There's nothing quite like the sweltering heat and blistering sunlight to bring out the worst in sensitive skin. I should know, I'm faired skinned and prone to breakouts, and while most people seem to be blessed with a healthy glow right about now, I, on the other hand, was (until recently) dried-out and blotchy, and I swear I had more wrinkles.
Although I'm not coming from a place of pure vanity here, I do, like many other women, feel good when I look good, and I absolutely hate being helpless to tight skin. So I set out on a quest to find a few new natural skincare products that might be able to help me regain control.
First things first, when I wash my face in the morning and evening, the next step is to moisturise. This is exactly when I start to get problems, because if the moisturiser contains oil or is comedogenic in any way, then I'll soon start to resemble the Grand Canyon.
So, let's start with the morning ritual.
Now, it's quite clearly summer and whilst it's preferable to walk around bare faced, if you're anything like me, then a little bit of coverage is required, and (thankfully) the BB cream revolution has been well under way for some time now.
However, the new Witch Anti-blemish Balm is something else.
Catering for all skin tones, the multi-action formula glides on effortlessly and doesn't clog pores. What's more, it left me shine-free all day, it didn't dry out my skin, plus it has SPF12 protection. This product has seriously simplified my morning routine and, at only £4.99, I love it.
When I want a little more coverage, my skin-saving product has to be new Eau Thermale Avène Tinted Compact that comes in two shades, with a whopping SPF50. Designed for sensitive skin, this compact uses 100% mineral protection to protect the skin against ageing and harmful free radicals. It's £24 but it will work to protect your skin and stop it feeling tight and blotchy.
To back up all this hard work, it really is also worth investing in another Avène product: D-Pigment. Used frequently, this will help to correct any brown spots that have developed due to sun damage. It is super-soft and, when applied in the evening, it soothes and replenishes.
Now for the evening: the time when the skin gets to rest and recuperate. It's also a time when breakouts like to surface; threatening to dampen my day straight from the off when I wake up in the morning with a hot and angry playground of pimples.
This is why it is crucial to select products properly, and to know exactly where to apply them.
My hot spots for spots are my chin and around my nose, so I stay clear of using products in these regions. However, moisturising at night is really important for maintaining healthy skin, and I'm overjoyed to discover the natural skincare brand Trilogy.
I started using Trilogy's Age Proof CoG10 Booster Serum (£29.50) and Replenishing Night Cream (£31.50) just a few days ago, and already I am seeing a marked difference in the appearance and feel of my skin.
Applied first, the serum works to boost collagen: minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is non-greasy and absorbs so quickly it's as if my skin is drinking the stuff! I leave my skin to breathe a little before applying the night cream, which intensely nourishes by its combination of hyaluronic acid and fatty acids omega 3 and 6. I carefully put a small amount on my forehead and the area surrounding my eye sockets, gently patting it on.
Finding the right combination of products isn't easy and there are so many products claiming to be 'the one'. Whilst it's always worth investing in your skin, trials, and errors, can prove expensive, not too mention frustrating when something causes adverse effects.
It's really useful to remember that everyone's skin is different and not everything will work for everybody. The key to getting it right is knowing your skin type and what triggers a bad reaction. Also, it goes without saying, that as well as what is applied to the outside, nothing is more important than plenty of water, sleep and healthy food.
I can safely say that this combination of skincare products has enabled me to wake up each morning feeling not only confident to take on the day, but also comfortable smiling without my skin cracking. Which, to me, is everything!
To find out more about the products I've mentioned, please visit the following websites: