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 soothe.

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 (but, then again, if you’re looking for results, fast, Bioderma is your new BFF).

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