I Post About Acne, So Why Have I Never Shown My Face On My Blog Or Instagram?

It’s not because I’m ashamed of my skin although I used to be. Admittedly this was when my acne was at its worst and I would now, fortunately, only class my skin as acne prone. I say fortunately because I spent years dealing with a lot of both physical and mental hurt as a result of my skin and not because there’s anything wrong with having acne. I still get spots, I still break out but I’m no longer filled with that deep rooted desperation to clear my skin thinking it’s something that needs fixing or is fundamentally wrong because I’m in my mid-to-late twenties.

So if it isn’t shame stopping me from putting a face to the name of Forever Saving For A Rainy Day what is it?

One of my biggest bug bears is invalidation and people lacking the decency to respect another’s journey without knowing their full story. If I were to share a photo of my skin online now I’d forgive you for thinking I had no write to bang on as much as I do about the topic of acne because of how I look at the present. My jawline is no longer a pointillism picture of whiteheads and cysts which it was when I first took comfort in writing about my lengthy 5+ year journey online early on in 2020. The old saying goes that a picture sums up a thousand words but I feel that in this case it would do the opposite for me. A photo of my few spots, the odd bit of hyperpigmentation and some enlarged dark pores doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of what my skin and I have been through together. It wouldn’t summarise the past few years’ attempts to reach a better place with my face including trialling Zineryt, Duac, Adapalene, Microgynon, Lucette, Norethisterone, almost a year of the antibiotics Lymecycline and Oxytetracycline and those are just the “solutions” I tried that require a GP prescription. It wouldn’t cover the emotional rollercoaster, the tears wishing I looked like anything but myself in that moment and the slow, but sure, journey I’ve been on since starting this account which has helped me to accept my skin for exactly as it is. I am not “flawless” but I am real and no longer hiding behind the coverage of foundation to face the day. Understandably when my skin first broke out almost 7 years ago I didn’t take any form of progress pictures because at this point the sight of my reflection was often enough to reduce me to tears.

When I first started to write about my skin I was on a journey to clear it, turning to prescriptions for the second time in my twenties. I wasn’t as resilient as I am now when it comes to my skin. I was wary of unsolicited advice and negative responses. It wasn’t the idea of insults regarding my appearance that bothered me because I used to think so badly of my skin that I doubt anyone could have come up with something I hadn’t already thought of. It was being branded as attention seeking, this was a real fear of mine.

The idea of losing my anonymity and being discovered by someone I know was terrifying for me when I first created my accompanying Instagram account. Now I am really proud of Forever Saving For A Rainy Day’s little corner of the internet and the wonderful journey I’ve been on with it. Having FSFARD has had, and continues to have, a positive effect on my life. I feel like we’ve come a long way together. I didn’t know where it would take me when I first started writing. I definitely experienced some sort of Imposter Syndrome. It was only last month, after almost 18 months of consistently publishing content online I felt comfortable to change my Instagram bio to describe me as a blogger and I’ve been churning out content bi-weekly or more. I don’t care for the numbers, stats or insights, I care about the connections I’ve made with people who have responded to say they relate and understand because that always makes my day. It never occurred to me when I started putting my stories out there that brands would consider gifting me products. The first message I got about this left me unsure whether to cry happy tears or jump and and down with excitement, I quadruple-checked it wasn’t a scam as I couldn’t believe it was happening.

I’m endlessly grateful for the opportunities that have come my way because of putting my face-less self out there as FSARD. I haven’t ruled out the idea of revealing the face behind Forever Saving For A Rainy Day but for the time being, know that I’m not held back by shame of my appearance.

Sensitive Comments Welcome

#The12DaysOfSkinmas – DIY Beauty Advent Calendar Challenge – Saving Money & The Planet.

After following lots of beauty and skincare accounts on Instagram I’ve been blown away by the sheer number of products people have. I appreciate that if you have skincare as a hobby its easy to get carried away picking up beauty bargains or always wanting the next item to try. I have quite a hoard of products myself but am trying to make more conscious eco swaps from here on out.

I’ve always wanted a beauty advent calendar and this year was sorely tempted. 2 things put me off. The first being the sheer cost of some of them and the second being that I didn’t really need anything new on the beauty front. I leant towards buying Holland & Barrett’s calendar as this only included eco conscious. Then it hit me that the most eco friendly thing to do is simply not buy things I don’t need.

I got chatting to Jess from My Life As Jess Skincare on Instagram about this and together we hatched a plan which we’ve named #the12daysofskinmas.

What Is #the12daysofskinmas ?

It’s essentially your own DIY advent calendar which involves using up samples of beauty products you already have. We don’t care what this looks like, it’s the concept of using what you have that’s the important bit. It can literally be a big envelope or box you lucky dip pick an item out of each day to use. We plan to include anything we have like skincare sachets, mini hair care samples, a sheet mask and tiny perfume testers etc.

We hope that anyone keen to reduce their environmental impact, save some money, work through their beauty stash or rediscover what they already own will get involved.

How To Get Involved

Each day Jess and I plan to use up a sample or mini from our stashes. We will share a post or reel of what we’re using on Instagram between the 1st and 12th December with the hashtag #the12daysofskinmas. We’d love for you to do the same, you can get involved on one day or all of the days, it’s entirely up to you.

You’re welcome to tag both of our Instagram accounts if you wish. We will be sharing our favourite posts to our stories. We hope to get people in the Christmas spirit whilst spreading a fun message that the festive period isn’t all about spending money or having as much as possible.

The Final Word

I hope you’ll consider getting involved. Please spread the message far and wide to anyone you think might enjoy #the12daysofskinmas !

September ’21 – A Round Up Of All The Samples & Free Items I Got This Month & How I Got Them

As another month draws to a close it’s somehow that time again, to post an end of the month round up. It’s starting to feel as though Autumn is fast on the approach now which always makes me think the countdown is on to plan Christmas gifts.

Food

I didn’t get a lot of free food at all this month. I struggled to find some items in my usual stores and just haven’t had the time to vary up my shopping trips. Thanks to my favourite food cashback app I was able to try some amazing vegan cake bites and other snacks for nothing this month. One pack of crisps I claimed and gave to a colleague who regularly forgets lunch and is counting the pennies. I love that picking up free items can be a nice way to do a good deed, I sometimes donate free items to foodbank collections in supermarkets as well as I think it’s important to do our bit where we can.

2 x packs of Oggs Bites – one brownie and one millionaire’s shortbread via my favourite cashback app Green Jinn

2 x packs of Beppes Popped crisp snacks – one salt and pepper the other BBQ again via Green Jinn

How To Use Green Jinn To Get Free Food & Save Money On Food Shopping – A Review Of The Cashback App For Food & Household Items.

3 x Greggs sausage sandwiches – via O2 Priority Moments on a Saturday morning. The offer works on sausage rolls, vegan sausage rolls, bacon sandwiches, sausage sandwiches and this month I even saw the new vegan sausage, bean and cheese melt included.

A Review Of O2 Priority Moments – Is It Worth Being With O2 For This Reward App?

Beauty

Bulldog Bamboo razor and two blades via Shopmium. The offer was £6 cashback but as these were on offer in Wilko’s for £6 and due to the way the receipt printed Shopmium refunded the whole amount making it free. For anyone wondering why I claimed this given that I switched to Friction Free Shaving razors earlier this year – I’m picking up free bits over the next few months to either add to friend’s Christmas gifts or donate to local shelters.

How To Get Free Food & Save Money On Food Shopping: A Review of Shopmium – A Cashback App For Food & Household Items

Gilette razor – via Super Savvy Me. I’m intending to add this to a food bank or donate to a local refuge centre.

YSL Black Opium perfume sample – via a sponsored social media advert

Phillip Kingsley 40ml Bond Builder hair treatment – via the Marie Claire Beauty Drawer club. I’m really excited to give this a go as the results images look incredible.

Thierry Mugler Alien perfume sample – via a sponsored Facebook advert

Carolina Herrera perfume and aftershave samples – I believe these came from a sponsored social media post. The Good Girl perfume is one of my absolute favourites.

Valentino Lipstick sample – I received this from being signed up to Vogue Insiders which is a free sampling opportunity. You fill in details of your skincare, haircare and make up preferences and periodically are offered samples that match your likes. I’ve been signed up since last year and this is the first item I’ve received but it’s a great mini size one!

Gifted Packages

Alpha H – I received one of my most exciting gifted packages to date from the skincare brand Alpha H. They kindly sent me their iconic Liquid Gold glycolic acid exfoliant, a cream cleanser and SPF product in exchange for progress photos and filling in their review form. This is a brand I’ve been keen to try for a very long time. At the time of writing I’m 1 week into my 3 week trial period and have experienced zero irritation which I’m impressed with. My skin hated the Pixi Glow glycolic acid.

Beauty By Zero – this brand really generously sent me one of each of the products in their range to try out. I’m really excited by this brand as their packaging is all eco conscious using materials like recycled rubber, glass and bamboo. They’re also really affordable with prices ranging from around £10-13 per product.

Monica Vinader – I’m still blown way by this but I received a voucher to spend on their website which I could use on any item I wanted. I chose two beautiful pairs of gold vermeil sterling silver earrings and have worn them almost every day since. They’ve helped me to fall in love with my jewellery collection all over again and start experimenting with new styles and combinations. They’re made with recycled precious metals and have an eco policy which I found really interesting to read about.

Monica Vinader Jewellery- Eco Conscious 100% Recycled Gold Vermeil Silver Earrings Review

Comments Welcome

La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Invisible Fluid VS Eucerin Oil Control – Review Of SPF 50 Used On Acne Prone Combination Skin

I’ve been a dedicated fan of Eucerin’s SPF since discovering it and think it’s highly underrated. I was quite content to just keep buying and using it. After all, it works well for me and is affordable but after I was fortunate enough to win an SPF bundle from La Roche Posay which included their Anthelios SPF50 I knew a VS review post was round the corner!

I’ve forever grateful for the acne and skincare community on Instagram for making me aware that so many acne fighting skincare ingredients make skin more sensitive to the sun. Wearing SPF every day makes me feel like I’m protecting my skin and caring for it for the future which makes up for the years I feel like I spent trying to nuke spots into oblivion.

Other VS posts which may be of interest:

Eucerin Oil Control SPF 50La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50
Price (as per brand’s website or best I can find!)£16 per 50ml£18 per 50ml
Labelled as suitable for
(as per brand’s description)
Oily and blemish prone skin with studies showing good tolerability on sensitive skinSpecially formulated for sensitive skin
Product claims (as per brand’s description)Oil regulating, gives skin immediate dry touch finish, mattifying for up to 8 hours, water and sweat resistant, non greasy with no white marks, not sticky, non eye stinging
Extras to noteLabelled as suitable for users of topical acne medication

Eucerin Oil Control SPF 50 Review

I’ve writing this having purchased 4 bottles. I picked up 2 last time they featured in Boots £10 Tuesday offer so I was well stocked and saving some pennies whilst protecting my skin. I have combination skin and find this a really effective product. It doesn’t cause any dryness on my less oily areas and doesn’t make me look shiny. It doesn’t have a typical sun cream smell or texture which is great. It’s never made me break out or caused any sensitivity. I haven’t had any major problems with this pilling.

I have experienced a bit of eye stinging with this but that’s generally only if I get tired and rub my eyes without thinking. This can then cause a bit of stinging that causes my eye to water but it isn’t a painful burning sensation. I’m incredibly pale and this doesn’t make me look any more ghostly so can confirm zero white cast for me.

La Roche Posay Anthelios Review

This was my first full sized bottle of this. I had previously bought a sample via Feel Unique’s Pick & Mix service. The first major difference with this product compared to Eucerin’s is the texture. It is very, very runny. Where I’ve been used to pumping a thick gel like cream texture and applying that squeezing this out of the bottle left it dribbling and running down my fingers. I found it quite hard to measure out an amount to apply and instead found it easy to squeeze 4 smaller sized helpings and dot these on my cheeks, forehead and chin before rubbing in.

I’ve never experienced eye stinging at all with this product, this is the only major perk it has for me over the Eucerin SPF. Upon application I find this makes me initially look a bit shinier than the other product but this does die down very quickly and I don’t find it off putting. In terms of similarities to my trusted Eucerin Oil Control SPF 50 this also doesn’t cause me to break out, doesn’t make me look paler and has no white cast. I’ve also not had any pilling issues with this one.

Other VS posts which may be of interest:

The Final Word

For me these two products have such similarities and do such a good job. Neither make me break out, cause sensitivity, give me white cast, smell bad or pill excessively when reapplying. I’ve popped into a table below the only real notable differences I’ve found.

Can I pick a winner? No. I honestly can’t. I think the Eucerin product is really underrated, it is slightly cheaper and I personally much prefer the texture as it’s less messy to apply. It is also very morning proof, if like me, you struggle to wake up and need something you can just throw on. The La Roche Posay requires shaking to activate which I have definitely forgotten to do a few times when dozy. I love that I can apply the La Roche Posay with zero concern about eye watering.

So which would I repurchase? It’ll come down to which is the best value for money at the time I need to restock but I’d happily buy both again.

Product marked with *** is a winner for me for each categoryEucerin Oil Control SPF 50La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50
Texture***
More of a gel, cream texture, easy to apply with pump bottle to measure out
took some getting used to to avoid sticky fingers and it dripping into my rings when squeezing it out the bottle
Eye stinging
mild and very rare occurrences
***
zero eye stinging
Zero shininess on application***
I don’t feel shiny at all after applying this
I notice I look a little more glowy or shiny but this dissipates not long after application. It’s not enough to put me off or make me think I look like an oil slick

REN EverCalm Global Protection Day Cream Review – Eco Conscious Moisturiser Used On Acne Prone Combination Skin

As a brand I love what REN are doing. I’ve tried their Ready Steady Glow toner and really like it so a combination of the two makes me keen to try more from REN. A wonderfully kind Instagram follower sent me a deluxe sample of this product which I’ve now almost emptied so here comes the review.

Why I Like REN As A Brand

They’re tag line is “clean skincare”. At the time of publishing this 68% of their product meet the brand’s zero waste pledge. They anticipate being zero waste by the end of this year. They’ve also joined forces with a handful of other skincare brands pledging to make positive changes and all be zero waste by 2025 noting that the impact will be greater if they work together. REN are actively making changes such as designing the world’s first aluminium skincare sample packaging which they anticipate, based on their yearly forecasts, could save 900kg of plastic from landfill in 2021 alone. They’ve removed things like harder to recycle pipettes in favour of new packaging designs to reduce waste. Their packaging is all designed to be recyclable, containing recyclable materials and suitable for reusing. Materials include glass, aluminium and post-consumer-recycled plastic so it isn’t virgin plastic. They strike me as a brand that doesn’t just talk about wanting to do better for the planet but one that is implementing changes and fast which I love to see.

I’ve previously only ever tried 1 product from REN which is their Ready Steady Glow exfoliant. The more exfoliants I tried from other brands the more I’ve been keen to return to this. The product was not only eco friendlier than the competitors I tried but more effective with the formula doing the job I wanted it to.

Review Of REN Evercalm Day Cream

It retails for £38 for 50ml.

I have seen this on the TK Maxx website selling for £14.99 which is much closer to what I’d typically spend on a day cream. I personally wouldn’t pay £38 for it but that is no reflection on the product and more on my spending limits for beauty!

It has a beautiful luxurious scent to it that is gentle and I find it really calming. I’m fully aware this is a day cream but I have used this a few times during my evening skincare routine as I find the smell so de-stressing and relaxing. It feels like a real moment of self care to use which is on a whole other level compared to my usual products. The best way I can think to describe the comforting scent is that it felt like a hug for my face. Given that this is designed to nourish and combat skin discomfort I was a little surprised by the scent, assuming it to be fragrance free, but this didn’t irritate my skin in any way.

Texture-wise it is a cream formula with a little going a long way. I first squeezed out the same size quantity as my usual gel moisturiser and was there for quite some time rubbing it all in with my face looking very ghostly in the process. Once I’d got used to using a smaller amount I didn’t have this issue but I will say it required more rubbing in than most moisturisers I’m used to including Cetaphil’s Rich Night Cream which is a thick cream texture.

Did it make me break out? No, not at all. Given the amount of rubbing needed for this to absorb into my skin and it being thicker than usual formulas I’m used to I was a little hesitant but can report no extra spots as a result of introducing this into my routine.

It helped to soothe and ease sensitisation after I accidentally went in a little heavy with some new skincare that had active ingredients in.

The Final Word

Would I buy this? Whilst writing this review I had the TK Maxx tab open to where it was on offer for £14.99 and couldn’t bring myself to close it. I was on the fence because whilst I wanted to buy it I had a few reservations. Pros for buying included that it met my requirements for being more environmentally conscious as I’m really trying to make better product choices with this in mind. I was also aware that my skin tends to need a bit of extra nourishment in winter. I felt that this would be great for that time of year and I didn’t have anything lined up in my stash.

The only thing which put me off this purchase is that I’ve been dedicated to my day cream, the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ now for over 6 years. It does a wonderful job of addressing breakouts and helping me to manage my acne prone skin, removing this from my routine feels unsettling. I see it as a trusted friend. But I have other products in my routine like The Ordinary Niacinamide serum which addresses spots and hyperpigmentation and being without the LRP during this trial period has been fine. It may be labelled as a day cream but I can see myself reaching for this more in the evenings which means this would replace the Cetaphil Rich Night Cream that I relied on last winter.

Long story short, I placed an online order for £14.99. It’s a product that I really enjoy using, I was able to justify space in my routine for it, it’ll mean an eco swap and ultimately I was never going to own a bottle at full price.