One thing I haven’t discussed much on my blog is my skin’s reactions to two cornea transplants. Although initially I didn’t think my skin would be affected much (minus the area around my eyes which I guessed was probably a given), I’ve been quite surprised at the dramatic change in my skin’s appearance and texture. My skin has become unbelievably dry to the point it’s bloody painful and this has been the source of much upset throughout my transplant journey. Although I’m now starting to feel my skin is beginning to ‘settle down’ and is actually looking the best it has done it years, it’s taken a lot of patience, persistence and research. So I thought it might be useful to put together my top tips in how to manage your skin if you’re about to have a cornea transplant (I know there are some) or are just looking to update your skincare routine.
SAMPLES, SAMPLES, SAMPLES
As I’ve found out the hard way, updating your skincare routine isn’t cheap. The amount of barely used cleansers and moisturisers I’ve managed to gather up is quite impressive and yet, incredibly embarrassing when the combined price tag of all these products I’ve barely scratched the surface with is well into the three digits. Normally, I do make an effort to use products up but there were some that for whatever reason, my skin just didn’t like (even though they were suited to my skin type). It was then that I discovered samples were my best friend (and my bank balance appreciates them too).
Normally, I wouldn’t consider going to beauty counters to ‘seek out’ free samples but as a potential customer, why shouldn’t i? So I took myself off around Boots, Debenhams and House of Fraser; returning home with a bag full of products to try. Normally when I think of samples, I think of small sachets you barely get one use out of but I was pleasantly surprised to find the majority of the samples I was given lasted approximately two weeks! This was more than enough time for me to get an idea of what my skin did/didn’t like and narrow down the potential purchase list to a mere few I felt made the cut. And the best part? My research didn’t cost me a penny. All it took was some time and having the confidence to openly ask for samples to take home.
THE ONLINE FREEBIES
If you don’t feel comfortable openly asking for samples to try, or simply don’t have the time to go around beauty counters, the internet is definitely your friend when it comes to sourcing the best beauty freebies. One of my favourite websites is WOW Free Stuff (they have a really interesting article on free beauty tips here) which houses the most current freebies to be found and saves me so much time, effort and research. Most free samples found on the site are merely a click and a quick form fill away, landing on your doorstep soon after. The website also lists all the make up/skincare brands currently giving away free trial products at various beauty counters so again, if you aren’t comfortable asking for samples, this makes life a lot easier (and is exactly how I got my hands on a ten day sample of Clinique’s Even Better Glow).
I had really used freebie websites before but I have to say, I’m absolutely hooked. Not only is this another easy, free way to try new products, I’ve also found myself saving samples of say shampoo, conditioner and body wash to use on overnight stays or weekends away. My friends laugh and roll their eyes but not only does it save me money, it saves my space in my case for shopping!
FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Is there a day that goes by we’re not told to drink more water? Probably not and for so long, it was a message I could do without hearing. I knew it would benefit my skin and health overall, but water is so boring and diluting juice didn’t make it any more appealing. And as I type this sitting at my desk, I have my trusty water bottle beside me. Yes, the girl who would have bled Diet Coke if she cut her finger is now drinking water, and lots of it.
I’m not going to rant on about the benefits of drinking water (I’m sure you’ve heard them already, more than once) but I remember the moment I knew I had to step away from the fizzy juice: I was sitting looking at another Boots receipt, almost crying into my Diet Coke can because yet again, I’d spent a crazy amount of money on products and my skin still wasn’t happy. Then I suddenly realised I was spending hundreds of pounds (literally) and I wasn’t making the one, simple, free change I should: DRINK WATER! So I did. My dry skin and I have never looked back. Bizarrely, I actually enjoy it and like trying different diluting juices. My mum never thought she would see the day….
My collection of face masks alone, is completely over the top and unnecessary. Do any of them work? I’m sure in some way but I’ve since learned (at the ripe old age of 33) different areas of my face have completely different needs I simply wasn’t addressing. When I first heard of the L’Oreal Pure Clay Mini Masks I was intrigued because to date, I’ve seen no other mask like this. The set contains three different clay masks: the purity mask (green), the detox mask (black) and the glow mask (red) which are applied to different areas of your face depending on your skincare needs at that particular time. It’s basically like Build a Bear but in face mask form!
I’ve really been enjoying using these masks (particularly the red glow mask on my nose and chin) and have included them in my weekly pamper routine. To begin with, using the three masks together was messy and a little bit complicated, so I would definitely recommend starting with one or two before tackling applying all three! The only downside for me is the pots themselves which aren’t as secure as they should be (a shame, cause a little of the masks goes a long way). Overall though, I’m a fan of the mini masks which are a welcome addition to my skincare routine.
I’m going to be writing a follow up post sharing my updated skincare routine but I would love to hear about how you discovered yours! Are you a fan of trying samples first? Have you just discovered the benefits of drinking water like me? Let me know in the comments below!
Contains PR Samples