LOOK's Laura Jane Turner shares her skincare journey - and the (super affordable) products that have changed everything...
‘We can’t do anything about that for you here,’ said the beauty counter assistant as she – heavily – scrutinised my face and turned her nose up at me.
Yup. Those words still ring in my ears whenever I recall my first experience, aged about 14, of approaching a certain make-up counter (that shall remain nameless) in a high street store.
I can’t really remember a time that I haven’t struggled with my skin. Of course, this only got worse post-puberty.
I honestly tried EVERYTHING in my quest for clear skin. Washes, lotions and potions. Over-the-counter, prescription formulas, antibiotics… Nothing seemed to help.
After looking in the mirror for the umpteenth time, and seeing blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads staring back at me, the teenage me decided to seek out a full coverage foundation.
I hadn’t yet reached the age of wearing a ‘full face’ everyday – in my make-up infancy I was still experimenting with glitter gel and hair mascara behind the closed door of my bedroom. Oh, to have been a teen in the noughties…
I was determined to find something to make me feel that little bit more confident, and that little bit less self conscious, when leaving the house. And if that meant slapping a layer of concealer all over my face (probably making the whole thing worse), then ‘so be it’, I said.
It goes without saying that, when I was shamed in the middle of the shop, it only served to knock my confidence even further. I know that a lot of acne sufferers have it A LOT worse than I’ve ever experienced, but that doesn’t change the fact that my complex about my naked face has never gone away.
Over the years I’ve also developed a number of allergies, so I can now add ‘sensitive skin’ to my beauty resume.
A few weeks ago, after testing out a new foundation (which I actually loved at the start) my skin developed another intolerance. As a result, I had red rashes across my cheeks. I’d also just had my period, so was battling against another outbreak – always, these days, on my chin.
Boots’ make-up and skincare ranges are hypoallergenic, and have ALWAYS been kind to me. So, on my way home, I popped into my local which – lucky me – just so happens to be a mega store.
Given my 14-year-old self’s prior experience, I was a little dubious about approaching the counter. But I needn’t have been.
The lady was, for lack of a better phrase, falling over herself to help me.
She asked me what my problem areas were and talked me through some of the products that she thought would help me.
Basically setting me up with a shiny new skincare routine, she recommended me a cleansing oil (which also removes your make-up, so I waved bye-bye to my trusty make-up wipes), a night cream and a day cream.
After only a few days of my new regime, I couldn’t believe the difference.
The sales assistant also gave me a few test samples to try, one of them being the Beautiful Skin Purifying Mask.
It’s thermal and you can actually feel it warming up as you spread it onto your skin. After washing my make-up off, I leave it on for around five minutes and then rinse. It opens and clears out your pores, and gently exfoliates. Honestly, I cannot praise this little tube enough – and, after the test pot ran out, I rushed back to buy it.
I think I’ll always get the odd spot. But I can honestly say that these products have given me the best skin I’ve had since my awkward teenage years arrived.
My biggest piece of advice is to find what works for you, and stick to it.
I’ll never look back.