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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On the spot: How to keep your skin clear?

On the spot: How to keep your skin clear?If you've been reading this blog for a while you may know that I struggle with breakouts. A lot! Even though I am in my late 20's spots are still the bane of my life but I have learned to deal with them with a little help from a few trusted products. I constantly try out new anti-blemish cosmetics but these are some I trust to do the job!

Dream Dots for Spots are the latest  addition to my skincare routine. They are little patches (or unique super absorbent cross linked hydro matrix.... ehm... I'm going to go with 'patch') that you stick on spots to make it disappear and heal faster. I was a little skeptical in the beginning but they worked extremely well - after just one night the spot was reduced to nearly nothing so that I could very easily conceal the little mark with makeup. These are also fantastic for when a spot has left you with an inflamed and flaky inferno that is impossible to conceal with makeup - stick on a dot and the situation will have calmed down by the morning. I love the Dream Dots and have already purchased my second box (I'm a bit afraid to run out!) but they are not cheap - €14.95 for a pack of 24 or €24.95 for a pack of 48. Having siad that I don't use them every night so they last for a long time! They are available in McCabes and Sam McAuleys Pharmacies.

Vichy Normaderm Night Detox is a treatment that controls the over-production of sebum, detoxifies the skin and helps with achieving an even and radiant complexion in the morning. It contains powerful ingredients like Eperuline (similar to glycolic acid but with better tolerance) and two of my favourite ingredients LHA (a β-lipohydroxy acid) and salicylic acid. I use the Night Detox when my skin is hormonal and temperamental to make sure that the sebum it produces during the night doesn't clog up my pores and cause breakouts. The Night Detox also reduces shine but without drying out the skin. A big thumbs up from me! Vichy Normadermn Night Detox is €17 and available in Boots and most pharmacies (currently on offer in Boots for €14.24!!!)

Lush Tea Tree Water is something I have written about before (full article here) but I couldn't not mention it in a clear skin post. It is a gorgeous, gentle toner that contains tea tree water along with some other anti-inflammatory ingredients. It's very gentle and purifies the skin without drying it out. An absolute staple in my skincare routine and at less than €10 it is an absolute bargain!

La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. is an intensive local treatment that has the ability to deeply purge imperfections and prevent residual marks. It contains LHA, Niacinamide and La Roche thermal spring water. This is something use on a breakout that isn't just one spot but several inflamed and blocked pores (this usually happens around my chin) to prevent large spots from forming. I love this product because it's a very gentle spot treatment that is very effective without burning the spots away and leaving you with something even worse to deal with! La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. is €13.25 and available in Boots and most pharmacies.

Pixi Glow Tonic is another one of my holly grail products that I couldn't be without! I have written about it before, so for more detailed information check out this post. The Glow Tonic  is gentle, oil-free, alcohol-free exfoliating facial toner. It is rich in aloe vera and therefore doesn’t irritate the skin. It also contains natural ingredients like ginseng, witch hazel, glycolic acid and horse chestnut to tone, firm, soften, exfoliate and stimulate circulation in the skin. It's a fantastic product that keeps your skin not only clear but also healthy and glowing! It is £18 and can be ordered from the Pixi Store online. I know it's not the cheapest but, trust me, it's worth it!!

Just for reference: I have combination skin with an oily T-zone and dryness around my cheeks and am prone to breakouts especially around my chin, mouth and jawline.

What are your most trusted "clear skin" products?

A. xx

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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Summer Saviour: Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic


Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Refining TonicI'm not sure about you, but in summer when it's that bit warmer and my face is plastered in creams with a high SPF, I get that very un-sexy, oil-slicked shine through the centre of my forehead. And I am not talking about glow (I am all for glow) but this horrendous oily layer that just sits on top of your skin! I don't really like using primers on a daily basis, especially during warmer weather as I feel they just clog my pores. So when I heard Lisa Eldridge talk about this product a couple of years ago in a video I wanted to try it out!

The Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic definitely isn't a product I could use on an everyday basis, it would probably dry me out a bit too much but it's absolutely fabulous at stopping that unsightly shine from coming through on warm summer days, when I'm on holidays in a hot country or even doing sports.

It's not your regular toner when it comes to consistency, it's a dual-phase liquid that looks a bit odd when it's not shaken (it separates into a murky liquid on top and a gloopy white substance at the bottom) but once you give it a good shake all the ingredients combine. It contains Amazonian white clay (which is known for gently drawing out oils and toxins that can clog up pores without stripping the skin) and Allantoin (in herbal medicine used as a bacteria inhibitor that also soothes and reduces inflammation).

I use a small bit on a cotton pad through the centre of my face. After I've applied the toner and let it dry I proceed as usual: I use a light moisturiser (my favourite for the summer is still the Perricone MD Photoplasma with SPF 30) and apply my makeup as always. This little routine somehow keeps the gross shine at bay without me having to layer lots of products on my skin.

Do you have a favourite shine-banishing product?

A. xx

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Cult Product: Pixi Glow Tonic


Pixi Glow Tonic

I ordered Pixi Glow Tonic as soon as it went on sale online. Until recently it was a product that only Londoners could easily get their hands on in the Pixi Boutique. If you are  a beauty buff you have probably heard about this product but if you haven't, here is the lowdown: it is a gentle, oil-free, alcohol-free exfoliating facial toner. It is rich in aloe vera and therefore doesn't irritate the skin. It also contains natural ingredients like ginseng, witch hazel, glycolic acid and horse chestnut to tone, firm, soften, exfoliate and stimulate circulation in the skin. What it doesn't contain is artificial colours, fragrances or fillers.

Pixi is a lovely, natural brand created 10 years ago by Petra Strand who prides herself on each of her products being multitasking, flaw-fixing, youth-enhancing and can be applied easily and quickly. Petra has a passion for skincare and generates products infused with botanicals and beneficial ingredients.

I have been using Pixi Glow Tonic twice a day, every day for the past two months and I have really been impressed with the results. I have combination - oily skin and get dry, flaky patches, especially around my chin and adding this toner to my daily skincare routine has helped a lot. I also found that the Glow Tonic has helped to minimize the dark spots I had on my cheeks, curtsey of some long gone acne. Before the Pixi Glow Tonic I used the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator but as it contains quite a lot of alcohol I didn't really want to use it every day. It is still a great product but one I use only two to three times a week now.

The Pixi Glow Tonic is a brilliant toner and is suitable for most skin types, maybe avoid it if your skin is sensitive. I cannot say enough good things about it and think that everyone should have some type of exfoliating toner in their skincare stash. It made a huge difference to my skin and I will definitely be re-purchasing it.

Pixi Glow Tonic £18 from or Pixi Boutiques in London

I cannot wait to try more products from Pixi. Have you tried any of their products? Let me know your recommendations, I would love to hear them!

A. xx

My Morning Skincare Routine of the Moment

My Morning Skincare RoutineThese days there are so many different skincare products on the market, it can be quite overwhelming and confusing at times (unless you are a bit of a geek like me & then it's a wonderful world of plenty ready for you to explore). But however much I love testing out new products, I have my core skincare staples that I always come back to. On an everyday basis there really are only 3 - 4 steps to the routine (unless disaster strikes and I wake up with a massive spot in the middle of my forehead... but I digress...). So without further ado, here are all the products I use in the morning to make myself look & feel presentable: 1. Cleansing (Clinique Take Off The Day Cleansing Balm)My Morning Skincare RoutineI've written about this product before here, so I will not go too much into the specifics. All I will say is: you do need a cleanser. I know that a wipe may take a little less time but it will also not actually cleanse your skin, just wipe off a very superficial layer of sweat and grime & possibly irritate your skin. My preferred cleansers are oils or balms as they are gentle but there is a multitude of amazing cleansers out there. Giving yourself a little facial massage in the morning will also get your circulation going & drain away some of the fluid that causes puffiness. To rinse off just use a flannel (mine are mostly from Penneys / Primark) and warm water. Your face will feel clean and fresh without being stripped or tight.

Clinique Cleansing Balm €28 from Boots

2. Toning (Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner)My Morning Skincare RoutineNow, toning is the forgotten step of skincare (seems a little bit 90's) but it's so worth incorporating into your day! An exfoliating toner will help get rid off any dead skin, making it more glowing and youthful looking. There is a lot of exfoliating toners of different strengths available on the market (Pixi, Ren, Shiseido...) and most of them can be used morning and evening. The one from Clarins is amazing, I use it every morning as my skin is very hardy & can take a little bit more exfoliation. For more delicate skins I would recommend using this toner every other day.

Clarins Gentle Skin Exfoliator €31 from Boots

3. Serum (Indeed Labs Hydraluron)My Morning Skincare RoutineThis is an optional step if you feel you want to be extra nice to your skin or have a particular skin concern. I am using Hydraluron, which is a no fuss serum that contains a pure form of hyaluronic acid and basically helps your moisturiser go that little bit further. It gives your skin plumpness and elasticity, which will reduce signs of aging in the long run.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron €32.50 from Boots (often on offer!!)

4. Moisturiser (Dr Perricone Photo Plasma & Origins GinZing)My Morning Skincare RoutineAgain, Photo Plasma by Perricone MD is a product I have written a post on before here. Because I use an exfoliating toner I need to protect my skin with a high SPF during the day. There is a multitude of fantastic moisturisers for all skin types and skin concerns so take your pick but DO NOT skip this step! Even if you have oily skin, you really need to replenish moisture in your skin to prevent premature aging and a multitude of other skin problems. I also use an eye cream - important for me as my under eye area gets quite dry sometime and, unfortunately, I am prone to puffiness and dark circles.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream €32 from Boots Perricone MD Photo Plasma approx. £54 from Space.NK

If a routine like this is too much fuss for you reduce it to cleansing and moisturising, these steps are truly essential and will make a huge difference if you are consistent (every day, twice a day). I do realise that the products above are on the pricy side, so if you are on a budget you can replace a cleansing balm with Coconut Oil (available in most supermarkets), it is very gentle and absolutely perfect for cleansing and it can also be used for moisturising. Alternatively, the Una Brennan Vitamin C Cleansing Oil is a very good option too (less than €10 in Boots).

What are your skincare staples?

A. xx

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