Skincare Routine Update, A Ramble, and Some Pics

My skin has continued to improve hugely with my new skincare regime. I talked here about my overhaul and my initial success with it, and I thought two months later that I’d update you on my progress.

To recap a little, here was my skin on day one. You can see that I have fine lines, hyperpigmentation, loss of tone, and some redness:

After one week of my skincare regime I could see results. The lines around my eyes had softened, redness had lessened, and there was some tightning around the eyes:

Two months later there is a marked difference in my skin. Hyperpigmentation is much improved, lines are much less visible, and tone has improved significantly.  Even my eyelid is firmer!  There is a slight flush on my cheek in the photo below because I had just applied some CE Ferulic serum, but normally there is no redness at all:

Yet another angle.  You can see the residual fine lines under my eyes in this shot:

The next photos I’ve lined up show my progress over the last two months. The one on the left is my photo on day one, the one in the middle is one week into the new skincare regime, and the one on the right is after two months of treatment.

What has surprised me most of all is the overall uniformity of my skintone and colour. I find myself reaching for concealer less and less these days, and today, for the first time, I went out with only sunscreen, mascara, and blush on my face. Moreover, I have seen a genuine ‘lifting’ effect, giving my skin a more toned appearance overall.  I couldn’t be happier.

So, onto my regime.

The basic elements of my skincare regime have remained the same, with the focus on active, good quality, and fresh ingredients.



– Cleanser: ‘Easy Rinse’ Oil Cleansing Method using DIY cleanser with Macadamia Oil, Borage Oil, Castor Oil, and Polysorbate 80.

– DIY Vitamin C serum (I have been alternating between my MAP 10% Vitamin C serum and my 15% L-ascorbic acid Vitamin C serum)

– MuLondon Moisturiser

– Marie Veronique Face Screen SPF 30



– Cleanser: ‘Easy Rinse’ Oil Cleansing Method using DIY cleanser with Macadamia Oil, Borage Oil, Castor Oil, and Polysorbate 80.

– Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5% (avoiding eye lids)

– MuLondon Moisturiser

– Raw, Unrefined Shea Butter used as eye and neck cream

– Occasional exfoliation: Microfibre cloth


Not only is this regime simple, potent, and effective, but it’s extremely inexpensive. My DIY vitamin c serums cost me around $5 for 30mls (as opposed to the $269 that Skinceuticals charges for CE Ferulic in Australia), and everything else in the regime is similarly inexpensive.

If you are hesitant about mixing your own c serums because you’re worried you will burn your face off, don’t be. I may be doing a PhD, but it’s in English. I have no natural Science ability beyond inquisitiveness, and my cooking skills are pretty basic at best. Yet, I manage to make vitamin c serums that have improved my skin sigificantly whilst sticking within the parameters of my paltry student budget. I urge you to do it too!

If you are looking to make an addition to your own skincare regime, the one thing I would recommend to you is a decent sunscreen, worn daily. Not wearing sunscreen is how my skin got into such a state in the first place. All I can say is, thank God I was a nerdy child who spent most days indoors reading Jane Eyre or playing the clarinet, or I’d really be in trouble.

Resist the urge to rely on the SPF provided in makeup or skincare. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever apply enough to get the sun protection benefits from them, and most of them are chemical sunscreens anyway. Chemical sunscreens last an hour or two at best, generate free radicals in the skin, and can release hormone disruptors into the bloodstream. Get yourself a physical sunscreen which – as the name suggests – physically blocks the sun’s rays. The problem with physical sunscreens is that they can produce the dreaded ‘white cast’, but you can consult the EWG website for some ideas on which physical sunscreens are recommended. And get rid of the chemical sunscreens. Seriously.

Also, resist the urge to buy in to the latest ‘anti-wrinkle cream’. Moisturiser is moisturiser – find one that gives you the level of hydration you need and stick with it. I use MuLondon moisturisers because they’re natural, sink in beautifully, give me the hydration I need, and have a lovely fragrance.

Sadly, in order to really get ahead of wrinkles, you need to reduce your sugar in take too. Sugar destroys collagen. Sigh. I struggle with this one most of all. Any tips?

Lastly, use active, proven, fresh ingredients. Retinol/ Retin A/ Tretinoin and Vitamin C have proven scientific data behind them, so they will actually work. There are other ingredients around that have similar data behind them, but the list is small. If you centre your skincare regime around ingredients like this that have proven effectiveness, you can’t go wrong.


This entry was posted in Skin Care and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Skincare Routine Update, A Ramble, and Some Pics

  1. I loved this post so much – I admire your honesty about your routine, what works for you, and what hasn’t worked in the past. I really can see an improvement in your skin and so I’m taking all your advice on board. You’re becoming my skincare guru!

  2. Dempeaux says:

    @StyleOnTheCouch I’m so glad this was helpful! I’m not thrilled with the less-than-flattering no-makeup pictures of me, but they are important to show why good skincare is important. I love this new regime 🙂

  3. annie says:

    Totally unrelated to the super interesting information you have provided but what’s your PhD thesis?!

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @Annie It’s on the locus amoenus in 17th century English poetry. I’m coming to the end of it now, hence the lack of posts! 🙂

  5. annie says:

    @dempeaux – I have to admit I had to google Locus amoenus. Now that I did, totally makes more sense. Sounds like an interesting topic! Love my poetry but I’m more obsessed with the 20th century. Good luck with the end of it! It’ll be cool to be able to call yourself a doctor I’m sure! 😉

  6. Dempeaux says:

    @Annie Thankyou! I love 20th century poetry too! Thankyou for the luck, I need every little bit I can get. Funnily enough, the title of doctor is the last thing on my mind right now! 🙂

  7. The pictures don’t lie! I’m AMAZED! You look amazing!

  8. Dempeaux says:

    @ProductDoctor Thankyou so much! I’m very happy 🙂

  9. Alexandra says:

    Wow..the difference is amazing! Your skin seemed more refined too. I can’t wait to get started with my topical Vit C regime soon. 😛

  10. Dempeaux says:

    @Alexandra Thankyou! Good luck with your c serum regime. I hope it works equally well for you 🙂

  11. ki. says:

    Wow that is SUCH an improvement. Thanks for all the tips too! I really need to use sunscreen more often.

    I’ve been meaning to ask you, how young is too young to start a serum? My mom is prone to hyperpigmentation and I do have some darker areas on my face and one or two dark spots – nothing too bad, but I know it’s going to get worse!

  12. Ali says:

    Hi Dempeaux

    Is it possible to post your recipe for 15% L-ascorbic acid Vitamin C serum? I’m currently trialling the 10% tetra, Jojoba Oil serum and while I like it, I think I might be ready to try L-ascorbic. I’m also looking at the MAP one too. Your results are fantastic and your regime really inspires me!

  13. Dempeaux says:

    @Ki No problem! As you are so young, you can definitely skip the retinol, but a good sunscreen and vitamin c would be brilliant even on young skin, even for girls in their teens 🙂

  14. cclarebear says:

    I’m so impressed – love that what you do is so simple. I think my regime needs some stripping down now….

  15. Meeta says:

    It’s wonderful and inspiring seeing those results. I am tempted to try making some DIY products but I’m not sure where I’d go to get the ingredients.
    Love your skincare posts!

    I have recently cut down significantly on sugary foods and it is tough. The thing that helps me stick with it is reminding myself about the effects from reading nutrition books, as understanding the processes the body goes through helps me keep a better focus.

  16. Klara says:

    The difference is really amazing and even though your skin was already very nice to begin with, it looks amazing now. I might give some of your recipes a try, I’m especially interested in the MAP serum.

  17. Nina says:

    Thank you so much for this post! The improvement you have achieved is nothing short of amazing, and I respect very much the fact that it was the fruit of research and initiative, as opposed to blind reliance on outlandish claims (that usually accompany outlandish skincare prices).
    I do have one question: do you use the Skinceuticals every night? BTW, following your remarks on a previous post, I started using it on the under-eye area and I have been extremely pleased with the results.
    Thanks again for taking the time to post this!
    Nina x

  18. Really impressive results! Good job! I’m getting jealous our your mad scientist skills now 😉

  19. Dempeaux says:

    @Ali Sure! I haven’t got around to doing a proper post on it yet (my PhD is eating up all my spare time at the moment), but I’ll write the recipe here if you like and I’ll do a proper post soon. I’ve been playing around with the ratio of oil/ water/ sea emollient which is why the total formula makes 39ml instead of 30ml. I’ll work the rest of it out when I write up the post 🙂

    15% L-aa Vit C serum (Skinceuticals CE Ferulic dupe)

    L-ascorbic acid (get the Ultra Fine L-ascorbic acid from LotionCrafter) 4.5g
    Ferulic acid 0.15g
    Ethanol/ High proof vodka (ice cold) 0.3g
    Oil of Choice 12g
    Vitamin E 0.3g
    Distilled H2O 12g
    Polysorbate 80 0.6g
    Optiphen 0.15g
    Sea Emollient 9g

    1. Combine the L-ascorbic acid and water, then stir until dissolved. Add Optiphen.
    2. Combine ferulic acid and ice cold vodka, then stir until dissolved. Then add the emulsifier, vitamin E, and oil. Stir well.
    3. Combine 1 and 2 gradually and in small amounts until you get a smooth emulsion.
    4. Stir in sea emollient.
    5. Test the pH. It should be at 2.8.

    Apply to face after cleansing and allow to soak in for 20 minutes. Be warned that whilst this is a very effective it can be irritating. This recipe ended up exactly at 2.8, but I find it a little irritating for the first 20 minutes I have it on my skin. You can bring the pH up to 3 by adding more sea emollient if you need to, but don’t go over 3 as the vit c will start to break down. I find that the MAP has very similar effects without the potential irritation. Of course, everyone is different, and you may not find you experience any irritation at all! See how you go.

    Also, after doing some research into oils, I’ve discovered that Jojoba Oil is actually wax that is liquid at room temperature. I’m loving Borage, Macadamia, and Rosehip Oil at the moment instead 🙂

    Thankyou for your kind words. DIY skincare is definitely the way forward! 🙂

  20. Dempeaux says:

    @Cclarebear Thankyou! Simplicity is definitely good news in skincare 🙂

  21. Dempeaux says:

    @Meeta Oh I should have included that in the post! You can buy ingredients from SkinEssentialActives, LotionCrafter, and GardenOfWisdom. There are others, but these are the sites I favour at the moment. A word of warning though – LotionCrafter shipping is very expensive, so only buy what you can’t get anywhere else from there (eg Ultra Fine L-ascorbic acid) and buy the rest from the other two 🙂

    Thankyou for you tips on cutting down on sugar. I shall persevere! 🙂

  22. Dempeaux says:

    @Klara I hope you do! It really does make such a difference. Good luck, and thanks for the compliment! 🙂

  23. Dempeaux says:

    @Nina I do use the Skinceuticals every night now. I started using it every second night, but now I find every night is fine. If I find my skin is getting a bit irritated, I just skip it for a night. I’m thinking of graduating to Retin A/ Tretinoin, but I want to make sure that my skin is really happy with retinol before I do. Besides, I’ve already seen great results with retinol! 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve seen results around your eyes! It’s so satisfying to see those wrinkles disappear 🙂

  24. Dempeaux says:

    @MusingOnBeauty Thankyou! You should try it out Marie Ella! 🙂

  25. Dain says:

    That’s such a smart routine, so simple and yet so effective… It really comes down to knowing your skin, doesn’t it, rather than chasing hype (which I’m ashamed to admit I often do, especially fancy-sounding ingredients).

  26. Dempeaux says:

    @Dain Thankyou! You’re so right – it does come down to knowing your skin. Once you get som potent, active ingredients together, and you know what you skin likes, the rest is easy! 🙂

  27. Meeta says:

    Thanks for the site details – will have to check those out!

  28. Ali says:

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to post your recipe Dempeaux. I appreciate the amount of time you must be spending on your thesis. Where do you get your Raw, Unrefined Shea Butter?


  29. Dempeaux says:

    @Ali No problem! Good luck with it! I get my shea butter from here 🙂

  30. ki. says:

    I must try a serum then – I’m a bit scared to make my own, but why not try? Do you have a recipe I can use? Or is it something you personalise based on your skin?

  31. Dempeaux says:

    @ki Perhaps start with a 10% Tetra Vitamin C serum? Easy to make, gentle, and luxurious. Just add 10% Tetra, 85% Oil of choice, 5% Covi-Ox (Vit E), and done! You can buy everything here 🙂 I have recipes for MAP and L-AA, which are two other forms of vit c, but I always think tetra is a great starting point 🙂

  32. ki. says:

    Ooh thanks 🙂 it is so great to have a starting point! And it is very generous of you to share your knowledge/recipes/ideas with us all 🙂

  33. Wow! Amazing results! I’ve been thinking of doing a DIY Vit C serum for well over a year and have never gotten around to ordering the stuff. I may have to!

  34. Claire says:

    You look amazing! Only two months?! sign me up! I am absolutely going to try this now.

  35. Dempeaux says:

    @PerilouslyPale I hope you try it! The 10%Tetra is a great place to start as it’s simple to throw together. Good luck! 🙂

  36. Dempeaux says:

    @Claire That’s great news Claire! Good luck, and email me if you get stuck 🙂

  37. jeanie says:

    OMG!!! Sarah! Your skin looked great before but the clarity you have now is simply astonishing! I want to try this but I’m no chemist!

  38. Dempeaux says:

    @Jeanie You should try it! Seriously, it’s so easy Jeanie. Go for it! 🙂

  39. Suzanne says:

    You look awesome. give me a moment to go and apply a crapload of that stuff you sent me O_o

  40. Dempeaux says:

    @Suzanne Thankyou! I’m so pleased with the results 🙂

  41. coco says:

    the result is amazing! maybe i should give this diy a try… since it sounds inexpensive and i’m always in search for budget beauty. i need to kick my lazy ass to do something!!

  42. Wow your skin looks great! I love your honesty and your simple routine is really inspiring. I have just bought a load of products but I feel like I need to start making my own. Thanks for all the helpful posts xx

  43. Dempeaux says:

    @Coco Definitely! It’s easy, inexpensive, and the results are great! I hope you do 🙂

  44. Dempeaux says:

    @Christina Thankyou! It’s not so easy to put up such ‘confronting’ pictures of one’s skin, but it’s the only way to illustrate how effective the regime it. I hope you start DIY! 🙂

  45. Jeneen says:

    The pictures speak for themselves: your skin looks amazing. And, you’ve inspired me to make my own DIY Tetra C Serum. Good luck with your PhD and I look forward to more skincare posts!

  46. Dempeaux says:

    @Jeneen Thankyou! I’m so happy to hear your are going to try your own DIY vit c serum. Good luck! Thanks for the PhD luck too 🙂

  47. Jade says:

    Excellent post, a true reminder to us all that skincare doesn’t have to be over the top complicated or expensive to work! 😀

  48. Dempeaux says:

    @Jade So true! Knowing your skin and knowing the actives that work is so much better! 🙂

  49. Chloeblue2005 says:

    I think I said to you at the time what a great post this was – and looking at it again now I am struck by the change in your skin tone. It just becomes so lovely and even as I scroll through your photos. I feel like I should bookmark this page forever so that I can start brewing my own awesome skin care 🙂

  50. Dempeaux says:

    @Chloeblue2005 That’s such a lovely comment! Thankyou! I hope you start brewing your own skincare – you won’t regret it! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *