sun

Schermafbeelding 2014-04-25 om 18.27.25

(img via decade diary)

Previously this year my skin became uncomfortably dry and red itchy patches started to appear around my eyes and forehead. I booked an appointment with a dermatologist who immediately recognised symptoms of mild atopy (atopic syndrome or hyperallergy), which was confirmed by my history of allegies and bronchitis. I was prescribed a cream which relieved my skin within a few days of use. The only downside of this treatment was that I was not supposed to go out in direct sunlight because my skin was at this time more vulnerable than usual – which was inconvenient since we’re having such a nice spring here in the netherlands but it was nothing unsurmountable, and I was relieved that the cure worked and my skin was back to being normal so soon.

This experience however made me reconsider a couple of things. For example my make-up routine changed. My dermatologist approved my daily moisturizer Toleriane Ultra by La Roche-Posay and I bought a new SPF cream for sensitive or acne-prone skin at the pharmacy, because it was the most mild one they had. I personally never had problems with SPF creams and breakouts before, but I wanted to play it safe.

Because the symptoms were concentrated around my eyes mostly, I didn’t use make-up in that area for some time. Whereas concealer used to be one of my favourite products, along with mascara and coloured lipbalm, I was now getting used to a bit of dark circles around my eyes. I even started to like the look (and foregoing mascara does look more modern). Even now that my skin is healthy again, I find myself preferring to keep it bare. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer conditioned to seeing myself without a bit of depth around my eyes, or maybe I’m just really happy to have my skin back in normal condition.

Another thing I’ve been focused on is shielding my face with headwear. My favourite burgundy hat is perfect for colder days, but I’ve also been looking around for a nice baseball cap. Which I never thought I’d say but I really love the look, especially when paired with a classic grey coat. I am currently in love with this version by A.P.C. although I really like the classic one in black nubuck without the logo as well but I don’t like the fact that it’s synthetic.

 

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winter skin

cotonblanc

I only recently discovered the joy of purchasing skincare products at the local pharmacy. Most dutch pharmacies are not like the French or even Belgian pharmacies, which are usually stocked with pharmaceutical cult-favourites such as Caudalíe and Embryolisse, but after some careful research I found a local pharmacy that stocks a couple of brands I’ve been meaning to try in order to help relieve dry winter skin, like La Roche-Posay (below).

Throughout the years I’ve settled on a couple of products that seem to keep my skin happy, but during the coldest months my skin appears to be extra sensitive, needing extra care. This year I set out to find the perfect product specifically for winter skin and began trying out different samples. For a while I favoured Aesop’s Camelia Nut Hydrating facial cream which did a good job as a night moisturizer, but was too rich to use under blush or concealer because it took some time to absorb properly on my skin.

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I’ve been reading about La Roche-Posay for ages now, how it’s a dermatologist as well as skincare-enthousiasts favourite and thought I’d give it a try. So far it has made my skin very happy. The formula is made with sensitive skin in mind and contains none of the bad stuff such as parabens and alcohol. Instead, it’s light, gentle and super moisturizing. There is also the ‘riche’ version, for extra dry skin, but this one works perfectly for my own daily routine.

(images: VogueUK via cottonblanc tumblr and my own instagram)

Honey Skin

Summers in the Netherlands are usually disappointing. Currently it’s hot, humid and cloudy. It’s also one of the most difficult types of weather for wardrobe planning because it’s so unpredictable. You cannot wear the layers because of the humidity, but after the rain it becomes slightly chilly, so it’s a good idea to always have a something warmer than  cotton t-shirt with you. It’s also not ideal for the skin because the humidity usually makes mine more oily than usual and swimming and the following increased frequency of showers ends up drying out the skin.

One of the great things about the summer though, is that the skincare brands often release travel-sized versions of their favourite products. For some reason I love small product packages (could be because I have so many regular-size packages that I never end up finishing before I move on to the next skincare product – a habit I’m currently trying to control because it causes clutter and it’s unnecessarily wasteful).

I recently purchased this “Head-to-Toe” kit by Burt’s Bees. I love this brand. I often use their shimmer lip balms instead of lipgloss and their Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Orange Wax Body Lotion is one of my all-time favourites (I actually finished the last bottle before purchasing it again). The mini-kit contains their Milk & Honey lotion which I’m curious to try out, as well as things like cleansing cream and shampoo. 

By the way, have you seen this video by Isabella Rosselini for Burt’s Bees? It’s a typical Isabella mix of bizarre and endearing at the same time.

Skincare


(image of Kim Noorda by Viktor Vauthier)

I never used to care much about skincare, other than face wash and moisturizer. A couple of years ago, however, I was under a lot of stress and my skin became very sensitive. This incident made me more aware of importance of proper skincare. I started paying more attention to my eating habits and how they reflect on my skin.

After cutting back on sugar and developing a habit of drinking enough water (as well as green tea, fresh mint and nettle), I also found the perfect products which have since become a part of my skincare routine. With Kiehl’s Ultra Facial cleanser and toner I immediately noticed the difference as my skin tone and texture improved and started to feel more comfortable. I also began using their Abyssine + eye cream, after receiving a sample with my first purchase. What I really love, aside from the obvious quality of product, is their simple and straightforward look. Nothing fussy or overly girly (which would look out of place in my bathroom).

For moisturizing I use Dr Van Der Hoog’s Hypo-allergenic Cream, which is very mild and once a week I use their soft Purity scrub creme as well. As far as body lotions go, my favourite is Burt’s Bees lotions, especially Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Orange Wax, which is a perfect fit considering my penchant for soft citrussy smells.

What do you use?


PS; I love this picture of Kim Noorda because it reminds me there is almost nothing better then curling up between fresh cotton sheets and getting a good night’s sleep.