Managing my Skincare Concerns

Yay, the first Blog Party content post! Today we’re talking about our skin concerns and how to manage them. Right at the top of my blog I have a page that talks about my Skin Type, Concerns and Shade, but the information is really minimal. So I’m really glad to be able to elaborate on those a little bit more in this post!

Disclaimer: The products and Methods discussed have given me the best results but may not be suitable for everyone.

Closed Comedones (CCs)

What they are: Tiny whiteheads that do not come to a head and cannot be squeezed.

Of all my skin concerns, these bothered me the most. They were mostly on my forehead and no matter what I would do they never seemed to shift. 

What I tried that did not work: Increasingly strong AHAs and BHAs.

My selection of weak exfoliators. The stridex is when I need to bring out the big guns!

In treating acne, chemical exfoliation is the go to solution for a lot of people and so I spent a lot of time and effort testing pH, researching % to make sure the products I used were at their maximum efficacyIt took a long time (some months) for me to realise that my skin did not respond to ‘effective’ chemical exfoliators, but instead was all about that weak pH & % life. I’m not alone! Jude from Fifty Shades of Snail and Angela from Beauty and the Cat are living that weak exfoliation life with me, there is safety in numbers.

No matter how high I would push the percentage the exfoliators I could never get consistent results.  I remember researching at home peels of 20%, feeling really uncomfortable and realising that if I felt so uneasy I should probably try a different approach.

What I tried that did work:  Cutting out SLS & Benzoyl Peroxide.

All three are solid SLS Free cleansers. The first two are self foaming, the last is a gel.
All three are solid SLS Free cleansers. The first two are self foaming, the last is a gel.

Cutting out SLS from all products that came into contact with my skin was probably the best thing I’ve ever done for my skin. Until that point I had been focused on adding more products, or increasing percentages that I hadn’t really thought about taking things out. Within a week, my skin became clearer, I stopped getting horrible angry acne on my chin and my CCs started to clear. 

I honestly cannot tell which I like more, both are excellent. The cleanser/mask is 3.5% and the cream is 2.5%. Both are equally effective.

Then I went on vacation to the US and the situation became super dire. The increase in heat meant more sweat, more shine and more acne. I remember scanning the beauty aisle in Target, picking things that I couldn’t find at home and hoping they  helped. Overnight (and I mean this), overnight my skin began to improve. By the end of my vacation I realised that Benzoyl Peroxide (which you cannot get over the counter in the UK) was the one ingredient I had been missing from my skincare routine. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I bought four tubes of the stuff. The Cleanser/Mask I saw in Ghana and picked it up for funsies. 10/10 will buy again, it is amazing.

Oily Skin

This actually kick started my skincare quest, the dreaded shine. My skin felt and looked like a bowl of grease. Snuggling people meant I left a patch of oil on their clothes, makeup slid off my face and my angry pimples looked angrier. Sigh.

What I tried that did not work: Not moisturising, astringent toners, harsh scrubs, scrubs in general, heavy powder and lots of mattifying products.

What I tried that did work: Being gentle, oil cleansing, pudding consistency moisturisers, Hyaluronic Acid lotions and layering light products.

My favourites from each category

Growing up skincare felt like the start of a battle to beat my skin into submission. The goal was not to sweet talk it, but to attack on all fronts (cleansing, toning and moisturising) with the utmost aggression. Clearly my skin was not a fan of the nuke it from orbit strategy. 


Oil cleansing was the first thing I did to stay the oil, but I think the best thing I did was to figure out which kind of moisturiser my skin liked best. I didn’t realise there could be different consistencies from the sudocrem/E45 style moisturisers that I was used to. Once I discovered pudding style moisturisers and the idea of layering light moisturisers and hydration boosters the game changed for me. I stopped trying to starve my skin of moisture and instead focused on layering light products onto my skin, building up hydration slowly, giving my skin time to absorb it. The gentle and slow approach really makes all the difference for me.

Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

What this is: Temporary pigmentation of the skin following an acne breakout.

While I no longer have the painful pimples of yesteryear, I’m left with reminders that they once graced my face in the form of darker patches on my skin. I don’t love it, especially as Benzoyl Peroxide can make it worse, but the acne free skin that I have now kind of makes up for it. 

What I tried that did not work: Lots and lots of things.

What I tried that did work: Sunscreen, licorice root, and azelaic acid.


This was the least of my concerns, and so I didn’t really spend a lot of time taking pictures focusing on it. The patch that bothers me the most is on my right cheek, but either it’s been slowly fading, or I’m not bothered by it anymore, I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is that my skin overall looks smother and even which I attribute to diligent daily skincare useage, products high in licorice root and more recently azelaic acid. 

Hopefully that was an interesting read for you, and maybe it’s given you ideas about your skin concerns and how to manage them. To read how the others manage their skincare, check out their posts!


16 Comments Add yours

  1. My Fair Lady says:

    I like that you included what didn’t work, I am glad I am not the only one who had high percentage AHA / BHA fail them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      I’m glad that helped! Yesss, there are literally dozens of us! I think there’s something to be said about using weaker acids, not everyone needs an at home peel or super intense % products to combat acne!


  2. Remya says:

    I know they sell panoxyl in 10% concentration. Highest. Dry your skin out so I mix with lotions n apply . N add plenty moisture after .
    Chemist direct sell them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      I just searched for it apparently it’s been discontinued? Gah! Both the Neutrogena are available on Amazon, so that’s good. Apparently 2.5% is just as effective without the drying!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Remya says:

        No for some reason I can’t copy paste link .they still sell it . Tower health still sell it . I got it from them


  3. Hi! Stumbled upon your blog while searching for Hada Labo reviews and I ended up reading some more! Truly enjoyed your skincare posts 🙂 I find it a little weird why you cant get benzoyl perozide otc in the UK. I just want to share what helped clear up my forehead from comedones. I figured benzoyl perozide 5% has stopped working on me (maybe my skin got used to it?) so I went and did a little research. I used a retinoid, Adapalene gel 0.1 and it worked like a charm. When I visited my dermatologist last month, she suggested that I up the dosage a bit and prescribed Adapalene 0.3. My skin’s clear now and my skincare routine has been super simplified. I use Hada Labo lotion and sunscreen in the morning, then just plain Adapalene gel at night 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      Hi! I’m glad that I was able to inspire you to read more and that you enjoyed it! From what I can gather there are a whole bunch of reasons why, but honestly, none of them made much sense to me either!

      It is however still available on prescription, but it’s just cheaper to import it, and as it’s on Amazon UK, why not? It really simplified my routine too! I use it sometimes mixed with the Hada Labo if I’m feeling extra lazy, but usually I just layer it ^_^

      Thanks for sharing your tips! Thankfully, the 2.5% and 3.5% have been working fine, but if not now I know what to try next!


  4. (Sorry I was trying to comment using my Google/Blogger account but it seems impossible. Hope you can drop by my blogger too 🙂 Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      WordPress defaults to whatever your WordPress account is if you’re logged in. I think you can add your own links if you’re not logged into WordPress? Either way, thanks for the link! I found you on Bloglovin so I can keep up to date with your posts!

      Your site is super pretty! 🙂


  5. Angela says:

    Thank you for this post! Once read I immediately eliminated SLS’s from
    my cleansing routine. For the past week and a half, I’ve had no issues with my skin!
    It’s funny because I would haphazardly buy products with no SLS for my hair, but took it for granted with my skin. No more. Goodbye SLS and goodbye ashy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      I’m super happy to help! SLS was a huge doyy for me too! I cut it out of toothpaste, but forgot to check face wash, then cut out face wash but forgot to check body wash. LOL. It took me about three months to really realise just how prevalent an ingredient it is!

      Now I know, it’s bye bye SLS, nice knowing ya 😉


  6. Chanelle says:

    Reading this post ticked some box in my head about BP. I’d used 2.5% BP gel for years and had clear skin, but I ran out one day and never purchased more. What followed was literally 6 months of skin hell. I tried all manner of Curology and nothing was working as well as I wanted, so I went back to my BP and my skin is clear. FML but thank you for reminding me that BP is super. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      You’re welcome! Trying it for the first time was like a MEGA revelation, the sky opening, doves appearing, the whole works.

      Sometimes the answer is right in front of us but we go around in circles before we finally get it 😀 Yay for BP!


  7. Fiddy Snails says:

    Love this, boo! And speaking of the gentle pH/% acids, I’m about halfway through a tub of Ciracle Skin Renewal Home Peeling Pads and suuuuuper happy with them. Like the other two weak exfoliant products I tried, these are mostly fruit enzymes, but with some sodium lactate AHA at a pretty high pH. They’re keeping the clogs away without destroying my barrier and they’re way more economical than the Prelab pods or Papa Recipe swabs. Win!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      Yay! Low pH cleanser, weak pH exfoliant life. I’m so glad you’ve found a suitable cost effective alternative! That’s a total win!

      Liked by 1 person

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