Dare to bare: make-up free me, and how I protect my skin

I think I put my skin through the wringer a little, all things considered.  I work in an air-conditioned office and live in the city centre.  I sleep with the windows and balcony doors open and live in a flat above a street that a lot of lorries and heavy traffic pass underneath.  I probably don’t drink enough water and I definitely eat too much sugar.  I don’t always wear sunscreen, and let’s face it – I’m in my mid-thirties and the signs of this are starting to show.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

One thing I am dedicated to however, is having an effective skincare regime and searching out the best products for my skin.  Whilst I can be lazy and take shortcuts in several other areas of my life, I’m fastidious about washing my face and taking my make-up off, and I really take my time to go through a routine before bedtime.  It’s actually a really important part of my self-care that I make time to soak off anything my face has come into contact with during the day, and then take time to rejuvenate and soothe my skin.  It’s the very least I can do considering it’s exposed to traffic fumes and air conditioning throughout the day, as well as the change in temperatures and environments; from an increasingly chilly dog walk, to a flat with electric heaters and then a pretty poorly ventilated office environment.

It’s important to me to find products that mitigate the harmful elements that my skin comes into contact with, and to tailor the products to my skin type.  My skin is mostly normal but it can occasionally be oily, so I try and limit the amount of oil-based products I use on my face – although I am a big fan of natural products and ingredients like Sunflower Seed Oil or Jojoba.

Selection of Clinique Products Clinique City Block Purifying and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

I’ve been trying out a new skincare regime using Clinique products that are specially designed to protect your skin from pollution, increase its barrier to environmental stresses and keep it looking moisturised and hydrated.

My current routine is that I use the City Block Purifying Clay Mask and Scrub once or twice a week to remove toxins and dirt and reduce oil.  As a daily cleanser I use the City Block Purifying Cleansing Gel to remove my make-up and draw out any impurities or dirt that has built up over the day (it too also tackles excess oil).  I use this with the ultrasonic brush I have and I’ve really noticed a difference in my skin since using it – my skin is much clearer and my skin tone more even.

Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and City Block Purifying

I’ve been using the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for years, but this is the first time I’ve tried using the Gel and I can really see a difference.  The Gel is specifically designed for people with oily skin and it makes my skin feel instantly soothed and so soft, my skin literally drinks it in! The final part of my routine is the Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly.  I find this the perfect product to follow the Moisturizing Gel as it really feels like it ‘locks in’ all of the moisture and provides a barrier so that my skin is ready for the day’s challenges.  It’s so lightweight and I’ve also started using it as a primer before I put my make-up on as it doesn’t leave a residue but does create a really smooth finish.

Although I’ve taken the time to photograph and edit all of the products I’ve mentioned, I thought it was only fair to share a final photo of me make-up free in order to explain the increased confidence I’ve felt to ‘dare to bare’ since creating my new skincare regime.  For some reason my eyes look a little dark (I should also add that my eyebrows are microbladed) but I promise that there’s not a scrap of make-up on my face and I’m feeling much more comfortable with not hiding away my make-up-less mug! I obviously haven’t filtered the photo and it’s straight from my phone – if my skin does look clearer then it’s absolutely down to Clinique and their Anti Pollution Skincare, it’s pretty magic stuff.

Of course, skincare is a journey, and whilst I’ve seen great results from these products, unfortunately it’s not a 24-hour process, and it takes time to erase the effects of the elements and start to build up a glow (and the confidence to go make-up free!) How do you protect your skin from the hazards of commuting and city life (if you’re a city dweller like me)? Do you have an extensive skincare routine or prefer to keep things simple?


This post is in conjunction with Boots but all thoughts are my own.