It's Arrived - La Roche-Posay Serozinc


La Roche-Posay Serozinc

Today is the day! We can finally all buy the cult La Roche-Posay Serozinc in Irish pharmacies. No more having to order it online or having to wait. So... what is Serozinc and why exactly are we so excited?

In a nutshell, Serozinc is a zinc sulfate solution that you spritz on your face after cleansing / exfoliating and before moisturising (basically, where you would use a toner). La Roche-Posay market it towards acne prone & oily skin, but really, it is suitable for most skin types (Caroline Hirons said so!) It soothes the skin, helps clear up minor irritations and gives your skin that extra bit of moisture. When I use Serozinc I wake up with my skin looking more even and if there are any spots present they don't look angry and tend to disappear quickly.

It is one of those unassuming products that simply does what it says on the tin. Highly recommend you try it out!

Serozinc is available in pharmacies nationwide from 1st April 2015 and costs €10

Alex Signature

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New in: La Roche-Posay Serozinc

La Roche Posay SerozincI have struggled with acne prone skin ever since I was a teenager and it is something that, I am sad to say, is still hanging around even in my (very) late twenties. At this stage I have probably been through all kinds of treatments and found that the best way to go for me is a solid skincare routine supported by a healthy-ish diet. My skincare routine has been pretty much unchanged for a long time but I have been wanting to try the much hyped Serozinc toning mist from La Roche-Posay. I am so glad I did....

Serozinc is not a new product but new in my skincare arsenal. It is a zinc sulfate based toning mist that is super gentle, soothing and clarifying on the skin. The ingredients are very simple: water, sodium chloride and zinc sulfate and the mist works wonders not only on blemish-prone skin but soothes any kind of skin irritation (gentlemen, it would be fantastic to sooth any after-shaving dilemmas). I use Serozinc on my skin every day just before I put on my moisturiser and my breakouts have considerably calmed down, even after the first nighttime use!

The only problem, at least here in Ireland, Serozinc is that it's quite hard to get hold of. Escentual have recently started selling the product and you can get it shipped to a Parcel Motel near you. The toner is really inexpensive (£8.50 but currently on sale for £7.20 on Escentual) and something that I recommend to anyone with troublesome skin.

I hope La Roche-Posay bring it into our regular pharmacies soon and it will be more widely available!

Have you tried Serozinc yet?

A. xx

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Skin Saviour: Lush Tea Tree Water


Lush Tea Tree Water

I have finally picked up the Lush Tea Tree Water a few weeks ago!! I have been really looking forward to trying this and I was not disappointed. In fact I am now hooked and use it on a daily basis.

This toner, like all other Lush products, is made of natural ingredients and consists of a blend of Tea Tree Water, Grapefruit Water, Juniperberry Water. Tea tree is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial, and it can help keep away bacteria that can cause skin congestion and breakouts. Grapefruit is rich in vitamins and also lightly astringent on the skin, whilst juniperberry is antiseptic and helps keep skin clear.

It is a lovely and gentle toner that will keep spots at bay without the use of alcohol and it won't turn your skin into a desert. You can use it on a cotton pad or, my preferred method, spritz it directly onto your face and then pat it in lightly with clean fingers (make sure you are spritzing from a distance, the pump is quite powerful!). My skin loves this and I can't be without it at this stage! I used to have quite a big problem with blocked pores and tiny spots around my chin and the toner has done a pretty awesome job at clearing these up! It's also really affordable considering the fantastic quality and huge size (it'll last you for ages).

I cannot say enough good things about this toner! I highly recommend you try it out! I will be picking up the moisturising Eau Roma toner as well.

Lush Tea Tree Water is £7.50 (less than €10) and available from all Lush stores.

What is your favourite Lush skincare? I'd love to hear your suggestions for what I should pick up next!

A. x

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Vichy Dermablend: The Extreme Coverage Wonder


Vichy DermablendThe original Demablend formula was created by an American dermatologist Dr. N. Craig Roberts who came up with the idea for a extremely high coverage foundation for his wife who suffered from facial vitiligo. It performed extremely well and quickly became a very popular product in the US and the No 1 coverage brand recommended by dermatologists. The extreme coverage product was then added to the Vichy Laboratories family in 2003 and is now available in 36 countries across the world.

Vichy DermablendIf you have been reading this blog for a while you probably already know that I am a huge fan of the Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation (€21.50) and Corrective Stick (€16.95). I have always used these in my professional kit & personal make-up bag as high coverage concealers and I never want to be without them! Personally, on my own skin, I don't use the Dermablend foundations all over my skin as I simply don't need this amount of coverage all over but I highly recommend having one of the foundations & a corrective stick in your make-up arsenal, they will come in handy in case of a sudden breakout or redness! The liquid foundation is also fabulous as a super high coverage under-eye concealer and helps with my dark circles!

Vichy DermablendThe Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder* is not new but I only discovered it recently. It's a micro-fine loose powder that is designed to set and extend the hold of the Dermablend foundations. I genuinely love this powder and use it with all my other foundations - it is super fine and truly invisible on the skin. Because of it's fine texture it doesn't give you that dusty finish on the skin and looks very natural. It is €20 and I will be re-purchasing for sure when this one is finished.

Vichy DermablendThe Corrective Cream Foundation* (€24.50) is a new addition to the Dermablend range. It's a high coverage, compact foundation designed to conceal minor to severe skin concerns like redness, dark circles, vitiligo, scarring etc. The formula is waterproof and long-lasting.

Wearing the Corrective Compact Cream Foundation in 15 Opal (applied with fingers and set with the Dermablend Setting Powder)

I find that it's best applied with fingers, I never use sponges to apply my makeup and with a brush it was way too cakey for me. For a natural finish I use more in the centre of my face, where I have a bit of redness, and on my chin, where I have currently a massive and hideous breakout, and blend it out onto the rest of my face in as thin a layer as possible (you can see above that it covered absolutely everything!!). I would highly recommend this product for touching up during the day - it has a huge mirror, provides great coverage and lasts an absolute age. It has an SPF 30 so I would reserve this foundation for daytime use as it might flash back in night time photographs.

Vichy DermablendAnother new addition to the Dermablend family is the Total Body Corrective Foundation* (€25 for 100 ml). It is designed for people seeking to cover moderate to severe body imperfections or concerns such as scars, stretch marks, varicose veins and tattoos. The formula is hydrating and long-lasting and is meant to last for up to 16 hours. The coverage is buildable so it will conceal  everything that needs to be covered, even black ink tattoos! It is available in 3 shades: Light, Medium & Dark. I would personally use this product to cover bruises and any red marks on my legs (I bruise like a peach!!) but I can imagine it would help out ladies that are conscious about stretchmarks or veins during bikini season!

If you are interested to see the effects of the range on acne, tattoos and redness head over to my previous post and have a look. Also keep your eyes out for a post on covering acne (coming soon!) as I have lots to say on the subject and this post is already long enough!

I love all of these products but there is one gripe I have with the line: the shade range. There are 5 shades in the range with 15 Opal being the lightest. This is the one that I use and it suits me but if you are any paler than me the products will be to dark. I would love to see more shades or possibly a white foundation to mix with the current colours.

Have you tried any of the Vichy Dermablend products? You know I am a fan but would love to hear what you think of them!

A. xx

*PR Sample

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Vichy Dermablend Launch Event

Vichy Dermablend EventI am sure you have all heard of the legendary high coverage foundation called Dermablend. It's been around for ages & has been very popular ever since it joined the Vichy brand. If you haven't yet seen the Zombie Boy / Dermablend video on youtube watch it now, it's incredible!

I have used the Vichy Dermablend Corrective Stick & Fluid Foundation as concealers for years, they are always in my professional make-up kit. I'm not going to get into a deep product review here (stay tuned for these) but it covers pretty much everything, from acne to black ink tattoos.

Here are some pics from yesterdays event where the amazing Irish make-up artist Zoë Clark was demonstrating the different uses & effects of the Dermablend range.

Covering Acne

Covering Tattoos

Dani has tattoos all down her arms and in the close up shot you can see that they have completely disappeared when Zoë used the Corrective Stick and Dermablend Powder! Any brides who want to cover tattoos for their weddings - you need these products! They're waterproof , transfer-proof & long lasting!

Covering Severe Redness / Veins

The event was lovely & very informative. Vichy have introduced us to a new addition to the Dermablend range: a waterproof, extreme coverage Corrective Body Foundation that will be available in May. We are testing the products and will be back with a detailed post shortly.

Have you ever used any of the Vichy Dermablend products? What are your thoughts?

A. xx

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La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Anti-Blemish Cream

Effaclar-Duo- .jpg

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +We’re big fans of La Roche Posay and find their skincare to have all the active ingredients of high end brands but with a more purse-friendly price tag. And that’s what it’s all about with decent skincare: active ingredients. All the glossy, celeb endorsed ads of luxury brands aren’t much more than pretty packaging if the science bit isn’t right. I was delighted to arrive home a couple of weeks back to see the postman had slipped this little package of goodness into my letterbox.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ is intended for oily, blemish prone skin and is fast becoming spot busting favourite. Considering I got off easy in the breakout category as a teen, it's only now in my late twenties I find my skin to be a little more temperamental. I wouldn’t necessarily consider my skin oily, but definitely combination. Boasting four active ingredients, Effaclar Duo+ hits both localised imperfections (with Niacinamide and Piroctone Olamine), clogged pores and dead skin cells (with LHA and Linoleic Acid) and also contains thermal spring water which serves as an anti-irritant to any redness.

A week in and I’m not lying when I say I love this product.  Its light weight oil-free consistency sinks into the skin leaving zero greasy residue and I’ve definitely noticed more refined pores and an overall clearer tone to my skin. I like to think it played some part in clearing that mother of a breakout I was experiencing when I first start using this a little over a week ago. Even my drier areas (mainly cheeks in my case) are completely hydrated despite the formula being lighter than what I’d generally use. This definitely won’t be my last tube of Effaclar Duo+, it’s earned a place as a permanent fixture to my daily skincare routine!


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Does Milk Cause Acne??

Milk AcneI have recently had the worst (and I mean THE WORST) breakout! To be clear, I am no stranger to acne, I have been struggling with mild breakouts during that time of the month for ages now and these I know how to control. I will usually get a few hormonal spots around my jawline and chin, worst case scenario I will have a painful spot on my cheek. What happened to me a few weeks ago was much worse: my face was covered with painful spots all over: cheeks, chin, forehead, temples - everywhere! This definitely wasn't normal behaviour for my skin so I started racking my brains for changes in my skincare routine, makeup, anything really, with the annoying conclusion that everything was just the same as usual. The only thing that had changed was that my microwave broke and instead of my beloved porridge with almond milk I was now eating cereal with the more traditional cow juice.

I have heard before that some people have made the connection between dairy products and acne but I have never thought about it much. I don't normally drink milk, in fact, I feel quite sick and get a stomach ache after drinking a glass of milk and I don't particularly enjoy the taste. The cereal was really just the lazy option as I couldn't be bothered to cook my porridge on the stove every morning (I know, I know, terribly lazy!).

I started reading up about the connection between diet and acne, and dairy products in particular. I have spotted that this topic has appeared on a few blogs I read (Ruth Crilly from and Caroline Hirons have written about it) and I was surprised at the huge amount of comments from readers on the milk / acne issue. I also found a few articles about research carried out on this subject and there definitely is a notion that milk, or specifically the hormones it contains, can aggravate or be the cause of acne.

I am not a big fan of cutting out certain foods completely (everything in moderation is my motto!) but I have gone back to not having cereal with milk in the morning. I do still have cheese, but I have always eaten cheese and it has never really done me any harm. I also can't stomach the thought of having tea with almond milk, it's just wrong. For the moment I have given up milk completely and have tea with lemon and honey or green tea instead and I have noticed that my skin has cleared up a lot! I do realize that it could have been anything else, from my hormones going crazy to my skin suddenly reacting to a product I use to just a freak coincidence. But this whole time the only thing that has changed in my life was the cereal and milk in the morning.

I am in now way saying that milk is the devil and everyone should stop drinking it, I just think it could be a trigger for me - it has never agreed with me anyway, so maybe it's my body's way of telling me not to have too much of it. I will go back to having tea with the tiniest bit of milk eventually, as I am already missing it, but I will definitely be avoiding any other forms in future.

Have you ever had any dairy related skin problems? If not, what are your thoughts on the subject?

A. xx

My adult acne treatment that actually WORKS!!

I've been struggling with acne since I'm a teenager. It was puberty acne in the beginning (obviously) but it somehow never went away and just transformed into hormonal and stress provoked adult acne (I am now 28). Just like all people who suffer from acne - I have tried everything. I was on antibiotics, topical treatments, hormones, Roacutane... I lost count over the years. Nothing really helped, the Roacutane was great when I was taking it but as soon as the treatment finished the acne came back and it was worse than ever. I know that it works wonders for some people but I was unfortunately one of these people. I struggled on trying a mix of medication and skincare but Didn't have much luck until about about three months ago.

My method of discovery was really trial and error but I seem to have found the perfect combination of products. I have started taking the Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Dietary Supplement. It is expensive but for me it really worked. The whole Murad Anti-Acne range is amazing and the Time Release Cleanser as well as the Exfoliating Blemish Treatment Gel and the Acne Spot Treatment are parts of my daily regimen. I am particularly impressed with the cleanser. It is designed specifically for adults and fights acne as well as combats signs of aging and is not a harsh cleanser at all (which is very rare for an anti-blemish product).

Murad Pure Skin Supplements

Murad Anti Acne Range

Murad Time Release Cleanser

Another staple that I could not live without at this stage is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo treatment. It really is amazing and I use it every day, morning and evening. In the morning I will sometimes even skip moisturiser (I have combination to oily skin) and use that and a foundation with SPF and it works perfectly - the foundation sits lovely on top for the Effaclar Duo.

Amazing!!! Effaclar Duo by La Roche-Posay

The key to getting rid of our acne is understanding it's cause and as for me it is mostly stress related. The products I mentioned have really helped and my skin has been completely clear for the past 6 weeks, which has never happened before. I know that they may not help every single person but they are definitely worth a try.

One bit of wisdom I have learned on my journey: keep it simple, don't overload your skin with harsh products and remember that what you put inside your body is just as important as what you put on your skin!

Do you have any fail safe products you can recommend?


Murad Murad Acne Complex Kit Murad Time Release Cleanser Murad Exfoliating Blemish Treatment Gel Murad Acne Spot Treatment La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo