My tips for dealing with dry skin: cleansing

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 16 - 2011

I don’t usually do “tip” posts like these, infact I’m not sure that I’ve ever done one before.  So it’s with a little apprehension and a large dose of ‘Do I know what the hell I’m talking about?’ that I present to you some of my tips for dealing with dry skin.

What do I mean by dry skin?  Well, for me… my combo/dry skin is largely self-inflicted.  I know I don’t drink enough water (and always see a marked improvement when I do), I refuse to give up my cleansing oil addiction and although I’m leaning more toward kinder organic cleansing balms, I refuse to just ‘get rid’ of some of my more drying oils until they’re finished.  Waste not, want not as my Mum would say.

I don’t suffer too badly in the Summer, but come the end of October, my skin loses its glow and the biggest problem I have to battle are those dreaded flakies that make any foundation look like crap.

I’m breaking the tips into a couple of posts:  cleansing, treating, moisturising & makeup.  Please remember that I’m in no way an expert, I’ve just bumbled through a lot of trial and errors to find what works well for me.  So without further ado…

Cleansing

1.  I refuse to give up on my cleansing oils/balms for makeup removal, so try to find one that is as natural as they come.  That means no mineral oils or other Petrochemicals.  Let your second cleanse shift the residue rather than relying on the inbuilt emulsifying agents.

Suggested products: Inlight Organic Cleanser, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, Nude Cleansing Facial Oil, Spiezia Organic Facial Cleanser & Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel

2.  Don’t use your hands to wash!  Make sure you have a stockpile of your favourite flannels/muslins and use them to exfoliate!  I can’t abide ‘flappy’ muslin cloths and always opt for microfibre or generic flannels.  I buy 2 microfibre cloths for £1 in Asda (the home cleaning aisle!) but anything is better than nothing at all!

3.  Choose your cleanser carefully.  My skin always reacts most positively to the ‘boring’ cleansers on the market.  These are usually the creamy-type ones that don’t make any additional claims other than to gently cleanse your skin.  Avoid that ‘squeaky’ clean feeling like the plague.  We don’t have the excess sebum production of oilier types and can’t tolerate twice daily skin stripping from harsher cleansers.  Avoid SLS and Petrochemicals.

Suggested products: Bare Minerals Purifying Facial Cleanser, Lavera Organic Lemon Balm Facial Cleansing Gel, Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream & Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser.

4.  Mind that water!  Living in the South, our water supply tends to lean toward the alkaline end of the PH scale which can encourage dryness if you don’t use a PH balanced cleanser to even things out when washing.  Most ‘gentle’ cleansers are PH balanced by default but it goes a long way to explain why I’ve stopped simply splashing my skin with water in the mornings.  I thought I was helping by not over-cleansing.  Wrong!

.

I’m sure there are lots of other little gems out there to cleanse effectively without over-stripping our skin but these are the ones that I find work for me.

Do feel free to add any CLEANSING tips you’ve discovered from dealing with dry skin, I’d love to hear them.  I’ll be dealing with exfoliating, treating, moisturising, lifestyle type tips later.

* disclosure: in the above picture, the Inlight Cleansing Balm and Bare Minerals Cleanser are press samples


Review: Inlight Organic Face Cleanser

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 19 - 2011

Inlight are a soil association-backed organic skincare brand hailing from deepest, darkest Cornwall with a philosophy geared toward homeopathic formulations and highly concentrated products.

The product I’m talking about today is their Organic Face Cleanser which is packed full of natural ingredients suspended in a moisturising base of coconut oil.  I’m familiar with many types of oil and balm-based cleansers, they form an important step in my daily cleansing routine since discovering the “like attracts like” properties of oil for makeup removal a few years ago.

Inlight’s Organic Face Cleanser is, to put it simply, high quality.  It contains no synthetic fillers to bulk the volume and every last gram has been engineered with great thought as to what purpose each ingredient serves.  The website impressively lists the skincare benefits alongside the ingredient list, transparency is key and it’s a real pleasure to be able to break down the properties to their base values.

For your money (£27.00), you get 60ml of product.  That’s not a lot of product for a cleansing balm, something that you reach for daily and although you don’t need a huge amount to cleanse your face… I was only able to make my pot last around 35 days.  We’re not talking an inexpensive product but then… you don’t pay peanuts and get high quality do you?

I sometimes find the scent overpowering with organics, they can be very heady and herbal.  Not unbearable but often a little overwhelming.  This face cleanser is reminiscent of a good (but not too heavy) aromatherapy oil, the multiple natural scents in the jar don’t jostle for pole position and I can appreciate a few individual notes in there (mostly the lavender and lemon).

The texture is beautifully creamy, it spreads over my face nicely with good slip but enough drag to encourage a good facial massage during application.  Breathe in deeply as you apply it and you’re benefiting from the fragrance aswell.  I have bitten the bullet, taken the plunge and can confirm that I’ve encountered no eye irritation despite being thoroughly clumsy during the mascara removal stage!  Often oils and balms will cloud my vision (at best) or send me scurrying for the cold water tap to flush my eyes (at worst).  The Inlight Organic Face Cleanser does neither, we’re in the retina-friendly zone with this one!

I don’t have any complaints with makeup removal, it does the job well and cleanses my skin nicely.  I don’t wear waterproof mascara but seeing as this is an oil-based product anyway, I can’t imagine it being less effective on more stubborn products.  My only gripe with the Inlight Organic Facial Cleanser is that it’s not an emulsifying cleanser.  Don’t expect this to turn the water cloudy and rinse cleanly away without a bit of effort on your part.

With hindsight, this is both a good and bad thing.

I’m used to emulsifying cleansers, infact I rate them on how well they emulsify.  I dislike being left with an oily residue which is precisely what this one will do unless you’re diligent in your rinsing, wringing, rinsing, repeat.  For me, this is definitely the 1st step in a 2-part cleansing ritual… I need to double cleanse after using this.  I say it like it’s an inconvenience but the truth is, I’ve always double-cleansed anyway.  Even with the best emulsifiers, so I’m not sure why I consider it an issue.  Infact, because the ingredients are so pure… I’d be tempted to suggest that those with very dry or mature skin not even bother with a 2nd cleanse.  Any residue from those ingredients will probably do you more good than stripping everything away with a 2nd cleanser.  I guess it boils down to what you’re used to.

Which brings me to my final point.  What I’m used to… well, I’m used to oils and balms leaving my skin a little tight.  Nothing I can’t put right with a dose of heavy bed-time moisture but still, it’s a compromise I’ve always made.  The Inlight Organic Face Cleanser doesn’t leave me with any tightness despite feeling more astringent (read: effective) on my combination (read: congested) bits, I’m just not experiencing the dryness I would have expected.  Perhaps it’s the lack of those emulsifying agents?

So there we have it.  An effective, high quality cleanser that I’d rate as excellent for combination skin.  It doesn’t emulsify and it (probably) won’t leave you with tightness.  It smells good and it feels like you’re treating your skin to the best you can afford.  Only problem is, I’m not sure I can afford it on a monthly basis.

Inlight Organic Face Cleanser* is priced at £27.00 for 60ml and available online from Inlight Organic Skincare

* press sample

Monu Cleansing Balm – So delicious, I wear it as a perfume.

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 20 - 2011

There are some things in life that one really should avoid doing but we do them all the same.

One shouldn’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach, never swallow chewing gum, and don’t cross the road to avoid a charity collector, that’s just… uncharitable.

I’m going to add “wear your cleansing balm as a perfume” to this list.

Weirdness aside, it’s doubles up as a rather lovely cleansing balm too!

Compared to other cleansing balms that I’ve used in the past, Monu Essential Care Cleansing Balm feels a little rustic by comparison… and by rustic, I mean… artisan, less mass-manufactured…

This is both a good and bad thing.

I get the feeling that quality is something that hasn’t been skimped upon.  The ingredients list is full of delicious oils and emulsifiers boosted with some heavenly natural fragrances.

And it’s the combination of those fragrances that make this cleansing balm an absolute joy to use.  It’s a citrus explosion without being remotely kitchen/bathroom-y.  I’m really particular about citrus scents and they have to be ‘just’ right.  Not too sweet, not too tart.  This has the perfect balance that makes you want to inhale deeply whilst massaging the balm into your skin.

The flipside of this ‘rustic’ quality is that the packaging and feel of the product isn’t as luxe as I would expect for something that costs £35 for 150g.

When I opened the sample I was sent, I was surprised to see that in actual fact… it isn’t really a balm at all.  It’s half balm/half oil and in it’s current state of ‘not being able decide whether it’s a solid or a liquid’, it’s not the easiest product to scoop from the pot without making a bit of a mess.  I also wonder what effect warmer weather will have on it’s consistency.

Texture concerns aside, all is forgiven the moment I start massaging this into my skin.  The scent (have I already mentioned the scent?) focuses my mind on the job at hand and the slip ensures that there is no drag on the skin as I encourage the product to get to work on removing my makeup.

And remove my makeup it does, dissolving everything I throw at it without any fuss.  I’m terribly oaf-like when it comes to eye makeup removal… I don’t bother with being especially delicate.  I rub product onto my eye lashes gently by rolling between my thumbs and index fingers and hope that when I’m done I haven’t given myself temporary blindness and searing eye pain.

I haven’t experienced any horrible eye problems with the Monu Cleansing Balm though I’m not about to grind product into my eyes just to make sure!

It emulsifies quickly and completely in warm water and washes away without leaving any residue on my face, hands or sink.  I do still double cleanse out of habit and the one time that I didn’t (to test dryness), I wouldn’t say that this leaves my skin feeling any less dry than other balms or oils… I still need to head for the moisturiser before my skin begins to tighten.

If you’re looking for a cleansing “balm” that does what it says on the tin, is paraben-free with only natural fragrances and makes you want to leave some behind on all your pulse points after cleansing… this would be the one for you.

Monu Cleansing Balm is priced at £35.00 and available online.

Remove all traces with Clinique’s Take The Day Off cleansing balm

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 10 - 2011

We’ve all seen products that stake lofty claims on the packaging and using them can often leave behind a single raised eyebrow of “hmm… really?”  Take The Day Off*… really does take the day off.  And the night before that if you’ve been a lazy sink-dodging mare.

With dry hands, scoop out a 10p piece sized blog and massage over dry skin to remove all traces of makeup.  The solid balm transforms into a silky oil that glides over skin with ease.

I’m a long-standing cleansing oil fan and my face simply doesn’t feel clean to me until I’ve double cleansed.  Cleansing balms are something I’ve bought in the past but I generally prefer to use a pump bottle of oil than scoop product from a jar.

Last time I returned from holiday and opened my suitcase to find oil-soaked clothes put pay to that little preference.

I’m also finding balms to be more compatible with my Clarisonic.  The slip feels a little dryer than with my usual oils (though still perfectly workable) and I use my delicate brush head in conjunction with a low speed setting before washing off.

It leaves my skin feeling smooth and squeaky clean.  Drier skins may find this a little drying but oilier types should appreciate the product’s ability to cleanse thoroughly without too much stripping of the skin’s natural oils.

Finally?  It leaves not a scrap of residue behind.  It emulsifies fully with water into a creamy, milky fluid that washes away with ease.

It’s unscented which will please many (though I wouldn’t have minded a touch of fragrance tbh), gives me absolutely NO eye irritation (despite massaging it into my lashes!) and contains no mineral oils.  Win.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is priced at £19.50 for 125ml.

Do you use cleansing balms?  What are some of your favourites?

*press sample

RANDOM

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