Oil and Aloe: taming the monsters under the skin

There are two things that currently stand to be the banes of my very existence.

The first is the amount of oil my face produces (probably enough to deep fry an entire kilo of chips—nasty, I know), and the second is the volcano (or mountain—depending on which angle you see it from) that decides to erupt from my forehead every couple of months and always before a big event.

Now being someone who enjoys applying a fair amount of make-up, you can understand why I have a problem with these two skin conditions. The oiliness ensures I’m never able to look in a mirror without seeing foundation looking like it’s ready to drip down my nose like a running tap, and the volcano—ahem, spot—decides it wants to be seen in all its naked glory.

It be your own face sometimes.

sad crying face

However, in the last three months, I’ve been able to take a relatively large degree of control over this circus show. When it comes to tackling pimples my new go-to is Garnier’s Pure Active 3in1 Charcoal Blackhead Mask Wash Scrub. Anything that takes that long to say should definitely have the desired effects, and it does! Two important things to note about this is how important water-based face washes are too oily complexions like mine, and that this product contains salicylic acid—which is excellent in shrinking those pesky bumps into nothingness.

Garnier’s Pure Active 3in1 Charcoal Blackhead Mask Wash Scrub

Given I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe when it comes to repeat purchases, I would definitely break my relationship rules for this baby right here. For me, bonus features are the affordable price tag and the tingly sensation that leaves my skin brighter and cleaner.

Now onto the shiny part, my oily brethren! I’ve found that aloe vera gel has been great in keeping a “drier” complexion. More specifically, the gel I’m using is the Aloe 99% soothing gel by Korean brand, Holika Holika, (available on Beauty Bay!) which comes in a delightfully large bottle that’s shaped like an actual aloe leaf.

Holika Holika aloe

Obviously, you can try and use a real aloe leaf, but ain’t nobody got time for that, especially if you’re lazy like me. This is the next best thing. Retailing at £8 and coming in a 250ml bottle that seems to be never-ending (a little goes a long way); this gel has controlled my oil levels considerably. No longer do I get shiny minutes after applying moisturiser. I tend to apply this to damp skin before using my cream and sometimes just by itself.

The last product on my list is The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. This is an acid exfoliation mask type thing that has helped smooth up the slight unevenness in my skin texture.

The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The little bottle packs a punch though and the smell can be quite harsh on the nose…and…I’ll come out and say it, it also looks like blood. Which can be a touch creepy for those of you who are fainthearted but hey, you could always picture it as painting your face with the blood of thine enemies.

evil I told you so face

The best part about these products is that they’re all under £20, especially because I don’t want to be forking out a £100 and a kidney to have good skin.

To conclude this snippet of my current skincare routine (because as I’ve mentioned it does change quite a bit), I’d finally like to add that a lot of people (me, I mean me) say it’s hard to maintain a strict skin regime that shows actual results. So far these three seem to be doing the job, but consistency has definitely been an important part of it. I wish I could be like my sister who probably only uses hand wash to clean her face once a day and do the bare minimum, but alas, my high maintenance skin would not allow such a thing.

Here’s hoping for continued success!