When it comes to keeping spots and blemishes at bay, I feel like the internet is full of ideas and suggestions. From notorious, acne-fighting prescription meds, through teen skin ranges, to holistic home remedies and dietary changes, there seems to be no end to what you can try in the quest for clear skin. And personally, between the chemical-laden treatments and countless DIY concoctions, I feel a little bit lost.
Problematic skin can really bum you out. I’m fortunate enough to not struggle with acne, so I won’t claim to fully understand the stigma associated with having troubled skin but, as a woman trying to move through the world, I am aware of the pressure on me to look “good.” To maintain a certain body type, to have hair only in certain places, to have clear skin (just to list a few). However you present yourself to the world, whatever your skin or size or shape is, you are valid and worthy and deserving of a life without pressure to change or adapt.
With that said, I’ve found myself wanting to take better care of my skin lately. Not purely because of a societal pressure to do so, but as an act of self-care. A conscious skincare routine adds structure and purpose to a day; the act of taking some care of oneself twice daily feels nourishing, important. Up until recently, I’d been putting most of my efforts into a robust nightly cleansing routine, with little energy spent on getting my skin ready at the start of the day. I wanted to change that and, of course, put some new vegan-friendly products to the test; so, at the start of July, I put in an order for PHB Ethical Beauty’s Brightening Facial Wash with Lime & Turmeric* and Brightening Gel Serum with Organic White Birch & Frankincense*.
Formulated for normal and combination skin, I was drawn to these two products for their rather unique ingredients. Starting with the face wash, I was intrigued to learn that lime has several brightening benefits, and can be used to even tone, reduce the appearance of blemish scarring and remove dead cells to refresh skin. Similarly, turmeric boasts the ability to promote your skin’s natural glow, as well as assist in clearing breakouts.
The Brightening Facial Wash lathers up nicely in wet hands – I just use one pump, and apply it to my face in gentle, circular motions (it’s safe for use around the eyes, too, yay). In the time it takes me to dampen my face cloth, the wash has sort of disappeared on the surface of my skin; nevertheless, I wipe it away, leaving my face feeling totally revitalised. Perfect for shaking of the cobwebs of a 6:30am start.
I follow this up by applying a small pump of the Brightening Gel Serum. Gaining popularity as an alternative medicine, white birch is said in this instance to “stimulate collagen and elastin.” While it’d be silly to appraise an ingredient with so little formal research backing up its purported capabilities, I wouldn’t shy away from it as an ingredient in skincare products, and it does boast several vitamins which contribute towards healthy skin. Equally, Frankincense is said to aid in the regeneration of skin, minimising the appearance of scarring and redness caused by blemishes.
Combined with regular use of my beloved Bloomtown face mask, I have certainly noticed less redness – particularly around my chin, where I have plenty of spot scarring and regular hormonal breakouts. While I find the PHB facial wash very energising and perfect for use in the mornings, the serum is a little too drying for my taste, the gel-like consistency not what I had expected. That said, it does leave skin feeling even and prepped for moisturising, so in that sense it does deliver.
It can be easy to expect miracles from skincare products when the answer to clearer skin is about much more than that. A regular skincare routine – both in the morning and at night – is a good place to start, though; these products have been a pleasure to use and have contributed to me feeling more confident with the current state of my skin. PHB Ethical Beauty have a wonderful range of products to suit all skin needs and address several concerns, so I look forward to trying out more as my morning skincare evolves.
*This post was not sponsored, but I did not have to pay for these products