Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Cleansing - cheat sheet

Most brands in the industry provide quick 'bullet point' references for use by counter staff/telephone customer services peeps to help them quickly highlight key points that are applicable to that customer or their needs.

I spend a lot of time on Twitter talking people out of BAD cleansing habits so figured it was as good a place to start for the Beauty Mouth Cheat Sheets.

So without further ado:
  1. Cleanse your face every night. Without fail. Non-negotiable. You have enough time. 
  2. Cleanse your face in the morning - a splash of water will not cut it. You can use a teeny amount of cleanser - but use it...
  3. Apply your cleanser to DRY skin. Don't dampen the skin first. I don't care what it says on the pot. Add water afterwards to loosen if not using an oil-based cleanser. (When was the last time you went for a facial and the therapist wet your face before she cleansed?)
  4. As a rule - stay clear of 'foaming' on the bottle (there is the odd exception, but they are few and far between) - to get foam you need to use a surfactant - and a surfactant turns your skin alkaline. Alkaline skin is like a petri dish for bacteria. The irony being that so many cleansers pushed on to acne/combination skins are foaming. Naughty, nasty companies should know better.
  5. If you are wearing make-up with sunscreen in it or just good old sunscreen you need to double cleanse. If you aren't, one cleanse is sufficient.
  6. Use a face flannel and water to remove. Unless you are ALLERGIC TO WATER (which I have heard from clients before - sigh) there is no need to cotton/tissue off. This is 2011 not a Doris Day film. Wash your face people. Imagine only ever using tissue or cotton on your bum. Exactly.
  7. Use fresh running water from the tap - do not fill the bowl and splash off. Splash all that dirt back on to you face? That's just nasty. 
  8. I have neither time nor patience for eye make-up remover pre-cleansing. Use a cleanser that removes eye makeup and apply the cleanser to the eyes first. You'll get most of the gunk off at the beginning and your second cleanse will clear the rest up.
  9. Use hand-hot water and ring the flannel out - if its the right temperature for your fingertips it will be fine for your face.
  10. Use a fresh flannel every day. Don't be cheap. Or gross. Primark. £2 for 4. Buy 2 packs and you're good for a week and a spare....You don't have to use muslins or a special cloth. Again. I don't care what they say. Trust me. I've done treatments with the lot and the thing we always went back to? Plain white facecloths. HOT plain white facecloths. Lovely.
That's it. *exhales*

If you want more info on facial massage you can read my first ever post here.



107 comments:

  1. When I worked as an Elemis therapist we always used to use HOT plain white facecloths, years later I still use them every time I cleanse. I cannot stand cotton wool or tissues on my face. Jude x @jadlgw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May I ask what is the flannel/facecloth step for? Can't we just wash off the cleanser and towel dry?

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    2. Your just hilarious Caroline....you have cheered up my days with your humor....please start a "depressed that I'm forty and my eye lids are now hanging around my nostrils " blog, and you'll see me through my 40's..... the advice i have taken on and enjoy your down to earth tips..... lol from Australia.

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    3. your just hilarious and you humor has gotten me through the past days thank you....please start a "depressed that I'm 40 and my eye lids now hang around my nostrils" blog and you'll see me through my 40's.... love the advice have taken it on board.... lol from Australia

      Delete
  2. Love it! Very interesting about therapists not using water to cleanse people's faces - I had never noticed before but that is a very good point, well made. *runs off to wash face thoroughly... before realising it's only 5pm*

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  3. Amazing! It's so great to see an actual impartial and informative direction on how to suitably cleanse ones face.

    Thank you.

    And second to last sentence on point 6? Brilliant. :-D

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  4. Can't you wash the face cloths? Sure, use a fresh one every day, stick them in the laundry then dry?

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  5. Even without that arched eyebrow your "suggestions" might as well be etched in stone. I am sat here feeling incredibly smug because I do all of the above. I even have a big pile of white flannels by the sink so I can have a clean one every day. God I am such a creep! (typed whilst sliding new muslin cloth into drawer, ahem)

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  6. Hi Anon! Of course you wash and reuse - sorry if that wasn't clear mid-rant! :)

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  7. This is bloody brilliant. That is all. x

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  8. Thank you so much for this. Clear and concise - now I just have to trade in my foaming cleanser...

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  9. oohh this post was so interesting, now I think about it my skin is better when I apply my cleanser to a dry face and rinse with clean water...
    your skincare advice is amazeballs!
    x

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  10. LOL @point 6! I love makeup but I have to say I love taking it off in the evening just as well. I have been using just the Bioderma lately and then I still splash my face with water afterwards. But I'm still looking for a great cleansing gel. I always love your skincare advice, I still remember all the tips from your Acne Rosacea tips and I try to follow them (I'm good when it comes to taking supplements and drinking water, but there has been too much cheese and wine lately as well, although I do try my best). Thank you for another great post. x Klara

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  11. A fantastic post- thank you! More like this please! :)

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  12. How long have I been ranting about the use of hot water and flannels? Cheap and one of the most efficient ways of cleansing the face. You're on the money here Madam and I will happily be your lieutenant on your quest to educating people on cleansing. Brilliant post xx

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  13. Brilliant post.

    I HAVE to wash my face I can't not, even nights when I'm drunk and fall asleep without doing my nightly routine, as soon as I wake up (don't care about the time.. 1am... 4am..) I wash the face.

    I don't always use a cloth to wash off with though, but I will now!

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  14. Smugly agreeing to all your points but 3, 7, 10 just gave me a kick up the backside!! Noted and implemented!! Thanks :)

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  15. what a fab article, very useful to me

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  16. Thanks for the tips! The one about the foaming face wash was especially interesting!

    Rhiannon xo

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  17. AMEN! Especially the bit about the foaming cleansers- clearasil and their ilk should hang their heads in shame.

    I'm going to make an effort to wash my face cloth more often- I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I wring it out and hang to dry but only put it through the washing machine once a week. woops

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  18. LOVE it! I totally agree! Despite what others say - I'm so glad what I've been doing are actually what you just stated up there =D

    blushfully.com

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  19. thank you so much for saying put cleanser on dry skin - NO ONE DOES THIS, and any oil based cleansers won't work otherwise! I'm on a mission to convert everyone to cream cleansers used on dry skin, then muslined off w. a hot cloth - it's heaven!

    The Blossom Shed Beauty Blog

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  20. Thank you SO SO SOOOOO SO much, just found your blog through Gemma - and adore it already!! :)

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  21. Would you recommend using the same cleanser morning and night? Debbie x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I personally tend to mix it up a little - heavier balm for night - lighter for am.
      But if you can't afford two - just use a smaller amount in the morning.

      Delete
  22. I'm curious about the double cleanse when wearing make-up with spf or just spf. Do you use the same cleanser both times or a balm and then something else?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry it took so long to come back to you! I tend to use a balm first to remove the top layer of everything and my second cleanser is used to treat my skin condition at that time. So for example Emma Hardie first/REN ClearCalm or Omorovicza clay second.
      And thanks for your patience!

      Delete
  23. Hi Mrs Hirons from LA! I love our blog! I had a question about double cleansing! I have very combo (very oily/ flakey dry) sensitive acne prone skin.. I have all types of Cleansers and I'm not sure what to use when. I like a creamy cleanser (alpha h balancing/Mario badescu/ origins mushroom) for makeup removal but should i instead use it after or before a more squeaky clean cleanser (elemis tri enzyme/ caudalie/ la Roche posayefficlaire/ murad age reform). I mix an math but I haven't found the right combo. Any help will be most helpful! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry I didn't see this! Use the thickest most emollient first, so any balm cleanser (non-mineral oil).
      Then go in with a cleanser to help your current skin condition. So my second cleanses are either clay based or calming for example.
      Does that make sense?

      Delete
    2. Examples for calming cleansers for dehydrated skin? I am currently using the Clinique cleansing balm for my pm first cleanse and I need a second cleanse option. Thank you Caroline.

      Delete
  24. Hi Mrs Hirons! Great tips. Just wanted to know when you double cleanse do you use the same cleanser both times and do you also use a face cloth both times? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Face cloth both times. Different cleansers. See answers above to others. :)

      Delete
  25. Hi just found your blog from over here in the US and I am loving it! So when you say "flannel" do you mean its an actual piece of flannel cloth or do you just mean a regular terry wash cloth? Not sure if I'm just over-thinking this. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Just your regular terry facecloth! :)

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    2. Thanks!

      Delete
  26. I've just discovered your blog and I love it! So much information I wasn't aware of! I've read all about cleansing but am struggling to find a good cleanser for my 41 year old skin which is dry on the cheeks but fine everywhere else!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Use a balm. Everyone makes one now.Fairly innocuous one to start are Emma Hardie.

      Delete
  27. Ok.. the few and far between foam cleaners.. I am hoping you will say Clinique anti blemish cleanser is one of them?? as this is what I use. But to be honest my skin is still bad. What cleaners or brand do you recommend for acne prone/sensitive skin?! I have swapped between Liz earle and Clinique, never tried anything else as scared I will flare up even more! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fact that you said 'my skin is still bad' tells you what you need to know. I've yet to advocate a foaming anything. And the essential oils in Liz Earle will make your sensitivity scream at you.
      I have an acne prone/sensitive skin. Use a balm cleanser. Depending on where you live depends on the choice. Avoid mineral oil. My cleanser of choice is Emma Hardie, which is mentioned about 40 times on here so have a read. :)

      Delete
  28. Thanks for the reply, I agree yes, obviously isn't doing the job, I should ask for my money back as they do say clear skin or your money back!! Ok I will have a look at that cleanser, balm cleanser sounds good, I did have a good old browse on here last night, but obviously didn't look hard enough ;o) Thanks again x

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh and I am UK based, so look like I can buy EH easily! :o)

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  30. Hi! Thanks so much for this cheat sheet - amazing! I want to try a cleansing balm, but there aren't many readily avaliable in my country. I see that LUSH makes one, the Ultrablad. Have you tried it, or do you know any pros/cons with it?

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    Replies
    1. I haven't I'm afraid. I'm not the hugest fan of the products - but I do applaud their ethics.

      Delete
  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  32. What do you think of cleansing waters for morning cleansing? I use the Emma Hardie cleansing balm at night, but want something I can use in bed to help wake me up in the mornings. I already use the Paula's Choice 2% BHA lotion in the morning but am thinking of trying the Caudalie cleansing water first...what do you think? If you say they are a big no then I will be more likely to drag myself to the sink in the mornings haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I prefer water but you have to do what suits your lifestyle and skin!

      Delete
  33. woow i've discovered your blog during this month and i must say i love it! i like how blunt you are - 'bossy' but in a good way :) you give us readers great tips and i must say i'm quite gutted on the foamy cleansers :( i just got myself caudalie's foaming cleanser and i was finding it quite good. lets hope its not doing me more harm than good haha :) thanks xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If its working for you don't stop! Don't waste your money!

      Delete
  34. Just stumbled across your blog and I'm soooooo glad I found it (better late than never). Love your honest and blunt way of writing and will immediately start cleaning my face the way you recommend. Thanks for the cheat sheet :)

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  35. Just stumbled across ur blog and simply love the way you are so blunt and honest. Which cleansing balm/oil would you recommend that's available in India? Does Clarins have something like that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really. They make a nice gentle cleansing milk in a tub for sensitive skin. Lovely.

      Delete
  36. Love your cheat sheets funny but informative at the same time :-). I have very sensitive acne prone skin but not sure what cleansers to use that will effectively remove all my makeup but not make my face bright red either. Any tips? Ps currently using Liz earle CAP and la Roche Posay dermo cleanser

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    Replies
    1. Use a good balm cleanser - no mineral oil. And invest in a good exfoliating toner - Pixi make a good one called Glow Tonic.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the speedy reply. Looked at the Emma Hardie balm you recommend so much but it's a bit out of my budget. Any cheaper alternatives you can recommend? :-)

      Delete
    3. As in the REN Cleansing Balm or the Clay Cleanser? I really need a balm too:(

      Delete
  37. Hi Caroline!

    What's your opinion on the philosophy purity? And can i use the EH one in the mornings, or should i opt for something else?
    Many thanks! xx

    PS - Love your blog!

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    Replies
    1. You can use it in the mornings - but just use less so it doesn't run out quickly! Philosophy is ok but not top of my list.

      Thank you!

      Delete
  38. Hi Caroline. I am new to your site and love it. Thank you for cutting the industry waffle and telling it how it is. I have a question for you. I'm new to the cleanse tone moisturizer regime. I just bought the P50v and started using 2 days ago. Waiting on the arrival of the Emma Hardie cleanser too. Do I rinse off the toner when done? Or can I put on moisturizer straight after? I'm thinking I don't need to but just want to clarify. Just thought of something else. Tried to order Vaishaly night nourished oil but they are out of stock until the new year. Is there anything else as good? Is the Ren omega night time serum good? I have oily skin and prone to hormonal breakouts. Currently use Clinique facial former ( I know u hate it....waiting on EH Balm) and P50 and a Philosophy moisturizer. I'm in USA. Thanks so much again. Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't rinse it off. You can buy other oils available in the US that are good. Darphin/Decleor/Clarins all do good nighttime oils.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for replying to me. Will look at those brands for night time oil.. Chuffed that you replied :).

      Delete
  39. I think I am going to have to start using my cleanser on my eyes then. I do have a cleansing water for eyes, but purely because I find it takes too much of my otherwise expensive and better cleanser to remove the dark eye makeup I use. Will try your method from tonight :) I suppose I've only ever put it off more so for the fact that I thought cleansing waters were OK and also, out of fear of my eyes stinging from product! xo

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  40. Any tips for a good cleanser for male?

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  41. I'm still a bit lost - due to severe budget restraints I rely on drugstore brands for cleaning my (oily) face and, whilst I know oil is fine to use, all the cleansers I fine are like gel washes or apply-with-cotton-wool lotions. The only oil-based, remove-with-a-flannel things are Ponds or cleansing milk, both of which you don't seem to recommend. What should one use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you all have Yes To Cucumbers in the UK? I've heard good things about their cleansing milk. I am not an expert like Mrs. Hirons obviously, but it's just something to consider.

      SimplySkinDeepBeauty.blogspot.com

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  42. And what do you think about MONU cleansing balm???

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  43. 'I have neither time nor patience for eye make-up remover pre-cleansing. Use a cleanser that removes eye makeup and apply the cleanser to the eyes first. You'll get most of the gunk off at the beginning and your second cleanse will clear the rest up.' You say the second cleanse will clear the rest of the eye make up off.. does this mean you do two cleanses in the evening or do you mean your morning after cleanse will get the rest off? fantastic post by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I would like to know what you think of the Nivea Milk cleansers, I use them, but I would like to know your opinion on them, or any other milk cleansers. Is it as good, or almost as good, as a cleansing balm? Also, what do you think of Sweet Almond Oil to clean the make-up at night? It works but I'd like to know if it does good things for my skin.

    Would love if you could reply to this! Thank for this post! x

    ReplyDelete
  45. Great post! Very detailed. Since I don't put a lot of make-up, I always thought cleansing is not so important. It's second to moisturizing for me. I was once taught the basics of skin care: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Now I know better. Also, put cleanser on DRY skin - I thought damping it will add more lather to the skin, but now I know why foaming cleansers are not recommended.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Found your blog thanks to Pixiwoo's Body Talk!
    I'm trying to read your blog from head to toe now, it's just the best blog ever!! Amazing!!
    Thanks to you I just changed my foaming cleanser from Clinique for a Cetaphil one!! And my skin thanks you a lot! haha
    Cleansing Oil and Balm Cleanser are the same thing, if they are, just ignore the following question.
    I want to know your opinion about Cleansing Oil, I know they have surfactans in the formulation, dunno if all of them have though, but if there's any Cleansing Oil with no surfactant would you recomended?
    Xx

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Caroline,

    I found your blog from Pixiwoo's body talk as well and am so glad I did! I am extremely passionate about skincare and always try to look into the skincare products I use so it's wonderful to see a blogger like you informing us all about skincare! I just had a few questions for you that I'm hoping you can answer: (1) What is your opinion on the clarisonic cleansing machine? I have one but have recently started using a non-foaming cleanser (cerave hydrating cleanser) and so I don't know how much use the clarisonic is; (2) I have a lot of texture to my skin in terms of under-the-skin spots. I don't think they are milia but might be un-surfaced whiteheads or something. I truly do not know how to get rid of these. I tried exfoliating regularly with AHAs and try to use clay masks somewhat often (not too often because my skin is dry). I always double cleanse at night and cleanse in the morning. Have you seen anything like this? What would you recommend?

    Thanks so much for this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have these under the skin spots as well, and for the life of me I can't figure out what to do about them. Would love to hear any advice!

      Delete
  48. Hi Caroline,

    I am new to your blog - so far LOVING it!
    One thing I have not yet understood is your steps in cleansing. You use (1) a balm cleanser, (2) a clay/calming cleanser if needed, (3) toner, (4) serum, (5) lotion, (6) SPF (morning).

    Is this the correct order?
    Also, regarding the eye area, do you use your toner there as well?

    Hope you will reply :D

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Caroline,

    I recently started reading your blog, and I am LOVING it!!! Seriously, it is amazing...

    I was hoping you could break something down for me though. It is regarding your cleansing routine. From what I can understand, your routine is as follows:

    Balm cleanse
    Clay/calm cleanse
    Toner (apply with cotton ball?)
    Serum
    Moisturizer
    SPF (morning if needed)

    Is this correct?
    Also, do you use your toner and face serum around the eye area?

    I have just purchased the Emma Hardie Moringa Balm and I am SO exited to get it.. It was super cheap here:
    http://www.qvcuk.com/Emma-Hardie-Moringa-Balm-100ml-%26-50ml-Duo-%26-Face-Serum-10ml.product.203522.html?sc=203522-DRIL&cm_sp=VIEWPOSITION-_-4-_-203522

    I hope you will reply :D

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Caroline!
    You wrote that we shouldn't use foaming cleansers because it makes the skin alkaline. So how do i choose the right cleanser? How can i know if it's foaming? Most of the gels are...

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi Caroline...
    So lucky to see the body talk vid. Refreshingly curt and honest. I found I'd been washing my face the complete wrong way for all my 36 years :-o! Will remedy immediately...

    Question: Would like to try the REN line balm and clay toner...do you approve?

    Between yourself and Pixiwoo, this face of mine might do well! BTW, most of my handbags are between $100-$200 so I figure it is worth investing in my mug! :-)
    Thanks for your infinite wisdom!
    Stacy from California, US

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi CAroline, I live in Barbados where the few skin care lines available are either the ones that make the stuff you've blacklisted or are really expensive. I will definitely start using a washcoth on my face (will use terry cloth since I can't get flannels here). I swear by Pond's to remove my makeup, but you say not to use anything with mineral oil? Options here are so limited, everything else I use burns my eyes. I don't have puffiness under my eyes, just dryness. That being said, My skin is the oiliest, most disgusting MESS ever! About 8 months ago I started using Noxema's anti-bacterial face wash (t's not foaming - yay) and the daily face scrub, both of which say they're formulated for adult skin (I'm in my 30s). Ive honestly seen a VAST imporvement in my skin since I began using them - my skin feels much more toned, much smoother, acne is all gone except for a few period pimples that last a day, ant my skin looks bright. It's still super oily though, and I cannot do anything about it. I've tried moisturizing, not moisturizing...it is the bane of my existence!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Another difficulty I face is that on top of ery oily skin, the climate in BArbados is humid and wet and gross for 9 months of the year. our homes are not air conditioned, and even the nights become unbearable. from April till November, I"m usually a sweaty mess, and creams just slide off, and /or make me feel even more gunky and grimy.

    ReplyDelete
  54. This may seem like a stupid question but when you say don't dampen your face before hand, does that include when you mix it with the balm. Eg, the directions on Emma Hardie's cleanser says to mix the balm with water. Do you do that or do you just rub it straight onto the skin?

    ReplyDelete
  55. My skin is both dry and dehydrated and each time I use a a non foaming cleanser containing oils,it irritates my skin more and it increases all my skin problems .
    I don't understand why my skin uses to react this way and I don't really know what to do .
    I have tried the Cetaphil cleansing lotion and the only thing I have got was spots all over my face .
    I do not dare trying the cleanser by Emma Hardie in the fear of irritations .
    Despite all this,I guess soft and mild cleansers are better for all skin types .
    But I have the impression I am a kind of alien in matter of skin .Nothing seems to work on mine .

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi Caroline, I was wondering if you'd recommend to clean the cleavage area accordingly. I find anything I put on there makes me break out.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Caroline, I have had major trouble trying to get rid of blackhead and sebum build up. Im using clean and clear blackhead cleanser (as I am a student) but i was wandering if there was anythign you could recommend for blackheads. I have a oily-ish skin.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I would love to know what your thoughts are on Clarisonics.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Eek! I have some work to do clearly on improving my skin care regime. I don't use the Clarisonic EVERY time I brush my teeth...but I do use it once a day. That smooth feeling is a bit addictive. I'm taking notes though (and likely going to need a major clean out of my cabinets)!

    (also, loving your blog--found you from PixiWoo's Body Talk page on youtube!)

    ReplyDelete
  60. hi Caroline
    Started reading your blog after it was mentioned on pixiwoo think its bril,my question is ive oily dehydrated skin with acne alot under the skin on my cheeks,you say dont use a foaming cleanser whats a good wash for morning time please

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hello Caroline,

    I have dehydrated skin with oil t-zone and I am in search of a second cleanse/morning cleanse what about the Sunday Riley Charisma creme cleanser? Or is clay better? I am currently using the Clarins creme cleanser and it's lovely but I think it would be best for fall/winter. Please and thank you:)

    ReplyDelete
  62. I saw Pixiwoo's interview with you (and I admit I had never heard of you but I have been expat for years so that's my excuse - sorry Caroline!), but I am glad I do now. Living in areas where quite frankly wearing makeup isn't a priority meant that I didn't really bother to cleanse my face am or sometimes pm either (unless I had for some reason been wearing makeup). I tended to use Bioderma's H2O micelleur water as this seemed to do the trick and at 45 I have suffered with adult acne on one side of my neck just under my chin for a few years now and had no idea what was causing it - so stopped using moisturiser on my neck and creamy cleansers as this seemed to aggravate it.

    Well, following the pixiwoo interview I have been cleansing morning and night for the last 3 and half weeks - currently using my stock of liz earle which seems to be working okay right now (although not doing the whole hot cloth cold cloth thing) and boy what a difference!! My face looks brighter, healthier and the acne is clearing up too. Dare I say I look a tad younger - even my husband has noticed. So a lot of research was done online and I have ordered a lot of products ready for collection the next time I am in the UK and will see how they go. Thanks Caroline for making me realise how important it is to do this and also for your no nonsense approach to it all. xx

    ReplyDelete

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