Over the years, my skin's been hugely temperamental. From the oily, acne-prone days of my teenage years, to well, the still oily acne-prone days of my late twenties. Here's to beautifully clear skin in my upcoming 30s, eh?
Like it or loathe it, many of us still suffer from pesky blemishes well into our twenties and beyond. And despite what some magazines will tell us, the key isn't always to overload our face with drying skincare products.
If you're even mildly into skin care, you may know that products designed to dry out the skin (like medicated acne cleansers) tend to only aggravate the problem in the long-term, causing the skin to over-produce oil to compensate for the moisture it's lost.
Thankfully, the people behind Paula's Choice - namely skincare guru Paula Begoun herself - know this only too well, and have devised a skincare regime for oily skin sufferers like myself, which does anything but cause tightness and dry out the skin.
I've heard a lot about the brand over my five+ years as a beauty blogger on this here blog, so I was chuffed when the Paula's Choice team got in touch recently to offer a couple of products for review purposes
A week or so later and Paula's Choice Hydralight Moisture-infusing Lotion, the brand's Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, and a load of smaller samples dropped through my letterbox.
Now I don't know about you, but I'm always a little bit apprehensive about adding anything new to my skincare routine, because you just never really know how your skin's going to react, do you? But this time, I dived right in and hoped for the best.
I needn't have worried. My skin didn't break out and still hasn't, after a good three or four weeks using the products.
It took me a while to get used to moisturising, because despite my advancing years (I'm 30 in three months) I've probably used moisturiser all of about six times. But the Hydralight lotion is light enough that I hardly know I'm wearing it. I apply it at night, and it's soft, non-sticky consistency doesn't seem to aggravate my skin, and the product sinks in well.
I haven't used it in the daytime, before applying my make-up, but I have been using it religiously - each night before bed - and noticed my foundation glides on that little better in the mornings. I also love its light, herbal scent, too.
A quick glance at the Paula's Choice website revealed I'm not the only one who's a big fan of the product, with 4 star reviews and up all round - head over to the site for a peek.
The Skin Perfecting Liquid, however, took a little more getting used to than the moisturiser. I began by using it in place of a toner, but quickly released it was a bit too much for every day use. It's not that it aggravates the skin by any means, just that it's a little more powerful than other products of its nature.
Described as an 'oily skin exfoliant' over on the website, the product works by exfoliating deep within the pore to fight blemishes and blackheads. On top of that it contains soothing anti-irritants. Of course, as with many other salicylic acid treatments, it strips the skin somewhat, and I wouldn't use it more than twice a week.
That said, I've noticed it's done nothing but brighten up my skin and even reduce the appearance of blemishes and acne marks - something that's been talked about lots over on the site. A successful result in all, I'd say.
Have you tried anything from Paula's Choice? Are you a fan of the brand, too? Let me know by commenting below.
* These products were sent to me for review consideration.