Skincare Problem Solvers: A Solution For Everything

Congestion? Dryness? Dullness? I’ve got you covered…

I’m going to type out that phrase which pretty much guarantees that a blistering red boil of a spot will appear tomorrow morning – ‘My skin is doing pretty o.k right now‘. Yep, it’s coming – I can feel it already. I’m not sure quite what’s going on as my pizza to vegetables ratio is still pretty high and I know for a fact that I should be consuming more water, but it’s like my complexion is running off some mysterious mirrored world where I consume broccoli with every meal. I think it must have something to do with the new bathroom and the fact that I’m savouring the time it takes to do my skincare every morning and evening; tinkering around with new lotions and potions and taking the time to indulge in masks and jade rollers and massage and all the other things that when I had to crouch down just to look into a cracked mirror I never actually did.

My skincare routine itself isn’t endless (see my bathroom cabinet tour here), but there is a small edit of products that can be grouped into three categories that I turn to whenever I need to up my hydration, slough away dry areas or turn my pores inside out for a deep clean…


This is the edit that I reach for the most. Who doesn’t want to look like J.Lo, eh? Whenever I slice out some time for a facial I’m always delighted by the therapist’s observation that my skin is dehydrated. YAY. I acknowledge that on the whole I’m lucky to not experience extreme dryness often (although see the paragraph below to see what I grab when I do), but this lack of juice in my complexion can just make things look flat and dull.

What my skin cries out for in this situation are acids – GIVE ‘EM TO ME. I’ve recently discovered the Pixi Glow Tonic To-Go, which I thought were just the original formula in pre-soaked pads, but it turns out they’re a strength-pumped version that you’re supposed to glide over skin, leave for two minutes and then rinse off. I have it on good authority that if your skin can handle it, it’s not the worst thing in the world to leave it on and skip the rinse as long as you follow it with something super hydrating afterwards, so that’s what I do (please exercise caution if you do this too!) and I’m always floored in the morning at just how soft my skin is. I tend to do this step twice or three times a week and if I’ve been slack with it, then I slap on the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, and you all know how much I love that. Serum-wise I love the juice that the Glossier Super Bounce brings and I do like to follow-up anything that I do to boost radiance with the Charlotte Tilbury Overnight Bronze & Glow Mask because its tanning trickery makes you look even glowier come the morning.


As I mentioned I’m pretty lucky that it’s rare for my skin to appear real dry. You know like peeling off, makeup just sits in the flaps still holding on, dry? If the weather has been crazy cold (I really can’t wait for this record-breaking week of freezing weather we apparently have ahead of us in the U.K!) or I’m having a bout of sensitive skin or redness, then every now and again things can get a little like sandpaper, and in those instances here’s what I use.

I never thought that an essence would be worth the faff, but the ‘hydrating spray’ step that in this case acts quite like a pre-serum, is so wonderful that it’s one of my favourite parts of my routine. Enter the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence. I’m on my second bottle of the stuff, close to my third and I find the process of sealing in moisture post-cleanse to have worked wonders for my hydration levels. I’ve added in the La Mer The Eye Concentrate here, but in all honestly it cost a small fortune and I’m not sure that I’d repurchase. However, I quite like to use an eye cream in my routine as the skin around my lids is often the most dry. When I’m in need of moisture I always return back to the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair – a serum I’ve used on/off for the past eight years. It’s nice to have formulas like this in my routine, that I know that my skin never reacts to and just laps up. Then finally I have to mention the May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon in this section because despite the price tag, I don’t think I’ve ever used something that’s so calming, soothing and nourishing on my skin. From waving goodbye to sunburn in less than 12 hours, to giving my skin a relaxing hug if I’ve ever hit the acids too hard; I can’t see me ever being without this.


If my pizza to vegetables ratio is really off, it’s exactly five days before my period is due to start or if I’ve been hitting the full-coverage foundation train hard, then things can sometimes get a little congested in my pores. It’s usually my chin where the blackheads start to sprout up first, but then things can clog up around my nose and across my cheeks if I really need to up my green intake. Often the best way to clear everything is to treat yourself to a facial and grit your teeth through the wonderful/horrendous extraction step, however if I choose to tackle them at home – here’s what I get out of the cabinet.

My first point of call after a double cleanse, is a mask. Either I reach for the Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask which also doubles up with exfoliating properties, so I tend to reach for this one if I’m looking that stellar combo of dry AND dull, or I go for the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack.  Quick warning: with the latter it can make my skin a little red as I’m extremely sensitive, so it’s definitely something that I use in the evenings only. The Glossier love train continues with the Glossier Super Pure Serum which I only ever use on congested areas and not all over my face as not to dry out unaffected areas unnecessarily. Finally, I stick to a moisturiser which I know that my skin enjoys – the Glossier Priming Moisturiser Rich. I know the temptation can sometimes be to dry your skin out as not to add juice to the pimples, but I say it’s always nicer to give it a big ol’ hydrating hug.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

Photos shot at the Artist Residence Brighton