Time to Declutter #1: Skin Care

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The end of the year draws close, and amidst all the festivities, I think it's also a good time to declutter and make some space for the coming year. Over these final weeks of 2014 I'll be throwing out the beauty products I won't be bringing into 2015 with me for a whole host of reasons but the top two being that they didn't work for me or they've long passed the acceptable amount of time you're supposed to keep beauty products before they're basically petri dishes of bacteria. 

The first batch of beauty products I'll be getting rid of are skincare products that didn't work for me and I definitely won't be trying again. Obviously, this not to say that they're necessarily bad skincare products - far from it. Not all products work for everyone, and I personally like to hear what didn't work for other people so that I don't feel so alone when a product that seems to work miracles for everyone else just doesn't work for me. 

The skincare ranges that stopped working for me

Having oily skin, I'm always on the hunt for products that will keep my skin looking clear, matte and shine-free. Right now I have a skin range that works beautifully for me (I talk about it here) but before I got there, I went through The Body Shop Tea Tree range first. When I was using this range, I had a nose piercing at the time, so the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser was beneficial for it (tea tree is handy when you suffer from the dreaded piercing bump). I wasn't a massive fan of the Clearing Toner as you had to shake it to blend it and there was always bits of residue I couldn't quite get rid of (though I'm sure it didn't change much to the product). I'd finish my routine with the Skin Clearing Lotion, which promised 'lightweight hydration with shine-control'. This was before I realised that light hydration + skin clearing product = one way road to stripped skin. These all worked great at first, but over time my skin grew progressively oilier the drier it became. Once I figured what the problem might be, I tried just having one product at a time in my skincare routine, but as I've come to realise, I also have sensitive skin, and these products proved a tad too strong for my skin. 

I must confess that I bought these Neutrogena Visibly Clear products in a pique of desperate nostalgia. None of the products I was using at the time were working and remembering this range working miracles for when I was younger, I picked up the Visibly clear Oil-free Moisturiser in hopes that it would once be the solution to my skin problems. Alas it wasn't meant to be, and after about two weeks of use, it was if it stopped working overnight. Rather than hydrating my skin whilst leaving it soft, clear and relatively matte, my skin was breaking out, oily and massively irritated. The Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash and Mask also became quite drying, even if I only used it as a weekly mask. I suspect that this didn't work for me this time around because contrary to my teenage years, my face can't really be classed as blemish prone, so these products ended up being too harsh on my skin.

Cleansers? You mean a one-way ticket to break outs right? 

All these products ended up breaking me out, though I admit to being partially to blame for some of them. I have no idea why I purchased the Garnier Pure Active Purifying Make Up Removing Gel | 2 in 1: Cleanser and Make up Remover when I'd tried products from the Pure Active range before and had an allergic reaction. I guess I was enticed by the possibility of combining my make up remover and cleanser in one, and this contains the much-touted salicylic acid. Alas it wasn't meant to be and I had to spend weeks nursing my skin back to health. However, I don't understand why the Kruidvat Cleansing Lotion for Dry and Sensitive Skin also had the same effect. It's intended for dry and sensitive skin, so why did this irritate and strip my skin? The only answer that I can come up with is the price. Skincare doesn't have to cost a fortune, but sometimes you have to be willing to spend a bit more. It's your face. That can't be replaced. 

That said I don't think that's why the Essence Soft Cleansing Gel in Lime & Cucumber didn't work for me. As with the HEMA Cleansing Milk for Normal to Combination skin, I think it was a case of me purchasing products that weren't suitable for my skin type. The cleansing gel would suit younger skin whilst the cleansing milk was a little too rich for me, no matter how much I wished I could use it as an alternative to their Cleansing Milk for Oily Skin which they unfortunately discontinued. As for the Bourjois Paris Vitamin Enriched Toner, it's just a case of it being past it's use-by date. I started using it at the beginning of the year as an alternative to Tea Tree Toner but never really liked it much. It didn't seem to make much of a difference to my skin despite containing vitamin C.

Face creams, eye cream, I scream when products irritate me

Last but not least, the creams that need to go and never return. The Nivea Visage Pure Effect Shine Control Hydrating Mattifying Gel wasn't that bad, but it wasn't particularly good either, and has now been sat in the back of the bathroom cabinet for so long it unfortunately needs to go. On the other hand, the Yves Rocher Sebo Specific Complexion Perfecting Day/Night Cream taught me a valuable lesson: when a product tells you to avoid direct sun whilst wearing it, you do not want to be wearing said product. Especially in summer. Especially without SPF. Some beauty lessons just need to be learnt the hard way. 

On the other hand, I don't understand why I had such a bad reaction to the HEMA 'It's my beautiful skin day' Hydrating & Calming Day Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin with SPF 10, Yves Rocher ACTIVE SENSITIVE Hydrating Day Cream for Sensitive Skin, and the Kruidvat Eye Cream in Aloe Vera for Sensitive Eyes. All these products are intended for sensitive skin, so at worst I expected to have oily skin in exchange for calming hydration. Instead I would wake up with taut, itchy skin and with the eye cream, I ended up sleeping more hours than necessary thinking that my puffy, stinging eyes was due to a lack of sleep. These are all quite low-priced drugstore products though (under €10), so they continued my education in not skimping on the products you're going to put on your face on a daily basis.

Are you clearing out any beauty products in preparation for the coming year? Did you have a skincare product that just did not agree with you this year? 


  1. De-cluttering and clearing out products is always a good idea! I try to finish products before purchasing new ones so that it doesn't get too messy and confusing. The Tea Tree range didn't work for me either! I have combination skin, mostly dry, and the products either had no effect for me or were too light. :)

    1. I try and finish products too (especially since I can't really afford to buy loads of different products at once). It's always a shame when products don't work or don't turn out to be what you expected though :( x