Monday, May 20, 2013

Skincare Overhaul

I've done the predictable drift from being interested in makeup to focusing on skincare. The catalyst for this was considerably clearer skin overall, but instead of the teenage acne I was used to dealing with, I've been getting localised hormonal cystic breakouts that cropped up every few weeks and left a scar that lasted for months. Nothing I used- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, Origins Super Spot Remover, Tea Tree Oil, Lush Grease Lightning- would help so I've resigned to letting the blemishes complete their cycle and I've been waiting it out and concealing as much as I can. I considered turning to OXY but I want to do more research on it because their products are befuddling. I was spending so much money on serums and masks but never thought to switch my cleanser. Everyone's going on about Michael Todd Organics skincare and I thought I'd make the switch too, instead with Antipodes in mind. 

My current evening routine consists of:
Makeup removal with Garnier Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Makeup Remover
Cleansing with Antipodes Juliet cleanser and silicone scrubby brush
Pat in Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid (SHA) Hydrating Lotion
Apply Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum
Treat blemishes with Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil and Lush Grease Lightning
Apply Origins Drink Up Intensive mask on cheeks and forehead

Antipodes products are certified organic and I wanted to make the organic switch because my acne-prone skin never seems to be happy no matter how many expensive serums and masks I use, which made me rethink my cleanser. I've been using cheap Dove and Biore cleansers and natural formulas looked like a promising alternative. In missglamorazzi's latest Me Without Makeup video her skin looked remarkably blemish-free and her previous videos had included the organic skincare products she had switched to. Jumping to conclusions, organic skincare was worth a try. I plan on getting more organic products but for now I'll continue using my non-organic serums and lotions in conjunction with the organic cleanser until I use them up.
The Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser is scented with green apple and cardamom essential oils. The cardamom is a bit sharp, but nothing to complain about. When you've used pHisohex for several years of your life, you can deal with the smell of a little cardamom. I've been keeping it in my room instead of the shower because I don't want my siblings burning through it and complaining to me about how strange it smells; it's too expensive to share.

What Antipodes says:


Reveal clean, clear and blemish-free skin thanks to the action of exfoliating extracts from the New Zealand kiwi superfruit and vibrant hibiscus flower. Manuka honey's antibacterial powers and antioxidant-packed Vinanza Grape form the perfect union to help reduce and balance oil production, helping grant your healthiest glow ever. Lightly scented with refreshing green apple and cardamon.

DAILY RITUAL: Gently wet the skin of your face and neck with warm and pure water, then massage the gel into your face and neck in upward strokes while giving extra care to spots and blemishes. Rinse off with warm water. Use morning and night before your favourite Antipodes serum and moisturiser.

ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY: Kiwi seed oil * Manuka * Vinanza Grape 

PURE PLANT FRAGRANCES: Fresh green apple & cardamon


I use the Juliet cleanser morning and night with a silicone facial cleansing brush and I'm pretty happy with how it's going. It's gentle and cleanses well without leaving the skin feeling squeaky (nobody wants squeaky skin). The Apostle Tone-Correcting and Brightening serum is next on my list, because I need a brightening serum to help fade scars. But let's shelve that thought for another payday.

I'm a Caudalie Beauty Elixir convert- I bought the Must Have set from FeelUnique and I was having a Caroline Hirons day and I came across the post where she says the Beauty Elixir basically kills spots so I decided to give it a go. I got it in the mail around the same time a lovely hormonal breakout reared its grotesque head and I sprayed it regularly for three days and it reduced the inflammation considerably. Granted, I take multiple fish oil supplements and probiotics on a daily basis but I don't eat very healthily so the Caudalie Beauty Elixir did help.
Lush Grease Lightning takes a few days to show its true colours but it's a good spot treatment because unlike alcohol-based spot treatments, it doesn't leave a dark scar. The few readers I had early last year when I started blogging about beauty products may remember I bought a bottle of this but threw it out in a clean-out session. I heard some good things about it and about how it lightens scars in a matter of days and bought another bottle to give it a second chance. I'm glad I did because it's the best thing I've found for scars.

As an additional step I've been using the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid (SHA) Hydrating Lotion. It's not a watery consistency- it's more viscous and I apply it like an essence- patted in with hands and occasionally I mix in some Caudalie Divine Oil or Bio-Oil. The hyaluronic acid helps the oil absorb better and it works for my combination skin.

I'm still using La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo and it's running very very low (aeroplane cabin pressure caused about a quarter of the tube to fountain out - panic stations). I've really enjoyed using it and I think I will repurchase later this year when the weather warms up because right now hydration has become more important.
I'm still using Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair but I won't repurchase as there are lots of serums and facial oils I want to try.
Still using face masks like Origins Drink Up Intensive and Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque. I use the Aesop once or twice weekly and I use the Origins about three times a week before I go to bed.
I really liked what the Kate Somerville Anti Bac Clearing Lotion Benzoyl Peroxide 5% did for my skin but it's $45 for something that will run out pretty quickly so I'm looking around for alternatives before I take the plunge. 

I'm looking for a good night moisturiser to replace Nivea Soft because although I really like Nivea Soft, paraffinum ranks pretty highly on the list of ingredients and I don't want that near my skin. If you have any recommendations please let me know!


  1. I've heard heaps about the Caudalie Elixir but I didn't know it helped with blemishes! Lush Grease Lightning sounds awesome too. I've been really enjoying the Effaclar Duo but it broke me out a bit too. If I want more moisture I layer up with one on top. I really want to try the S&G night in shining armour night cream - it's gotten rave reviews! Right now I'm using a sample pot of the CLinique Moisture Surge Intense which is so luxe - I love it!

    1. The Moisture Surge Intense seems to be a firm favourite- I'll look into it! I've never heard of the SAG one- is it a UK exclusive? And Effaclar Duo broke me out at first but it may have been some other factors too- stick at it and see how it goes.

  2. My current night moisturiser is the Cetaphil Ultra Advance Daily Hydrating Lotion. :)
    And I'm looking for a good spot treatment and Lush Grease Lightning sounds good but I just hope it doesn't do the opposite and break me out.

    1. I watched your Skincare Routine video! I'll have a look at the Cetaphil- though I heard rumours that Cetaphil isn't actually that good for the skin- some research is in order! Maybe try Grease Lightning in the shop first? The Lush assistants are pretty nice.

  3. the hada labo moisturizing lotion is the best! I switched my skin care routine from all clarins products to all hada labo products now and I am happy with it :D

    1. I wish I could switch my whole routine to Hada Labo but it's not sold here so it wouldn't be sustainable! Good to hear you're happy making the switch!

  4. I also use the hada labo, estee lauder and garnier! ^_~