Lockdown saviours for stressed skin – all under R300

This post comes to you live from my couch, as I’ve just watched the lockdown 100-day mark go by.

I’m not pretending that there aren’t bigger issues in the world right now – but, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that looking in the mirror and trying to face life, while also battling a massive breakout, didn’t make everything seem that much more difficult. I’ve been through the ringer with my skin during lockdown – I mean, the combination of stress, uncertainty, anxiety and depression was never going to be fun for any aspect of my well-being, was it?

So, while I’ve tackled those elements as best I can – hello, antidepressants, exercise and healthy eating (more on this to come) – I still needed a little cosmetic help to tackle the effects of the upside-down world on my skin. Here are the three products I owe some of my sanity to.

Bioderma Sébium Global

This was my first help-me-SOS-for-my-skin purchase, and honestly made without too much thought – I knew it was the brand’s acne-prone skin range, and picked up the tube as part of a Clicks 3-for-2 promotion. But, goodness – what a little gem it’s turned out to be.

What makes it so effective? It features a hefty dose of salicylic acid – the go-to ingredient for anyone suffering from a few spots, as it’s the only acid that can penetrate oil-clogged pores. And, where there’s oil, there’s bacteria. And where there is bacteria, there is a pimple. This powerhouse cream also contains squalane – to help hydrate and boost collagen production, and bakuchiol, a plant-derived retinol alternative that can help with pigmentation, among other benefits.

Practically, I used it at least 3 times a day (more than the suggested twice a day), particularly when I saw a breakout on its way, and it was phenomenal and drying out the area, and helping with healing. It is pretty potent, so I’d suggest starting with once a day, until you’re sure your skin can tolerate it – overuse can leave your skin a little red and flaky – yes, I’ve been there.

Get it from Clicks here.

Sorbet Salon Skin Daily Skin Polish Powder

To be fair, this is a personal favourite, even when my skin is behaving. Great value, great product, great results – it just ticks all the boxes – and is the perfect dupe for its Dermalogica counterpart. It’s a fine powder that you mix with a few drops of water and apply to damp skin. You’re left with an emulsified paste that gently – but, thoroughly – cleanses and polishes skin. Again, the hero here is salicylic acid, which cleans pores, eliminating excess oil and bacteria. It might be marketed as “daily”, but I find it pretty potent, so stick to every second day.

If you crave that smooth, squeaky clean feeling, then this is the guy you need on your bathroom counter. Just a note, as it is an exfoliator, I do recommend following it with a mask to help restore moisture and sooth.

It’s an absolute gem of a product and one I plan to never not have on my shelf.

Available from Sorbet and certain Clicks stores.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +

A bit of a blemish-busting icon (who am I to argue with Vogue?) it contains salycilic acid – as is the trend of this piece – and niacinamide to help fade dark marks left behind by the ghosts of blemishes past. It’s a light cream and feels quite mild – my skin definitely feels the Bioderma cream above, more. As I am impatient and have no time for the emotional turmoil of a spot, I tend to use both creams at the same time – not a recommendation, more a guilty confession. But, hey, it worked.

If your skin is more on the sensitive or intolerant spectrum, I’d suggest giving La Roche-Posay a try first, as the Bioderma cream might be a little much for particularly sensitive skin types.

Available from Dischem and Dermastore.

Sorbet product gifted. All images my own. Post not sponsored by any brand.

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Lockdown saviours for stressed skin – all under R300