There is something exciting about finishing a product – even when you paid a fortune on it and your heart hurts a little to reach the bottom of the pot – because it leaves you with the promise to start a brand new product! I am a bit of a self-confessed, compulsive skincare junkie and I love buying items that I end up storing in my cupboard for months, waiting to be used at the end of the current routine. So I couldn’t wait to finish the products that I am going to talk about, even though I loved using most of them, as I love any new addition to my routine. So in the order of purchasing…
The Face Shop Simple Step Melting Cleanser ($20 / 150ml)
I get excited about pretty much any Korean product I try because they are so different to the Western brands that we are so used to, and they always prove to be a great surprise. This uncomplicated cleanser has a smooth jelly texture that makes it very pleasant to both apply and remove, and I used it mainly as a morning cleanser or as a second cleanse, massaging it into the skin before washing it off with a wet cloth. It’s a very gentle formula that doesn’t strip off the skin, and has a mild, very Korean-like smell. Too bad it’s so hard to find in the UK!
Boots Botanics Hydration Burst Dual Action Cleanser (£4 / 125ml)
What a brilliant cleanser this is! Cheap and simple, it does the job brilliantly without drying your skin in any way. The olive oil-based formula comes out as a gel that quickly turns into an oil when in contact with skin’s heat, making it ideal for a relaxing massage. I also love the smell, very natural and classic, and it has been a pleasure to use. It has been by first cleanse and morning cleanse for weeks and will definitely repurchase as soon as I run out of balmy cleansers.
Dead Sea Spa Magik Mild Exfoliant (£8.20 / 75ml)
I know that the whole beauty world seems to have fallen out of love with scrubs, especially since acids have proven to be far better at deeply exfoliating and renewing the skin. But I’m quite traditional in this sense and I can’t live without a good weekly scrub. I think this is the only way to remove all those dead cells that accumulate around the nose and chin, clogging the pores and looking rough. I found the Dead Sea exfoliant quite mild and very efficient, scrubbing without harming the skin and leaving it perfectly smooth, all without aggravating acne.
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid (£22 / 100ml)
I have already talked about this product on previous occasions, so I will not go into detail about the features of the formulation for another full review. I think it’s worth mentioning that this was my first contact with acids and has introduced me to the wonderful benefits of these ingredients. It was also one of the first Korean brands that I tried and absolutely loved, and I will definitely look for more of their products as they are very good quality, low in harmful substances and quite affordable too.
COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner (£17 / 150ml)
You have heard me raving about this toner in previous posts, as it has been my favourite morning toning formula for months. I used to put some of it in a smaller spray container and carry it in my gym bag for a quick after-shower refresher and a good start of the morning routine. I love this formula and I’m really glad Cult Beauty are now selling COSRX products, which makes them so much easier to purchase.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (£5 / 30ml)
This was part of my very first batch of The Ordinary products that I tried and everyone can probably resonate with my excitement for discovering an efficient formula at a ridiculously low price. The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc has been a great addition to my anti-acne routine and has helped a lot in clarifying my skin, especially in combination with acids and alternating with retinol. I’ve been using it mainly as a morning serum, but occasionally as part of the night routine when taking breaks from retinol. It has a jelly consistency that makes it easy to spread and covers the whole face with just a couple of drops, which makes it last for quite some time (for me, at least 3 months of very consistent use). A word of advice if applying before make-up: it tends to peel off when following with moisturiser and foundation, so only use just enough for it to absorb as quickly as it should with minimum residue. It also tends to foam up a little bit if you use too much, so yet another reason to control your dose.
Caudalie Resveratrol [Lift] Night Infusion Cream & Face Lifting Moisturiser SPF 20
I’ve already written a complete brand review for all the Caudalie products I have tried so far, including these two. I loved the night cream, but couldn’t wait to finish the day fluid as it was not moisturising enough and left my skin with dry patches, while even peeling what followed with foundation. Having said this, I’m still a fan of Caudalie and will definitely include their products in my routine, especially for their high antioxidant content.
Elgon Deliwash Haircare Cleansing Conditioner Co-Wash (£14 / 300ml)
This is a bit of a bonus, as it’s a haircare product, as opposed to the skincare I mentioned in this post (or on my blog, in general). I received it in a Glossybox a couple of months ago and I was so impressed with it that I thought it deserved a mention. Elgon Deliwash Cleansing Conditioner is part of the increasing popular co-wash trend, meaning conditioner washing, thus excluding the damaging sulphates in shampoos that strip hair of its natural oils and gloss. As opposed to other conditioners which you only apply on the lengths, this one has to be massaged into the roots and lengths, and left to act for a few minutes before rinsing it clean. I wouldn’t say this is quicker to use than a traditional shampoo and conditioner, but it is definitely healthier for the hair, especially in the long term, preventing some of the damage that harsh detergents can cause. You do have to use it daily because the cleansing effect only lasts this much, but it is definitely a great alternative to shampoo. I am curious to try the Hair Is Fabric Cleansing Conditioners, which are a more high-end version by Deciem – has anyone tested these?