Skincare Saviours

FAIIINT Skincare for acne prone oily skin. Vichy Idealia Life Serum & Smoothing & illuminating day cream, Philips Visapure facial cleansing brush, Clarins exfoliator brightening toner.

I’m sure those of you that have me on Twitter have seen me moaning about how awful my skin has been over the last couple of months. To cut a long story short, I had been on the contraceptive pill for over 10 years, then suddenly my doctor recommended that I stop using it due to my constant migraines. The migraines went away, but within a few weeks my skin looked like it had reverted back to being 14 again & with that, the same self consciousness & insecurities too.

I stuck it out for 3 months, hoping it would settle down once my body had adjusted, but if anything it just got worse as my jaw and forehead became covered in painful cystic acne. It sounds shallow, but I couldn’t deal with it & decided I would rather have the migraines than terrible skin (and awful mood swings too). Bad skin can have such a massive impact on your confidence, especially if like me you were teased quite relentlessly about it as a teen. I hoped that once I started taking the pill again my skin would improve, but it didn’t. So, I started researching for products to help get it back on track. I know a few of you were having similar skin issues, so I thought I’d share the products that have made the biggest difference for me so far. My skin’s still not perfect, but it’s so much better than it was.

Philips Visapure Facial Cleansing Brush :
This is basically Philips version of the Clarisonic, an electronic facial brush. I chose this over the Clarins version mainly because I liked the smaller brush & it felt more ergonomic to use, but also because it was cheaper & it looks nicer too! When I first brought this I used it twice a day for about a week & then got so frustrated I considered taking it back, my skin looked worse than ever! After doing a little research though, I discovered that it was my skin purging, bringing all the gross stuff to the surface to get rid of it. I was skeptical, but I persevered. After about a week or two it started to slowly improve, and it’s been getting better & better ever since. It leaves my face feeling so deeply cleansed & smooth and the buffing action gives you a gentle exfoliation too, my muslin cloth just isn’t cutting it after using this. I’ve been using the sensitive brush head on mine with my usual cleanser, as the normal one seemed a bit too rough for using twice a day, especially as I have a separate exfoliator. I think this is the product that has made the most dramatic difference for me. The purging stage is pretty awful & it’s quite an expensive purchase, but the difference it’s made makes it more than worth it in my opinion & it definitely lives up to the hype.

Vichy Idealia Life Serum & Smoothing and Illuminating Cream :
I started using serums & anti-aging moisturizers when I hit 21, and I’ve tried so many different kinds over the years since then. I’m a big fan of Vichys other products, so I was keen to try these out as soon as they launched. They are light, easily absorbed & give a velvety finish to the skin, leaving it feeling plump, hydrated & glowy. The serum has a tiny, barely noticeable amount of shimmer in too, and used under a light foundation gives a similar glowy sheen to YSL’s Touche Eclat foundation. It’s a really pretty finish & instantly gives a nice radiance to dull skin, whilst helping to camouflage spots & scarring too. The best part though, unexpectedly, is that they’ve made a huge difference to my acne too! I’m not sure why, as they aren’t marketed for this problem, but they are so soothing & seem to do a great job at reducing redness & inflammation too. Maybe it’s because they are made with sensitive skin in mind? Whatever it is, I think I’ve found my holy grail of moisturizers & I shall definitely be repurchasing once these run out.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner :
This is my little secret weapon. It’s a super gentle chemical exfoliator that dissolves the dull top layers of skin to revel brighter, fresher looking skin underneath. It sounds scary, but it’s so much gentler than a harsh scrub & is the best for getting rid of the dry, flakey skin I usually get on my cheeks & around dried out blemishes. This does state to use only twice a week, but when my skin is really bad I use it on that area every day & it really helps it to heal up much faster, without any averse effects like drying my skin out as most spot treatments do.

Filed under: Beauty


  1. Posted 14.10.2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi – I suffered really bad eczema in my early 20s and came off the pill for a different reason – but no longer have eczema – which is amazing as I was destroying my skin with steroid creams. I still get spots in my 30’s (grrrr!) I read somewhere that shampoo could be partly to blame so I am trying out shampoos without Sulfates in, to see if this helps!

    • Posted 14.10.2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      That’s really interesting! Currently the center of my face has pretty much cleared up, but around my jaw (guessing still hormonal) & hairline is still quite bad, it would make sense that it could be to do with shampoo in those areas. Never considered that!
      I’m really glad your eczema has cleared up :) I’m guessing my skin will never be perfectly spot free either, as my Mum still gets the odd really bad one even now, and she’s late 40s!

  2. Posted 14.10.2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for posting this! My skin is one of my main worries every single day (very dry, dull, prone to acne, plus acne scars from my teenage years) and I am constantly on the look-out for new products to try, because I haven’t found the best ones for my skin yet. Any recommendations in magazines always seem to be paid for, so I love hearing about products directly from other people. Am definitely going to give the Vichy serum a try!

    • Posted 14.10.2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      No problem Lisanne! :) I totally agree with you too, about magazines. I always look to beauty bloggers who are a similar age, with the same skin type & issues to me for reviews, because often products don’t work the same for everyone because we’re all so different. The Vichy serum is really nice & moisturizing, and even though it’s clear & offers no coverage the light reflecting particles seem to help cover/blend in my acne scars & so that’s a big plus for me! :)

  3. Jenny
    Posted 14.10.2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful post and very expressive too! I do not think it’s shallow to feel down about your skin as after all it’s your skin :-) I suffer from bad acne too and it’s at the point when sometimes your skin is okay and it’s easy to cover but other day’s it can break out worse than before and really put you down as it’s a constant battle and can be tiring after awhile I get treatment from the doctor and use the saunas at the gym to help my skin but I might try this out they sound great I actually noticed it advertise in the Company magazine I think for the set and it sounds great <3

    I think it can be worse especially for photos when you can notice the skin more and it really puts your confidence down xx

    • Posted 15.10.2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Jenny, I’m glad you enjoyed it! :)
      I’m glad you don’t think it’s shallow, I completely agree it is upsetting & the constant battle trying to keep it under control is so tiring. One morning it seems to be getting better & then the next day you wake up and it’s back to being awful again! Urgh! I spoke to my doctor about prescribing me something for mine too, but he just keeps telling me to wait for it to settle down itself (it’s been 4 months since I’ve been back on the pill, I think it would have settled by now), so I have given up asking him!

  4. Posted 14.10.2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely adore Vichy products, they just feel so good for your skin and healthy!? I have the serum and really like it but I must try the Smoothing and Illuminating Cream too! My skin has been really bad recently so I’m trying to change my diet to see if that helps but I need some magic products too. ;) <3

    • Posted 15.10.2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I agree. I love that they’re all really gentle too, I use the Normaderm facewash & it’s the only one that I’ve tried for acne prone skin that hasn’t left my face feeling tight & dry.
      I was eating healthily all summer in an attempt to help mine too, I had a fruit smoothie everyday & salad… It definitely did help, but now it’s gone all cold it’s so much harder to choose salad over something warm & a cold smoothie over a cup of tea! Ha! ;)

  5. Posted 14.10.2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I am checking this out! I am always on the hunt for new products!!


  6. Posted 15.10.2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    I’m worried that the same thing will happen to me if I ever go off the pill so glad to know I’m not the only one. I need to get one of those Clarisonics, or alternative like yours – I’ve suddenly found myself with a bout of bad skin, and considering how simple my skincare regime is, I have no idea how to deal with it (nor do I possess any make up of the sort to cover it up!)


    • Posted 21.10.2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I was worried about it, but honestly didn’t expect it to be as bad as it’s been (not to scare you!)… The brush has helped massively, so I can’t praise it more & I absolutely recommend MAC’s studio finish concealer for cover ups, applied with a brush, it’ll cover almost anything!

  7. Posted 15.10.2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    You would never know that you have problem skin, I always marvel at how clear it looks! I need to invest in some proper skincare I think, my skin has been ATROCIOUS recently!

    Maria xxx

    • Posted 21.10.2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Aw, thankyou Maria! I have to admit though, it’s all down to MAC’s awesome concealer, if you got up close to me you would see how thick it’s layered on at the moment! ;)

  8. Posted 15.10.2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    My skin has been freaking out lately. I know when my skin freaks it means that I haven’t been drinking enough water. Water def. helps besides great facial products. I love my ponds cold creme to get the make-up of my face. I also started using Pur Mineral’s dirty girl it’s a mask but really helps exfoliate the skin and makes your skin radiant. Also was using Elizabeth Arden facial wash, which I actually need to buy more of.


    • Posted 21.10.2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I have been making an effort to drink more water too & I think it’s helping! The mask sounds amazing, I’m a bit obsessed with masks, so I’ll have to check that out :)

  9. Posted 15.10.2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Ah that’s so weird, a few of my friends actually started breaking when they were ON the pill and actually cleared up when they stopped.. Hmm, guess it’s just different for everyone!
    I’ve always wanted to try Vichy! The products sound awesome, not to mention the fact that the packaging looks super luxurious! :)


  10. Posted 16.10.2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been dealing with some skin issues too – and I got a Olaz skin cleansing electronic brush and I’m amazed! I usually don’t believe electronic things can change things so much but it did! Love it. Need to try out Vichy porducts!

  11. Posted 16.10.2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    The skin troubles and migraines sound really frustrating and annoying, poor you! I don’t think it’s shallow you worry about it, I can imagine how it can affect your confidence (even though you so purrrdy!) I’m glad you’ve found products that are working for you, I’m obsessed with anything that exfoliates so that brush has got my attention! I agree, it looks much nicer and sounds nicer to use as well. xxx

  12. Posted 16.10.2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    okay SO it was bothering me so i asked clarins – they said they say do three weeks without a night cream after, then use a night cream and the oil but that you can use it indefinitely. i think that lady was trying to fob you off before! also reading some of the comments here, there’s some good advice, especially RE the sulfate-free shampoo thing. i’d recommend you try the la roche posay effaclar duo (which is £13!) which is kind of amazing for long-term bothersome skin.

    pop me and email when you’re free for a quick catch – plus i’d be more than happy to send you samples of things that might help when they come my way xx

    • Posted 21.10.2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      I knew it sounded a bit strange! Especially as there is waaay more in that bottle than a months worth! Gah, you assume the counter women would be trained to know these things, so I just took her word for it! I think I shall go back to using it every night again then, because it really is soo lovely.
      I shall drop you an email later tonight! :)

  13. Posted 17.10.2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    So weird my friend Lisa had the same exact problem. I have migraines too but not chronically as she does. Have you heard of Dan Brown’s Acne treatment. It helped me especially if you stick with it. It helped me.

    Ali of Dressing Ken

  14. Posted 20.10.2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I actually had a massive breakout when I went back to Malaysia after two years in NZ in my teens. Before that I had close to perfect skin too, grr. It was mostly to do with climate change and I had to go on a course of Roaccutane to get rid of it. I still break out every now and then but it’s mostly controlled now.

    You might be interested in reading about anti-inflammatory diets. It’s about how certain foods can make your skin flare up more than usual and how eliminating certain things from your diet can help. It worked for me, although I did not follow it to the letter, I just slowly eliminated inflammatory foods from my diet and have had some great results!

    I have to check out Vichy now, have never tried that brand before but it sounds amazing!

    • Posted 21.10.2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I’d considered asking my doctor for Roaccutane as a last resort. I shall definitely look into that, I think diet must have a lot to do with it. I tried cutting dairy for a little while, as I heard that can make it worse, but that didn’t seem to have much effect.
      Yes, couldn’t recommend Vichy more – we’ve only had it easily avaliable here for a few years, but it’s such a great brand. You can always trust the French for skincare, right? ;)

      • Posted 27.10.2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        Roaccutane is quite effective but yeah, definitely a last resort! Luckily I had no side effects apart from very dry skin for a while. Yeah, go the French! I’m a big fan of Caudalie too, though that’s a bit harder to find in Australia. Love their beauty elixir face mist/toner thing, it smells so divine!

  15. Posted 20.10.2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    we love Vichy! nice article, nice blog
    take a look at ours?

  16. Posted 21.10.2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink
  17. Posted 01.11.2013 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Been there, done that on the acne front. I would definitely recommend seeking out a dermatologist and considering their advice regarding medication. For me the only long-term resolution was prescribed rounds of Isotretinoin (Roaccutane). I endured years of scarring and yep, low confidence wistfully hoping it would just go away before visiting one. Follow me up on email if you want any more advice or encouragement!

  18. Posted 02.11.2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing your beauty favourites and for the honest review regarding cleansing brushes, I’ve been very curious to hear more about them since I see their advertising everywhere! I’m really glad you find a beauty regime that suits your skin, which – by the way – always looks great in your posts!

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