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19 - 21 May 2023 / The Truman Brewery
11 June 2020
We Tried It: A Stripped Back Skincare Routine
As a Facial Therapist and the Founder of Fix Up Feel Good, I’m always on the lookout for new, natural products with powerhouse ingredients that I know my clients will love. The winners in any product range will invariably include a glow-giving Vitamin C, a selection of exfoliating chemical acids to tackle dullness and clogged pores, a moisture hit of hyaluronic acid, and of course a retinol for those fine lines and pigmentation.

But is it possible that one brand can be the answer to all my skincare needs? Helen Ritchie, Founder of Gym For Your Skin believes it is – so I decided to test this theory. 

Lucky for me her gorgeous range of seven products has all of my 'must haves', and more. I challenged myself to wear GFYS for an entire two weeks without using any other of my products (a real test for someone who’s collection is as extensive as mine - my clients deserve the best after all). While results from any new product trial would usually require a little longer, the two weeks would give me an indication of the strength of the ingredients and to see if the range does indeed answer all my needs.

My skin is usually reasonably ‘well behaved’, and while I am prone to acne even in my thirties, it’s quite minimal. Breakouts tend to be across my jawline in the form of an occasional painful cystic spot, and I have naturally oily skin that I’m used to having to blot throughout the day. I really liked Helen’s missive that ‘repetition gets results’, so her advice is to ease off on layering a multitude of ingredients each day without knowing what might be reactive or beneficial, and instead to focus on a simple daily regime to get the skin looking healthier and feeling stronger. I was excited to get started.

The range consists of a cream cleanser packed pulled of vitamins A, C and E, essential fatty acids and hyaluronic acid to leave skin feeling plump and nourished. I always cleanse my skin at night before bed to take away any of the grime of the day, leaving me with a lovely clean face to apply my night products. The cleanser doesn’t lather so it squeaky, tight skin feeling afterwards. The scent is created from essential oils rather than perfume which my skin loved, and the bergamot and lemon lingered nicely after washing the product off.
I alternated between products for my night-time routine. Every other day I used the A-Hit booster serum with a 0.5% retinol content, which I LOVED. I’ve tried retinol before and my skin became irritated very quickly, but this one was a dream. Rich in essential fatty acids it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry or tight. On the days I didn’t use the A-Hit, I applied the Rest Night Moisturiser, fortified with vitamins A and B, with a blend of malic, lactic and salicylic acids, all working to chemically exfoliate the skin and slough of the top layer of dead skin cells which cause blockages and spots to form. This wonder cream also contains Co-Enzyme Q-10 which works as an antioxidant for the skin to protect against UV radiation and pollution 
My morning routine usually sees me showering after a quick workout, then using a simple face wash before taking a good look at my skin and deciding what it’s in need of that day. As I was committing to this pared-back selection of products my new routine sped up significantly! I generally kept to using the C-Hit vitamin c serum which had a lovely gel-like consistency and sank into my skin quickly, followed up with a small amount of B-Hit mixed into the Workout Day Moisturiser. On the days I had a few little breakouts I used the Reboot AHA serum which was clear gel-like liquid, very cooling on the skin and sat well under the moisturiser without pilling. The day cream contains zinc oxide to treat any skin irritation and green tea to calm. This cream is definitely made for oilier complexions, and after a full day of wear I had none of my usual oily sheen, but you do have to work quickly with it as it sinks in fast, with little slip.
After my two weeks trialling GFYS were up, I realised just how impressed I was with the range, so much so that I wish I’d taken a before and after pic for evidence! The texture of my skin hadn’t been great at the start of the trial and I had significant inflammation across the cheeks. We were a month into lockdown, so I put this down to stress. The cystic acne had become worse and I was developing a few breakouts across my neck. Two weeks later I’m wowed by how my skin is looking. No spots in sight, my skin is glowing, plus my absolute hero product of the bunch, the A-Hit has knocked the idea of getting botox right out of my head, this stuff is seriously good!

Helen has 100% hit her goal of creating a condensed, easy-to-understand set of products that you don’t need to faff with, and they really work. I’m sold.

Find out more about Gym For Your Skin 

For more on Fix Up Feel Good, visit the website or Instagram.

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