March/April Challenge: Day 1 of my 40 day new skincare routine with before photos

As you know by now, I LOVE challenges and I love being a minimalist, hence why I’m doing a no spend year.

My new, additional challenge is about skincare. I want to try a new, more minimal skincare routine for 40 days and see if my skin improves.

Why am I doing this?

First of all, my current products are not doing it for me and I refuse to let my appearance get me down.

Second, I feel like skincare nowadays is over complicated and I’ve always looked for ways to improve my skin. I’ve been living minimalistic for over a year now and I really want to minimise my skincare routine and free my bathroom cabinet and bags from products.

Thirdly, I’m aware that you can’t physically shrink pores, unless you use laser treatment, but if I can make them appear smaller, because they’re clean and unclogged then that’s already a good result in my eyes. As for my oily areas, I’m not sure how these areas will change, but I’ll report on it either way.

I’m also aware, that it’s probably a bit extreme to try out all new products in one go instead of introducing them one by one.

About my skin:

My skin has always bothered me since the age of 14 and I’m now close to 33. I’ve been to the dermatologist and endocrinologist numerous times. I’ve tried numerous prescription only products, except for the pill. My mum had a stroke because of the pill, so that’s the only road I won’t go down.The only time my skin has been near perfect, was when I was pregnant, but obviously I can’t be pregnant for the rest of my life only to have nicer skin. I have too much testosterone and genetics also play a role. I have medium to large pores and a dry (cheeks and forehead) to oily combination skin (depending on weather). I have sebaceous clogged pores and I get spots (mostly) around nose and chin. Ugh!

Why 40 days and not 14 or 40?

I want to use the system for at least 2 menstrual cycles.

Also, you can’t really tell how something works for you, if you haven’t used it for more than at least 2 weeks. Sometimes, skin purges before it gets better.

Before I started the new skincare last night, I used the following products

  • Superfacialist Salicylic acid facial cleanser

  • Whatever toner I could find flying around the house

  • Clinique dramatically different gel moisturiser (combination oily to oily skin)

The cleanser

The cleanser seemed okay, bit drying, but didn’t really do anything for my hormonal spots or sebaceous clogged pores.


All the toners I’ve used (Simple, Clinique, tea tree ones) didn’t do anything for me either, except for making my skin oil-free for a few minutes.

Note: Most products containing high levels of alcohol take away the natural oils of your skin, but it freaks your skin out and it forces it to produce even more oil.

I have yet to find a product, containing alcohol, that helps with oily skin for longer than an hour.


The Clinique gel moisturiser was okayish, but it left my forehead dried out and my oily zones started to be oily soon after applying. It has been returned to Clinique.

So, I’ve started over with the following things

First use

I’ve used the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser for the first time today (with cloth), followed by the instant boost skin tonic, light moisturiser and eye cream and I have to say: “Wow, what a smell!” It’s been an hour now since I’ve used it and it still lingers and my skin doesn’t feel tight or anything. So far, so good. Tomorrow morning, I will use the Clarisonic with the sensitive brush and the purity cleanser. I already miss using it, but I don’t want to overdo the cleaning.

The BEFORE photos

Right, now that we’ve talked about why and how I’ll do the challenge. Here are the unedited photos of my skin yesterday morning. No makeup or filter.

Look away or stop reading right here, if you get grossed out easily!

This is the hormonal mess I have to deal with every single month. It’s not fun looking like a pizza. My skin around nose and chin is oily, angry, dry and flaky and those little dark spots you see are sebaceous clogged pores..yuck!

My forehead is flaky and dry most of the time. So, you can’t really classify it as a classic t-zone. I have more of an ‘i-zone’

My cheeks on both side are dry and I don’t really get spots on them, you can see the enlarged pores though.

Please note: All photos will be shot with an iPhone 7. I have a DSLR, but since I’ll be travelling around while on this challenge, I won’t have that on me. So, I’d rather the photo quality is always the same. Even though I will take all of the photos in the same or similar spot at around the same time. The weather outside can affect the lighting in the photos. But I promise that I won’t alter any of my photos.


I aim to update as often as possible. I’ll most definitely take photos daily and then post them in my updates, so you can see the difference in my skin (if there is any).


I don’t get paid to talk about my views or the products I’m using.

I’m doing this challenge to help other people, in the same situation.

You see too many paid or free product reviews out there and I feel like they’re mostly biased, because the blogger feels that they have to say something positive no matter what.

I promise that my challenge updates will be brutally honest, because I don’t want other people to waste their money on things that do nothing for them. Of course, I realise that everyone’s skin is different, but if your skin and skin problems are similar to mine then that should help as a guideline.

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