Friday, October 3, 2014

New In My Skincare Routine

As my stash downsizing progress continues, I'm now getting down to skincare back-ups and otherwise abandonded products from the back of my drawers. Some of them are surprisingly good, and thus restore my faith in trying deluxe samples and gifts with purchase. Some of them are meh; they'll get used up in due time, but the excitement levels are running low. And some of them... NO. Just no. But anyway, all of these serve the purpose of reviewing them for you, lovely people, so that you know what to try and what to avoid.
While I do most of my face washing with the Emma Hardie Moringa Lift & Sculpt Cleansing Balm, I sometimes prefer something lighter and quicker for the mornings: enter MyChelle Dermaceuticals Apple Brightening Cleanser ($14.25 for 2.1 fl oz) with malic and gallic acids, which was part of a GWP from A quick shopping tip: if you're subscribed to their email offers, they sometimes do these amazing GWP bags with a $75 beauty purchase that come loaded with deluxe samples AND full-sized products. But back to MyChelle: I find this sulfate, gluten and cruelty-free face wash to be a decent low-foaming option; quite gentle but a bit more drying than an oil/balm cleanser. I haven't noticed any improvement in my hyperpigmentation, but I've recently been experiencing less breakouts and less overall congestion in my skin - not quite sure if it's thanks to just this cleanser, but I think it's helping along. A tentative thumbs-up.
To remove my make-up at night, I've switched to using the Eau Thermale Avene Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Make-up Remover ($20 for 6.76 fl oz/ 200 ml) after finishing the beautiful TATCHA One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. In short: I ultimately prefer using cleansing oils for make-up removal. Not that the Avene micellar water is bad: non-irritating, subtly scented, doesn't leave a sticky residue. But in terms of really getting that black mascara and eyeliner off, nothing beats a solid cleansing oil. I now have to do multiple passes with a cotton pad saturated with the Avene lotion, and I still get smudges of mascara under my eyes in the mornings - so from now on, I won't be repurchasing micellar make-up removers (even Bioderma!) and sticking to my cleansing oils.
Tempted by rave reviews from Sandra and other bloggers, I splurged on the Paula's Choice Resist BHA 9 Treatment For Stubborn Imperfections ($40 for 0.3 fl oz/ 8.4 ml). First off, let's discuss the price: this is forty bucks for a product smaller than most of my deluxe samples. But whatever, it's supposed to be used as a spot treatment, so the tiny bottle should last a long time - EXCEPT the pump makes it impossible to get just a small amount, squirting product left and right. To get the amount I need, I barely touch the pump a couple times, and then a drop oozes out... but misshaps still happen. I could maybe suck it up if this clear oil (sic!) made any difference in my skin - but it doesn't. On me, it doesn't really prevent breakouts from rearing their ugly heads, doesn't dry them out, doesn't help with clogs and blackheads, nor post-inflammatory marks... Yeah. It's just annoying. Needless to say, I'll use it up but won't be repurchasing.

On days I'm at home and don't feel the need to wear SPF, I like to use just a plain, lightweight moisturizer to give my skin some much needed hydration, which is why I busted out the Dermo Face Sebio Light Mattifying Correcting Cream (32,99 PLN/ ~$10 for 40ml) from a Polish brand Tołpa. The moisturizer was a gift from a family member, and while a lot of Polish skincare products are great quality and a pleasure to use, this is unfortunately a dud. It has a strong, citrus bathroom cleaner scent and a glue-like consistency that eventually absorbs into the skin, but feels heavy and fails to both effectively hydrate my face or keep the oils at bay. Thank God it expires next month so that I won't have any second thoughts about throwing it away.
Lastly, the surprising hero of this post, the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex* ($42 for 1.7 oz or $16.50 for 0.5 oz, which is the size I'm using). I didn't have high hopes for this, especially after sniffing the jar: to me, it smells like a fermented/pickled cucumber with a touch of rose, and while I like both pickles and roses, I don't want them together in my moisturizer. But that is the only downfall of the Lotus Face Cream - otherwise, it's a lovely, lightweight, fast-absorbing, hydrating and soothing cream that leaves my face soft, plump and happy. I can't comment on longterm anti-aging results, but I like that it has ingredients to soften fine lines, improve elasticity and boost radiance. Two thumbs up - I may repurchase a full size in the future.
Have you recently added anything new to your skincare routine? Any interesting discoveries, positive OR negative? Come on, you guys know I love me a good product rant ;)

Disclosure: Product marked with an asterix (*) is a press sample I received as a part of a complimentary Glossybox. The remaining products were either gifts from family, gifts with purchase or my own purchases. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided as free press samples. Thank you for reading!


  1. :DDD *laughing* Pickles and roses... sounds like a "challenging" scent combination from some fancy pants perfume house. But I'm so excited to hear the Fresh Cream is working out so well for you.
    I've recently shoe horned in HABA Fair Lady stuff after seeing Driveller's review. So far looking good for slight but noticeable fading of my sun spots!

  2. Pickles and roses LOL. Maybe the person who developed the cream is of our slavic descent haha? Being Ukrainian myself, pickles were a staple. And my mom loved roses. Hmmm, I should get this cream then, hey? :)

  3. I had the exact same conclusion re: micellar waters and oil cleansers after finishing the Avene in the last empties. But then I couldn't resist buying the new L'Oreal micellar anyway because I do like having a bit around in a pinch for eye makeup mistakes. I just never could understand how anyone could remove an entire face full of makeup with the waters. It would take an entire package of cottons for me to do so.

    Fresh never has me convinced that they're all that, but they're so aesthetically pleasing that I want to try anyway and your positive review doesn't hurt. :>

  4. I prefer cleansing oils and cleansing balms as well. For cleansers, I've been enjoying some gentle and paraben free ones from Antipodes and [A'kin]. They're gentle to the skin, and I find that I prefer that in the mornings. I have yet to try anything from Fresh, but they're really pricey here >_<

  5. Yeah, I don't know how you get all these testimonials from all the french women on intothegloss that they use only micellar water and nothing else. It's like,

  6. Oh so ditto w/ micellar water v.s. cleansing oil now. I think I've only kept my last bottle of Bioderma around for spot cleaning, nothing else. I much rather even use my cleansing balm to remove even the most tenacious mascara.
    But, I must say Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser is one of the recent addition that I like! I've been toying with the idea of semi-DIY REN Clay cleanser and something is brewing in the pot. I like to use Avene in the AM and cleansing balm in the PM.
    Thanks for mentioning about Mychelle, their products intrigue me as they have it on sale every now and then at local WF/PCC.

  7. Polish skincare! :o but also Polish skincare D:

    I used to be hooked on micellar waters too, but I've transitioned over to cleansing oils much like you have. If I'm spot-removing? Then yeah, I'll pull out the good 'ol cleansing water. But for the end of the day, nothing removes makeup gently like a cleansing oil.