Thursday, 15 May 2014

Beating spots for good: super simple skincare

It has been 6 months since I quit dairy for good, and aside from a few moments (particularly in the USA where everything seemed to be cooked in butter), I have been dairy free for that entire time. As I've mentioned before, the deep, painful cystic spots disappeared, and my skin was generally clearer.

But I still had niggling spots that just wouldn't go away. A random googling of avocado oil led me to this post by Minimalist Beauty about the types of oil suitable for acne prone skin.
I did a little googling to verify what I was reading, and there is some scientific research to support this theory.

Basically, skins prone to acne, eczema and psoriasis have been found to lack linoleic acid in their sebum. This means the sebum is thick and sticky and prone to clogging pores. The treatment is simple: apply high linoleic acid oil to the skin. Examples of very high linoleic acid oils are Evening Primrose and Passionfruit seed oil.

It is also important to keep a balance of linoleic and oleic acid in the skin, so just applying linoleic rich oils won't keep your skin in top condition. This is where my new favourite skin care oil comes in: Pumpkin.

The ratios of LA to OA in pumpkin seed oil varies depending on the quality and pressing method, but the stuff I use contains 48% LA to 34% OA. Therefore when I use it I mix it with grapeseed oil, which has around 70% LA and very little OA, and EPO which has similar ratios to grapeseed oil. I use this as a cleansing oil, following the oil cleansing method, both morning and night.

Following this I use Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix (this appears to be new and not available in Europe yet) on any spots - this really helps to get rid of any spots that crop up, and the persistant ones on my jaw have been slowly going thanks to this. I actually picked it up as it was in the stand by the till in Sephora, and I thought 'why not?'. At $16 I figured it was worth a shot!

I then apply Lush Cosmetics Enchanted Eye Cream to my eye area. I've been using this eye cream for years, since I worked at Lush whilst a student. I still haven't found anything that works better than this! It was discontinued for a little while but thankfully they brought it back!
This product does contain almond and jojoba oils, but as long as I don't get this too far below my eyes it is ok. I'm half heartedly looking for a new eye cream - I have also tried Melvita Rose Eye Gel which is lovely but causes my eye make up to melt by lunchtime.

For daytime, I use Neals Yard Remedies Frankincense Nourishing Cream, which has organic sunflower oil as its primary oil ingredient. This is supported by wheatgerm oil, keeping the balance of the oils firmly in the LA rich category. The OA rich oils present in this cream help keep the skin moisturised, but due to the greater presence of LA rich oils, the balance is maintained.

At night I apply Tarte Pure Maracuja (Passion Fruit Seed) Oil. This oil has around 80% LA, making it brilliant as an overnight treatment for those of us with LA deficient skins. I find that using this overnight really helps my skin, to the point that the OA rich oils in my day moisturiser don't bother me. I think you can buy this from QVC in the UK, but other than that, unfortunately it is difficult to get hold of in Europe! I really wish I'd bought the smaller travel size bottle as well, but I shall add it to my summer Sephora order!

If I need a special treatment, I exfoliate using Kneipp Enzyme Peeling Powder (sorry, the link is in German), and then make up a face mask with pumpkin seed oil, oats and water. Slap that on the face, avoiding the eye area, and leave for 20 minutes.

This routine is really quick and simple, and my skin is thriving because of it. My scars are also starting to fade! I still react randomly to things - for example this weekend I used the salt spray in my hair that I have had for a while, and on the side of my face where my hair is almost chin length, I now have a lovely crop of spots along my jaw and in a couple of places where my hair touches my face. Lesson learnt! But following the routine means my breakout has only lasted a couple of days, rather than a couple of weeks.

So, if you suffer from persistant spots that don't seem to go away no matter what you try, try switching your oils up to include more LA rich oils and see if you see a difference. All skins are different, so it might not work, but it isn't going to do any harm!

All products purchased by me!

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