Your Questions, My Answers

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I posted an image to Instagram a few days ago asking for some questions for a Q&A. I received quite a few, so let’s dive on in!


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“How do I get to be as good looking as you?” {From one of my IRL friends, @iiifly}

Simple answer, Jasmine – YOU DON’T! NYAH! *sticks tongue out*


“What are some acid toners that you recommend for combination skin? Also, is there a way to get rid of milia without going to the dermatologist?” {From @monicalynntiu}

For acid toners (or rather, toners that contain an exfoliating acid): Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Pore-Refining Treatment with 2% BHA; Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner; NIP+FAB Gycolic Fix Pads; First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads; Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant; REN Clarimatte Clarifying Toner. All lovely. When it comes to acids, I prefer AHAs to BHAs. Regarding milia: you can source an aesthetician that has been trained to remove them (will involve lancing them, so a no-go if you’re afraid of needles!). Nothing you can do will remove them, and I mean that with my hand to my heart. Don’t use harsh products to try and get rid of them, and whatever you do, don’t pick at them. Leave it to the pros.


“I love a good horror story, so I’d like to hear about your worst reaction to a product!” {From @detailoriented – please also follow her blog at}

Arly, you sadist! I’m very fortunate to not have reactive skin. I’ve never applied a product that’s caused a reaction so bad it resulted in a trip to the ER, and touch wood that never happens! *touches ALL the wood* I will give you three recent instances of products that my skin has not enjoyed, though: 1) The TATCHA Indigo Rice Enzyme Powder. I used this powder as a second cleanse and followed with my normal skincare routine. The next morning I woke up with extremely tight-feeling skin and very large, rough patches across my forehead and cheekbones. I’m furious that this product didn’t work for me, because it was the first thing I tried from TATCHA (thanks, Ruhi!) and it kind of soured the brand for me. 2) Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil. Woke up with extremely dry/flaking skin the day after I used it. This has happened on 8 separate occasions of using the oil, so I’ve just given up on it. I’ve used higher-concentration retinol products in the past without such a reaction, so maybe it’s the type of retinol my skin doesn’t care for. 3) Sunday Riley’s Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil. Quite literally the most disgusting skincare product I’ve ever smelled. It smells like salt and vinegar potato chips and fryer grease. It has a very thick, claggy texture, too. It blows my mind that there are people out there that like this product (how do they tolerate the smell?!), because it is truly one of the worst I’ve ever used.


“A few retinol serums you like?” {From @salonbellavida}

I’m only going to mention one, because it’s the best one I’ve ever used: Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum.


“If you could only pick one ‘holy grail/I can’t live without you’ product, what would it be?” {From @lolafruitkiss}

Beauty Elixir by Caudalie — such a great multi-purpose product. It gets rid of razor bumps, it annihilates blemishes, it takes down redness, it’s a great hydrating toner, its essential oil blend calms anxiousness/nerves, and it suppresses light headaches. It’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny.


“Your top 3 serums/treatments?” {From @_ejharrington}

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil; Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift; Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum.


“How did you discover your interest in and love of skincare? Any tips for finding the right SPF? And any tips for getting my skin back to normal after a small breakout caused by an SPF?” {From @beautyreviewsbyruth}

Great questions. I am a very ritualistic person, and I love routine. Perhaps that makes me boring! I had just about every type of routine a pre-teen could have… teeth-brushing on a schedule (with a timer), bed-making, meals, room-cleaning… I did not have a skincare routine, though. After watching my grandmother apply skincare products and always bang on about body lotions, etc., I thought, “why can’t I have that?” That’s where the interest came from. The desire to keep it up was fed by the fact that I would inherit all of the products my grandmother didn’t care for. Plus, all the cool kids were using the Internet at the time, so I would look up ridiculous things like “how to get rid of freckles” (I put a lot of lemon juice on my skin, FYI), and “how to stop aging”. So it was something small, which blossomed into something larger, and it became an ongoing interest. And I love it. I can get lost on sites like Lookfantastic and FeelUnique for hours, looking at the same skincare products over and over. As for finding the right SPF… I hate to say trial-and-error, but that’s really all there is to it. It might help to have a general idea of what you’re looking for in an SPF and then searching within those parameters, rather than going in blind and becoming overwhelmed. UVA/UVB filtering (reflecting, absorbing) ingredients are actually extremely irritating to the skin… and in all of the testing I’ve done, I’ve found that the higher the SPF, the worse the irritation. For me, anyway. I used to use Anthelios by La Roche-Posay, up to SPF60, and I can’t even use that anymore. I get a strange rash the second it touches my skin. I find that this happens with most SPFs that exceed 30. I have no idea why that is, but I’d love to know. If I keep the SPF number low and just minimize sun exposure as much as I can, then I don’t have any issues. Day-to-day, I just wear 15 on my face. Maybe you have the same problem I do — what was the strength of the one you used that caused the breakout? At any rate, to clear it up, just go in with a very mild cleanser day and night, and drench your face in oil. Any facial oil, really. Oil is excellent for comforting the skin—I find the best way to treat blemishes is to use comforting things like oils, as surprising as that might be. Most people are tempted to use the most stripping, zit-destroying products they can get their hands on, and I think this line of thinking is totally backwards.


“Best spot treatment you have ever tried? Best serums? Help with hyperpigmentation?” {From @dawn_visionnaire}

I use oil on blemishes. Any facial oil. Just a dot of oil over the blemish. Seems weird, but don’t knock it ’til you try it! My favourite serum is the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery one that I’ve mentioned a few times here already. Clarins’ Double Serum and Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair II are also good. So is Caudalie’s Polyphenol C15 Serum. These all do different things, though, so it depends on what you want from your serum! Choose a serum designed to treat a skin condition (e.g., dehydration, dark spots, dryness), and chop and change them depending on what needs “fixing” at the time…! For hyperpigmentation: use exfoliating toners and serums, whitening sheet masks (lots of Korean brands do these — look for ingredients like hydroquinone, arbutin, and licorice), products containing retinol, and most importantly, SUNSCREEN! Sun exposure darkens pigmentation marks, so it’s imperative to use sun protection during the day! You don’t want any work you’ve currently done on the pigmentation—or work you’re currently doing—to be in vain.


“If you had to marry one Instagram follower, who would it be? If you could choose two skincare brands to collaborate with, which ones would they be, and what products do you think they could make spectacular?” {From @dylanstillmantoomey}

I think you know the answer to the first question, so I won’t even answer it! Second question is great — had to do a lot of thinking to come up with an answer! I’ll choose Clarins and Omorovicza. Clarins needs a cleansing balm. Clarins are the masters of texture and harnessing the power of plants, so if they were to make a cleansing balm it would stomp every other balm on the market into the ground. I can smell it now. With Omorovicza, I’d love to see an exfoliating toner, to be used before a spritz of their gorgeous Queen of Hungary Mist. Their moor mud cleansing balm was so brilliantly innovative that I’m sure they’d do something special with the thermal lake water of Budapest and exfoliating acids to make an awesome treatment toner. Or even a hydrating essence-style toner!


“What is the best hydrating day cream with SPF for combo skin? What is the best hydrating facial spritz?” {From @urbanglamazon}

DayWear SPF15 by Estee Lauder. Smells amazing (cucumbers!), and is hydrating without being greasy… would probably be an excellent base for powder makeup, as I know you don’t use liquid foundation. 😉 For spritzes… I know that you know I love Caudalie, so I’m going to say the Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist. For a more wallet-friendly option, any of the Andalou Naturals spray toners. They’re all beautiful, and they all smell great!


“Would love to know your thoughts on the brands Sunday Riley and Alpha-H from Australia, and which ones are worth getting?” {From @sue329}

Both are fantastic. Sunday Riley products are the height of luxury—they use amazing and unique ingredients, which sets them apart from other brands. They’ll never be like other nondescript/dime a dozen products on the market. Good Genes is the star of the show in my opinion – it’s an awesome exfoliant in serum form. Alpha-H is a great brand… not so much luxurious, but very to-the-point/get-the-job-done. Even skincare newbies know of Liquid Gold’s cult status. Their Balancing Cleanser is incredible – it has a whipped cream texture and is thorough, but extremely gentle… good for when your skin is freaking out. They also have a great resurfacing mask, the Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask with Lavender.


“If we use a physical sunblock with ingredients that are nourishing for the skin, do we still need to use moisturizer underneath the sunblock?” {From @catatansilka}

Absolutely not. I don’t know where the ideas of “if an expensive moisturizer has SPF, it is just an expensive SPF”, or “if an SPF contains great ingredients, they’re wasted because SPF takes precedence over everything else” came from, but they’re silly. If there was any truth to them, everyone would be using the same cheap sunscreen, and no brand would ever try formulating an SPF that has brilliant ingredients and benefits to the skin beyond sun protection. But clearly that’s not the reality of the situation. At the end of the day, do what works best for you. If the product you’re using with SPF provides enough moisture such that your skin feels comfortable, there’s no need to overload it by using a moisturizer underneath.


“Favourite place you have traveled to and top three places you want to travel to?” {From @Justkatd}

My favourite vacation to date has been to Orlando, Florida. We stayed at one of Disney’s themed resorts (I believe it was called all-star sports or something like that…) and we were at different theme parks every day. That vacation is one of my favourite childhood memories! I’d love to visit Italy, France, and anywhere in the UK, really.


“How do you prevent future wrinkles? What do retinol creams do? Favourite moisturizer for extra dry skin? Best face wash for dry skin? Difference between mud and clay masks – what do they actually do to the skin? If we start using anti-aging creams at a young age, is that actually beneficial or detrimental for skin in the long run?” {From @irsawaheed18}

Wow! Lots of questions! Let’s do them one-by-one — I’ll try to be brief:

* A basic skincare routine that includes sun protection during the day is really the only thing you can do to keep wrinkles at bay. Nothing is going to stop them from happening — time catches up to all of us.

* Retinol is just another way of saying Vitamin A. Vitamin A has anti-oxidation properties (fights damage caused by free radicals) and is a cell-communicating ingredient (through signalling mechanisms, cells are directed to act as if they were younger and healthier, and to divide to create cells that will behave in the same manner). Retinol can help correct unevenly pigmented skin, repair sun damage, kill acne, soften wrinkles, etc. It is probably the most well-researched skincare ingredient, and its efficacy can be backed by tens of thousands of dermatological studies.

* My favourite rich moisturizer is Clarins Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Cream. It’s beautiful. Hall-of-famer. Holy grail.

* Dry skin will benefit greatly from a cleansing balm or a creamy cleanser used with the hot cloth method.

* For all intents and purposes, where skincare marketing is concerned, there is no difference between mud and clay. They are just absorptive ingredients that mop up oil. Depending on the formula, some have better “pulling power” than others (the magnetic effect on what the skincare world calls impurities).

* It’s never a bad idea to use anti-aging products. Just like it’s never a bad idea to eat healthily. When you eat well, your body knows. When you use great skincare products, your skin knows. Conversely, when you turn the tables on your body and skin, say, by drinking milk as a lactose-intolerant individual or by using a very stripping cleanser on your face, a negative consequence follows. But when you return to a proper routine, your body and skin respond positively again. Just like eating broccoli will always be good for you, using top-notch skincare products will always be good for your skin.


“Glycolic or lactic?” {From @swapna_george – please visit her blog at}

Glycolic. But have nothing against lactic!




Hope you guys liked this! Until next time…!

~ Bobby


5 thoughts on “Your Questions, My Answers

  1. Great post! Loved reading all the questions and your replies. Thanks for answering my questions 🙂 I enjoyed reading about how you always have some kind of routine, it definitly doesn’t make you boring! Its important. Its cool you took inspriration from your Grandmother on skincare and how your interest in skincare came about. I also love looking at sites like FeelUnique, also CultBeauty, BeingContent and Naturismo! I too can get lost looking at all the products! Even Debenhams is one I frequently scour looking for deals haha!
    Well the spf I used that caused me issues was Vichy’s SPF25. I love other Vichy products especially their Fresh Cleansing Gel, so I really had high hopes for their spf, but it was not to be. I think its just too heavy for me. And thank you yes I agree trial and error is the only way to find the best one, and I think I have now found a suitable one. I didn’t have to look too far from home, even though I have quite a few Korean ones from my memebox days, as I think Olay seems to be suiting my skin at the moment. Will need to use it a bit longer and see how it goes, but so far so good 😉
    You are so right about the old school thinking for treating blemishes by drying them out, it just causes a vicious cycle of drying out the skin, skin overproduces oil = more zits. This time round I treated my skin very gently and kept the spots moisturised, then topped off with some Effaclar duo in the day, at night I even threw a bit of Clarins Santal on them! Worked a treat.
    Thanks again and looking forward to your next post!
    (beautyreviewsbyruth on instagram!)

    Liked by 1 person

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