THAT GRACE GIRL is an editorial endeavour dedicated to creating intelligent beauty coverage for women who are as passionate about prose as they are perfume. 

Skincare Diary #1

Skincare Diary #1

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One of my favourite topics to blog about, and one of the ones I'm asked about most frequently is skincare. As regular readers will know, I've had trouble with my skin since my early teens. Ten years down the line and I consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject, at least where my own skin is concerned. I'm by no means an expert in dermatology, and have absolutely no qualifications whatsoever, but I do have a wealth of experience. From now on, I'll be posting a monthly skincare diary post, focusing on products I've used in the week leading up to it. Whilst I have a lot of staple products, I love to try out new ones, so can't always stick to a strict schedule. I also like to treat my skin differently depending on how it feels on the day. If it's feeling tight and dry, I'll treat it completely differently to how I would on a bad breakout day.

As you will see, my routine differs depending on whether I wore makeup that day. I don't wear makeup every day, usually only two or three days a week, and only if I'm going to be out for the majority of the day and have things to do/people to see. I like to remove it as soon as I get home, usually at about 4-6pm. As you will see, this afternoon cleanse is pretty thorough. I like to make sure that all trace of makeup has disappeared from my skin! Because of this my evening cleanse (right before bed at about 10-11pm), is pretty basic, really just prepping my skin for overnight treatments. I do use face masks three times a week, usually a couple of intensive ones, and one more gentle one, although I mix it up depending on how my skin is looking on the night. Where applicable I've linked full views to the products I've used at the bottom of this page.

Monday: Morning - Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser*, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +*, La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I.Afternoon - Lush Buche de Noel Cleanser Evening -Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser*, Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner, HydraluronTrilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, No7 Essential Moisture Day Cream.

The Aesop cleanser is a relatively new addition to my routine, but I am already loving it. It helps to remove all traces of oiliness from my overnight products but without stripping my skin. And it smells lovely! No makeup today, so just spot treatments, and then my standard pre-bed products. I've only been using Hydraluron for a week or so, but it's already having a noticeable effect on my skin.

Tuesday: Morning - Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser*, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +*, The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night LotionAfternoon -The Body Shop Camomile Silk Cleansing OilBioderma Sensibo H20 Micelle SolutionSoap and Glory The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +Evening - Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser*, Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner, Hydraluron, Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, No7 Essential Moisture Day Cream.

I like to use the Body Shop lotion in the day as I find it works great as a primer under my makeup, but has the added benefit of helping fade spot scars. It's probably the only product I'd recommend from The Body Shop's tea tree range, everything else I've tried made me break out so badly! I found myself going through my Bioderma so fast, using three or four cotton pads of it a day, so I added the cleansing oil to my routine recently. It helps to break down and dissolve my makeup so I don't have to use as much Bioderma. The Soap & Glory cleanser is one of my all time favourites. It's so gentle, but removes any leftover traces of makeup and leaves my skin so soft. I prefer it to the Liz Earle one!

Wednesday: Morning - Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +, The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion. Afternoon -The Body Shop Camomile Silk Cleansing OilBioderma Sensibo H20 Micelle Solution, Soap and Glory The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +Evening -Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant PasteAesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque, Hydraluron, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum,Origins Drink-up Intensive Overnight Mask.

Face mask night tonight, and I picked my new favourite. Seriously this Aesop mask is one of the best I've ever used (expect a full review at some point soon). It leaves my skin feeling so deeply cleaned, and visibly reduces redness and blemishes overnight. I really like the Aesop exfoliant paste too. There aren't too many exfoliating particles in the formula, and they're very finely milled so its really gentle, but still uber effective. I love the Estee Lauder serum. It has such a visible effect on my skin, and works so well with the Origins mask, which leaves my skin oh so soft come morning, and visibly clearer and brighter.

Thursday: MorningLush Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+*, The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion. Afternoon - The Body Shop Camomile Silk Cleansing OilBioderma Sensibo H20 Micelle Solution,Soap and Glory The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +Evening -Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser*, Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner, Hydraluron, Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, No7 Essential Moisture Day Cream.

I mixed it up this morning, going back to my usual Lush facial soap. As much as I love the Aesop cleanser, it ain't cheap so I don't want to use it all at once! A pretty standard day today. I'm running low on rosehip oil so need to stock up. The stuff may be slow to work, but after a few weeks of using it nightly you can really see how much it helps with scars and redness. I'm also powering through this moisturiser. I love that its really simple and 'does what it says on the tin', rather than claiming to work miracles and be full of wonder ingredients. It is a day cream, but I find it way too thick for day wear.

Friday: Morning - Lush Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +*, La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. Evening - Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser*, Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant*, Lush BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask, Hydraluron, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, Origins Drink-up Intensive Overnight Mask.

A no makeup day today, so my skin finally got a bit of a breather! I tried out a new product, the Aesop exfoliant. Rather interestingly it's a very finely milled powder that you mix in with your cleanser to create an exfoliator. It was a bit fiddly and messy, but I liked that you can choose just how exfoliating you want it to be. I find the Lush BB Seaweed mask to be one of the more effective of Lush's fresh face masks. It really helps to calm down any blemishes and redness, but it's nice and gentle in the process.

Saturday: Morning- Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +.Afternoon - Lush Buche de Noel Cleanser Evening - Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser*, Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner,Hydraluron, Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, No7 Essential Moisture Day Cream.

If I take a shower, and haven't had to remove makeup that day then I always opt for this Lush fresh cleanser as my in-shower face wash. It's quite a messy product so I don't really like to use it at my sink, but it's perfect in the shower. It's exfoliating but very gentle, and smells like almonds. I like to mix it with water to create a thick paste and apply it like a mask which I leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off.

Sunday: Morning- Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser*, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +*, La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. Evening - Aesop Purifying Exfoliant Paste*, REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask, Hydraluron, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, Origins Drink-up Intensive Overnight Mask.

A lazy makeup free Sunday! I completely forgot I had this REN mask lurking at the back of my cupboard, so I haven't used it in ages! It's one of my old favourites. I find it to be so effective if you use the right amount, and it's probably the only non-drying clay mask I've ever used.

Full reviews:

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +

Lush Buche de Noel cleanser

Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil

Bioderma Sensibo H20 Micelle Solution

REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask

My essential Escentual picks

Lush skincare routine

A note on skincare: I used to think of my skin as oily/combination, as most spot sufferers do. But as I read more into skincare, and began to experiment with more expensive/higher quality products, I realised that my skin is really quite sensitive and dry, and that one of the worst things I did to my skin in my teens was to overload it with products targeted at "teen skin". Daily exfoliation and alcohol soaked pads played a huge part in my teen skincare routine as I desperately attempted to clear my skin (shudder). One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to skincare is to presume that if they have spots then they must have oily/combination skin. They then go out and buy harsh, stripping products which remove all the moisture from their skin.  Your skin compensates for this loss of moisture by overproducing natural oils, giving you the appearance of having oily skin. To which people then apply even stronger products. A vicious cycle. I finally got my skin into a good place with the use of natural, gentle products (Lush was my first port of call), and aside for spot treatments and some masks, I always avoid anything that is targeted towards spot-prone skin. I will stress that not everyone is going to have the same skin-type as me, and a lot of you will have truly oily skin, but it's worth looking into if your "oiliness" is showing no sign of disappearing. So please bear this in mind as you read the above.

If anyone has any questions about skincare, my routine, or any of the products above please do ask. Similarly if you have any suggestions for me to add to my routine, I'd love to hear them! For similar posts and reviews you can follow me on Wordpress, Bloglovin, and Twitter.

Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque

Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque

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