About a year ago I went away on holiday with perfectly normal skin, and came back with a chin full of blocked pores and bumps under the skin. No amount of specialised expensive skincare or fancy facials cured it completely, so recently I bit the bullet and made an appointment with the Skin Deep service at The Hospital Group.
You can read about my experience on Beaut.ie but in a nutshell, Skin Deep is the medical skincare division at The Hospital Group, supervised by Dr Clare Cushen and administered by a qualified nursing team. There’s no consultation fee and you don’t need a referral letter from your doctor to access the service – you just pay for any prescriptions, products or treatments arising from your consultation.
I was advised to use a salicylic cleanser and prescribed a course of Retin-A gel at the lowest strength. Salycilic acid unclogs pores and Retin-A treats spots - but I am hopeful for more. It can also improve skin texture, diminish fine lines and lessen pigmentation on the face. I'm concerned about each of these three things.
In a stroke of luck, at the same time I was offered the chance to try out the SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age range which features a salicylic cleansing gel (€34), toner (€31.50) and serum (€88). The products sound like they were made exactly for me – adults with blemish prone skin that is showing the first signs of age.
I’ve been using both in combination for the past couple of weeks. There has been a definite reduction in breakouts and clogged pores, and I think the overall texture and tone of my skin has improved. However, I’ve also had some flaky dry patches on my forehead, nose and chin, which I was warned about before I started my current routine.
I use the Retin-A gel three times a week at night time, after my Skinceuticals products and instead of a night cream or moisturiser. When I don’t use it, I sleep with a hydrating mask - I like Origins Drink Up or L'Occitane's Angelica, and I've just discovered the Body Shop's Vitamin E mask.