What Mahj Did….The Face And The Fancy Paper.

Hi, my name is Mahj and I have problem skin. I was quite lucky until I was about 17-18 and then they arrived. The horrible, big red painful spots. And man oh man did they make my life a misery. Turns out I had acne. And it was crap. And I tried everything I could get my hands on. Boots own brand, Clean n Clear, Clearasil, Simple, Freederm, and Clinique. Even that antibiotic cream that you get from the doctors that comes on a roll-on! All to no avail. I even tried Dianette which gave me amazing skin but made me kerazy emotional!

So on went the make up and it covered it quite well, but as anyone who has ever experienced the same situation knows, covering is all well and good but the ruddy things don’t go anywhere!

When I was around 25 (after 6 years or so of having terrible skin) I read an article about a skincare system called Oxypeel and, figuring that I have nothing to lose, decided to order myself some of their foaming milk and moisturising lotion. And though it took some time (around 4-6 months or so), my skin started to clear up. Hooray. I even stopped wearing make up as I felt brave enough to go without.

Unfortunately about 6 months or so ago, my skin started to get quite bad again. Not helped by the heinous weather and wedding stress, I was pretty much having daily eruptions and it was gutting. I started to have visions of having wedding photography that showed all the lumps and bumps under what would be my make up. My future photography paranoia was not helped by the fact that my silly skin is so hyper-sensitive that a sniff of dirt makes it explode.

In January feeling quite fed up and only 6 months away from the Big Day, I decided to take the Dermalogica plunge and went for a face-mapping appointment at their fancy pants counter in Harvey Nichols. Now I am a self confessed skincare junkie and I bought into their ethos (and very expensive products) hook, line and sinker. Coincidentally I started using all my products a week before the Big RMW Photoshoot and someone must’ve been looking down on me as my skin pretty much cleared up the week before the shoot and so, I didn’t feel as much embarrassment at turning up a big spotty mess, surrounded by fresh-faced lovelies!

Unfortunately, another week after the photoshoot and my skin reverted back. Big time. But this time I decided to try thinking positively. They say it takes 4-6 weeks for the effects of using Dermalogica to come through. It’s been 6 weeks so far and though I have noticed a bit of a difference, it’s not been massive.

So this past Saturday, in the name of research and preserving some of my self-esteem, I decided to take the plunge and had my first ever Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion session at my local beauty place after remembering that Madam O’Shea heartily recommended it.

Immediately I noticed that my skin felt so clean. Squeaky clean, almost like I was clean all the way through if that makes sense? Also, I noticed that one of my cheeks where I have had quite bad breakouts and also have some scarring was looking much smoother. However as the week’s progressed I have noticed (bear in mind I have been obsessively checking my face every day!) that I have had some small breakouts here and there and my skin is looking a bit more red and blotchy than usual, so the jury is still out peeps. I know with microdermabrasion, they say you really start to see the results after the third session. I have booked in for my next one in 4 weeks time so I shall keep you all posted. But in the meantime, do any of you fine lot have success stories with Dermalogica / microdermabrasion that you can share with me to stop me hyperventilating with panic?!

Since my last post, our invitations arrived in all their exploding skittle glory! I must admit that I have been a bit remiss in shouting from the rooftops about these lovelies and how amazing Marianne at Ditsy Chic has been through the whole process. Not only has she become a friend (we email about the delights of Glee!) but she is uber talented to boot.

She took the brief we gave her and ran with it. And they turned out just how I wanted. Look at the prettiness of the paper. The colours. The henna designs. The glory of them. Ahem, I’ll stop now.

I loved the idea that your invitations are essentially the prelude to your Big Day. They give your guests a taste of what is to come. So we wanted to make ours as vibrant as possible. Our friends and families reactions lead us to think that we have succeeded. One friend said that her invite reduced her to tears and another said that hers was hands down, the most beautiful invite she had ever received. Think that’s what you call hitting a stationary homerun. Or something.

I will never be able to articulate properly how utterly amazed and chuffed Martin and I were with our invites. And we don’t think we will ever be able to say anything that is complimentary enough to thank Marianne for all her hard work and fancy artiness. Marianne, you rocked our stationary world!

Finally, I thought I would leave you with the photo of my wedding shoes:

My Mum really doesn’t like these and Martin wasn’t all that keen when I showed him. I however adore them. As do my bridesmaids. And to make it even sweeter that I found some emerald green shoes in the first place, is that I found them on eBay. For £12.

Le sigh.

Your-soon-to-be-fresh-faced-(fingers crossed)-bride

Mahj xoxo

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

46 thoughts on “What Mahj Did….The Face And The Fancy Paper.

  1. Hey Mahj,

    My forst RMW post! Even though I read it religiously every day!!

    All I can say is hang in there! Im on my 3rd Microderma and I’m stil waiting to see what good its going to do me.

    I am a sucker for trying new products and my bathroom could pass for a drug store I have so many products in there!

    Believe it or not – the best thing to work for me so far ( and I have tried everything!!!) is Green Tea!! cheap and cheerful.

    Also – there is an american skincare range called proactiveskincare – not cheap but really does work! My old boss ( a celeb with very good skin) swore by it!



  2. Loving your beautiful stationary. Definitely a stationary home run!

    I had skin like yours and have also tried every product out there and spent a fortune. Nothing worked. New products seemed to be working, then two weeks later was back to normal, like my skin got used to them and immune to the spot destroying powers! Anyway, I actually decided to listen to the boy who reckoned my poor skin just needed a break from all these different products. I bought some dove soap and some oil of olay cream and left my skin to repair itself…which it did! No my skin isn’t crystal clear but I can honestly say since puberty it as never been this good. And I’m saving lots! Well done the boy!

  3. Oh Mahj. I love you. I was having the worst day and then along you came in all your skittle-invitationed-green-shoed glory.

    Love them both. Your friend’s comment made me cry a little bit!

    As for the skin, I have never had microdermabraison but have heard that no-one gets great results on their first try, it’s a perseverence thing x

  4. Your stationary is just beautiful! As you will be on your wedding day! I had not a single spot in my teens so thought I had escaped the curse of teenagedom yet was plagued by terrible acne in my twenties. I tried everything from chinese herbs to spending a fortune on beauty products but…to no avail as it was all due to hormones. I was medication for endometriosis and as soon as I came off the meds my skin was clear and I havent had a solitary spot for 10 years..Perhaps if you are on the pill (sorry if too personal!) or taking other hormone based meds it may be worth coming off them to see if your skin clears up Good luck!! xx

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE your invitations Mahj – exploding skittles is the perfect description (although must confess it does make me want to put a whole handful of them in my mouth, Mmmmm!)

    Thank you for your honesty about les pimples; it is a subject that makes me (stupidly) feel quite emotional, having suffered from the big red, sore (as if their appearance wasn’t bad enough eh?) nasties for many years (since I was 11 in fact).

    Like you, I have tried everything from lotions and potions to the mighty Roacutane, but alas no lasting improvement to speak of. In recent years I had felt that they had been improving, with the help of the Jan Marini bioglycolic range and had hoped that they may have been sent packing but wedding stress has meant that they have again set up camp…… grrr!

    So, having spent too much time stressing/obsessing/moaning/crying about them (poor Mr Bean) I have booked myself in for a consultation to discuss microdermabrasion, tomorrow. I couldn’t quite believe the timing of this post when I started reading! “Tis good to hear about your experience and I am particularly looking forward to feeling “squeaky clean” but more than anything I am just hoping that it works! The ultimate goal? To feel confident enough to leave the house bare-faced…… we shall see!

    Would love to hear how you get on with your future sessions and hope that you are pleased with the results.

    Miss Bean xxx

    PS the shoes? Beauties!

  6. What beautiful invites. And shoes. Particularly loving how much you love a bargain!

    A word on the skin (I realise I will sound like an evangelist here, but anyone with problem skin knows how amazing it is when you find something that works) – Dermalogica has turned mine around. I used to get the big red blighters all over my chin, jawline and cheeks.

    I started using Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash but it dried me out, so my beautician gave me the Wash Off gel cleanser from their teen range, Clean Start. I use that twice a day and keep a bottle of the CSW for the occasional alcohol-induced breakout (does anyone else have these? terrible end to a good night!)

    In the day I use the Clean Start Welcome Matte SPF 15 moisturiser. It absorbs oil and has SPF- also seems to soothe some of my redness.

    The real saviour though is the Overnight Clearing Gel from the main range. OMG. This makes a volcano much much smaller, less hurty, less red, less raised and clears quickly. Cannot live without this.

    I don’t have perfect skin but most of the time it is pretty clear. For someone who would cry and cry over my spots then this is more than wonderful for me. So I would recommend. It took a while to see results but it’s so worth it. My sister also has similar spot issues and says the Clean Start exfoliating mask is amazing. You can get starter kits with mini sizes of the main line Dermalogica (The MediBac one is what I first got to see what I liked, about £40) and the Clean Start (about £20).

    Good luck! I hope you find what works for you.

  7. You haven’t mentioned whether you’ve seen your GP again recently, if not I suggest you do so. They spent 5+ years at Medical School and numerous years training, so they can help you. In my experience, I’ve not yet met a sales person / cosmetics expert / beautician who is medically qualified or who knows anything much about the science of skin. Basically they are trying to flog you stuff and the beauty companies are driven by profits (that’s why they are companies, and the NHS isn’t, at least not yet). Give it a try! The worst that will happen is you’ll spend £7 on a prescription.
    Oh and I speak from experience having had very similar problems which have been cured by a trip to my GP!

    Also – loving the shoes 🙂

  8. Me me me! I had about 4 microdermabrasion sessions before the wedding and I look at my wedding pics and can’t believe how nice my skin looks {although this could be the brides glow!} I also completely changed my skincare routine and switched to elemis cleanser and toner followed by their pro-collagen moisturiser. Oh and I also used these little serum thingys day and night also elemis.

    Have stuck with the skin care {although not as religiously} but had to stop the microdermabrasion as pregnant and apparently you can’t have it when expecting but will definitely have a monthly session after baby bird is born.

    I actually remember dreading getting a breakout on the big day and I did actually have one little bugger arise the day before but you know what, I actually didn’t give a flying fig on the day! Too excited and knew I had a fabuloso make up artist on the way 🙂

  9. I feel your pain Mahj, as I have problem skin too. It is the bain of my life!

    Have recently started using Dermalogica {& am now surviving on beans on toast after spending a fortune on it!} But I did get a free personalised facial-which was fab, my skin felt great after & was much brighter but still not spot free of course!

    A few days after I first started using it all hell broke lose on my chin! I went back & spoke to the Derma girls who said the same thing wait 4-6 weeks…

    Well it’s been a week & a half of getting up/going to bed 15 mins earlier to use all my potions & lotions & I must say my skin feels so much better & looks a little better…but like you, the jury is still out!

    I do recommend their facial though! And would be very interested to hear any other RMW reader’s microdermabrasion success stories!

  10. Firstly, love the shoes and the invitations too!
    Secondly, I agree with SophieC – if you haven’t already, go to the doctor. I started taking acne tablets 5 months ago and am so pleased with the results. In that time I have had one or two very small spots and that is all. A few more months to go and I should be acne free (forever apparantly. I will be happy if I only get one or two smaller spots in future!).
    I do still use Dermalogica products and have regular facials though and highly recommend them!

  11. I hope your skin issues are resolved in time for the big day, but if they’re not than I can assure you once you have your dress on, and your make up, and that big beautiful smile your skin worries will melt away. I had an atrocious hormonal break out all over my face and chest, which I spent hours disguising and thankfully my skin looked fine in our photos. There’s always photoshop to fall back on, but I think you’ll be fine.

    Ps. LOVE the shoes and invitations!! xx

  12. I’m still quite a way from W-Day so I’m not hitting the microdermabrasion yet (although I no doubt will).

    I’ve been using Origins (apart my Liz Earle cleanser). They do a daily microderbabrasion which I feel clears mine up. On the days I don’t use that (I got it free to try and its lasted me about FOUR MONTHS!) I use the daily brightening pads and I’ve noticed a difference. Add to that the vitazing moisturiser with a teeny tiny tint and I don’t need make-up.

    Saying all of this though….obviously I pour over RMW and can be a bit too honest in my thoughts sometime. And I say this with all honesty.

    In those photos

    I didn’t see anything.

    I only thought how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING you all looked. Skin hair everything.

    I’m currently having a real wittle about two lines which have developed on my forehead which I’m sure are results of hiddeous clients and am using hiddeously expensive eye cream (its the only thing I have that is rich enough!) see if it works. About five times a day.

    I think its about time we all stopped beating ourselves up about imperfections that no one else even notices.

    Hooray for women and hooray for the RMW family 😉

  13. I am a HUGE dermalogica fan and I have converted my whole family! I suppose I’m fairly lucky in that I only get stress/hormonal spots, but when I do break out they are of the very painful variety. I tried all sorts as well ( I worked in beauty for a long time), then a friend (who had v oily, acne prone skin) suggested it. I will never go back to anything else! It is expensive but sometimes it’s worth it.
    ( keep this quiet but I know a very good discount website, it’s called pure beauty and they stock only Dermalogica. Plus free first class delivery! What’s better than that?!)
    I think that everybody is different and different people react better to some things than others, but you really do have to stick with it whichever product you choose. There aren’t many quick fixes unfortunately.

  14. What I’ve found really works for me is to strip everything down – which means one really nice cleaner (like Eve Lom or Liz Earle – which I slightly prefer actually and is cheaper!) and that’s IT. No moisturiser (unless your skin is so dry it is literally cracking up). I – and friends of mine – have found that this really does work for calming skin down. It does need to be quite a rich cleanser I think – the no moisturiser tip I actually read in an interview with Eve Lom (who claims you don’t need it apart from dabs on dry areas) and if you’ve ever used her cleanser you’ll know it’s like soft wax which kind of melts into the skin so very rich. But like I say I’ve had the same results with Liz Earle.

    I have now incorporated moisturiser back in – cold weather over the winter is too drying not to – but I’m really careful about what I use (it seems to be the thing that causes the most problems – which makes sense when you think that it’s the thing you leave on your skin). I’ve found Neal’s Yard and RoC to be good for me. If I’m having a break out I’ll be really sparing with what I put on, and skip the cream at night or avoid problem areas.

    My instinct from years of similar problems is that chopping and changing or harsh treatments can be a problem – you feel like you want to be aggressive with the situation but what I’ve found is a really simple routine, with as few products as possible (definitely NOT what people on the beauty counters want you to think!) is what works for me.

    Hope you find something that works for you (and of course do remember that you will notice any spots you have a million times more than anyone else!) xx

  15. I’m with Jenny here Mahj. Let it be, as the Fab Four said.
    I’ve used every potion, lotion, scrub and wash available to our spot-addled sisterhood and I got totally fed up before Christmas. It’s been 15 years for heaven’s sake!
    I marry the love of my life in August, and I wanted to do so with the confidence that only clear skin can offer. I’d already done the antibiotics thing, which would work for a while, but I can’t stay on them forever (I like my white grenache too much !).
    I kept reading about the benefits of benzoyl peroxide and Oxy On the Spot cream (black packaging, contains aforementioned BP, and is available at all good Boots, Superdrug etc for about four quid) popped out as a likely contender. The other advice (the whole thing was a programme called the Regimen or something, think it’s from t’other side of the Pond) is BE GENTLE. No more scrubs, no more wicked harsh potions. Be kind, be nice.
    So, I bought Garnier’s Pure A face wash, their Pure A moisturiser, which also contains spot-fighting salyclic acid or some such thing, and the Oxy stuff. And I was gentle. No hot water, only warm, the lightest of fingertip touches when washing and applying all products and no scrubbing! What happens when you irritate your skin? It gets inflamed because it’s annoyed. Inflamed skin equals large pores equals spots.
    So I wash, gently, with warm water, pat face dry, use toner in the morning, plus a little Oxy spot stuff, then moisturiser and make up. In the evening – because I’m lazy – I use simple face wipes to take make up off, gently, then wash again, gently, and apply a generous helping off oxy stuff. It’ll dry your skin at first, but persist – and don’t scrub the dry skin off! It will get better, promise.
    It took just days to see improvements and I am proud to say (in proudest “Hi my name’s Jeanette and I’ve been clean for three months” voice) that I haven’t had a spot since January. Honestly. Not a one.
    Good luck girls! I wish you spot-free weddings x

  16. oooh Mahj, have you thought about going down the herbal route for your skin? My mum’s an acupuncturist/chinese herbalist and I have similarly problematic skin- within 6 weeks of taking these herbal acne tablets it has cleared up a treat, and I only get the occasional zit which is up and down in a day and doesn’t scar at all- whereas I used to get enourmous red monsters that left craters in my face. Have a look on the British Acupuncture Council website for a herbalist practitioner near you and give them a call- if you get on on the phone they should be able to help you out- with stress, spots and any other health niggles. I can’t believe it took me so long to try Mum’s stuff but it has really made a big difference and might help!!

    In other news- £12 shoes- genius!! And the invites are incredible! Just off to pick up our inserts from the printers eeep! xxxxx

  17. Hey Mahj! I am praying my iPhone works as it hasn’t for the past POADS if time i’ e tried to comment in the past weeks! Firstly , your invites are AMAZING! the colours are gorgeous and the design is luuuuuuuush. Green is my favourite colour in the world so I think your shoes are pretty damn awesome…

    With the skin issue I too suffer from bad skin but have finally found the right pill that seems to work working (touch wood). I am currently on my 5th session of microdermebrasion and the results are amazing! I had such bad scaring around my mouth and it has really help so keep with it. Its worth the feeling of someone sandpapering your face off! Haha. Hope your skin gets better soon xoxox

  18. Hey wedding twin! Loving your invites, the designs and colours are just delicious!

    My shoes are away getting dyed green at the moment, only one more week ’til I get them back in all their olivey glory! Woohoo!

  19. mahj, you delightful lady!! Thank you for such wonderful comments about ditsy chic and your wedding stationery. It has been such a pleasure working with you and Martin to create your skittle sensation! I am so pleased you are happy with the results and I am looking forward to creating your day stationery!

    I love the shoes – I want a pair!!


  20. I love your invitations so much, I may cry. Partly in frustration, as in a money saving bid, I’ve attempted a bit more of a DIY angle involving Staples, Etsy and a US stationer – this has led to chaos and lots of delivery charges. I wish I’d just splashed out and gone with these guys!
    As always, loving Mahj’s post. x

  21. Oh my god, so jel of your beautiful stationary, your so organised, ive not even started on mine yet! eeek!

    Re the skin, i decided to have a proper skincare routine to prep for the wedding after Christmas, it was the worst decision i ever made my skin was a mess for two months and has only just cleared up. I think the more you mess about with your skin the worse it gets! I reccomend cocoa butter and water, thats all im putting near my face from now on.

    good luck!

  22. I’m having the same problems right now. Always ahd the occasional spot but at age 28 i appear to have started getting them all over my face 🙁 Have started using Liz Earle cleanser, toner and moisturiser and saw a bit of improvement in spots. Dry bits are much better too.
    microdermabrasion was recommended to me by 2 friends who’ve both found it worked really well, Have just had one session so far but i felt like it improved the texture of skin.
    Also went to my doctor and asked to change my pill, inspired by all the comments from your last post Mahj. It seems to have triggered a few more spots but I’m hoping that’s just my skin adjusing, fingers crossed!
    Thanks for this post though, i often feel like I’m far too old to be getting spots and my friends don’t seem to struggle with this stuff as much as I do-lucky cows!

  23. Mahj, I adore your stationary, it’s absolutely stunning, I made do with DIY and am tres jealous of such beauties, all those booootiful colours popping out, I would love to get an invite like these!! Shoes are fab too, I dyed mine purple to match my BM’s dresses 🙂 love that you can wear them again after the wedding! As for the skin issue, I’ve thankfully not had too much of an issue with spots so can’t pass on any wise words of wisedom re products but I’m sure that you’ll look gorgeous on your wedding day, you certainly looked fab on the photo shoot!! Good luck with the MD, hope it helps! x

  24. Hi,

    After coming off the pill a year ago I broke out in acne, tried lots of different products, including Dermalogica, some which worked, some which didn’t seem to do much, and I would urge you to take a trip to your GP.

    My GP prescribed me a cream called ‘Epiduo’ which is a MIRACLE cream. She said that to really kill off acne you need something that will kill off the bacteria and stuff like Dermalogica, while great, just isn’t strong enough.

    You will notice results almost immediately. It does dry your face out at first (use every other night until you get used to it) so use a good moisturiser on top.

    My skin has completely cleared up and 8 months on I use it about once every 2 weeks.

    I do also use Dermalogica products which I love – I think once you get a medicated cream to kill off the acne you will notice the difference Dermalogica makes to your skin on a day to day basis.

    Hope this helps, I really would urge you to get Epiduo, for me it was a miracle!


  25. Can’t really comment on skin, I’m one of those annoying people that doesn’t really get spots. Or zitsaphrenia as my Dad calls it! But to even it out, I have a butt the size of Texas that gets bigger just by looking at a cake.

    But I couldn’t look at your stationary and not comment. It’s to DIE for. It’s absolutely amazing and I’m actually a little upset that I’m not going to see it in person. I would frame it and hang it in my living room I heart it so much


  26. Hi there. Totally sympathise with you. I have really suffered. Mine are hormonal and I am 27!! My beautician said spots on the chin are normally hormonal….and she didnt even know I was suffering with endometriosis!! In January after my operation they were HUGE so I decided I need to stop using the face wipes and started using Nivea Natural range and its amazing. I clean, tone and moisturise every morning and night. I use a night cream and a day cream. I have a facial every couple of weeks and I have learnt to stop picking the spots and just put a blob of sudocream on it overnight and in the morning is signicantly reduced. My skin is at its clearest for the first time in 5 years. I think you just have to stick with it. Good luck and LOVE the invites xx

  27. I hate to be a party pooper but…. Cut back on dairy, sugar and refined carbs (White bread, pasta blah blah) all the things I love the most.
    I cut back on them, drank more water and my skin improved. Most acne is down to hormones and sugar really makes them worse. What you put on your skin will never compare to what you put under your skin…. (but I still love a good cake just less often)
    Love dermalogica, I use their gentle cleanser with the amazing aveeno moisturiser as recommended by RMW Charlotte, it’s cheap and calms down irritation. Am mega sensitive so the eve lom didn’t work for me but I would totally recommend using the muslin cloths with dermalogica daily microfoliant 2-3 times a week (more than that irritates me)
    And now I’m off to pack for hen weekend…. Spa with dermalogica facial, massage, then lots of food I just told you to avoid 🙂 and cocktails
    Oopsy xxxx

  28. I love your stationery too – like really love it! Its so bright and fun and just gorgeous really! Would be so excited to receive something as funky as this as you know the wedding is gonna be FABULOUS!!!
    Rachie xo

  29. Hi, I’m so glad I’m not alone in the fight against adult spots! I’m 28 and in the last 4 months my skin has gone crazy, and it has really knocked my confidence. So about 6 weeks ago I invested in a ‘clarisonic’ facial cleaner, but at first it made me break out more! However, I have persevered and starting to see some results. I also read alot about benozyl peroxide and the ‘regimen’. You can buy it as a gel over the counter for about £3.50, its brand name is pan oxyl. It is very drying but I’m definately see results! I would definatly agree with not ‘aggrevating’ your skin too much, so minimal scrubbing and picking. Its not an over night cure but hopefuly they are starting to clear.

    P.s. The invites are fab, your guest will be really excited for your wedding after receiving them!

    Thanks for all the skin tips xxx

  30. I share your pain and frustration. I get large painful acne and cysts and find that dianette, along with duac is the best. Both are prescribed by my dermatologist but I have also found the vitamin a treatment to be good. I would ask your gp to refer you to a dermatologist. They are specialists. Don’t take no for an answer! Also espa do a face oil called skin balancing that I find helps my skin recover and doesn’t block or cause more breakouts. Be careful over exfoliating. Definitely doesn’t help. I also like origins face creams but also be careful with your makeup – I personally find mac fine but some other brands cause breakouts. Finally boring but true water and multivitamins definitely help. Good luck x

  31. Gorgeous invites!

    my advice for your skin is get yourself to the doctors, tell them it i the run up to your wedding.

    i have always suffered and got tablets with large doses of vit A; my skin cleared up almost instantly although i did have dry/chapped lips. stop taking them 2 weeks before you get married for your lips to calm down x

  32. Thanks for such an honest post – it’s amazing to hear so many people experiencing similar skin probs!

    Firstly, similar to Rebecca’s post, I would not have noticed any skin problems at all from your pictures. Your skin looks great! I get cystic acne, so massive boil-like whoppers deep under my skin. I know they’re there because they HURT! Because I’m so aware, I focus on them and in my mind they become bigger and bigger. I remember finally confiding in a friend how self-conscious I felt – only to met by a totally bewildered look. It’s hard sometimes to accept that maybe its not as obvious (if at all) to others as it feels to us. On the day you won’t have any headspace to focus on your skin, all that will be going through your mind is happy thoughts.

    However, on a more pratical note, I found sk:n clinic very useful. They suggested a glycolic face wash, lotion and moisturiser. It seemed expensive at the time (£65) but in fairness it’s lasted me four months. Although my skin in still recovering from a few years of severe acne, I haven’t had a new spot develop since I started using it – result! Reading all the comments about microdermabrasion I’m tempted to get this before my big day!

    Good luck! Oh and the shoes and invites are lush! x

  33. Dear RMW Posse –

    You lot are quite simply all now my new best friends. When you suffer from bad skin, it sometimes feels like you are on your own and you lovely lot have proven that I am totally not! Thank you all for your amazing advice, I am really touched and have spent the last hour looking up all the products, treatments etc that you have suggested. But really I wanted to take the time to address some/all of you in thanks for being so awesome. So (deep breath), here goes:

    Mooi – comment more often girl! And green tea eh? Martin drinks that, may give it a go. Thanks for the proactiv recommendation (is that the one Jessica Simpson promotes?).

    Jenny – soap and moisturiser eh? Seems so, well, so simple! And cheaps too…will bear in mind. Do you not find that the soap dries your skin out a lot?

    Anna K – love you too!

    Gilly Bean – I know exactly how you feel. Hope the microderm works out for you, keep me posted.

    Alice – I use all the dermalogica products you said, except for the Clean Start ones though will keep them in mind. I have seen a bit more improvement this week so we shall see…

    SophieC – I have an app with my GP next week

    BrideandChic – will try and not freak out if I get a spot on the W-Day!

    Elizabeth – I read your comment on the train and it made me laugh out loud! Esp the beans on toast part (totally get it) and also having to go to bed earlier so put everything on (I do that now also!)

    Jenny aka Mrs O – have you Baby O yet?! You looked so completly beautiful and flawless on your wedding day pics that I’m not sure I believe you!!

    Rebecca – thanks pet 🙂 and a friend recommends something called “frownies” for the lines on your head. Google it. She swears by them.

    Alice – think you might be onto something there

    Jeanette – a softly softly approach eh? Will try to be a bit gentler…I have also read about panoxyl, even got meself some this past weekend…

    Lucy – a friend at work has a herbalist, may ask for their number and give them a ring

    Robyn DIY Queen – oooo, I like how microderm is working so well for you, will stick with it. Alls I want is glowy skin damnit! Loved your random words in your text btw!

    Marianne – love you arty laydee!

    Jules – your skin was gorge at the Photoshoot, what are you on about?! I wish I could get away with just cocoa butter and water. Alas I cannot, but I like to imagine what I would do with all my spare cash…

    Linsey – my friends dont struggle either. Gits!

    Lizzie – thank you v much for the name of that cream. I have a doc app next week so will make sure to name drop it 🙂

    Lizzie SW – but those are ALL the foods that I eat!!!

    Laura – I’ve also found that panoxyl is really drying….but really good!

    In a real time update on my skin, this past week its started to clear up, slowly, but def clearing. I’m not sure if this is a combination of starting back on the pill, Dermalogica finally kicking in or the benefits of the microderm finally coming through – this is the problem with attacking my skin with all of this at the same time!

    Following on from some advice from RMW’s lovely Rebecca, I made an app with my GP next week to discuss and have also started using Panoxyl Gel 2.5%. The active ingredient is Benoxyl Peroxide, which is recommended on medical sites and its cheap as chips (£3.50) and you dont need a prescription. Now considering I have used everything under the sun, I can say hand on heart that this is good. It dries your skin out something proper, but its really helped on some stubborn spots and reducing them. Still have some other ones that refuse to budge. Gits. And it obvs doesnt help with the scarring from old spot wounds!

    My next Microderm is in 2 weeks, will keep you all posted….

    …as for the invite and shoe love. THANK YOOOOOUUUU! We loved designing them and seeing them take shape and then sending out and getting everyone’s reactions. And getting to share them all with you has been sweeeeet!

    Big Tickled Pink By Everyone’s Comments Love


  34. Maji-best comment ever.

    My frownies are on order.

    I will personally name my future children after you if these work.

  35. Glad to hear 2.5% benzoyl peroxide is working. The dual I mentioned is 5% with antibiotics so if it improves but does completely clear ask to try this. It is very drying. You can only put it on at night and it dyes your sheets but it does work!

    Good luck and remember no one noticed apart from you! X

  36. Hey Mahj! Loving the green shoes – they are lush!
    And the invites are amazing too….
    I think my little Marianne beauties should be arriving on my doorstep any day soon, I can’t wait to see them!

    Microdermabrasion is BRILLIANT.
    I must admit I swore by it for years, then seemed to stop having it for some reason (maybe I thought my skin didn’t need it any longer)
    Well, I’ve been suffering breakouts again for the past year so am back on the Microdermabrasion waggon. I know it works, but am not seeing results yet myself either as I’m only on week 2.

    Between now and the wedding I’m having microdermabrasion once a week, for two weeks, then a hydrating facial every 3rd week (does that make sense?) I worked back the dates with my beautician so that I’ll have the final hydrating facial a day before our wedding for maximum smoothness and plumpness!

    Keep up with it, I’m sure it will be just as good for you. It really got rid of lots of my scarring last time and I’m sure it will do the same this time


  37. Invites are pure beauties!!
    I am also a Liz Earle fan. Have you thought about the make-up you use as some brands really don’t sit right with me. Also clean and clear face washes/scrubs/cleansers etc bring me out in a red rash so beware!! I know it’s easier said than done but don’t let it ruin thoughts of your wedding day!

  38. As a newbie to RMW this is the best post I have read yet and has made me feel less of a crazy girl. Have been really upset about my skin breakouts and really worried that when I get married on Feb 17th I will look horrible spotty mess. I have been driving my partner mad with my stressing out about it and been in tears three times this week. So it feel good to know im not alone.

    I have just started on a new pill yasmin after being on dianette for years but docs not happy with me going back on this. I have also started antibiotics and have been using clinque for years but I think its time for a change. I have never done the facial thing because im concerned it will make things worse but thinking i might take the plunge now.

    Thank you Mahj for tackling this subject – you rock!

  39. Wow wow wow! Being a recent discoverer of rmw (and since then hopelessly addicted!) I have just come across this story. Firstly Mahj can’t believe what you and Martin have been through after his accident, so inspiring and life changing for you both. And surely you’ve been through the toughest test and come out stronger.
    Secondly, I’m so happy that you shared your skin problems and the response has been amazing from all those lovely girls.. I too suffer from skin problems and from the moment I got engaged my one major worry is not the task of organising the biggest day of our lives, or the venue or the dress but my pesky pesky skin. It has been the Bain of my life since my teens and although I wear make up very well to cover it, I’m just so paranoid that it will look awful on the day and in the photos 🙁 I’m so self conscious about it i don’t even talk to my best friends about the problem (they are all clear skinned goddesses!) I’d love to hear how the microdermabrasion sessions went in the end- did they have the result you hoped for and would you recommend?
    Finally, but very importantly, I’m hooked on your story and as your wedding was in July I wondered if your photos and w day blog are on here somewhere that I can’t find? Would love to see how it all went- the prep looked amazing! Xxx

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