The Holy Grail........

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Otherwise known  as the search for the perfect skincare routine!

This post was inspired by my Desert Island Products post where I talked about my current skin care routine.

It has taken me a number of years, and almost as many different brands to finally find the skincare routine that works for me and my skin.

But first things first - why even bother with a skincare routine? You're only gonna cover it with make up anyway right?

Well no - would you slap paint on a wall that still had bits of all wallpaper on, that wasn't very even? Probably not. Its the same with skincare and makeup - your face is your canvas essentially, and it needs the right preparation to receive the paint.

Skin care is much more than just buying expensive products and hoping they’ll keep the skin looking healthy and young. The skin is a living, breathing organ that reflects the body’s general state of health, irrespective of what skin care products you choose to use. Obviously taking care of your skin will help you look more youthful but your skin's health will have a marked effect on your body's health, and similarly, if you have health problems, these will be reflected on your skin. .

Second to all this is caring for yourself on the inside. All the skin care products in the world will not make your skin look healthier or younger, if you do not look after and treat your internal health problems.

So what inspired me to suddenly start thinking about my own skincare - well a lovely friend of mine commented that I was "not getting any younger" (!) and that everything else can be replaced, fixed, changed via surgery or other means, but that you only get one skin, so we need to look after it. Harsh words! But I figured, that my routine of make up wipes and baby lotion was not going to stand me in good stead for ever

I tried a number of different brands.I started off by buying a cheap Boots own brand cleanser, toner and moisturiser. This didn't work for me as the routine wasn't specific to my skin type, so that went by the wayside very quickly.

I then thought that the way forward was -obviously! - to go for expensive brands. Because the cheap ones hadn't worked, this was my logical way of thinking!

First up was Dermologica. I got a "trial kit" from my local salon. This was a salon a visited regularly for my nail treatments, but I'd never had any facial treatments. The therapist recommended a kit for 'dry' skin - based on my own description - and sent me off on my way. I used the kit for a few weeks, and my skin seemed less dry, but that was due to the amount of moisturising I was clearly slapping on! I'd run out of it, whilst I had 3/4's of a bottle of cleanser and toner left. I figured that this wasn't working for me either!
Clinique! Clinique is well known for their skin care, and their famous three step programme. So that was my next stop. The lady at the counter in her clinical white coat sat me in front a large magnifying glass, with a light all the way around it, looked at my skin, and told me all about the different layers of skin and about how to look after them. This woman seemed to really know what she was talking about! She also assessed my friends skin at the same time. She gave us each our three step programmes and I guess I should have questioned it then, as she had given us toner only one step away from each other, despite my skin being really dry and my friends being very greasy.

Needless to say, neither of us had a great experience with Clinique - my friends skin became very spotty and I mean really spotty, whereas mine was really tight and sore. Toner really seemed to rip the skin from my face, as well as removing the polish from my nails! (Yes honestly!!) But this was what I thought it felt like as it had always been my experience of toner.

My friend moved on to Decleor and found her 'Holy Grail', but mine was still eluding me. It was a few months later, when I was still lamenting my foundation flaking off off my face, when she suggested I go for a facial so the therapist could "really get to know my skin". Well! I just "don't have time for that!", but she informed me that Clarins had a skin spa inside our local shopping centre - that opens long hours! Excellent.

I hurriedly booked an Clarins express facial - the idea being that once the therapist figured out my skin type that would be it and I would be off. I was greeted by the lovely bubbly team, that front my local Clarins counter, with their natural understated make up and flawless skin, and I felt very much at ease. 45 minutes of pure bliss later, I came around, for my skin therapist, to describe all my skin problems to me in absolute detail without me saying a word! And finally, I knew why toner burned my skin off - I was allergic! And on the basis of the fact that I had tried so many, and it had had that effect every time, including Clarins lovely gentle toners, I was allergic to all toners!  I was prescribed as having "dry and dehydrated skin" and was given a cleanser, a serum and a moisturiser, all heavy duty hydrating and moisturising. What I especially liked was that I wasn't coerced into buying the scrub,the night cream, the day cream, the eye cream, the mask loads of items, but instead, they wanted to keep it to as little items as possible whilst I saw how I got on. As I had bought and paid for so much, I earned Clarins Spa Points, enough to pay for another facial. I was recommended to have a more specific facial next time - so I decided to pay for this myself and build up my points a bit more

Two years later I still go for a facial once every six weeks, and my skin is no longer "dry" just dehydrated, which although it can feel dry at times to me, my face isn't falling off all the time! I've also discovered the many back treatments Clarin's offer, (I will review these in another post  - I have tried them all!) and have learnt much about my skin and skincare - for example, did you know spot on your chin and around your mouth are generally hormonal, and spots anywhere else are more likely to be product related? No? Me neither! My skincare routine has now changed as my skin doesn't need the heavy duty moisture it needed before, and I've slowly started to add in more products over time.

The moral of my story is  - DO NOT GIVE UP!! Your own Holy Grail is out there, and I promise that when you find it, putting on make up really is a dream! In fact you may even find you don't wear make as often, or maybe you don't apply as much. Also everyone's routine is different for their own reasons. I seriously recommend you go for a facial to really get to know your skin, and I don't necessarily mean Clarins, yes it worked for me, but it doesn't work for everyone.

I hope my story has inspired you to think more about your skin care routine - what have been your experiences?


  1. I've heard good things about Clarins, even though I've never tried them myself. I don't always think more expensive = better, I guess it's just all about finding the right products for your skin. xo

    1. Your right Sarah - I meant to get that across more in my post, but as I didn't try many cheap brands - beacuse at the time I didn't acknowledge that in my head - it was difficult to do them any justice really

  2. I love your blog! I followed! I would love it if you could check out my blog and follow me? Thanks so much!


  3. i love clarins and clinique :) really good products :)

  4. Clinique is my favorite.
    Coming from blog hop and would love a follow back!

    1. Thanks for letting me know - I'm gonna work my way through the bloghops soon :)

  5. Hehe the part about the wallpaper had me laughing! It has taken me sometime to find a routine I like... I wash my face, at night, with a deep cleaning scrub then apply EVOO all over my face. After about an hour or more I tab any extra off and apply a retinol treatment. In the morning I use a pore minimizing wash and viola! I really like it... when I stick to it! Great post Love!

    Love & Lollies... Jessa

    Caked Vintage Blog

    1. Another brand I haven't heard of Jessa.
      Glad you like my post :) I'm trying to put a couple of "opinion" type peices in too :)

  6. I use posay la roche, love it!

    The Urban Umbrella

  7. Oooo never heard of that brand Bree, will have to have a look :)

  8. New follower from blog hop til drop! I need a new skin care line. Thanks for info...

    Stop by and link up your review to my Favorite Product Friday Hop! Love to have you and love for you to follow back!

  9. I've never heard of the brand - interesting! I agree with a lot of the points you made here, skincare really is so important..!

    I'm a new follower from Bloghop, come by and say hi!

  10. I am a new follower and would love a follow back at

  11. Hi,
    New follower from the blog hop please come follow me back :)

  12. Great post... Good skin care is a constant mission of mine!

    I'm a new follower from the blog hop, I'd love a follow from you too!

  13. Stopping by from BHE! Great blog, hope to see you at mine soon! :)


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