Teenage Zaynah was an ugly duckling. I was a shy kid with zero body confidence which was contributed by the fact that I would brush my thick, curly hair until it amounted to a cloud of frizz on my head and along with that I had terrible acne, which I still have to manage. In my late teens I “experimented” with make-up (I had no idea what I was doing). I’d cake my face in full-coverage foundation and concealer which only emphasised the uneven surface of my skin and of course, it aggravated the acne. I tried every drugstore brand of cleansers, I went to my GP and tried every single prescription topical lotion, tablets, cleansers and they didn’t make the slightest difference. I then resorted to blowing my money on acne-targeted facials and expensive skincare ranges and was still left with a face that I wanted to hide in a paper bag. However, after 15 years of trying EVERYTHING, I have finally found the perfect combination of products to control my oily/blemish-prone skin.
The Clarisonic Aria has become my new best friend. Nobody uses a manual toothbrush anymore so an electric facial brush makes so much sense. I use the sensitive brush along with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel. It cleanses 6x better than manual cleansing. It gently cleanses, exfoliates and has made my enlarged pores appear smaller. I had a temporary skin purge when I first used the brush but that was my skin adapting to a new skincare routine. Don’t let a few pimples put you off. If you have sensitive skin, I’d suggest gradually using the brush. Start with twice a week for a month and then use it daily. Unfortunately it isn’t cheap but it has been a well worth investment for my skin.
La Roche-Possay Effaclar range has been a skin saviour. I use the Purifying Foaming Gel, the Clarifying Toner and the Effaclar Duo+ . All three are fantastic products which contain their cult L‘eau Thermale de La Roche-Posay. The Effaclar Duo+ is an anti-blemish cream and it works almost immediately, clearing red imperfections overnight and it also helps mattify the skin.
I’ve always committed the number one skincare crime; not applying a moisturiser. I always found that they were too greasy for my oily skin. There’s a misconception that if you have oily skin, you should never use an oil – based product which isn’t true. We need to retain some oil on our skin or we’ll have the polarised concern of dry/dehydrated skin. I only recently discovered Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It’s a facial oil (doesn’t feel oily at all) combined with distilled botanicals including lavender and primrose oil. You only need a couple of drops of this elixir (a 30ml bottle lasts forever) to notice the overnight repair and rehydration it does to your skin. The fragrance is beautiful and the lavender makes it a soothing night-time treat.