Beauty Is Skin Deep, So Your Skin Better Be Beautiful.

A beautiful life is just too expensive.

My mother and grandmother were both blessed with beautiful skin. Smooth and youthful.

I was blessed with this same skin. But mine came under attack from an angry army of hormones who raged war on my face for years.

My skin is scarred and pockmarked, which I hide under a layer of makeup. Makeup which costs me R415 a bottle, cheaper than some famous brands but still a hefty chunk of cash. I go through a bottle every two months or so. I’ve tried cheaper brands but the price is reflected in the quality.

Always wearing makeup leaves my skin dry, my eyes itchy and tight. I do try and let my skin breathe. Especially on Sundays. But for work, for social events. Makeup is a religion.

I still suffer from the occasional hormonal outburst, although this has been brought mostly under control by the Pill. What’s left, I can deal with. But the scarring hasn’t faded.

A few years ago, at the tender age of 22, a beautician told me the skin on my decolletage was that of a forty year old’s. Damaged by an outdoor, South African lifestyle. Sun, sea and sand.

I have sensitive skin. I break out in rashes often. My face and chest blush deep red  at the slightest temperature change. My whole body was covered in eczema for almost a year. An aqueous cream rash once had doctors testing me for measles and every time I go to Decodance I wake up with an angry, scaly chest. Aircons are my worst enemy and I am very nervous about what I put on my skin.

I once spent R3000 on Dermalogica products and noticed no difference. I spent a similar amount on Clinique products, which caused a violent allergic reaction after two uses. So, bad experience has dampened my enthusiasm for spending huge amounts on products recommended by beauty salons. I want real people reviews.

I would genuinely, truly, love to be on an efficient skin care regime. I would love to treat my skin to the whole range of QMS Medi Cosmetics. I would love to soak my chest in Mama Mio’s Boob Tube. I want the best quality, the most natural products. I dream of healthy, glowing skin and of people gasping and saying, “You look ten years younger than that”. 

I will, I’m determined, to go for laser treatment on my face to try smooth away the battle scars of my teen years.

It’s the monthly costs that kill me. I use Johnson’s face moisturizer, something I can pick up in Pick n Pay. I remove my make up at night with Elizabeth Anne’s Special Baby Shampoo. Beauty fundi’s are probably shuddering at the thought of my poor clogged pores.

My make up regime is counterproductive. I buy expensive make up to cover blemishes on my skin; I can’t afford the products to prevent the blemishes on my skin.

It’s a choice I have to make. What my budget covers. I don’t have DSTV or a maid, I do have a personal trainer. I do wear Estee Lauder foundation. I do have medical aid.

That’s what I can afford. That’s where my priorities lie.

So, beauty experts and everyone else, what I want to know from you is what is the one product you would base your reputation on? What is the one product you credit your glow to, the one product you would give up your monthly groceries for?

I can’t afford to buy things I don’t need. I need to know that what I invest in will change my life.

And go.

9 thoughts on “Beauty Is Skin Deep, So Your Skin Better Be Beautiful.

  1. Clinique is AWFUL for sensitive skin, I also can’t use it!
    I use the Body Shop Nutriganics range, it’s a little pricey but it does work. They also have an aloe range that might work for you.
    Otherwise if that’s too expensive I’ve found the Simple range at Clicks very nice and non-irritating. Have a try :)

  2. Saw ur link floating around twitter.
    I SWEAR by a south african organic brand called The Victorian Garden (google them – their site is awful and takes a while to navigate – but if u email them they’ll recommend stuff).
    It is so reasonablly priced! And so fantastic!! I suffered from breakouts and senstive skin, used their stuff. And cleared up so fast! They have fantastic healing oils- their Facial Healing oil practically cures pimples in a day or two. Their Anti Aging Night Oil is a miracle.
    Gosh, I hope I’m not sounding like spam! Lol.
    Their range is really big – inludes bath and body stuff too. They are based in lonehill jhb, but will ship.

    Pls get hold of them and try it! Its local, its lekker, its cruelty free, its affordable, it works. Can’t ask for much more!

    Good luck!

  3. My only advice is steer away from all chemicals. All the big ‘brands’ are loaded with the stuff and only exacerbate the problem. If I were you I’d find a good homeopath to figure out why you have internal inflammation and which foods are doing this to you and start adding tumeric to everything. Onions, garlic, ginger and lemon too.

    There are great natural SA brands out there now and some other ‘fake’ dermalogica types. I really like La Melle and for makeup I adore Dr Haushka and Jane Iredale (USA) as they only contain minerals that actually calm the skin but both are crazy expensive. There’s an SA brand equivalent called Inthusiasm but I am yet to try it. In the UK I had a demo of Bare Minerals (I think it’s called) and again, the coverage and protection from external pollution is great.

    But the main thing I’d suggest, for my two pennies worth, is figure out why your body is angry first then fix the topical stuff. Good luck!

    • I have a homeopath I have been going to since I was a child, but only ever sporadically. I’ll have to make an appointment. It was definitely a hormone thing though. I was on the pill from 16 to 22, and when I came off it (for medical reasons) the breakouts started. I’m back on again and it’s definitely helped but a lot of the damage has been done. A huge part of my issue is the expense of everything though. I can’t afford a full skin care routine.

  4. I do recommend Body Shop and Victorian Garden as well. Love that Body Shop has all ranges for different skins and they have a great store card system so prices are not too bad.
    I also like moroccan argon oil for any skin problems – it is amazing. Though truthfully I don’t know a trusted supplier in SA – they do a lot of scams with that stuff and I got mine directly in Morocco from a supplier.
    In general I think you need to find someone who has similar skin issues as yours – I used to have a friend with skin that sounds very much like yours and she did do the recutane (?) and loved it. Ceraphil to clean in the meanwhile. And with all advise I don’t think more expensive is always more better :)

    • Thanks so much Annika! I think I’m actually going to speak to a dermatologist and get medically recommended products for now. And then when my skin is ‘normal’ again I can try with OTC products.

  5. Late on the uptake, but here’s my two cents:
    I have good skin genes from my mom. In my mid-twenties my hormones bitch slapped me. I tried every product I could. Nothing made a difference. For me, the only thing that helped was going on to a hormone pills (but not lady hormones, some male hormone – androgens). I got it from my dermatologist, and it took a while to work, but work it did

    Apart from that: best make-up remover – Like Silk Eye Make Up Remover.

    I use Yardley Oatmeal now, and it does a better job than Vichy did!

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