Sunday, 25 March 2012

Skin Care part 2 – The Rise of Advanced Skin Care.

Here it is, the post you have all been waiting for, well I know of at least one person that has been waiting for it. I am hoping you are all well on your way to getting you basic skin care routine down to a tea so now it is time for Advanced Skin Care. Sound scary? I promise it’s not.

Advanced skin care covers the added extras that skin might need to make it even more beautiful. These are things like masks, serums, scrubs, eye creams etc. So what I am going to do today is give you a brief description of what these things are so that you will be well equipped to get your skin care shopping on!

A scrub is used to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin making it smoother and sometimes brighter. Basically what happens is the skin replenishes its cells all the time which can result in a build up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, and the scrub removes this. Generally scrubs are made up of some kind of bits (pumpkin seeds, apricot kernels) and some kind of wetness (fluid, cream, gel). There are the odd exceptions to the norm like facial scrub bars and scrubs that don’t have bits but use high tech ingredients to exfoliate the skin. I honestly believe even the most sensitive of skins can benefit from exfoliation, just remember to read the instructions before use. A scrub should be used no more than 2 times a week and, I know this is going to be tough, but please don’t scrub your skin too hard when you are using this type of product. Every time I decide to give my skin a good scrub my thoughts alternate between “this feels really good” and “I want to get this done really quick”, both these thoughts result in me pressing harder and scrubbing my skin faster and then I have to tell my self off! Just like I remind my self every time, pretend you are massaging your skin. You want your hands and the product to glide over your skin as opposed to scrubbing your skin off. Blotchy red face and broken capillaries is not a good look!


Masks are pretty amazing products as they can have a multitude of qualities and benefits. A mask is a type of treatment that you apply to your skin for a certain amount of time (stated on the packaging) and then removed. You can get masks that brighten, tighten, plump, moisturise, mattify, deep clean, and sooooo much more. As with scrubs, and in fact most skin care products, there are different types and textures. Ones that you wash off, ones that you peel off, ones that dry and ones that don't. Always, always check the instructions before use and follow them. Only leave the mask on for the allotted time because you don't want to have a reaction to it, especially if you are going somewhere special. But most off all have fun shopping for a mask, smell them all, feel them, ask for help if you need it (or if you just want a chat).

Facial Massage Oil

This product used to be solely consigned to professional facials but now it is becoming more readily available on the open market. Facial massage oils are exactly as the sound, an oil to be massaged in to the skin. The benefit of this product is not only that the massage boosts circulation making the skin look lovely, but most of the time they are full to bursting with beneficial essential oils. I have to admit facial massage oils are on the higher end of the price range when it comes to skin care because it is so luxurious. However don't rule it out just yet because it could be the wonder product that you have been searching for. You don't know unless you try. 


Serums are lightweight, high powered products that are used in conjunction with moisturisers. They are used to boost moisture, plump and smooth and many are plugged as “anti-ageing” products. I really like the feel of serums because they feel so silky on the skin. They are a great way to pep up your skin and feed it extra goodness without feeling laden with too much product. Also if you have issues with clogged pores then this could be a good substitute for a night cream or you may be able to get away with using a lighter moisturiser and increase the benefits by using a serum underneath for the day time. Which brings me seamlessly on to my next products, night creams.

Night creams

Night creams are generally known as such because they tend to have properties that work best when you are asleep, and they tend to have no SPF. When we go to sleep this is when our body has time to repair, which is why bad sleep = rubbish body. So night creams are designed to work best when we are dreaming our sweet dreams (mine are of Christian Louboutin's that I can't afford). Do you need a night cream? Well if you want to wake up in the morning with your skin looking amazing, and who wouldn't want that?, then yes. Although not specifically a night cream, you could use a serum, or an oil, or your day time moisturiser at a push. What I would keep in mind when choosing day and night products is that in the day you are primarily protecting and at night you are repairing.

Speciality products

These are things like eye creams, lip balms, neck gels, anything to treat a specific area really. Obviously I am not going to go through all of these speciality products but be aware if you have any specific area you would like to treat I am sure there will be a product out there for it!

Beauty/Blemish Balms (BB's)

So I have had to do a little research in to the last group of products that I am going to talk about today. B balms (either beauty or blemish) have just really materialised on to the European market in the last few years and I have to admit I have not tried one yet (gasp, shock horror), I know I am a little slow on the uptake really. B balms are described as an all in one product to combat and treat a multitude of cosmetic issues as well as giving the skin a light coverage of foundation. These products have been massive in Asia and now we have finally jumped on the band wagon. With No7's Beautiful Skin BB Cream and Clinique's NEW Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30 there are no end of possibilities to choose from. For me this is a pretty amazing idea, for too long we have covered our skin with a layer of foundation that did more harm than good, now with the evolution of the B balm hopefully that is soon to change. Unfortunately at the moment I am having a little bit of a hard time finding one that suits my very pale skin tone but once I do I will definitely be reviewing it for your reading pleasure. If any one has tried any of the B balms let me know how you got on and if you have any recommendations for a really pale one for me that would be amazing.

So we have come to the end of our romp through advanced skin care and we have come out the other side relatively unscathed. I have more than likely missed products out of this post because to be quite honest there are so many on the market. I hope I have helped give you an incite in to what is available and what could be beneficial to you. All that's left for me to say is don't get bogged down or stressed with skin care, yes it's going to take time to find the right things for you, yes you are going to have things that you wished you hadn't bought or have been a waste of money (god knows I have, the amount of which would probably fill my bathroom!), just have fun with it. Buy the best quality products that you can afford and do what I do, ask for the more expensive ones for Christmas. Sometimes be a little cheeky and ask for some samples and most of all talk to the sales assistant, don't be afraid to ask questions, that's what they are there for and if you don't want to buy don't be forced to by the hard sell.

Have a great time shopping, trying and pampering and I hope you find your wonder products.

Stacey x x

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