My skin journey Part 1

This is quite wordy! But for those who prefer to watch videos, I shall have a video series following this too, but the blog posts will be more in depth. Check out video 1 here.

So here's a little intro about my skin:
I've not felt comfortable in my face with no makeup since my early teens. Then came the break outs, the scaring, uneven skin tone, oily t-zone and black heads. I was a shy teenager with frizzy hair and an even tinier frame than I have now.

At the age of 15 I discovered GHDs to tame my hair and I started to wear makeup to conceal those blemishes. I started feeling more confident even though looking back I really didn't know what I was doing with makeup, and I really did over pluck those eyebrows!

Soon I am turning 25, in August, and I always thought that by this age I would have clear skin, but no. I still get blemishes, the longest I go with none is a week if I'm lucky. But still I'm left with marks from the last lot so my skin still looks bad. 

I also forgot to mention I have rather dark circles under my eyes, I guess I have quite thin skin around that area. Even in middle school people used to ask if I had a black eye.. nice. Also once whilst at uni a guy friend of mine came into my room unannounced, seeing me without makeup he said "Aww you're ill, you poor thing" and proceeded to give me a hug. In reality I was having a lazy day free of makeup. Embarrassed by this all, I just agreed I was ill.

Another amusing story, when dating guys through uni, in fear of them seeing me without makeup and being put off, I used to sleep with my makeup on and wake up early to wash my face and apply more so they didn't see me without. I'm sure this didn't help my skin at all!

When girls say "I look awful without makeup" most actually look just as incredible as they do with makeup. In my case I genuinely feel I do look awful. I know I look very different without it. I feel this insecurity is holding me back from many things. For example, I wish to attempt filming makeup videos, but this would involve me starting with no makeup. Not something I could do just yet. My friends have said, do it, people will say you look just fine, but even if lots said I did, I know, I just know, one would say something nasty, and I'd just focus on the negative.

Some may think this is all silly, and yes, yes it probably is, but that's how I really feel. But I do really want to change this!

I do get some lovely comments though from viewers on my youtube channel saying I have nice skin, requesting I do a foundation or skin care routine. I'm always quick to say though it's just the makeup and good lighting, as I know my skin isn't good!

Making a change!

I was approached by U and your skin as the lovely Carly, a friend and fellow youtuber recommended me to them. They offered me a free facial for a review, and I of course said yes!

18 days ago I ventured out of the house with no makeup, and the biggest sunglasses I owned to cover up my face. Upon arrival I was met by the lovely Louise and we chatted about my skin. I told her my insecurities which she noted down. I was actually have a good skin day with no active spots, but lots of marks from previous ones very apparent on my face. She then asked me questions which explored my lifestyle, diet etc as other things can also contribute to our skin troubles, such as stress and excess of certain foods. Their procedure is to find out what you want to improve on with your skin, then they tailor treatments for each individual. It's not set facials for every client.

I wasn't really sure what to expect as I've only ever had one facial in Thailand and that didn't really do anything so wasn't fully sure on the whole point of facials to be honest.

The facial!

Whilst listening to calming music I had various lovely smelling products massaged into my skin, then a face mask and even a mini steam machine to help open my pores for a deep cleanse. Louise did mention I had a lot of build up on my skin, this was down to me exfoliating everyday and damaging the protective layer on my skin. I've stopped doing that now!

The facial was very enjoyable and relaxing! I did worry though that my skin would break out after this treatment as from previous experiences with face masks I've used on mysel
f, I end up breaking out for a whole week! Louise even mentioned I might due to the deep cleanse bringing out all impurities. Luckily though I didn't break out at all! If anything my skin improved each day afterwards!

For my dark circles Louise recommended I take magnesium supplements to help brighten my skin. I got ones with zinc in which is meant to help your body absorb the magnesium and also aid healing.

The results!

I really did not expect to notice anything straight after the facial, but oh my, my skin felt AMAZINGLY soft. I've never felt my nose feel so smooth in my life! The pores were barely noticeable there too. I'm not sure what was used in the facial but my word I've never felt my skin feel so smooth before!

She then added some mineral foundation so I didn't feel as self conscious on my walk home. I've never thought about using mineral makeup before as I never thought it would give enough coverage, but this was buildable and actually worked very well. It was by the brand Priori which is made by the same company behind Bare Minerals and helps treat the skin too. I was quite impressed with it, I'm thinking of buying it actually. My Mum was so impressed with it she wants to buy me some for my birthday, bless her!

Days after I noticed when I sunbathed, with factor 30 on my face, it actually tanned! Previously it wouldn't but I guess that was due to the build up on my skin.

I was given a gentle cleanser containing AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) by Priori to use every evening, and then I bought a skin renewal cream also containing AHAs by Priori to use after the cleanser every other evening. These AHAs help aid skins resurfacing. These products are to help prep my skin for my next more intensive treatment. I feel they've also helped keep my skin continually feeling nice and smooth.

I've not yet noticed improvements with my dark circles yet, but I think they will always be most noticeable to myself.

I've hardly broken out in the 18 days it's been since my first facial, a record! My skin actually looks like it has a glow as the dull layers of build up have been removed.

Whats next?

We chatted about a few things, then they kindly offered me to try out 6 more treatments for me to review. I was delighted as I was so impressed from the first facial and I couldn't say no to someone offering to help me with my skin!

So for my next post I shall cover the first three treatments as the half way point, then my last post will be after the sixth treatment to talk about how it all went and show how my skin is at the end of it all. How does this sound to you guys?

The first of the six treatments is an intensive AHA peel, which sounds very scary! But isn't as I had that a few days ago, which I filmed. The second treatment will be an Omnilux light therapy which I shall also film. Following from this the next sessions will alternate between these two treatments so the posts will be following how my skin improves as well as first outlining the treatments.

Pictures, well stills from my vlog.

U and your skin in Norwich

Treatment room

Before facial make up free:
eww :( it doesn't look too bad here, but it's worst in person. I should have taken pictures! But I run away from cameras when I don't wear makeup!

Below trying to be inconspicuous on route, but these glasses got a lot of attention actually! :/ Can see the marks on my skin a bit more here. It's worst on the other side of my face.

Below, after facial with mineral makeup (this did match my skin, tone, this is odd lighting in the video)

Below, 16 days after the facial, makeup free, more even skin tone and I have a slight tan on my face yey! Due to hardly breaking out and using the skin renewal cream the red marks from previous spots have faded considerably, most completely gone.
 It's very hard to get a still of me talking, I'm not sad here honest!

 A massive thank you to U and your skin for making such a different to my skin already! Although I am getting these treatments for free, I am buying some of the products needed and this does not affect my opinions on the experience. All thoughts are mine and genuine. I'm not being paid to blog or video the treatments or my experiences.

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  1. Wow you look absolutely glowing Leanne! I still think you look beautiful without makeup but I know how hard it is to believe anyone when it's talking about yourself. Looks like a great experience!

    Katie xo

    1. You sweetheart! I think I'm getting there, the tan also helps, I look less ill! Just looking forward to clear skin hopefully! Then I won't feel the need to wear so much makeup :D x

  2. I know exactly how you feel. It's almost like you've described my skin here! Although I pretty much stopped having blemishes/spots a few years ago my skin is very sensitive and lots of things cause my face to turn into a red, bumpy mess resulting in red blemish marks that take months to go away and a very uneven skin tone! I also always feel like I have really dark under eye circles too and it sucks having to constantly worry about covering them up with concealer.
    I'd love to hear how you get on with the rest of the treatments :)

    Louise /

    1. I wish I would stop getting blemishes! Fingers crossed hey as so far I'm on a roll!
      Yes I pile on the concealer, why people never believe I have dark circles, these stills somehow make them look better than they are, which I feel kind of relieved about as that footage shall be going on youtube eeep! x

  3. I can really relate to this post - I have hereditary dark circles which are quite bad, but if I don't get enough sleep they look awful! Ive been in a similar situation as you where I was round my boyfriends with no makeup on and his dad actually told me that I looked awful, and that my eyes where really black and if something had happened! It's really disheartening and I was almost in tears, but tried not to let it affect me. I've also struggled with acne since I was about 15. It used to be a lot worse, and now it's just the case of having a few spots and small breakouts but I have quite bad scarring (pigmentation and indented) on my cheeks, and the spots that I do get always leave marks (the same with you) which I actually never used to happen. It's so so so frustrating! I've never heard about taking magnesium for dark circles before, so maybe I'll try that, and after seeing your results with the facial I am definitely going to look into getting it done myself! Thanks so much for this post Leanne, so helpful!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

  4. Leanne you honestly shouldn't be so down on yourself without make-up, if that's what I looked like without make-up I could honestly say that I'd be thrilled! I suffer terribly with my skin, going through months of perfect clarity and then months of what seems likes hundreds of break-outs, which leave me with super-red scarring, taking forever to fade. I've never really considered facials though so this could be something for me to look in to. Thanks for this post!

    Kathleen @ Made In The 1990's.

  5. I've had a really bad time with acne over the past few years so you're definitely not the only one. Your skin looks so lovely and you shouldn't let it get you down xxx

  6. Your skin looks glowing and you are beautiful :) I love your blog and I have followed you with Bloglovin, if you ever get a chance to check out my blog I would be delighted, thanks!

    Camille xo.

  7. I wonder if skin trouble runs in our family, my dear. I got awful breakouts as a teenager right til my early 20s. All that subsided when I went on the pill, though I still get grubby, gapey pores. Anyway, glad you've found something that helps! Can't wait to hear how the rest of it goes. :)

    You mentioned 'buildup' in the post - what was it a buildup of?

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  9. You are a truly beautiful person, and have inspired me and so many other people. Your skin looks perfect :)
    I rave about you just a little in my FAQ here

  10. Its great to see you trying to become more confident without make-up! I think its something that most people have to deal with at some point in their life and talking openly about this type of thing really helps people out. I'm 24 now and my skin is at its worse, it has a huge impact on your confidence and overall happiness and I'm currently on new medication which I hope will help with breakouts.

    I hope these treatments work for you, your such a beautiful person and I really enjoy reading / watching you! I'm trying to document some lotions and potions that are helping me deal with my skin issues on my blog also if you would like to read! Please keep us updated :)

    The Design Disciple
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