My Beauty & Skincare Buys for A/W 2018

All the products I talk about in my beauty/skincare posts and videos are all here in one big hit list.


*Disclaimer alert! I am not a dermatologist or professionally trained in skincare, these are just my own routines and suggestions that have worked WONDERS for me and my skin. I research into all products in-depth before using them and I always speak to dermatologists about my routines. These tips may work for you but everyone’s skin is different.

I do not suggest anything in this list that is a sent sample or a paid ad. I purchased all these products myself, just like you and I only suggest products that I believe genuinely give results.



Click on any of the topics below and it will take you to that part of the page


Anti-Age and Scaring

Every Day Routine

Oily/ Acne skin

Make Up Routine




Anti-ageing and Acne scaring routine

One of the most annoying additions to having acne is finally curing the acne but still having to deal with the effects it left. Getting rid of acne scars is not easy and requires patience.


  • Dermarolling (AT NIGHT) 3-4 times a week.

    (Full post on which and what I use coming, I promise!)

Where I buy my Dermarollers:

  • I alternate between two routines.

If you are just wanting to derma-roll for anti-ageing and skin brightening effects, just stick to routine 2.


Routine 1

Azelaic acid

I have just added this to my routine after doing some research into acne scarring. Azelaic acid helps skin renewal, which helps to fade dark spots and minimise the appearance of acne scars.

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

Teamed up with

Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip seed oil underwent clinical trials in South America in the early 1980’s. The trials studied people with extensive scarring, acne scarring, deep wrinkles, surgical scars and UV damaged skin. The results showed a marked improvement in the appearance of scars especially after four months use, although improvements were noted at monthly intervals. Rosehip seed oil was found to regenerate skin, improve the appearance of all types of scars and prevent the advancement of wrinkles. – Victoria Health


I would love this if I could justify the amount and if you can afford this at £175 a 30ml bottle then buy its because it is apparently life changing! Its organic and great for anti-ageing and reportedly works well with acne skin.


Routine 2

Hyaluronic acid – Perfect for dehydrated winter skin and dermarolling

A tip I cant take credit for, it is a recommendation I gained from being a devoted team Caroline member.

“HA is probably the single most multi-tasking ingredient we use in skincare. Although it does hydrate by holding moisture on the skin, it also works as an antioxidant, prevents loss of elasticity, stimulates collagen and plumps the appearance of the skin. Crucial at this time of year, it is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, key for those of you that suffer from broken skin conditions whether from spots, acne, eczema, rosacea or perioral dermatitis. – (she is the ultimate skincare wizard)

Reading this, I found it is perfect all over the skin before I start dermarolling for its anti-bacterial qualities, and also leaves the skin bright and glowy the following day.

I have both from The Ordinary that I am trialling right now. I will update which my favourite is. (Both so cheap!)

*currently out of stock in most places but join the cult beauty waiting list its worth it!


The Ordinary

Lactobionic Acid

Large pores and acne scaring suffer over here!

This is great for adding firmness to your skin and I use this again with dermarolling or as after cleansing at night.  Since having Roaccutane to cure my acne, its left my skin crapey and when I wear foundation it seems to just sit on my pores and scares. This is definitely helping as a tag team with my dermarolling 2-3 times a week.

Currently on sale!

NeoStrata Bionic Lotion


dermarolling for acne scars


I then both all of these products after each routine.

Vitamin C serum

I use this after dermarolling and when I like to give my skin a drink. I honestly recommend adding this to your routine if you can only add one! It gives me the most amazing glow and I get so many compliments about my skin.

I started with just a cheap, cost-effective option as I wanted to make sure it was worth spending the money on a good Vit C serum but to be honest this one is amazing!

It’s currently £2.99, and because it’s so cheap I don’t feel like I have to be sparing with it.


What I would recommend if you are willing to spend the money on a good serum are

Recommended to me by a dermatologist:

Great reviews: 



LA Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume

Perfect for the day after dermarolling or if your face is feeling a little tender from sunburn, retinol and acids. I used this when I was taking Roaccutane and fell in love. Such a great price too! (I would use this sparingly on acne/oily skin as it is very rich) – Ideal for dehydrated skin.


Twice a week I use prescription retinol (on days without acids) :


Retinol/ Vitamin A

Vitamin A reverses the signs of ageing. Rebuilds collagen, repairs sun damage

I always apply mine at night on DRY skin, if your skin is slightly damp or just cleansed, it can be a little sensitive, I always give it 10-15 minutes before applying.

I use tretinoin that I get over the counter when I am in Dubai from a pharmacy and bring back to the UK.

How many times a week:

I use this twice a week (can be used more but because I use so much on my skin I like to give it a rest as I am using anti-ageing as a prevention)

This makes my skin thinner and I have had to stop waxing because it pulls my skin on my face too much. This is the same with the vitamin A supplements I have taken.

I am 100% not suggesting anyone does this, I personally only do this because my skin is used to a high intake of Vitamin A from previously taking Roaccutane, and I do this at my own risk as it is better to be prescribed Retinol dosage from a dermatologist.

Trying this method could go horribly wrong and leave your skin burnt and sensitive, so once again I do not recommend it but this method was suggested to me by a friend who lived in LA and was using Retin-A out there but couldn’t get it when he was back in the UK.

It is not known whether Retin-A will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.


The form of tretinoin I use is Acretin 0.025 (This is a low dosage as I am not prescribed this and want to keep irritation and peeling to a minimum)

This makes me break out so badly when I first start using it, but it does help with acne and it does prevent wrinkles. Your skin is HIGHLY fragile using it and I can get peeling and is very sensitive to the sun so I always wear my SPF 50.

I’ve also started using it on my neck and chest as my family are prone to wrinkling here.

Other options that are available legally in the UK.

Good starter one as its not too high in strenght so will allow your skin to get used to treatment:

Great reviews:


Has 0.025% tretinoin in:


Affordable  option:


Daily Essentials



currently testing this one –

over summer I was back using Liz Earle


My usual winter cleaner is:

(1 of these can honestly last me 9-10 months)


Another alternative I like to use is:


After cleanser or masks when I’m feeling tight and dry (Morning or Night)



or my top number 1 secret cream is Aldi Caviar for £6.99. My skin loves it and because it’s so cheap we go through one a month so you don’t need to be sparing.



If you don’t want to splurge on your first SPF, Aldi does a sensitive skin SPF 50 which is so cheap and a great way to get you into the habit of using it.


Eye Cream

I’m yet to find one that changes my life, I suffer from dark circles and bags and for me, its what you put in your body and how much sleep you get rather than a miracle cream.

I try to drink 4 litres of water a day, reduce the amount of salt I have and ensure I have 8 hours of sleep a night.

I could suggest a cream that I’ve tried but personally, I don’t want you to waste your money, if anyone has used anything that can work miracles then please suggest but for now, stick to my health suggestions and you should see a difference.



but will be going back to this when it has run out because I prefer the clean, fresh feel before bed.

(Also good for acne and oily skin)



Oily/ Acne skin products I used to use




Personally, if you have suffered from acne for more than 12 months I would speak to a doctor or dermatologist as products can only help keep your skin calm and remove some oils.  Your acne could be a sign of stress, hormonal issues, diet and food allergies, digestion problems or something worse.

A spot is a mixture of bacteria, oil and dead skin cells.

Anti-biotics for your skin has never worked for me and is something that GPs in the UK seems to suggest when they don’t really know what else to suggest, that’s why I always recommend to people who ask me for advice on acne, to push to see a dermatologist. Go fully for it in the GP appointment, don’t hold back, express just how much acne is affecting your life and that you will be back every week until you get referred to see a specialist. This worked for me and I will forever be grateful to the NHS for changing my life with curing my acne with Roaccutane. * Roaccutane doesn’t work for everyone and this advice is only what has worked for me.



Routine pre-Roaccutane (kept spots calm and hidden):

DO NOT USE FACE WIPES OR A BAR OF SOAP–  Jeeezusssss if you are still in this phase and have acne you are a bloody nightmare and may as well be building a house with sand.


(Use a clean cloth every wash!) Extra hygiene is key!


Night toner, after cleansing (keeps the spots and scars away)

Glycolic Acid:


Salicylic Acid:



Vitamin A/ Retinol (2 times a week)


Has 0.025% tretinoin in:


Affordable option:




Moisturiser: Don’t completely remove oil and moisture from your routine.

I found the more I dried out my skin, it became tight and irritated and id gets more spots, this was the same if I put too much oil on my face so it’s finding the right balance. Avoid paraffin and mineral oil in ingredient listings.

I loved using:

Make sure its the Oily/combo one as they do two different versions, one is for hydrating (I made the mistake of buying the wrong one and wondered why it wasn’t working)


Differin Gel/ Adapalene gel:  still use this now when I get the odd spot! (usually down to picking or touching my face too much)

I got this from my GP but you can also get this from the Boots acne advice service:

My full review on Differin is here:


Products my acne skin HATED (Just my opinion and it may be different for others skin)



Elemis Tri-Enzyme (But it likes it now)

Bare Minerals


Foundations for oily acne skin – (I avoided  shea butter and Mineral oil)

Full coverage


Lighter coverage (add concealer to spots)



This is so important to keeping your face matt and not looking like you are melting with oil after a few hours.

What I use now (great for scares and large pores)

What I used to use:


Under-eye concealer


Spot cover up concealer

NEVER use a concealer that is in a pencil, spreading bacteria is the worst thing you can do.

Do not blow on your brushes as this also spreads germs.

Use a pump if possible and apply with just washed clean hands with finger application or a clean brush, cleaned every night.


I used Laura Mericer

(I never put my finger in the pot and NO one was allowed to use it other than me)

I wish so much it came in a pump but it’s too thick which is perfect to give great coverage.


This is also a great one as it treats the spots as you wear the concealer but just be careful if you are using acids at night too. Too much on your skin can make it worse.



Make up routine for A/W 17/18

Image is from


Day Foundation:

Shade 30 winter / 40 summer


Night/ Going out foundation:

shade 7.5


Under Eye Concealer:

A product I couldn’t live without.

Shade NW25






Lip Liner

Shade soar



Shade London



Shade Soft & Gentle






creed uk


All time favourite


Tan (swear by it)


and to add to my tan on nights out or holidays I add



*Note this post contains some affiliate links. If you are happy to click on them and support the blog, this would be so appreciated by me, these links do not cost you any extra money, it is exactly the same as searching for the product only this way, I receive 1%- 2% of the amount for my suggestion and the time and effort it takes to put these posts and videos together. If you would rather not feel free to google the products- Emily xx



1 Comment

  1. H
    19th February 2019 / 7:44 pm

    Hi Emily!
    I recently discovered your blog as i just started on my own isotretinoin treatment and you inspired me to look into skin care and different beaduty products 🙂
    I also have a question regarding one of them: I read that the Vitamin C serum makes your skin brighter, but no one refers to that as a negativ thing. How does it work? i guess it is good for some parts like acne scars and dark sircles under the eyes, but other than that i dont necessarily want lighter skin haha (or am i misreading the word?) and is it in that case important to get it smoothly over the face to even the brightening effect out or alternatively just put on the specific areas like acne scars?

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