Pondering Skincare

So I’ve been scratching my chin, furrowing my brow and pondering the topic of skincare a lot recently. Priorities, right? But there’s just something about my current regime that just isn’t clicking. I’ve done my research, going out of my way to select formulas that settle on the right balance between both natural and effective ingredients, taken direction from the experts, drinking a shedload of water, heck even exercising – but my skin just ain’t thanking me for it. It’s redder in places than it’s been in a long time and a little uneven in texture – not horrendous – but it’s seen better days. So what am I going to do about it? Well luckily I’ve been keeping notes on this one…

  1. I think it’s time for me to oomph up my manual exfoliation. I’ve kicked all kinds of scrubbers to the side since I’ve introduced AHA-based chemical polishes into my routine, but I think it’s time to slowly introduce an ol’ friend back into the clique – my Clarisonic Mia. The real reason this has been out of action for so long is that it required a fresh head. The one that was on it was the same one it exited the box with almost two years ago now *shudders*, I know. But I’ve manned up, purchased a new one and am slowly bringing this back and my face feels clean. 
  2. When life gives you a red face, you go back to your ‘I know this isn’t going to break me out‘-backup supplies. Turns out through the powers of deduction and a quick flick through my YouTube archives there’s some really good products that I shunned when something newer landed on my desk due to my attention span of my old goldfish, Billy. Origins Night-A-Mins, what happened to you? Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil come back. And a few months ago I found an amazing moisturiser that for some unknown reason I discontinued use of – Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimising Daily Hydrator* – it’s back in the frontline.
  3. Sleep – I love it. And a routine that took a fair amount of time to complete before bed and cut into my evening The Office viewing was always a bit of a problem. I’m thinking of shaving out a few steps and stripping it back to a cleanse-tone-serum moisturise thing. Five minutes. Dunzo.
  4. Not so much a tangible point, but I’ve come to the realisation that I know my skin pretty well. We’ve been together for 23 years now and I’ve got a rough idea of what my skin does and doesn’t like, the fact that it will go red if you come at me with that By Terry skincare, but will look kick-ass if I sleep in the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Mask. There’s so much literature out there that’s contradictory and it can get in your headspace a bit; but take a rain check, evaluate your routine and you’ll work it out. I’ll keep you posted on how my rejig works out.
  5. So here’s how it currently looks:
  • Morning: Radical Hydrating Cleanser* (another oldie I forgot about) muslined off, La Roche Posay Serozinc, Pai Echium Anti-Ageing Eye Cream* Hydraluron, Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimising Daily Hydrator*, Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily Light UV Defense SPF 50*.
  • Evening: Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil, Radical Hydrating Cleanser* Clarisonic-ed off, La Roche Posay Serozinc, Pai Echium Anti-Ageing Eye Cream*, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Origins Oil-Free Night-A-Mins.
  • Additions: I’ll P50 it up, on days when I decide against the Clarisonic – it’s all in the balance. And on days where I really can’t be arsed I’ll just cleanse in the evening and slap on the Alpha H Liquid Gold.

A few changes, but it’s back to the good stuff. Thank gawd for the blog acting like a skincare dairy – what would I do without you? 

*PR Sample


  • Talisa Lauren Tossell

    I use hydraluron in the morning too! I was really surprised to find that my skin went really red and uneven around the cheeks when i started yesterday especially as it was only my first day!!!

  • Sophie

    I love this post! I always get over-excited when I get something new and forget about my trusted favourites, you’ve made me want to rifle back through everything 🙂



  • Great suggestions! The Origins mask is so good!

  • 😀 I love how you watch your own videos for tips. Well, you know your stuff!

  • Georgie

    I always get so confused with skincare sometimes the stuff I spend most on is what breaks me out the most, so frustrating! And half the time you hear it’s good to exfoliate then other times its apparently bad for your skin! I think I’m gonna revisit a sanctuary face wash I used to have that seemed to do a lot of good for my skin 🙂 x

  • Alissia

    Sounds like a great routine. Love love love the LRP Serozinc, such a great products! x

  • Shevasherapy

    I love that you really put a lot of time into finding out what really works for your skin. I’ve been trying out products for months and hopefully at the end of the year, I’ll have go-to products for my skincae regimen too.

  • Lily Seymour

    I think your body might be flushing out toxins, usually things get worse before they get better.

  • Susu

    There is a lot of going on your 23 old face…Maybe too much?

  • iampetrao

    If you’d like to try a new brand some time, I really recommend Exuviance. I love it, and I haven’t heard anyone else ever say a bad thing about it. It’s really effective (:

  • Maddy Cane

    I’ve heard that exercise can make your skin worse since all the toxins are coming out when you sweat. Being healthier can also make your cells have a higher turnover rate so you need to exfoliate more! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD


  • Olivia S

    Great post! I’m having the same problem with my skin, I need to get it back in order xx

    Olia –

  • French Cares

    Have you maybe tried any health cleanses? I don’t want to call it dieting…hate that word, but just eat healthier. Try a fruit cleanse (where you just try to eat lots of fruit during the day) for like 5 days and you’ll see SUCH a difference. It just helps get the bad stuff out of your system and to start fresh!~
    I see you’ve got some French skincare products in there!~ Great! La Roche Posay is great for sensitive skin with problems; its gentle.
    I stock both Serozinc and the Crealine H20 if you ever want to stop by my boutique!

  • Lydia

    Hope you find the miracle combos and can get back into your skincare swing haha! Great post xx

  • Anna Blush

    That’s one impressive skincare regime! I hope your changes work out well x

  • Marina

    I think you should give your skin some rest. With the amount of products you are using, no wonder your skin is not thanking you. I think you are going over the top with skin care, you are not that old to be using that many products. All this constant primming and cleansing irritates your skin. I love your site, your make up and hair tips, but your skin care is way too heavy. I understand you have products to promote and some are PR samples, but common, with this amount of products your skin has not time to live and breeze!

    • Annabelle

      I could not agree more ! My skin has become VERY sensitive over the years, so now I only use a cleanser at night, and NO tap water, just thermal water to “rinse” everything, a super moisturizing face and eye cream, and in the morning just a quick wash with a micellar water (only during summer when my skin goes a bit oily). Then moisturizer and make-up. I have rosecea, so there are days when my skin is not that great, but otherwise, I firmly believe that regarding skincare, less is more : thorough cleansing, deep hydration and a bit of exfoliation once a week followed by a moisturizing mask =)

      • jen

        thermal waters are horrible for your skin though

        • Annabelle

          Are we talking about thermal waters like Avène, La Roche Posay, etc ? Why do you think they are “horrible” ? I consider them to be lifesavers when my skin is really irritated.

    • nicolecontrol

      She’s really not using very much. She’s just switching up between morning and night. Otherwise, she’s cleansing/exfoliating/toning/moisturizing…. really not a big deal.

  • Daisy Whitaker

    I was just thinking the same thing! After a mild pimple-induced skincare panic I have now started really researching the ingredients that I put on my skin and am learning so much! Banishing the skin irritants and opting for light, antioxidant-rich ingredients has been my saving grace.

  • Victoria Reilly

    I’m seriously struggling with my skin at the minute! At 18 I’m still subjected to the odd teen zit, an uneven skintone and dry patches. I just don’t know what I can do to tackle it all at once!

  • Carrie Ward

    Is it possible all the sun we have been having is making an impact? I know you use SPF 50, so not UV, but it just could be thermal heat that is making you red?
    Also a unfortunate side effect of getting older, (Okay 23 is not old but you never know) your body develops allergies for the weirdest things. At the age of 25 I suddenly developed an allergic reaction to fabric softener. Might be worth switching those up too?
    Thanks for this post, its always a good to get a reminder that our skin changes constantly with age, with the weather, with diet, as well as contending hormones every month in the mix.
    I always get to the middle of summer and wonder why my face is swimming in oil, and grease then I realise that I haven’t switched my winter skincare to the summer skincare routine. Then I get to November and wonder why my skin is all dry and tight. I do it pretty much every single year (yes and I am 30 old enought to know better by now)! Doh!

  • Fernanda

    It’s great when we can take a break from all the hyped up products and just listen to what our skin is telling us! Well done. xx

  • sof

    Very interesting post anna!!!

  • roshkud

    I really want to try the Clarisonic, but for the price I’m terrified it’ll dry out my skin (its already pretty dry). Maybe when I’m feeling rather flush il get my hands on it 🙂

    • Ellen Findley

      I have dry, dehydrated skin, but the Clarisonic is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my face. I like to use it at night with my second cleanse. I’m currently using the Sensitive head, but I might switch to Delicate depending on my mood. Sensitive gets the job done, though, and it doesn’t irritate unless I scrub my face with the Clarisonic, which is obviously a bad idea. Just use it gently, and it should do fine. (:

      • roshkud

        Oh okay, thank you! I’m definitely considering it guess I have to save up first 🙂

        • Ellen Findley

          You’re welcome! It’s totally worth it! ^_^

    • Sponge Cat

      I bought the Clarisonic with the sensitive brush head and I hated it and returned it after a month of using it every second night. If you have really sensitive skin, you should proceed with caution. Not only did I get the infamous purging phase, but it also gave me some nasty broken capillaries… ugh. I wasn’t even exerting a lot of pressure. I was using it with a limp wrist and merely guiding it over my face. Again, proceed with caution.

  • freddie

    I actually wish I remembered the products I once discarded, it’s easy to get caught up in new products sometimes, especially when theres so much shiny new stuff on the market. I need to do a skincare post on my blog to keep an image of what i’ve got going on right now. 🙂

  • Anya Cross

    This is such a helpful post! I love seeing peoples skincare routines and what really works for others. I just wish that Serozinc was readily available in the uk!

  • Se1 Girl

    Totally agree, I always tell people if it works for you stick with it, don’t change it because you feel you should etc.
    C x

  • I have a little collection of products that are my ‘bad skin day’ back ups. Do you like the night-a-mins? I have a jar but haven’t tried it yet!

  • I recently did the same thing. The texture of my forehead had become so uneven! I actually took my Clarisonic out of my morning routine (for now….I really do prefer it twice a day), switched to a homemade makeup remover, and replaced my night moisturizer with an AHA one. So far so good!

  • Jude

    Have you tried la Roche posay efficlar duo, I use this religiously in the morning and sometimes in the evening if needed … It’s a lifesaver

  • staygold

    I know this might sound anathema on here, and I don’t want it sound like unsolicited advice, but have you ever researched or considered going the “non-toxic” product route? My life (and skin) changed forever when I read the book No More Dirty Looks (and started following their blog), found websites like Spirit Beauty Lounge and NuboNau, and discovered products like Kahina’s magical argan oil. It might be a transition process, but the world of green/clean beauty is soooo magical and wonderful! Some links:

  • Catrin

    I love my Clarisonic but I’m still in the purge stage and it’s driving me crazy!

  • Kelly C.

    part of the reason I love blogging is that it tracks what works and what doesn’t! Ive been using glycolic acid a lot lately, and have been neglecting my clarionic mia too. I need to bust it out again! I also need a new facial cleanser. Any recommendations?

  • TheYummyChummies

    I am so envious of how knowledgeable you are in this area. There’s so much information around it’s hard to know where to even start. I definitely think I want to try the Clarisonic to reduce my milia and try improve the texture of my skin (it can be very rough and dry). Also I want to try Alpha H Liquid Gold! Great post!

    K x

  • Kelly Amber Tipton

    i really want to try the drink up intensive mask! i think itll be one i invest in when my next student loan comes around haha!! love your skincare advice, its always some i can trust 🙂
    kelly xxx

  • Smecksie

    Anna, have you been using the EL Advanced Night Repair during the time of your skin woes? I would suggest dropping just that. I have read a LOT of reviews and research on this product and a lot of people complain of the exact symptoms you are experiencing. I bought it based off of the good reviews, thinking I would be of the luckier population to use it, but alas it was a wreck.

    Others had used it and loved it for a while then things went sour. Just try it?

  • Millie

    Very true, there’s so many conflicting views out there it does get confusing! I’vr not tried the Night-a-Mins, what do you think of the Origins Make a Difference+ treatment?

  • lisa_carbone

    Hmmm, perhaps you’re doing too much? At 23 perhaps you don’t need an extra eye cream just yet or the extra exfoliation of the Alpha H? Maybe your skin just needs the basics…clarisonic, cleanser & moisturizer which doubles as an eye cream? I’m 42 years old and find your routine very intensive for someone your age…sometimes simple is better. Maybe step down from exfoliating so much…
    Cheers, Lisa

  • Emily Allen

    When it comes to skincare I say the more gentle the better, im surprised there are no clinique products here they are so good :p xx Emmi

  • Celina

    I’m starting to get into skincare and I’m still experimenting with products to understand what it likes and what it doesn’t like. It’s a bit terrifying sometimes when I rinse to reveal irritated and bumpy skin because my face didn’t like a cleanser or mask I used. Sigh.

    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

    • Ellen Findley

      Story. Of. My. Life.

  • 28.

    Have you taking into consideration that maybe you’re doing too much? Your skin will naturally go through a change during the ages of 25 – 27 years. Coraline Hirons is a professional, but duplicating her a routine of a middle aged woman is clearly where your problem lies.

    1. Cleanse
    2. Moisturize
    3. Exfoliate when the skin looks dull

    But do not overdo it. Your skin is still young and will do all the rest naturally.

    • 28.

      2. with a built in broad spectrum sunscreen.

      • LMISMinsky

        You also have to remember that Anna has met Caroline more than once, and has been to more than one talk. Caroline doesn’t believe in anti-ageing therefore doesn’t recommend it specifically. She just recommends products without nasty ingredients/ ones that most of the population won’t find irritating or ineffective/ products which are not needlessly expensive.
        She also points out that moisturiser with a built in SPF is just expensive SPF, not moisturiser and would be no good to use at night.
        Anna is very knowledgeable. People need to back off.

        • jen

          except caroline suggests a lot of products with horrible irritating ingredients

          • Lady Bloody Hirons

            And some lovely natural ones! *flounce*

          • jen

            natural products can have irritating ingredients too lol, you dumbass

          • Lady Dumbass Hirons

            Nice. Dumbass. Nice!

          • jen

            what? this reply doesn’t even make sense

          • LMISMinsky

            I’m with you Lady Dumbass. Say it as Hyacinth Bucket would: Doom-Base.
            And to Jen, and any other disbelievers: ssssshhhhh! Unless you’re a practicing dermatologist. Like my partner.

          • Sponge Cat

            This. I think Caroline offers solid advice at times, but she’s also very inconsistent. If I recall correctly, Caroline has condemned using products with lots of alcohol in them. But she also loves Alpha H’s Liquid Gold which lists alcohol as the second ingredient… Anyone using Liquid Gold should stop because they’re pretty much ruining their skin. There are way better alpha hydroxy acid products out there.

    • jen

      caroline isn’t a professional though. her skin care advice is crap.

      • AussieAngelcakes

        Caroline Hirons is a skincare devotee and she doesn’t claim to be anything else. She advocates a healthy diet, lifestyle and the use of good quality skincare products , plus using broad spectrum SPF.

        I don’t see how her advice is crap? Sure she has her opinions on some controversial ingredients (emollients, fillers, preservatives etc) but it’s an opinion and not everyone has to take it as gospel. I have the same skin type as CH and I am in my mid thirties so I I am quick to try something she says is good, and tbh it usually is.

        I use the Bobbi Brown Extra Repair eye cream which has mineral oil in it (a bad thing for CH) but I get good results from this product and still continue to use it.

  • Lady Bloody Hirons

    MIDDLE AGED?!? MIDDLE. AGED?!?? *flounces off*

  • loren speller

    What would you suggest to be the best chemical exfoliating toner? x

  • Millie H

    It’s amazing how much you know about skincare! I didn’t know a thing about it before reading your blog x

  • Shelby

    Hi Anna, I’ve recently started reading your blog so this is my first time commenting, but I have some advice that may be helpful. I’ve been having some skin troubles myself and I’ve found the best routine for me is cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize. I use a gentle cleanser, exfoliate once or twice a day with Clinique mild clarifying lotion (the rest are alcohol laden and very bad for skin) and use a moisturizer that doubles as an eye cream. Less is more! Keep up the great posts…your blog is one of my favorites!

  • Daisy

    you are using wayy too much for your young skin, any facialist or beautician will tell you that. you should go get a facial done somewhere that offers your favourite brand ex. elemis or aromatherapy associates, i had an aromatherapy associates facial before and all she recommended me was a cleanser, exfoliator and a facial oil/moisturiser!! don’t over do it or you will fail to see benefits

    • fibee

      Maybe that’s all she had to sell to you?

      • Daisy

        she wasn’t selling anything she was recommending products and said that is all that is needed for young skin and not to be piling the products on

  • Erin and Kat

    This was seriously so helpful thanks so much xx

    If you guys are interested my best friend and I just started a blog and would appreciate any advice.

  • tahira

    Hi Vivianna,
    This is so helpful, my skin is really acting up lately… would be helpful for you to let us know your weekly routine. i.e. which days you use your liquid gold, and how many times a week your clarisonic. I’m conscious of overdoing it with exfoliation.

  • Beautyandtheb

    I think sometimes you do have to reconsider your routine etc to get the best results, need to pop some of these products on my list!!

    B xx

  • Megan Young

    gotta love the loyal bioderma !

    meganmaisies | UK Style & Beauty

  • Angela

    This has given me so many ideas .. the Kiehls moisturiser in particular is going on my wishlist!

  • I love reading and or hearing you talk about skincare. This was so refreshing! Makes me want to switch up my routine a bit.

  • Megan

    Do you use bioderma and the nude oil or just one of them then your cleanser?

  • fibee

    All those people complaining she’s using too many products – look properly.
    In the morning, she uses a cleanser, whatever serozinc is, a serum and two types of moisturiser (that go different places so wouldn’t be doubled up), plus the essential sunscreen. At the skin care level, that’s only one more product than the very basic cleanse, tone and moisturise (and Hydraluron makes your moisturiser work far better!)

    At night she removes makeup (essential if you want your cleanser to actually work), then cleanses ( with exfoliation), serozinc (I assume its like toner?), uses a serum and then the two not-overlapping moisturisers.

    The only reason it looks like a lot is because the products have really long names.

    Finally, you don’t have her skin, you don’t know what her skin needs.

    • Annabelle

      Thank you for saying that we are all stupid girls for thinking that she maybe uses too much products because the products have REALLY LONG NAMES… Forgot to buy myself a brain. I consider that this is a lot, yes, that’s my opinion, you have yours, please don’t use imperatives like that, it’s annoying.

  • Guest

    I feel that you’re not using too much but it’s what you’re using? I have combination, often dehydrated skin and rosacea, and have that familiar story of torturing my skin with products like Neutrogena when I was younger, started getting cystics a year or so ago and realised – change. Please read the ingredients! Especially with Origins products. Cleansing with just olive oil and clothing-off is amazing. Mario Badescu offer simple glycolic products, Aesop do a great manual exfoliate – the Clarisonic is an expensive toy. Simpler, greener ingredients, met with simple, proven ingredients – and yes they can be one and the same. Mix your water with some green powder, lemon juice, apple cidar vinegar, have herbal teas. Something will spark eventually!

  • Nita

    Great post 🙂 I recently ran into a similar problem with my eczema prone skin. I have been keeping my eczema at bay with all the great new products I have been using (thanks to you and the other lovely bloggers), but all of the sudden these itchy dry spots began appearing on my face and I had them for a few weeks. I tried out everything I could think of, but nothing would work. But then one day, I found my past blog entry on LUSH Full of Grace moisturizing bar, which I haven’t used in so long and that did the trick for me! Now my skin is back to normal 🙂 It’s great looking back to your old blog entries because it could be a great reminder!


  • MM

    Have you tried the Foreo Luna instead of the Clarisonic Mia? I haven’t used it yet, but I heard it is good because you don’t need to buy fresh heads every other month or so. Would like to know your opinion on that.

  • Chloe

    I also have a red face and the Origins Night-A-Min worked really well for me too. If you haven’t tried it yet, REN’s Frankincense night cream is equally good ! Plus, it doesn’t come in a jar packaging 🙂
    I still haven’t found the perfect day moisturizer, but the Kiehl’s Stress-minimising daily hydrator sounds good. I will get some samples from their shop and see how I get along with it 😉


  • AussieAngelcakes

    I am on the hunt for a good day cream back-up so I think I’ll try a Kiehl’s product when my next jar runs out (I am using Nuxe Merveillance creme which I love but it’s hard to buy in Oz so I want to find something I can rotate it with). Have you tried Trilogy products yet? Their cream cleanser is great and not hard on the wallet. I also bought their Age Proof serum and so far I am pretty impressed. I am lusting after your LRP Serozinc too.

  • Chris

    I love your blog 🙂

  • Jennifer Smith

    This is really helpful. I love the way you write as well. I’ve been trying out Clinique’s 3 step skincare system, in the hope of finding a regimented skincare routine, but it seems to be doing more harm than good. I seem to flit between one and the next and can never settle! Hopefully one day I’ll find something that works for my skin. In the meantime I’ll keep reading your blog and swot up !

  • I have started using Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega- mushroom skin relief soothing treatment lotion (toner) and i love it!! it’s great for sensitive skin maybe you should give it a try since you love origins products.

    • Jay

      I’ve been going back and forth on getting this due to the $$ it costs, but I might splurge and get it. I have super sensitive skin (rosacea prone) but I need some serious moisture and to pay attention to skin care. I woke up the other day and noticed a thinnn line by my nose that is now visible every morning and will potentially become a wrinkle! Being in my mid 20’s, that’s so not acceptable lol.