In the last couple of months I have changed my skincare routine and have seen amazing results from making small changes to the products I use and having two light chemical peels with Laura at SkinHD. My skin is so much clearer, brighter and very nearly spot-free, for the first time since before I was a teenager!
My Previous Skin Care Routine
When I was younger, I remember being told to always cleanse, tone and moisturise. I thought these were the essential steps to take good care of your face and that it would magically result in perfect skin.
I have combination skin, which means I have some areas of normal or dry skin (usually my cheeks), but other areas such as my T-Zone can feel slightly oily.
I had large pores on my forehead, nose and chin which would then become blocked and have breakouts and cyst-like spots regularly.
I found it quite difficult to find a product strong enough that would cleanse my skin and unclog these pores, but wouldn’t be too harsh that it would make the dryer areas of my face feel tight when used.
Morning and night, I would continue with my standard cleanse, tone and moisturise routine; using whatever was on offer in the supermarket at the time (normally ‘Simple’ products) and maybe throw in a charcoal mask whenever I could remember or had the time. I’d always take my make up off at night with a face-wipe and use a lightweight moisturiser that had SPF 15. However, I still had uneven skin tone, blocked pores and pimples and an unhealthy habit of picking any spots that would appear.
I put my regular cases of breakouts and blackheads down to hormones and – as I have a fair few freckles – thought that my skin tone would always be uneven and dull.
I had got to a point where I felt I had tried every product on the supermarket shelves and decided that I needed to change my routine completely if I ever wanted to get smaller unclogged pores and get my skin looking healthy and smooth. I booked in with Laura at SkinHD for my first ever chemical peel.
Glo Therapeutics Peel
After a consultation, where I talked about my main concerns and Laura had a look at my skin, we decided to go with a Glo Pro Peel with glycolic acid.
I’d always been a little scared of the idea of a chemical peel, envisioning red raw peeling á la Samantha in Sex and the City.
However, Laura reassured me that whilst Glo Therapeutics contain higher levels of pharmaceutical grade active products, they would be effective without traumatising my skin. It’s also great to know that Glo Beauty products are paraben and animal cruelty free!
Glycolic acid is a gentle chemical exfoliator that is derived from sugar cane and milk and helps to slough away old skin cells, revealing young fresh skin cells underneath. This would be strong enough and contain active ingredients to help clear my clogged pores, but superficial enough to gently exfoliate, revealing the healthy glowing skin underneath without any downtime.
Immediately after my first peel, my skin felt fresh and clean – and so smooth! My face wasn’t massively red or raw like I’d imagined but rather glowing and dewy!
During the peel, Laura very helpfully talked me through my skincare options and advised I needed to use products with active ingredients every day to cleanse and exfoliate and discussed various brands that I could try.
As you can see from the picture above, there was none of that red raw-ness that people visualise when imagining the results from a chemical peel. The small amount of redness settled within the hour and my skin felt amazing. It does obviously take a couple of days to see any results, my skin felt a little tight around my nose but other than no dryness or peeling!
New Skincare Routine
To maintain the results of a chemical peel, you should really be using active ingredients in your skincare regime. On Helena’s recommendation, I ended up going with Theraderm, as it had products that were of a clinical grade but simple enough that I felt I could try them as a complete beginner to using active ingredients at home.
Considering I was used to spending just over £15 for my ‘Simple’ products and moisturiser, it felt a little daunting to be spending a lot of money on something I hadn’t tried before. However, Theraderm very handily have a trial sized pack for £20 (currently on offer at effortlessskin.com at £17.50!)
Morning and night I use the Cleanser Wash. It has a near neutral pH and a blend of mild surfactants that remove oils and impurities from your face without it feeling tight.
I then use the Fruit Acid Exfoliator – this contains Lactic Acid which is a mild strength alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). Rather than using a physical exfoliator that may have microbeads or sugar scrubs etc., the AHA penetrates the outer layer of your skin, sloughing off old, dead skin cells, rough skin revealing healthy glowing skin underneath.
Using an AHA can make skin more susceptible to sun damage so make sure you wear a sunscreen. I use at least a SPF40 now, with protection against UVA and UVB rays.
I follow this with the OPC Reparative Serum, which contains anti-oxidants and Hyaluronic Acid, which helps to heal and repair damaged skin that is frequently exposed to free radicals. It feels amazing when you put it on and it’s so lightweight it instantly absorbs and helps to reduce inflammation.
It works by binding to weak collagen to strengthen your skin making it more resilient to damage.
At night, I use Medik8 Retinol 3TR Advanced Vitamin A Serum. This helps to boost collagen levels and enhance the skin’s natural regenerative cycle, maintaining a youthful and healthy glow. We will be writing more about retinols in the near future and how they are a must in your skin care routine. You can buy Medik8 from us at SkinHD for £28 for 3TR or £35 for 10TR.
My Skin Now
Immediately after the peels, my skin felt amazing and glowing, and didn’t have any downtime at all. Laura also did extraction on my blackheads, so I felt like my pores were instantly clearer and less clogged. My open pores on my forehead and nose have dramatically decreased in size, and don’t seem to fill as much as they did beforehand. The oil production on my t-zone isn’t as noticeable, and haven’t had as many breakouts or any cyst like spots since.
The main difference is the visibility of the open pores on my nose!
Get in touch with us if you’d like to book in for a Glo Therapeutics Peel with Laura – £60 for one treatment, or £300 for a course of 6. All appointments include a free initial consultation, to discuss your skin types and what would work best for you. Call us on 0161 974 0212 or fill out our contact form and we will get back to you
• Please note, this is not a sponsored post – it’s just what works well for me!