Monday, 15 October 2012

The Clinic is open. THE CLINIC IS CLOSED!!! SORRY!

I know I haven't done a Clinic in a while - but they are incredibly time consuming as I'm sure you can imagine and I have just been a little crazy with work. I also hate to keep you waiting for your answers!

However, I've had so many requests recently that I'm doing the Clinic with the understanding that I may not be able to get back to you immediately - BEAR WITH! :)

If you have asked me questions/given me your details previously please repeat them in the comments if you have further queries - I receive too many to remember every individual routine - sorry!

Go for it.



  1. Oh Caroline thanks for opening a clinic. I have redness around my nostrils, which get irritated if I pick at them. They get clogged often, but I refrain from going crazy, sticking instead to the hot cloth method of cleansing thoroughly on my nose. I suspect that it is seborrheic dermatitis. I also get dandruff on my head quite often, which is how I deduced that I have it

    My question is: What's the best way to reduce redness? And, how do I clean around my nose effectively? I hate the clogging from the sebum, but I hate how red it gets if I pick at the clogged pores around my nostrils.

    1. This is me again. I realised you might want to know my current skincare routine. Here it is:

      AM: Darphin Cleansing Balm (almost done, will ship out for Emma Hardie next)
      Decleor Aroma Cleanse Toner (almost done too, should I go for Biologique Recherche?)
      Avene Hydrance Optimale Light (almost finished, waiting for Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream to arrive in the post tomorrow)

      PM: Darphin Cleansing Balm
      Decleor Aroma Cleanse Toner
      Avene Triacneal (link to ingredients here:
      alternate with Darphin Purifying Balm

    2. The HCC method is probably not doing you any favours in this instance to be honest. I would go really gently around the area and invest in a mildly acidic toner - nothing hardcore. And try some hydrating products - Hydraluron would help but it will undoubtedly sting on application. Do you have any oil you can massage into the area at night?

    3. Thanks for replying Caroline. I'll go easy on the nose with the hot cloth. I do massage in Darphin's Purifying Balm every alternate night, and it does make a difference in the morning. How does this sound for a mildly acidic toner, it's by Kate Somerville.

  2. Yippee, I'm finally on twitter as you announce a clinic. My problem is that over the last 9 months my skin has suddenly become constantly full of blemishes. I’m 24 and before this year I would get the occasional spot around that time of the month but nothing like this. Now I have at least 4/5 sore blemishes at a time, generally on my chin or forehead and even when they're gone the scarring is lasting for months. They’re really killing my confidence in job interviews, which is silly but true.

    My routine is:
    AM: Ren Clearcalm Clay cleanser, Vichy normaderm global anti-imperfection hydrating care or Vichy Normaderm anti age.

    PM: Ren Clearcalm Clay cleanser (2x if SPF foundation on), Vichy moisturiser (same as before), Balance Me eye cream

    Alpha H 2x a week (I've just run out of this and not sure how much difference it made), and Origins Drink Up Intensive 1x a week

    Where am I going wrong? Can you think of anything that needs adding/upgrading?

    Thank you so much for all you do, your blog is my favourite!

    1. Hi Kat,

      Firstly, what has changed in your system in the last 9 months? Stress? Food intolerances?

      If I'm right the Vichy has mineral oil in it no? That won't help. Apologies Vichy if not! :)

      Also - key - you aren't using a toner - if you added something mildly exfoliating (Decleor do one, as well as the trusty P50) it would help purge them out.

      Have you tried Hydraluron yet? That has been great for building up the tolerance on my skin to breakouts.

      And why are you scarring? Are you a PICKER? :)

  3. Hi, it's my birthday soon and im asking mainly for skincare. I really need a new moisturiser and cleanser, my skin is combo but I've been getting really bad spots recently on my cheeks and chin, especially my cheeks. My pores are large on my cheeks near my nose. I'm going to ask for origins drink up mask as I think my skins dehydrated, but I really don't know where to start with a cleanser or moisturiser! I drink lots of water, and a vegetarian so eat lots of fruits, veggies and take multi vitamins. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks xx

    1. Oh and my current routine is:
      AM - simple cleaner, botanics rose water toner, oilatum moisturiser/bodyshop vitamin e moisturiser.
      PM- philosophy purity cleanser with clarisonic 2 times a week, just cleanser for the rest. ANR sometimes and bodyshop vitamin e moisturiser/ simple vitamin night moisturiser.
      I've also put alpha h liquid gold on my bday wish list! thanks, Sophie.

    2. Oh dear I'm not very good at this, got a bit excited that you were doing a clinic and so didn't think properly before I blurted a reply! I'm going to be 26 incase you need to know my age. Sorry I'm done now, promise.

    3. Right:

      Get Hydraluron instead of Origins Drink Up. More effective and can be used 2 x day.
      Your cheeks tend to be related to your lungs - anything going on there? And if you are veggie does this mean you eat a lot of dairy and perhaps tropical fruits? Both should be cut down if so. Stick to brown rice and foods - I ate so much WHITE food when I was veggie.
      Drink tea made with ginger and got water - even if you can't bear the thought of it. And no - ginger beer doesn't count! :)
      Products: lay off the Clarisonic. And the oilatum and body shop moisturisers.

      You can ask for things like Ren cleansers and moisturisers - not too potent but can be tailor-made - i.e. a clay cleanser and a hydrating moisturiser. I would ask for SpaceNK or John Lewis vouchers personally - then you can pick for yourself at that moment what your skin needs.
      But you definitely need to step it up. Don't worry about Alpha-H at this stage.
      Also - multi-vitamins - B vitamins can cause breakouts in some people as well as helping in others - you may be in the 'can't take B vit' family - as am I.

    4. Thanks so much for the advice.

      I gave up smoking 2 years ago so hopefully my lungs should be ok! But then I do have a problem with my voice, I don't know whether it could be in any way linked to my lungs, it's more of a dystonia so I don't think so.
      I don't eat dairy, apart from the odd bit of chocolate! It gives me stomach cramps and I only eat wholewheat pasta/rice.

      Ginger tea sounds lovely - Wish I could drink ginger beer but gave up all fizzy about a year ago too!

      My Multi V's do contain a lot of B vitamins, so I will definitely try giving them a rest/ switch to just iron tablets which is all I really need.

      Is there any particular moisturiser that you could possibly recommend? I know Ren do day moisturisers but they don't really have night time moisturisers that I can see, only serums.

      Thank you :)

  4. Caroline please help! I'm 24 and still suffering with spots on a regular basis! I've listened to all of your advice in the past and my current routine consists of:
    Origins Checks & Balances cleanser (morning)
    Emma Hardie Amazing Face cleansing balm (night)
    Caudalie Beauty Elixir
    Indeed Hydraluron
    Origins Night a Mins oil free (night)
    Origins VitaZing (day)
    I also take around 6000ml flaxseed oil a day (am a veggie) and STILL my skin suffers almost constant under the surface breakouts. Where am I going wrong???

    1. I am not Caroline, obviously (actually, my name is Caroline; I'm just a different one lol!) but I noticed that you have no exfoliation in your routine. Have you tried Liquid Gold or something similar? That would probably help quite a bit.

    2. You use a lot of Origins. Lovely range but very high in essential oils - which may be aggravating you. I have trouble with them on occasion.
      Try eliminating things one by one until you are not using them altogether. See if that helps.
      And don't overdo Caudalie Elixir. Same rule applies.

    3. Thanks so much for your reply! I think you're right particularly about the Beauty Elixir - I've been using it for a few weeks and think my skin has got marginally worse since. I may well be using too much because I enjoy the sensation but may try cutting down to just one or two spitzes at a time rather than multiple day and night! Thank you.

  5. Hello!
    After being told I look 'the most wrinkly' by my friend's kindly boyfriend, I thought I'd come to you for some advice.
    I'm 28 but have fair skin that's seen a bit of sun. (Always worn high factor cream but still damaged.) It's prone to blemishes and the main lines are the frown ones between brows, on forehead and slightly under eyes. (None near mouth.)
    You recommended Ren Clear Calm cleanser which has been great for clearing up spots. I also use a Clarins (standard) moisturiser. Can you recommend the best night cream for premature wrinkles with skin that goes spotty easily? (Pref lower end of budget....)
    I'm also getting some Omega 3 tablets but wondered if there's any facials/peels I could try? Was considering microdermabrasion but wondering if it's worth the hype?
    Any advice you could give would be totally fab. You're a star!
    PS: If you have a few secs can you also tell me the best night cream for over fifties? Mum wants one for Christmas! (She has very few wrinkles though the lucky beatch...)

    1. Hi Lizzie,

      Well, firstly I'd tell the friend's boyfriend to F**K off.

      After that is taken care of, save the money you want to spend on a facial and put it into your products.
      It sounds like you have typically 'white' skin - i.e. fair and prone to sun damage - which is also more prone to ageing. (There's a reason Oprah looks so good).
      If you like Clarins why don't you try Extra-Firming night? The normal one - not the extra dry.
      And for Mum - she can also use Clarins Restorative range - the red one. If you can afford more - buy her Zelens 3T.
      And for you - if you can afford, beef up your hydration levels - sounding like a broken record but Hydraluron underneath your moisturiser will help.

    2. Thanks I'll give them a whirl (and try the Hydraluron out!) Been using regular moisturiser so will give a thivker night cream a go. Thanks very much!

  6. Hi there,

    Could you please recommend products and/or routine for an xmas skincare overhaul for my 23yr old sister? She has extremely oily and blemish-prone skin, with acne scarring and a very bumpy/uneven texture. I'm not sure of her current routine, but it's clearly not doing any good!

    Thank you!


    1. Buy her a REN tarter pack for her skin type. You may find she has no routine whatsoever and it will kick start her in the right direction.
      That aside, she should also supplement and make sure she cleanses properly!

  7. Yay you are back! :)

    Just a quick question- I am currently on roaccutane and am on my 2nd month, everything seems fine apart from the odd bit of dry skin here and there. Derm told me not to use anything with alcohol on my face but I have been using Emma Hardie's balm- is this okay to use? If not is there another cleanser you can recommend? I don't like the idea of just using soap as I feel it dries out my skin even more.

    Any other recommendations for skin care whilst on these tabs?

    Thanks you're a star x

    1. I would very much like to hear suggestions for products to use whilst on Roaccutane. I start my course in a few weeks and am extremely apprehensive!!

      Skyla, pleased to hear you are on your second month and not too many horrendous side effects yet. Good luck with the rest of your course.

      Helen xx

    2. Emma Hardie is perfect for you. I'd also invest in Hydraluron to counteract the dryness that you may find starts to happen.

      And drink a ton of water. If only for the mouth dryness! :)

  8. Thank you so much for opening the clinic! I have normal to oily skin prone to breakouts. I can't seem to find a good moisturizer that hydrates without leaving me oily. I can skip moisturizer in the summer and feel fine, but with winter coming up I'm going to need to start using something. Do you have any suggestions?

    In case you need to know my current skincare routine is

    -Pai Rice Plant and Rosemary Toner
    -Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46

    -Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm with Washcloth (first cleanse)
    -Fresh Soy Cleanser with Clarisonic (second cleanse)
    -Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Clearing Gel
    -Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
    -Strivectin SD Eye Cream

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I think you're stressing the skin at the cleansing stage and then not compensating afterwards. For starters, Bioderma has got to go - especially in the AM. It's a makeup remover. If you have to, use it as your first cleanse in the evening.
      I'd also keep an eye on that Clarisonic. And Advanced Night Repair and Peter Thomas Roth in the PM - its like your face is in the desert and you sprinkle it with water for a few seconds in the morning (toner).

      Drop BD, hydrate more, rethink the incredibly high SPF.

    2. Thanks for the advice. I will start using a real cleanser tomorrow morning, and I will try to hydrate more.

  9. Dear Caroline,
    Thank you for holding a clinic. i have read through alot of your blog posts and cheats. From reading them all i concluded that i have dehydrated skin, as i get dry flaky patches but over all my skin doesn't get very dry or oily. I am a student and therefore my budget is tight but I totally get your mantra that skincare should be a priority therefore i bought hydraluron. i tried it fir a week 2 times a day but found that my skin actually developed a rough layer. i am quite confused. Could you please advice on a daily routine.
    I am 23 with normal/dryish skin with flaky patches.

    Thank you ever so much


    1. Hi KQ,

      How are you cleansing and what other products do you use? What do you put on top of it?

  10. My question is - I have now purchased some new products - Liquid gold, BR P50, Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm,Oskia perfect cleanse,Oskia bedtime boost & the oskia day cream, oskia renaissance mask & some hydarluron - Can you please tell me as & when to use all the products? I also use an anti-oxidant & SPF. Am I in danger of Oskia overload on my skin? (I have also bought the msn supplements) I am 40, pretty normal skin,(very pale & fine though) the odd hormonal spot & just a little bit of congestion on nose & chin. Revamping my routine as I have hit the 40 mark. Thank you so much if you can help. X

    1. AM:
      OSKIA cleanser
      Day cream

      EH cleanser
      Bedtime boost

      Renaissance mask - 1/2 x week
      Liquid Gold in the PM 1/2 a week - after cleansing and nothing on top of it.

  11. I have purchased the P50 & I am wondering what or if I am doing anything wrong. I have been using it in the evening only as I do a very good cleanse at night & in the morning I feel just a quick cleanse with a creamy cleanser is enough for me. Back to the P50 it does nothing for me (no tingle) apart from leaves my skin feeling tacky so much so I really want to splash some water on to take the tackiness away. Is this normal? I was hoping it would help with blackheads. What is it acually ment to do or what skin type benefits from it? I actually find the same with any toner I use, my skin feels tacky but if i rise with water after it leaves it nice & smooth!. I saw you highly recomended the P50 so that made me want to bye it! Thank you for any help/advice you can give.

    1. Hi Anon,

      Can you tell me exactly how you use it?

      Exactly. Details :)

    2. Hello! I pour some on a cotton face pad and just wipe it over my face & neck just like I would a toner. I am nearly finished the bottle & not sure if I should repurchase, I may try liquid gold. Any thoughts/help, maybe the products is just not for me.Thank you.

  12. What is your take on dedicated neck creams? In my early 40s and starting to notice a bit of 'turkey gobbler potential'. I do rub oil/moisturiser on my neck but wondered about the dedicated products peddled by the skincare companies.

    If you do reccomend use any products in particular. Ceiling price of £75.


    1. I personally don't think they are absolutely necessary IF you are using a good anti-ageing cream anyway - and you extend it all the way down to your breastbone.

      If you don't, and never have, then Zelens make a strong firming neck cream.

  13. Can you tell me if using P50/Liquid gold eleminates the need to use an exfoliating scrub? I have always used an exfoliating scrub but I now wonder due to my age (41) will I do more damage than good & should I change my routine to the liquid exfoliants. Many thanks.

    1. I only use them very occasionally as a strong cleanser - Liquid exfoliants are better at our age.

    2. Just as I thought, thank you. I will stop using scrubs. I may use a glyco cleanser instead. I was thinking of the dermaquest glyco creamy cleanser (15%) Would this elenimate the need to use all exfoliants & do the job in one. (A ph of 3.25) Or would I still need to use liquid gold/P50? Thank you so very much if you can answer my questions.

  14. Hi Caroline!
    Back in April you prescribed me to try Emma Hardie, Alpha H Balancing Cleanser, a Lierac or Clarins toner and a light Caudalie moisturiser. I'm 22 and my skin is normal enough... but quite sensitive and you thought it looked red and irritated...which it felt like! Have slowly built up those products and now that I am home after a summer travelling, my diet is improved (much less sugar and much more water and fish oil). I have seen a good difference and I recently purchased Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask which I use once a week.
    I have two questions
    1) Now we are moving into winter, do you think I need to step up any of my routine and how?
    2) I feel my routine is very hydrating but there is a few bumps under my chin, blackheads on my nose.. would Ren Invisble Pores Detox mask be a good for occasional use to draw any impurities out?

    Thank you so much in advance, you are a great lady!

    1. 1, Yes - keep an eye on your moisturiser - possibly upgrade - lotions aren't always enough for Winter.
      2, Yes Ren make good masks - as do Balance Me, CLarins etc - clay should be the main ingredient - or 2nd.

    2. Thank you :). Going to buy the Ren one this week, was just worried about sensitivity! I was thinking that (re: moisturiser) but worried about going too heavy as that seemed to be part of what was irritating my skin, you thought (I was using Avene Compensating Cream!).. so any suggestions for an upgrade that won't irritate? Also... I was going to ask for a sample of Ren's glycolactic mask as I'v heard great things.. too much for my sensitive skin? THANK YOU AGAIN xxx

  15. What do you think of the MSM supplements by Oskia? Using their brand of skincare just now & wondered about the supplements too. But i do not know enought about nutrition to make up my mind about them. Many thanks if you are able to answer.

    1. The truth? I suspect they do a great deal of good but they are the biggest tablets I've ever tried to take - and I gave up. Too uncomfortable.

  16. Hi, thanks so much for doing a clinic! I am 24 and really confused about the advice on winter moisturisers. I've heard some people say that you should wear a moisturiser with SPF in winter, but most that I can tell that are specifically designed for winter, do not have an SPF in them (my preferred winter moisturiser of choice would be Darphin hydraskin light). Then again, I've also heard that if you wear a serum underneath moisturiser, then that's fine during the winter... I would really appreciate your advice on this. Thanks :)

    1. I don't wear SPF in winter. Or summer (except in my makeup). I would say however that you should have a stronger moisturiser than Darphin Hydraskin light. - that's a summer moisturiser for me but you know your own skin.

    2. thanks so much. would you by any chance be able to recommend a suitable winter moisturiser? i have dehydrated, acne-prone skin.

  17. Hello, could you suggest a basic am/pm routine (no specific products needed)? My skin has always been decent enough, and I used to cleanse & tone years ago but fell out of the practice.

    In the morning I only use a moisturiser, and in the evenings I use a cleanser and a mild face scrub. Every second night I use Alpha-H Liquid Gold. What other steps (ie. serums or oils) should I be incorporating into a basic routine for clear skin?

    Thanks very much for your help!

    1. You are giving yourself a borderline pro peel every second night?? STOP THAT!

      Every basic routine needs cleanse, tone, moisturise - but from the way you talk it sounds as if you are a little older so I would stick in a serum stage at both AM and PM.And don't be scrubbing every night either! Are you angry with your skin? You're punishing it somewhat! LOL

  18. You say you are not a fan of microdermabration what about IPL collagen boost facials? Just to improve the overall texture/tone/look of the skin(to help with anti-aging) & would you recomend a course of say 3 or 6 rather than a one off? Or is it the case that once you begin to have the more advanced facials/treatments you will need to keep having them to keep the results.(if any)Please help before I throw my money away. They are not cheap! Thank you. x

    1. I think you get more joy from taking care of your diet, stress levels and a good facial massage. Which you can in part do yourself. Any treatment outside of permanent surgery only yields temporary results.

  19. I live in Paris and I was wondering if you had recs for a place similar to Fern that gives good facials (including extractions! Jesus, I asked everybody around me and the only kind of facial they get is the pampering kind which is useless to me because of blackheads and maybe milia). I do go to London from time to time but not as often as I like and I want facials more than twice a year.

    Any chance of a rec for a dermatologist who's also cosmetology-inclined? I've had my fair share of dermatologists who won't consider me because I don't have a life-threatening condition or will put me or antibiotics or prescribed creams and I want one who will really look at my skincare and makeup. We're lucky to have free healthcare, I want to bother a dermatologist and not you!

    Thanks :)

    1. Paris - Biologique Recherche on Champs Elysee. Barking mad but good treatments. Also Darphin on Rue St Honore.
      Not that many derms look at makeup etc. I'm holding private consultations as soon as I can organise location - come and see me.


    2. Thank you dear! Can't wait for your consultations though with the terrific skincare overhaul I've just done hopefully I won't need to see you.

  20. Hi Caroline. Thank you so much for taking the time to do these clinics. I really appreciate it.

    I'm 24 years old and struggling with constant breakouts along my jawline and on my cheeks. I started with the routine below in August. It made a difference for a few weeks and then things seem to go back to normal. I was hoping you might be able to tell what is missing/ going wrong...

    Current routine-
    Ren Clay Cleanser
    Ren Balancing Fluid Moisturiser

    Emma Hardie Cleanser/Ren Cleanser
    Alpha H LG (2/3 times weekly)
    Clarins Clay Mask (alternating with Alpha H)
    Ren Moisturiser

    Omega-3 capsules daily

    Thank you very much!

    1. Are you Clarins Clay masking every night?? And Alpha-H - reduce that to 2 x week only.

      On paper your routine looks fine. What has changed in your personal life? Food? Work? Stress? Are you a smoker?

      As one of the comments above - do you have any issues with your lungs or phlegm?

  21. Dear Carolina, I just found out that I am pregnant (hurray, hurray), but now I need your advise seriously. Which skincare regime would you recommend to a pregnant 31 year old woman? I have a combination skin with hormonal breakouts (not many and not always). Can I still use my Liquid Gold and Hydraluron? Thanks for helping me. You're an angel.

    1. No Liquid Gold - Yes Hydraluron.

      Hydrate and rebalance with oils. Your skin may go mad for a while. Invest in a good facial oil and massage every night for a few minutes.

  22. Hi Caroline, Thanks so much for holding a clinic!! My main concern is I have quite blue veins under my eyes that reach very far down almost to the top of my cheekbones nothing seems to cover them and I constantly look tired is there anything out there to help cover/fade them? Also my skin is very dehydrated at the moment and I am not sure Im using the correct products. My skin type is normal but seems to be dehydrated alot.

    My current routine is:
    Decleor aroma cleanse cream cleanser (am & pm)
    Decleor aroma cleanse toner
    Clarins hydra quench cream (am)
    Clarins eye contour balm (am & pm)
    Decleor neroli balm (pm)
    Decleor phytopeel (1-2 times a week)
    Clarins hydroquench cream mask (once a week)

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much


    1. I'm not surprised you are dehydrated. That routine would dehydrate me.

      Decleor Aroma Cleanse is too drying for me personally. And Clarins Hydra Quench's formulation has changed - its much more siliconey than it ever used to be.
      Swap your cleanser for a balm. Add Hydraluron underneath moisturiser am and pm.
      Buy a spray bottle from muji and spray your toner on top once you have used it on cotton. I.e. - double tone. Go straight in with the hydraluron and you'll see a difference straight away.

  23. Hi Caroline.
    By reading past clinics I have started using Alpha H balancing cleanser and Alpha H eye gel and balance me moisturiser. Now I am 30 should I be doing anything more? I have combination skin with an oiky T zone can be prone to the odd hormonal spot.
    Thank you!

    Sarah x

    1. I would add an exfoliating toner personally. And the Balance Me may give you spots if its the one with shea butter in - check.
      Also invest in an anti-ageing serum. Doesn't have to be hugely £££ Ren make perfectly adequate ones.

  24. Hi, I am in despserate need of your help! I am on a mission to get flawless skin (who isnt?) - I have quite congested, blemish-prone skin (which can get quite dehydrated). My current routine is:
    AM: Liz Earle C&P, Boots Rosewater toner, Hydralauron,Vichy normaderm moisturiser.
    PM: Emma Hardie cleanisng balm, Boots Rosewater toner, Hydralauron, Body shop vitamin e moisturiser.
    I use Alpha-H Liquid gold three times a week, and Origins Super Spot remover on blemishes when Im not using liquid gold.
    I also use the Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask, Ren Glylcolactic Radiance Renewal Mask and a No 7 moisturising mask twice a week.
    Is there anything I should be changing?My budget is not really an issue, however it would have to be something amazing for me to spend over £75!

    1. Ditch C&P. Waste of time. Ditto Rosewater from Boots. And Vichy could have mineral oil in. And Body Shop Vit E does pretty much nowt.

      Having said all that - keep EH, Hydraluron, Alpha and Origins.

      Invest in a better cleanser for the AM - use a teeny amount of the EH until then. And toner-wise - try anything from Clarins, Decleor, Darphin etc

      Spend a little more on moisturiser - I wouldn't go below £30 if you can help it. If you're that congested try REN matte balancing fluid maybe? Try instore first.

    2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Any recommendations for AM cleanser?

  25. Hi Caroline.
    I'm 37 and have recently been suffering from clogged skin, particularly around the chin & right cheek.
    I was cleansing with Emma Hardie but have changed in the last few days to give balance me a go (incase it was that)
    I use P50v once a day and both Liquid Gold & Omorovicza deep cleansing mask once a week (diff days)
    I have been using Kate Somerville Oil free moisturiser for a fee months now.
    I have recently started using Becca primer before foundation, which is studio sculpt to prevent it from potentially clogging but all to no avail :(
    Please help :))

    Thanks in advance xx

    1. EH is better than Balance me for congestion.
      Use P50v 2 x a day.
      Try Hydraluron. And what is happening with your internal system? Anything different in periods? Stomach? Chesty?

    2. Ill go back to EH then.
      I was using P50v twice a day but getting milia, changed to once a day and seemed to help.
      I'll try Hydraluron immediately.
      I'm have asthma so chest hasn't been great of late and with periods my stomach is awful, not so much pains but I swell to looking like I'm 6 months pregnant the day before and for a few days prior I have a tiredness which is almost dibilitating :(
      Thanks again x

  26. Hi Caroline!

    Great to see the clinic back! Im 25, I have combo/little congested skin. im using emma hardie balm and hydralauron and nyr moisturiser. Was wondering whats a good alternative to P50v as im too lazy and cheap to order it. Also after using all nice lovely products on my face, i feel like im letting it down with a makeup primer and foundation that is probs not good for my skin. Any recommendations? Should primer be silicone free? Also not face related but what do you recommend to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy?

    1. Hi Rose,

      There isn't a 'cheap' alternative to P50 because its good stuff. And do NOT leave me a comment telling me how lazy you are woman! Does NOT help your case!
      Clarins make an exfoliating toner - but the ingredients aren't nearly as good as P50. Primer is pretty much pure silicone in most cases - you just need to make sure you are washing it off properly.
      Clarins Tonic Oil for stretch marks.
      And DON'T BE LAZY.

    2. :D thanks Caroline! Lol sorry, it was more the fact that I like to shop around and i couldnt find it p50v from a website i have heard of or pop into a shop and try/buy it.
      Yup I have a huge supply of flannels and wash my makeup off every night, so good to know that I dont need to switch my makeup for now.
      Thanks for the advice! Really appreciate it, even if you tell me off lol...

    3. I am also struggling to get hold of p50. Would love to try it but nervous about ordering from America.
      Any alternatives???

    4. I'd like to know about this too. Is the Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner any good? I can't find a list of ingredients for the Kate Somerville in order to compare. Thanks :)

    5. The lady at clarins said the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner is something to use once or twice a week and not for daily use where as P50 i asume can be used daily at the toning stage? Cant wait for your updated post on toners, im so confused! lol

  27. Hi Caroline,

    Thanks for doing this. I've been on oxytetracycline as a last resort for my very painful hydradentitis suppurativa, and although this has helped to reduce my cysts I still have terrible scarring, and I fear it might be drying my skin out - is there anything you could recommend?

    My skin is quite prone to redness and acne, although my current routine is working quite well for me:
    AM - ren clear calm 3 cleanser
    Avene l'eau thermal
    Caudalie beauty elixir
    Caudalie moisturising sorbet
    Nuxe first impressions eye cream
    PM - Emma hardie cleansing balm followed by the above (less the avene and Nuxe), liquid gold 2 x a week.

    I feel though that the ren is a little harsh for my skin now my oil and acne is under control...could you recommend an alternative?

    Thank you for your help and sorry for the 2 questions! X

    1. Hi Josie,

      Ow! You poor thing. Where is the HS? If it's under control I would just switch it out for a little EH in the mornings - and don't overuse the Caudalie.

      Let me know where the HS is and I can go from there.

    2. Thank you Caroline, it's mostly under my arms but I have had cysts removed from the back of my neck before and occasionally along my jaw (not sure if this is technically the HS but it looks and feels the same)

  28. Hi Caroline,

    My skin is in quite good condition, normal/dry cheeks and slightly oily t-zone. I don't suffer from break outs but I have recently noticed a lot of broken blood vessels on my cheeks and it can sometimes become a little sensitive. I'm only 23 and don't really have any issues with my skin but I really hate the redness that this leaves and am quite worried that the vessel damage will get worse and become a lot more noticeable.

    Can you recommend anything that can help to heal the vessel damage, or, if not, something to fade the marks? I've been using Trilogy Rosehip oil all over morning and night as I've heard that is meant to be good for broken capillaries but it hasn't really helped fade any (it is lovely for my skin in general though) and have stopped using particle exfoliators for fear that is making the damage worse.

    Current routine:
    Eucerin Dermatoclean cleanser
    Organic rose, chamomile and geranium toner
    Rosehip oil
    Simply Pure Hydrating Serum
    Eucerin Aquaporin SPF moisturiser AM/ Organic Shea moisturiser PM.

    I also use the Origins Drink up Intensive about twice a week, mainly on my cheeks as that area seems to absorb it best.

    Also is there anything I should definitely avoid that would cause more capillaries to break? I think the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser I was using for a while only added to the problem so I have since stopped using that too. Any advice would be great!

    Thanks :)

    1. I forgot to ask if it could be the use of a muslin cloth? I've recently changed to the Emma Hardie Professional cloths and now only use the microfibre side very gently on my cheeks. And I've been using the rosehip oil for about 2 months consistently.

      Thanks again for taking the time to do these clinics!

    2. Leaving out C&P is definitely a good move. And Emma's cloth is also a step forward. Darphin Intral range is great for sensitivity and redness. Its probably genetic - if your parents have it then you know what you are dealing with - if they don't - then its a condition that you can try and reverse.
      I got rid of mine in the late 90's by using a mixture of darphin, good oils and avoiding anything foaming.
      I'm not big on Eucerin to be honest. There are better cleansers - I would stick to oily balms etc.
      And Origins can actually irritate due to the essential oils content.

    3. Thanks for your advice, I'm going to find a darphin store on the weekend to have a look at the products, but I might have to save up a bit before I can afford them! And I'm going to try the Emma Hardie balm too in place of the foam cleanser. My parents don't suffer from sensitivity so I'm hoping its something I can solve with the right products!

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  30. Hi Caroline, I have very dry skin and am using Emma Hardie Balm, Clarins Camomile Toner, Hydraluron, Darphin Hydraskin Rich. I also use origins Drink up Intensive and NYWRBB during the week using by putting all over face and leaving to sink in. I use the Ren Glycolactic Mask, Alpha H clay mask too then the Origins or NYWRBB once a week one after another. My question is, on your blog you mentioned a moisturiser called Organic Surge Night cream, they also do a day cream, would it be ok to use this instead of the Darphin Hydraskin? I read on your blog that you should switch moisturisers but am a bit scared to but this looks good and is a great price too, but I wanted to ask your opinion first before buying. Thank you so much for all your help, since finding you my skin is amazing and I feel so much better about myself, thank you, thank you also for taking the time to read and reply to my question. with love and thanks, Zoe xxx

    1. Darphin is superior. Use the Organic Surge if you have budget constraints.

  31. Hi Caroline,

    I discovered your blog a couple of months ago, and you've totally transformed the way I think about skincare - Primark flannels and all!

    I've never had bad skin, but have definitely noticed an improvement since giving my routine a bit of a revamp. I had a couple of questions in regards to winter skin care, what should I be adding to give my skin some extra care and moisture now that it's cold and windy again? I currently use a No. 7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream in the morning, and at night I use Neal's Yard Rose Facial Oil or a pure argan oil. I use serums morning and night, but use a mix - currently I have Balance Hyaluronic 554 Youth Serum, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reducer, Lancome Genifique and No. 7 Perfect and Protect on rotation. I feel like I need to add a night cream, do you have any recommendations? I'm also using Liquid Gold every other night. Cleanser wise I'm using a mix of the No. 7 Melting Gel or Cream Cleanser, and am currently trying out Murad Vit C Cleanser, and a DHC Cleansing Oil.

    It would be great to hear what you think I could add/improve for winter to keep my skin on an even keel, and any comments on my existing routine. I'm 28, with normal skin, no major wrinkles yet but hoping to keep them at bay!

    Thanks so much,


    PS - with facial oils, would you recommend using before or after moisturiser?
    PPS - I think I know the answer to this, but I've always used bio-oil intermittantly (e.g. a couple of drops into my moisturiser if I'm feeling my skin is drier), but is this bad in terms of mineral oil? Thanks for opening my eyes on that front by the way!

    1. Sorry, couple more things I forgot to add! I usually do at least one mask weekly, and at the moment am using a Botanics clay mask and Oskia Renaissance mask. I use La Roche Posay Effaclar toner, but don't tend to use it every day. I also supplement, and started taking Omega 3 fish oil (is this the best type?) after reading about it here, and also take Holland & Barrett Skin, Hair & Nails and MSM. And one last question, what do you think of applying Vitamin E oils to the face, worthwhile or not? Thank you again!

    2. Oh Laura you've stressed me out so much that I need to take a break after you! :)

      Where to start? Well, if you use Liquid Gold every other night your face will fall off - so I highly suggest you stop that. Now. 1 or 2 x a week is sufficient. It's hardcore glycolic.
      If you use Bio Oil on your face I may have to hunt you down and beat you with it. Moving on and the less said about that the better.
      Facial oils before moisturiser. Which - by the way - is where you are going wrong. (But that's about it)
      You don't put actual water/moisture on to your face very often. Serums tend to be silicone based (that you are using) - which isn't bad per se - you could just do with vamping up the moisture content. Using oils at night is great but you could throw in a good hydrator too to give you extra oomph!
      Vitamin E is best applied in skincare unless you have a particular burn etc that you are treating - and all skincare contains vit e these days.

    3. Haha sorry Caroline! I wouldn't like to give you a heart attack so will refrain from telling you about the period of time a few years back when I exclusively used Bio Oil instead of moisturiser...! Anyway, suffice to say my wrists have been slapped and the Bio Oil has been moved off the bedside table! Will definitely take your advice re: Liquid Gold, as I would prefer my face to stay intact for a few more years, in between writing this and you replying I'd cut it back a little already as my skin was starting to feel tight. They really shouldn't recommend that people use it every other day on the box! So, today I went out and bought Hydraluron based on all your recommendations on here, and I'll switch that into my serum stage once a day to hopefully boost my moisture levels, and then I'm going to invest in a night cream this week to use with it and my oils - any recommendations? I've been checking out the new Superfacialist range, do you have any thoughts or that or have you tried it yet?

      And thanks re: Vitamin E, I get localised eczema on my elbows and one set of knuckles (random!) and sometimes try it on there which helps, but I discovered La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP about a year ago which is amazing, the only thing that has totally cleared up all the dry skin (with continued use) and has had a better effect than even the steroid creams and gels I had tried over the years.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to do the clinics and for your advice above, I read all the answers on each clinic and it's great that there's someone out there giving straight talking, non-advertising swayed skincare advice, as it's so hard to come by! x

  32. YAY Clinic! I'm 22 & recently (from looking at your cheat sheet) I think my skin is dehydrated, whilst also being oily in the tzone. I'm a former acne sufferer, so I;m prone to breakouts. I'm currently stuck with moisterisers as I'm not happy with my current ones. Can you recommend any please?
    AM - REN Clearcalm cleanser
    PM EH balm & REN Clearcalm
    + AH liquid gold 3x a week.
    I would also like to introduce a Hydrating mask to follow my detoxing ones ?
    Many thanks :)

    1. Do you need to double cleanse every night? And Liquid Gold is not to be used that often - see all above answers! :)

      Save the money from a mask and buy Hydraluron. Stick it on before your moisturisers am and pm - try REN hydra range - its a nice opposite to clear clam - so you cleanse deeply - but then hydrate afterwards.

    2. I wear foundation that has spf in it pretty much every day, so i just the EH enough?

      RE liquid gold, sorry! everyone appears to be 'abusing' it this clinic!
      Thank you very much :)

  33. Hi Caroline,

    I am 25, have slightly dehydrated skin but rarely get spots. My problem is the the skin on my forehead is always bumpy. The bumps never come to a head but they're always there.

    I use Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, Caudalie Beauty Exilir as a toner and then either Origins Drink Up Intensive or Nivea Q10 Plus night cream at night and in the morning, I use the C&P again and then a Simple moisturiser for under my make up. I used to exfoliate with the Philosophy Microdelivery wash but it irritated my forehead more than helping so I haven't used anything in its place since.

    I would appreciate advice on how to go rid of these bumps, please. Thank you very much.


    1. Stop using C&P. It causes no end of problems in some people. And lots of people on this site.If you are using C&P, then Simple moisturiser - which is meh - and Caudalie as a toner - it could be too much in the attack phase and not enough in the restore phase - if that makes sense?
      I would use an oily balm cleanser - my usual statement at this stage! :)
      An exfoliating toner all over your forehead. then hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

      You could try a clay mask also - 1/2 a week.

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  35. Hi Caroline,
    thank you for doing a clinic! I have a few questions, so I jump right in.
    I'm a makeup artist and would like to have your advice for a cleanser, toner and moisturizer for my prof. kit. It should be for sensitive skin - I thought about L'Oreal Hydra Active Toner and Cetaphil Cleanser.

    2nd: maybe you could look over my routine and tell me if there are troublesome products or something else that doesn't match?
    My skintype: severly dehydrated (esp. in winter), blemish prone around mouth and chin (esp. during this time of the month) - I'm 22 and have to wear makeup every day and also remove it once or twice a day (I try to not wear any on weekends, when I'm at home). My main concern are the blemishes.

    1. step: Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, Oskia Perfect Cleanser (2nd Cleanser in the evenings)
    2. step: L'Oreal Hydra3Active Toner or Caudalie Beauty Elixir (3x/week Alpha-H Liquid Gold)
    3. step: Astalift Jelly Aquarysta (2x/week Alpha-H Liquid Gold Overnight Serum)
    4. step: Origins Make a Difference Ultra Rich Rejuvenating Cream / Emma Hardie AM&PM Moisturizer / La Roche Posay Effaclar K
    5. step: Kiehl's Acovado Eye Treatment / Dr. Alkaitis Eye Cream

    For blemishes: Decleor Ylang Ylang Balm, Origins Super Spot Remover + Pads, Origins Clear Improvement Mask (overnight as spot treatment)
    Masks: Ole Henriksen Blue/Blackberry Enzyme Mask, Alpha-H Purifying Mask

    I know that sounds like a lot... and it's not that cheap - so please give me your advice :)

    I really love your blog and everytime I have a skincare concern I come here and reread several of your reviews and cheat sheets. So a huge thank you for your hard work!
    (Please excuse my english - I'm german ;)

    Thank You.

    1. Damn... I'm sorry... I just wanted to add that if you can recommend products for my skintype I would really apreciate it.
      I know you are really busy and also there are so many other questions but I still wanted to add the request in case you could spare some more time ;)

      Thanks again.

    2. Hi Jenny,

      That's a few questions!

      Firstly - for the kit?
      Bioderma or Avene Gentle Milk cleanser
      Toner - hydration would be key so try any non-alcohol based toners on cotton followed by a spray of something similar.
      Hydraluron will plump the skin followed by a moisturiser that isn't too silicone-heavy - otherwise your foundations will roll in the pictures!
      Try some lighter lotions like Caudalie etc
      Your routine looks fine but the exception may be Origins Ultra Rich - check the ingredients - sometimes they contain shea butter which can cause spots

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  38. Hi Caroline,

    I need some help!!!

    I am 22 years old I have pretty sensitive skin. I never used to suffer badly with spots. But when I got them I GOT THEM!

    I used to only ever use Simple face wipes. I then started reading blogs and realised I should be cleansing. I ditched the face wipes and I decided to invest in some Liz Earle products. I found the Cleanse & Polish did the job, but was nothing great.
    After reading blogs a little more and suffering with more spots than normal I changed my cleanser to REN Clearcalm 3 Clay Cleanser for blemish prone skin. I use this every morning and night and I also use Estee Lauder advanced night repair every evening and Origins Clear Improvement Mask 1-2 per week.

    My skin is no better. In fact I think I have more spots and (blackheads on my chin) now than I did when I used face wipes.

    Am I using the wrong products?

    Please help :)


    1. Sorry Caroline I thought I should add..Since writing in to your clinic I had to go to see my GP. At the time I had one of these horrible break outs so thought I would mention it. They subscribed me Zineryt. I have been cleaning my face with warm water and using that only for 2 weeks now, my skin is 10 times better than it was using the products in my routine above.
      I’m sure the Zineryt is full of nasty ingredients and I don’t want to carry on using it longer than I have to.

      Thank you again for this amazing clinic!


    2. Hi Hannah,

      Zineryt is basically a bacterial inhibitor and zinc. One shuts the bacteria down and one heals - you normally use it for up to 12 weeks.
      If you have bacterial acne you may find that using something like this works so it may need longer term usage. I would not recommend ANR for evenings if its bacterial - its too silicone heavy which may exacerbate it.

      What other products do you have at home that you could incorporate? - to save you ££ before you go shopping!

    3. Hi Caroline!

      Thank you for the reply!!!

      The Zineryt seems to be working really well. But I miss cleaning my face with a cleanser :(

      The only products I have at home are Liz Earl Cleanse & Polish & REN Clearcalm 3 Clay Cleanser. I don't mind spending some money if it will help my skin!!!...

      What is ANR???

      My skin is drying out lots since using Zineryt, is there anything I can use to help??

      Thank you again :)


  39. I have loads of milia on my cheeks and also since I have loads of facial hair, which I pluck, I get a lot of spots and irritation on my jawline and chin. I've been using a foaming cleanser (I know, I'm stopping!) a toner with glycolic acid (by a company called TVÅL, canadian and quite popular here in Sweden too) and I'm using a quite light lotion with 2% salicylic acid (also by tvål) too. To be honest it hasn't done much for me, it hasn't made anything worse either. I quite like the toner because it doesn't seem to dry me out but everything else feels replaceable at this point. I think the lotion is a bit too light at the moment too. I'm ordering hydraluron end of this month and a hot cloth cleanser by no7. That feels about as far as I want to go with cleanser at the moment. Do you have any suggestions? I'm willing to spend a bit, but I honestly think about the EH cleanser is a bit dear and I'm a student so I can't afford to spend loads. I have an eye cream that I like. I would keep the lotion I use atm if it would be enough to add the hydraluron, but maybe I need something else for the night.

    My main skin concerns are the milia and the spots. My skin feels congested, with quite yucky pores on the nose. I feel as though I'm oily on the nose and chin but maybe the surface of my skin is dry because it's getting all clogged up. I'm 27 by the way. Oh, and I WOULD be willing to spend quite a bit if you tell me to, because you're awesome.

    1. Hi Emmie, :)

      The milia are because your skin is dry. I would say stop using the foaming and if you have already ordered the HCC see how you go but that may be too harsh too. The toner should be ok - the lotion with salicylic may be a little drying. You have a true combination skin! :)

      Let me know what you ordered and we can go from there? :)

    2. I haven't actually ordered anything yet, I got a bit cheap when I saw what I was getting paid this month. I'm still going to get the hydraluron though and I think I might actually get the EH cleanser. Do you have a face cream recommendation? My current cream is about £20 for 60 ml but I'm going through it mad because I keep having to add more to make my skin feel less dry. I sort of whined at my husband and he said I could basically get whatever I wanted so I'd be happy (and because he's sick of hearing of the whining). I could also use a night cream. I don't want to spend too much but since I stopped having my nails done professionally I could of course let that money go to skin care.

      Thanks for helping out :)

    3. I'm not sure I managed to send of my comment. I might have and it's just not shown up.

      I didn't order anything yet but I'm thinking of getting the EH cleanser even though I said I wouldn't. I'm also going to get the hydraluron but not until my mother in law comes over in a month. She's from the UK and can bring it over so I can get it from Boots.

      I would love a recommendation for a day cream and a night cream. I had a look around yesterday at beautybay, feelunique, hqhair and escentual (thay all ship to sweden for free or cheap) and I would prefer something not too expensive, I saw some creams for around 20-30 pounds for a 50 ml pot/tube and that would be ok for me, though if you say something is really brilliant I would pay a bit more. My husband is sick of me whining about my skin and sort of said I could get whatever... I also stopped getting my nails done professionally so there's always that cash to use.

      Thanks for answering questions, I really appreciate that you take the time even though you're busy :)

  40. OH THANK GOODNESS thankyouthankyou

    I'm 24 and my skin has always been a little problematic. I had finally gotten it under control and clear but made too many changes to my routine at once with Liquid Gold 3x a week, balm cleansers every day and my skin went crazy. It's really puzzling to me how LG worked for a while but then later made my skin breakout and more sensitive (inflamed!) because i've been using a doctor-prescribed glycolic product for at least 2 years. I stopped using that when i started using LG so it's all v strange to me hopefully you can help!

    I've gotten a bit better by cutting out the LG and trying to hydrate my skin more. My spots/cysts are contained to around my nose and chin. My chin is especially bad. i'm getting new cysts every other day and the whole area just won't seem to heal. I've never gotten this many cysts at once, usually it's just one that comes along every once in a rather long while ): other than that, i've clogged pores and spots around my nasal labial lines and nose. I tend to notice my blemishes develop on the left side of my face, that's strange too.

    This is my routine for the last 2 weeks

    AM -
    cleanse with REN clarifying clay cleanser or Alpha H balancing cleanser
    Vichy Aqualia serum or REN ClearCalm 3 replenishing night serum

    PM -
    cleanse with either Pai cleanser or Elemental Herbology balm cleanser (with washcloth of course!)
    cleanse again with a little REN clarifying clay cleanser
    doctor-prescribed glycol cream
    REN ClearCalm 3 replenishing night serum

    I live in a humid tropical climate but spend a lot of time in air-con, eat well (mostly home-cooked food, balanced) and avoid all dairy and (as much as possible) sugar, red meat, alcohol (thanks, Mrs Hirons!) I took fish oil capsules for 3 weeks but it seemed to make my skin even worse and i stopped entirely. Also tried Beauty Elixir and felt like it didn't help or gave me clogged pores.

    Would be so grateful if you could give any advice on my routine and possibly what i'm doing wrong or did wrong, i feel like i must have done something to anger my skin but can't understand what because i've learnt so much from reading your blog and would think that my skin should be getting better instead ):

    1. I may not be alone in this but after checking back here for a reply every day for 2 weeks I gave up waiting for the 'oracle' and decided to see a dermatologist and get an expert opinion.

      Much as i love reading this blog and Caroline's tips, i found that they hadn't been helping my skin. The doctor went through with me my routine and confirmed that i should not be using hot towels to aggravate my skin, that LG without a topical retinoid would not help my acne, and that commercial brand 'hydrating' moisturisers and the balms i was using were ineffective at actually nourishing the skin.

      For everyone who like me, felt frustrated at why nothing they're doing is helping their skin, even with everything Caroline says, please consider seeing a good dermatologist. I put it off for the longest time thinking i could solve it on my own without having to own up to the things i was doing wrong, but that just made everything worse and the road back to clear skin even longer. Not to mention the $$$$ i spent on buying products i read about here, which i believed would make things turn around.

      I've learnt so much from all of you and hope this comment is useful to some of you too :)

      - Rachael

    2. Hi Rachael,

      Thank you for your comment - which I would like to respond to.

      As I said in the post, it can take me a long time to get back to people as I work full-time and have a big family. This Clinic, however, IS the longest it has taken me to get back to people - so I can only apologise for keeping you waiting.

      I've never called myself an 'oracle'. Others have - which is very nice - but I haven't. I've always said that any advice I give is from my experiences with both myself and clients.

      The fact that you say $$% would make me think that you are in the US (obv if you are Canadian/Australian I apologise!). Some derms take a very close-minded view of acne/skin problems - they usually prescribe foaming washes and vit a heavy products which don't always help sufferers.

      Using a hot towel will aggravate a sensitised skin - did he say you were sensitive? Liquid Gold without a retinoid will absolutely help acne - I couldn't agree with him/her more on that. You say 'commercial brand' moisturisers - did they sell you prescription creams or their own range?

      Regardless - please feel free to share what they suggested - this is not about me disagreeing with anyone - it is designed to help everyone - and as everyone's face is different it may absolutely help people.

      I would have asked you to stop using cloth cleansing as you were showing signs of sensitivity (you use the word inflamed) - I would also have asked you to persevere on the fish oils as they can take up to 3 months to get into your system and start working.

      Then I would have recommended you see a doctor as a sudden inflamed area and cysts around the nose can be a bacterial infection stemming from the nasal area. (We've had a few sufferers on here with that - myself included).

      And finally I would have mentioned that if you are suffering mainly on your chin and one side of your cheek - the chin is related to your hormones. Are you on the pill/just come off it? Spots on one cheek can be related to the ovary you are ovulating from etc..

      Anyway - let us know what the derm recommended you use and I wish you a happy, healthy skin! :)

    3. Hi Caroline

      I enjoyed reading your reply, and it's nice to see you working hard to get back to all of us.

      I never meant my reference to 'oracle' to suggest that you see yourself as such - i meant to say that that was how i viewed this site - as the place with the answer to all my skin woes. But it was silly of me as i was just avoiding getting proper help! And i wanted to tell others who were depending on you for all the answers or some 'miracle' products that we read about online (hence my comment on $$$ spent!), that we should face up to our problems and see someone who can observe our condition and advise us properly.

      For anyone interested, i was prescribed:

      Vit A cleanser - non-foaming, milk based, contains aloe vera
      Glycolic based cream
      A gel that has niacinamide as the second ingredient
      Clindagel (anti-bacterial gel)
      Moisturising cream (much heavier and oil based than the usual water-based moisturisers acne-sufferers tend to prefer)
      Stieva A cream

      You may suspect that the derm just wants to recommend her products (I sure did!) but i was given small sample sizes of everything and didn't feel pushed into buying anything. Doc didn't say anything about bacterial infection and also, i just finished a course of antibiotics for an unrelated problem and there was no effect on my skin.

      I have also never used the pill in my life. Needless to say, it was very frustrating for me to try pinpoint the cause of my acne but thank you for trying. I'm still a fan and will continue reading just to learn more about skincare and health in general :)

  41. Hi Caroline,

    Thank you for bringing back the Clinic! I have mild-moderate acne, mostly around the chin/jaw area and it is just really stubborn. Once one goes away, another one pops up. It's frustrating. I'm guessing it is hormonal based on the location. Here's my details and what I'm doing:

    I'm 34 and have combination, sensitive skin. I'm vegetarian and have been taking a pretty high dose (around 6000) of Flax seed oil since April. I'm in the US, but I've had luck sourcing out some of your most recommended suggestions.

    Wash with either REN Clear Calm or HydraCalm Cleansing Milk based on how my skin is feeling
    Followed by a couple drops of this Hyaluronic Acid Serum
    Moisturizer: Ren HydraCalm day cream

    Wash with Emma Hardie balm and 2nd wash with one of the Ren cleansers
    Sometimes I'll do a spot treatment with either a La Roche Posay benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid
    Hyaluronic Acid Serum
    Ren Haydracalm cream

    Twice a week I'll use Liquid Gold. Most Sundays I'll do some face masks, a clay one followed by the SkinCeuticals B5 mask.

    I think my next purchase will be the P50v and some Kate Sommerville Goat Milk cream. Any other suggestions?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Katie,

      It's great that you live in the US - you can access Kate Somerville! Her Goat Cream is definitely the way to go. Also the oil-free moisturiser - both are great but the Goat seems to be better for tackling redness also.

      As you live in the USA - definitely try the P50 with phenol or the original formula - it stronger than we can buy over here.

      Def go for Goat! :)

      As you are 34 you may have some slight hormonal imbalances - your US doctors are much better with women in peri-menopause or with fluctuating hormones and can test your levels for you. I wish we had the same service over here!

    2. Thanks, Caroline! I got the Goat and LOVE it. Amazing stuff, makes my skin baby soft. Also picked up the P50. Holy crap does it stink! The smell reminds of some weird ointment my Mom would use on any sort of bumps or scraps when I was little.

      I'm seeing my doctor later this month, so I'll ask her to test my hormonal levels when they're doing my blood work. Such a shame they don't do that in the UK.

  42. I am 34 and the skin around my eyes has become really dark and dehydrated over the past year. I have noticed that all my products just sink in to the newly appearing lines.(its been a stressful year). I use eye cream & none of the ones Ive tried have helped. I need some serious help please :o)

    1. Hi Vicki,

      Sorry about your stress. :( - has it affected your diet too? The eyes are affected by kidneys and liver - has the stress caused you to eat/drink in ways you weren't previously?

      Nothing really gets rid of dark circles I'm afraid - the eye cream I'm trialling at the moment is Eysilix which for me has been good at plumping out wrinkles - I'm also using Ole Henriksen's Truth is in the Eyes Peel in the evenings - which is lovely. I would try and hydrate/plump with peptides, check your diet and perhaps try the Ole in the PM with a hydrating eye cream in the AM- the skin is left really soft afterwards.

  43. Yay a clinic! Thank you!

    Ok, i've recently realised that my skin does not like some essential oils. I discovered this after Caudalie Beauty Elixir broke me out like nobody's business then i was thinking "my skin hasn't been this bad since i used Liz Earle C&P" *LIGHTBULB* I'm not exactly sure which oil/oils as this is just a recent discovery but my skin has looked a bazillion times better since laying off the BE.

    Anyway, that was background and my Q is this. Could you please recommend a good balm/oil cleanser for my first cleanse which does not involve putting essential oils near my face?! Been wanting to try the Emma Hardie balm but i just daren't. My skin is very slightly combination although i don't have too much of a problem with it and actually prefer products for normal or normal/dry skins. I'm 26 and I rarely breakout (apart from with the demon essential oils or eucalyptus or WHATEVER it is!!). I've been heading towards age prevention products recently but that's not a necessity. What i really need is a balm/oil that will remove my makeup and not break me out! Can you help me please?

    Thank you :)

    1. Hi Anna,

      You could try a couple of things - you could make your own cleanser with castor oils/almond oil/olive oils - or you could try some oil balms that are fairly generic like Bobbi Brown oil cleanser - it contains some essential oils although I found them to be more softening than stimulating - but definitely trial it/patch test it first.

      You could also use an eye makeup remover then go in with soft milk cleanser for sensitive skins afterwards.

      Let me know how you get on!

    2. DHC oil cleanser is really nice. Based primarily on olive oil I believe. X

  44. Thank you Caroline for running these clinics! I have pretty good skin really but the one thing that lets me down are my eyes! Terrible crows feet! Makes me look much older than I am (42) Any suggestions on a good eye cream? (Do they even work)! I am now thinking of botox for them. What are your thoughts eye cream versus botox? I use an elemis serum/eye cream at the moment. I have tried creme de la mer, clarins amongst others. I would spend money on one that would give results.

    1. Hi Anon,

      The best one I've tried for Crow's Feet is Eysilix from Boots - its cheaper than most eye creams and definitely more active than the ones you have mentioned.
      Another good one is Ole Henriksen's Truth is in the Eyes for the evenings - that leaves the skin really soft - but its a treatment for PM so you would still need an AM.

    2. Thank you so very much. I actually saw the eysilix in boots a few weeks ago & purchased along with the hydralon but not used yet. I will add the ole Henriksen to my shopping list this weekend. I just assumed the elemis pro entense eye cream was very active. I am also using the oskia eye wonder although that is lovely I think it's more suited for very dark circles? I eally appriciate you taking the time with these clinics. Thank you again.:)

  45. Hi Caroline thank you for doing the clinic.
    I am 27 with skin I would love more than anything to sort out.
    I sometimes react to products where it looks like i am sunburt where i have applied the product or else i get really itchy skin with a few hive like spots. Other than that, every moisturiser I use looks so greasy by midday and looks like i have oil on my skin even sometimes it can feel tight after a shower. I have a lot of red bumps under the skin on my cheeks which never come to the surface so its very hard to get rid of them. My skin also has a tendancy to be red a lot. I think my skin is a bit dehydrated also. I had a skin annaylsis done where they look at ur skin through a machine and I was told that there is trapped oil under the skin on my cheeks which is causing the red bumps under the skin on them. They said the surface layer is dehydrated but at the mo its so so greasy no matter wat I use :( I feel the dryness is gone and it feels like I have oily skin where my lunch time I am dying to wash my face and get rid of it. I have always had this prob with oiliness on my tzone whenever I wore makeup as well.
    I feel I could open up a shop with the amount of skincare I have tried.
    At the moment I am using ceaphil. the cleanser for dry and sensitive skin and also the moisturiser. I was using an eye cream from bobbi brown but have not for a few weeks. sometimes I also use the melvita extraordinary water..the orange blossom one. I have also started taking hyaluronic supplement for joints but its meant to help skin too.
    I have just gotten a few of the REN samples to try but not sure wat I should be trying. I feel some ppl say ive dry skin and others say dif but no matter wat I use its too greasy for my skin.
    I was thnking of trying the REN resurfacing AHA concentrate but not sure this would help my skin?
    Basically I am hoping that you can recommend some products to me that will not be so greasy on my skin and might by some miracle get rid of these red bumps. I find balm cleanser too heavy for my skin but am willing to try anything.
    Thanks again for your help.
    Louise :)

    1. Update: I cut out the cetaphil moisturiser and am now using the REN one for sensitive skin. There is no prob with oiliness but skin feels little dehydrated. Also using elemis papaya face mask and REN glycolactic mask. have been using the elemis one for a few months. Havent borken out with any REN so far which is amazing as usually i break out with new skincare. Should I also get rid of the cetaphil cleanser. Cud u tell me what I should use morning and night? sorry for the update but I thought it might be a bit of help and thank you again for taking the time to get back to me.

    2. Sorry fir this extra update. Usibg cetaphil for dry and sensitive skin cleanser and melvita extraordinary water day and night with ren night cream st night and la roche posay effeclar m during day. Ren hydra calm was too greasy so had to change. Wat toner should i use and should i change any products?i feel ive never found a proper routine im happy with. Thank u for takibg time to help me

    3. How is your skin with all the changes? Have you tried just switching out one product for a length of time to try and find the problem product/area?
      Using Cetaphil for dry and sensitive - you are more combination so I would look at that.
      Where do you live Louise?

    4. I live in Ireland in Galway in the country but five miles from the city so am in it a bit.
      I have tried switching products out but couldnt find the problem :(
      i find if i find stuff that works...within a few days or weeks they make my skin worse:(

  46. Oh I'm so happy you're back again, hope I make the first 50!!! (on 47 now!) my question is about Toner, I don't understand what it's for and what I should look for so I'd love a recommendation! My routine just comprises of Philosophy Purity face wash and Clinique Dramatically different moisturiser. My skin is just awful, blemishes all around my chin always :o( Do I need a toner? Also I'm 21, do I need some sort of eye cream (prevention rather than treatment ;)) Thank you so so much xxxxx

    1. also, I've always thought of my skin as dry but I'm starting to think of it a little greasy as if I don't wear makeup my face ends up quite greasy to feel after a full day, also the spots are like red marks that never come to a head. I am also more than happy to expand my skincare routine and I'm willing to splurge-but I hadn't known what to buy before! I'll buy a full new regime if you'd advise it :o) THANK YOU SO MUCH <3 lifesaver <3 xxxxxxxx

    2. Hi Hannah,

      Wow. Your routine would make my face fall off. (Sorry!)

      I think you need to change everything.

      From what I can imagine knowing these products - your face is very confused and dehydrated/irritated.

      Start with the cleanser and go from there. Switch to a cleanser for your skin type - Purity is too alkaline-making for you I think.
      From there move to a new moisturiser - you don't have to spend a lot - try REN. Hydraluron will help with the dehydrated feeling.

      Keep me posted and let me know what you think.

  47. I have used Decleor Neroli Essential Balm for added moisture, balancing and soothing on a night as and when my skin feels the need. I then decided to add the decleor neroli oil to daytime regime and have had lots of extra breakouts. Do I just need to get through it? Is it reacting to something else? Or is it not suitable to me?

    Regime: AM Alpha H balancing cleanser, caudalie elixir (wow), decleor oil, Alpha H SPF50, Alpha H eye gel
    PM Emma Hardie Balm, Alpha H Balancing cleanser, Alpha H Moisture misting spray, then either Liquid Gold X2, Decleor Balm or Alpha H Rejuvinating cream.

    Weekly:One weekly Alpha Micro cleanser AM, Alpha Purifying mask PM.
    Daily Fish Oils 1200MG X3 (most my stomach can tolerate but has helped.

    Thank you for your time and guidance.

    1. Hi Jane,

      Usually if you add something new and you react then yes I would think about stopping. Stop it and see what happens.
      How do you get on with the balm? Was that ok?

      Also - if you can't tolerate the fish oils - a reader at the bottom (that I'm working towards) mentions taking enzymes - that might help?

    2. Hi Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate your time and understand how busy you are.

      I have used the balm for a long time as a boost and never had any problems. Some times when I get blind spots/cysts I massage it in over night for 3 nights and they start to go down.

      I was hoping to boost my hydration and balancing with the oil on a daily basis (hopefully preventing the blind spots/cysts).

      Will leave out of routine for a few weeks and see how I go.

  48. Hi...thank god i've got in before its closed. I have learnt allot by reading other clinic questions and answers.
    Ok here goes:

    Indian skin tone, generally normal but some odd breakouts. Uneven skin tone concern.
    AM: REN clear calm clay cleanser
    Alpha H Vit C
    Clarins Hydraquench lotion.
    Shu Uemura factor 50

    PM. REN Clear calm & EM Balm
    P50 only over T-zone
    Clarins night cream
    sometimes i use Hydraluron if i need it.

    Odd occasions: Masks such as REN detox mask, Aesop parsley seed mask, Clarins hydrating mask and skinceuticals clay mask.

    I am getting married next year so trying to brighten my skin tone.
    Also i am concerned about p50. I didn't get to try the others just went straight on to this. I am worried it may be strong but everything seems to be okay when i use it. Someone mentioned that i shouldn't use AHA's too much as its dehydrating. If i ever go to Paris should i try p50v or P50W?

    I have also started to take Omega 3 (Perricone) on your recommendation

    Any other advice for someone getting married. I know the usual such as drinking water and eating well. Are there any good facials you know of i could try?

    Much appreciated ( Bow down)

    1. Just another quick question can you suggest a good moisturisers for the colder months? Thanks

    2. Forgot to put my age 31. Thanks

    3. Sham where do you live? What area can you get to for a facial?

      Aha's are only dehydrating if you are using them in a strong percentage or without moisturisers.
      If you have Indian skin tone and live in the UK I would stop using the SPF50. Controversial I know but it may be leading to your breakouts.

      If you can afford it - try some Perricone products - you could try a starter kit - his face firming activator is amazing for example. Moisturiser-wise he has a few options for nourishing during the winter months.

      Let me know on the rest and we'll go from there!

    4. Hey Caroline,

      Many thanks for your reply. I live in the West Midlands. I don't mind travelling for the right facial. I will def look into the Perricone starter kit.



  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Dear Caroline, I do feel for you having to answer all these questions! But alas, I have another to add to your pile.

    Ever since finding your blog a year or so ago, my acne prone, combination skin never looked better! Even my grandmother commented on my "glow" and that my dear, is saying something! I'm 34 and came off the pill on August 31st and hey presto, pizza face! i am still taking up to 9 omega 3's per day and have the following regime.

    Emma Hardie balm / Ren clay cleanser- P50v - Hydraulon - Decleor Ylang Ylang serum - Pai moisturiser - Heal Gel on scars - I do this for both AM and PM except I alternate Liquid gold / Rosehip Oil / BR Creme Dermopurifiante on alternate nights and use a mud mask twice weekly.

    Is there anything I can add, remove to help with these breakouts or do I simply need to ride it out. My diet is good, no sugar, low fruit intake, minimum alcohol, no smoking. I think thats all for now. Thank you!!!


  52. Wow..what a coincidence, I was wondering this morning if you were going to do a clinic soon! Anyway, I have a feeling this may be a bit of a long post, just want to give you some background knowledge.

    I’m 21, have suffered from acne since I hit puberty. Hoped that as I got older it would settle, but it hasn't, just changed over the years. Having discovered your blog about 9 months ago I managed to overhaul my skincare routine and, along with changing from the implant to the pill, my skin is much better now. My current routine is as follows:

    Balance Me face wash OR REN clay cleanser OR Balance Me cleansing balm (depending on how skin feels)
    Clarins iris toner
    Caudalie SOS thirst quenching serum
    REN hydracalm global day protection cream

    Emma Hardie OR Balance Me cleansing balm
    Clarins iris toner
    Caudalie SOS thirst quenching serum OR REN clear calm 3 night serum (again, depending on how skin is)
    REN hydracalm global day protection cream

    Used to use the infamous C&P but my skin was so so red after using, especially on the cheek area so I have stopped. I did use Alpha H balancing cleanser for a while as a nice alternative and loved it, thinking I may repurchase when my balance me face wash runs out, worth it? Or do I have enough cleansers? LOL

    Secondly, and I wish I'd have waited just a few hours because now you've posted a clinic, I have just purchased a few new things. First of all Hydraluron, got my mum hooked when you first recommended it and wanted it for myself to. The fact it helps stop the spread of bacteria, and therefore spots, seemed like a feature I could do with adding to my routine!! Should I just swap it in for the caudalie serum? AM and PM? Secondly I bought Origins make a difference rejuvenating moisturiser, as my current moisturiser felt as though it could be breaking me out, is creamy in texture and these never agree with my skin, and also leaves my skin slightly shiny. The origins is more of a gel and sales lady said it was water based..felt lovely on the skin..what do you think? Give it a go or stay the hell away?? Also got a whopping 30ml sample of the night a mins, should I try this too or would it potentially break me out?

    Before changing up my skincare when I found the blog my skin was very dry/red/irritated. Generally hated me for all the horrible things I put on there, which I understand now. My skin these days feels so much more comfortable, dryness is a thing of the past, now I just think its possibly dehydrated (foundation can go patchy towards end of the day - less so since using caudalie) and im still breaking out, although not as badly I have to say. Sometimes I put my foundation on and my skin looks close to flawless which I never could have imagined! One of the things that still really gets to me is the horrible red scars I have left from acne of the past, what can I use for this? Or is it a case of waiting until im no longer breaking out to treat those?

    Gah, such a long post, im sorry! One more thing, I do supplement fish oil, 4 lamberts tabs a day, and I take zinc. Oooh oh oh completely forgot! I use alpha h liquid gold about twice a week, for the past two weeks, *i think* the texture of my skins looks much better. I also use a face mask about once a week, sometimes twice a week, either the REN clear calm 3 clay mask or Origins mega mushroom skin relief.

    I think, besides a few product related questions ive asked, I am asking if there is anything major I am doing wrong? Or anything I could change? Or is it a case of, my skin is as good as its going to get for my skin type/genes/age right now and I cant do much about it?

    The government should send you out to schools and teach all the mini-Hannahs of the world that scrubbing their faces with st ives and stripping the hell out of it with clearasil face washes are DOING SO MUCH DAMAGE!!!!

    Thank you, you star!

  53. Hey first of all bow down! Im not sure my previous comment posted so writing again

    Am REN clear calm
    Alpha H Vit C serum
    Clarins lotion Hydra range

    PM REN clear calm and EM Balm
    P50 on T zone
    Hydraluron sometimes
    Clarins night cream

    I never got to try any other p50 should i be using P50v or P50W. P50 seems okay so far. Also someone said this can be dehydrating? Is this the case?

    I am getting married next year and looking for any advice and tips. Just started Dr Perricone Omega 3. Do you know any good facials i could try

    Thanks so much

  54. im sorry, been typing away and now ive posted my comment i have seen that the clinic is closed :( please know I didnt do it intentionally and you do not have to post a reply :)

  55. Hi Caroline,

    Having skimmed through the other comments i write this with a huge fear of being VERY, very repetitive- my problem is spot related.

    I have PCOS so cystic acne is something I have suffered with for a around 2 year and bait years now. I was on the pill but reacted very badly (tired three different ones) the feeling of nausea has proven to be too overwhelming. During the two years i have been on various forms of antibiotics and creams (namely dual cream-horrendous). Most recently and after finally getting an appt with a dermatologist, since June I have been taking doxycycline anti-biotics and differin gel cream every single day. I am writing this as obviously nothing is working, in fact last week and now (its still there) my skin suffered its worse break out thus far. All my spots start off as very big, hard, boil-like under the skin spots/acne which SOME (but not all) do form heads. They leave horrendous scars- another thing i would love a recommendation on? Here is my routine:

    Wash-REN clarifying clay cleanser
    Tone-with origins united state balancing tonic
    moisturise- clarins matte rebalancing lotion or origins zero oil moisturiser
    eye cream-origins eye doctor

    use face wipe/ caudalie cleansing water to remove make up
    cleanse- liz earle cleanse and polish x 2 (depending on how much make up remains)
    tone- caudalie beauty elixir
    serum- occasionally it is advance night repair or origins brighter by nature
    moisturise-Differin antibiotic gel
    eye cream- origins eye doctor

    I see the dermatologist every two months and each time its a case of "we'd like to see how you get on for another two months with the antibiotics" I have got pictures from near enough every day for the past month (a skin diary) because i will get a new active spot every day. I would much rather skincare be the solution rather then medicine so any help / suggestion would be amazing and any recommendation for scarring.

    Thank you for reading, and once again i apologise for repetition!

    1. Just wanted to end the time ended whilst i was still typing so i didnt see the closed message until i had clicked send, sorry! I just didn't want you to think I ignored the closed button. Thanks, Amy xxx

  56. Hey!
    First of, thank you so much! Since I started using flannels and stopped using my gel cleansers, my skin already got a lot better!
    So, I am 22 and have combination skin, relatively dehydrated, especially as winter is around the corner. I don't really get breakouts, but I always have a lot of clogged pores and quite a lot of redness. Here is what I currently do:

    evenings: Cetaphil cleanser twice, Bioderma do make sure and for my mascara obsession. Elemis soothing apricot toner, Caudalie SOS Serum, Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream.

    mornings: Same cleanser and same Toner, Avene Antirougeurs Emulsion.

    Liquid Gold every three nights, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intensive Masque, Origins Clear Improvements Mask, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse as moistruiser as needed.

    I feel like this works relatively good. My first concern is the toner. I don't feel like it is doing anything, so I am looking for a new one. Can you recommend anything? I know you like the Beauty Elixier, but I found it relatively drying on my skin...
    Also, the moistruiser is going to be become a problem. BB is ok, but too expensive to rebuy, the Avene one is going to be too light for winter.

    I also want to mention that I live in Germany where I can not get all the products I would like (think Hydraluron, I really tryed to, but I can't get it :( )

    Thank ou so much for helping me! I am really happy that I found your blog :)

    P.S.: If I can request something, I would find it very helpful if you could do a cheat sheet on ingredients. What is good for which purpose and what to avoid. Because even if you try a lot and post about a lot, you can never try everything, and that way we could tell in the store if something is rubbish or if it could work. Just an idea :)

    1. Oh,and how much fish oil should I take?

    2. Cheat sheet on ingredients - yes pleeeeeease!!!

  57. I waited for the clinic to open.. and waited.. and waited.. every. day. And then suddenly... i missed it!! God!! :( But still, i think its great that you do the clinic anyway so i'll kust have to wait until next time.. =) x

  58. Hi Caroline

    I have a LOT af scars from acne. They are not that white, more red. Maybe because they are quite "new".
    Do you believe in healing gel? Or do you know i product which is good and you can see results?
    I live in Denmark. THANKS for your time. You are the best!


    1. If they are still red then it means you have blood supply to them and they can be somewhat helped. I would use a mixture of Vitamin A in the evenings - you will find a lot of night-time products with Vit A in - and maybe Heal Gel - available from Victoria Health.

    2. Dear caroline, this is fish oil girl again from below... Can you recommend a vit a product in the states? I had bad reactions to environ so am hesitant to try, but if you really think its best for acne scarring...Jen

  59. Dear Caroline,

    This is after the deadline and isn't a question as such, but you've been so kind to me (anonymously) in previous Q&As and I wanted to share an amazing find from Japan, where I went on holiday last month. This might be sounding a bit like an ad spam comment - but I promise it's not - I'm typing this sneakily from my work PC!

    Like many of your readers/commentors, I suffer from what seems a very common problem - the 'I'm much too old for spots but I have them!' syndrome - i.e. no/few blemishes in late teens and early twenties, suddenly starts around age 27, cystic, never goes away, horrible scars etc. etc.

    I took on your advice (EM cleanser, P50, LG, Omega 3 etc) which at first didn't improve things. It turned out, I'm allergic to the AHA and partly the BHA acids in P50 and similar. Just cutting the acid exfoliators have helped things massively, and spots are much less 'lumpy' and cystic, if that makes sense. So that's good, but I still needed a good exfoliator, and not a physical one, as I didn't want to sandpaper my scars and open cuts.

    Well, I found it in Japan - my absolutely holy grail. No glycolic (as far as I know), gentle, no roughness, and it works, immediately. It is the CURE, Natural Aqua Gel.

    I picked up 4 bottles while in Japan, apparently each bottle lasts about 4 months. I have used it everyday, and it has made my skin turnover rate improve massively. I also find white and blackheads easier to clean out, and that my old darker scarring is fading, much faster than when I used acid exfoliators. Serums and masks also penetrate much more easily, the milia under my eyes are going... All in all, just SUCH fantastic results. Most importantly in some ways - no new spots!! Not a single one for 3 weeks (and I am at that time of month right now, and nada!)

    I know this all sounds like an ad, but I really wanted to communicate this product to you. I have read all of your blog and I know you don't tend to concentrate on Asian skincare. But the Cure is sooo good, and so different from anything available here, that a review from you could be very helpful to your audience many of whom have suffered as I did with really one of the most horrible things to befall a grown woman. At the end of the day, what I, you and your readers want are products that solve their problems. Well, I think this has mostly solved mine. And I am so, so happy about that.

    Thanks for your time, and sorry that this is perhaps the slightly wrong forum to voice this.

    Best, Jenny.

    PS, my current routine:
    AM: EM cleanser, Kanebo skin lotion (toner), serum (either vit C, omega 3), hyaluronic acid, moisturiser depending on weather
    PM: micellar water to remove makeup, EM cleanser, CURE AQUA GEL, Kanebo skin lotion, mask (every 2 or 3 days) - moisturising or Soap & Glory Fab Pore depending on skin needs, serum, moisturiser (organic surge or Algenist)

    1. Jenny what are the ingredients? I love a new find. :)

  60. *pokes head in* just wondered if you'd heard back from your expert pals about the rings under my eyes yet? will pop in every clinic to check if that's ok :) thanks x

    1. We did - it was the reply I gave you - I can ask my plastic surgeon/Dermatologist contact next :)

    2. Hi Caroline, sorry the only reply I can find is that you are asking them not that you've heard back, did I miss it somewhere? And please don't feel like I'm hounding you - I just meant because I'm anonymous (is the only way not to be to have a blog?!) I wanted to make sure you had somewhere you could let me know when you hear back without you having to trawl through all your past clinics to find me :) x

  61. MAN I was waiting for the Clinic two Thursdays in a row, but… :( well I'm gonna cross my fingers and be real quick with this anyway:

    My skin: very dehydrated due to air-conditioning at the workplace, face starts to feel tight around 1pm; lots of congestion on my cheeks (under-the-skin bumps that never surface, under 5mm in size); skin type is slightly oily around T-zone (nose often gets blackheads) and normal everywhere else. No redness or sensitivity. I am 21.

    Cleanse with oatmeal / oatmeal+manuka honey / gentle cleanser (natural/plant-based ingredients, no SLS)
    Toner: please suggest
    Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough hydrating anti-oxidant serum
    Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream layered over any moisturiser — doesn't help with the mid-day tightness :(

    NIGHT 1 (5 nights a week)
    Gel- or water-based make-up cleanser (both Asian brands, no "bad" ingredients AFAIK)
    Cleanse with oatmeal / oatmeal+manuka honey / gentle cleanser (natural/plant-based ingredients, no SLS)
    Toner: please suggest
    Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough hydrating anti-oxidant serum
    Retinol 0.5 lotion
    Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiageing & Antiwrinkle Night Cream - doesn't do anything, dislike this.
    Kiehl's Acne Blemish Control spot treatment dabbed on cheeks (salicylic acid + LHA)

    NIGHT 2 (twice a week)
    Gel- or water-based make-up remover
    Gentle cleanser
    Exfoliate with Peter Thomas Roth Blemish Buffing Beads (1% salicylic acid + 1% glycolic acid)
    Ole Henriksen Grease Relief toner (with lactic acid)
    Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel (2% salicylic + 10% glycolic) / La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+Effaclar K
    Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiageing & Antiwrinkle Night Cream or rosehip oil+Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
    Peter Thomas Roth Sulfar Cooling Masque (10% sulfur) as overnight spot treatment

    My #1 concern is hydration, followed by the annoying under-the-skin (cystic??) bumps. I have gotten a friend to purchase Hydraluron for me but will not get it till January, and will buy Caudalie SOS Serum and Vinosource Souffle next month. I have also just gotten Emma Hardie's Rejuvenating Night Cream, and will replace my Korres Quercetin & Oak night cream when it's finished. Are there other products you suggest?

    As for the bumps on my cheeks, I have a suspicion they're hormonal but I am not very sure. Those buggers popped out from nowhere about 2.5 years ago and no acne treatment seems to have any effect on them! The amount of bumps don't increase or decrease when my period comes, however. Twice a week of intensive exfoliation might sound like too much, but that's the only way I can keep the blackheads on my nose at bay. I am very frustrated. I am gonna do a chemical peel to see if it helps — thoughts?? I have the occasional dessert but I don't eat much dairy or other unhealthy foods, and seldom have sweet drinks. No caffeine. A few days back, I started taking one royal jelly capsule and four Omega 3/6/9 (400mg fish oil, 300mg rosehip oil, 300mg linseed oil) capsules a day.

    1. Obviously I'm not Caroline but let me tell you what I think - I have these bumps on my cheeks too and dehydrated skin, although I'm a lot older than you.
      I'd not buy tons of new stuff but buy ONE new product and see if my skin gets better. Then the next one. After all, our skins react differently! For example, I don't understand why everybody raves about the Caudalie SOS Serum. It does NOTHING for my skin (usually I really like their products), especially not lasting hydration. What has helped me are the Nuxe Creme Fraiche products, especially the serum as my skin needs lots of hydration but also some fat/oil. They may not work for you - try everything out carefully - they also have . Three of Caroline's recommendations that have really helped, especially with the blackheads: Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm + hot cloth (and I only use makeup remover for stubborn makeup around the eyes. Usually the EH is enough) and Liquid Gold (ONCE a week - and no other exfoliants)
      At night I currently use NOTHING, other than the Liquid Gold once a week, and it has helped further: My skin hasn't been so clear for years. I use 2 serums and a moisturizer in the morning. No toner. What for? Toners have never made any visible difference to my skin.
      I've also bought the Hydraluron but haven't tried it yet.
      Re the exfoliation: You're 21!!! Be gentle to your skin!!! You will need it for a while ;-) Use mild products, use fewer products.
      Perhaps one of your night products helps cause the bumps? Or even all of the exfoliants together?
      A final word: I'd rather have bumps than stop living a good and happy life and eating great food with sugar and drinking coffee and wine in moderation is part of this. I don't believe that our diet can influence our skin so strongly, in most cases at least. But I believe if we're unhappy it's reflected on our skin. But that's just my personal opinion.
      Sorry for the rant.

    2. GGGRRRR! Just spent AGES replying to you both and google crashed. Off to a meeting but will def do when I get back *throws PC at wall*

    3. Oh, I'm definitely looking forward to your reply. But your Google-problem gives me the chance to add something to my above post to make sure I'm not misunderstood: Caroline, I do love your blog, your really great advice and the crazy amount of work you put in to help people with their problems is just amazing!
      It's just that I read some of the comments and questions and can't help but wondering how some people seem to - hmm, difficult to get the wording right - follow others uncritically without stopping to think and spend lots of money on tons of expensive products without even trying them out first.
      (And of course, keep asking the same questions without reading your pages properly... Would drive me mad...)

  62. I know that this is late but I would really appreciate it if you could let me off this time : )

    Fish oil - I have been taking a lot more of it since you said it would halp with acne, but I'm sure it has had an effect on my digestive system. Has anyone else mentioned this to you or have you ever experienced it? My stomach never feels right since I started taking more of it and lets just say that my bathrooms habits are different...

    1. Hi Andrea, See below :) You may be more tolerant to Flax?

  63. Hi, I just wanted to share with you that not all people can digest oil properly. I take mine with enzymes and it helps a lot.

    1. Thank you for that - v helpful :)

    2. You are so welcome. I wanted to share with you that I am about to try some fish oil that is fermented. Supposedly it's easier to digest. Right now I take perricone. Ran out last week and broke out in 2 days. My replenishment arrived and my skin is already recovering, so I see a palpable difference. Will see if the fermented oil has any improvements. Jen

  64. pllllllease do a clinic soon :) keep checking your blog for a new post :)

  65. I know this is not really meant to be posted however i was going through the questions where one person talked about the CURE Aqua Gel that is made in Japan- i searched online and found a similar version (including reading reviews) called the Frutique Papaya Enzyme Exfoliating Gel which is sold in America (and online for UK residents)
    I looked on their website and although they do not provide a full list of ingredients it does contain papaya, vitamin c, glycolic acid and salicilic acid.
    is it worth a try?

  66. What's the best moistureriser to use after alpha h liquid gold? Can I use facial oil?