Ahh skin. Great when it looks good, so freaking annoying when it isn’t its best. I don’t need to go on about the usual clichés for a skin article – the jist is, we all feel better when our skin looks its best.
When I first moved to Melbourne five years ago, my skin didn’t look its best and I was sick of it. I feel like I had tried everything from expensive to cheap cosmetics on the market and still nothing was working.
Our first apartment in the QV buildings was literally lived across the road from Melbourne Central. Back then Melbourne Central had a Borders which was closing down. One day I was quite distressed – my skin was breaking out like crazy and I felt so hopeless. Trying to solve my problem, I went for a walk around the shops. All of the options were sooo overwhelming. How do I put together a cohesive routine? The risk of choosing the wrong product was high – I just didn’t have money to spend on something that wasn’t going to work.
Deflated I went into Borders. I’m not sure why but the Universe was looking out for me that day and I found a book that changed my life and it was massively reduced ‘Don’t Leave The Beauty Counter Without Me’ by Paula Paula Begoun . I took it home and read it cover-to-cover and literally cried. Finally some solid and practical advice on skincare based on years of research by an objective source.
Paula comes from a beauty journalism background. She has over 20 best-selling books on skincare, makeup, and hair care that have sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide and has appeared on CNN, Oprah, The Today Show, The View, and Dr. Oz.
So she has spent her career reading between the lines of all of the marketing babel on packaging preferring instead to scientifically analyse product formulations. Along with a thorough explanation of how the skin works, what a good routine should look like and an extense cosmetic dictionary. She also has no-nonsense-easy-to-decipher reviews on most major products. She has a five tier rating system based on good and bad products which takes out all of the hard work in finding which products are good for your skin. This is all available online and is my Godsend when I am shopping!
After reading her book, I soon learnt the products I was using were doing my skin determent. At the time I was a huge fan of Dermalogica and Clinique, which were both costing me a fortune. Based on her research I soon started buying cheaper and more effective products (win-win!!) from supermarket brands such as Neutrogena and Dove (selected products only of course). I couldn’t believe it. Much less glamorous and they totally didn’t look as good in my bathroom but who can argue with logic and science?
My skin improved immediately. I had no more itching after applying products as I was using formulas that didn’t contain fragrance (e.g. Menthol, citrus, natural and unnatural perfumes) or skin destroying irritants such as alcohol. I also learnt some things like parabens are actually not that bad. Big call I know!
Eventually I moved onto her skin care because she puts all of her research into her products. One by one I have replaced them. Here are my favourites:
- All Over Hair and Body Shampoo & Smoothing Conditioner: I know everyone loves their hair to smell good but my scalp was always irritated and I thought I had dandruff! Grossssssss! Little did I know it was just the badly formulated and full of fragrance shampoos I was using. Now days my hair is clean and itch free and I don’t have to carry as many bottles around.
- Skin Balancing Oil Reducing Cleanser: turns out if you don’t wash your face thoroughly, left over makeup can irritate the skin causing accelerated aging and breakouts. Her cleansers are so gentle yet effective when it comes to cleaning. My oil prone skin feels clean yet not tight after using.
- Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30: we all know sun is bad for the skin but sunblock makes me breakout. This moisturiser and sunblock combo is a perfectly balanced formula which keeps my skin calm.
- Resist Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA: my skin is a sucker for a terrible ingrown hair and I get awful keratosis pillarist – that ugly crap on the back of my arms. This is my go to for fighting both. This chemical exfoliant is pH balanced which means it works at its most optimal level for your skin.
- Resist Body oil Spray – this is my new favourite that I have been testing. It is the best way to apply moisturiser in the hotter months – I spray it straight on after the beach and being in the sun. Love!!!!
- Lip & Body Balm Treatment – this is hands down the best lip gloss I have ever tried. Do you ever get the feeling your lips are addicted to your balm and always dry? It is because most lip glosses have irritants in them, which cause them to crack and dry out feeding a vicious cycle. This gloss is not only amazing on the lips but is great for healing cuts as its wax base help seal the wound so it keeps it clean while aiding repair.
- MegaLength Lash-Extending Mascara – I was apprehensive in buying mascara from Paula as there are so many good ones out there, but actually I gave it a go and I am now addicted! This formula gives me super long, thick and non clumpy or flaking lashes.
I know we all have our beliefs in what we put on out skin. For example some of us love only organic, natural products – and that is fine too. If that is the case, I still recommend checking out her product reviews and ingredient dictionary as just because it is organic or natural, doesn’t mean it is doing your skin any good!
Now that I have my routine down, if I have a breakout I know it is due to hormone or diet related activity.. it’s good to have to worry about one less thing!
Cosmetics mentioned this article are a combination of gifted and self purchased products based on many years as an independent customer.