Category : Skin

How To Tackle Hyperpigmentation: A Beginners Guide.

Disclaimer: By no means am I an expert, but I am on a 24/7, 365 acne battle that involves the constant upkeep of breakouts AND hyperpigmentation.

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Whilst tackling a brand new break out, I’m also tackling my old break out and whilst the spots aren’t active anymore it seems now that they have stained my face, and I’m looking more and more like a pepperoni pizza every day.

What is hyperpigmentation: literally excessive pigmentation of the skin. When your breakouts gone but the scars of your spots have become really dark and just don’t seem to budge.

So here are all my helpful tips put into a hopefully useful guide.

SPF

Maybe an obvious one, maybe not? SPF needs to become your best friend, the SPF will protect the UV rays from penetrating the skin and causing your problem areas to darken.

(Even if you don’t have hyperpigmentation WEAR YOUR SPF pls).

Vitamin C

Investing in a good vitamin C is going to help brighten your complexion naturally as it is nature’s antioxidant. It will lighten the areas that are bad without actually lightening your skin tone so Vit C for the win. (vitamin C + SPF is also the powerhouse to your skincare routine.)

Retinol

One of my faves. Retinol AKA vitamin A in its purest form enables skin cells to turn over at a faster rate than usual by essentially exfoliating the skin at a much deeper level than your scrub or mask can. Retinol will lighten the dark areas as well as help any existing AND pre-existing breakouts to cure slightly faster than usual.

*retinol guide coming soon.

Acids

Azaleic Acid, in particular, is one of my go to’s that helps to reduce inflammation and also to help fade existing dark spots as well as killing bacteria on the skin that could cause you a breakout.

Mandelic Acid & Salicylic Acid are my next best go too’s.

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Keep your skin hydrated

I don’t know if people will agree with me on this one but I find when my skin is dehydrated (I.e. after a night out the problem areas look much worse and more red. Using an oil at night will help to hydrate your skin and if you’re a particularly oily person using an oil will help to regulate your oil production.

If you feel a bit nervous about using oil using a Hyaluronic Acid is also a fantastic way to get extra moisture into the skin without feeling uncomfortable under the oil.

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I’ve linked some of the products that I use and love for hyperpigmentation below.

SPF

Medik8 – Advanced Day Protect SPF 30

Dermalogica – Dynamic Skin Recover SPF 50

Vitamin C

Dermalogica – Biolumin C

Medik8 – C Tetra

Retinol

The Ordinary – 5% Granactive Retinol

Acids

Garden of Wisdom – Azaleic Acid

Garden of Wisdom – Salicylic Acid

Garden of Wisdom – Mandelic Acid

Moisturisers / Hydrators

Lumene – 24 hour gel hydration

Dermalogica – Intensive Moisture Balance

Evolve – Hyaluronic Acid

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A New Rival For The Ordinary

I have to admit that before I was sent these products they were not products that I ever thought about incorporating into my routine. not because I didn’t want to, but because I had no idea what they could do for me. How lovely is that feeling when you find a new holy grail product, and not just one of them, but two!?

The lovely team at Victoria Health sent me over Garden of Wisdoms Azaleic Acid 10% and their Niacinimide serum. Both can be used separately but for the ultimate team pair together after toning, but before moisturiser.

The first time I used this combo was after a weekend of partying and drinking, my skin was starting become congested and I had already had some breakout zones surfacing, I thought to myself if this doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, it can’t get worse than it already is. The next morning I awoke to quite possibly one of the best complexions I’ve ever had, breakout zones were chilling and didn’t appear to be any worse, pores looking small, natural shiny hydrated skin highlight on cheek bone areas? WTF! This didn’t look like the sallow angry skin of a 22 year old out on the piss for the best part of the weekend, this looked like…BABY SKIN. And baby skin it was, what a great day. No make up needed on this Monday, skipping into the office merrily.

I left it a good while before I came back to this rescue combo as I didn’t want to aggravate my skin with too much acid, but my next venture using these products is actually right now as we speak, as an unfortunate sufferer of hyperpigmentation, when I get a spot it will stay there forever, as a small stain on the Planet of Wamby. As well as using a good vitamin C in the AM, my PM routine now features these two heroes from Garden of Wisdom. I have been using these products twice a week in congested areas and overly pigmented red areas and really the results are just bloody marvelous. Congestion is halving, discolouration is fading a lot faster than usual. Pores appear reduced with regular use, the Niacinimide hydrates whilst fading old scars whilst working together with the Azaleic Acid to gently exfoliate and keep pores clear. As an breakout prone sufferer this is the best all year round team to incorporate into your routine.

(left texture is the Azaleic acid and the one on the right that is clear is the Niacinimde)

Something which I never thought possible though would be a change in texture in my heavily scarred ‘crater face’ area on my cheeks, but these products are actually improving the texture and after each use the texture is a lot less deep into the tissue of my face.

if using these products together, or separately in routines, I would advise giving 10 – 15 minutes between layering as they both can pill, but I have tested the method and giving ample time between layers doesn’t result in any pilling.

If you are amongst the group who are phasing out your products from The Ordinary then I honestly urge you to try Garden of Wisdom as they are such a great contender for providing affordable and results giving products, whilst also being vegan and always providing cruelty free products.

*both products were gifted by PR, but opinions are my own.

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What I Use To Handle an Unscheduled Breakout

I’m going to get down to the point with this product as it pretty much ‘does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’.

Breakouts are pesky and ofttimes it can feel like you’re playing a game of Russian roulette with your skin right? Just waiting for the moment that a breakout hits. For sure there’s loads of measures you can take before a breakout hits but realistically when it happens it happens. As I have learnt over the years, breakouts can’t be cured, but you sure can control them.

This month saw the launch of two new products added to Dermalogica’s extensive range aimed at helping with blackheads and breakouts. A mask and a clearing gel. I was fortunate enough to have been sent their Breakout Clearing Booster which is apparently replacing the Overnight Clearing Gel (which I also have and love so that’s sad). The product is designed to target spots and reduce redness within just 15 minutes. It is formulated with salicylic acid and niacinamide to help clear the pore and reduce oiliness.

From my experience when I had a few morning emergencies (and picked or squeeze; cant take my own advice sometimes pls don’t judge) this little baby was a LIFE SAVER. The redness literally reduced by half, it also works really well under make up and doesn’t cause pilling which is a very big thumbs up from me! Although this worked well once I had squeezed my spots, I found once I already had one that was past the point of no return the Breakout Clearing Booster was little to no help. If I caught some pesky spots a few days before they would come up with the Booster, they would not surface.

(an AM routine of mine)

I use this product after cleansing and toning, but before moisturiser and make sure to always wear SPF, I use Dermalogica SPF 50, after use 🙂

All in all this is a powerful product from Dermalogica and it is also a great size to keep in your hand bag if you’re having an emergency. For the price point (19.99) it is well worth it and has since replaced my salicylic acid from Deciem’s – The Oridinary.

 

*gifted by brand, opinions my own.

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The Creams Knees: Dr Jackson’s 02 Night Cream

Moisturiser. One of the last steps in your routine, but one of the most essential for a variety of reasons. Moisturiser is one of the make or break products in our routines. Not every moisturiser is for every one but there is one out there for us all. Up until recently I used the same moisturiser in the morning as I did in the evening and didn’t really see much point in having any more than one moisturiser. That was until summer came and my ultra thick ‘La Roche Posay – Tolleriane Riche’, was just too richefor these humid summer days. I started using it only once a day in the evenings, but it wasn’t having the same overnight effect as it would have if it were winter, my face is super dry in winter and LRP felt like it was mosturising effectively in the winter but in these hotter months, it just felt like it was congesting me.

Dr Jacksons 02 Night Cream comes in a very stylish little black pot (the perfect travel buddy) which unscrews on the top and also comes with a little plastic spatula. What I love about Dr Jackson’s is that all products come with a mini-booklet that includes what ingredients were used and their uses. All products are completely natural. The cream is very thick (thick enough that the spatula can stand up in it) and it has a lovely fresh scent of frankincense with some citrusy undertones.

Applying this cream for the first time can be a little weird as it is so thick that it does need a second to warm up on the skin before it can be applied evenly and it does leave your face looking super white, but as it is a night cream the ghost look isn’t a problem for me at all.

Fast forward to the morning and I can actually say that after one use of this cream I was hooked (I have been using it for 6 weeks now). My skin is bright and glowing. The tone of my skin is pretty even and my face is so soft and hydrated. This cream really does feel like it nourishes your skin – which is a completely different feeling to JUST feeling moisturised. Dr Jacksons 02 Night Cream nourishes, brightens and moisturizes my skin effectively. Usually with thick creams I am always worried that they will block my pores or make me feel congested but after using this cream every night for the past 6 weeks, my skin is probably the most uncongested it has ever been. If I have had a breakout this cream hasn’t made me worried that it might be having a bad effect, in fact it feels like it calms my breakouts down. This is probably due to the Baobab seed oil which is super high in vitamin C and a great antioxidant and also contains Kigelia fruit extract which is known for its soothing anti inflammatory properties.

NOTE: I ruined my skin recently whilst staying at a friends for a few days and the only face wash she had was fragranced and had alcohol in, my skin became so dry and unhappy and OILY. Which never happens to me, I have been trying to solve the issue for 4 days now and this is helping my skins recovery so much. I’ve taken away everything in my routine and am focusing on rehydrating my poor bebe skin. This cream is so nourishing and moisturising and soothing I truly believe it is helping repair and control the oil.

Although this product was gifted to me by Dr Jackson’s, it is a product that I would definitely purchase with my own money, it is the perfect size to carry on to a plane and it is the perfect night cream for Summer, I actually cant wait to use this product in the winter too, I know it will be perfect. *heart eyes *

*Gifted by brand.

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A Love Letter To My Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask

  • A Love Letter To My Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask
  • A Love Letter To My Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask
  • A Love Letter To My Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask

Dear Happy Honey Mask,

I thought that my life was pretty fine and dandy before our fateful encounter. I thought that my weekly clay masking was really helping me out. The dryness I felt after that mask I thought was down to the exfoliation my skin had just endured for twenty minutes. I used to think “how could this be any better?”. To be honest, before you, I had a couple of masks in my life on the go, but never had I met the one. I didn’t really see you coming, but one morning, there you were standing on my doorstep, in a bed of cardboard confetti, looking all enticing with your recyclable glass pot and wooden spatula. How could I resist?

 

We snuck around for a bit so that the others didn’t get jealous and I really fell for you. Your effortless thick but grainy texture glided so effortlessly on to my skin and every time I applied you, you gave me a warm hug*, especially in my times of need.  The honey in you gave me hydration, your coix seeds gave me exfoliation, the calamine helped save my hormonal skin in my hour of need. Every time I wiped you off you had enhanced my visage. Matte but bright. Detoxified and uncongested. I don’t know what won me over the most with you Happy Honey Mask, it might be that you were hand blended with the purest intentions, or it might be that you are a real hero in this world with your contribution to saving our precious bees. Is it your family farmed Scandi honey that makes you so damn appealing? There’s definitely more than one reason why I love you and it helps that you also have an extremely wonderful family who gave life to you and introduced us. Please never leave me Happy Honey Mask, lets grow old together so that you can always keep my skin pure, and hydrated.

(happy honey is the middle texture)

Yours truly,

Wamby J

NB: If you reeeeallly want this mask use this link to get £5.00 off your first mask! https://sjoskin.com/discount/sjofamilyplanetwamby

*mask heats up upon application.

*10% of sales from the mask are donated to saving the bees.

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Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser

Lets face it, cleansing is one of the most important steps in our routines, and to be honest cleansing is a slippery slope. There are so many different skin types out there and naturally a different cleanser by different brands that can cater for each skin type. There is definitely not a ‘one size fits all option’ I mean, I wish there was but it would be virtually impossible. Some may say its extra to have a gentle morning cleanser and an evening oil cleanser, and a cream cleanser and a powder cleanser (recent discovery weird one I know) but your skin is changing everyday dependent on the weather and your hormones and that really bad product you used which is now breaking you out needs a very gentle cleanser, certainly free from parabens and fragrances.

When I heard Dr Sam was creating her own cleanser, my reaction is similar to that of God and the creation story. In awe and very curious. Could God really create the world in seven days? A similar question springs to mind with Dr Sam. Can Dr Sam really create the ultimate ‘no-faff’ AM and PM cleanser?

The lowdown: Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser has been formulated with no parabens, no fragrances and no nasties. It has been created for use in the AM and PM, you can use more or less for each meridiem. The product is clear and has the consistency of a thick gel. Dr Sams Flawless Cleanser has been created to remove make up, though Dr Sam advises that we remove our eye make up first (a lesson I have now learnt the hard way) and also effective enough to remove SPF. Massage into the face for one minute and rinse with warm water!

As a morning cleanser: This cleanser is unfortunately too strong to be used in my morning cleanse, it had no majorly bad effects at all. It left my face feeling extra clean, but, it also left my face gasping for moisture afterwards which is one of my pet peeves for a product. I wanted to love this product as a dual am/ pm cleanser but unfortunately my dehydrated skin just doesn’t need a cleanser as efficient as this one in the mornings.

As a make up remover: VERY effective, massage for one minute as recommended on the bottle to cut through make up effectively. I ALWAYS feel a need to double cleanse but with this cleanser and the one minute massaging there is no need. My face feels clean after I wash it off with tepid (not hot!) water. I use white flannels to pat my face dry after and there was no make up on them after wards which was a big win for me. If I use this as a make up remover there is literally no dryness as when I use it for a morning cleanse. Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser, did remove my eye make up quite well but it STINGS. This is my own fault as Dr Sam does advise that you remove eye make up before using it anyway, so I will be avoiding this mis hap again. *crying stinging eyes face*

As a PM cleanser with SPF: My most recent problem has actually been trying to find a cleanser, that isn’t an oil cleanser and isn’t a scrub, to effectively remove my sunscreen for the days I don’t wear any make up. This cleanser really removes the sun screen well and leaves me with bright and flawless skin. But again my face does need moisture straight after I have used it. For me this isn’t a problem at all, but already having quite dry skin it does make me worry about why it gets dry with this product.

Overall this product receives a yes from me. To have a product which is an effective make up remover and cleanser that doesn’t require a double cleanse is a big win for me. It also cuts through my SPF to remove it effectively and this is what I have been searching for in a cleanser. My skin is most of the time dehydrated which is why this product can not be used in the AM for me. I’m sure for most other people it will be fine. This product is definitely staying on my shelf this summer.

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Love At First Sight: Dr Jackson’s 05 Face And Eye Essence

Have you ever had those moments where you’re browsing the aisles of SpaceNk and would really like to buy something new for your skincare collection, but you just can’t see any space in your routine for a new item, let alone in your cupboard. You’re alternating your acid and retinoid nights and you’ve got copious amounts of acids, oils and serums already. Surely there can be no more room for a newbie. You close your mind to opportunity and your heart is now officially closed; there will be no more product loving until I have finished every last drop of every last product I own. You adopt a mantra: I will not let any more products in. I will not let anymore products in. I will not let anymo- and then you see it. The Dr Jackson stand. With its wonderfully minimal packaging and all of its beautiful products. Here I go again…

The brands remit for me is everything: cruelty free, vegan, science-led natural skin care. The founder Dr Jackson spent a lot of his time in incredible corners of the world learning about natural ingredients from tribes, shamans and healers, so it’s no wonder that the products mirror this expert knowledge and are top of the range.

I picked up the 05 Face and Eye Essence and had already fallen in love by the time I had woken up the next day (BIG statement). The first thing that I really like about this product is that it came with a leaflet which listed all the ingredients and why they have been used in the product. Secondly it came with a spatula, which makes so much sense as all the ingredients are natural and some are organic, the product would spoil over time if bacteria from the skin or fingers were to get in. My third love about this product is that it is multifunctional: it is an eye and face essence, can be used on more humid days as a moisturiser, amazing make up primer (recent discovery) or lovely as a cool down step after the gym.

As soon as you open Dr Jackson’s 05 Face and eye essence you are taken to another place by the scent, which is light and citrusy yet mildly floral. The texture is a very light water based gel. To apply on the skin it has an instant cooling effect and you can feel the aloe, baobab and chamomile all working together to give you a wonderful boost. It dries matte, but leaves a lovely sheen and skin appears visibly brighter, which you can thank the vitamin c for. When used at night, my skin GLOWS the next day. When I use this after the gym (and have to get back to office afterwards) it really does help to minimise my redness and provide moisture. I have tried using this as a primer and honestly my face looks like it has an IRL filter on it. Having been using this product for a number of weeks now my skin is visibly brighter and my complexion is very even. I have had a few breakouts and I feel like this is a product I don’t need to stop using during a breakout and helps me to control it. The only thing I do not use this product for is my eyes, I used it straight out of the shower on my eyes only and was met with a stinging sensation but quickly got over that and this means there is more for my face so happy days!

Dr Jacksons 05 Face and Eye essence is a little on the pricier side but a little product really does go a long way. The product has been heavily researched (as has the whole range) and I have been noticing the benefits over the month I have been using it. Using an essence was the key thing I was missing and I can’t wait to see how much this product continues to benefit me over the next few months and I am dying to try more of their range!

 

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Lixir: Universal Emulsion

Life is hard enough without having to think about your skin care routine, let alone layering (Korean Beauty 7 step routines spring to mind). Picture this: you’re in a rush, you have to be out the door ASAP but your make ups not done, and you haven’t put on your HA, Moisturiser, SPF or Primer…FML. I may be able to solve your problem, it’s called: Universal Emulsion by Lixir (yes I am going to keep going until I own and review every Lixir product. Just letting my bank account chill for a second).

I absolutely love this brand and everything it stands for. Colette Haydon has really left her mark on me since I watched her speaking at the Refinery 29 Skin Deep Event and the Electrogel Cleanser has already made its way into my holy grail paradise.

The amazing thing about the whole Lixir range is that each product is multi-functional. Such as the Electrogel Cleanser, (read here).

The Universal Emulsion acts as a day cream, night cream and a primer. It also has a natural SPF of 10, I say natural because most other moisturisers with SPF in have added sunscreens in them and Lixir have specifically avoided doing this, and so can be used before bed.

The scent is a natural rose scent infused with Ylang Ylang, it is not unpleasant but kind of reminds me of play dough. The consistency is not as thick as the cleanser but is similar to a very thin gel.  I have used this cream in each recommended way to give you guys an honest review.

As a day cream:AMAZING, especially for these humid summer days we’re having in London. The cream is so lightweight and dries on slightly matte, but my skin also looks kind of dewy. My skin is always soft to touch. It does the trick for day time moisturising. Even though it has a natural SPF of 10 in it I still use SPF of 30 or over on my face, that is just my preference.

As a primer:I wasn’t really sure what to expect using this as a primer as I have my go-tos and never thought I would like it. I put using this off for a really long time, but sadly I was in the wrong and this is so nice underneath my make up. It gives a really nice natural dewy look without being shiny and does not make your make up face feel too thick.

 

As a night cream:for me this cream wasn’t really moisturising enough to be my night cream, I have fairly dry skin and my skin really needs that extra boost at night, so this alone for me was not enough. When I paired this with an oil it provided a lovely hydration but I wont be using as a night cream only as the above.

This cream is perfect for the day time in summer and I would highly recommend this cream as a primer AND day cream. If you have drier skin like mine this may not be ideal as your night cream but what works for me may be totally different for your skin. It is slightly on the pricier side but when you are able to use this product in 3 different ways then you really do get your bang for your buck. Available at: Liberty of London.

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Why I Have a Love / Hate Relationship With This Toner

Back again with the product reviews! I love reviewing individual products as I find it so interesting to compare my experiences with others’ and also I tend to go on a tangent if I review multiple items in one go (I will post a summer lip loves soon though so stay posted!).

We have all read raving reviews about the Pixi Glow Tonic and how fantastic it is as a toner. So many success stories of people waking up to the best skin of their life everyday. But realistically £20.00 for a toner is a bit drastic. Especially if you have never used a toner before. My scepticism usually sets in. Surely it’s just glorified water? This wasmy view on toners, but since the Korean skin market has started booming, I can see why toners are effective, they ensure that any extra dirt on your face has been removed and can also give you a little boost of hydration, exfoliation or nutrients depending on which toner you have gone for.

I may have mislead you with my opening paragraph, but, this post is not actually about the Pixi Glow Tonic at all, today I am talking about The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toner 7%.I have very mixed emotions about this toner, I really wanted to love it (just as I have loved pretty much everything I buy from this company) but I just can’t find a place for it in my heart or bathroom cabinet. The positive about this toner is that is has a very low price point (as do the majority of The Ordinary’s products) and I can’t say my time with it has been all bad, but has just required a bit of figuring out.

What I liked from the get go is that the packaging comes with 2 different caps, one is a flat one so you can transport the bottle without having to worry about spillages. The second cap is a squeezy thingy (not sure of the word, if you know please hmu). The product is a water like consistency and kind of smells like cucumbers that have been made from chemicals? IDK. I squeeze it out onto the pads and wipe all over my face evenly (obvs avoiding the eye area) and not always but on some occasions experienced a mild stinging sensation, which wasn’t unpleasant, but sometimes catching me unawares, especially as the product is infused with pepper berry and aloe vera which are meant to have cooling properties on the skin. I would also just like to add I don’t have sensitive skin either…

Lets fast forward 9 hours to the morning when I wake up and runs to *look in mirror for that overnight glow up* drum roll…voi la; skin has not visibly changed. BUT it does feel very smooth, probably thanks to the exfoliating factors in the toner. And so after this is the first-time-and-I-didn’t-love-it let down, I dabbled with this product. Each time I was appreciating the smoothness of my face but never quite getting that full glow.

I decided to put this into a routine, and use it progressively more and started with every two days, three times a week. And after this first week of continued use and an actual routine, I started to love this product. I could finally see the results of the glow and was feeling a bit smug that I hadn’t had to pay £20.00 to do so *mini high five*. But it was after the second consecutive week of using this product in a routine that I noticed that my face wasn’t really glowing anymore but was getting pretty dry. I discontinued the routine to let my face have break and to get moisturised again but then I was back to square one in the routine and the one time I used it, the product did not do very much. I didn’t want to keep using it because then my face would become dry! Vicious cycle L

For me I won’t be buying this product again, but will definitely be investing in the Pixi Glow Tonic to make a comparison and see if it’s just my skin that can’t handle GlycolicAacid. You can see why I have a love/hate relationship with this product and just because it’s not my favourite, doesn’t mean that it won’t be yours. At this price point it is definitely worth giving it a try.

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Lixir: Electrogel Cleanser

In recent weeks I have gone from never using a face mask (post here) to now having two! The mask in question today is actually a cleanser, which is actually a make up remover but its actually a mask!?

I know what you’re thinking after hearing this information, does it actually work?

Yes people, it really does, I want to introduce you to Lixirskin by Collette Haydon. I may be a little late to the party, but there is nothing from holding me back on talking about this wonderful little cleansing, make up removing, masking heaven, which is cleverly named: ‘Electrogel Cleanser’ the name alone does not sound like your average cleanser, and this is because Haydon had decided she didn’t want to make just another cleanser, she wanted to experiment a little to give people something different that works. She also made some of the most instagrammable packaging of all time, millennial heaven is my most accurate description!

The cleanser is called so as it contains a small negative charge to attract the dirt/grime (or wtevs accumulated on your face after a long ass day of living in the world), which is actually positively charged (learning while pampering) and you just rinse it off. The scent is light and fragrant, think soothing sage mixed with calming lavender. The texture is creamy and weightless. The cleanse, when used correctly, is deep and penetrates beneath the epidermis to clear out the pores. It can also be used as a make up remover (YES AS WELL AS A MASK AND A CLEANSER) it breaks down the make up so well and doesn’t sting the eyes. If used as a mask, just massage into dry skin, leave for three minutes and then rinse (with use of wash cloth), it leaves the face looking mighty polished and clean. Or you could just use it as a cleanser by massaging into slightly damp skin and rinsing off well.

This cleanser has been incorporated into my evening routine after I have taken my make up off. I would love to use it every day as a make up remover but as you only get 100ml for £25.00 this cleanser/ mask is a ‘special occasion’ kind of cleanser for me and will definitely will be repurchase product to live on my shelf for a long time.

This is a great one for you to try I am extremely glad I found this cleanser as it does three jobs all in one, beautifully packaged tube.

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