Thursday, 26 April 2012

Clinic on Thursday - Kind of...CLINIC IS CLOSED.


Regular readers of this blog will know that the Clinic has been getting busier and busier - so much so that I finished last week's questions on Tuesday night this week.

As more and more (lovely) people read it - there is also a lot of repetition. A lot of you have the same problems - mainly acne/little red raised bumps/greasy/combination/obsession with pores etc 

It then occurred to me that I have not yet done a cheat sheet on acne/little red bumps (your words) - SO - I am working on one to be up hopefully before the weekend.

I am also working on a 'Frequently Asked Questions' Cheat Sheet - which will basically say 'use a non-mineral oil cleanser and take a LOT of fish oil'. :)

This week the Clinic will be a little different - I have a HUGE exam next week and need to spend time revising rather than discussing zits.

So I would ask this: the Clinic is open. 
If however, your question is extremely similar to one I have answered previously I will publish it - but refer you back to previous clinics.
If your question is related to any kind of spot/zit/acne/little red bumps, please wait for the cheat sheet and ask any questions under that if possible.

And one final word - I started the Clinic because I was receiving so many emails from readers asking my advice. With the utmost respect, it is not a forum. 
I had quite a few readers jump in and answer people's questions before I could get to them in the last few clinics - and in all honesty, if I disagree with anything you have said I'm just not publishing them. Not because I'm being a diva - merely because it doubles the workload. I need to answer the initial question, then the follow-up comments from someone else - THEN correct them. If I agree with everything you've said - I'll publish. 
I am not referring to readers who join in and say 'I've got that too! Can you help me also?' etc etc

So if you are one of the readers that has answered a question from another reader recently and haven't seen it published - that is why. I'm sorry but I have to recognise my limitations - there's only one of me - I hope you understand.

Off we go! :)


  1. Hi Caroline
    Hope you can help me please.
    I am 28 with a history of using to accurate and long courses of anti biotics for my acne.
    My problem is I have Sun damage on my decollete and have a red ring around my neck that looks like sunburn constantly.
    I am so conscious of this so wear scarves all the time.
    What would be the best course of action??
    Thank you

    1. Sorry meant to be Roaccutane!

    2. Unfortunately anti-biotics leave you very susceptible to sun damage - incredibly sun sensitive.
      You can use products containing vitamin a and niacinamide etc but you'll need to be really careful as your skin is sensitised. No emergency cure i'm afraid.
      Take good care of your skin with good oils/balms in the evenings - think of it as nursing it back to health. And you need to live in SPF.

    3. Thank you so much for taking time out to reply :)
      I am truly gutted that i had not thought about that area more when applying sunscreen.

      I have looked into the mindfield of skincare brands for some time that offer serums/creams that can help with redness and or sun damage but i am unsure of which to go for, if you have a spare moment just to to recommend a brand then i would be most grateful.....
      I have also looked into IPL but again am not sure if it would be the right way to go.

      Many thanks again, hope you have had a nice weekend albeit with all this miserable weather,
      (Although im secretly happy because i can wrap up, cover my decollete and keep it away from the sun....bad isnt it!!)

    4. try Alpha=H - Michelle the owner suffers from the exact same issue and so a lot of her products address it.

  2. Me again (I should start paying really). Any recommendations for a baby's skin? We've been given Diprobase by her GP, but her forehead is STILL flakey.

    Thank you

    P.S. follow Mrs Hirons advice. My pores now look lovely :)

    1. Great! Thank you, I'll give it a whirl cx

  3. Hi Caroline,

    Wondering if you can answer two questions for me that I can’t see as having been answered before!
    The same old story, skin flared up after coming off the pill and as I'm 36 now wondered what the best regime would be for me. I have also been diagnosed with acne roscacea and my doctor prescribed Finacea - which is 15% Azelaic acid – which has worked really well but I’m not sure what I can/can’t use it in conjunction with as I use it morning and night before I moisturise.

    I have a pretty stressy lifestyle as I run my own business but eat healthily and exercise.

    Current regime:
    AM: LRP Effaclar foaming wash, Finacea, LRP Effaclar Mattifying Moisturiser, L'Oreal eye cream
    PM: No 7 Radiance Boosting cleanser, LRP Effaclar toner, Finacea, No 7 Protect and Perfect, L'Oreal eye cream

    a) I want to try Liquid Gold but don’t know if I should use the Finacea with the Liquid Gold or would that be too many acids?
    b) I want to get rid of the No 7 and have seen your recommendations on cleansers so will try one of those but please could you recommend a good anti-ageing/nourishing night cream for my non Liquid Gold nights? I don't mind a non-natural one at my age and with my skin! I know I should have peptides and vitamin A but only seem to come up with Olay when I search! Want to spend about £30 - £40, as all my money is absorbed by my business!!

    Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Hi Lizzi,

      Stress is the worst thing for your skin - doesn't matter if your diet is amazing - if you're stressed it's always going to suffer.
      You can use the LG on different nights - but I would focus more on trying to get some nourishment into your skin. Its very drying/mattifying at the moment.
      try something like Darphin Intral for evenings while you have the rosacea.

  4. Hi Caroline,

    I had a long & detailed post ready and waiting for this week's clinic, as I was dying for some specific advice after becoming thoroughly confused with all the conflicting information that exists these days! I currently have quite sensitive skin having spent the last 18 months or so changing products frequently trying to find the 'right' skincare for me as I moved over here several years ago from Australia and could not get the brand I had used since a teenager. I had recently been using Paula's Choice products for sensitive/combination skin after reading some of Paula's thoughts on skincare & cosmetics however her products haven't worked for me so it leaves me a little confused again (got impressed by all the research links!). I'm wary about alcohol, fragrance, chemical sunscreens as potential irritants & their safety in skincare, however they don't always irritate my skin when used (PC says they still damage your skin however this is invisible?).

    BUT I booked in a facial at Fern Skin Clinic last night after reading your experience. My skin was diagnosed (properly!!!) and I got some good recommendations so I came home with loads of new Alpha H products (that Lisa, my lovely therapist, made very clear she did not even have to tell me about let alone recommend so I would not feel pushed to buy anything). My skin feels so calm and nourished for the first time in ages, and I'm reminded once again the value of a properly trained professional's input (will be booking again)! Will be taking some of your advice from the blog on board also, and here's hoping things settle down for my poor face soon.


    1. Apologies for any multiple posts! Was attempting to post from work & mobile today without success - or so I thought! x

    2. I'm so glad. Nourish the skin!

  5. Hey. Love your blog and I have been waiting for it to be Thursday! :) But now I can see you have changed some things so I have deleted some of my questions, and I'm going to wait for the cheat sheet ;)

    I'm 19 years old, combination skin - Oily T-Zone with normal cheeks. My skin is really dehydrated and very congested - a lot of blackheads and bumps just sitting under skin :( ... and my skin is prone to breakouts I have redness on the cheeks and nose..

    1) Right now I'm using a foaming cleanser (Cerave) but my skin feels a little tight after using it sometimes. What cleanser would you recommend? Any specific?

    2) I use the Liz Earle toner but it's empty soon and want to try something else. Should I use a clarifying/balancing sort of toner or what? Is there a specific toner you would recommend?

    3) Eye creams.. what do think of Kiehls Avocado eye cream? I don't need anything anti-wrinkle kind of eyecreams right?

    I have just started using Benefits b.right moisturisers a few days ago but I like them so far..

    1. Oh no, the moisturisers have broken me out.. :( I have thought about Mario Badescu's Seaweed night cream, do you know anything about that? And maybe a Caudalie moisturiser for daytime..?

    2. Hi Elise,

      Hard to say without seeing you, most of you answers are on previous clinics and some of the questions will be on the cheat sheet so for now:

      Kiehl's eye cream is prob too rich. caudalie vinosource for dehydration - yes!

  6. Hello! I only have two queries, neither of them acne as you've already sorted me out quite well on those!

    1) I am a student in London and often work at home during the mornings before going in at lunch time. I don't wear makeup around the house, but by the time I come to put makeup on, my face is usually a bit greasy and makeup won't stay on my face too well. I don't want to use facewipes, and am worried that if I wash my face too frequently (i.e. more than morning and evening) that I will actually end up forcing my face to produce more oil. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do - is just rinsing with water ok, or will that dry my face up?

    2) I have enlarged pores over my nose and spreading out to my cheeks that do not seem to like holding onto makeup for more than 4ish hours. Do you have any magical tips/tricks that would help my makeup actually stay on longer? or should I just invest in a good primer? I know I have slightly dehydrated skin, and I am trying to increase my water intake as much as possible, but this has been a long-term problem

    Thank you very much! Also, thanks for your general advice over the last couple of months, I've been reading your blog pretty much daily since January, and you have turned my face into a spotty seemingly-teenage nightmare (even though I'm in my 20s) to a clear, much more glowing face. And well done on your million page views!

    1. Get a good primer - and apply your base and primer in the morning after cleansing/moisturising. That will also take care of number 2.
      Drinking water isn't as effective as eating it in your foods. Make sure you're eating the good veg and fruit - not too much citrus.

    2. Thanks for your advice - would you be able to recommend a good primer? There are so many out there and I don't want to waste my money to then find out that I've bought something being hyped up by pr companies rather than real people! I have a mid-range budget - am a student, but am saving my pennies as much as possible for good skincare/makeup!

  7. Ciao Caroline,

    Any suggestion of a good foundation for a mixed oily skin? at the moment I m using Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ilaria,

      A good friend of mine happens to be a brilliant makeup artist and said to tell you this:

      This is a 2-phase answer to your question, I would 1stly invest in a brilliant primer for combination skins, one that will help balance the skin provide hydration but gently mattify at the same time an excellent one would be:
      Nars Pro- prime £24.00 It is oil free, will stop your base from oxydising (changing colour-during the course of the day), it will prolong the longevity of your base and keep it shine free for longer, it is packed with skin treating ingredients so it will really *prep* your skin for the base.
      The Armani foundation give great coverage but can sometimes be a little too rich for a combination skin especially coming into Summer.
      Foundation- I would reccommend Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, it is waterbased but not insubstantial, it perfects your complexion but looks like a fabulous second skin. It is lightweight yest gives a flawless look- win win! £31.00
      Or if you feel like treating yourself and splurging- the Tom Ford Foundation liquid foundation *Traceless* is fantastic- like perfect skin in a bottle and it would still work beautifully with the NARS primer but it is an eye watering £60. If you can visit a counter for Chanel Tom Ford to be colour matched and always check in day light, not just under artificial light in the store.

      Thanks Amanda!! Amanda's blog is over there ----> on the blogroll and is called Simply The Best In Beauty.

  8. hi and thanks for taking the time to do this online clinic
    I have dry skin particularly across the bridge of my nose and cheeks. At its worst it is flaky and tight. I also have the joy of redness/broken capillaries across my cheeks along with sun spots/damage on the outer edges of my face. I've just turned 40 and use Sodashi cleanser and MV moisturiser along with drinking plenty of water.

    My question is what is the difference between a serum and a facial oil? Does it matter and if so what should I be looking for in a product?
    Thanks for you time and sharing your knowledge

    PS Save The Flannel (enough of this muslin cloth madness!!)

    1. Serum is usually used to carry products deeper into the skin - for instance active ingredients.

      Oils are usually used to treat specific skin conditions. If you're dry and have redness I would use an oil in the evenings and a serum underneath your moisturiser during the day.

  9. Hey Caroline,
    I'm 25, combination skin and I have two major concerns:

    1) My pores get really congested, I don't mean acne, spots, active breakouts or blackheads, I mean quite hard bumbs under my skin, on my cheeks especially. They are not inflammed, they do not hurt, they just sit there, a lot of sebum, and I have no idea how to get rid of them, I tried different masks (clay+radiance mask by clarins, clear improvement by origins), I tried liquid gold, face oils (clarins for combination skin), nothing gets rid of them :((

    2) My skin gets dehydrated. I feel like my skin produces too much oil but can't hold moisture in, so I think I should get a serum but I can't find one that seems to be right (clarins quench-serum was toooo oily and not nice at all) - could you recommend one please?

    Other than that: I eat really healthy, no dairy, now and then a little piece of dark chocolate (I know! but life is short, right? :) ), I do sports about 2-4 times a week.
    Toner: again Guinot - love this one
    Cleanser: Cleansing milk by Guinot (in the evening is use the Clarisonic)
    Moisturizer: Creme Beauty by Guinot
    Sometimes face oils in the evening as mentioned
    Eye cream: Guitnot / Estee Lauder

    I hope you have an idea what I mean.
    Thank you so much in advance!
    Love your blog, discovered it 3 days ago and can't stop reading it!


    1. OK a lot of this is in previous q'a so I'm going to be brief:

      There is very little that a good massage and the right oils can't fix.

      Ideally I would be able to see picture?

      Clarins have changed the formulations and are now really heavily siliconed. Very annoying.

      Drop the Clarisonic.

      Try and send me a pic.

  10. Hi Caroline,

    Thank you so much for this blog! Its a recent discovery thanks to a model recommends and it has quickly become an addiction!

    I am 23 with sensitive/combination skin- normal in the cheeks. slightly oily on the forehead. My skin has been suffering from redness around the nose, chin and just above the eyebrows. Normally I don't suffer from breakouts save the occassional once a month spot on the chin, but recently breakouts have become more frequent and so has the redness.

    My routine is;
    AM- Lancome cleansing oil with a muslim cloth, clarins iris toner, clarins hydra matte lotion and pai eye cream.
    PM- Clarins cleansing milk with avene thermal water, clarins iris toner. (Im confused about what to use as a night cream after receiving advice from Dr Hauschka that you shouldn't use night cream so I stopped recently, previous I was using either Pai rosehip oil or Clarins Multi-Active night).

    I have started taking fish oils and vitmain C but its too early to see if this helps yet. My questions are:

    1) What is your advice on the redness on my skin and my recent outbreaks? Is there any products you specifically recommend as I want to tackle this but still help prevent aging.

    2) What is your opinnion on what Dr Hauschka has said about not using night products? As this feels like going against everything I know!

    Sorry for the essay! Can't wait for more cheat sheets

    Thank you,

    1. If you're using a mattifying product in the day and nothing at night your skin is incredibly pissed off with you at the moment - hence the redness. For the love of God listen to your skin - not an individual brand and nourish your skin in the evening.

      And number two? Utter bollocks.

    2. Thanks Caroline! I thought it was bollocks about not using night cream, Im happily returning to using my night products tonight after an "Im sorry skin" face mask!

  11. here's a rather random question: does the alpha-h essential hydration cream sting when you put it on? it has a light stinging on my skin when I do. also, why would moisturiser ball up? not the alpha-h but something else.

    1. Could be an intolerance to ylang ylang? And too much silicone in the product makes it ball up! :)

    2. thanks Caroline!! you're super helpful. hmm. I really like the moisturiser actually, and I haven't seen any redness. it's just the stinging that bothers me a bit. do you think I should stop using it? thanks again!!

    3. If you're not reacting and its just tingling then persevere.

  12. Hi
    I have learned a lot from reading your blog. THANK YOU!!

    1. What's your opinion on taking collagen and hyaluronic acid as supplements? Have you taken any and do you recommend any specific brands?

    2. What do you think about the japanese brand Cosme
    Decorte? I've tried their Liposome and AQMW line which I liked a lot but their products are EXPENSIVE and I just don't know enough to judge if they are worth the high price tag??

    1. I personally don't take collagen and hyaluronic acid as supplements - yet. That's not to say I wouldn't. Victoria Health does a line of hyaluronic acid supplements and they are one of their best-sellers...
      First thing I saw on the Cosme website was mineral oil. I didn't go any further. :)

  13. Hi Caroline

    Thank you so much for all your hard work on this blog. Discovered it last week and have spent hours reading already! My question is about hair - I know you normally talk about skin but you've made a few wee comments about hair products so I thought I'd ask anyway - please feel free to point me somewhere else if that's more appropriate!

    I am looking for a good paraben/SLS free haircare range. My hair is medium length (just past my shoulders) and highlighted regularly for donkeys years now. My hairdresser says it needs moisturising type products, masks, etc. My budget is mid-range I guess. Thanks in advance!

    1. Why do you want paraben and sls free? Do you have problems with your scalp? If not, I wouldn't worry.

      Naked make sls free etc - you could try them?

    2. Thanks Caroline, will give them a go. I don't have any problems with my scalp but I'd read something recently about avoiding parabens and SLS (for both health and environmental reasons) so I thought I should look into it a bit more.

    3. Hi I hope you diont mind me adding a couple of products here, I use Macadamia Oil shampoo, mask and oil treatments, they are paraben and SLS free, they are superb, plus Liz Earle Shampoo, conditioner for dry/damaged hair and the damage treatment, not sure if they are paraben free but they are SLS free, they are also fantastic, with the liz earle I use the conditioner as a mask for say 20 mins everytime i wash my hair, i have quite thick longish hair that is very dry, obviously if you have thin hair then this might be too much for you.
      On the plus side neither of these products will strip you hair of colour.

    4. Hi Ruth,

      Absolutely if you want to avoid nasties - Jenny I wasn't overwhelmed by the LE hair range to be honest..

  14. Hi Caroline,
    A new reader, sorry for any repeated questions.
    Age 23/Indian/South Asian/Medium complexion. I do have Polytheistic ovaries.

    Skin:Normal/dry/sometimes dehydrated.
    Skin care regime: DAILY-Mostly Dermalogica (let's say DM). DM Special Cleansing Gel, DM Micofiliant( in love, DM Multi Active Toner ( will be switching it to Cauduile Exilir thing), Avene Hydrating Serum, DM Skin Smoothing Cream, DM Intensive eye repair ( night), Locciatne Angelica Regard Raidieux eye roll on ( mornings).
    WEEKLY:DM Gentle Cream Exfoliant, DM Skin Hydrating booster, La roche posay effclar duo for spots( does not work) and Clarasonic (scared it erupts my skin)

    I use SPF within my make up

    I need your help with:
    1)Under eye SEVERE puffiness and moderate darkness. The DM intensive eye repair only keeps it moistured.
    2. Dark area (pigmentation?) around mouth.
    3.Acne scaring
    4.Supplements...currently take primrose oil tablets.

    THANK YOU soooo much and look forward to your reply!

    1. 1. If you're asian/indian it's probably genetic and you are limited to what you can get a benefit from - both symptoms of your genetics. the only other thing you can do for the puffiness is watch your salt intake, sleep elevated etc.. sorry!
      2. Use products for pigmentation - serums/cream - overnight is usually stronger
      3. Vitamin A overnight - treatments if severe
      4. Polycystic ovaries? Your hormones will be all over the place - fish oils will help. As will lecithin and magnesium.

      Good luck!

    2. As a PCOS sufferer I struggle to find info on non-medical solutions. Off to find fish oil supplements.. Thanks Caroline! xx

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  16. Which fish oils do you recommend taking? I'm not sure if the one I've always had (Boots Omega 3,6&9) are right? Also, what dosage should I be taking daily for the best results?

    P.s, thank you for the recommendations for eye creams, my Alpha H is winging its way to me!

    1. Depends on your lifestyle and skin?
      I try and take up to 9000mg a day - 3 x 1000mg with each meal.
      Its a lot but it has literally cured my acne. No word of lie.
      I've used Perricone in the past but I have just ordered Lamberts Fish Oil 1100mg each. Can't wait! :)

    2. Wow, that's amazing! I'm 27, have a very srtessful job, I eat quite well most of the time but I do have weekend treats, exercise 6 hours a week. Skin varies between normal and combonation but I have had a bit of acne for about 7 /8 months now but is getting better.

  17. Hi Caroline,
    I'm 28 and reckon its time for me to start using an eye cream or gel... I have sensitive combination skin (prone to small but regular spots on forehead, chin and sometimes cheeks) and usually have circles under my eyes from not enough sleep. The last couple days I've also had really uncharacteristic puffy bags (probably lack of sleep plus maybe using Murad clarifying cleanser in shower so it comes into contact with eye area-bad I'm sure : / ). Budget is not more than £20-25 for an eye cream.. What would you recommend?
    Thank you!

    1. p.s. I have been wondering about these red puffy eyes that just popped up over night yesterday, I don't usually have anything like this.. I realised I took my first two capsules of Dr Perricone omega 3 supplements in the you think it could be a reaction to that? Is that a thing?! Thank you again and good luck for exam!

    2. I doubt its the supplements but obvs can't be sure - why don't you half your dose and try again? Build up when confident it's not them?
      Alpha-h Eye Complex is very light and hydrating. Stay away fro mineral oil.

  18. Not sure if this will be included in cheat sheet but just wondering about the best products for getting rid
    Of acne marks! Thanks so much. Looking forward to the cheat sheet!!!!

    1. Depends how deep? Dermaroller if really bad pitted scars, otherwise endless night treatments can help - vitamin a, niacinamide, the algenist night cream is amazing for my scarring.

    2. just red/purple marks that last a couple of months. just want something that might help them shift a bit quicker?

  19. Hi Caroline,
    I looked through some previous Clinics and have written some names down so thank you.
    But I was wondering about the anti-spot treatments to apply direct on the spot? You have mentioned Aesop Control (maybe some more products but I did not get a chance to read all Clinics just yet but it's not available near me. What else would you recommend please? What do you think of La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I.?
    Thank you!

    1. Depends on the spot but I very rarely try and dry them out - it just makes them flaky and more prone to scarring.

      I tend to suffocate them with good oils - things like Darphin Purifying Balm and Neals Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm. Do that every night and it will be gone or come to a head (popable) before you know it.

  20. Hi, will keep this short as you seem to be everywhere at the moment!! And there is no rush...... Would appreciate your advice on changing to lighter skincare for hopefully warmer weather. I use Sarah Chapman which I really do like (we did email about this!) and a bit of Emma Hardie too. I think SC might be too heavy for summer and wondered if you could recommend something? I was thinking of trying Elemis but have not yet. Many thanks and so glad you are trumpeting the virtues of the flannel - have roughly 50 of them - don't know why but I do! Thanks So much xx

    1. SC should be ok for Summer - it has an SPF too? It's more active than Elemis too.

      you could try some skinceuticals or algenist lotions instead of heavier moisturisers?

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  22. Hi Caroline,

    Thank you very much for having this Clinic – I’ve used it once already and it was a great help!

    I have a quick question :) I’m 28 and am starting to see the first wrinkles around my eyes so I was wondering if you could recommend a good eye cream to keep these at bay? Also, what should I do to keep my skin looking younger for longer generally – any serums I could start using or anything? My skin is normal/combination without any specific problems, and I am not using anything “anti-age” currently. Would be great if you could point me towards particular products or brands that work.

    Thank you!

    1. If you're 28 and need the beginnings of anti-ageing you could try Caudalie? All good products and not too £££

    2. Thank you! I'll give it a go :)

  23. Hello Caroline

    I'm new to your blog; I stumbled across the facial massage page and then had a look through the rest of it. Turns out I'm already using a lot of the things you recommend (yay!) so I'm interested to know if you can recommend something else. If this question will be covered by your cheat sheet then feel free to ignore me and I'll wait for the information.

    I had terrible skin for a very long time, basically as a result of bad hygiene, lifestyle and diet. I have had a severe mental health problem for many years but, finally, I got proper residential treatment last year and it's like someone gave me a whole new personality. And new me actually cares a bit about how she looks!

    So I've been cleaning my face properly, using EH balm a couple of times a week for a treat but usually using oil cleansing (a mix of almond, jojoba, castor, bit of tea tree) because I'm skint. I use rosehip oil as a serum and pai camomile & rosehip moisturiser as required. I'm 38 with very greasy skin and almost no wrinkes (the only plus point!) and will wait for the cheat sheet on spots to deal with that aspect of my issues.

    My problem is makeup, or what to do with my face during the day. As my skin's got clean it's become obvious that I have massively open pores. I know I can't shrink them but what's the best thing to wear during the days I do want to wear makeup? I don't wear anything at the moment and I know that's bad because I've got no spf protection and I'm fair skinned. When I have tried foundation it seems to make them look worse, like big holes in my forehead. I am a complete novice so have no idea where to start.

    I'm not looking to spend a fortune, unfortunately! I'm in Manchester so have access to all the beauty counters and space NK to pester for samples.

    Sorry about the essay. Hope you can give me a bit of guidance.

    1. Go to SpaceNK in St Anns Square, tell them I sent you, and get a good primer. That's what you need.

    2. Thank you, I will do that this week (and baffle them with my complete ignorance of all things makeup, at my age!).

      Best of luck with your exam.

      Sarah x

  24. Hi Caroline. I am going on holiday to Indonesia in the summer, and am worried that the humidity/heat will make my skin more oily & I will breakout. Do you have any tips for keeping my skin clear while I'm on holiday? And also an SPF moisturiser or suncream that is good for mattifying/won't clog my pores? For reference, at the moment I have combination/oily skin, oily on my forehead and cheeks but I also can get very dry patches, I do get clogged pores easily but fingers crossed my skin is less acne prone now that I've changed BC pill. Thank you & good luck for your exam! xx

    1. I would suggest getting a little sun! Use a balm cleanser - make sure you double cleanse at night to get all the spf off, you could also take a little Caudalie Elixir with you to keep your fresh and toned during the heat! :)

  25. Hi Caroline! I just discovered your amazing blog !
    I have a question about acne (wait! wait!) scars. I have a few of them on my face (and they're quite visible since I'm black) and I was wondering if you know a good cream or serum (or anything actually) that could make them disappear. I'm 21 and I have a combination skin. I use Alpha H balancing cleanser + the organic fine lavender floral water by Sanoflore + Murad's oil control mattifier during the day, and the Bio Oil at night. And sometimes the Liquid Gold by Alpha H, or the Clarisonic (not every day!).
    I hope you can help me with this!

    1. Ditch the Bio Oil. Be careful with the Clarisonic. Try and incorporate a nighttime product that contains vitamin a - don't be tempted by hydroquinone as it can make dark skins patchy.

  26. Hi Caroline,

    Just a quick one, am too young to use the Emma Hardie cleanser at 19? I'm using the sample size and it's lovely but wasn't sure if it was too anti ageing or anything like that?

    Thank you!

    1. No you're not too young. Crack on.

  27. Hi, I'm not sure if this would count as spots... but here I go.

    I'm 15 years old, and my skin is pretty good, except for my nose. I have tons of blackheads on my nose that seem to go deep down into my pores. Some days they look further down and other days they seem more on the surface, but I've never managed to get rid of them.

    My skincare routine (I have somewhat dry, sensitive skin):
    Morning: wash face (properly!) with Burt's Bees sensitive facial cleanser with cotton extract
    apply Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Oil as moisturimzer

    Evening: wash face with the same cleanser (I don't wear make-up or anything so I cleanse once)
    Lately I've been putting a clay mask (St. Ives mineral clay firming mask) on my nose every night, and then i follow up with either Neostrata smoothing cream on my nose or Biotherm Aquasource Non-stop on my nose, and the sweet almond oil on the rest of my face.

    I've been trying to improve my diet and exercise lately (drinking more water, running, eating more fruits and vegetables, etc), though I do still eat sweets sometimes.

    How can I get rid of the blackheads? Is it some of my products that are clogging the pores or not cleaning them well enough?


    1. Well you're 15 - so your hormones won't help! :)

      tbh it's probably a little of both. if you upped your cleanser to a balm cleanser and gave a really good massage every evening that would help,as would a good toner with rosemary/mint etc..but they will probably go eventually...

      You can go for a facial and have them taken out if you prefer.

  28. Oh and I forgot to mention that I've been taking 3000mg of fish oil a day as of late.

  29. Can fish oil break you out? I was taking 1200mg a day for a month on your advice and my skin (face and unusually for me-back) became really spotty. If I had persisted would it have settled? is there an alternative I can try?
    Thanks in advance for any reply.

    1. Flax oil is an alternative - did you change anything else? Some people don't synthesise omega as well as others. If you know it def was the fish you can either move to flax or add lecithin which aids absorption of omegas?

  30. Hello Ms. Hirons,

    I am at my wit's end with the dark circles under my eyes, despite the fact that I get enough sleep, manage my stress level, eat well, and take my skin care very seriously. I just started taking loads of fish oil, per your advice! However, I am 26, and my dark circles have gotten so bad they are starting to look like bruises. What are they going to look like 10 years from now?! I have very fair skin and blond hair, so you can see some capillaries under my eyes too. I have used eye creams for years - Origins, Clinique, Estee Lauder, etc - but all they seem to do is moisturize. Is there something I'm missing? Help, please?

    1. Would love the answer to this, I've suffered terribly with dark circles and have looked like I've had a wild night out since I was about 10 years old I am now 31! Nothing I do stops them, don't even smoke or drink ever. Why oh why. Please help us Mrs H!

    2. Hi Ladies,

      Unfortunately there is not a lot you can do if I'm completely honest. It sounds like they are genetic - you can make sure you are supporting your liver and kidneys with milk thistle etc but ultimately you are looking at covering them rather than getting rid of them.

      Sorry! But at least you'll save your money?

    3. I appreciate the honesty! Do you have a favorite undereye concealer?

  31. REALLY looking forward to the acne cheat sheet!! - Thank You for such a helpful blog!

    Just a quick question, from your above post could you recommend a good non-mineral oil cleanser for combination skin and fish supplements you'd also recommend?

    All the best - and good luck the exam. Fran x

    1. Alpha-h or Balance Me balm cleansers are lovely. So is Suti. I've just ordered Lamberts Fish Oils in 1100mg strength. I like Lamberts and Perricone.

    2. Great, Thank You so much! Have ordered the Alpha-H and Lamberts!! (and hitting Primark to haul on flannels, !YAY!)

  32. Hi, you answered a few of my questions about a month ago and I would like to follow up with two more quick questions:

    1. You recommended a cleansing balm, I picked up the Clinique Take the Day off Balm. Yay or nay?
    2. I was also curious about your thoughts on drying lotions? (Mario Badescu has one and I believe Kate Sommerville's EradiKate is very similar if not the same)

    1. Yay.

      They're great in an emergency - but I prefer good oils on top of the spots to hydrate the area.

  33. Very quick question- what do you think of SkinCeuticals retinol? I am 25 and looking to prevent aging, is it worth starting on the 0.3% or just using spf at the moment?

    1. Stick with SPF while you can :) When you're closer to 30 maybe?

  34. thanks for all your advice over the last few weeks. i have very similar skin to you i think! what are you favourite deep cleansing masks, hydrating masks, spot treatments, evening vit a treatments and sunscreens?

    1. Oh God. ok some of them:

      Kate Somerville Clearing Mask, Any clay mask tbh, Skin Ceuticals B5 Mask, Origins Drink It Up, Don't really use spot treatments, vitamin a overnight - usually just in my creams and spf I only use in my makeup - Hampton Sun when on hols. And Hawaiian Tropic obvs!

  35. Hi Caroline,

    I love your Clinic and thank you so much for doing this!

    My question is concerning exfoliates. I'm have pretty sensitive/combo skin and my make-up artist friend told me that I should not be using salicylic acid (BHA) on my skin. She said that I'm far too delicate for it. She suggested a fruit enzyme instead. I was wondering what you thought of the Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant vs. Liquid Gold. Is one better for sensitive skin? Thank you!

    1. I would say the Gentle Daily is more suitable but I wouldn't rule out LG altogether..

    2. Thank you! I'll give the Gentle Daily a try and go from there.

  36. Hi I just descovered you last week and have been waiting for thurysday to come around so I can ask my question :-)
    Can you please recommend a good eye cream for fine lines just starting to become alittle deeper, I would prefer a naturally based one if possible but would consider non if the perfrmance was there.
    I do also have a problem with recurring spots on the neck area specifically, which is becoming abit of an issue, I do same routine on neck as face.
    I am 37, skin is normal/combination for 2 weeks then normal - dry other two weeks of month my routine is as follows
    Supliments - Seven Seas Radiance Capsules 1 a day

    Cleansers - Pai, Liz Earle, Sanctuary Hot Cloth cleanser, AD Synergy Cleansing Balm, Barefoot Botanicals Rosa Fina Creamy wash/milk cleanser I cleanse both AM & Double Cleanse pm if Im wearing make up. Taken off with flannel or muslin cloth in hot water

    Toner - Liz Earle Instant Boost Tonic, John Masters Organics Rose Tonic, Barefoot Botanicals Rosa Fina Spritz

    Moisturise Day - Pai normal Combination moisturiser, Barefoot Botanicals Rosa Fina moisturiser, Liz Earle Superskin cream, AD Synergy Moisturiser.

    Moisturise PM - AD Synergy Nourishing Night Oil, occasionally Pai Rosehip Oil - nothing else except eye cream

    Oils AM - Decleor neroli aromessence.

    Eye Cream, AD Synergy eye cream, Pai Echium Eye Cream. Liz Earle Superskin eye ( not too impressed with this though!)

    Exfoliate - Liz Earle Exfoliator, or Sancturay Micro dermabrasion / sanctuary pore refiner, twice a week. face and neck.

    Spot treatment, dab on Dr Nick lowes Spot gel or savlon if spot has broken its head.

    I do get a few usually one or two hormonal spots at time of month still mainly on chin area, neck is more problematic though, can be anytime.

    My Diet is pretty good, lots of fruit, veg, decaff tea, salads chicken etc, low fat yogurts, rivitas etc, granary bread - never white YUK! I do have occasional choccie bar but maybe ony once or twice a month, try to keep fizzy pop to minimum etc, and control refined sugar intake. Only have an occasional alcoholic drink.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. thankyou xx

    1. I see hormonal spots on your horizon - :) I hit 40 and got full-blown acne - nice! And the neck and lower face is the prime area.
      Start on the fish oils now - Radiance Capsules are ok but nowhere near strong enough.
      Avoid citrus fruit and tomatoes - unless cooked - and low-fat yoghurts re full of sugar. Just sayin.
      Eye-wise - try Alpha-H Age Delay?

    2. Thankyou very much for you advise, hormonal acne spots EKKKKK! Im panicaning now lol! definatly dont want these to arrive post 40, I'll certainly start the fish oils straight away,
      I've had a look at you suppliments secction and like the look for the Perricone MD omega oils and the youth works tablets, not as energetic as I used to be, can these be taken together ok? Also the perricone MD omega capsules recommend 6 a day is that enough strength for me, as you said the seven seas i'm currently on isnt strong enough.
      Intersting about tomatoes as I do eat them everyday raw in salad, I'll try and cut down, yogurts I know, you're right they are full of sugar, the weight watcher fromage frais are 5g sugar so pretty low as they go some are as much as 20g per pot, but i will try to cut down on them too xx Thankyou again xx

  37. hi Caroline,
    it's great that you find time to answer to our questions,thank you.
    i am 22 years old,my skin is normal to dry,i remove make up with almond oil,cleanse with a cleansing milk,tone,moisturize,eye ream,sunscreen and take supplements.At nights i use rosehip oil under moisturizer and once a week i exfoliate and use a hydrating mask.I have mild eczema on the side of my face,and i can't understand it because i moisturize,eat ell.drink a lot water(3 lt a day at least) and i live in greece where is hot.My doctor gave me a cream with cortizone,it cleared up and then back again,i wanted to ask you if i can try something else without cortizone.also,i wanted to ask if itit is bad to put the oil on the eye area,i did and there was not puffiness.
    sorry for the length of the message and good luck for the exam.
    o,and i was wondering if you could do an cheat sheet on exfoliation,thank ou

    1. No you can use oil near the eyes that's no problem. Is it stress related?
      I know I sound like a broken record but what supplements are you taking? I would be taking a lot of fish oil of you have eczema. And make sure you get some sun on the area - it should heal it up. let me know how you get on?

    2. i take Q10,vitamin E and B,iron for health issues.I will try fish oil

  38. I know that this blog is mostly about skin, but do you have any recommendations for thin flat hair? (In terms of shampoo and conditioner) Plus what do you think of silicons for hair and the whole moroccan oil craze and which hair oil would you recommend? Thanks! At the risk of sounding like a stalker, but I took your advice and have been taking fish oil and cleansing my face twice after using sunscreen and it has cleared my skin right up!!

    1. Hair-wise - try and think of your shampoo and conditioner as cleanser and moisturiser. Your styling products should do just that - style. I very rarely use volumizing shampoos - I get it from the styling products.
      Nioxin have just released an entire range for thinning hair - check that out, I also love Aveda Invati treatment.
      Moroccan oil is pure silicone - try Gielly green Argan Rescue instead - much lighter on the silicone and I use it every day without it weighing my hair down. The fish oil will also start to help the hair - as will zinc and magnesium.

  39. Hi Caroline,

    I'm 21 with combination/sensitive skin and lately I've been having a lot of problems with my nose. After cleansing it looks really red and I'm noticing what look like a lot of blocked pores (more like whiteheads than blackheads) which don't really come to a head and aren't raised but require quite a lot of concealer to cover them. At the same time the skin is quite dry and flaky, especially when I use powder to set my make-up.

    I use the Pai cleanser twice daily (which I really love) and I've been using REN's AHA Resurfacing Concentrate to help with blemishes and pigmentation every night. Wondering if that could have irritated my nose? I also take 500mg of Flaxseed oil every day.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer this!

    1. Keep the pai for morning - use a cleansing balm in the evening. lay off the REN for now - add a nice hydrating oil in the evenings too. And use it on the nose area.
      And you can at least triple the flax intake. :)

  40. Hello,
    Im 23 Years old this year and nearly a year ago i had my first daughter. During my pregnancy i wasn't very big but torwards the end (the last month) i blew up out of nowhere.
    My daughter always seemed to lay in 1 spot (left side) which is why i currently have terrible stretch marks in that area in particular.
    I'm going away in August and i'm very desperate to try anything you recommend to help fade them. I know i won't ever be able to completely get rid of them and i should be proud but i know i will not have any confidence what so ever strolling around in a bikini.
    Is there anything you recommend me trying? Thanks a bunch and good luck in your exam... Tess

    1. Firstly, I know it sounds like self-help BS but wear your stretch marks with pride. You have a babygirl!
      However, I do understand - use body moisturisers every single day after washing in the morning and use ones targeted for marks - usually contain rosehip oil - if you can, apply rosehip neat underneath the moisturiser.
      Good luck! :)

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  42. Hello Caroline!

    Firstly, thank you so much for all the advice you readily give to everyone.
    Your knowledge and expertise is greatly appreciated.

    I've been reading through your blog and all the previous clinic posts very greedily and I've learnt more in one week than in all my short years!

    I only have a few short questions regarding my skin; I'm 26, very fair skinned with dehydrated combination skin. I have a nose that is always full of blackheads, a forehead that is dehydrated but always producing oil at the same time.

    My current skincare routine consists of using the Alpha-H Balancing cleanser twice daily, followed by the Clarins Iris toner on the T-zone and a glycerine based hydrating toner on my cheeks. My moisturiser is the Dramatically Different gel one from Clinique and twice a week I use the Alph-H Daily Exfoliant.
    I've also used Trilogy rosehip oil for a few weeks now, but I see no improvement from it.

    My Questions are:

    1) I'm thinking of using the lotus oil at night from Clarins and the Darphin Hydralight moisturiser during the day, and switching to an oil/balm cleanser.
    Would this be a good combinationto to tackle my dehydrated combination skin?

    2) Should I still use a toner for combination skin, and if yes, can I use it just before putting on oil at night?

    3) Would my skin benefit from using Alpha-H Liquid Harmony, since it's a little lower in the glycolic acid percentage? I'm a bit wary of the actual liquid gold while my skin is still dehydrated, but still want the clear skin benefits.

    Thank you in advance for taking your time to read through all my questions and good luck with the exam!


    1. Hi Evie!

      1. Yes! :)
      2. Absolutely - and absolutely!
      3. The LG will help the dehydration - not make it worse. :)

    2. Thank you so much for your reply

      Good to know about the LG!
      I'm looking forward to going on a shopping trip now :)

      Btw Caroline, do you do private consultations at all?


    3. I'd also be interested to know if you do private consults!

  43. Hi Caroline, my problem is a bit complicated. For about 4 years now, I've been diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis. It is on my nose, around the bottom part of my lips, my eyebrows, hair (sometimes), ears etc. Some doctors say I definitely have rosacea also, whereas some say that they can't diagnose rosacea as it is too early to tell. I developed blepharitis on my eyes and I used doxycycline for 3 months which cleared the problem (for now). I take fish oil supplements (1200 mg) everyday, along with biotin supplements. Recently, I started using antioxidants (regular grapeseed and Perricone's acai one). However the only time my skin looked beautiful for years was when I was actually taking doxycycline. The redness doesn't bother me much as my redness looks kind of like a blusher applied but the pustule like bumps (they're not acne or anything, just red things) do bother me. And lately, the flakiness on my skin- it got much worse after I stopped the antibiotic. I used to have combo/oily skin (I think I still do) but it just looks oily and very dry at the same time.
    My skincare routine: mornings= wash with water, then spray avene thermal water, then eye sunscreen (clarins spf 30 one), la roche posay toleraine fluide as moisturizer and bioderma ds cream on my nose and other flakey parts. I always use concealer, sometimes tinted moisturizer oil-free laura mercier one or omorovicza skin enhancer (it has fragrance on it but it is so moisturizing that it makes the flakes go away and I just glow. Still, I'm not sure about it and I'm still trying it).
    nights= i use la roche toleraine cleanser the tall one, spray with avene, put on avene eye cream and then differin all over and then after one hour or so, i put on la roche posay toleraine fluide.
    However, something is obviously wrong in my routine as my face peels all over. I can't exactly blame differin as I've been using it for 4 years and the flakiness got worse only this year. And my dermatologist has put me on differin and said that I should use it forever!
    So, what are your recommendations? Do you think Skinceuticals b5 gel would work for me? I'm thinking of buying it but I'm confused. Or the corrective phyto gel one but it does have herbal fragrance. Also, for sunscreen- do you think Skinceuticals physical fusion 50 is good? I've been using la roche anthelios fluide but it emphasizes the flakes. I'm 27 years old and I've really became depressed with these skin problems. I would love to take your opinion, thanks.

    1. Hi Anonymous:
      OK there's a lot to answer so I'm following the trail of your comment!:

      After 4 years they are more than able to give you a diagnosis! And blepharitis is LINKED to rosacea - ggrrr some doctors!
      Fish oil - triple it - at the very least. If I don't take at least 6000mg a day my acne flares up.
      The morning routine is dehydrating your face. And why are you using products for acne if your problem is rosacea?? Differin and Toleraine Fluid are for acne?
      Everything you are putting on your face is drying it out - its getting no nourishment from anywhere (except the fish).
      And you can absolutely blame differen because the skin changes all the time - it may be that your face doesn't need it anymore?! Any derm that suggests you take something forever is smoking crack. You are always changing.
      A skin that is flaking is in desperate need of oils and nourishment - not starvation.
      Lets' pretend I can throw out your entire routine (which I would if I was you) :)
      Cleanse: am and pm with a balm cleanser for DRY skin. try the new Alpha-H Age Delay which is nourishing but always gives a nod to the possibility of outbreaks.
      Tone with cotton, then spray toner over the top - think of it as layering. Any gentle, glycerin based toner - NO ALCOHOL. Try Pai for example.
      The Bioderma DS, Omorovicza and Avene eye are fine.
      But for the love of GOD get some nourishment on that face. Stat!
      Skinceuticals is a lovely mask but you honestly need to sort your daily routine before you go for a quick fix. try a really good nighttime oil for dry skin - or balm - Neals Yard, Darphin loads out there.
      Get some oil on that skin, get some sun (yes, really) and kick your dermatologist in the balls/head depending on sex.
      Let me know how you get on please?

    2. Thank you so much, that is the best advice that I've heard for a really long time.

  44. Hiya, awesome idea by the way! I'm 20 years old and have combination/sensitive skin I think haha. I have spots on my cheeks (which I've been told could be milia or from the dye in my blusher?!), and occasionally chin and forehead but then get a lot of dryness on my nose and surrounding cheek area. As well as this I'm really fair have really bluish circles under my eyes and slight redness on my cheeks as well as loads on blackheads on my nose and chin and fine lines on my forehead and under my eyes :( I just feel like this is when my skin should be at its best but I can't leave the house with no make up on coz my skin looks so so different without it on. I don't feel like I've described myself very well so if a picture would help please let me know!
    My skin are routine is as follows:
    Clarisonic with Paula's Choice Clear Normalising Cleanser (Clarisonic at night time only)
    Paulas Choice skin perfecting 1% beta hydroxy acid gel exfoliant
    Guerlain Super aqua serum
    Estee Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Oil Free Creme
    Sudocrem on any spots

    I really hope you'll be able to help :) xxxx

      OK: feel free to send me a picture.
      In the meantime:
      Ditch the Clarisonic.
      If you have lines and redness you do not need normalising - that's for combination!
      And the Guerlain (fragrance too high)
      And the EL Daywear
      And the Sudocrem *dies*

      What can you afford and where would you like to start?

    2. awh and I thought I was doing so well haha! I'll whip my make up off and get a photo to you now :) I've got a pretty big budget for skincare so I can afford the majority of things :) And just whatever is going to get my skin as good as it can be! I'm ready to be pushed in the right direction haha. Thank you so so much!

    3. Olivia you should have sent me your address so I can come to your house and BEAT YOU AROUND THE HEAD.
      I don't know what YOU see when you look in the mirror but that description you gave me is clearly of someone else. Your picture is pretty much flawless.
      You have a couple of 'blemishes', absolutely NO discolouration under your eyes, you have a little redness - and as for the blackheads... where?? on your ARSE??

      *CALMS DOWN*

      Don't use the Clarisonic with that redness and predispostion to broken capillaries.
      Use oily, balm cleansers.
      Darphin Intral Toner and Camomile oil for night.
      You could use Caudalie Elixir for toning over makeup and for day.
      Any nice moisturiser for daytime - not too fragranced.

      Your skin is on the whole, lovely. Step away from the mag mirror.

    4. Haha thank you! Can you recommend a balm cleanser? Should I be looking at one for sensitive skin or combinations etc?

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  46. Hi Caroline. I know I’m at serious risk of sounding really stupid here, but I have a list of products that I have either purchased or would like to, but I’m not sure how to get them together into a regime as I’m not sure what can be used with what (or not). Also I’m not sure whether I may be doubling up on things that I don’t need to.

    My issues are large pores, oily nose, congested chin, pigmentation and dull skin.

    This is the list, if you could let me know in what order I should be using them, or if I should be using them at all, I would be very grateful.

    Emma Hardie cleansing balm
    P50v lotion
    Algenist regenerative anti-aging lotion
    Alpha H liquid gold radiance
    Caudalie beauty elixir
    Perricone advanced face firming activator
    Sarah Chapman overnight facial

    Thanks so much :)

    1. Eeeeek This is a fabulous question! Just what I wanted to ask.

    2. Also can't wait for the answer to this!

    3. AM:
      EH cleanser
      Spray Caudalie

      EH cleanser
      Liquid Gold
      EH Cleanser
      Sarah Chapman - alternate nights

      THAT WAS FUN!!

    4. Thank you so much! You make it seem so easy. I now have a regime :) Best of luck with the exam x

  47. Hi Caroline,

    I have no idea what my skin type is and therefore no idea what products to use! Is there any good site online that will help me figure out what my type is?

    I could even describe it, its pretty normal.

    Thank you!

  48. Hi Caroline, im Sally and your (wonderous) blog, as recommended by fleur(deforce), I am 15, a vegitarian, but I have red skin,( my mum has rosasia), dryness, but also minimal forehead acne, the odd chin spot and as I say bad, bad redness, I have a good diet, and am of a healthy weight, cleansing twice daily with: clinique reddness soloutions cleanser, la roche posay psyiological toner, lush skin drink moisturiser, using benefit total moisture as an eye cream at night, and boots botanics oil free sensitive sweet gale moisturiser on top of skin reunion my t zone at night, (as well as using johnsons fragrance free sensitive stage wipes as a pre cleanser make up removed at night), yet still habe such problems with my skin. What I will say is that I do wear benefit hello flawless oxygen wow foundation and natural collection bronzed, as well as bare minerals.mineral veil as face makeup. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction, or point out what im doing wrong. Good luck with youre exam, and you are a saint!
    Many thanks lovely,
    Sally:) xx

    1. And let em know how you get on :)*SCREAMS AT YOU* STEP AWAY FROM THE JOHNSONS WIPES.
      If you have rosacea/redness genetically - you need to USE OIL on your face - not oil free. And Bare Minerals contains bismuth oxychloride which can aggravate rosacea. Be warned...

      Start now with flax seed oil (as you are veggie) - around 3000mg a day.

      Give it at least 2-3 months.
      Wash you face properly.

      And let me know how you get on :)

  49. You should start charging for this!!! :-)
    Good luck with your exam xx

  50. Hi Caroline,
    Love your blog and thanks ahead of time for bringing your expertise to so many confused consumers-like myself. You should write a book (I'll be the first to buy a copy)! I am 40 years old.... I have redness on my cheeks and nose with some broken capillaries. I have had problems with rosacea.

    AM Routine:
    Nude Cleansing Oil with massage/muslin face cloth
    4 drops of John Masters Pomegranate Facial Oil in my face cream-Origins youthtopia Ultra rich firming cream
    Baltic Collagen (treatment)
    Revive Eye Serum with DMAE & Alpha Lopoic Acid and Vitamin C Ester

    PM Routine:
    Nude Cleansing Oil or Origins facial cleansing cream
    ROC Deep Wrinkle Cream
    Dr. Weils Night Health face cream or Origins Drink up Intensive Mask
    Revive Firming Eye Serum/DMAE,Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vit. C Ester

    Can you advise me on my regimine?
    I am not sure on the Youthtopia Ultra rich firming cream....(seems too thick)
    Can you advise a good moisture cream for day?


    1. Redness doesn't necessarily mean you need really rich creams - maybe take it down a notch.

      Your routine looks pretty ok to me otherwise.

      Try Algenist - my current love - for day. And when you need a night cream theirs is immense!
      As you're the big 40 I would ask what supplements you are taking?

    2. Thank you sooooo much for your advice. I am not taking enough fish oil. I take only 1000 mg of wild Alaskan fish oil. Should I triple it? And should I add floradix and any other suggestions? I can't tell you how I heart Baltic collagen! Fish oil on the skin is pretty gross but it really works! I mean this stuff works fast on day 3.... And it is terrific!

  51. Hi Caroline.
    Just a quick note to let you know that since following the advice you gave me in a previous thursday clinic my skin has greatly improved in terms of its sensitivity.
    Just stepping back and not obsessing about my acne, oiliness, pores, by easing off on harsh drying acne treatments and adopting a nourishing soothing routine has made a tremendous difference.

    Thankyou for that and thankyou for this blog which I will continue to refer to as I reach the point when I want to step up my routine and tackle the dreaded ageing!!!


    1. You're very welcome! glad its working for you. :)

  52. Hi Caroline,
    Long time reader, first time poster - I cannot say how helpful and informative you blog is! Thanks so much for the clinic as well :)
    Ok, a quick rundown:
    I’m 23 and late last year finished a course of Roaccutane for severe acne proscribed by dermatologist. My skin now: blessedly clear but DRY!! As I used to have combo/oily skin I am finding it difficult to find skincare that works for me.
    I have never smoked, rarely drink alcohol and always have at least 2L water a day (plus lots of tea!) and eat healthily. I also take Omega 3 and vitamin D supplements.
    My skin is now quite dry as I mentioned, particularly my eye area and along my jawline - even after moisturising. Skin is also fairly sensitive, especially around eye area and I need to avoid products with Vit A for about 3 -4 more months.
    Basically, I need a new skin routine! I am (of course) worried about my eye area and have struggled to find an eye cream. Sunscreens are also difficult as many are not moisturising enough! I live in Australia and am very pale so SPF is important to me.
    Are facial oils are suitable? I’d like to use an exfoliant (not a scrub) in the future, would alpha H be ok? I used to use Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant before treatment.
    What I currently use:
    Morning: cleanse with Avene extremely gentle cleanser, moisturise with Avene skin recovery cream(if not going outside), Cetaphil moisturiser on eye area and neck (
    Night: Dermalogica precleanse (if makeup or sunscreen on), Dermalogica special cleansing gel, Avene thermal mist, Dermalogica active moist (just using up what’s left in bottle) plus Cetaphil moisturiser on eye area plus rest of face.
    Not very good I know! I used this while on Roaccutane. I am willing to spend money to get good skincare as I believe that it’s important. I have been looking into Pai, La Roche Posay sunscreen, Alpha H, Origins and the EH balm, but I’m really not sure what would work. I’d really appreciate your advice!
    Thanks so much for your help!!!

    1. Ditch the Dermalogica gel at night - too drying - move to any balm cleanser - as you're in Oz it makes sense to use Alpha-H's new Age Delay Balm cleanser.
      How much omega 3 are you taking?
      If you want to exfoliate be careful - roaccutane is very unforgiving - you need to think of your skin now as a delicate little bird (I KNOW) :) that needs constant tlc - rather than a nuisance that needs to be 'fixed'.
      Out of what you mentioned I would go with Alpha-H for cleanser, Pai for toner, Neals yard or Darphin for evening balms, decleor for daytime - they have a surprising amount of really good oils/balms/creams - check them out.

      And keep me posted?


    2. Thanks for the reply!
      Will definately check those brands out - I haven't really heard of Delecour so I'll look into it :)
      At the moment I take 2x 1000mg fish oil tablets a day, but after reading how many you take...should it be more??
      I was hoping to be able to exfoliate sometime in the next 6 months as my Derm warned me that before then would be a BAD IDEA lol as my skin is so delicate. Oh well.
      I'll keep you posted on how the skincare goes.

  53. Hi Caroline,

    I was just wondering if you could recommend any particular foundations for me? I've been on the hunt for a great one for over a year, since Chanel discontinued Teint Inocence!
    I have pale oily/ combination skin, with the 'little red bumps' big pores and blackheads that everyone seems to be talking about here!
    I work very long hours, so need something to stay put, but at the same time I work for a large fashion retail company which places a lot of focus on us having that fresh, naturally pretty and not overly made up look, so need something a bit dewy as well... am I expecting too much from one foundation? please help!

    1. I'll leave that one open to the readers... maybe @londonmugirl has a suggestion - and I'll ask Amanda - the MU artist that helped the previous poster nearer the top of the page...

    2. The new Chanel one, Perfection Lumiere is fantastic, I didn't want to like it because I loved Mat Lumiere so much and they discontinued it, but it really is fab, stay put all day and they have a much larger range of shades with pink undertones as well as yellow ones!
      As well as that I really like Estee Lauder Double Wear Light, Kevyn Aucoin Airbrush Foundation (from Space NK) and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation!
      Hope that helps! xxx

    3. Hi Emma,

      Amanda my MU friend says:

      Chanel Teint Innocence , you didn't specify whether you used the liquid or the compact version, I am guessing it was the liquid. I LOVED that foundation too and I have to say the nearest to the Liquid I have found in texture and performance is:

      MAC Face and Body- It is water based and has that light, perfecting but with a beautiful *moisture binding property* BUT and it is a huge but, please patch test this product either behind your ear or in the crook of the elbow and *wear* it for as close to 24 hours as possible as I have very occasionally seen allergies to this product, very, very seldom, but I would just prefer that you patch test it.

      Another alternative which is absolutely amazing at creating that barely there but beautiful, radiant skin is: Becca Luminous skin, this is a little richer in texture but does not give a *made up appearance at all*. I have never seen any adverse reactions to this product, so may not need to treat with such caution.

      If it is the compact and I am barking up the wrong tree ha ha, you can still get it if you google and it is available on Amazon (albeit at an extortionate price).

      Another thing to consider is a great primer that really will *hold* your foundation on for longer and prevent your skin from dehydrating the best for a loooooong day and maximize your base is: the RMK make up base- it is a little work of genius with skin soothing silk extract.

  54. Keratosis Pilaris ...... it really gets me down (and I mean really down)!! Please help!!xx

    1. Hi Charli,

      Lots of previous posts on this - use a body moisturiser with AHA's and if desoerate - use alpha-h Liquid Gold on the area directly :)

    2. Hi there

      If I may; Aldi do a fab £1.99 foot cream with 10% urea in it.I have SLAPPED it on my arms and legs and it's wondrous! After 2 months my arms and legs look good and smooth enough to expose this summer. Have a go.

  55. Wow, just discovered your blog. Love it. OK, obviously you are followed by many young people. I'm not. Let's just say I'm a woman of a certain age and then some. My skin is VERY, VERY sensitive. I cannot use retinols, alpha anythings or really any anti aging product. They make my skin burn. So I need gently yet effective, if that's possible. Just read about " The Flannels." Question is what would you use to clean my face and moisturize. Notice that you featured Clarins Orchid oil. Also that you don't recoment using Bioderma Miceellair every morning. So what would you suggest using? I'm in the US so I'm not able to pop over on the Eurostar for the cleanser you use.
    Your help will be appreciated. Really looking forward to following your blog.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Actually most of my readers are like us 'women of a certain age' :)

      Where are you in the US? Can you get mail order from SpaceNK? You can get the cleanser from Rodial - Glamtox - pretty innocuous. Dragon's Blood Toner (try and ignore the RIDICULOUS name) Moisturiser-wise try Wei, REN Hydra Calm Day or Darphin High tolerance Soothing Cream - good luck! :)

  56. Hi Caroline,

    I recently discovered your blog and thinks it is amazing that you take your time to answers questions and giving us recommendation.

    I am 23 years old and the problem I have is that I have rheumatoid arthritis (possibly lupus as well) and so my skin is somewhat sensitive to sunlight and I do wear sunscreen daily during spring and summer. For the past year my skin have bouts of very dry and flakey skin but recently it has developed into a red rash on part of my cheek, forehead and jawline where the skin is bumpy and flakey. These rashes will stay for a week and goes away for a few days and comes back again. My doctor have prescibed me betnovate cream but it is for short term uses.

    Is there any product you would recommend that would help to soothes and hyrdate my skin when I have these rashes and keep them at bay for the longer term.

    Current skin care routine:
    oilatum face cream, liz earle clean and polish, clinique liquid facial soap, estee lauder advance night repair and origins drink up intensive (used 2/3 times a week) and sun sense sunscreen.

    Would appreciate your help.



  57. Hi Sally,
    I am curious about this product:

    It contains denat alcohol. Can you please give me your opinion on it?