Anti-ageing and cruelty-free beauty for breakout prone skin

Anti-ageing skincare

When I wrote a piece about cruelty-free beauty and choosing products not tested on animals it supercharged my search for an anti-ageing routine. I’m now in my early sixties and I’ve updated this post several times to reflect my ever changing favourite brand. It’s a balance of affordability, ease of use and results. I’m currently a fan of Face Theory because not only are their products cruelty-free but the packaging is plastic-free too. This is not a promotion and I am not receiving anything for this post – its just what works for me.

The whole beauty thing pretty much passed me by – those are the pages I usually skip in magazines. Then in my late forties my jawline started sagging, my eyelids drooped and a bag settled permanently under each eye. Worse still, when menopause kicked in the pimples returned. For heaven’s sake! I’ve got combination skin which has always been prone to breakouts but these spots and small lumps are under the skin and tough to shift.

I’ve tried every anti-ageing tip including facial exercises to firm-up flesh and even a fresh urine rinse to exfoliate. The bad news is that my plump youthful complexion is gone forever. The good news is that if I keep to the routine I do see a small improvement in skin texture.

So without further rambling this is my anti-ageing face and neck routine:


  1. Face Theory Clarifying Cleanser Pro.
  2. Exfoliate with Face Theory Saliatica 2% BHA exfoliant toner.
  3. Every 3 days I use Face Theory Glycolic Face Scrub with a lovely Mandarin scent


  1. Winter mornings I use Face Theory Supergel Pro which is an oil free gel.
  2. Summer mornings it is Face Theory Amil C-Whip which is a vitamin C moisturiser that includes a sunscreen – SPF 30.
  3. Whenever I remember I use an eye cream, Face Theory Ocuwake eye cream.
  4. At night I use Face Theory Ceranight oil.

This routine helps to keep spots at bay but doesn’t remove the stubborn hard lumps under the surface. I also get milia which are hard little white balls of protein that sit under the skin and these seem to multiply no matter what I do.

Anti-ageing and acne

I imagined as I got older my skin would naturally become dry and I could finally put spots behind me. No such luck. I suffered from hormonal acne right through my teens and twenties and it happened again when menstruation stopped. But this time round I’ve learned how to fight it with products which are now significantly better.

Developing your own skin routine

My advice is to get to know your own skin and experiment because what works for me almost certainly won’t work for you. I need light formulations and many products targeted at older skin are too rich and creamy for me.

I was able to read up on a whole new list of active ingredients that could work for me: Retinol, AHA and BHAs, vitamin C. Then I discovered Deciem’s affordable versions of these same scientific formulas sold under The Ordinary brand. I use a mix of more expensive and cheaper products – but I regard them all as value for money because they work.

I hope you’ll start your research with cruelty-free too. No animal should suffer in order for us to have better skin. Ethical brands also tend to use organic and vegan ingredients and leave out the nasties like parabens, sulphates, formaldehyde etc.

Avril x

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