I can picture you all now. I can almost see your eyes rolling so far back into your head, that it’s actually giving me a headache. Hah, yeah, ‘magic’ she says; you’re thinking “THERE’S NO SUCH THING” … or, at least not without a £300 price tag anyways.
When it comes to anything beauty related, we’ve heard it all before. Products in pretty packaging, oozing with ingredients that contain way too many z’s and x’s for my liking, claiming to reverse years of damage and miraculously fix any skin issues you might have.
I fall for it every time. I read the back of some product for, I dunno … acne, and by the end I’m left almost convinced that some sort of pimple parade are gunna come and personally evict the pesky little spots right out of the pores they’ve claimed residence in.
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that a lot of beauty products can talk the talk but not walk the walk. Leaving us sad, disappointed and with a big, fat gaping hole in our back pockets.
The battle with our skin is a never ending one. We hit puberty and then it’s spot after spot after spot, and then when they go? Oh, look, fine lines and heaven forbid, our first wrinkle. Fun fun fun.
I’m rambling a bit now but if you haven’t cheated and not scrolled down to the ‘3 magic numbers’ part then great, you’re a good human. I bet the suspense is killing you but trust me it’s going to be worth it.
I have constructed this magic three myself. I am not a scientist. I am however, a 22 year old girl who has spent many a night with toothpaste on my spots and bought anti wrinkle cream for 50+ when I noticed I had laugh lines.
After everything I have tried, I am almost certain that these three, simple, magic (legit, I think they might actually be magic) little gems will change your skin forever. Whatever your bugbear is. Wrinkles, enlarged pores, acne scars, uneven skin tone, whatever …
No Botox. No surgery. No spells. No Genies or magic lamps. No skin flattening iron, and no pimple parade. No bankruptcy. Nothing silly.
Just three simple products or, ingredients even, that are scientifically proven to work.
We’re ready – let’s go!
Magic thing number 1 – COCONUT OIL
You weren’t expecting that, right? You were expecting something a lot more fancy I bet, but no, Coconut oil is savior for pretty much everything. Cooking, baking, mositurising, conditioning, fixing a broken leg, getting rid of a bad boyfriend (joke) but yeah, it’s one of those things that doesn’t need tampered with. It was just naturally perfect the way it was put on this earth already … a little like me, yeah (okay enough with the jokes Ema plz).
I started with this one because you probably already have a tub stashed in your cupboard somewhere, if you don’t then great news – It’s cheaper than a day at the seaside to pick up from any shop that sells food basically.
Pure, unrefined, virgin coconut oil is as natural as you can get (so no hidden nasties), it’s also able to penetrate the skin deeper than most moisturisers and serums and is extremely moisturising itself … do the math!
You can use it as a pre-cleanse to remove makeup, a night serum, a moisturiser, a face wash, as sunburn treatment etc. I’m gunna have to do an individual post on how great it is and the thousand uses it has but, to round things up, why is it one of my three magic ingredients?
- It can help reduce wrinkles. Collagen, is the protein in our skin that keeps it smooth and crease free, but it breaks down over time with pollution, UV rays, etc. Coconut oil contains Triglycerides which attracts protein molecules which basically ensures repair of collagen layers which wheyhey, means less wrinkles.
- It can help prevent premature aging. Linking to the last point … basically everything in the world is out to get your skin and age it. Your face is constantly on show, meaning that the sun, pollution, dust, even chemicals from other products (oxidants) are attacking it all the time. Coconut oil is antioxidant, it acts as a physical barrier against these pollutants and promotes collagen formation.
- It’s antibacterial and anti-fungal. The lauric acid in coconut oil is a big anti-bacterial agent which with regular use keeps bacterial populations under control meaning it can help stop acne worsening.
- It can heal dry, scaly or rough skin flare ups. Because its so moisturising.
- A little goes a long way. You only need the tiniest, itsiest, bitsiest bit and it will spread all over your face and all the way to Japan.
- It also smells amazing and feels unreaaaal!
I’ll do a full, detailed post on Coconut oil because there’s so much more to say (this post is already canny long) but I can’t stress to you enough to try it. I use it as a pre-cleanse to remove my makeup. I also use it as a hydration face mask and I use a tiny wee bit on a patch of acne scars I have on my cheek. Works a charm.
Magic thing number 2 – GLYCOLIC ACID
Don’t hear the word acid and think “is this girl trying to burn me?” – no, it’s not that type of acid. This is a good acid. There’s lots of them in fact. Some other good ones to look out for are Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Citric Acid, but … today we’re doing Glycolic, because well … you’ll find out.
Glycolic Acid is part of a group of active compounds called AHA‘s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) but it has the smallest molecules in the group meaning that it can penetrate the skin deeper. This is especially good for treating fine lines, acne, blackheads, oiliness, etc.
It works like a skin Pacmen, almost. (Maybe the pimple-parade is real after all?) By that I mean it eats all the crap in-between skin cells. It’s an antioxidant that reacts with the top layer of skin, breaking it down by dissolving sebum and other things that clog pores/bind cells together.
- Reduces fine lines and premature aging. It increases cell turnover which means that fresh, healthy, young cells are visible on the skins surface.
- It has exfoliating properties. This helps unblock pores & get rid of blackheads.
- Can reduce Acne scarring. It’s meant to take 6 months to a year to significantly change scarring but, most people notice a difference in a month. It’s also very effective at treating acne, especially cystic acne, which is caused by deep blockages. I get acne on my cheek every now and then, if I use some Glycolic acid on it, it’s shifted after no time at all.
- It reduces the appearance of pores and improves skin tone/texture. It keeps pores clean, and keeps living cells tightly packed together, while removing dead skin cells. It’s also great for sorting out uneven pigment.
- It boosts collagen production. We all know what this means … ANTI AGING.
It’s all a bit science-y but trust me, it works. If you want smoother, brighter, clearer skin then this is what you need. Skin looks glowing and like brand new after repeated use.
Just beware that products range in different concentration and PH levels, and using a too high of % could cause redness/irritation (which is actually normal to an extent but obviously if it burns, lower %.)
I suggest having a look here at Pixi. They do a whole Glycolic skincare range which is absolutely brilliant. (Pssst, if you’re unsure, you can’t go wrong with the Glow Tonic Toner.)
Magic thing number 3 – RETINOL
You might have heard of this, you might not. It’s a bit of a skincare secret and boy, is it a good one. I put money on it that you will try this and love it. Do with this information what you may; either keep it to yourself and have others lust after your younger looking, flawless skin OR shout it from the rooftops (like me) and spread the word.
Retinol is a form of Retinoid. I know, I hear the word and I think of either something to do with piles, or space, but it’s actually a derivative of vitamin A.
Again, Retinol has extremely small molecules and yep, you’ve guessed it, that means it can penetrate deeper in to the skin (reoccurring theme here much?) which explains one of the reasons why it is so good for anti-aging because yeah, you know what’s coming by now, Collagen production.
Retinol can treat and prevent everything from stubborn cystic acne, to eczema, to wrinkles, dark spots, pigmentation to enlarged pores. It does this by increasing cell turn over, and stimulating Collagen production. It’s very powerful and everyone should be using it!
It does really, really work. Science proves it. Just type it in to google and you’ll see for yourself. However, if you’re wanting a quick fix, you won’t get it with Retinol. To notice proper results, I’d say about 12 weeks, maybe longer, but the results you will eventually see will be some of the best you’ve ever seen. Your skin will feel and look transformed. Stick with it, and you can thank me later!
You don’t need a high % of Retinol. Anything higher than 2% is considered way too high and probably shouldn’t be used.
For severe Acne, you could ask your doctor about Retinol and see if they could prescribe you something (you don’t have to have severe acne to have Retinol prescribed, anyone can ask for prescribed retinol, but it does tend to be stronger.)
For mild Acne, anti-aging and other skin concerns, it’s probably easier and just as beneficial to buy your own over the counter Retinol.
Again, it comes in different formulas. Creams, oils, serums, so you may need to do your research on what one would work best for you, everyone is different. They also come with different price tags but by no means do you need to break the bank.
I use: The Ordinary 2% advanced Retinoid serum. It makes my skin feel and look amazing with no irritation. I pop it on after cleansing/toning my face and about 30 mins before moisturiser; the best bit? it’s only £8.
Here’s a link to some other most recommended Retinol products.
That was a longer post than I expected. If you’ve made it this far then I appreciate it, there was (and still is) so much to say about these three fabulous … things, they’re amazing and have changed my skin completely.
I’ve suffered with mild acne in the past, have a cluster of acne scars on my cheek (which have now almost gone) and I am prone to breakouts (cheeks, forehead, chin) and enlarged pores (especially around my nose). After incorporating these three things in to my skin care routine I now feel confident enough to wear no makeup and sometimes people even ask if I have makeup on when I don’t.
I know how upsetting bad skin can be. Trust me, I’ve been there, hiding behind my massive teenage emo fringe, it isn’t nice. I really do encourage anyone, of any age with any skin to try these three things – nothing to lose and a lottt to gain.
I hope this helps, and if any of you are thinking of giving these a try do let me know how you get on, or just let me know what you think in general. I love to hear from you.
Until next time …
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