Cos RX- AHA BHA Toner – Breakout Killer!

As I have probably mentioned and cribbed about here, I have intensely sensitive, acne-prone – oily skin. And if you add hormonal acne to the mix – my skin is a mountainous paradise. Or was, actually! Ever since I went on the pill – it became better. But now that I am off the pill, I started to get a pimple or two around the time of the month. And I was scared that this would turn into a catastrophe!

But it did not.

Infact, my other pimple-type spots reduced and went away! And I realized that I only had these problems when I missed the most critical step (to me now!!) in my skincare routine. The toner – to be specific, the COS RX AHA BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner.

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It was an impulse purchase – on Cult Beauty. What sealed the deal was that it was reasonably priced and had both AHA and BHA to treat acne prone skin. And it came in a spray- which I like over the ones you have to spill onto a cotton pad. Mostly its not that effective because the pad soaks it all up!

Now, a bit on AHA and BHA. AHA is what you need to exfoliate the dead skin on top. This will help in reducing texture and marks of previous pimples. BHA is what you need to clean the inside of the skin – pores and gunk and this reduces your chances of breakouts in the first place. AHA just cleans and rejuvenates the op layer to reveal glowing skin.

This product is not only cheap and a good bang for your buck, it is actually beautiful. The packaging is very nice – plastic bottle with a spray. And the spray is good, not that misty that most of it gets lost in the air. I just spray it on my face after I have cleansed it and mostly around my jawline and cheeks because that is where I breakout the most. Then with clean hands I spread it and pat it into my face where I have pores, pimple prone areas. Patting is key. Follow it up with SKII Essence and my Mizon Repair Cream (which you should use when your face is a bit wet – so you use less and it is not heavy and actually works).

My skin is clear as of now. Pores have reduced and there are no new pimples coming out. Highly recommend for people sharing my skin type. You cannot beat the price and the benefits of this!

-xo

 

Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm <3

I know I have oily acne prone skin and using a heavy balm cleanser is the last thing I should be doing, but trust me, it works. Choosing a good cleanser is important and it depends on preference – facewash/creme (without or with a face cleansing tool), cleansing oil, or the cleansing balm with muslin cloth. My favourite is the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. I ordered it from Cult Beauty in a set of 150gms which came with 3 Emma Hardie wash cloths as well.

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The three jars I got were 50 gms each, in a plasic packaging so I was not worried about them breaking apart. I absolutely and utterly HATE the lids. After 2 weeks of using my first jar, the lid came apart. The golden shiny part of the lid is actually a foiled insert. The plastic of the lid will crack, no matter what you do to prevent it. The insert will then keep getting stuck or popping out and the foil goes EVERYWHERE in chunks. It does not even come off your hands that easily. The packing is a horror.

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The product though, absolutely beautiful and the best in my opinion. I should compose sonnets on it, but I suck at poetry. The texture is soft and slightly gritty. You do feel little gritty lumps when you massage it in, but they are not harsh at all. The colour is a light yellow and the scent is a divine moringa- which is similar to the cleasning Nip+Fab Oil, but unlike that, this does not sting the eyes or cloud them over. The balm melts into a beautiful oil as you rub it onto your face. I had read that the balm is called a sculpting balm because it is also meant to be used as a facial massage balm and is quite anti-ageing and firming.

At present this is what I have left. I have finished all 3 jars I had, and am going to order more!

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This is my relaxing therapy. I apply it directly onto dry skin. After rubbing it in for a minute or two, I take a muslin cloth under hot water, wring it out and then lay it over my face. That way my pores open and the balm can deep clean. I massage the balm a little once again and then again with a warm damp muslim cloth, remove it off. It comes off pretty easily; there is no residue or oily layer. My skin feels clean, hydrated and yet not oily.

I generally use the balm after my micellar water, so the makeup (or what little I wear) has already come off. If I have makeup on, I will do this step on my second cleanse so that I do not reclog my pores. It gives the skin a wonderful glow and removes all traces of makeup. Dry skinned people I know also love it, so basically it suits all skin types.

No matter your skin type, age, whether you wear make up or not or whatever, cleansing the face is so important. In fact, if you skip or don’t do it properly, your skin suffers and it shows. If you want to try a cleansing balm, or a new method to treat your skin, give the EH Cleansing Balm a go.

-xo

 

My Fave Caudalie Serum

You know you love a product when you finish the bottle and throw it away (not remembering to blog about it) and hunt down the teeny sample you got the other week, just to tide you over! That is exactly what happened with my Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti Wrinkle Defense Serum.

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Long name, but this is so good!! I ordered it on a whim from Cult Beauty, because even though it is in Boots, it’s a hyped up price which I am not willing to pay. My oily acne prone sensitive skin loves it, and it never makes me breakout. Also, my skin texture has improved a lot since I have been using it. If I give it a break, I actually miss using it.

I flicked the image from Lookfantastic.com, because I don’t have the bottle, but here’s what this looks like.

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The bottle is a dark green glass with a dropper to dispense the product. I needed only about 3 to 4 drops for my entire face and neck. This serum is milky white and has a slight scent, native to Caudalie in it. It is definitely not overpowering.

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The texture is slightly viscous and tacky. Once you rub it into your facial skin, it spreads nicely and sinks in without leaving a trace. I feel it does have a little mattifying effect. You can feel the hydration it provides without making you feel like an oil slick.

In the morning and at night, regardless of whether I do wear makeup or not, after I wash my face and tone, I either go for this or my SKII Serum. I find I do not have to use a lot of moisturizer as it is a very hydrating serum and often I even skip that part. It does not clog my pores or cause irritation or bumps.

I will say that it makes my facial skin plump and healthy looking after continued use. My skin loses that dull sallow look and feels refreshed. My under-eye fine lines do not appear so deep and my skin looks firmer. If you use it diligently, I am sure you will see the results too.

A definite repurchase for me, always. And an even more definite recommendation.

-xo

Nip+Fab Daily Glycolic Pads are A+ !

I may not have having a breakout currently. But I have evidences of their historical, unwanted presence in the form of scars and bumps on my face. That is not cute. I have to use a BB Cream to even my skintone out, but still, I would rather be makeup free!!!

I have read about the benefits of Glycolic acid and have recently purchased Alpha-H but till that comes, I have been using the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Cleansing pads that I ordered from ASOS when they had a sale. They were pretty affordable and were delivered within a week to UAE which is fast!

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The container is a plastic which houses the 60 exfoliating cleansing pads, pre-soaked in their broth which as per package contains a number of good things for the skin. Quite good for travel and less messy for me.

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I have been enjoying using them as a toner after my morning face wash or after I have done my makeup removal to get off any residue. I do avoid the eye area as per usual. They do not sting, just slightly tingle and leave the face hydrated as opposed to dry and tight. It may be because of the hyaluronic component. Because I have oily skin, it does tend to feel heavy after a while – so as soon as that happens I just splash water on my face and then pat dry and follow up with a serum.

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This is a good product. I have not reacted from it and it has been keeping things in balance. It also effectivly removes residual makeup and dirt which is so handly on the go. The pads that are presoaked are just the right degree of soaked – not dripping and not dry as well. Their texture is plain on one side and bumped on the other to exfoliate as you rub it on the skin.

As a budget buy, very good. Dry skinned people will not feel their skin is stripped but if you are oily – maybe you will need to do a post water-splashing.

-x0

Holiday Skin Saviour – The Problem Solver!

It was the season of breaks from work, family coming over, parties and over indulging..and the time of the month combined with the stress of how to enjoy and do everything at the same time. It was fun, no seriously! I had a blast and what was a bonus was that my skin did not breakout as much as it normally would have – which was the main reason I could let go and enjoy more. I did not even use that much foundation this time – only a BB cream.

The credit for this goes to the May Lindstrom Problem Solver mud mask. It is highly recommended on Beautylish and Cult Beauty and even Tati gave it a rave review. The only thing upsetting about this is the price tag – 90USD and that made me weep a bit while I was ordering it. Luckily, the guys at Cult Beauty somehow sent me two separate packages of this –  I have no idea how!! So now, I have a backup when my current one runs out – after a decade I suppose!

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The reason why I finally gave in was that the price versus quantity was a good ratio. Also, it has natural ingredients and comes in a powder form and won’t go bad or dry down like, say, the GlamGlow masks which are more expensive if you look at the price per quantity ratio. Let me give you the low down below:

Packaging wise it is luxurious. It comes in a plain black cardboard box and inside you have the heavy glass bottle with the lid. Feels sturdy but I will not be dropping it anytime soon! The only bummer I have is – it should have come with a scoop since it is a pain sometimes to measure out the powder and tilting the jar is a disaster of its own. I have put a small scooper there for this purpose.

The whiff that you get when you open the jar is a mix of cinnamon, clove, a hint of cocoa and some spiciness. It is a heating mask so I guess there is a bit of spiciness involved. The powder looks like dry clay but the fragrance is quite natural and not artificial.

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To use, well here is where I differ from the rest of the negative reviews. I find it quite simple and not messy at all. You scoop a teaspoon full of this into a ceramic bowl / glass jar. Add a little bit of water at a time and mix with a brush ( I use the pointed foundation brush from Real Techniques). It WILL froth up and become a bit foamy and that is when you spread it all over your face and for me I take it down the neck as well.

They say to keep it on the face for 40 minutes, and I try to do that but if I am in a hurry, I wash it off after 20 minutes or when it is dry. It comes off very easily with water and the particles make it a bit scrubby too! It does make the sink messy but not like the mask sticks. It washes off easily.

When you apply it, it does turn warm and on some days the stinging is intense but it does diminish after a few minutes or so. Skin feels very smooth and bumps are reduced. It gives the skin a flushed healthy look. If you have dry skin just follow it up with a nice cream and you should be fine. Over a few days of usage (I use it every other day if I am expecting a breakout and use half the amount I would usually go for) pimples dry out, pores appear tight and clean and even blackheads are reduced.

For me this mask is a win and anyone who wants to invest in skincare should give it a try!

-xo

Wei, my pimples are gone!

I am back to being “punny” if you have noticed, and if it was an eyesore – sorry, I just couldn’t help it.

I have had a massive adult acne breakout since few months and it just wouldn’t clear up. I ended up ordering several masks and creams to combat it, but it would again start after a few days. Whilst roaming on CultBeauty a few weeks back, while deciding whether May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver was a good deal or not (I did order it by the way!), I saw these capsule masks from Wei. I usually hate jar masks (Hello, GlamGlow and Sephora Mud Mask!) because you have to keep them open while you apply them, you have to find a spatula and scoop them out or use fingers and it just gets too tiring, and forget travelling- buy travel sizes additionally for that or decant. I have done it all the time, but I needed a break. And these Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask capsules from Wei sounded like just what I had asked for.

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The packaging is a clear plastic frosted sleeve with designs on it which houses the 8 capsules of the mask and a plastic haired soft brush (it’s a good one, bonus!). I find that you don’t really need one full capsule for the face, unless you are laying it very thick and covering your neck as well. I can get about 3 uses out of each and I just store the capsule with a small weight on top, so the mask does’t dry out (which it doesn’t actually).

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The scent is mild, not artificial and does not bother me. The mask feels cool when you apply it, goes on very smooth and dries down around the 15 minute mark for me. I tend to keep it on my face longer and then wipe it off with a warm-water soaked faced towel. It also does not make the skin feel very tight and I only need a light serum for the night. If you have dry skin, you might feel the need to put on a thicker lotion.

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Fair warning to sensitive skin types: It burns when you first put it on your face – not sting, but burns and the feeling lasts for a good 2 – 3 minutes. For me I can tolerate it by grinding my teeth and my face is slightly sensitive and red afterwards (but that may be due to the towel-wiping thing as well). It comes naturally after using 4 pods till now, so I suppose I am used to it in a way. The mask does not dry tight/hard or flaky/crusty and there is no mess involved. The mask  dries down to a red-brown colour, if that is a thing you are curious about. You can even use this as a spot treatment and I find that it works wonders in that aspect too! It’s good for travel as you can pack one or two capsules and be good to go and the brush will fit in your makeup/toiletry bag.

It has dried out my active acne so well. I use it alternate nights as a spot treatment and once a week as a full face and neck mask. If you can get past the sting, it is beyond wonderful. My pores have cleaned out noticeably, texture has gone down and my pimples dry out the morning after I apply this as a spot treatment. So so good! If you are not willing to only commit to this, they do have a trial pack with three types which I may order next. Every pack comes with a brush which is so darn handy because you can apply it so well with the brush.

I highly recommend this mask for anyone who is dealing with acne and wants to clear it up, or likes a good clay mask which is highly purifying.

-xo

 

Jeju Wipes- Face Shop

My  adult acne battle is still continuing at full force. The thing is, I have noticed that recently I have had no more new “friends” pop up. What I had also has gone down and well, the only thing that remains on my face now are the remanents. I couldn’t be more pleased about it, and more scared to jinx myself.

The only things I changed was adding the Wei Detoxifying Masks and replaced my Pixi toner with The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Cleansing wipes. I purchased them at the The Face Shop in Al Wahda Mall for 60 AED a pack (roughly more than 1 AED a wipe if you want to break down the cost). wip1.jpg

I read really good things about this range and I thought, well it would not hurt to try at this point. And it worked!

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The way I have been using it is as my last step in skin care. I wash my face before sleeping and then wipe it all over my face – going over the areas where I am prone to breaking out couple times over and then letting it absorb into the skin. If I feel too dry, I might use a bit of SKII Essence or Clarins Lotus Oil and go to sleep. If I don’t use it the wipes the night, I will just use either one of the Lotus Oil or the SKII Essence. In the morning I will clean my face and again go over with the wipe on my face. I haven’t used sunscreen in ages because that also I think causes me to erupt like a volcano. The wipes are well soaked but they don’t sting at all even on raw pimples. They also don’t dry out your skin like a prune. I have used them around my eyes carefully and they have not agitated the skin. If you aren’t careful, I am sure they would sting.

If you have not tried them before, try them. They might just work for you too!

-xo