In many of my posts, I often bang on about the benefits of olive oil. I use it in my food, on my hair and sometimes on my body (for that oh so lovely Greek salad glow). However, when it comes to the daily skincare regime for my face, I have to admit that I leave the extra virgin liquid in the cupboard and reach for something stronger…(besides the ouzo).
Now that I am on the wrong side of 25 and heading down the slippery slope towards 30, I decided that it was high time I took a long hard look at my skin and gave it the nourishment it needs. After having a baby, everything about your body can change and this is also true for your skin. For a few years now I have been using Dermalogica. After the great paraben debate became widely known, I decided to try to avoid skincare that contained them, so turned to Dermalogica.
Parabens are legal and approved preservatives (not perfume), which are found in the majority of cosmetics and skincare. They are used to deter microbial growth. They are found in cosmetics, skincare, shaving and hair products and bath and shower products. By acting as preservatives, parabens give products a longer shelf life. Examples of parabens are methyl-paraben, butyl-paraben and propyl-paraben are the most common but you will also see isopropyl-paraben, isobutyl-paraben, sodium butyl-paraben – basically any ingredient that ends with the word ‘paraben’.
Unfortunately, parabens can also be found in many other day to day products and even naturally occur in some fruit and vegetables. Carrots, olives and cucumber all produce parabens as a defence chemical against micro-organisms. Mango, Tahitian vanilla and cloudberries also have been proved to produce parabens.
And of course it’s not just the parabens we have to worry about. So many other ingredients in our moisturisers and cleansers are apparently toxic and according to some researchers, Dermalogica ‘ain’t all that’.
So what is the alternative?
Some people I know swear by organic products. I’ve tried rosehip oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, Neal’s Yard etc etc but to be honest I just find that they make my skin greasy or smell great but don’t actually work. As for organic shampoo and conditioner well I won’t even go there. Suffice to say that they did absolutely nothing for the frizz ball on my head.
Basically I want products that do the job properly and in the case of our skin, prevention is apparently the key.
Recently I visited an aesthetician as well as a dermatologist and after a thorough examination was recommended the highly expensive but highly sought after brand of skincare named SKINCEUTICALS.
I was told that it’s all about Vitamin C which is the key ingredient to all our problems, particularly sun damage, sun spots, wrinkles and breakouts.
Any girl who has done her research about skincare knows that you are meant to cleanse, tone and moisturise day and night and also apply a moisturiser which contains a high SPF in it to protect the skin. A good eye cream is also beneficial and should be applied with very light little taps. Well half the time I don’t bother cleansing and toning – in fact my morning regime is simply to wash my face in cold water and then moisturise, whilst my night time regime involves removing my make up, scrubbing the London pollution off my face like my life depends on it and then applying a moisturiser – drying to say the least!
Skinceuticals has earned an impeccable reputation among skincare professionals and plastic surgeons (!) as well as celebrities (hmm but do we really want to look like The Real Housewives??)
I was recommended the C E Ferulic serum along with an SPF 50 moisturiser for the morning, followed by skinceuticals hydrating B5 serum and a separate moisturiser at night, both accompanied with an eye cream (from Elastiderm – not all the products are from skinceuticals – I was recommended products specially tailored for my own skin). Don’t ask me the price – I’m having heart palpitations just thinking about it BUT the products supposedly last quite a few months compared to dermalogica which doesn’t last me very long at all and is still expensive.
Because I have drier skin, I was recommended a lovely cooling cleanser by Vi Derm, which contains Aloe Vera and Willow bark extract. The product itself is lovely but the packaging is poor and seeps out from the lid.
I’ve been using the entire set for a couple of months now and so far everything seems fine. My skin doesn’t feel so dry and seems to have a more even complexion. I used to use vaseline as my go to lip balm but then found Japanese brand DHC and have been using their lip cream for about a year. Chapped lips are now a thing of the past.
I do of course use an olive oil based product on the rest of my body (how could I not?!). The Herbolive line includes a wide selection of natural cosmetics based on olive oil. I bought this product from Cyprus but I’m sure you can find it in the UK somewhere…
So what skincare brand do you swear by? Does anyone have any organic recommendations that actually work? Or are you just a soap and water type of girl (or guy)?
For the most part, whatever we try to do to help our skin, in the end it’s all in the genes.
But I’m sure a drop of olive oil won’t hurt…