Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Dear Rachel: How To Get Clearer Skin

Recently I've been getting a lot of emails asking me different questions about things like blogging, makeup and asking for fashion advice, so I thought instead of emailing people back individually, I'd make my answers into blog posts so everyone can benefit! So, without no further preamble I'd like to introduce you all to my newest feature, Dear Rachel!
Dear Rachel,

You have such clear skin! What products do you use to get such a flawless finish?

I actually keep things really simple with my skincare routine: when it comes to your face I'm a big believer in less is more. 
All of my products are by Clinique or Benefit, both brands developed of hyper sensitive skin, it's important to find something that works well for your skin type. 
First is my makeup. I know a lot of people don't count it as part of their skincare routine, but I do because, after all, it's something that you put on your face! I'm lucky that I don't need to wear foundation, just a bit of cream concealer now and again, but I'd apply the same theory to foundation that I do to my concealer, work to find a product that does not either dry out of break out your skin. I use Boi-ing by Benefit. This way, your skin is not being affected by the makeup you're using. I know a lot of my friends with problem skin use Bare Minerals powder foundations so their skin can still breathe without being caked in heavy foundation.
Next, what I wash my face with. I only use makeup remover when I'm wearing waterproof makeup, because makeup does have to be removed, but I find regardless of the brand I use it burns my skin. Water is harmless, so usually I just flush my eye makeup off over and over again with water, its usually easier to do this in the shower using a couple of cotton buds to make sure that it is all removed. Then you need to find a good face ash that works for you. I like a scrub that exfoliates my face so I use Clinique's 7 Day Scrub Cream which is fantastic, but I'll soon be switching to Benefit's Refined Finish Facial Polish because I prefer the size of the exfoliating beads in it, the smell and the fact it gives my skin a brighter finish. Play around with samples of different products and see which one works for you, then use it every day.
The final step to my routine is when I step out of the bath or shower I pat my face dry with a soft clean towel and apply my face cream. Since I started using eye cream on a daily basis I've found I don't get dry skin around my eyes anymore. I'd really recommend Clinique's All About Eyes. Then, on the rest of my face if I'm going to bed I use a heavier moisturiser, I love Benefit's Total Moisture Facial Cream, but if I'm going to be putting makeup back on or just seeing people but without any makeup on, I go for the lighter Clinique Moisture Surge.
I deal with problem areas of my skin like redness, sores created by bad reactions to products I've tried or just general dry skin by using Clinique's Comfort On Call Allergy Tested Relief Cream. I remember reading about this a few years ago when in first launched in Vogue on the train to London and thinking that it was the perfect product for me, specially formulated for skin that reacts to stress and allergies. It's got a hefty price tag, even for Clinique products, weighing in at £35 a pot, but after about 2 years I'm only just coming to the end of my first pot and it works absolute wonders.
Finally I eat well and drink lots and lots of water - these things do make a difference! I love fresh fruit, so thats usually all I snack on, I avoid fatty, fried and high sugar foods because I don't really like them, and every evening I flush my system out with about 6 - 8 mugs of water. During the day I mostly drink fruit tea, or homemade iced tea.

I hope that helps!

*edit* 7/06/11: A lot of you in your comments have said that you'd love to try Clinique products but their really expensive, but your mothers use them, if she does, you should utilise Clinique Bonus Time to get free samples - I've written about it in my How To Save Money On Makeup post!

If you have any questions you'd like me to answer, be they on blogging, beauty or books, you can drop me a quick email, contact me on Twitter or leave me a comment on Formspring


  1. we use clinique too...its so great, works for almost every skin
    xx the cookies
    share the feeling

  2. I've been wearing bare minerals for 2 years now and it's the best I've tried. I've never enjoyed the feeling of liquid foundation plus I like how the bare minerals foundation powder addapts to my skin's natural oils which is lovely. I've heard so many good things about Clinque beauty products however I usually shy away from the price tags, although I do believe that you should look after your face so the more expencive products will perhaps be a lot more rewarding to me and my face in my future! I naturally have dark undereye circles and would love to wear a concealer, at the moment I just use a concealer brush and dab a little of my foundation over (as suggested) but would love something with a little more coverage. They say liquid concealers are the best, or cream ones however when I apply them I find the powder of my foundation just sticks to it therefore making it look bumpy. If you have any suggestions that would be fantastic!
    You write fantastic reviews, always a really pleasent and informative read!

  3. @ Katie - I can't find a review for it from a beauty blogger I trust, and it is quite a long time since I tried it at the makeup counter, but could I suggest Benefit's Powderflage powder concealer? http://bit.ly/ipsXc3 I seem to remember it was quite good under the eyes, and Benefit products usually work really, really well if you wanted to try something different! Also, I can't recommend one because I've never tried any, but a cream concealer that goes on cream and dries as a powder might work?

    I hope this helps!

  4. Ah this is so helpful! May have to invest in some more expensive products as they seem to do wonders, and last a long time, so really the cost isn't an issue!

  5. Less really is more when talking about skin. I use as little as possible, and am using Lush right now...and drinking tons of water!

    Clinique's products really are amazing for those with sensitive skin.

    Oo, after seeing your Graze box I'm excited to get mine. My first one should be here tomorrow.

  6. I don't own any Clinique products but I should really try it :)

    Thank you for the review.


  7. I love this post :) Very helpful! I've heard such good things about Clinique products, I might have to invest in some.
    I forget that eating healthily and drinking lots of water helps keep skin clear, I should definitely start watching what I eat more...
    Sirens and Bells xx

  8. I agree! Less IS more when it comes to skin..and drinking adequate H2o makes a huge difference too. Great post, Rachel!

  9. great post :) i have naturally good skin but i think i take it for granted, i should probably invest a little more in taking care of it! my mum uses clinique and she raves about how much of a difference she feels in her skin if she runs out or uses other brands, it obviously works wonders for a lot of people! x

  10. Thanks for this post, Rachel! I like hearing different versions of skin care routine, but this one helped-- I've been meaning to try Clinique products, but I'm afraid I can't afford them (my mom uses them, though.) And yes, I need to remember to also drink lots of water and eat healthy-- tough task for a chocoholic.

    Also, great review of Lush products on starviolet's blog!

    Have a beautiful day, Rachel!

  11. I love your blog :D
    I am following you! Take a look at my blog and, if you want, follow me too :D



  12. Cheers Rachel! Will have a look at the benefit concealer; sounds right up my street! Much appreciated!

  13. Thanks for the tips. I'm about to run out of several of my skin care products (why do they always all run out at once? Or is it just me!) so I'll keep these in mind!x

  14. Excellent beauty tips;-)
    my skincare regime is quite simple - I make my own masks and facial scrubs and my own face cream.

  15. @ Fashion, Art and other fancies - What do you make your face cream out of?

  16. You are sooooo right about water! I think that's the best thing you can do for your skin.

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  18. i hope clinique works for me. :)

  19. i need to up my skincare regime - im lazy x

  20. Genevieve Crusoe2 February 2012 at 05:21

    I like your beauty regimen. It is almost similar with mine. I haven't tried this brand though. Thank you for your skin care reviews.