So, it was a long, hot summer and, although I was as appreciative as any Londoner (that is, not very – after 2 days we all moan our heads off about dust/traffic/pollution), it was harsh on my skin. Now, I know this is the very definition of a First World problem, but when you’ve had good skin for years, you take it for granted, and when it suddenly goes dodgy – well, you panic. Or I did.
The problem, which I will glide over in case you have a delicate constitution or are currently enjoying a meal, is simply that the heat caused me to come out in bumps. After massive investigations on the internet, I self-diagnosed kidney failure, psoriasis and various other horrors before calming down and realising it was probably just sebaceous hyperplasmia. ‘Just’, I say, though there is no permanent cure (short of having the pesky pores chopped out by a dermatologist, and even then they can regrow) and it’s a pain.
I delved deeply into internet chat rooms with fellow skin-sufferers and unearthed various treatments to hold it in check. The most recommended, by far, was Skin Doctors’ Gamma Hydroxy. Now, I think you’ll agree that the name alone is pretty irresistible, with all its James Bond villain-sounding evil promise. When I discovered that there was a Gamma Hydroxy Forte version, so strong it’s not recommended for newcomers to the range, of course I was sold. It’s pretty pricey for a skin cream, at around £40, and yes, I paid for it myself, but I have to say it’s worth it. You can find it cheaper on the internet. Skin Doctors is an Australian brand of ‘cosmeceuticals’ developed to treat acne scarring and sun damage, and the Gamma Hydroxy is meant to act like a very slow and stately skin peel over the course of a few weeks. Because of its peeling action, you have to be extra careful to apply a sunblock.
You definitely notice a tingling sensation when you apply it, and it can make your skin sore (I stopped using it on my upper lip) but it really does seem to work. Within days the lumps and bumps were much better.
Then, when moseying around the Kiehls stall in John Lewis, one of the nice ladies gave me a sample of their Rare Earth lotion, designed to minimise pores. Once again, to my astonishment, it actually works! My skin is much less bumpy and I’m a happy bunny. I’ve been using the sample for three days now and there’s still plenty left, but I shall probably invest in a bottle when it runs out. It costs £16 on Amazon.
I must say, after shelling out eleventy gazillion pounds on beauty products over the years, it’s a bit sad that I can only say for sure that two have worked. But at least I’ve found them now.
Oh, and the weather’s changed. That helps – and that, at least, was free!