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Category: Reviews

  1. PT 2 Review of The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane (Month 2)

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    the ordinary Retinol 0.2% in squalane

    Well this is month 2 of using the Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane.  You can read my first post here. which explains what Retinol is used for in skin care, precautions and my results after month 1.  I doubt I will have anything significant to report in month 3, but if I do I will update my blog again.

    My skin is dry/oily combination in winter and I have melasma on my forehead, fine lines at the side of my eyes, my under eye area is dry, furrows between my eyebrows and deep creases on my forehead.

    So, again the most noticeable result for me is that the skin on my cheeks looks fresh and new.  This is because Retinol increases cell turnover and the cell regeneration.

    I have also noticed some reduction in the darker skin (caused by Melasma) on my forehead.  However, I have also been using the Ordinary's Vitamin C 23% every other night and Alpha Arbutin day and night.  These also help to reduce hyperpigmentation, so I can't say which product has proved most effective in doing that.  My guess would be the combination of all 3: Retinol, Vitamin C and Alpha Arbutin.

    The fine lines around my eyes look the same as do the deep furrows between my brows and deeper wrinkles on my forehad.

    About 7 weeks in to using the Ordinary's Retinol 0.2% in Squalane my skin felt tight and dry during the daytime even with extra moisturiser.  So I cut back to using it every other night and applied Neal's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm over the top of my Retinol.  This did the trick and my skin stopped feeling dry and tight.  I have continued with the every other night approach and on the nights I am not using the Retinol, I just use a serum (topic for another post as I use a few) or Vitamin C 23% from the Ordinary plus my Neal's Yard Frankincese Intense cream  or the Ordinary's Natural Moisturising Factor to moisturise.

    As I am now 1/2 way through the 30ml bottle of 0.2% Retinol, I have purchased the next strength up which is the 0.5% Retinol in Squalane.  

    My Current Routine:

    Daytime: Cleanse, Tone, AM & PM Alpha Arbutin on my melasma patches and the Ordinary's Matrixyl with Hyaluronic acid on my lines and wrinkles,  Moisturise with an SPF Cream.

    Night Time:

    Cleanse, Tone, Retinol 0.2% in Squalane and Wild Rose Beauty Balm or

    Cleanse, Tone, Vitamin C 23%, Moisturise or

    Cleanse, Tone, Anti Ageing Serum, Moisturise.

    I use a mixture of cleansing balms, milks and facial washes to cleanse and a mixture of floral waters, moistursing or acid toners and anti ageing eye creams, serums and face creams, SPF creams and some creams with very simple formulas that are just there to moisturise.  I will write a blog post at some point and talk about the products in more detail.  The reason I use so many different products is because I like to switch things up, love trying different products which in down to earth terms means that I am just a skin care junkie lol.  Also on some days my skin needs more of 1 type of product than another and also because I don't want my skin to get used to using the same products all the time.

    If would like to purchase the Ordinary's Retinol 0.2% it is only £4.20 for 30ml!  I buy my products directly from their site and shipping to the UK is about 4 days time although there is currently a notice on their website which says orders can take up to 10 days.  Shipping is free after £25 min spend.

    If you would like more information on the rest of the Ordinary's products, please click here to read their Regimen Guide.  Also if you email them with your skin care concerns, they will send you a suggested routine.

    Until next time




  2. Favourite Affordable Skin Care Products under £15

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     Fave Affordable Skin Care Products

    I read and watch lots of blog and vlog reviews of skin care products, many of which have a hefty price tag.  If you are on a tight budget, then buying expensive skin care products may not be possible or certainly not a priority.  So, I decided to write a short post on my favourite affordable and effective skin care products which cost less than £15.  It is also worth bearing in mind that Superdrug and Boots own brands are regularly on offer such as Buy One Get One Free, Half Price, 1/3 off, 3 for 2 and such likes.

    I am almost a proud 47 years of age and my skin type is dry/oily combination, black heads and blocked pores around my nose and chin, fine lines and wrinkles and hyperigmentation on my forehead due to melasma.

    Ok, so here goes, I am just going to list the products to avoid turning this post into a book! For more information please click the links.



    Chemical exfoliant toners, skin brightening, uneven skin tone and texture

    Hydrating and Soothing Toners:

    You could also buy an empty spritz bottle and decant a little to carry in your handbag.

    TO vit c

    Antioxidants - to protect the skin against envrironmental stresses

    Specific Issues


    Anti Ageing

    • *The Ordinary Buffet (suitable for AM and PM) - a cocktail of anti ageing peptides - £12.70 for 30ml.
    • *The Ordinary Retinol range (Night time use only) - I am currently using the 0.2% Retinol in Squalane, then moving onto 0.5% and then 1%.  If you look back through my reviews you will find a monthly review of my use of this product.  The price varies depending on which product you buy.


    Aldi Q10Moisturisers

    Day Time

    • *Aldi Lacura Q10 Day Moisturiser with SPF20 
    • Aldi Lacura Q10 Night Moisturiser

    All these are only £1.69! for 50ml.  The Aldi Q10 range contain the antioxidant Co Enzyme Q10, come in SPF 20 for the day time creams and are available in Renew (for younger skin) or Restorative (for mature skin or prematurely ageing skin)

    Night Time


    The Acid toners and pads or B Glycolic Cleanser mentioned above in cleansers and toners.

    For those who prefer physical exfoliators, the Boots Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish which is £9.99 for 120ml.  This product used to be about £3.50 but since they repackaged the Botanics range, the price went up.  I don't think it is worth £9.99 but if it is ever on offer, it is worth buying.  It has very fine grains that are moderatley abrasive so not for those who like a really gentle face polish.

    If you have sensitive, reactive skin that doesn't respond well to acid toners or physical exfoliants, then I would recommend massaging the Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm into your skin and remove it with a towelling wash cloth or muslin cloth.


    Face Masks

    Superdrug Vitamin E Moisture Mask £2.59 for 75ml - lush creamy, moisturising mask that I have also used as a sleep mask.

    For a purifying clay mask, I would recommend buying your own Clay and making your own.  Simply mix 1 to 2 teaspoons with a little water, aloe vera gel or toner and apply to your face.  You can find cosmetic grade clay online in many places at very affordable prices.

    For sensitive, reactive or irritated skin, I would recommend Organic Aloe Vera Gel, see below.

    I haven't found any face masks in the £15 and under price bracket that are any more effective than those mentioned.


    Lifeplan Organic Aloe Vera Gel £7.49 for 200ml - multi purpose SOS product for insect bites, burns, stings, sunburn, to soothe irritated or inflamed skin.  It could also be used as a hydrating, soothing face mask.

    Neal's Yard Calendula, Aloe/Lavender or Stellaria Creams all £7 for 30ml and again are great rescue creams to have in for irritations, bites, rashes, burns etc.


    If I had the uneviable decision of choosing just one out of each category it would be:

    • Cleanse: Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser
    • Tone: Neal's Yard Frankincense Hydrate Mist 
    • Serum: The Ordinary Buffet
    • Antioxidant: The Ordinary Vitamin C 23%
    • Moisturise: Aldi Lacura Q10 Renew Day and Night Cream.  Whilst they are meant for younger skin than mine, the texture is lighter than the Restore.
    • Exfoliate: B Glycolic Cleanser
    • Misceallaneous: Organic Aloe Vera Gel and a bag of white kaolin clay for Face Masks.



    • The ones marked with a * are repeat buys for me, so holy grails within my favourites list 
    • If you have reactive skin, please patch test all new products before using them all over your face.
    • Some of the products listed above can increase the risk of sunburn (Retinol, Vit C, Acids except for Hyaluronic Acid) so plese read the instructions carefully.  Also wear at least SPF 15 during the day time, reapply every 90 minutes to 2 hrs if you are sunbathing, gardening, sitting out etc.
    • As with all skin care products, these products may or may not respnd well on your skin or your product taste in terms of the overall feel or consistency. However, at these prices if you are intrigued then I would say that they are definitely worth a try.


    Well that is all folks, I hope this has been of help to you.  

    Until next time