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), Polish, Buffing 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.
“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 😉
“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.
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.
Another intriguing question I also found myself asking is, “are we doing too much?”. Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise are the main practices preached by many a beauty editor and even the average women. These each entail a variety of products and tasks that looks like a lot of work.
My skincare arsenal for routine use includes nearly 40 products for all kinds of weather.
There is olive oil for use to remove makeup (typically eye makeup) on the rare occasion I wear it.
Cleansers include foaming, cream and gel cleansers, a cleansing water, toner, cleansing milks and exfoliating scrubs.
Moisturisers range from the light to heavier water based moisturisers as well as a few basic oils and butters for very cold and dry weather conditions.
Now, that’s just for the face. What about the other numerous things for the rest of the body; including haircare, pedicures, depilatory and other grooming tasks?
With all these, why aren’t we all walking around with perfect skin? All the energy, money and time just seems to be frittered away into a possibly needless and never ending routine.
I love trying out new products and seeing what is available to keep us looking even better but perhaps sometimes, I should just wash with water and leave it at that? Who knows, my skin may actually thank me for the break.
I had a conversation about the quest for the magic product(s) that will solve all of one’s skin and/or hair care problems. I am more intrigued by the science of beauty and its presentation but have always wondered why beauty products never really seem to fix anything permanently. When purchasing skincare items, I rarely found “normal” as an option so for my personal needs. There is always normal/combination, normal/dry skin etc.
So yes, why is it that we will always seem to fall into a problem category? Large pores never seem to shrink to invisible radii, spots never seem to fade completely and skin never stays smooth, soft for longer than the few minutes after a mask or exfoliation and frankly, one never really looks 10 years younger even with the religious use of anti-aging products.
Even with anti-acne products, it often seems to be a case of time that clears up the problem but I’m willing to accept that the right products can sometimes make a huge difference.
Genetics does play a big role in what one’s skin looks like and the rest is really more of lifestyle and beauty practices. Slathering the most potent products would do little if one is always stressed and does not do much to protect and look after the skin.
So perhaps it is better to put our faith and trust more in better skincare and lifestyle practises than in the actual products themselves, at least in a less exclusive manner.