Recently, I've been dabbling in higher end skincare brands but sometimes you can find some real gems from 'drugstore' brands. Boots (the UK's big highstreet drugstore) is home to many a great affordable skincare range, Super Facialist, Amie, Good Things (more to come on them soon!) and let us not forget Boots' own brand - Boots Botanics. I've tried out a few things from their range and two have stood out to me, the Ionic Clay Mask and the Skin Relief Serum.
Boots Botanic Ionic Clay Mask - RRP £6.99 (part of the Shine Away collection)
Clay masks are great for oily skin and skin that is congested. I suffer from blackheads across my t-zone and my t-zone is also very prone to being oily. I tend to only apply clay masks onto this area of my face because otherwise my dry, sensitive cheeks are irritated. This Ionic Clay Mask has a very thin consistency, it is actually watery. You have to apply this slowly so as not to spray yourself with product and you have to work quickly because the mask dries very quickly. I think that it does a good job at balance out my oily skin (the following day my skin is less problematic) but I don't think that it is a thick enough mask to do a thorough job at decongesting my pores - I don't notice a significant reduction in the size of my pores after I use this mask. That being said, for a quick 5 minute pick-me-up I do like reaching for this mask and I would repurchase it. However, if you don't have oily skin then I think this might be too harsh or it might simply not do much for your skin at all. In its place I would recommend Amie's Cooling Clay Mask (link to my review) or Origins' Clear Improvement Face Mask (link to my review).
Boots Botanic Skin Relief Serum - RRP £7.99 (part of the Ultra Calm collection)
I use a serum after I have finished cleansing but before I apply moisturiser. I tend to only use serums in the morning because in the evening I use a facial oil in their place. Serums are specifically for targeting your specific skin complaints and supplementing what your routine offers. I use a skincare routine suitable for combination, blemish prone skin but my skin is also quite sensitive and prone to redness. So when I 'add in' serums and facial oils I choose ones that will help improve these skin concerns. The Boots Botanics Skin Relief Serum contains marshmallow and liquorice, both of which are supposed to help calm sensitive skin. It is a very light gel that has little scent to it and I apply two pumps of this onto my hands before massaging it upwards into my skin. It absorbs almost instantly and I have never had a bad reaction to it. I've been using this serum for about five weeks now and I definitely think that it has helped calm and reduce the redness that is often present in my cheeks and that it has helped balance out my combination skin (I haven't had any dry patches on my face since I introduced this into my routine). I think that this is a real gem and I'm very happy to have stumbled across it. I'm definitely going to be repurchasing it in the future and based on the success of the Serum I am very keen to try the rest of the Ultra Calm collection.
The Skin Relief Serum definitely steals the show but I do still enjoy using the Ionic Clay Mask, it just won't be everybody's cup of tea! Have you tried either of these products? Do you have any drugstore skincare products that you'd recommend?