Putting my Best Face Forward…

While I typically do not have a lot of blackheads and break outs, I do get them on occasion. And recently my skin had a somewhat trying time. There was fever, chills and my entire skincare regimen went out the window as I struggled to stay awake for more than an hour at a time.

the product

Once health returned, I needed to do skin care damage control. For me, this Best Face Forward (BFF) Purifying Cleanser looked like it might be a good option, so I rolled it into the line up to see if it would be beneficial. According to their product page…


Our foaming gel cleanser is designed to manage and deal with blemish-prone skin – and all the annoying things that come with it, like inflammation, scarring, dryness, excess oil, soreness, and breakouts. A great start to your beauty routine, it’s gentle on your skin but works its butt off when you need it to.

BFF Website

For me this was especially encouraging. While I had quite a few blackheads and oily spots, I also had some dry spots on my skin as well, and dealing with the oily spots can cause damage to the dry spots. Many of the blackhead fighting cleansers I have tried have had this effect. I think that part of it is that cleansers aren’t spot treatments. They are dispensed over the entire face, so if you have a product that is designed to dry up the oils then it can also overly dry the dry spots.

clear skin (the water was cold, hence the slight redness)

This did not do that. I don’t know if it is because of the Aloe Vera mixed into the cleanser or what, but it did minimize the blackheads and redness and caused no damage to any of my dry spots. I also think that having the salicylic acid farther down on the ingredients list rather than in the top three helped to minimize the over drying of the dry spots as well. In fact I have no dry spots and no black heads. Part of the dryness reduction may be a return to my regularly scheduled moisturizer, but the cleanser did not exacerbate the issues. which is all I could hope for.

The cleanser foamed well and rinsed off cleanly. Is it the best clean I’ve ever had? No, but it solved the problems that I was having. There is something that I have noticed recently though. I have been using this cleanser for a little over two weeks at this point. The issue though is that for the bulk of that time, my nose has been pretty stopped up. Because of that, none of any of my skin care seemed to have any scent to it. Now that my nose is not blocked, I am noticing a slight perfume-y scent to the cleanser that i am not a huge fan of. I can smell the finger lime mixed in but there is a bit of fragrance that I don’t particularly like. If the lime scent was beefed up I think it would smell fresher and I wouldn’t have a problem with it because I don’t mind fresh scented cleansers, but this leans a little too heavily into the perfume category.

I do have about half a tube left so I will be using it for the next two weeks, but I don’t think it is going to become my everyday standard cleanser because of the scent. I like the way it works so I may purchase it again when I am facing some skin issues, but I don’t think I will be stocking the BFF Purifiying Cleanser in my line up.

It is the scent that makes me not want to face it twice a day even though it is a good product. I know I would grow tired of the scent and want it to go away. part of that however is also that break outs and skin complications like I recently faced are rare for me. I simply don’t have a lot of problems with break outs right now.

There have been times in my life where I have had issues with break outs and there might be times when I again face that as a major skin care issue. In either instance, I would get over the scent and use this BFF Purifying Cleanser as it is good at clearing out black outs without drying out the skin. It works well and I like knowing that I can purchase it when I need it. And to me knowing what products to use should my skin care needs change is important. I just don’t need to use this cleanser every day. So I will be using this cleanser until it is gone and then putting it on the roster of products to be called in should a break out and dry skin combo return.

One month of the Time Revolution Artemisia Pack Foam Cleanser from Missha

It is the end of the month and I am wrapping up several month long product trials. With the Time Revolution Artemisia Pack Foam Cleanser it is a bittersweet wrap up. While I enjoy the thought of trying out new products, this is truly a cleanser that will be missed for several reasons. It was a very good cleanser.

But before we get into that, let’s look at the product claims from the website…

2-in-1 foaming cleanser and soothing clay mask to relieve the skin of redness and irritation as well as reduce the skin’s production of excess sebum and oils. Made with double-fermented artemisia (mugwort) extract harvested from a mineral-rich environment. Recommended for: sensitive/irritated/acne skin.

Missha Skincare

Okay, while I have used this mostly as a cleanser I did try it out as a mask. I liked it, but I realized that I liked it more as a cleanser. The thing with the masking element though is that it was very helpful when i was using it as a cleanser.

cleanser going on

I now, it sounds strange but bear with me. First of all, this cleanser is thick and almost mask like in texture when you dispense it into your hand. It also has this wonderful light, herbal scent that just smells clean and fresh. With the masking texture, I always knew exactly where I was applying my cleanser. There was no guessing if I missed a spot. Which I know sounds odd, but I am not my best in the mornings and sometimes will wear a night mask. i have occasionally missed washing off parts of my night mask only to find the non rinsed off mask peeling off in little strips (and making me think my skin was peeling) So this was an added benefit for me.

foams with water

The best part was the Artemisia that is in the pack foam cleanser paired with the masking capacity. Last summer I found out that my skin really likes Artemisia especially after too much sun. while the sun hasn’t been as much of an issue during this trial, (often disappearing for weeks on end), cold blustery winds have been a bit on the damaging side. On those days where I start my night time skincare ritual and realize that I spent a little more time in the wind than my skin was comfortable with, this cleanser became a secret weapon. I could apply it and then give it a minute or two to sit on my skin (I removed my makeup prior) and the Artemisia would soothe away any wind burn I had. Then I rinsed off the cleanser and continued with my routine. The next morning it was like the wind burn had never occurred.

rinses clean

By using this soothing cleanser and employing the mask function I was able to correct the damage when the irritation was small and not have it become an issue. while I wouldn’t use this as a face mask in the normal sense (not because it doesn’t work, but because it is much more useful elsewhere) I loved that I could let the cleanser sit like a mask so that my skin could get more benefits from the ingredients.

And you may be wondering how the thick green cleanser washed off. It washed off beautifully. I applied it to damp skin and if I washed it off right away or let it sit for a few minutes, it made no difference. The mask faded into white bubbles and rinsed off cleanly, leaving smooth, soothed and refreshed skin behind. I absolutely loved using it and I think I will be getting another tube just to have it on hand for the summer. The Artemisia Essence i used last summer has become a staple, but I think that this cleanser may come in handy. I never actually plan to get too much sun,. but between gardening and the walking trail, there is always that one day where a little soothing sensitivity is a good thing. At the moment Missha is having a sale. This cleanser (long with the rest of their products) are 20% off with the code Hello20.

While I think this cleanser is well worth stocking up on at full price I am never upset by a discount. If you have sensitive or acne prone skin this might be a cleanser you want to look into. It is actually designed for sensitive and acne prone skin. While it is a great daily cleanser, it really shines when my skin has minor issues. It helps clear them up before those minor issues can become major ones. I imagine if you have continuing issues this would work even better for you.

As for me, I have enough product left in this tube for this week and possibly into a little of next week. I am also going to be taking advantage of their sale and picking up at least one tube for emergency summer use. I was very impressed with this cleanser and while I enjoy trying out new products, the next cleanser I try, has a lot to live up to.

Cleaning up with Elemis Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser

For well over a month the Elemis Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser has been a part of my skincare Line up. While I mention it in my weekly line up posts, I wanted to take a minute and go over the product more fully in a separate post.

While Elemis is a brand that I will always go back to because I simply really like the way their products work, most of what I am familiar with is a part of their Marine Collagen line. I was first introduced to this brand through subscription boxes. While I heard of them before, they were a bit on the expensive side and I’ll be honest, when I purchase expensive items it tends to be because I have tried them in sample form and liked them enough to know that I will enjoy using the full sized product.

I prefer pump top cleansers for ease of use with wet hands

With Elemis, since the Marine Collagen line was so often in subscription boxes, I was able to try most of the line and start purchasing with confidence. At least from that line. I had also tried several items from their Super food Line. This Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser is one I went out on a limb with a little bit. I had not tried anything Lime Blossom from Elemis , but by the time I ordered it I had enough confidence in the brand to feel good about ordering the full sized product. The full sized 200 ml bottle of this product is $36 which is actually quite a good price for a cleanser I thought. Most of my cleansers seem to come in this basic range.

two pumps of product were enough for a daily cleanse

Literally nothing I have ever used from Elemis has given me problems, and this cleanser was no exception. The Lime Blossom scent is lighter than many of their other products. The Lime Blossom scent, which I personally adore, is present, but it fades very quickly. Perhaps this is because it is a cleanser, perhaps it is because the scent of Lime Blossoms isn’t an overpowering one. If you have never smelled lime blossoms before, I highly recommend finding a lime tree and taking several deep breaths. The scent is lightly floral with a hint of citrus teasingly in the background. I find it an absolutely lovely scent.

The face was is light and creamy. It has a pump, which I really like for cleansers as it lets me control how much product I dispense. I always go through tube style cleansers far too fast simply because I squeeze the tube with wet hands. Sometimes that results in little product coming out, sometimes in loads more than I intended. Of course that also depends on the tube, some are easier to use with wet hands than others.

I still prefer the pump. And this one is good. It is a thinner style of pump but large enough to be sturdy and used with one hand. I generally found that two pumps was enough for my morning use. I tended to use more in the evenings to remove makeup. While I do love a good cleansing balm I did try this cleanser without a makeup remover beforehand. This cleanser will get you about 85% of the makeup off (non-waterproof makeup) without using a makeup remover balm prior. Personally i like to remove my makeup , then cleanse and then bask in the glory of a mostly clear toner pad. But that is just me. If you don’t use a makeup remover prior, then this is still a good cleanser to use. Just know you will have some makeup residue on your toner pad.

Product on face (sorry for the bad angle/ blur as my hands were wet and the camera was slipping) the cream texture lets you see where it is applied.

The cleanser is not foaming. At all. To apply I wet my face and then massaged the cleanser into the skin. It applies just like a cream. While I do enjoy a good foaming cleanser, there is a great deal to be said in favor of a non-foaming one. The first is that you can tell where you put the cleanser on your skin. I liked applying the cleanser and seeing that my whole face was covered before I started massaging the product over my skin to get it clean. It let me know I hadn’t missed a spot.

The product is thick enough that it really didn’t drip so it was clean to apply and use. I also use a vibrating skincare device. While I often use it to massage in serums, it works really well with this style of cleanser and I felt I got a better clean because of it.

The Elemis Lime Blossom Cleanser rinses off clean without either stripping the skin or leaving any form of residue on the skin. My skin felt soft and clean, which is pretty much what I want from a cleanser. It was also a gentle formula that was non-irritating. During the past month I tried out a moisturizer that had an ingredient my skin did not like. Irritation followed and while I was careful with the products I used while the irritation faded, I never had to discontinue use of the Elemis Cleanser. It was gentle enough that it didn’t hurt or further irritate my irritated skin and still allowed me to wash my face with no issues. Over all, I found this Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser to be a fantastic purchase and it is one that I will make again in the future. A month of use has seen me only a quarter of the way through the bottle and I am glad it will remain in the line up for a while longer.

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Trying out the Tatcha Rice Wash

Tatcha is one of those brands that can be a little hit or miss with me. I absolutely adore their Silk Canvas primer, am okay with their original moisturizer used as a night cream, but am really not a fan of their water cream. For me that makes purchasing full sized items from the brand a little chancy. As they tend to be on the pricy side, it makes purchasing from them on the off chance that I might not like the item something I am not always comfortable with doing.

This makes Tatcha one of the brands where sample sized products are a must for me. Since it is so hit or miss, I really like to try the items before I decide if they are for me. And Tatcha is also one of those brands where the sample sizes I’ve received have had enough product in them for me to make a decision on whether or not I want to give the fill sized version a go. Sometimes, samples are only half full or are simply too small to give you an accurate impression. All of the Tatcha samples I have tried have been packed with product.

The product

The Rice Wash retails for $35 making it not terribly expensive, however I hate wasting product so I was happy to try it in sample form.

Normally with skin care I like to give it a full thirty days to work so that I can see results. For me, cleansers take less time and if a sample can last for two weeks I have a really good idea of how I feel about them. This Tatcha sample of The Rice Wash was used about three days past the two week mark.

According to the Tatcha website The Rice Wash is…

A gently effective, cream cleanser that washes away daily buildup without stripping skin for a soft, luminous complexion.

Featured Ingredients:

pH-Neutral Amino Acid Base: This gentle base removes impurities without stripping skin of its essential oils. Unlike most pH-neutral cleansers, this formula foams into a creamy lather, leaving skin silky, smooth, and well-moisturized. This key ingredient also helps to balance the pH-level of the skin, which helps the skin function properly.

Japanese Rice Powder: Used in classical Japanese cleansing rituals, rice powder naturally softens and boosts luminosity, while keeping the skin well moisturized.

Okinawa Algae Blend + Hyaluronic Acid: A special blend of Okinawa algae and hyaluronic acid captures water to help replenish skin’s natural moisture reservoir, immediately leaving skin soft, comforted, and deeply nourished. It also helps to replenish ceramides to ensure optimum skin barrier function, aiding in the reduction of future moisture loss, for skin that is visibly smooth and plump with hydration.

Tatcha Website
Applied like a thick cream

For each wash, I dispensed a dime sixed amount of product. There was extra in the picture as I thought there was less left in the tube on the last wash when I took the photo. To use I dampened my face and then applied the cleanser to the skin. It applies like a thick cream. I like the fact that I can tell exactly where I put the cleanser and I can use less water. Basically I have the time to turn on the faucet, wet my hand, turn off the faucet and run my wet hand over my face and then apply the product knowing that it won’t drip off my face while I am reaching for the faucet to turn the water on again. It is a little thing, but I have found that with thicker cleansers I waste less water. I don’t need to let the water run while I apply the cleanser.

foams with water

It is a small amount of water each morning and evening, but small amounts add up and as I am trying to add small steps to all of my daily routines to be a better me, I like it. It also helps me make sure all of my face is clean because I can literally see where I put the cream. Then, once applied, I turn the water back on splash my face a few times and rub gently with my hands. The cream turns to foam with the addition of more water and rinses cleanly away.

My skin feels clean but not stripped and when I go in with my toner pad post cleansing, there is almost no makeup residue. While I am getting ready to open up a new cleansing balm, for the moment I am using just my Makeup Eraser. While I love it, I do use it as the first part of makeup removing and without a cleansing balm need to rely a little heavier on my facial cleanser. The Rice Wash from Tatcha worked really well.

rinses clean (nose slightly red as the water was really cold when I rinsed

While I love the ingredients listed in the featured section, I am always a little skeptical of long term skin care benefits from cleansers. I simply don’t think cleansers sit on your skin long enough for all of that goodness to have a lot of time to do much. Having said that, I will never complain about a skin care product that includes hyaluronic acid. Even in passing, I am a fan. I will say that after cleansing, my skin was the kind of clean and soft where I wanted to stop and just let my clean skin stay as it is for a little bit before introducing other skin care products to it, which for me, is the sign of a good cleanser.

The only item that may be a concern for some people is the scent. The Rice Wash is highly fragranced. It has what I like to think of as the Tatcha scent. It is present in almost every item I have used from the brand, whether makeup or skincare. It is floral, yet slightly fruity at the same time. Normally I am not a huge fan of heavily scented cleansers, but this one I didn’t mind. It was highly scented but it still smelled clean. I think for me that is the difference. Many highly scented cleaners just remind me too much of perfumes and the scent convinces my brain that my skin isn’t clean based on scent alone. I didn’t get that with the Tatcha.

It is a strong but clean scent and one I found pleasant. But if you are sensitive to fragrance in your skincare, it is something to watch out for. I would definitely try a sample before purchasing the full size. Of course I tend to say that abound most skincare. It is especially important if you are scent sensitive though.

But now it is time for my final decision. Would I spend the $35 to purchase the full sized version of The Rice Wash from Tatcha? Yes, I would. I think that it is a really good cleanser and whether or not there are long term effects form the brief exposure to the cleanser’s ingredients I can’t say, but I really liked the way my skin felt after using the cleanser and I really like the lack of makeup residue left behind once I rinsed off my skin. Ove all, this was a definite winner for me.


Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk

I am always on the look out for a good cleanser. Even though I use a wide variety of skincare, it is the cleanser that never leaves the list. I may trade out serums to treat specific issues, Vitamin C to brighten, Hyaluronic Acid for those pesky fine lines, but cleansers are always a staple.

While coffee helps me out in the morning, I don’t really feel awake enough to make the coffee before I’ve washed my face and removed the remnants of my night time skin care. Serums and moisturizers can wait, but the cleanser is first thing. After exercising, I will often need a gentle cleanser to remove the sweat and salt from my skin. Otherwise I will just feel icky all day. And of course at night, after i have used a makeup remover to remove the makeup I need a product that can rinse off whatever is left behind leaving me a clean canvas for my night time skincare.

And lets face it, sometimes mornings are rushed and sometimes I am o tired at the end of the day that my eyelashes are sweeping the floor. I may skip other elements of my routine, but I don’t skip the cleanser. All of this means that it is not only a necessary element of my skincare, one may even claim the most necessary part, but it means I use up more cleansing products than i do any other product in my skincare routine.

I like a wide variety of cleansers. I like creams and thing foaming ones are just loads of fun. Cleansing Milks are not a category I have too much experience with however. I’ve tried one before this and it was extremely liquidy. That isn’t my favorite consistency. I like being able to apply the cleanser to my damp face and see where the cleanser is and then massage it into the skin to make certain all of the skin is covered. With liquids I simply find it harder to tell where the cleanser has been. Is that skin damp from water or did I go over it with the cleanser?

I know it is not the most profound reason for liking formulas, but half-awake or half asleep, I need something that requires very little thought. So as a consequence I rarely purchase Cleansing Milks. This Andalou Naturals Age Defying Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk however arrived in a subscription box. Petit Vour I believe. I received several Andalou Naturals products from Petit Vour Subscriptions, which isn’t all that surprising.

Petit Vour specializes in clean beauty products. As this cleansing milk uses certified organic and fair trade ingredients, it falls right into their wheel house. I’ll admit, I was hoping that this would be a good product. Partially because I like the ingredients and the clean aspect of the product, partially because I am partial to apricot and wish it was seen more in products and partially because I have seen the brand Andalou Naturals on the shelves at my local grocery store.

Again that sounds like a small thing. Most of my products I do order on line. Skincare, Hair care and body care were mostly ordered on line before the world turned upside down. Occasionally things would be picked up on multi-store shopping trips, but once lock down hit and the only physical outing was the once a month grocery run, everything non grocery related went to on-line ordering. while Andalou Naturals can be ordered on line (the links in this post all going to their on-line site) I like the thought of having a list of products that I can pick up quickly when I run to the grocery store.

That way if I run out, I can just grab a replacement and then have time to place an order if need be. I am actually trying to get at least one in store favorite in every skincare category. I really just like knowing that I could pick up something quickly if need be and that I know it is good. Recently I added the Olay Regenerist Moisturizer to the list (which shouldn’t be surprising as most of the Olay Regenerist line is on my list – Incidentally Olay is having a sale at the moment, clicking on the link will take you to the Olay site.) So will Andalou Naturals make the list?

First let’s look at what the claims are for this Age Defying Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk.

on the face

Fruit Stem Cell complex from the Apple & Grape, Resveratrol CoQ10 and skin-friendly vegan probiotics gently remove make-up and impurities, rinsing away dull surface cells and balancing skin flora. Apricot and Borage Oils are infused to rejuvenate dehydrated skin, for a fresh glow and a rejuvenated complexion.

Vegan Product

Andalou Naturals

Okay, sounds pretty good and basically what you would expect from a cleanser. So dispensed in the hand it isn’t a liquid. I know surprising for something that is labeled Milk right? It mostly resembles under whipped cream. If you are whipping cream and almost to the soft peak stage, that is the texture of the cleansing milk.

I dampened my skin lightly and applied the cleanser. It didn’t apply like a thick cream and it didn’t foam, but I could definitely see where the cleanser was applied on the skin. I know what areas of my face were washed and which weren’t. Which I like. It rinsed off well, but left a little bit of a residue on the skin. I think it is the moisturizing aspect. In truth it wasn’t heavy and my skin did feel lightly moisturized. I tone my skin right after washing so whatever was left on the skin was taken off as the toner pad glided across my face.

I’ll be honest as far as makeup removing went, this cleanser wasn’t that great. It took off powders but left mascaras and foundations in place. This is a cleanser that is meant to be used as the stage two of a two part cleanse. Take off your makeup then use the cleanser to wash your face. The makeup remover will leave a little residue behind, but this cleanser will take off whatever is left behind. it just needs someone to come in first and break up the party before escorting guests to their vehicles. As the second part of a two step cleanse it was fantastic.

In addition, this was also a fabulous mid day sort of cleanser. After my walk and workout, my skin needs just a bit of a gentle cleanser or I am just going to feel gunky the rest of the day. I could use the Andalou Naturals Age Defying Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk with no fear of stripping my skin through over washing. In fact the post work out cleanse was where this product really shined. I could wash my face and not have to reapply other products because it was very hydrating. The only thing I added after washing was another dose of sunscreen. And then I put on my makeup.

The scent of the cleanser is fresh and light. It has a slight apricot scent to it, but mostly it is just a fresh clean skincare kind of scent. It reminds me a little of the health food store my mother used to take me into as a kind, which I think might be the result of the Borage oil. But again it is a very light scent. The scent also washes away when you rinse off.

Over all I was very impressed with this cleansing milk. It isn’t going to be a big makeup removing product, unless you only wear a light dusting of powders. It is fantastic if you want a post workout cleanser that isn’t going to strip your skin or make you feel over washed. I truth, once I start going back to the gym, I think this might be the cleanser I add to my bag so that I can rinse off my face before leaving. It is definitely something i enjoyed using and will make it onto my to purchase again list. I never would have picked this up on my own, if only for the fact that the term cleansing milk gave me an impression of a product I wouldn’t like. Now of course, I think I’ll peruse the product line next grocery trip and see if anything else catches my eye. Hopefully other Andalou Naturals products will be just as good.

Using the La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser

Cleanser is one of those skin care categories that is always there. I may forget to add my vitamin C or decide to skip my toner, but every morning and every night, I wash my face. I tend to do a double cleanse, removing my makeup with one product before I actually move into the daily cleanser.

So while this La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Face Cleanser does remove dirt and makeup, I tend to use it to remove the last traces rather than apply on top of a full face of makeup. I like for my toner pads to be as clean as possible when I use them post cleansing. And this certainly does the trick.

It is also mild enough that if I come back from the gym and a quick splash of water just won’t do it for me, I can use this mid day and not worry about overly washing my skin.

Creamy on damp skin

While it is a foaming cleanser, it comes out of the pump in a liquid form. What I really like is that the liquid is thick and you only need one pump to wash your entire face. When applied to the skin it actually applies like a cream. If you look at the picture you can see that you can apply it to your face and see where the cleanser is, making sure to get your entire face, without having it drip off.

I know that sounds like a weird thing to like, but I really do like that. I like knowing that i didn’t miss a spot. The foaming part comes with the water added on top of it. (I tried to get a picture of this but the bubbles kept sliding off). With the ability to make certain that I covered every spot and the foaming taking the dirt away with the bubbles, I always feel like I am getting a good clean.

With cleansers I always feel a little off when talking about ingredients. There are some, like salicylic acid that are great for breakouts and can, if over used, dry out your skin, however for the most part, cleansers don’t stay on your skin all that long and while I appreciate that the ingredients are in there, I am never really sure they are doing too much given the length of time they are on the skin.

Foamy with water

Having said that, this cleanser does have niacinamides, which I do like in my skin care, and like more the older I get. Niacinamides help build keratin to keep skin firm and smooth. I don’t know how effective they are in a cleanser, but I like the thought of them there. If you have a sensitivity to them, just keep in mind that they are there and that might not make this cleanser for you. I also like that it is sulfate free and fragrance free as even if I may wonder about the effectiveness of the ingredients, I do know that repeated use of fragrance can cause sensitivity and I am not a big fan of sulfates. Although I shouldn’t be surprised it isn’t in here. Toleriane is a line that is designed to be used for sensitive skin and specifically avoids using many allergens. While I am not overly sensitive, because of the gym I do wash my face more and find that the sensitive skin formulas do really help me out with preventing me from overdoing it while rinsing off the workout.

For me this La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Cleanser is one that I return to quite often. While I do often order it from the La Roche Posay site, I like that it is also a cleanser that I can pick up at both Target and Walgreens if I need to. As I mentioned at the beginning, I may skip out on a toner or serum here and there, but I always use a cleanser. Occasionally I have run out when I thought I had a back up waiting in the drawer or I’ll try a product that just doesn’t work for me and needs to be swapped out immediately. I like having a cleanser I know will work for my skin available in a place I can easily run out to if need be. I still tend to order on line, but if necessary i can pick it up locally. It is definitely an extra perk.

Also a perk is the price. A 400 ml bottle of this cleanser is $14.99. I find this to be a pretty decent price for a cleanser in general. However, one pump is all that you need to wash your face each time and if you look at the top picture I have used about a third of the bottle in six weeks of steady use. That means each bottle i can get a solid 18 weeks worth of use from, which isn’t too shabby. Effectiveness, gentleness, price and availability all combine to make this a cleanser I will repeatedly purchase.

La Roche-Posay- ACD

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Trying out the Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder

Last week I started posting a weekly line up of my skin care products, not only so I could share what I am using with you but to show how I rotate products in and out of my line up. 

And because I can’t resist talking about skin care.

At least not for very long.

I will be shortening it up a bit as Friday’s post got a little bit long, but I wanted to break out some of the products in their own posts.  The first one I wanted to mention was the Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder.

It is a sample size and it arrived in my Ipsy Glam Bag on February 17th.  I began trying it out that very evening and this morning, March 15th, I used the last of it.  Tonight I will be opening my La Roche Posay cleanser. While not quite a month of use, I am only short by a few days so I figured it was worth breaking out into is own post.  Especially as I absolutely loved it.

I figured I should let you know that up front. It was an excellent cleanser. After using it, I can see why the Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder is one of their best sellers, despite its slightly clunky name.

But I am jumping the gun a little bit.  First, let’s look at the cleanser itself.  The word peeling had me a little nervous at first but as it is Amore Pacific I was somewhat at ease.  Their products, at least the ones I’ve tried, have all been excellent and more importantly my skin always reacts really well to them.  They are on the more expensive side so while I do save up and look for sales I also latch on to any sample sizes from the brand that even remotely come into my orbit.

I will in fact alter my orbit to scoop them up.

So, let’s look at what the official description of the Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder is from the Amore Pacific site.

A daily exfoliating cleanser with a powder-to-foam formula powered by plant-derived enzymes to gently remove dull skin cells, impurities and residual makeup.

This daily deep-cleansing exfoliator is formulated with papaya and green tea derived enzymes to remove skin-dulling residue for a brighter, smoother complexion. The water-activated, powder-to-foam formula leaves skin primed to receive skin-care ingredients that follow. Use morning and night, after removing makeup. The bottle is designed to dispense the perfect amount per use. Dispense powder onto your palm, add a small amount of water, and fully lather. Massage onto face, avoiding the eye area. Rinse with warm water.


Amore Pacific

Now as I had a sample size, I did not have the dispenser that controls the amount of product let out.  I had a screw top and a guess.  Actually, I fiddled with the amounts a bit.  The interesting thing was that the amount of product you put in your hand determined the way the product felt on your skin.  If you used only a little (maybe a dime sized amount), you got a light foaming wash.  More product, maybe a nickel sized about – which was my typical use – produced a richer foam but was still a light foam. A quarter’s size or more of the pro made it a dense and creamy face wash.  While I liked the middle of that range, I tended to find myself going lighter with the product in the morning when all I was washing off were the remains of my sleeping mask and heavier in the evening when I was taking off makeup. 

That was more personal choice in product consistency on the skin than anything else.  I used the cleanser after removing my makeup.  It took off makeup remnants the same no matter how much or little I used.  I just liked the denser creamy feel when I was wearing more full coverage products that day.  Even if I used only a little I ended up with a fill clean.  I go in with toner right after my cleanser and the toner pads were almost devoid of any makeup residue. 

The foam produced by the smallest amount used (about half of what is pictured above) Sorry for the face I’m making, but i was trying not to get it in my mouth.

I really liked the feeling of playing with the product though.  It was fun to dispense it and decide exatly how much product I wanted.  I liked adding the water to it.  I thought that part might be a bit messy but it wasn’t  I cupped the product in my hands and used only a little drop of water then placed my other hand over it and rubbed.

Voila! Foam.

No messy drips or anything.  And because the product was dry in the package there were no clogged pumps or messy tops to worry about.  It was fun and clean to use.

But how did it work?  Well, it took off all the dregs of makeup easily.  It didn’t strip my skin although the peeling nature of it removed dead skin cells.  It didn’t leave my skin overly processed or create any dry spots.  I never once felt overly peeled. My skin is soft and feels amazing and except where I had issues with my eye cream, I had no breakouts during my trial of this product.  Not even in the masking area where I have been getting breakouts lately. I’d have a couple of spots where it looked like my skin wanted to think about breaking out.  I’d get a red spot and then after my night time wash and skin care followed by my morning skincare the redness faded and my skin decided not to break out at all. 

toner pad post use. This was after makeup removal of a full face of makeup and a wash with the cleanser.

Part of that is due to the fact that my skin is less oily than it is usually due to the winter, but I really feel that the cleanser taking off all the remnants of makeup really played a role in preventing break outs.   I know this is a bit of an unbalanced review but I really could not find anything I did not like about this cleanser. 

The toner pad pictured to the left is after use post wash. I did use the MAC Cleanse Off Oil and my MakeUp Eraser before washing. Normally even after removing my makeup and washing my face my toner removes the last dregs of the makeup from my skin. With this cleanser the dregs were very minimal.

The scent was clean and fresh, slightly floral, slightly fruity but not overpowering and quickly dissipating.  I really enjoyed this cleanser and will be putting it on my list of products I want to buy in the full size.  Actually with Amore Pacific it is the products I will add it to the list of products I am waiting to go on sale, it is actually the least expensive one on the list.  I have been watching the Time Response Skin Reserve cream for a while now.

I tried a sample and fell in love.  The fact that it is a $450 cream means love hurts.  It generally takes me a while before I can talk myself into the more expensive products I like.  I am sure I will have better luck with this $60 cleanser.  That, even if not on sale, I can generally justify for a personal treat.  Truthfully, sale or not, I might be making this Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder my birthday present to myself this year.  My birthday is at the end of June so I have some time to decide.  It is most certainly a possibility though.


Testing the wild rose and leopard lily of Tatcha’s The Deep Cleanse

I’ll admit, I tried two of Tatcha’s moisturizers before and wasn’t a fan. Some of the ingredients made me a little worried, but mostly I believe I heard so much hype about them that the actual products could never have lived up to the buildup created.  By contrast, I have heard nothing about the Tatcha Deep Cleanse.  

I’m sure there is a review out there.  In fact, I would be very surprised if there wasn’t.  However I didn’t come across any in my random ramblings, and after I put this as an add on in my IPSY Bag, I deliberately tried not to look at any reviews.

I wanted a chance to form my own opinion without thinking about what anyone else thought of it.  I have to say, I was kind of impressed. First, a little bit about the product…

The Deep Cleanse oil-free gel lathers into a creamy foam to lift away dirt, oil and impurities without over-drying. It cleanses with amino acids derived from silk gentle enough for even the most delicate skin, leaving skin soft, refreshed and comfortably hydrated.

The formula harnesses the power of the Japanese Luffa fruit, a natural beauty multi-tasker beloved by Japanese women for centuries. Ground fibers from the fruit exfoliate, helping to turn over dead skin cells, deeply purifying & decongesting pores, while the fruit extract beautifies and conditions skin.

Japanese Wild Rose works to visibly tighten pores and smooth skin texture, while Japanese Leopard Lily helps minimize excess oil.

Now as much as I really like exfoliators, I am always nervous when they come inside of a daily cleanser.  At best I use exfoliators a couple of times a week. Actually with the rise of face masks, I have been using exfoliators more regularly. Before I would go weeks without using one and then just have myself a spa day.  Now I do a once a week exfoliation regardless as part of my keep the maskne down plan.

So I was cautious when using this cleanser. I was very surprised.  It is a creamy gel.  I tended to damp my face, smear the cleanser onto my skin and then rewet my hands to work it into a lather.  Part of this was because it seemed the best way to get the best clean, the other part was due to the bottle. 

just on the damp face (I got the cleanser on my lips in case you are wondering about the facial expression, it smells good, but does not taste good)

The size of the sample bottle and the thickness of the plastic makes it almost impossible to apply with wet hands.  It just slides right out of the hands without dispensing product.  I really think it is the size of the sample tube (as well as its shape) that causes this issue.  I doubt it would occur in the larger size. So I made sure to squeeze the tube with a dry hand and hence the application sequence listed above. I also stood the tube upside down on the sink to help with dispensing.  Kind of like the ketchup bottle in the fridge.

The scent is lightly floral.  I’ll admit seeing the wild Japanese rose and the leopard lily gave me pause. While I don’t mind fragrance in my products, in fact most times I actually like the fragrance, some floral scents get really cloying. Or start to smell like industrial bathroom gleaners and or potpourri spray. And actually I had that problem with several products that I currently have arrayed on my skin care shelf. Yesterday’s Balance M Serum and tomorrow’s Derma E Toner to be exact.

the start of foam with water, and I am just rubbing my face and trying not to have drips hit the camera rather than whispering secrets to the medicine cabinet.

So I approached cautiously with my sniffer. It is not an overpowering scent and smells more clean than cloying.  It smells more like the cleanser had a brief love affair with florals but the memory has faded over the years to a brief shadow instead of an intense heat.

I recall one of the moisturizers I tried from Tatcha having a similar scent.  It was much stronger in the moisturizer than it is in the cleanser though.  This scent was very light.  And for those seeing Rose listed in the ingredients, it is not really a rose scent.  It is just lightly floral.  I think the Leopard Lily balances the Wild Rose out.  Whatever the cause it is a light fresh scent which I really like. Instead of bracing myself to use it, I eagerly reached for the bottle.

As for exfoliation.  It was extremely light. The exfoliates sort of faded from solid bits to almost nothing as I washed.  The exfoliation aspect of this cleanser was extremely light.  To my surprise it was a cleanser I could easily see myself using daily with no irritation or skin issues.  The fact that it was exfoliating merely meant that when I went in with my toner pad there was almost no trace of makeup left behind on my skin.I’m sure it managed to exfoliate my skin as well, but it was so mild that my skin felt no harsh rubbing. If you are worried about over exfoliating, but still want a little bit, this may be a product you might want to look into.

I managed a little over a week’s worth of use with this sample sized cleanser.  While it wasn’t enough to see any long term benefits I will say that it was gentle on my skin, smelled nice and clean, removed the last traces of makeup (I double cleanse) and did not strip my skin. 

It was quite frankly, a fantastic cleanser. I definitely think that the full sized version will be appearing somewhere in my near future.

Beauty counter is having a sale, now through November 30th. If you are looking to try out some excellent clean makeup products, This is a brand to look into.

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Trying out Kylie Skin Foaming Face Wash

With my Elemis Foaming Face cleanser I found out that I really liked foaming face cleansers.  There is something just plain fun about them.  However, a cleanser has to be more than just fun.  It has to work.  

What I look for in a cleanser is that it removes dirt and/or makeup from my face without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. I don’t want the cleanser drying my skin.  While I like the foaming cleansers, I am not picky about my form.  I like a wide variety of cleansers, from gel to oil, foaming and non foaming alike, and as I tend to go through cleansers on a regular basis, I am always open to trying new ones out.

When I am testing a cleanser, I first look at what it is designed to do. Does it claim to remove makeup? If so then I’ll try washing my face without using a makeup remover first.  Then I’ll try it in conjunction with other products, like cleansing balms and exfoliates.

This Kylie Skin Foaming Face Cleanser came in a BoxyCharm box a while ago and I am just now getting around to trying it out.  I’ve never tried anything from Kylie Jenner (not even her lip products which given how much I love lip products even I find surprising).  So I came at this with a blank slate. I deliberately did not read any reviews and comments regarding the product as I wanted to form my own opinion.

Now according to the product page…

Our luxurious foaming face wash is infused with ultra-nourishing kiwi seed oil, packed with Vitamin C and E to help maintain moisture and improve elasticity. This gentle formula cleanses skin by helping to remove dirt, oil and makeup for a fresh, bright complexion.

KEY FEATURES:Glycerin: A humectant that helps balance the moisture in your skin. If your skin is dry, it will draw in moisture and if your skin is oily, it will help decrease the oily appearance of your skin,Mild, gentle cleansing ingredients: Derived from coconut. Gentle & effective. Kiwi Seed Oil: An antioxidant. Kiwi seed oil is a rich source of Vitamin C & E that helps hydrate and brighten skin, Lightly Fragranced


Water/Aqua/Eau, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Potassium Cocoate, Glycerin, Hydroxyacetophenone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-39, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol


My first test with this cleanser was with a full face of makeup on.  It did an okay job with the shadow and oddly enough mascara, but left a lot of foundation behind.  But not being able to remove all my makeup is not a deal breaker for me since I tend to double cleanse. 

cotton round with just toner on it

So I used a makeup remover, which quite frankly took off all of my makeup.  I was testing out the Provence Apothecary moisturizing oil cleanser (which worked quite well – the cotton round with toner I just after was much cleaner than I expected.  There will be a full post about it next week.) I then used the foaming cleanser.  My skin felt a little dry afterwards but not uncomfortably dry.

The third test was with the above mentioned cleansing oil, followed by an exfoliant.  I used the BKind Face Scrub as I know it leaves a slightly waxy feeling behind on my skin, despite bring a fantastic and gentle exfoliant. The waxy feel left behind by the scrub was only partially washed away. The photos showed nothing but when I ran my hand across my face, it was strange.  Parts were waxy parts were completely clean. 

After going over my washed face

Thinking I might have done something odd when washing my face I tried the same procedure other nights (not consecutively as that would be too much exfoliation but over time).  The same thing happened, but it wasn’t always in the same spots. So I don’t think it was the way I was washing my face.

The end result was that I didn’t like this face wash. This is not the cleanser for me.  Not only did it not work well with my skin, but I had issues with the scent.  I know a lot of you out there are thinking ‘I knew scent would come up sometime’. 

What can I say, I am a scent oriented person.

In the description it says lightly fragranced.  This foaming face wash is lightly fragranced in the same way a department store around the holidays is lightly fragranced. 

There is no ignoring this scent.

And the scent is not one I would call pretty.  I tried identifying what scent they were going for (i.e. rose, cucumber, coconut, that sort of thing).  The only thing I got was that it smells exactly like the industrial hand soap used in several of the office buildings in which I have worked. It is not a scent I enjoy and it is not a scent I enjoy putting on my face. It is why I cut the trial short.  Usually I can use a product for a month before reporting on it and then continue using it up even if it isn’t my absolute favorite.  I just don’t like wasting product.

I got two weeks of testing (the bare minimum I use for a test) before I couldn’t take it.  I was actually looking for reasons not to wash my face.  Mostly by taking my cleansing oil pump into the shower with me. I have a younger (second)cousin who adores Kylie Jenner so I’m passing this along for her to use so it won’t be wasted, it just won’t be used by me.  If I want a foaming cleanser, I’m heading to Elemis. Incidentally, they have their end of summer sale going on right now if you are looking to stock up. Personally, I think they are a much better choice.

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