My latest skincare empties – cleansers, toners & masks

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I might have been slacking from my blog writing over the last few months, but you’ll surely be happy to hear that my skincare routine hasn’t been as sluggish as my writing! On the contrary, I’ve actually been experimenting with quite a few products – so many of them in fact, that I have to split this post into at least two more manageable parts! This is all about the cleansers, toners and masks I’ve been using since last year.

Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Oil (£15.50 / 150ml)

I love a cleansing oil, especially when it’s easy to work into the skin and also rinse away cleanly. Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Oil is like the best of both worlds – a hard-working makeup remover and a light wash. Massaging it into dry skin, without the need to use cotton pads, and rinsing off easily – all without irritating the eyes – makes it a great choice for the first step in a double cleanse process. Plus it lasted me for almost five months, so really economical too!

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleanser Gel (£37 / 240ml)

You must know me quite well by now so you’ve probably guessed I love acids in everything! I’m also a big fan of cleansing gels, I tend to find them the most refreshing texture, and I do struggle with the occasional blemishes. So this should have been the perfect cleanser for me, at least in theory. It turns out that it’s far from perfect… Even though the gel foams up nicely and leaves skin feeling nice and clean, I failed to see a justification for the premium price. Especially when the packaging was a great disappointment – every time I picked up the tube, I found that my cleanser had been leaking and I wasted quite a lot of formula dripping on my bathroom surfaces instead of where it was more needed, on my face! The closure mechanism is highly inefficient and I really think a pump or a top dispenser would have made a great difference. Shame about the formula!

Previse Purify Marine Cleanser (£32 / 240ml)

Here is another quite premium gel cleanser, but this time a more gentle formula, thanks to the glycerine base (and the lack of SLS, unlike SkinCeuticals). Better dispensing mechanism too, it made it much more economical to use and it ended up lasting quite a long time actually. It’s a very strange texture, something of a watery gel that doesn’t foam but feels light and non-oily on the skin, quite a nice combination for a rinse-off cleanser. It also promises, among others, to remove pollution, which I personally find it to be a bit of a tricky claim considering that it’s not something you can notice at home without any fancy skin analysis devices.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (£9 / 236ml)

This is probably the best value cleanser I’ve used in a very long time! Another super-moisturising glycerine-based formula that doesn’t foam up much, but cleans the skin really well. Ceramides and hyaluronic acid really help retain moisture, which makes this lotion an extra gentle option for all types of skin. Super simple, straightforward product that does a fantastic job without any fuss, highly recommended. Not to mention that even Caroline Hirons loves it, so a major plus in my books!

Alpha-H Liquid Gold (£49.95 / 200ml)

I got super lucky to get hold of this limited edition supersize Liquid Gold. I think I need to shut up about it because once I start, I find it hard to stop praising this genius acid toner that truly changed my skin and has remained my absolute favourite over the last few years. If you haven’t tried it already, you must give it a go, it really does make a major difference especially if you’re struggling with blemishes.

Prana SpaCeuticals Hydro-Thermal Enzyme Mask ($65 / 60ml)

I picked up this mask at Indie Beauty Expo in New York last year, and I’ve been using it more or less on a weekly basis since September – and only just finished it the other week! A little goes a long way thanks to the rich and creamy texture – and even though I like to apply it quite thickly, one of these small pots still lasted me for ages. The fruit enzymes (pineapple bromelain) in the formula are the best at creating a brightening exfoliating effect, leaving the skin baby smooth and glowing. I do tend to pair it up with physical exfoliation and the use of acid toners on alternative days, so this mask was a great addition to my routine.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask (£42 / 64g)

I will start this paragraph with a disclaimer: I am usually very weary of Instagram cult-products formulated/recommended/endorsed by influencers because I generally consider them to be a load of rubbish. Especially when we’re talking about Kim Kardashian-approved skincare! But this mask was, hands down, one of the biggest skincare surprises I experienced last year (and I am most certainly not being paid to write this). I started using it last summer as a sleeping mask, so I would only apply the same quantity as a moisturiser, which is probably why it lasted me for half a year. It’s been by go-to hydrating night cream when my skin was tired, actually jet-lagged and even dry in winter. Ingredients include exfoliating chestnut, antioxidant and brightening vitamin C, niacinamide and green tea, which all helped my skin to wake up calmer and more hydrated, with reduced blemishes.

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