The three masks you need

A few years go, masks were something that I would underestimate. Let me tell you, they’re a game changer. I use masks every week, usually on sundays, and they do make a noticeable difference. Here are the three types of masks I believe you should have on your beauty shelf.

I own, and I think it’s the perfect combination, a cleansing mask, an exfoliating mask, and a hydrating mask. And I use them in that order.

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So first thing first, I cleanse my face with a balm cleanser, or a cream cleanser to prep the skin. Then, masking time.

  1. Cleansing mask. I like to use something that’s clay based, because I have combination skin, and I feel like it acts almost as a deep cleanse. This Green Clay Cattier one is so good, and so cheap. I buy it in french pharmacie, it costs around 4 euros for a huge tub ! It’s a basic mask in the sense that it claims what it does, and clay is the focus in the composition. If you can’t find it, REN does a really good cleanser, that I just leave on the skin for 10 minutes, or, they have the mask version of this cleanser, that I’ve never tried, but sounds good as well.
  2. Exfoliating mask. I owned and finished the REN Glycol Lactic Acid Renewal mask, which is lovely and gentle, but maybe a tad too gentle, because the results were not as good as I hoped. Instead, I once splurged on the Tata Harper Resurfacing mask, and I do not regret it. I don’t leave it on for more than 10 minutes though because of how sensitive my skin is. But It definitely made a big difference on my skin’s texture and radiance.
  3. Hydrating Mask. I, sometimes, depending on what I feel my skin needs, use a hydrating mask after all of these steps. If I don’t, I apply Aesop Parsley Seed Oil. Anyways, the hydrating masks I really love are, the Avène Soothing Moisture mask. Great if your skin is reacting to something, or just as a simple, effective, cheap hydrating mask. What annoys me though, is that the second ingredient is mineral oil. I don’t like this ingredient, because it basically is a cheap ingredient that does nothing for your skin, more on that on Caroline Hirons’s blog. But, this mask really calms my face, and the skin seems to drink it up. It’s cheap, so if you’re on a budget, why not. The other one I use is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask. Rich and very hydrating, I leave it on for hours. You could sleep in it even, which I do from time to time. It smells good and leaves the skin feeling balanced, nourrished and plumped. Gorgeous !

Do you even use masks ? Or is it something you never understood the utility of ?

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Facial Oils : Why, how and which ones ?

fullsizeoutput_2217DSC_0035I have been using oils at night on my face for as long as I can remember. When I first got into skincare, I was immediately drawn to them because of how luxurious they sounded.

WHY

I have combination/dehydrated skin. My t-zone sometimes gets oily so why would I you might think ? My skin truly benefits from the use of face oils. First I have to say I use them at night because I have combination skin. If I were to apply an oil during the day, it would be too much and probably sit on my skin. But in the evening, it calms my skin down, nourishes it which tends to make my face product less sebum and helps it recover from any reaction… i.e if I’ve tested too many different products which I’m often guilty of, or simply had a reaction because my skin’s extremely sensitive.

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HOW

I cleanse my face, spray thermal water, sometimes use an acid exfoliant (thought I haven’t lately because it’s too much for my skin) and then, take whatever oil I’m using, apply a few drops in the palm of my hands, and rub that on, gently. Here’s the secret : I have recently come across for the second time (can’t believe I forgot the first time I saw this), a video of Caroline Hirons explaining how to massage your face with an oil. I have been doing this technique for a few days now, and it has simply changed the way my skin look when I wakeup. I’ve talked about Caroline Hirons before, she’s simply the queen of skin. Her blog and videos are no non-sense, no bullshit, you will learn from her, I know I have ! Watch this, and do it tonight, and go thank her !

Which Ones

The first one I got, that I should repurchase quite soon, is the Paï Roseship BioRegenerate Oil. I would highly recommend this if you have sensitive skin, that tends to take ages to heal and recover from spots and scars. But Paï says it works on all skin-type, so honestly, if you want to try a face oil, this could be it ! The smell is quite intriguing but in a nice way. The texture is lush, and it absorbs really quickly into the skin. It’s also a good yet reasonably priced product, and you really need the tiniest amount.

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Next up, Clarins. Clarins is a brand that I deeply trust and I haven’t yet come across a product of theirs I don’t absolutely adore. So, there’s that. Their oils, are no exceptions. Story time : I, when cleaning my bathroom last week, smashed a full bottle of the Lotus Oil on the floor. My bathroom floor’s now looking very hydrated and plumped… Anyways, the two face oils I’ve tried (they have three in total) worked wonders. I alternate between the Lotus Oil which is targeted towards “Oily/Combination skins”. Clarins says “this face oil is Clarins’ exclusive blend of Rosemary, Geranium and Lotus extracts, which purify the skin, tighten pores and refine skin texture. Hazelnut Oil softens, soothes and seals in moisture to prevent fine lines and moisture loss.” I could not have said it better myself. Whenever I’m a bit hesitant on what to use if my face’s erratic, I slather my face in this and it instantly feels happier.

The other one I use, less often nowadays because my skin’s more in need of the Lotus one, is the Blue Orchid. The smell of this one is to die for. It is soothing, hydrating, and helps fight fine lines.

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The last one, is a recent discovery. A friend gave this to me, and thought it’s not as pleasant to use as the ones I already mentioned, it’s lovely enough. It is the Overnight Detox Oil by Caudalie, aimed to detoxify and regenerate the skin. The texture is very light, which you might like if you’re scared of oils (but honestly, don’t be).

A similar one that I’ve been enjoying for years now, is the Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant facial treatment. It’s thicker, and gives you a little more playtime if you want to really massage your face. It’s quite intense so I would not use it every night, whereas I do use the others every night, not at the same time of course !

So, there you have it ! I would never be without a face oil, they’re a true game-changer, and they add that little something to the actual application of products. The smells, the textures are really comforting and luxurious, making it nicer to actually apply skincare when all you ca think about is your bed…

Do you use face oils ? Would you be kind enough to share which ones ? I’m always up for trying a new one !

 

 

“Stick to a routine” they say. “Try everything under the sun” I thought.

You may know I’ve had skin issues for the past few months and I seem to have found products which do not make my skin angry. I now understand that my skin is very sensitive, which means that fragranced, rich or acids based exfoliating products make it react.

I think I may have had too much fun trying out many different products at the same time. “Stick to a routine” they say. “Try everything under the sun” I thought.

Now, my skincare “routine” is not the most exciting, but who cares ? I suppose I liked to have fancy serums or cheap-ish amazing moisturizers, but my skin was telling me it was not happy, I just would not listen for the sake of staying in the loop I guess. My skin’s a bit snob…

I was always shit at science in school, but suddenly my bathroom became my lab, and I could not have been happier to play the scientist.

Skincare is a magical perspective to me. It can change how you face feels, fights the outside, repairs itself at night and not like makeup, you have to wait days, months to see a difference. It’s like watching a seed grow into a flower, takes time. I have to admit that I felt great joy experimenting with products. I was always shit at science in school, but suddenly my bathroom became my lab, and I could not have been happier to play the scientist.

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But hey, guess what ? I was a shitty scientist. My skin was good, and I wanted it to look even better. I had no spots, but dark circles, what tackles that ? I had a good skin texture, but lines on my forehead, was there an acid that would make a difference ? My skin was not dehydrated but a bit grey, was there a serum that could help ?

Also, in my defense, there is a product for pretty much anything. My curiosity had no limits, because the beauty industry seemed almost limitless. Consequently, my skin reacted. More redness, some areas were a bit itchy, I thought I had allergies. I then realized seborrheic dermatitis was the main issue and so I had to give my skin a rest. More importantly, I had to be consistent with the products I was using. Same serum morning and night ? Had no other choice. If I’d change one (trust me, I did), it would completely freak out again.

So here am I, telling you all about how I stick to a strict skincare regime… Now, let me tell you about this new serum I tried.

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I KNOW.

After finishing my Avène Serum, I came across this one on Asos. I like the brand Hylamide, it’s part of the Deciem company, which also owns the Ordinary.

The name “sensitive fix” appealed to me, and I simply trusted the brand. Verdict is in : I love this serum. I use it morning and night after toning, it has massively helped the sensitivity of my skin. Paired with the Ducray moisturizer it is the skincare routine made of dreams. The serum is light, non fragranced, is absorbed really quickly by the skin, and leaves it feeling calm, protected. Also, it’s around 22 euros which is a very decent price to me, though I think I might run out soon and only got it a few weeks ago. Will update you on that !

I do have learned my lesson though. I now understand and take in consideration that I have sensitive skin, and that if I want to include a new product, I need to be very cautious, read the ingredients list, incorporate one new product at a time, and little by little…  Won’t be playing scientist in the bathroom for a while, my skin’s never been so relieved, and so much so it has stopped being snob !

 

 

Anatomy of a skin crisis

A few months ago I got a reaction on my forehead. Picture very angry skin, super irritated and extremely sensitive. Yes. Was joyful. It came back a month later, and basically now every other week my skin, well on my forehead only (and sometimes around my nose), is majorly freaking out, and I have no idea why.

First, I stopped all the lovely, beautiful, chic and somewhat expensive serums.

My GP suggested it could be seborrheic dermatitis. I’ve been trying out this Ducray cream, that seems to help, but I might actually have to just book an appointment with my dermatologist but it takes ages here in France to get one. 

So in the meantime, I have tried to save my skin. I will however, keep you updated if I make any major discovery related to the issue my skin seems to be having !

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Back to basics

First, I stopped all the lovely, beautiful, chic and somewhat expensive serums. I thought it might be best to go fragrance free in my skincare and come back to basics. We are very lucky us french, to find the brand Avène in every pharmacy. Though if you live in the UK, La Roche Posay is a very similar brand, brilliant as well.

Avène basically covers every skin condition. Just for a little bit of background, it is a cult brand, based on the use of thermal water which Avène itself describes as “a natural soothing source clinically shown by over 150 studies to soothe, soften and calm the skin.”

There’s a range for very sensitive skin with sterile products. I thought it would be best to be ultra safe with my cleanser and moisturizer. It helped a lot, now I can calm my skin down very easily when it’s irritated.

Also, anecdotic but I stopped to put makeup on my forehead. I only wear minimal makeup anyway so I’m pretty sure only I can see it… And I don’t even care if anyone can to be honest, I have to save my forehead people !

So here’s what I do now, not just when there’s a crisis, but every day since I’ve had this major reaction that keeps coming back.

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Morning 

Cleanse : when in crisis Avène Tolérance Extrême Lotion, if not, the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser which is very gentle as well.

Tone : Avène Thermal Water or Serozinc by La Roche Posay

Moisturize : Avène skin recovery cream

Night

First cleanse : I just bought the cleanser Caroline Hirons recommends for intolerant skins, the very famous Take The Day Off cleansing balm by Clinique. I absolutely love it. It’s not fragranced which surprisingly does not make it less joyful because the consistency is perfect, and it leaves the skin extra clean and soft. I think it is going to be my n°1 cleansing balm now.

Second cleanse : back at it with the Avène Tolérance Extrême Lotion.

If I travel, I’d only bring this Avène Lotion, and cleanse twice with it.

Tone and moisturize steps are also the same as the morning ones.

Voilà ! Hope it’ll help some of you.

What do you do when your skin is angry and you can’t figure out why ?