Dear 2016,

You’re starting to look a little festive and sparkly – I guess you’re ready to make your fond farewell. So now is the perfect time to have a little chat about how you got on. Thank you for having me around for the last 12 months, it’s been great knowing you, but before you go, there are few things I’d like to discuss in order to ensure that 2017 is even more fabulous than you…


I remember when I was about 14 years old, going to bed with flawless skin and waking up covered in spots. Hormones played havoc and I was forever trying to stop the never ending flow of oil that oozed from my pores and left me shiny, spotty and sad.

In the ‘old days’ (as my kids call the 80s) I was told that the solution to spottiness was to zap spots with a hard-hitting, skin drying lotion and then fry my face under a sunlamp. Today that prescription would be skin sacrilege and dermatologists would shudder in their boots just thinking of it. I might have got a toffee apple tan (along with premature age spots) but my sebum glands went into overdrive because the harsh methods I was using were stripping my skin of oil and so it was producing even more to protect my frazzled face.

With clinical studies reporting 80% of teens will develop some form of acne, there are obviously a lot of mums out there wondering what is the best thing to do for their child’s skin. With this in mind, beautician Julia Vearncombe and homeopath, Hilery Dorrian – who both have had many years of experience in their respective fields – joined forces to come up with SkinGenius – a gentle, more natural skincare solution with a ‘no junk’ formula far superior to the skin strippers of yesteryear!


Understanding that teenagers have a tendency to be a little bit CBA (can’t be arsed) and slapdash, Julia and Hilery wanted to ensure the products in the range were simple and pleasant to use, as well as effective. Therefore, SkinGenius comprises just 3 no-fuss products: Facial Wash, Clarifying Lotion and Moisturiser. They are all jam packed with powerful but gentle ingredients to balance and calm skin such as Calendula which kills bacteria responsible for causing acne and speeds up healing, Witch Hazel to help reduce inflammation and oil production and minimise the look of pores plus Mallow, which is extracted from its flowers and leaves and used for its excellent soothing and emollient properties to keep skin texture smooth.

The Feedback So Far

My two daughters, 15 and 21 (above in main picture) have been trialling the clarifying lotion and moisturiser, and most recently, the face wash and, although they don’t suffer badly from spots, they are prone to breakouts around the time of the month.

Aimee, 21: “The clarifying lotion smells lovely – really fresh and citrussy. My favourite product is the moisturiser which makes my combination skin feel soft and supple but not greasy.”

Lily, 15: “I used to use wipes to take off my makeup but since getting spots and blackheads around my chin and nose (mum says this is because I don’t cleanse properly) I’ve started using the facial wash. It’s really gentle and cleanses deeply without drying my skin too much like some of the spot lotions I’ve tried before.”

Homeopath, Hilery has had her daughter Emily (below) trial the products since their creation and she has is thrilled with the results.


SkinGenius products start from £13.99 for a Facial Wash and you can find out more about them here.

In my opinion, as a mum and wellbeing and beauty writer who researches skincare just for fun as well as for my job, I would recommend SkinGenius to any parent who is looking for a natural and gentle skincare system to help keep their teen’s skin clean, clear and balanced. However, if acne is persistent and can’t be controlled by products alone, then you should ask your GP to refer you to a dermatologist for further investigation.

ihc / 123RF Stock Photo
ihc / 123RF Stock Photo

When I was in my 20s and 30s and the kids were little, my life was a whirlwind of small child drop-offs to the childminder, commutes to central London for a long day’s work in a succession of glamorous, yet demanding, magazine jobs. Evenings were spent catching up with friends and Stressed Husband as well as fitting in bonding time with the children to see how their day had been without mummy. I was working full time – mostly from an office but after baby number two, as a freelancer from home. Yet I still made sure I was at every school event, the kids took part in lots of activity classes and I got involved and joined in regularly on the ‘mummy circuit’ in my local community. When I look back I remember being blissfully happy with my lot and I coped really well with such a busy life; working and having little kids was what I did and I just got on with it.