changing it up all the time.
I was guilty of finding a product I love and using it all.the.damn.time. My current favourite product being Liquid Gold by Alpha-H. I've stopped using this every night and only use it maybe two or three times a week now. Jo also recommended that I stop using my Clarisonic for a couple of months and just use my hands and a hot facecloth to wash my face instead as it could be too harsh for my skin and overstimulate it.
NEW SKINCARE PRODUCTS
Since my appointment, the first product I added was a moisturiser by Niod (part of Deciem skincare and the same group as The Ordinary). Jo used this on my skin last during my appointment and my skin felt amazing so I knew this was going to be a winner and it has not disappointed.
The next product Jo recommended was the Moringa cleansing balm by Emma Hardie. I hadn't even heard of the brand before but it dissolves make up really easily and also leaves my skin feeling so clean and, as it a balm, I know it will last me so much longer than if it was a liquid cleanser.
I mentioned to Jo that I struggle to get the nice, no make up dewiness and she recommend that I added a Squalane oil by The Ordinary to my routine. It really has worked wonders so far and it is such good value for money too.
OTHER PRODUCTS I LOVE
As The Ordinary has such low price points, I've tried lots of different products but I'm really liking my latest discover, Vitamin C Suspension. It really tingles when you put it on and it is really quite runny so just be careful when you squeeze it out of the tube; I ended up with way more than I needed the first few times I used it.
MY NEW SKINCARE ROUTINE
I've been a very good girl and trying to mix up my skincare routine as much as possible and I've definitely found a massive improvement in my skin so I'll definitely be switching it up all the time from now on.
Jo suggested I add a salicylic acid to my skincare routine and she loves Bravura salicylic acid - it's under £10 too which is even better!
I've been using L'Oreal Hydra Fresh and it's really good value for money for an everyday moisturiser. I also use Niod Hydration Vaccine which definitely feels a lot more luxurious as well as The Body Shop Oils of Life (at night) and The Ordinary Moisturing Factors.
I've also been using The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution maybe once or twice a week which looks like blood on your face, don't be alarmed.
I tried my friend, Jayne's, Glamglow Youthmud face mask recently and my skin felt fab after so I'll need to experiment with some Glamglow masks as I keep hearing so much about them.
I have really started to see and feel a massive difference in my skin after three months of really consistently looking after it and using all the right products for it. I'll definitely be back to see Jo at 33 Dowanhill again as my skin changes and even as the seasons change to get that really amazing deep clean and make sure that I'm using the best possible products for my skin.