Going into hospital plays havoc with established beauty regimes. I did have a ‘regime’ before I had brain surgery, it involved double cleansing most evenings, serums, facial oils. The lot. I optimistically took a travel-sized take the day off cleansing balm into hospital along with a couple of flannels. When I had my own little room with nearby sink, and as soon as I was able to do an assisted weight transfer from bed to chair I could properly cleanse much to my delight. One evening, making myself at home, I followed the cleanse with a sheet mask. I sent the photo below to my friend on the evening of 23rd December 2016. As mad as a sheet mask in a hospital bed might sound, no one really batted an eyelid.
The nursing team had already been through all of the products I took in with me – concealer, red lipstick, blusher and eyebrow pencil and I guess I did the sheet mask because I could and because it made me feel more like me. Akin to my mum painting my nails red the day after surgery (the right index fingernail left naked for heart rate monitoring!). With no nearby sink or bathroom once on a shared ward though, I was soon back to face wipes. Sheet masks would have been a wasted effort.
Less brain tumour and more skincare this time…
Six Special Skincare Buys
I’ve talked before about my favourite red lipstick, and how lipstick of any colour (but particularly red), can lift your spirits. A friend recently mentioned she wanted to try red but wasn’t sure it would suit her, and I thought about what I could suggest as a cheaper offering. These Maybelline Superstay 24hr DualEnded Lip Colours are in my makeup bag at all times in ‘533 Steady Redy’ and ‘310 ForeverHeather’. Given they are so often on 3 for 2 or similar deals, they work out good value and whilst they might not stand up to the 24-hour staying power claimed, they do stay put reasonably well.
Thorough cleansing really is the backbone of removing makeup, dirt and dead skin cells. I won’t cover the science of skincare products here because I’m not an expert and others do that so much better than me. Good places to start are Caroline Hirons and Sali Hughes. They will hook you up with everything you need to know (be prepared for a maxed out credit card!!).
The L’Oreal Paris Extraordinary Oil Facial Cleansing Oil is lovely to use despite its less than catchy name. It has a beautiful scent and feels luxurious. Don’t be put off by the idea of cleansing oils – I’m on the oily spectrum and whilst it sounds counterintuitive, the use of oils won’t make your skin any oilier. Always on offer, this is a great budget cleanser.
A basic but effective gel cleanser is also a good product to have in your skincare stash. This Superdrug own brand B. Melting Gel Cleanser is a favourite of mine. It’s very mild, pretty much scent free and therefore good for sensitives. If you are feeling flush, however, then the Clarins pure melt cleansing gel is lovely. In my opinion, it is no more effective than the Superdrug version for removing makeup, but it has a much nicer scent if that sort of thing matters to you. The whole B. range is worth exploring as a way of trying new things out at reasonable prices.
Since starting the second phase of treatment I must admit that I’ve lost my general cleansing mojo and so a good micellar is my new bedside friend. There’s no doubt that cleansing properly with one (or both of the above) would do me more favours, but sometimes motivation levels are lacking on that front. This is a good all-round micellar and one that doesn’t sting the eyes like others I have tried.
Vitamin C is well talked about for its ability to reduce pigmentation and even out skin tone. The Ordinary range is relatively new and part of the DECIEM family. I have several products from the range on the go. I’ve been adding the Vitamin C Suspension 23% to my SPF each day and do feel my skin tone has evened out and brightened a bit.
On the anti-aging front (I am 30 now after all!!), retinoids are another well talked about and important ingredient in anti-aging products that work. Applied after cleansing and before moisturiser or facial oil, prices for retinoids vary and so if you are new to experimenting in skincare this range is a good place to start coming in two strengths (the minimal packaging is very bedside table Pinterest friendly!!). I’ve found the Advanced Retinoid 2% to be slightly runnier than other retinoid products I have tried but can’t fault it on any other front. In terms of effectiveness, I think it works just as well as some of the bigger boys, but time will tell. As with all of these things its best not to expect miracles overnight.
All products linked above.