BEAUTY / MY UPDATED SKINCARE ROUTINE
My skin and I haven’t really got on... ever. During my teenage years, I was exceptionally oily and had irritating blemishes, in my mid twenties my skin became a bit drier and then I went through a stage where I got really bad cystic acne - in which I'd get huuuuuuge under the skin pimples which were named Geoff. They were the most frustrating things and in retrospect, definitely weren't as bad as I thought and were easy enough to cover with a good ol' concealer but I just didn't want them! Luckily, all of that has calmed down a lot but since moving to London, I've noticed that my skin is definitely pretty darn congested from the pollution and has just lacked any kind of glow.
P.S. I definitely have to say that diet definitely plays a part and I really do notice a positive difference in my skin when I'm staying hydrated and filling my body with good nutrients.
I've spent the last few years switching between cleansing waters / balms / oils, testing out all the cult brands and I recently came to the end of the infamous Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. It was good, very effective and easy to use but I don't feel like it did that much to my skin. That's one of the most frustrating things about skincare, you hope and pray that its going to work miracles -especially when you've spent a shit load of money on it - and then when it doesn't perform, you end up just feeling very fed up.
My mum is actually a beauty therapist and has always preached about a stripped back skincare routine, focusing on natural, simple products. I've never really listened, mainly because I'm stubborn, but I actually very kindly got gifted a few new skincare bits recently that I thought I would test out and well, so far so good...
I'm not one to faff around with loads of different products, varying them morning and night because I'm just lazy so I tend to just use the same products. However the only extras I've been using are my trusty Effaclar Duo + and Origins Super Spot Remover if I've noticed any spots trying to make an appearance.
The people at Preen Me & Darphin Paris very kindly sent me across a super cute package ft. a load of their products to try out. I had actually never heard of the brand before but did quite a lot of research and was instantly sold! Obvious considering the name, but yes, Darphin is crafted and developed in France using botanical and plant based ingredients which result in some bloody fantastic luxe products. As I said, I was sent a box filled with a few products but I'm only fully featuring three in this post because the other products were more body / hair focused.
WHAT THEY CLAIM
A lavishly-rich cleansing balm that transforms into a light milky emulsion with water to melt away traces of makeup and impurities, whilst nourishing skin to relieve tightness and help restore natural radiance.
- Rosewood Essential Oil
- Marula Oil
- Sag Essential Oil
- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- Entraps impurities with balm texture
- Cleanses skin and removes makeup
- Purifies skin thanks to the benefits of Sage essential oil
- Nourishes skin
WHAT I THINK
As soon as I opened this little pot of gold balmy goodness, the first thing that hits me is that dreamy, fragrant smell that is the rosewood essential oil in the formulation. The scent is not too overpowering but enough to really put yourself in a relaxed state of mind. Just think luxury spa x 100. It's the kind of product you just can't wait to use at the end of a long day.
As with all cleansing balms, the Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood helps to rid the face of makeup and impurities on the skin's surface. It can be used as a first cleanse, and I have tested it out to take off makeup which it does very well at but I prefer to use it as a morning or second cleanse due to how luxe it feels on the skin. Seems a bit of a waste using it on makeup if you know what I mean.
Texture wise, it’s slightly more robust than your standard balm consistency and holds up well on damp skin, giving you a good chance to massage it in and truly give yourself a bit of a pamper rather than immediately skipping to the “milky rinse-off” stage. When rinsing off, the balm emulsifies into a milk and washes off the face really well without leaving any real residue.
It leaves my skin feeling very fresh, clean, soft and even in tone. All the things I seek from a cleanser basically! I feel very grateful that I got gifted this jar but I'll definitely be restocking myself once this one has finished.
WHAT THEY CLAIM
Hydraskin Light has a deep hydrating action on normal to combination skins resulting in a supple, moistened and radiant complexion. It gives the added moisture boost which lacks in dehydrated skin, whilst the deliciously light cream gel texture means that skin is left perfectly matte and even.
- Kiwi Extracts
- Vital Essence of Mamaku
- Helps maintain hydration day after day
- More luminous complexion glowing with health
WHAT I THINK
My skin definitely goes through the stages and can often look and feel quite dry and look a bit lifeless - really selling myself here haha. I rarely find a moisturiser that really ticks all the boxes for me so when I saw this one, I was instantly intrigued.
Firstly, the packaging is just so bloody lovely - as it is with all of the Darphin products and I instantly feel like I'm doing my skin the world of good by using it. So far, it definitely agrees and drinks up this moisturiser!
It's very calming and fresh in scent and is the best mix between too slippery and too thick in texture. I apply this in the morning before applying my makeup and as I said, my skin drinks it up pretty quickly so I'm left with plump, glowy looking skin. I've found that its really helped to make my face look more radiant - with and without makeup on. It's full blown summer here in London, well for London standards anyway and despite me saying that I have dry skin, my t-zone usually gets quite oily during the warmer months and I've found that this moisturiser has definitely helped to control that.
I can't wait to continue using it because it seems to be doing all the right things at the moment!
WHAT THEY CLAIM
A remarkable remedy for dry, parched skin, this intensely concentrated serum features pomegranate, culled from the most arid climates, this remarkably juicy fruit is known for its ability to help preserve, protect and optimise water balance, as well as Conongrass and Elm root extracts.
- Immediately hydrates skin
- Infuses the skin cells with water
- Relieves skin from feeling tight
WHAT I THINK
I'm not usually one for serums - mainly because I'm lazy and used to think it was an extra step that wasn't really crucial but boy was I wrong. This is a serious game changer.
This intensive serum is very watery in texture and at first, I was a bit sceptical because it just felt like I was putting water on my face. However, bam, it packs a punch and is SO effective.
It seems like it'd be great for all skin types but for me, because I find my skin can feel tight and dry, Hydraskin is excellent at getting the moisture back in without leaving any residue or feeling heavy on the skin. I tend to use it before my moisturiser and it spreads and absorbs into the skin really well. Bloody brilliant.
I’ve been using the routine for around three weeks now and although it doesn't seem like that long, the changes that I’ve seen in my skin have really been quite incredible. My skin feels plump, more radiant, smoother and it definitely looks a lot more even. I haven't had any form of irritation and my spots have been much more at bay too - apart from those darn hormonal kind. I’m so chuffed with it and hope it continues!
So, let's just start with saying... the first hurdle was getting over what this piece of machinery resembles. Come on, we were all thinking it. However, I've been massively intrigued by face cleansing brushes for years. I remember the hype when the Clarisonic Mia came out a couple of years ago but I've been a religious user of a good old muslin cloth for years which was effective enough so I never saw the need to invest close to £100 for a fancy face brush. So when I got offered the chance to test out this one, I was over the moon!!! I got very kindly gifted the mint green version which is super cute but I believe it also comes in a baby pink colour too.
Viala uses a soft silicone brush head pair with vibration to extract dirt and oils from deep within in your pores. It takes a while to get used to using but the process is actually rather therapeutic and there are different modes and settings to control the speed and intensity of the vibrations. It's a very clever piece of equipment and has inbuilt timing programs to let you know when to move onto the next part of your face to ensure you're getting a thorough, intensive cleanse.
What's also great about it, is the removable exfoliating head because it just makes cleaning the brush that much easier!
I've noticed that my skin is looking really plump and I much prefer the process to just using a muslin cloth. I am officially converted!
P.S. Not only is it a cleansing brush... it's also a massager. Seriously, what more could you want?!
My Darphin routine plus the Viala cleansing brush has really transformed my skincare routine and for the first time probably ever, I'm really enjoying it. I can't wait to see what further changes my skin makes in the upcoming weeks / months. If you'd like an update in the future, make sure to let me know!