Exfoliation Labels: not always explicit

So most of us know about exfoliation which is a more vigorous cleansing to not only remove whatever dirt and excess oil but also shed a few more skin cells and make skin feel and appear smoother. Some of us probably do not do this and some probably over do it for whatever reason. I would suggest that if you do, please be gentle. The effect can be pretty amazing but overdo it and the results can be unpleasant.

With facial exfoliators, it seems that the higher the price points, the more reluctant the brands use the term “exfoliate”. This can be observed in many chemical exfoliants. I’ve linked an example for each term and may one day review them here.

For the mechanical ones which range from gritty particles to smoother and gentle and almost non-existent particles, the terms Scrub, Exfoliator (or some similar variation), PolishBuffing and may be used in the description. In German, “Peeling” is often commonly used, so tada! one knows what it does.

Chemical exfoliants often include ingredients like glycolic acid, salicylic acid and certain fruit enzymes. Incidentally, these exfoliating ingredients can also be found in masks and moisturisers (more often in night creams). Examples of terms used are peel, brightening (I find this rather annoying for some reason), renewal, rejuvenating, refining, resurfacing, refinish (peculiar this one), smoothing, (micro)dermabrasion and the list does go on.

So, check you are only using one of such and if you use a muslin cloth or face sponge regularly, you probably don’t even need such products. Thankfully, body exfoliants often have scrub included in the name so you can’t go wrong.

Happy Peelings!


More than necessary







“A little goes a long way” a common excuse for justifying expensive products. My first “pricey” purchase was a Face wash from The Body Shop and I used it for eight months with daily use. I literally used the smallest amount to clean my face and found that I had enough lather and didn’t have to rinse as much. Hurrah! for a water saving measure.

I now find that with most decent products, a little does go a long way for many products from your personal grooming items to washing the sink. Toothpaste, shampoo, moisturiser, laundry detergent, whatever it is; you may be using far more than necessary per use.

Try halving the amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush, for the most part, it’s the strength applied that really cleans your teeth and tongue. A 100ml toothpaste will last a year with twice daily use and still no cavities.

Loofahs and sponges are great for working up lather so you use a lot less soap or body wash each time.

Restrain from filling your entire palm with shampoo and you’ll see that your hair will still be squeaky clean 😉

Flash Review: New Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer

Image courtesy of http://www.fr.clinique.com

Last week I picked up a sample of Clinique’s new night moisturiser. I tend to browse beauty counters for interesting items and take samples offered to try. So, this one was given to me by a nice sales person after we established that I was not interested in the brand’s makeup items.

The product claims to instantly improve skin texture and make skin radiant after just one night. Naturally,  I am sceptical of such bold claims but I like many of Clinique’s products (except the toners) but decided to give it a go. I took the sample sachet which was enough for a week’s use.

I had a quick glance at the ingredients list and in addition to the humectants and slip agents to moisturise and give a smooth feeling, I remember seeing salicylic acid. This would explain the radiance claims because salicylic acid helps the skin shed more to reveal newer skin cells and can kill bacteria in pores. Thus, it shouldn’t block pores and may in fact help get rid of any blocked pores on skin.

I might buy the full sized product when I need a new night cream but would probably not use it daily (every other night perhaps) since I don’t have blocked pores and daily use of a chemical exfoliant and anti-bacterial may not do me any favours.

Verdict: It’s a great night moisturiser if you have dry skin and blocked pores. It’s rich but does not feel overly greasy and its fragrance free.

Reviewing Travel beauty

I was out-of town this weekend and decided to share what my wash bag contained. Unlike others, I often try out new products particularly if they come in handy sizes. I travel light on short trips as I don’t particularly want to haul unnecessary bits and bobs unless they are presents 🙂

So, a Clinique cosmetics bag I got years ago, served the purpose and fits all I needed besides a mini toothbrush and toothpaste which were in another cosmetics bag I carry around daily.

So from the top left
Caudalie Vinosource moisturising cream – despite trying a myriad of products, I always make sure I always have it on hand.

Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien – one of the best scents I’ve tried in a while. One whiff and I bought the large sized bottle and the sample means I never have to travel without the scent.

Origins modern friction – the journey can sometimes make my skin feel yucky and this exfoliating cleanser is gentle enough for daily use.

Sisley All day all year cream – a face product I’m trying out. It provides some sun protection which doesn’t hurt. I didn’t get to wear it (I reached for Caudalie both times). I guess I’ll have to try it out some other time.

Dr. Hauschka cleansing milk – Part of my foray into more organic brands I’ve heard much about. Also, it was a handy size and was excellent in removing the mascara I wore and felt lovely. I might buy a full size sometime.

The Body Shop Shea whip body lotion – light and wonderful and a staple in my bodycare. In fact, the entire range is one of my favourites from the body Shop.

L’Occitane Shea lip balm – one of the best ones I’ve tried; excellent protection, no chapping and smells lovely but not an overpowering.

Clinique high impact mascara – only makeup item I use on occasion. It works well enough and small enough to fit in the bag. Otherwise, it was no mascara for the weekend 😉

Sisley bath and shower gel – Another product I’m testing out. It’s a bit similar to Lush’s Grass but this one is less intense and has a bit more of a luxurious feel. This size was enough for two showers and was simply delightful. Sisley is rather expensive but I’ll probably repurchase on occasion.

L’Occitane Repairing Shampoo – In case my hair needed a wash; which it didn’t then. I’ve only ever needed a shampoo once, when away but it never hurts to have. Besides, it can double as a detergent for delicates if needed.

Cotton wipes, cotton buds and a hair tie to keep my hair off my face.

What do you take with you I wonder…

The humble muslin


Image courtesy of lifetakeslemons.wordpress.com

Muslin to me was a dress fabric and for medical dressing but, is now also a staple in my face cleansing routine.
I was first introduced to this cotton fabric as a cleansing tool when I received it with my Decléor’s Hydra-Radiance Smoothing & Cleansing Mousse. Liz Earle’s cleanse and polish has also reinforced my use of it and I constantly stock up now from Liz Earle. I am told it’s also available at retailers like Mothercare and Pai also provide muslin cloths to be used with their cleanser.

Muslin cloths
– enable a more effective cleansing routine even with “okay” cleansers,
– reduce the need for more gritty and intense exfoliants since it provides gentle exfoliation,
– are easy to clean. I boil mine in hot water every week and they dry easily too
– and are not terribly expensive.

I prefer to use the cloth with a creamy cleanser or a cleansing milk and do so three to four times a week.

Give it a try if you haven’t already. You may never wish for a clarisonic again 😉

Beauty Spring Cleaning

“Spring Cleaning” one’s beauty stash is perhaps not quite like cleaning out one’s wardrobe (or closet to some) or even spring cleaning in general.  However, it is important to rid items that have caused problems, do not work for you or that you simply don’t like any more.
A few tips to help spring clean the beauty stash include the following.

Remove products that have been opened for longer than the PAO label. 
Once opened, a product typically is good for use for about 3 to 24 months depending its period after opening (PAO) label. This label can be found on most products and its an open jar with the number of months the product should be used for. Anything past that should be thrown away.  It might not hurt to stick a small label with dates of when products are opened to help keep track.

Throw away/Donate/Give away items that do not work or you do not like.  
No matter how expensive, it is quite pointless to hoard something that perhaps break you out or simply you dislike.  It is likely that it would work for someone else and as long as the product is not past the PAO, it would be a lovely gesture to someone else.

Half Empty or Half full
Decide whether to keep, give out or thrown away products you have not used up and are perhaps neglected for whatever reason.

Clean and Rearrange
Dust and wipe your jars and containers and perhaps try a new arrangement of your products. You can also choose to decant your products into uniform containers.

Happy tidying!

Beauty Subscription Boxes

In the past year or two, we have seen a surge in the number of subscriptions for beauty samples. I have never been tempted to subscribe because I visit beauty counters and shops ever so often that I can view and test new products. In addition, I am more focused on skincare and will not pay for any makeup or nail products without testing and trying out first. Many are usually a mixed bag and I think  not.

I have read and watched complaints about the value of the samples in subscription packages and it seems that many simply want to get more than what is paid for.
Monthly subscription prices typically range from 10 to 15 -insert currency (typically EUR, USD or GBP) and may or may not include free shipping. For these prices, I would not be expecting full sized high end products and I would think that at some point, the companies may start to send cheaper and easily obtained items to cut costs.
There is also no way the companies will accurately know what one would like (despite the questionnaire which is usually included in the registration process). Selecting the products yourself also does not guarantee that you would love the samples received.

These subscriptions are a nice idea and would appeal to certain people but I would rather visit beauty counters, read blogs and reviews as well as request samples. This way, I will end up buying things I actually want.