Skincare For Stressed Out, Spot-Prone Skin

-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
Because my blog post about glowy skincare products seemed to go down well last week I thought I'd bring back another round-up skincare blog post this week. So in this post I'm talking about my must-have products if you have stressed out, hormonal, spot-prone skin - like myself! After many trials and errors I feel like I now know what works best (for me anyway) and there's a mixture of budget and high-end in this post too.

For cleanser I don't really stick to any sort of brand anymore I just try and use something that's either gentle or has the words purifying or detoxifying in the name. I've recently realised that foam cleansers aren't for me anymore because I find they dry out my skin in weird places like around my eyes and on the edge of my nose so I just avoid them now. I also tend to prefer a gel cleanser because I find they work best with my Magnitone London XOXO Silicone Cleansing Brush* and I find that using a silicone cleansing brush helps to deeply cleanse my skin and unclog any blocked pores. I can definitely feel a difference between using a cleansing brush and just using my hands to wash my face. The Magnitone XOXO is a great travel friendly brush with different textures on each corner and I also have the PMD Clean* which is another great silicone brush too. I think it just depends on what you're looking for and also the space you have to store your skincare bits too.

For the face mask section I have quite a lot to talk about... My go-to mask over the past 2 years has definitely been The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask because it helps draw out impurities, settles down any current spots and leaves my skin looking nice and glowy. However... it is super messy to use, it smells very strong of tea tree and it's a bit of a pain to get off. But because I get such good results from using it, I keep repurchasing it. I also like to use the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment as a spot treatment mask but I've recently discovered the Lacura Charcoal Clearing Mud Mask from Aldi is more or less exactly the same at a fraction of price. It's just a little harder to remove but I'm not that bothered about that. It kind of comes in and out of store so if you see it, buy it! because it goes out of stock so quickly. 

Another mask I like to use as a full on mask or as a quick spot treatment mask is the Alpha-H Clear Skin Blemish Control Mask*. You only have to leave it on for 5-10 minutes and it does so much in that time. It helps to get impurities out, calms any red areas and it's also a good one for getting those pesky under the skin spots to come to the surface too. I've also found that the T-Zone Australian Pink Clay Mask is basically a complete dupe to the Sand and Sky Pink Clay Mask - it even smells the same! Again, it's a fraction of the price. I like to use it when I feel like my face needs a bit of a pick me up when it's looking a little drab.

For "treatments" I've kind of stuck to the same four products for a while but I've recently been introduced to a few others which I've incorporated into my skincare routine when my skin is acting up quite bad.

The four that I've been using religiously for months/years are the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ which is kind of like moisturiser and treatment lotion in one. I find it works well to smooth out your skin if you suffer with texture and I also find it helps to fade scarring really well. It's definitely one of my holy grail skin care products. Next is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion which works so well at drying out white head spots as well as helping to bring out under the skin spots too. I tend to only use it at night as it is visible on the skin. Another fave is the Pixi Glow Tonic* which is a great chemical exfoliator as it contains glycolic acid and it really does make your skin glow the next day after using it. It does tingle and sometimes it does make my face go a little red, so again it's a product I tend to use in the evening.

 My last go-to treatment which I literally can't be without is the Dermalogica Redness Relief Essence which is great if you're someone who goes red in the cheeks when you're going through hormonal spells, have sensitive skin or if you've had an allergic reaction - which is what I use it for. If you follow me on twitter then you might know that I keep having an on/off reaction to dairy (I think) and some other foods and I go really red and hot on my cheeks. But now I always reach for the Redness Relief Essence to calm it down. It's kind of like a toner and serum in one so it's really hydrating and great for sensitive skin. If I leave my hot flush as I like to call them then I'll stay hot and red in my cheeks for literally hours and it's so uncomfortable but with the Redness Relief Essence it goes away within 15 minutes or so. I'll even go as far as to say it's now my all-time fave Dermalogica product.

Talking of Dermalogica, I've been really enjoying their recent skin clearing release which is the AGE Bright Clearing Serum*. It's main active ingredients are Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid which are both known for their skin clearing properties. When my skin is acting up or if I can feel a breakout on the way then I pop this either directly on the area of the impending breakout or just all over and if I keep on top of it for a few days I will see a difference. 

For on the go or on the spot (get it?) spot treatment then the Clinogen Zap It! intensive Spot Treatment* might be one for you. I've only been using it for a few weeks but it's definitely helped me out a couple of times already. It contains a unique formula of natural enzymes and anti-microbials which all help to heal and prevent spots from developing. It unblocks the pore and then the product gets inside and eliminates any of the bacteria. It has a sponge-like applicator and it doesn't give out tons of product each time you apply so you don't waste any product or go overboard. It works really well for under the skin spots too! It also can help to treat cold sores but I haven't tried it for that as I haven't had a cold sore. But it's definitely my go-to quick spot treatment at the moment.

I recently picked up the Pixi Peel and Polish which is a sugar-based scrub which contains enzymes and lactic acid. It's super gentle on the skin and you can either use it as an exfoliator or leave it on as a mask for 5 minutes and I can literally see the results after removing it - my skin instantly looks brighter and the texture looks more even. It's honestly one of the best skincare products I've tried.

For moisturiser I tend to go for lightweight or gel-based moisturisers such as the Origins Energy Boosting Gel Moisturiser just because I find they are hydrating enough but don't block my pores like a thick moisturiser does. I also sometimes use oils as a moisturiser. At the minute I really like the True Skincare Balancing Safflower & Basil Facial Oil* which is lovely and it smells nice too. It contains all the right things if you have an oily/combo skin type but it's also nice and hydrating.

What are your go-to products when your skin is acting up?

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  1. Haven’t tried this mask yet from the body shop! I have been using their Japanese Matcha Tea mask and love it

    Candice x

  2. I love those skincare brushes! I also love the bodyshop skincare, so so good!

    Katie | XX

  3. You don't understand how much I needed this post right now!
    My skin is so stressed out and spot prone, I've added all of these products to my list to buy...I've been getting more stressed as my skin is the worst it's been in years - thank you so much! x

  4. Zap It sounds really good for when you have that one pesky spot that won't go!

    Lucy | Forever September