Since this blog knows few boundaries when it comes to subject matter, it was only a matter of time before a beauty-related post appeared (I am a human-being with skin, after all). I always like reading about what other people use, recommend, prescribe… This is how we find the products that work for us (or don’t, which is probably more important). So I figured I would do the same, and share what I have been using recently for my problematic face – it’s stubborn, trust me. Of course, it wouldn’t be like me to just brag on about a single product which is the holy grail of all skincare. Instead, I use globalization to my advantage, and source my pomades from around the world, resulting in a pretty diverse mix.

1. Korres Sensitive Cleansing GelGreece:

Man, I love this stuff! If it isn’t obvious from the clearly-labelled bottle, I have oily skin. So I always look for something that’s going to wash the grime off my face without drying it too much. Korres Sensitive works for me. And it’s 90.1% natural, so that’s just a bonus for everyone, especially the planet! I read recently that a lot of your common facial washes contain the ingredient Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. While it might clean your face and remove oil, it also strips all the water from your skin, causing dry dead skin cell buildup, which later leads to more oil and shine. Ew. The trick is to look for ingredients like Salicylic Acid, which removes the top layer of skin where the pores clog, but doesn’t have the deep-stripping effect Sulphates do. Guess what? The star ingredient in this awesome Korres facial cleanser is Salicylic Acid.

2. La Roche Posay Effaclar DuoFrance:
The French know their stuff when it comes to beauty products. So do the ladies over at Em & Them, who sagely recommended this product to me a couple months ago. It’s pricier than your average moisturizer, but if you have skin that erupts with pimple-fury every now-and-then, then La Roche Posay’s stuff is great. It is light and absorbs quickly, and if you use it at night, your skin looks much brighter and toned in the morning. I’m not promising any miracles (the red bumps always find a way back) but this cream really helps to minimize the damage. (Effaclar Duo now comes in the [+] version which I want to try next!)

3. The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimizing SerumKenya:
I know, I know, technically The Body Shop is a British company taken over by French giant L’Oreal. But, their tea tree oil comes from the foothills of Mount Kenya and is Certified Fair Trade with the Kenya Organic Oil Farmers Association. So I like to think that the bulk of this primer/serum comes from the East African country. I haven’t been using the product for very long, but I have found that it works great as a primer under makeup. It smooths out the skin and makes it slightly taught, which works well for applying additional products on top. I don’t know about the pore-minimizing effect, though… I guess we’ll have to wait and see?

4. Dr. Jart + BB Beauty BalmSouth Korea:
This was another great recommendation from beauty bloggers at Em & Them, and I love it! Since the BB cream revolution, I haven’t even touched foundation. Dr. Jart’s version applies in a weird way to the skin, but once you work it in, the result is dewy, glowy magic. It adds moisture without too much shine, and has an SPF of 25, so I don’t have to worry about adding the extra sunscreen.

5. Sanctuary 5-Minute Thermal Detox MaskEngland:
I am terrible about doing routine facial masks, peels, or detoxes. But when I do feel up to the task, I use the Covent Garden Sanctuary Spa version. It’s a clay mask which heats up slightly when applied to your skin. They advise to leave it on for five minutes, but I leave it on for longer. I use it every few weeks or so, when my skin is feeling a little more congested than usual.

[Photo credit: all photos are mine unless otherwise stated here]