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Fighting back against acne with the help of French skincare (and more)

Fighting back against acne with the help of French skincare (and more)

I know what you’re thinking – she sure does natter on about her skin and her acne a lot doesn’t she?! She sure does. And it’s not about to stop.

Over New Year, my skin through a massive strop and I was bombarded with a never-ending cycle of cystic acne. A few dozen tears and pity purchases later, it was time to renew and revitalise my skincare. I just so happened to be in Paris at the time, home of the many clear-skinned human beings, so I took a leaf out of their book and invested in some new skincare. Most things from this post were recommended to me by Into The Gloss, in a post compiled about the best French pharmacy products for acne. This was my bible whilst in Paris, and I dipped in and out of every pharmacy we went past looking for the things listed in the post.

I’ll start with the one I love the most – Hexomedine Transcutanee. I know, sounds scary. Sounds professional. It took me until our second last day to find this because I was too afraid to ask in the pharmacy, and I wish I’d stocked up on them before coming home. This little tub will last you a really, really long time though, so I don’t have a lot to worry about. You just take a Q-tip, dab it on your spots, and leave it. I use this last in my routine, and I do use it day and night depending on how bad my skin actually is.

This seemingly underwhelming clear liquid has become my saviour, my best friend, and the product I would take to a desert island with me.

This works best on cystic acne – those painful, deep-rooted spots that linger for weeks and weeks. Hexomedine Transcutanee works to draw those spots out to the surface super quickly, therefore making it easier for you to zap them away. It also gets rid of the pain, which is a huge win for me. The pain of these spots is sometimes unbearable – especially the eyebrow ones you can feel every time you change your facial expression. The best part? This was only about 3 euros. And here’s a UK link. You are welcome.

Another spot zapper that I can’t live without is by La Roche Posay, a brand that we can get here but I didn’t bother trying until I was in France. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Effaclar Duo and I’d run out of my previous go-to spot cream, so snapped this up in a pharmacy. I find this to be really good for the spots that Hexomedine helps to bring out, it significantly reduces them in size and redness. I use this twice a day between my toner and moisturiser, and I definitely think I need more from La Roche Posay, but I just don’t know where to start in terms of what they actually do. I just never know where to start with those complicated names.

Really super glamorous but #keepingitreal, I get spots on my shoulders a lot. I also have a weirdly sensitive chest, where I get breakouts and rashes a lot, and the Avene Soap Free Cleanser is supposed to be amazing for clearing up your body blues. I only bought a little one of these to test it out but I’m already planning on buying a massive one because this has massively cleared up my complexion. It’s so gentle yet effective and doesn’t strip my skin and make it feel all dry and tight like so many other face washes do.

Guess which idiot only brought face wipes on holiday with her? Oh yeah, me. When my breakout really hit peak, I needed to buy a proper cleanser so my face actually felt clean. I think Bioderma was the introduction to micellar water, and it is a cult classic that I wish I’d invested in so much earlier. I prefer it to my Garnier Micellar Water as it actually makes my face feel clean. I don’t feel like I need to double cleanse but I still do because, y’know, gotta give your skin it’s best chance.

A name that kept popping up when I was obsessively googling French skincare was Avibon – apparently it’s this amazing cream that completely fixes your face. The closest you can get to that at the moment is the A313 Pommade. It was a little harder to find but I tracked it down on eBay once I got home, and I love it. I’m still trying to get the hang of using the right amount of it, as too much can make your face burn. You need the tiniest bit and it fully revitalises my complexion. My uneven-ness is fading rapidly and makeup definitely settles on my skin a LOT nicer. I think I need to cut down on this and only use it once every second night, I’ve been feeling a little bit of burning when I put it on but things like that do take some getting used to!

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It also smells a little like roast beef but, trust me, it’s worth it.

Although I’m barely out of nappies and therefore don’t need any age-related skincare assistance, I’ve been using the Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Serum. Phew, what a mouthful. I was sent this to try out by TJ Hughes in collaboration with the TJ Hughes Skincare collection, and basically, I love it. It also targets skinctone unevenness and texture so although I don’t use it for its primary use, it works amazingly on those extra bits and bobs that desperately need fixed.

A few little extra bits that are not French but are old favourites that I’ll be taking into my new revitalised skincare routine includes Sudocrem. I always think I’m too good for it and that something else will do a better job, and I’m always wrong. There is nothing better for the overnight spot zap. N O T H I N G. I have a 400g tub of it in my bathrom, I use it almost every single night and I would honestly struggle without it.

Sudocrem is life when you have acne.

2 litres of water a day. Do it. I didn’t believe the benefits of it, and I didn’t believe I was missing out on anything before beginning to drink 2 litres a day. My Chilly’s bottle has made it really easy for me to reach that goal, considering it keeps water cold all day and it’s made tap water taste delicious. My complexion is clearer, my scars are fading, I can tell my spots are fading quicker, and I really do think that it’s down to the water as well as the new skincare.

If you invest in one thing from this post, let it be the Chilly’s bottle. DRINK YO WATER.

I’ve also decided to give up dairy, mainly milk, as I’ve heard so many success stories about ditching dairy to help your acne. For now, I’m not looking for any alternatives and I’m just seeing how I go cold turkey, but I’m not going to be overly strict with my consumption of cheese and butter. Gots to have my halloumi. It’s milk I have most, so it’s milk I’d be more inclined to blame all my problems on. At the time of writing this, it’s only been a few days since giving it up, but I’m noticing a difference already.

How are you revitalising your skincare in 2018?

View Comments (6)
  • My skin has been playing up terribly recently, so I feel like right now I’ve become a skincare addict as I’m constantly wanting to keep it at least semi-okay. I haven’t tried any of these products you’ve mentioned but they all look great and I may have to have a further look into them. I’m currently loving The Body Shop drops of youth liquid peel and then Bobbi Brown’s vitiman enriched face base to keep my skin hydrated!

    Charlotte |

    • I’m definitely guilt of buying way too much skincare, it’s my favourite thing to spend money on! I love the liquid peel, I use it every morning!

  • Cutting down on dairy does make a difference, I’ve found that out myself too. I try to cut back on cow milk and derivatives, so goatcheese is still okay, and almond milk obviously too. And even though I’m not strict about it neither, it has made a world of difference to my skin.
    So does cutting back in processed sugar. But that is much harder to do.

    • I’ve cut back on it now and find it’s absolutely helped, I can’t believe I did t do it sooner!

  • Hi there! Thanks for sharing this info. I recently purchased the Hexomedine and noticed you mentioned the Sudocrem. How do you use it and incorporate into your routine. Why is it such a life saver!!!???

    • Hi! I use it at the very end of my routine, after moisturising, and i just dab it on my spots and leave it on overnight. It’s amazing for drawing out those really sore under the skin spots without drying out your skin! Honestly, it’s way better than any expensive remedies i’ve tried 🙂

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