Sunday, 6 January 2013

My journey to clear, healthy, glowing skin


Hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and New Year!

My New Year's resolution has been to maintain an active lifestyle (gym freak!) and look after my skin a lot more. I say a lot more because I feel at 25, I should now be upping my game in terms of what I use on my skin, and yes, I am also referring to anti ageing methods - I don't mean injectables such as Botox and fillers; more so a decent serum/cream and to treat myself to the odd non surgical procedure such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion.

I have always had fairly good skin with the odd breakout during that time of the month, but I never suffered with acne or anything too severe in my teens. However, the past 2/3 months, I have noticed a constant patch of blemishes around my jawline, which I know is typically a 'hormonal' place of outbreaks, but this has literally been a consistent problem which my current skincare regime is not fixing. FYI I have been using the Liz Earle skincare line for just over 3 years and it has been amazing but I feel like my skin is craving for something more at the moment.

About 5% of women between 25-40 develop acne, and whilst I would like to stress that I do not have acne, I certainly have a cluster of blemishes that are not going away. Seeing as I haven't changed my skincare routine, or lifestyle or anything significant for that matter (aside from over indulging at Christmas), the only real explanation for the condition of my skin right now has got to be my age.

A few days ago I took myself for a skin consultation at an advanced skin clinic as I wanted to purchase the right cosmeceutical products for my skin type in the hope that they would help clear up my skin.
After a consultation I had my face cleansed followed by the practitioner conducting a skin analysis under a microscope. We discussed a course of treatments which I was advised to come back and have after using some recommended retail products for home.
I was recommended a selection of products from the Agera RX and SkinCeuticals range - both cosmeceuticals. Cosmeceuticals refer to the combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with biologically active ingredients purporting to have medical benefits. Agera's range has been developed to stimulate the skin, with anti-aging skin care products that have been scientifically tested and provide fast, noticeable results. SkinCeuticals is another advanced anti-aging line which is heavily backed by science.

Today was the first day I used the products purchased and so far so good - my skin feels soft, supple, taut, and my blemishes are not so red. Here is what I used/did:

Agera RX

Ultra Mild Cleanser (180ml) RRP £26.50 - I used Nivea Visage gentle eye make-up remover to remove my eye make up prior to the cleanse. I then applied the Agera Ultra Mild Cleanser to my damp skin and massaged in circular motions avoiding the eye area for 1 minute and then rinsed with warm water.

Deep Cleansing Salicylic Wash (180ml) RRP £27.50 - While my skin was still wet, I applied this wash in the same motion as above. The consistency of this wash is thicker then the ultra mild cleanser and is more a gel formula.

Microderma System (Mask & Activator) RRP £33.50 - I towel dried my face and then applied the mask in circular motions for 1 minute around my t-zone, cheeks, chin and upper lip, massaging slowly. You can really feel the crystals in the mask sloughing away dead skin sells, almost like an exfoliation process. I then applied an equal amount of activator on top of the mask (which sort of like fizzes on contact with the mask, but you do not at all feel any fizzing or discomfort on your skin) again, in circular motions for 2 minutes until all the crystals were dissolved. I then rinsed off with warm water and patted my face dry.

Oxy Infusion Cream (30ml) RRP £29.50 - I then applied a small amount of the oxy infusion cream to all blemishes on my face - a little goes a long way!

Antibacterial Peptide Cream (30ml) RRP £29.50 - I followed up with the antibacterial peptide cream on top of the oxy infusion cream. I did not feel any tingling or burning with either of these specialist creams (which have been formulated for acne prone skin).


Hydrating B5 (30ml) RRP £59.00 - I really love the packaging of this serum. Its in a very medical-esque style glass pipette which allows you to equally distribute 3-5 drops in the palm of your hands. I then rubbed my palms together and applied this gel to my entire face in upwards motions. There is no distinctive scent with this gel which is something I really liked as I know that other gels/serum in this range can have quite a strong smell. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 binds moisture to the skin using Hyaluronic Acid, a natural humectant found in the skin making this product one of the most effective in moisturising the skin. It also contains B5 which helps with the repair of skin tissue and replenishes lost nutrients in the skin. This product instantly soaks into your skin without leaving a greasy residue so is perfect for daily use.

Clarifying Clay Masque (60ml) RRP £45.00 - I am yet to use this masque as I used the Agera mask this morning instead. However, I will apply this one day next week, and do a separate post on my findings.

So far though, I am LOVING my new purchases. My mum commented on how much brighter and clearer my skin looked 4 hours after my at-home facial. I will be doing a fortnightly update on my new skincare regime with pictures to keep you all updated on my journey to clear, healthy, glowing skin.

Have any of you tried the Agera RX & SkinCeuticals range? Or any other cosmeceutical range for that matter? What are your thoughts?...

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