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Acne/Breakouts, Skin Care, Skincare Reviews

Bloody brilliant -Vichy Normaderm Nuit

If you’re a regular reader you might remember the trouble I was having with acne during Winter and Spring. It was confined to my chin area, thank you hormones, but it made me miserable. I tried leaving it alone but after the condition of my skin worsened I pulled out every spot cream I had and tried to get rid of them. This was largely unsuccessful but I did find two that were impressive. One of these is Vichy Normaderm Nuit.

Normaderm Nuit Anti-Imperfections is designed for swollen and deformed pores and irregular skin texture. I have both of these issues but was rather skeptical, being a beauty blogger has made me very cynical :) I smeared a little of the product in desperation one night, expecting nothing. However, the next morning my skin looked less agitated and red. I continued using it for two more nights and on the third morning I woke to zero new spots, zero! After a few more nights of application the rest of my spots started to heal and my skin looked clearer.

You would imagine that I would love this for it’s spot fighting ability alone but not so. What I like most is the effect this product has on my pores. It has made them smaller, more regular in shape and much less noticeable. To make sure that this was down to the cream, and not other factors, I stopped using it for a week. I completely regretted this decission – the spots and irregular pores returned.

Bottom line, this worked a treat for me and is continuing to work. I apply a tiny amount every night on my chin and nose – the former gets spotty, the latter suffers from large, weird looking pores.

The product itself smells quite nice, no chemical scent like most spot creams. It’s between a lotion and a cream in consistency so it’s easy to apply. It’s not thick or greasy and absorbs easily. In fact on occasion I have applied it under my makeup in the morning.It didn’t cause any reaction or irritation and best of all it didn’t cause any dryness. This was a concern of mine since some reviewers found it too drying. I’m chuffed.

Here comes the science bit…It contains LHA, an exfoliant and anti-bacterial agent and Vitamin E to bring down inflammation. Normaderm has Zincadone A complex which contains glycolic acid, glycadone, and stimoderm.

As a testament to how much I love this product I bought my second tube last week from my local pharmacy (€15.50). The tube contains 50ml and one tube lasted me four months with everyday use.

Friggin’ amazing!


Acne/Breakouts, Skin Care, Skincare Reviews

Yon-Ka Creme 15 for Problem Skin – Review

I was lucky enough to have access to Yon-ka products as a teenager thanks to the family business but those days are long gone. I loved their products. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the brand – they make botanical based skin care products, most of which have a distinctive essential oil scent.


At my last facial appointment my beautician have me a sample size tube of Creme 15 for Problem Skin to try (I had to use an image from their website as my tester tube is crumpled up). Firstly, let me say that the size of their sample tubes are fantastic. My beautician has given me samples of Dermalogica products (not a fan) before and they come in sachets. How can you try a product once and know it’s for you.

I used Creme 15 on my chin area for 3 weeks – my chin is the only area I break out.

Here are my thoughts on the product:

  • It’s  very good at spot treating. It takes the redness out and seemed to lessen the life span of my spots.
  • It promoted healing. A spot on my chin would heal in 3 days rather than 5.
  • It reduces redness of the affected area. I woke up every morning to less angry looking skin.
  • It draws out impurities. This is both a good and a bad thing – if I apply the cream all over the area it will fight the spots that are visible but it also will draw out more. This is fine if you get the off spot, drawing out impurities and having clear skin is the goal really. But as any acne sufferer knows, it’s an endless cycle.
  • It’s expensive.
  • It’s light and absorbs easily. It didn’t leave any residue on my skin. Some people find this cream greasy – I suspect it’s those with over-active sebaceous glands, they may have very oily skin.
  • It didn’t irritate my sensitive skin.
  • Has a distinct aromatic scent – I’d like to say rosemary-ish and woody but I could be wrong.

The bottom line

It didn’t clear my skin but it did clear spots faster and take down redness.

Would I purchase the full size?

So, not a miracle worker for me but helped take the redness out of my skin and reduce the size of a spot whilst encouraging healing. I would consider purchasing the full size tube. It’s hard to find spot creams that work on sensitive skin so I should probably be delighted that I found this.



Acne/Breakouts, Skin Care

Katy Perry is a fan of Proactive – What do you think?

Katy Perry is the new face of Proactive. She announced on Twitter recently that she puts her clear skin down to their products.

I have never tried any of their products so I’m afraid I can’t offer my tuppence worth this time around. If you have tried anything from their range please let me know your thoughts in the comments section. I would love to hear what you think and whether you recommend them.

Anyway, back to Katy…

“Since I started using Proactiv Solution, I have seen a massive change in my face and my confidence. I really believe in Proactiv Solution and I think, if I know that answer, I should tell you, “I’ve got a secret, here’s the secret, please take it!”.

Some more information on Proactive:

Proactiv Solution is a three-step solution to clear skin. It comprises a cleanser, toner, moisturiser and mask all designed to treat skin with acne. The cleanser is made with salysic acid – featuring smaller, finer particles designed to quickly penetrate pores to start killing skin bacteria on contact. Tiny exfoliating beads gently remove dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells to help keep pores from clogging.

The alcohol-free toner helps remove impurities and excess oil. Soothing botanical agents gently balance skin tone. The repairing lotion hydrates skin while helping to prevent new breakouts. There is a day and a night lotion. The refining mask cleans deeply.

Proactiv Anti Blemish 4 piece kit                           €49.80
Proactiv Daily Oil Control                                        €14.95
Proactiv Oil-Free Moisturiser with SPF 15           €19.90
Proactiv Refining Mask                                            €14.9o

Have you tried Proactive? What are your thoughts?

Acne/Breakouts, Skin Care

The Results: Clear Skin Supplement (With before & after shots)

Last week I embarked on a week long skin clearing trial, on my own accord. I have some acne on my chin which is driving me mad and at this stage I would try just about anything. Anything natural that is.

I chose to try Works With Water Clear Skin which is sold in Boots here. I have already talked about the product, how it works and it’s ingredients (go to previous blog post).

The recommendation is to try two sachets a day for at least 3-4 weeks for accurate results however, I only had one weeks supply. I might have achieved better results with longer use.

The before and after:

Day 1

Day 3

Day 7

What do I think?

As you can see my skin actually looked worse after three days of taking the supplement. I expect this is normal as all of the spots under my skin came to the surface. During day 5 and 6 my skin started to look a little better. My eruptions had begun to heal and I had no new spots forming. On day 7 I took my last two sachets and took the final picture. As you can see some of my spots are still healing and and there are lots of red marks from previous breakouts but all in all my skin has improved.

It has been 4 days since I finished taking the supplements and no new spots have formed as of yet. It makes me wonder what sort of results I’d see if I took it for 3-4 weeks as recommended.

Acne/Breakouts, Aging, Cleansers, Moisturisers, Organic / Natural, Reviews, Skin Care, Skincare Reviews

Video: Caring for Dry, Dehydrated, sensitive skin (with acne)

I have meaning to record a video on skincare for dry, sensitive skin for ages. I have always had combination skin but this Winter I became a member of the dehydrated, thin skin club.. woo hoo (dripping with sarcasm).

I have finally found a routine that has calmed my irritated parts, toned down the acne and most of all hydrates my parched skin. Here is the video.


What skin issues have been plaguing you this Winter?

Acne/Breakouts, General, Skin Care

Clear Skin Suppplements – Day 1

I’m starting a little experiment today and thought I should share. As many of you know I suffer from hormonal acne which started in my mid twenties. It only effects my chin (definitely hormonal). I picked up some Works With Water supplements for clear skin in Boots.

There are 14 sachets in the box I have so my two weeks of testing starts today. I will keep you updated on my progress with some photos – how brave am I!

Here is a little more information on Help:Clear Skin if you are interested:

The product works by inhibiting the development of the bacteria that cause acne and reducing the inflammation associated with existing acne blemishes – acne help that works from the inside.

“The effects of Praventin have been proven in medical trials, showing a median decrease in acne blemishes by 71% within one month and 95% within two months. In the studies, subjects took 200mg of Praventin each day to achieve a noticeable difference in the texture of their skin. In studies with teenage consumers, no adverse side effects were reported. It was also seen to contribute positively to the physical and emotional well-being of young adults” (taken from their website)

It says on the box to take the supplement for a minimum of 3-4 weeks. I’ll start with my box of 14 and see how I get on.

Help Clear Skin is also sold for men. As far as I’m aware Works With Water also sell sachet supplements for cholesterol and blood pressure too. They’re all on sale in Boots.

I’ll be back with an update in a few days!

Acne/Breakouts, Aging, Moisturisers, Skin Care

Anti-Redness Cream by Roc – Does it work?

I have had quite a bit of redness going on this Winter. Thanks to some breakouts and the harsh weather I have had a red chin for months. I have always been dubious about anti-redness products but I decided to try Roc Calmance Intolerence Repairing Cream which claims to reduce redness and irritation.

I choose this one because 83% of testers on Make-up Alley said they would repurchase. That being said there were differences in opinion – some people broke out horresndously whilst some mentioned it cleared their skin. I have had no breakouts, as of yet. Just to be thorough I should mention that my breakouts also haven’t improved. I tell you this only so that you are aware of the limitations of an anti-redness cream.

It’s also quite cheap and non-greasy (not one for oily skin though as it’s very moisturising). Very often when I apply creams loaded with lab chemicals my skin gets irritated and stings. This cream soothed my skin and reduced redness.

It’s not green like you would expect, instead it’s a very pale yellow colour which helps correct a ruddy complexion. Personally I hate using greeen correctors on redness – unless you have the know how to correct the green after the green corrects the red, you’ll just look odd. A hint of Wicked Witch of the West is not a look we’re going for.

It’s also preservative free and contains a fragrance specifically developed for sensitive skin,

Roc claim that this cream reinforces the skin’s natural defenses against irritant factors to reduce its hyper-sensitivity progressively. I can’t vouch for this yet as I have only been using the cream for three weeks but I will keep you updated on my progress.

It’s also quite good as a make-up base, but not if you’re oily. I should also point out that f you have very dry or dehydrated skin you will need to moisturise further. Some people mentioned that they hate the smell, I have to say that it doesn’t bother me at all.

I bought a 100ml tube for £6.99 from Amazon and had it posted to Ireland. I have also seen Roc products in chemists all around Ireland.

Have you tried any anti-redness products?

Ingredients: aqua, glycerin, cyclohexasiloxane, paraffinum liquidum, dimethicone, cetyl alcohol, squalane, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, cera microcristallina, simmondsia chinensis, butyrospermum parkii, chrysanthemum parthenium, bisabolol, panthenol, allantoin, ginkgo biloba, sodium carboxymethyl betaglucan, sodium acrylate/acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, polysorbate 80, isohexadecane, pentylene glycol, cyclopentasiloxane, paraffin, caprylyl glycol, p-anisic acid, sodium hydroxide, disodium edta, tocopheryl acetate, CI 77891, [FPT 0743].


Acne/Breakouts, Aging, Giveaways / Competitions, Organic / Natural, Skin Care

January Skin Detox (& Giveaway)

After a month of Dublin’s low temperatures, icy Chicago winds, central heating and dehydration my skin was a disgrace. I tried a few diy facials, creams, scrubs and a multitude of other things but to no avail. I gave up and booked a appointment in Thérapie (see the end of this post for giveaway).

I opted for the Eve Lom facial. As you probably know by now, I’m a big fan of natural and organic products. My skin is too sensitive for chemicals. My main problems were dryness and congestion.

What attracted me to this treatment was the use of paraffin wax on the skin and the promise of clearing congested skin without pain or redness.

What I loved about the Eve Lom Ultimate Cleanse:

  • Warm paraffin wax in painted on the skin layer by layer to open up the pores. It feels amazing! The beauty therapist then peeled the mask back piece by piece and worked on removing the congestion in that area before moving on to the next. I had quite a few extractions and there was absolutely no pain. In fact there wasn’t even squeezing.
  • The facial included a bit of an upper body massage. You know how much I hate this phrase but I think I had a bit of an OMG moment during the massage. I had no idea there were balls of tension in my upper back.
  • Following the paraffin mask and extractions the therapist applied a cool and tingly mask, followed by a fresh toner to close uo my now clear pores.
  • The treatment finished with an Eve Lom moisturiser that left my skin comfortable all day.

The results:

I left the clinic feeling chilled to the core. Best of all there was no hint of redness. My skin was clear and uncongested. I can’t believe the difference in my pore size. Obviously that won’t last forever but for now my pores are minimised and clear.

Usually after a facial my skin gets worse for a few days, this is probably down to the detoxification – the treatments often draw out the impurities. But with this facial even my tiniest pores were clear so I had no spots or redness over the following days. I also had quite a few compliments on how radiant I looked, always good.

This is such an indulgent treatment. For me it’s worth every cent. I will definitely be going back for more as soon as my pores start to fill up again. Since I probably missed something, here is a link to information on the facial on Thérapie’s website.

When I try to clear congestion myself at home I usually get the main, larger ones but I can’t reach the majority of the clogged pores. Clogged pores are a nightmare for me because they affect the texture of my skin, making it appear bumpy and swollen. I think I’ll continue with my DIY masks and then have a facial like this once a season to clear out the build up.

I am also interested in having some laser hair removal at Thérapie this Spring, it seems very affordable at the moment. I am also keen on trying the Jet Peel that I talked about before and maybe Velashape contouring in the future. Thérapie has a beautiful clinic – calming, classy and is definitely more of a clinic rather than a beauty salon.


I have two Dr Murad gift sets to giveaway from Thérapie! Click here to enter. (extremely easy to enter, no fuss)

How is your skin after the harsh Winter weather?

Acne/Breakouts, Aging, Organic / Natural, Salon Treatments, Skincare Reviews

PHYT’s Multi-Vita Facial – My Winter Skin Saviour

I had the most amazing facial last week. I have had a few facials lately as my skin has been in pretty bad shape. The best one I have had so far was a PHYT’s Multi-Vita Facial.

PHYT’s products are 100% organic and natural which is what initially appealed to me about this treatment. You know how I feel about skin products that are pumped full of chemicals, what a waste of money.

Get ready for some ‘oohing’ and ‘aah-ing’. As always, this review is based on my own experience and I am expressing my own views, I also have no affiliation with the brand or the salon (just to get that out of the way!).

When I arrived Virginie evaluated my skin and surprised me with the news that my skin was very dehydrated and fine. I thought I was doing my skin a favour by using anti-acne products. It turns out that I have been destroying my skin. I will now be moisturising like mad woman.

The facial itself was gentle and relaxing. The pore extractions were not tear inducing, I barely noticed it.  Virginie applied layer after layer of nourishing goodies (see below) which left my skin looking fresh and plump. There was a face and neck massage which is designed

The absolute best part was leaving the salon with calm skin –  with NO redness! This felt like some kind of miracle. Usually I look like I have done a round in a boxing ring when I leave a salon. My skin is prone to redness and is easily irritated so any extractions I have had before have left my face looking sore. Not this time. I left the salon without slipping to the bathroom to smear on some foundation and happily faced the world bare, my face that is.

My skin continued to improve all week. It felt comfortable, not tight. It also glowed – which made a change from my rather ashen appearance of late. Best of all, my breakouts cleared.  I also had quite a few compliments, always a good thing.

I also got quite a few tips from Virginie, who has amazing skin herself. Firstly I learned that a separate eye cream is not necessary if you are using organic products as there is no man-made particles that need to be absorbed. Conventional, non-organic skin creams often include artificial fragrances which make this unsuitable for use near the eye are. As a testament to how natural the products are, Virginie applied the face masks to my eyes too. There is nothing irritating or lab made involved, just goodness.

Secondly I learned that face scrubs can be too harsh on thin Celtic skins and that an organic face peel is a much better option. After it dries you gently flake it away. And lastly that hot water is not my friend – I use only luke warm water on my skin now. It causes far less irritation. I’m also quite shocked that I don’t have combination oily skin, apparently there wasn’t a trace of sebum in my skin. I need to treat my skin as dry and sensitive going forward – acne breakouts included.

I will definitely having another PHYT’s facial, it felt like Winter skin rescue. I’m looking forward to exploring the brand’s skin care products further.

There is more information below for anyone who is interested.

Have you heard of PHYT’s? Do you treat yourself to facials?



Here is some more information on the Multi-Vita facial

  • The Multi-Vita Facial is designed to brighten, tone and rejuvenate the skin giving instant and obvious results.  It benefits all skin types and ages, especially dry mature skin. It uses products which contain oils derived from wheat germ, yeast, sage and lemon & a high content of vitamins (A, B2, B5, C, A, E) all of which help to revitalise, lift and plump up the skin.


  • The facial takes one hour and 15 minutes to perform.


  • It costs €95 and is available from Virginie Claire Salon in Harold’s Cross and selected PHYT’S salons nationwide

The Multi-vita Facial : Step by step

Step 1
The face and neck are cleansed with PHYT’S ‘Lait de Soins’ removing all traces of make-up and pollutants.  Eyes are cleansed with PHYT’S ‘Lotion Demaquilliant pour les Yeux’.

Step 2
PHYT’S Tonique is then applied to remove residue cleanser and to help balance the skin’s pH.

Step 3
The skin is exfoliated using PHYT’S Contact +.  This very gentle buffing cream can be used on even the most delicate of skins (including eyelids, neck and lips).  This exfoliation prepares the skin ensuring that it gets maximum benefit from the serums and mask treatment which will follow.  

Step 4
PHYT’S ‘Prelude 108 Serum’ is applied to the face and neck.  This lifts the skin, plumping up fine lines and boosting circulation. This serum contains cinnamon, 21 amino acid and silicone.

Step 5
Pressure is then applied with single fingers) to key pressure points on the face and neck.  This helps improve blood circulation and relaxation.

Step 6
PHYT’S Serum Multi-Vita is then applied to the skin.  Enriched with Céveble and vitamins A, B and E, zinc, yeast, lemon oil it brightens the complexion and smoothes the skin.  (Céveble is a PHYTS patented vegetally derived active element which is scientifically proven to firm the skin cells.)

Step 7   
PHYT’S Serum Anti-Rides is then applied.  This nourishes the skin and helps lymph drainage.  Massaged into the skin it helps plump up the skin.  (Key ingredients are Rosemary, Thyme, Cypress & Virgin oils, wheat germ, hazelnut and palm oil.)

Step 8
Masque Multi-Vita is then applied.  This helps seal in and re-enforce the benefits of the serums.  

Step 9
Sérum Multi-Vita is again applied to further boost firmness and radiance.

Step 10
An appropriate moisturiser is applied to complete the facial. Creme Ylang in my case.



Acne/Breakouts, Moisturisers, Skin Care

My Favourite Moisturiser – Liz Earle Skin Repair

I have been using Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser for the past two weeks. As always, no beating about the bush – I love it. I can’t believe I’ve had this is my drawer for nearly a year and hadn’t given it a decent try.

The reason it spent so long in my drawer is that when I first tested it it seemed quite rich, despite being for normal / combination skin. If you’re a regular reader or you watch my YouTube videos you will know that I am plagued by breakouts on my chin. I am always afraid to use heavy moisturisers on this area, fearing that it would lead to more clogged pores.

Imagine my surprise when I resurrected this moisturiser and found that after a week of use the acne on my chin looked better! I am absolutely delighted. My breakouts are thanks to hormones but also skin sensitivity. I don’t have oily skin, rather combination / sensitive. I wouldn’t recommend this moisturiser for those with oily skin, it would be too much.

What I like most is that it is light yet richly moisturising. It hasn’t blocked any pores and has actually eased the breakouts.

According to the tube, Skin Repair contains active ingredients – Borage oil, Avocado oil, Echinacea, Beta-Carotene and Vitamin E.

It doesn’t have a very strong scent, it actually smells quite natural – more like natural oils (not essential oils).

I bought this as part of a Liz Earle set on ebay (the seller sold it as an unwanted gift). I always check ebay for unwanted gift sets, I often find things I like for €10. I’m going to buy the full size from the Liz Earle site this afternoon. €19.75 for a 50ml jar or tube. I have the 15ml trial size right now (€7.50). Handy to try it out first instead of wasting money on a products that doesn’t suite your skin.

I’m still using Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (click here to read my thoughts on this gem) morning and evening with my muslin cloth. It’s just plain fabulous.

Have you tried any Liz Earle products?

Acne/Breakouts, Cleansers, Product Revivals, Reviews

Product Revival & Review – Olay Daily Facials Clarify Scrub

Whilst cleaning out the press under my bathroom sink last week I found a tonne of unloved products. At the very back I found Olay Daily Facials Clarity Daily Scrub.

I bought this last year used it a handful of times and moved on, the usual story. In the interest of clearing out the press I decided to use it up.

I have been using it for nine days now and I have to admit, I like it.

It contains tiny little beads, so tiny and so few that I’m not sure how exfoliating this product is. This doesn’t bother me since I have been using it as a cleanser morning and evening. I follow with Liz Earl toner and Origins Mega Mushroom Serum (video review coming soon on this one!).

My skin has been quite sensitive lately so I was expecting a little irritation. Not so. My skin feels soft. I actually look forward to using it before bed.

The only thing that puts me off is the colour, it’s blue!

The scrub contains green tea, aloe vera and salicylic acid which makes this a good option for those of use who suffer from spots.

As much as I’m enjoying using the wash I’m not sure if I would repurchase. We’ll see! It costs around £4.50 / €6 for 150ml’s.

What are your thoughts on Olay products? Are there any that you recommend?

Acne/Breakouts, Reviews, Skin Care, YouTube Videos

Acne & Acne Cream that worked for me

If you read my blog or watch my YouTube videos regularly then you probably already know that acne has become the bane of my existence.

Extreme, you might think. But to anyone who suffers from a painful face it’s the truth.

I had clear skin for most of my teens with only the occasional spot here and there. I hit my mud twenties and my face went crazy. My acne is hormonal and is generally centred around the sides of my mouth and under my jaw. I have tried so many products and often find one that works great for one breakout only never to work again.

Here is a little video on my experience with acne and a little bit of information on a cream that is working for me at the moment… who know if the relief will last but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

(apologies for the poor light quality, my camera was acting up)


What are your experiences with acne and acne creams?