All about Serums: the main star of a routine

So you have a routine but how to pick a serum?! The serum will be the main attraction to your routine, it is this product that would target any issues you want to address. They say if you are going to splurge on any part of your routine, it should be a serum ( and SPF).

The key to success is picking one for YOUR skin concerns instead of what your fav tiktoker uses. What works for them, may not work for you. There are general ingredients everyone can benefit from, but if you have more specific concerns please choose a serum especially for that

I love serums and I have tried a lot! Most target hyperpigmentation as that is my main skin concern.  I have also used a lot of general/ skin barrier support ones.

This list will be updated frequently and I will do a separate post on hyperpigmentation products

Check out my favourite serums here

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair– my all-time favourite serum and repurchased several times

L’Oreal Midnight serum– the closest drugstore dupe to the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair- I recently bought this and I LOVE IT

Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Serum

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Ampoules

Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating serum– by far the best serum under £5 I have used for simply hydrating and softening the skin

Shisedio Power Infusing Concentrate

Medik8 Super C30

The Ordinary amino acids serum

The Ordinary Niacinamide serum

Your Good Skin Balancing Skin concentrate

The Inkey List Q10

Ren Glow & Protect

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow

Skincare Ingredients: AHA’s & BHA’s

skincare ingredients aha bha

Skincare is one of those things you just have to do, PROPERLY. Your skin is one of your largest organs and also in contact with almost everything the external environment has to offer. Think of all the elements: sun, rain, wind and everything in between. Whilst a large part of skincare is what goes in (eating, drinking, sleep). An important part and slightly easier to control is what goes on the outside (products). Think it’s so much easier to just wash your face than to cut out your fav ice cream huh?

For beginners, refer to my Do I Need a Skincare Routine post, which will give you the basics and introduce you to some of the great products the drugstore has to offer, this isn’t to say you can’t learn a thing or two from this post. If you want to take your skincare a bit further and don’t mind an extra step or 3 in your routine then this post is for you! I will be talking about AHA’s and BHA’s, very popular ingredients and what is can do for your skin

We can’t talk about AHA’s & BHA’s without touching on exfoliation. Just like our hair, our skin sheds loads and loads of skin cells each day. Over time with sun damage (I bet you will start reaching for your SPF now!) and age, the natural ability of the skin to do this slowly decreases. Exfoliation gives the skin a little boost and removes layers of built up dead cells which can lead to clogged pores, texture on the skin and a dull complexion. Traditional way of exfoliation is to use a face scrub however this can be too harsh on the skin..

Enter AHA’s & BHA’s

Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids have changed the exfoliation game in that they are chemical exfoliants that are left on the skin compared to the traditional wash off face scrubs. They are also suitable for daily use.  Whilst they work in similar ways, they are slightly different and used for different-ish skin concerns

AHA- e.g. Glycolic or Lactic Acids. Exfoliates the skin’s surface and can improve moisture content. Best recommended for dry to normal skin and sun damaged skin

BHA- e.g. Salicylic Acid. Exfoliates the skin’s surface and pores making it great for blackheads. Has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is best recommended for oily skin

NOTE- both acids will increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun so it is ESSENTIAL you use SPF at least factor 30 even in the winter.

Now that you are equipped with this knowledge, you can re-evaluate your skincare routine and add an acid to it. It will seriously up your game! I will recommend you start off with formulas suitable for sensitive skin or with a lower acid content if you are concerned about how your skin will react. Both AHA & BHA are generally safe to use but if you have any doubts no matter how small speak to a dermatologist.


Acids can come in many forms: creams, lotions, serums, toners etc, find which one you would like to use. For instance, I currently use an acid based toner and serum (and at night) because it is more convenient for me that way. I use it at night as the skin tends to do all the repair work then and there is less potential sun damage.

Recommendations ( these are just ones I have used or ones I have researched and will use shortly, there are literally TONS of products out there to suit every budget, this will get you going in the right direction!)

NIP FAB Glycolic range (I have a review on the NIP FAB PADS)

Pixi Glow Tonic (review)

Pixi Glow Peel Pads

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel (review)

Paula’s Choice AHA & BHA products

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%

And many more!

Here’s my personal collection of some of the AHA&BHA products I use


I hope you found this post useful! I will be doing a lot more of these posts as I carry on with my research and improving my skincare knowledge. These posts help me as much as they help others. Feel free to drop comments of your fav products or how you incorporate acids in your skincare routine. Hopefully, after reading and understanding this post, you won’t be terrified when you hear that people are putting acids on their face LOL. You should have seen the look on my brother’s face when I said at one time I needed to buy an acid based toner LOL

Want more tips and product recommendations? Head over to my Instagram- sarahfynn

Countdown to Christmas is real!

Estee Lauder PerfectlyClean MultiAction FoamCleanser/PurifyingMask Review


I have never been a fan of multi-action/use products, I always think it will perform better in one area than the other so I was pleasantly surprised to have fallen in love with this multi-action Foam Cleanser and Purifying Mask from Estee Lauder.

Let’s get into the review!

The Perfectly Clean Collection from Estee Lauder claims, comforts and clarifies your skin to reduce irritation that increases the signs of ageing. Products are formulated with skin-loving botanicals and minerals.

The Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask is suitable for all skin types but ideal for normal/combo skin. It can be used as a daily cleanser or a purifying mask 2x a week.


As a daily cleanser

I was surprised at how effective this is against all forms of makeup including stubborn mascara. It lathers well and leaves my face squeaky clean! In one wash it, it able to remove most makeup! I love that I am able to use it daily without irritating my skin.

As a purifying mask

I LOVE it as a mask! This was one of the skincare items I took when I was on holiday and it kept my skin in tip top condition and I was in sunny LA and Hawaii! It didn’t break me out and it kept pores at bay. Again it leaves my skin squeaky clean but not drying.



For the first time ever I love a multi-action product! It’s effective both ways but I probably love it more as a purifying mask! It’s definitely worth the purchase. I think you will love its effective formula and if Estee Lauder is your fav brand, you should definitely get your hands on this.

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask is £10 and available from Boots. You can currently get 3 for £25 on premium beauty brands including Estee Lauder.

About my skin- I have normal to combination skin (leans more towards the normal side of the scale. Oily areas- t-zone

I received this in goody bag from the Boots Christmas Event

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel Review



Dermalogica is an amazing and effective brand which also comes with a big price tag. Today’s post will be a full review on the Special Cleansing Gel I received last year. I can’t do the review without telling you the background of how I got into skincare lol.

I remember attending the launch event for the Overnight Retinol Cream and I had my 1st ever face mapping analysis done (it’s free btw). I was slightly disappointed with the results, it wasn’t bad but it was indicative of my then current skin routine (which was no more than makeup removal and some cleansing and some moisturiser no SPF), since then I started to take skincare a bit more seriously. After the face analysis, you are told how you could improve and given a sample skincare kit that targets your areas of concern. I was recommended the Special Cleansing Gel, the Power Bright Pure Day and Night Creams (check out my review here). I was gifted the full-size products of these and I started using them right away! This was November 2015.

In February/March 2016, I went for another face mapping analysis (bear in mind I was using the Dermalogica products consistently and together) the results were so much better! And I couldn’t be happier! My skin was less decongested and clearer too. The only thing she recommended to add was a milder exfoliant (this births another story of how I got into acid based toners) and keep up with my (then) skincare routine (makeup removal, cleanse, tone and moisturiser with SPF)! Phew!

Now onto the actual review


The Special Cleansing Gel is soap and fragrance free and supposed to gently cleanse the skin and remove traces of makeup dirt and impurities.

It doesn’t produce a lot of lather which at first made me think it’s not cleansing properly (I love lathering products) but I was so wrong. It effectively removes the last residues of makeup and cleans pores. It’s non-drying on my skin. I haven’t experienced irritation or breakouts and I use it every time I take my makeup off (I follow the double cleansing method, my current makeup remover is the Bioderma Sebium h20 which I have a review on). I use it alone (with my hands) or with a face brush to take cleansing a step further.


It’s a luxury product but one you should consider investing in if you have the budget for it. If you love using luxury products, Dermalogica is a brand you should try if you haven’t already. If you are looking to splurge this season, splurge on Dermalogica and your skin will thank you for it!

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel starts from £28.00. Available on Dermalogica

Other Dermalogica reviews

Pre-Cleanse Oil

Skin Perfect Primer with SPF30

Above all else, keep your heart

Do I need a skincare routine?


Do I need a skincare routine? Yes! If you have any sort of skin (lol). Not funny? Let’s move on..  You’ve heard of the phrase ‘put your best face forward’ and a proper skin care routine can help you do just that. Skincare routines are more than just washing your face after you remove your makeup and slathering on moisturiser. It’s about knowing your skin type and what works well for it. It’s about knowing which order to use products and proper techniques when using them. Most importantly is also about what you eat!

So why a skincare routine? Your skin goes through a whole bunch of things during the day but unlike the skin on our bodies which is pretty much covered up, your (face) skin is exposed. This means it’s in contact with everything. And I mean everything- air (carrying all the dust particles, coughing sneezing etc), changing temperatures- cold/hot, air conditioning, rain etc Add that to all the things we put on our face- moisturiser, serums, primer, foundation etc. Mix all that with random sleeping patterns and eating habits, then you understand why our skin sometimes behaves like a stubborn teenager!

An effective skincare routine will essentially put your skin in the best position to deal with all these things. Healthy looking skin looks better and allows your makeup to look even better! Black don’t crack? More like black don’t crack with a little help from a good skincare routine. Obviously, genes play a very big part but taking time out to actually take care of your skin will have a massive impact too.

Your routine

Please leave the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse at the door especially if it’s just laziness lol. Also, don’t write off the routine simply because ‘the product don’t do anything’. And don’t believe the myth of buying expensive products because that’s what you see people using or is in the magazines. Luxury items may not necessarily work better than drugstore products. Believe it or not, there are A LOT of drugstore skincare products that are way better than the luxury ones and at a fraction of the cost! And today my picks are all from the drugstore! Yes, I started out using drugstore products and I still do.

Let’s get to the routine. Firstly its best to find out what type of skin you have , then use products that target it e.g. for oily skin, its best to use specially formulated products to help balance oil production. I will do a separate post on skin types but for now please read this very informative article which helped me write this post.

Skin types and Care Also check out this article What’s my skin type?


A (very) basic routine will have these:

  • A Makeup Remover – something to remove all traces of your makeup
  • A Cleanser- to remove the last traces of makeup and draw out dirt, impurities etc
  • A toner- to help balance your skin’s pH
  • Moisturisers- a day moisturiser preferably with SPF and a night moisturiser. Consequently, you can use the same moisturiser for day and night and have an SPF cream you add in the mornings
  • A mask- treatment you use at least once a week to help keep your skin in tip-top condition

Check out my skincare guide and the products I recommend. I will also list all the products below, my reviews and where to get them.

Makeup Removal

B. Pure Sensitive Micellar Water Wipes

Boots Botanics 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Solution


Garnier Pure Active Anti-Black Head Pore Wash

Simple Spotless Skin Triple Action Face Wash


Avon Clear skin Blemish Clearing 3 in 1 Mask

Dr Organic Dead Sea Mineral Mud Mask

Simple Deep Cleansing Mask

Superdrug Dead Sea Purifying Clay Mask


NIP + FAB Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads

Nivea Pure & Natural Cleansing Toner

No7 Soft & Soothed Gentle Toner

Day Cream

Superdrug Vitamin E SPF15 Day Cream

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser

Night Cream

Nivea Regenerating Night Cream

Simple Vital Vitamin Night Cream

Prices start from just 0.99p! The most expensive item in this list is £8.29! No more excuses. I have linked all the reviews I have done to the item. All these products can be bought from Boots or Superdrug. The Dr Organic Mask can be bought from Holland & Barrett and the Avon mask can be bought from Avon. Can you believe I used all the products I have listed above?

Whilst you are here make sure you check out some of my previous posts, I have a plethora to choose from but here are some to get you started

African Black Soap, Conditioner Series: Rinse out & Deep Conditioners

Check me out on Instagram too, you wouldn’t want to miss that: daily updates of products, short reviews, tips and events! Sound good? Here’s my username- sarahfynn

Have a great day I’m stuck at home because I managed (somehow) to pull my back muscles.

See ya soon

Sarah xx