CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LA ROCHE POSAY
A proper skincare regime started late for me. Up until the age of 26, I can barely remember having a single blemish. I didn’t even have a regular routine – I was so uneducated when it came to what was best for my skin. Then, I moved to London, left a long-term relationship and changed my career – the emotional impact of all of that really affected my skin.
My blemishes weren’t just occasional – they were painful, large red lumps. They began to appear around my chin, nose and forehead and they were big. I tried everything which can be sold over the counter and spent a lot of money on new products, but nothing worked. I was a physiotherapist at the time and suddenly thought about the way science-backed products usually make the biggest difference, so why wouldn’t you apply that to your skin, too?
Seeing a dermatologist was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was so excited to see a professional about my skin, but also nervous to sit in front of someone without any make-up on for the first time. I wore make-up on the tube, then took it off in the toilets at the dermatologist’s office – that’s how self-conscious I was. But they were incredibly warm, reassuring and understanding and she put me at ease immediately – so much so, I cried tears of relief. I was recommended La Roche Posay at my first appointment and I’ve sworn by the brand ever since. It’s so gentle, yet effective, and above all, it really does what it says it will.
Once I understood what my skin needed, I felt so much happier. On days that it does flare up, I strip my routine back to the basics and have plenty of make-up free days, too. I still have times where my skin makes me feel frustrated, but it’s an ongoing journey for me, and I am so much more confident now I know how to take care of my skin properly.
Skincare education is so important. I’ve gone from being someone who used make-up wipes to investing in laser therapy. It’s been quite the ride, but what I’ve learnt is how important skin education is. As a young teen, I would use soap and water, then I moved into own-brand cleansers from a pharmacy. I never used to moisturise or do anything in-depth until I got to my 20s – not even SPF – which was all a big mistake. Thankfully, my skin is much calmer these days, because I know what my skin needs when. Using La Roche-Posay has really helped completely change my complexion.
My routine is now incredibly thorough. Both my morning and evening routines are interspersed with weekly masks – it feels so grown-up. Typically, first thing, I cleanse with La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Foaming Gel Cleanser, then I mist my skin with their Serozinc Spray. I’ll then apply their Pure Vitamin C 10 Serum, before finishing with an SPF 50. Come nighttime, I repeat my morning routine, but I do a double cleanse, and use the brand’s Effaclar Serum and Toleriane Ultra Cream – both of which are great for anyone prone to blemishes. I used to believe putting a moisturiser and SPF on was too much for your skin – it’s not at all. You need to moisturise and protect your skin’s barrier at all times.
I’ve learnt what is and isn’t good for my individual needs. While I love a good oil, they tend to clog my pores, so I try to avoid them. As for the ingredients I find beneficial, you’ll always find salicylic acid, retinol and hyaluronic acid in my regime.
You’ll never find me without a good SPF these days. Throughout my skincare journey, I’ve set myself some core rules – one being to always wear SPF. I also remember that whenever my skin flares up to strip back my routine entirely. Double cleansing at night is a key step for me, too – it removes any SPF and grime from the day before. Finally, I always use a different face cloth every day to prevent bacteria and I never pick at my spots.
There are three products I’m never without. From La Roche Posay, it would be their Toleriane Foaming Cleanser, Serozinc Spray and Effaclar Serum – all so effective and gentle, I use this on repeat. They've helped to change my skin for the better.
My advice to anyone else suffering with breakouts is not to let them define you. I’ve learnt to really let it go. I used to spend so much time worrying about how I looked that I would often miss out on exciting things with my friends or work events that I was desperate to go to. Instead, I was too embarrassed by blemishes, so ended up staying home. I would fall asleep next to partners with my make-up on. Now, I truly understand spots don’t define you. We all go through difficult things, so remember you’re not alone – be it bumps, pores, blemishes or pigmentation, we are all more than the quality of our skin.