Latest Skin Update

So I started my skincare overhaul in May, and boy did my skin need it!

Four months later, it’s now September, so it’s time to take a few more no-makeup pictures and share my progress with you all.

My results after one week can be seen here, and my results at the two month mark can be seen here.  I’ve gone back to my ‘starting point’ folder and taken out the two pictures below that illustrate the worst sun damage to my skin. Let this be a lesson to you people – wear sunscreen every day! Learn from my mistakes!

Anyway, as confronting as it is to see hideous pictures of my skin with no makeup, these photos provide really useful information.

So here I am day one, four months ago:

And here is a photo I took this morning:

(Just ignore the residual pimple in the middle of my cheek. I have a bad habit of leaning on my hand when I study!)

I think the most noticeable improvement is in hyperpigmentation. The four marks to the left of my mouth have faded considerably, and the lighter marks on my cheek have more or less gone completely.

The areas that I really want to concentrate on now are the laugh lines around my mouth and the wrinkles under my eyes when I smile. I really don’t know how feasible it is that these will disappear, but I will keep going with my regime and see what results I get.  You can see that when I smile:

There are wrinkles that magically appear. I don’t plan on adopting a no-expression policy a la Victoria Beckham, so I’m just going to see how far this regime will take me, and how reasonable the desire for a lineless face really is. We shall see! I’m already incredibly happy with the results. [Note: I’m not smiling in the first pic at the top of this post – that’s how my wrinkles were when my face was relaxed!]

Oh, and here is the front comparison:

Yup, probably not going to win any photoshop awards, but your get the idea. The latest pic looks more lifted and firm. I look like I’ve had a good night’s sleep!

So here is my current routine:



– Cleanser: ‘Easy Rinse’ Oil Cleansing Method using DIY cleanser with whatever oil I’m liking at the moment, Castor Oil, and Polysorbate 80.

– DIY Vitamin C serum (I cycle through 10% Tetra, 15% L-ascorbic acid, and MAP 10% Vitamin C serum but I’m really liking the MAP as the weather warms up)

– MuLondon Moisturiser

– DIY 20% Zinc Oxide Sunscreen (tutorial here) reapplied every two hours



– Cleanser: ‘Easy Rinse’ Oil Cleansing Method using DIY cleanser with whatever oil I’m liking at the moment, Castor Oil, and Polysorbate 80. Removes makeup and whatever else I slapped on my face that day.

– Retin A 0.05%

– Kinetin/ NAG/ Niacinamide Anti-Acne and Anti-Aging serum (need to do a post on this, but the recipe is here)

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

– Occasional exfoliation: Microfibre or Muslin cloth


– Cleanser: ‘Easy Rinse’ Oil Cleansing Method using DIY cleanser with whatever oil I’m liking at the moment, Castor Oil, and Polysorbate 80. Removes makeup and whatever else I slapped on my face that day.

– Kinetin/ NAG/ Niacinamide Anti-Acne and Anti-Aging serum

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

– Occasional exfoliation: Microfibre or Muslin cloth


I have started using Retin A at a 0.05% strength every second or third night, but I use the Kinetin/ NAG/ Niacinamide Anti-Acne and Anti-Aging serum every night. LOVE that stuff! I’m amazed at how it makes my skin feel, and it’s really helped with the fine lines under my eyes. All of the actives in this serum are part of the very small group of ‘actives that actually work’, and have been for some time. Because of this serum, I really don’t feel the need to go to a higher strength or everyday usage with the Retin A, though Retin A is a great part of my skincare regime and really produces results too.

I really can’t rave enough about making skincare with potent, active ingredients yourself. Not only has it saved me a tonne of money when I can least afford it, but the results have been better than anything I could buy at a counter.



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27 Responses to Latest Skin Update

  1. Jen W says:


    The difference really speaks for itself, not only are the fine lines around your eyes pretty much gone but the sunspots have really faded too! And your skin is just glowing at the moment!

  2. Angela says:

    Your skin looks phenomenal! The difference is amazing (not that your skin was bad to begin with!).

    Gosh, I hope my skin improves like yours! Fingers crossed. 🙂

  3. Dempeaux says:

    @Jen Thankyou Jen! I’m so pleased with the great results in such a short amount of time. Long live DIY! 🙂

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @Angela Thankyou! And I’m sure you’ll go well! Just time and patience 🙂

  5. Incredible! At first I was thinking, well the lighting is different, but the “after” pictures are taking in better light, so flaws would even be more noticeable. And they are not there@! And not a single active ingredient or prescription? Even the tiny vein under your nostril seems to have been almost completely reabsorbed into your body.

    Are you really reapplying your sunscreen every 2 hours? If so, I wonder how strong a role that plays. I had my pinkess and brown-spotty hyperpigmentation lasered away with V-beam and IPL, but much of it has been undone the last year or so by that “I’m just dashing outside for 5 minutes to water the flowers” unprotected kind of thing.

    You’re so well set up to make your amazing potions, I can easily see you starting a business. I’d buy it!

  6. Dempeaux says:

    @Zuzu’sPetals Haha that’s right! You can see that the first photos I take were, if anything, a little ‘kinder’ than the ones I took today 😉 I was trying to show up every wrinkle and mark that I could. I think the key to this regime is reapplication of sunscreen, potent actives, and a good diet. I think all three things need to be working well in order to see marked improvement in the skin. Try the sunscreen tutorial – I think you’ll like it! 🙂

  7. Klara says:

    Your skin looks so beautiful, so plump and healthy. And even the pores on your nose look smaller! I think I really should find some time and kick myself and try the DIY skincare. I especially need to find a good sunscreen that wouldn’t irritate my skin or break me out. Anyway, I love reading all about your DIY projects and maybe I’ll try out some of your recipes as well. x

  8. Dempeaux says:

    @Klara Thankyou! You should definitely give DIY a go. I LOVE the DIY sunscreen I made – very gentle and easy to apply 🙂

  9. Rola says:

    I see noticeable differences in the before and after photos. I will look into your DIY receipes. I am not sure where to get most of the ingredients though. I read that you love Marie Veronique Organics products, I think her products are awesome too. I met her in person at their HQ in Berkeley before and she is a very nice lady:)

  10. Dempeaux says:

    @Rola That’s great! I get most of my ingredients from because the quality is great and the shipping very reasonable. I get a couple of things that I can’t get there (Tetra, pH strips, Ultra Fine L-AA etc) from but their shipping is expensive. I get oils from and they’re really nice. It’s very easy to put a few recipes together, and your skin will notice the difference! 🙂 I do like Marie Veronique products – how lovely that you got to meet her!

  11. Wow , that’s quite something and all with DIY! they are like the before and afters you see in skin clinics, can’t wait to have a good look on a monitor and not on my iPhone

  12. Dempeaux says:

    @MeMyBestAndI Thankyou! I’m both pleased and horrified that you will be having a closer look at my before and after pictures at home 😉

  13. 40soup says:

    Thank you so much for posting your recipes and experiments. It’s a great place to start for newbies like me. Your skin looks amazing so you are definitely on the right track! May I ask what is the 15% L-ascorbic acid you are using? Is it something you make?

  14. Meeta says:

    Amazing! It’s incredible to see the marked difference your routine has made. I really appreciate these posts, they are so inspiring.

  15. Dempeaux says:

    @40soup No problem! I’m glad it’s helpful 🙂 The 15% L-Ascorbic Acid recipe can be found here–E/Detail.bok and there’s a youtube tutorial by the lovely @youvegotnail showing you how to put everything together. I’d suggest getting the ultra-fine L-AA from LotionCrafter, but everything else you can get from SkinEssentialActives. Really easy recipe to make, but be careful if you have sensitive skin, because the ferulic acid provides some exfoliation. In most people this serum tingles for a little while then stops (which signals that some exfoliation has occured), but judge for yourself. It’s a knockoff of the famed Skincueticals CE Ferulic 🙂

  16. Dempeaux says:

    @Meeta That’s great! I still cringe when I see these pics, but I’m glad they’re useful for you. It’s so worth getting into DIY 🙂

  17. Ali says:

    Looking fantastic Sarah! I love that fact that you’ve had so much success with your hyperpigmentation. That’s what I’m hoping for too as mine is currently a lot like you’re was in the first photo. I’m using the Tetra Vit C serum at the moment and when it runs out I’ve got the ingredients to make the L-Ascorbic Acid and the MAP which I can’t wait to try. I’ve also made Dragon’s Niacinamide serum from Jen’s blog which I’m enjoying. I’m also using the OCM, so hopefully my skin will look as good as yours soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Dempeaux says:

    @Ali That is so great to hear! It sounds like you’re having lots of success! I’m really happy for you! Defintely try out the sunscreen too – it’s a lovely formula. Also, I strongly recommend you try out the Kinetin/NAG/B3 serum. I’ve been using it for a little while now and it’s STUNNING. Excellent for both anti-aging *and* acne. If you order from SEA, if you ask nicely the NaOH and Citric Acid that you need for that serum will turn up in your package too 😉

  19. Ali says:

    Awesome! Thanks so much for the tip Sarah! BTW it is Sarah and I haven’t just plucked this name out of thin air have I?????

  20. Dempeaux says:

    @Ali No problem! And yes, you got it right 😉

  21. Chloeblue2005 says:

    Now Sarah… I’m tired from reading lots of posts but I am sure I have read this one a few times and gone “oooh” and “ahhhh” over your amasing results but I cannot see my comment here. So…. for the written record Oooh and Ahhhhhhh … you DYI genius! x

  22. Dempeaux says:

    @Chloeblue2005 I definitely got it that time! 😉 Thankyou very much – I’m so pleased! 🙂

  23. Jade says:

    Looking amazing Sarah!!! Where do you get your shea butter from? 🙂

  24. Ling says:

    wow, such a noticeable difference!!! I must start making my own potent potions…once I finish using my loot!

  25. Dempeaux says:

    @Ling Definitely! I can highly recommend it! 🙂

  26. Pingback: Skin care update | Dempeaux

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