Thank you Jane for inviting me to guest blog… I am honoured!
Sometimes I lie in bed at night mentally listing the number of skincare and beauty products I use daily… a number which, unsurprisingly, has increased since I started beauty blogging.
I’m passionate about skincare and have used it religiously since my late teens. I care about what I put on my skin, research it thoroughly, and spend as much as I can afford on what I believe are the best products for me. I’m fickle too… I get bored easily and even if something is working for me, I always want to try the latest wonder product I’ve heard about. At times I’ve used poor quality products (for financial reasons) and while I know quality doesn’t always equate with cost, my skin has suffered as a result – and improved when I returned to ‘the good stuff’!
What has never occurred to me until recently, is that maybe all this goodness I’m applying to my face twice daily isn’t always so good for me. Maybe my skin feels overworked, or perhaps there really can be too much of a good thing? Hormone fluctuations can occur throughout key stages of our lives, like puberty, pregnancy and menopause, but factors such as contraception, diet and stress can play a big part too and it’s definitely true that our skin reflects what’s going on inside.
Several months ago I tweeted about a skin flare up and Pai Skincare responded. I’d previously had no contact with Pai, though I was familiar with the brand through reading reviews by some of my favourite bloggers.
Sarah Brown, founder and owner of Pai asked me about the exact condition of my skin and requested a list of every product I used at the time. She then researched potential allergens or irritants within the product ingredients and came back to me with some advice.
The main thing she thought I ought to do was give my skin a complete break from complicated skincare. When the owner of a highly respected skincare brand suggests this, you sit up and listen! I was both surprised and humbled by Sarah’s advice and would like to personally thank her for the time she took to advise someone who at that point, had never even tried her products. (I since have and love them, though Pai held off sending them until my skin was back to normal!)
This was Sarah’s advice, which she agreed to let me share in this post…
In all cases I'd recommend first giving your skin a rest.
While all beauty lovers want to sample a wide variety of skincare classics & new innovations, chopping and changing products regularly can leave skin very confused and out of balance.
As it responds to the varying oil levels in each, your skin adjusts its own oil production to reach an equilibrium. If this happens too often, your skin simply can't keep up, and can breakout, dry-out or develop a red reaction.
Allow your skin to rediscover its natural balance, and protect this with gentle products.
Increasing your intake of Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3,6&9) can also help calm and condition your skin from the inside out, as they are powerful anti-inflammatories. Oily fish, seeds and nuts are great dietary sources, or you can opt for 1-2 tsps of organic Hemp or Flaxseed oil a day.”
Sarah Brown, Pai Skincare
With the EFA (omega oils), try and buy out of a fridge in your health food store and store it the same way at home. If they're on a shelf in a shop it's not a good sign and are best avoided. These oils are very prone to degradation and you want to take them in their most 'active' fresh form.
Obviously I had to keep cleansing and moisturising my skin at the time, so I used the most simple products I had, which at that time were Purity organic cleanser and moisturiser. Next time I’ll use a gentle natural oil, such as Jojoba; Pai products or Neal’s Yard Calendula Cleanser.
I also minimised the amount of makeup I wore at the time, so that my skin could breathe. Products such as Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint or Estee Lauder’s new BB cream are perfect for this, along with a slick of mascara and gloss. My skin definitely benefited from this whole process. The sore spots and under-skin bumps cleared up and my face returned to normal.
While I still test new skincare products for my blog, I’m now much more careful about how I introduce them, adding one new product to my regime at a time, so that if I have a negative reaction, it’s easier to figure out what’s caused it. And in between switching to a new range, I’ll stick to basic, gentle products for a week or two, to avoid throwing my skin out of balance.
Have you given your skin a break recently or is it something you’d consider?
I hope this has been helpful… thank you for reading – and thanks again to Jane for letting me post on one of my favourite beauty blogs!