When I started this blog, I vowed to keep it focused on food, target a niche, and rolled my eyes at the “lifestyle” bloggers; turning my nose up at them “Jacks of All, Masters of None”. The joke was on me, because it is the same lifestyle bloggers whose reviews I recently found myself skimming through, desperately searching for tried-and-tested reviews of breakout control products.
As I write this review, I am sipping on some berry-infused water through a straw because my face is plastered with some breakout control mask. With this, I realize, that although food is my lifestyle and food is and always will be the focus of my blog, all that
jazz eating leads to some side effects (enter Breakouts) which are hence a completely relevant topic to discuss.
I am pretty uneducated when it comes to face-care, and when the ratio of breakouts to actual skin becomes high enough to send me into panic mode, I am desperately looking for suggestions and recommendations. I will trust just about anyone, especially the saleslady disguised as a skin expert at your local Sephora/Harvey Nichols/any Skin Care store. After trying a handful of different brands and products, I have come to the following conclusions:
- Reviews and recommendations are pretty much useless. Everyone’s skin type is different, their circumstances, stress levels, and diets are different; therefore what works on one person most definitely might not yield the same results on another.
- To trust or not to trust the skin expert lady? This one is a gamble. This all boils down to just figuring out which store representative really knows her stuff, and more often than not this will only come from experience and wasting more money than you’d like to. I have been conducting a social experiment on various stores, for the sake of this blog post, and here’s what happened:
- Kiehl’s: I’ve been to 4 different Kiehl’s, and they always recommend a different combination of products. They also never had samples of the entire range that they recommending for me. They are very convincing and appear to be extremely sure of what they’re saying, yet there is no consistency in what different Kiehl’s recommended. And in case you’re wondering, no, my skin hasn’t changed in months, let alone in between said visits to various Keihl’s.
- Lush: Always consistent in their advice, they always recommend the same mask to me and it always works.
- Sephora: Hit and miss. I got really lucking landing a nice lady called Navine at the Dubai Mall branch, who swore by a mask that I now swear by.
- Always, always, always try to get a sample. It’s not just about not wasting money on something that may or may not suit you, it’s also about not wanting to clutter your house with products that you simply can’t use because they’re the wrong fit for you.
- Zone out when they start preaching on the importance of toners. This is a personal preference but such a strong one that it simply had to be stated. They’re not for me and they might not be for you. For some people, less is more and I really think I’m one of them. I have fallen for the toner sermon far too often and they just don’t work for me. I’ve tried toners by Clinique, Lancome, Kiehl’s and they always leave my skin feeling parched and eventually lead to more breakouts as the imminent oil release shocks my skin.
My skin type: I have really sensitive “combination oily but dehydtrated” skin, which is as annoying and as hard to figure out as I probably am. I work from home, stay out of the sun, am Vit D deprived, play with my health on a daily basis by having a super healthy breakfast at home and a crazy unhealthy dinner outside, but I stay super hydrated. For all the lost wanderers hopelessly scouting the mall for an acne fix like I do, and by some miracle have the exact same skin-type and lifestyle as I do, I’ve compiled a list of the products that really did work for me and I highly recommend them:
Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment: Possibly the most hyped Skincare brand of the year; Glamglow was a must-try and is a must-buy. I first tried a sample of just the mask and wasn’t too impressed. Then, I received a sample of the mask and the face wash and started using it on the regular. When used together, this combo is a force to be reckoned with. Breakouts visibly shrank, and my face always feels so light and clean afterwards. Also, I love how the face-wash is different from others and needs to be applied onto dry skin with gradual addition of water to lather.
Peter Thomas Roth Theraputic Sulfur Mask for Acne Treatment: This purchase was a pure gamble. I had done no research on this product, and (quite frankly) had never even heard of it. I went to Sephora on another one of my desperate-attempts-to-fix-face sprees thanks to the imminent breakout. The skin expert lady named Navine, suggested I try the Peter Thomas Roth Theraputic Sulfur Mask, and swore by it’s results to the extent of promising my money back out of her pocket. I was sold on her conviction, and the mask was quite inexpensive so I decided to give it a shot and did not regret it. The results start kicking in almost instantly, with visible shrinkage of breakouts. The mask smells rather unpleasant, but I do vouch for it’s results.
Lush Cosmetic Warrior: I’ve been using this for a couple of years every time I breakout and it always works wonders. The folks at Lush are nice enough to always give you a sample, which is great because said samples are made me fall in love with this product and buy it on the regular. Be careful as this one needs to be kept refrigerated and even a small container is hard to exhaust within it’s 3 week shelf life. The ideal situation would be to live with someone who’ll share this with you.
Lancome Gel Elcat: This one is a face-wash I used for years and this one changed my life and stopped the breakout– till it stopped working on me. They say you need to change your skin-care products every 6 months (?), and while that sounds absolutely exhausting to me, they might be right. I stretched my loyalty to this face-wash out for nearly three years, but my face practically demanded a divorce and now I’m so glad to have found the Glamglow Supermud instead.
That’s it, ladies and gentlemen. That’s my (first and probably last) two cents on how to keep the breakout at bay.
Please do feel free to add your recommendations in the comments below to help other lost wanders like myself who suffer from the plague of the breakout.