Skincare Tools of 2021 moving into the New Year

This year saw several skincare items appear in my various subscription boxes. And to be fair I have given them all a chance to become part of my daily routine. The thing is, my skincare takes place in a powder room. There is a pedestal sink and one small glass shelf on which to place the skincare I am using. And that includes tools.

While a bathroom rethink is on the horizon, mostly involving a fresh coat of paint and replacing a boxy cabinet with two shelves with more functional shelving, every item I keep in my bathroom as part of my skincare line up has to earn it’s place. While each item may enter, it may not stay for long. So lets look at some of this year’s contenders.

First up, we have the jade roller. I have no clue what brand this particular one is. I think this past year I received three or four of them in boxes. The link is just to the Amazon site featuring a plethora of them. It is a nice handy tool that requires no batteries. It is nice and I really like rolling it over my skin. It is something I will use. However I do find that I I only reach for it in the warmer months. I just don’t reach for it when the temperatures drop. And I really like when the jade roller is cold. It has been very useful in helping to cool me down when I am over heated and it helps with my heat headaches. But it does work best when it is cold. So I am going to transfer it to the fridge instead of keeping it in the bathroom. It is a good little tool, but it won’t remain in the bathroom.

This leads us to two items that look very similar. One is the Rose Quartz Vibrating Facial Roller from Luxe and Willow and the other is the Complex Culture Sonic T-Bar vibrating massager. The rose quarts tool seems to be trying to give the same benefits as the jade in the jade roller. I like that it remains cool even if it is just in my bathroom and not the fridge. In fact it works just a well on some of my tension headaches which is why I have less of an issue relocating the Jade roller to the fridge. I also like the rounded surface of the tool and the way it feels on my skin.

While the T-bar design operates the same way, I find the metal bar on my skin not as comfortable to use and I simply do not reach for it. while these tools function nearly identically, it is the rounded design that causes me to reach for the Luxe and Willow. So the Luxe and Willow will remain in my bathroom while the Complex Culture will not.

Since we are still on stone based tools, I have to mention the Gua Sha tool (again no clue about the brand). It is a nice item and feels good in the hand. I tried it and I honestly can’t say I saw any change in my skin. There was no improvement or if there was it was less than what I had with the other tools. While I find I will pick it ip and turn it over in my hands, I tend to pick it up much as you would a worry stone and not like I would a skincare item. There is also no easy place to put it in the bathroom. If I lay it flat then it not only takes up a lot of space, but I often forget it is there and put things on top of it. It doesn’t stand uptight and the edges are all rounded so leaning it against something doesn’t work because it slides off. Over all I just don’t use it.

The PMD Massaging tool I find I am using more and more of. While I reach for it often, I find when I reach for it depends on the product I am using. If I am using a cleanser that is more creamy than foamy, I will use it with the cleanser. I massage the cleanser around and then rinse off (both my face and the cleanser) I generally find I get a better clean this way and have less evidence of makeup residue on my toner pads. I have also been using it with serums. I’ll apply the serum, wait a moment and then use the wand over the serum to massage the serum in.

While I don’t think it actually does anything major to the serums, what it does is gives the serum time to absorb in completely before I move on with the next step of my skincare. This is especially useful if I am layering serums. For example if I have one Vitamin C serum for brightening the skin and another hyaluronic acid serum from pluming lines, using the pmd wand on my skin between the two gives the first time to absorb before I reach for the second serum. This tool has certainly earned it’s place in the limited space of my bathroom.

And finally we come to the last tool. Technically I think I have had this tool longer than a year, but it is such a useful tool that I just have to mention it. Plus it was in the cup with the other tools and I happened to grab it when I picked them up. This is my silicone skincare brush. This one is from Cosmedix, but I highly recommend picking up any silicon brush to have one in your skincare routine. This one has a smooth and a textured side. The smooth side is fantastic for applying face masks. It helps waste less product and keep everything neat and tidy. The textured side is great for massaging in serums and creams into the skin. I especially like it for massaging in serums around the eyes, especially in the crow’s foot region. It is excellent for really getting the serums in the area you want them to concentrate on. For me I also like the tapered end of the brush as it makes getting into the nooks, especially around the nose, easier for both masks and serums. This brush will remain in my bathroom until it falls apart. Then I will get a new one. At the moment, it is by far my favorite skincare tool.

These six items came to me this year in various subscription boxes. In the end two will be eliminated from my routine, one will be located to the fridge for seasonal use and three will remain in my bathroom and my skincare routine moving into 2022. While I’m sure there will be more items in subscription boxes moving forward, I also have my eye on several skincare tools that I want to actually give a try. Some are highly praised by others, some just look like they could be good ideas. There were also a few items that looked like horrifically bad ideas. I’ll admit those did have a sort of train wreck sort of appeal, but for the most part there is a limited amount of trauma I am willing to put my skin through. So unless a medical professional I personally trust gives it a green light, I will avoid the items on that list.

The point is that these are the items I am starting off using in the new year. Others will arrive, some by choice and others by chance. And upon their arrival these are the items they will be competing for space with on my small skincare shelf. I can’t wait to see what makes it through the year. But we have a full twelve months for that.

Skincare Tools: LARUCE Beauty Face Disks

A while back I received this trio of Laruce Face Disks in a Boxy charm box. I have been using them off and on as I try to get a feel for them. In general I like these sorts of products because it helps me lessen the amount of waste in my bathroom routine. I have completely phased out makeup wipes (although I will admit that there are times when I really do miss them) and I have almost completely switched over to reusable rounds instead of disposable cotton wipes. (when cleaning out my skin care drawer the other day in my quest to round up all samples and foil packs I found an unopen tube of cotton rounds in the bottom of the drawer. I’m trying to use them on the few occasions when I actually need something disposable. Otherwise I am with the reusable ones.

So when I received this trio, it was right up my alley. The set retails on the LaRuce Site for $24. All three have different textures and all three are, as you can see, differently colored. They come in a reusable plastic envelope (which is actually pretty good for travel. It makes the trio easy to chuck into a bag without having them scatter throughout the luggage.

On the back of this bag, there is a recommended use for the rounds. The white round is recommended for makeup removal, the gray for toners and serums and the black for washing the face. So that is how I have been using them. Each of them have had varying degrees of success. So lets go through them each separately.

The first is the white round. This one is designated for makeup removal. I’m not sure about the wisdom of making it the white one. While this image of it use has it unwashed, I have used and washed it several times. Aside from some small lipstick stains from darker products, it washes well. When I used it, I used it in two separate ways. The first way is the same as I would use a Makeup Eraser (my go to makeup removing cloth). I wet the round and used it with no products, just water to take off my makeup. It wasn’t the greatest.

I had to work really hard to remove the makeup with no cleansing balm and just this round. The rounded edge was great for going in under the eyes though. If I used a cleansing balm or cleansing oil, then this round was great with makeup removal. It is soft and it took the balm and makeup off well. It is just not a round you can use without a makeup removing product. But that’s okay, it doesn’t have to be a stand alone product and as long as you remember it isn’t then you will be fine.

The grey face round is designated for use with serums and toners. It was my least favorite of the lot. While it feels good on the skin, it also absorbs a lot of product. It sucked in toners and serums and dispersed them throughout the interior of the round rather than keeping it near the surface. As a resultI ended up using at least three times as much product as usual, much of it staying in the round and ending up in the washing machine. It washed out well, but in general I prefer to use my skincare on my face and not in my washing machine. It is simply too absorbent to do the job it is designated to do. I will probably repurpose it as an additional makeup wipe type of product and use it that way so it won’t go to waste, I just simply won’t use it with toners and serums.

The third, black colored facial round was the best in the bunch and one that I will actually continue using. It is designated for washing the face. To use I wet the round and then dispensed the cleanser on top. I used both cream and gel cleansers during this test. I don’t think that cleansing oils would work terribly well, but the creams and gels were great. The round was dense enough that the product sat on top of the round and didn’t all fall to the center. I used the same amount of product as I normally use. There was something really nice about the fluffiness of the round and I really liked that if my makeup removing process (done prior to face washing) left any residue, it didn’t stain the round. I have had products stain washcloths before so this was a definite plus.

One drawback that they all had, was that I wished the loop of a tag was slightly bigger so that it could be more easily hung up on a hook to dry after being rinsed out. Otherwise I liked the size and I like that they have different textures. The black facial round I will be incorporating into my daily routine. The gray and white rounds I will use with a cleansing product to remove makeup. They won’t be the first things I reach for, but I do like them enough to keep them around.

Now comes the trick question. Would I repurchase these? That is a difficult one as I really like the facial wash round and am just okay with the other two and this trip is not sold separately. For travel this is a good trio to have in your bag. For everyday life I will probably use my Makeup Eraser and the facial wash round on a daily basis and only occasionally pick up the other two rounds. But I don’t think the $24 price tag is unreasonable and I think that while not my favorite set if you are looking to eliminate waste and not stain your washcloths, this is a good set to start with. Just don’t use any of the rounds with toners or serums and you’ll be fine.

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Skincare Tools: Silicone Exfoliating Pad

I’ll be honest, when this came in one of my subscription boxes, I thought, I’ll never use that.  I have seen these small silicone exfoliating pads around for years, but never actually picked one up.   I know that sounds strange considering how much I enjoy a good exfoliation.

It just seemed like something I would never use. An extra tool to clutter up my small bathroom sink area.

But I decided since it was here, I might as well give it a try.

This particular Silicone Exfoliating pad comes from the Vintage Company.  It is soft pink silicone and has a suction cup on the back so that you can attach it to a tile or the mirror or what not in your bathroom/ shower and not lose it. It is also the perfect handle by which to hold it. It slides easily between two fingers and is quite maneuverable around the face.

The suction cup is quite handy actually and not only keeps it in reach but helps it to dry out quickly without liquid hiding in the depths of the silicone bristles.

The bristles are soft and the exfoliation is very light.  I have to say I was quite impressed with the way this pad worked.  I use it with my normal cleanser.  I tried the recommended way of use first.  The card included with the tool says to wet the pad and put a little product on the pad.  Then gently cleanse in a circular motion.  This worked well but, I’ll be honest, I much preferred to put the cleanser on my face as normal and then use the tool in circular motions before rinsing off.  I found that if I applied the product to the pad and then to the face it sometimes would be too w and drip off and I’d lose some of my cleanser.  So I found it easier just to put the cleanser on my face before reaching for the tool.

It is a very light exfoliation which at this time I really appreciate.  I really didn’t want anything harsh and this worked well.  I have been using chemical exfoliates but there is a part of me that always likes a good physical exfoliation. This came me the feeling of a physical exfoliation (because it was physical) but it wasn’t harsh and I never had any sort of damage.  I found this especially useful when I use it post clearing mask. 

One of my favorite clearing masks is the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Chamomile and Cacao Clay Clearing mask (and not just because it smells of cocoa).  This mask tends to draw out all of the buried clogged pores and essentially help everything work to the surface.  When I used the mask and then later used this exfoliating tool with my cleanser I found that it had just enough exfoliation to help but not enough to cause damage. 

I was skeptical when it first arrived thinking it was a tool I would never use.  It has now become part of my daily routine. It is a simple and cost effective skincare tool that really is nice to have around.

LovelySkin

One Month of PMD Daily Clean: Was it worth it?

While I have had this PMD Clean for a while, I’ll be honest, I only occasionally used it. I tended to forget about it. Which I find a little amusing actually. I used to have A Foreo Vibrating facial cleansing tool and I used it twice daily without fail. Then came the last move and it was lost. Several of our boxes were destroyed and a couple were missing. I lost most of my perfume collection, hair tools and sadly my Foreo. I know I should have put it in my carry on but it was already full so I packed it with the bath stuff instead. Big mistake.

It was kind of a mess.

I somehow never got around to replacing my Foreo even though I always intended to. I think the washing machine and dryer went belly up about the same time the reimbursement check from the movers came through so we ended up using the money to replace them since they were more immediate concerns. Sometimes in life, you have to make the adult choice.

The PMD Clean came to me in a Boxycharm a while ago. I thought “Great I can use this and then get the UFO sonic masking tool from Foreo instead.” I have to admit, I’ve had my eye on that since it came out. Given my love of masks are you surprised? And of course now I also want to try out the new Bear Facial Toner too. I swear they have come out with some really interesting products that I just want to try. A lot of facial tools I kind of avoid because they look a little bit scary, but these just sort of pull me in and say try me. But that is not the point to this post. Admittedly sooner or later I will make several purchases and it will no doubt be the subject of a later post.

To the PMD clean.

So I set the PMD Clean up in my bathroom and then promptly forgot about it. Now, to decide if it is worth keeping around I moved it front and center and used it twice daily for a month in order to find out. So lets look first at what the website has to day about it.

The PMD Clean is a smart facial cleansing device. With over 7,000 vibrations per minute, our SonicGlow™ technology not only ensures a deep cleanse, but operates at a perfect frequency to lift, firm, and tone problem areas for a more youthful appearance.

PMD Website

Okay, not the most elaborate description. The website further goes on to tell you that to use with a cleanser you apply the cleanser to the tool, and then apply to the face. The back of the head of the tool is supposed to be useful for massaging in serums and moisturizers. The bottom of the tool is rounded and I believe it is supposed to be useful for something or other but it wasn’t on the site and I’m not sure where I heard that. The device also comes with a little stand.

Let’s address the stand first to get it out of the way. It is nice and small and fits the bottom of the PMD Clean perfectly. However if you don’t fit the device in just right then it will fall over. It is kind of annoying when your hands are wet from rinsing your face or covered with product from applying moisturizer or serum. I usually just lay the tool down and then fit it back into the stand once I was done. However you have to dry off the tool before you fit it in the stand otherwise the stand gets gunky really quickly.

I like that it is battery operated and waterproof. While a part of me really prefers rechargeable tools over battery powered ones, the lack of a charging port means I can comfortably take this into the shower with me. Sometimes I like to apply makeup remover just before I step in the shower and then rinse it off when I shower. So I find that beneficial.

I like the thought of the four settings but to be honest, I really just chose one setting and used it everytime I picked up the tool. The options are nice, but I didn’t really use them. This month used the PMD Clean with makeup removers, both oil and balm, cleansers, moisturizers and serums. And yes I washed the head after each one.

Front side

While the site recommends applying the cleansing product to the tool and then putting the tool to your face, I found this didn’t work the best for me. I found that if I applied the product to my face and then used the tool it worked better for me. Perhaps that is personal preference, but I really didn’t like the way the product dripped when I lifted the tool to my face. I felt like it applied well to the tool when it was horizontal but once lifted upright gravity took hold and product was wasted and things got messy.

So I very quickly learned to apply the product to my face and then reach for the tool. Using it this way also insured I had proper product coverage on my face. Because it is silicone the tool does not absorb product but there is no measuring it out either. Applying it to the wand first meant that where I touched it to my face was the area that received the most product. So I had to add more product.

As I said before I did use the Foreo before and I didn’t really have that problem, but I think that is due to the surface area being so much larger. I applied the product to the top and it still rolled down the surface, there was just more surface so it didn’t drip off.

back side of PMD Clean

When applying the product to my face I used the exact same amount of product that I would normally use. There was not a lessening of product usage. With cleansers, both makeup removers and general cleansers, I used the front of the wand head. To be honest, I really liked using it. I am not entirely certain it made the products work better, but I did find that once I reached for the tool I spent more time working the cleanser into my skin. Using it extended the length of time I used the product and I think because of that I felt the products “worked better” than they did without the tool.

Do I think that it is going to make a bad product better? No. I think that using the PMD Clean tool caused me to spend more time washing my face than I would without it. I enjoyed the vibrations on my face. One interesting result is due to it being allergy season. Using the intense vibration of the PMD Clean tool on my sinus area when i was all blocked up helped loosen things up a bit so that after i rinsed off my face I ended up blowing my nose. Not to be too gross about it, it seemed to shake out the snot a bit. So I was a little less congested. Which I appreciated. And yes there were mornings where after I finished washing my face I pressed the tool against my blocked sinuses just to help clear my nose out.

But that isn’t the point of the tool.

Just the cleanser on damp skin

With cleansers I noticed that I got more foam out of the cleansers than I normally would. Which I kind of like. I’m currently using the La Roche Posay Toleriane Foaming cleanser. It goes on creamy to damp skin and then as you begin to rinse it foams up to wash away dirt and makeup residue. I saw a lot more foam on my skin when I used the PMD Clean than when I didn’t. Just something to note.

However, this tool has a flip side to the head. A flat side with a series of bumpy lines. This side of the tool is supposed to help apply moisturizer and serums. I’ll be honest, I hated this aspect of the tool. It worked fine on the fleshier parts of my face like my cheeks but it didn’t feel pleasant on my forehead or around my nose. I tried using it a couple of times and then just switched back to using the front side of the tool. I didn’t really like using the tool with moisturizer, but I did like using it with serums.

Increased foam with the PMD Clean

Again the reason is time. When you apply serums generally you need to wait a bit before moving on to the next step of your skin care routine. (Mine has many steps). The time lets your skin absorb the serum fully before you move on. Often I am guilty of rushing this step. When I used the PMD Clean tool, I automatically gave myself the time. Again the vibrations may have encouraged the product to absorb more fully, but I just don’t know. I do know that because I took more time, the serum had more time to fully absorb before I moved on.

Moving forward I will use the PMD Clean wand with cleansers, both makeup removing products and general cleansers, and I will use it with serums. I saw no benefit to using it with a moisturizer. I also only like the front side of the tool. I can see the thought behind the back side and even the rounded nubby bottom, but I didn’t enjoy using them. I only used the main side of the PMD Clean. It is like the multiple speeds, they are good in theory but in practice i just didn’t really need them. I chose my speed and stuck with it just as I chose the side of the tool I wanted to use.

The wand shape is nice and easy to hold. It is an easy to use tool and I will continue using it. Truthfully though I might end up getting some sort of tooth brush stand and using that as a holder rather than the little plastic stand it comes with. The precise balancing needed to keep it upright is going to drive me mad one morning if I don’t. Do I think that the wand shape is an improvement over the traditional shape of the Foreo? Not really. I would prefer more surface area and I think even the Foreo minis have more surface area.

The PMD Clean is a good skincare tool. Do I think it magically makes your skin perfect and blemish free? No. But I do think it encourages you to spend a little extra time letting your products work, which as we are mostly talking about cleansers, can lead to better skin.


La Roche-Posay- ACD

Tool Talk: Afterspa Reusable Rounds

Each week I give posting space to a variety of products and talk about their benefits and uses, but I don’t often talk about the tools I use with them.  I am trying to correct that with these tool talk posts. Some weeks it will be makeup brushes and other weeks flat irons. This week I decided to go with the reusable cotton rounds from Afterspa.

The Afterspa reusable rounds came in my January Glossy Box and I for one was very happy to see them.  It was actually a really good box this month. You can check out my unboxing here if you’d like to see the whole thing.

A while back I took a look at the waste in my house and I have been trying to reduce the amount of it.  In the back yard, we purchased a composter and a lot of our kitchen waste makes it back there, from coffee grounds to egg shells.  It keeps it out of our trash bin and gives us some really good compost each year. Actually many of the subscription boxes that I get make their way there, the shipping boxes getting torn up and used as dry material in the composter. I just have to peel off any tape. The ones with the wax coating take a little longer to deteriorate so often times I’ll use them to line the bottom of a raised flower bed to keep the weeds down. It smothers the weeds and eventually disintegrates into the dirt.

In the bathroom I use a Makeup Eraser and some kind of makeup removing produce (balm, oil, micellar water) to remove my makeup instead of the makeup wipes.  Occasionally, I will use a makeup wipe, but I don’t buy them regularly any more.  It took a while to break the habit, but I did.

At the moment I have a sample pack that I received in a subscription box that I have been slowly working through.  I also signed up for a trial Refreshments box from IPSY and will be getting a pack in that.  I wanted to try the subscription and if I like the scents I will trade out the wipes for another product if possible as I suspect a full sized pack of wipes will either be something I use up right away simply because they are there and I go makeup wipe crazy while I have them or I will parcel them out miserly for an extended period. I don’t know which it will be as I haven’t used them routinely in a while.

But I no longer use them routinely so it won’t be a reorder for the subscription if i end up keeping it. (My first shipment is in February so I’ll keep you posted on that.

Empty containers usually make their way into my greenhouse where they are repurposed.  Moisturizer jars are used to hold sprouting seeds, serum droppers are used to dose out liquid fertilizer mostly to orchids, spray bottles are turned into misters for plants that like water through their leaves instead of at their roots.

This means that at the moment cotton rounds are my biggest waste product in my bathroom.  The two things I use them for the most are toner and eye makeup remover.  I know, I can use the Makeup Eraser for eye makeup removal, however at the moment I have a single Makeup Eraser that I use all week and then throw into the wash at the end of the week. (I used different spots and rotate around so I’m always using a clean section of cloth.)

I really need to look into getting a pack of smaller Makeup Erasers.  They now have small square ones that let you use a different Makeup Eraser each day so that you can put them in the wash after one use. I had planned to get a pack of the Sponge Bob Square pants ones, but they sold out and then I got distracted. I know they have a Goodnight Moon Set that I really like the look of, but it is one of the full sized ones instead of the smaller cloths so I need to talk myself out of it. Or find out if they have it in smaller sizes.

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I don’t mind using the one Makeup Eraser all week, I just shift to different spots on the cloth to take down my face makeup each day of use. I am just a little more hesitant to do so around my eyes.  Not only is there more product around my eyes, some of which is harder to remove – like mascara-, but I just don’t like the thought of potentially putting germs near my eyes.  So I tend to remove my eye makeup with disposable cotton rounds so that I know they are fresh each day.

In theory, the reusable rounds from Afterspa are the perfect solution. 

The pack sent to me in Glossy Box contained two rounds, which is quite perfect as far as testing goes. I can use them and see how I feel about them before committing to a box of them, because realistically I would need a minimum of three per day: two for my daily toner and one for eye makeup removal. Or so I thought.

it was a brown eyeshadow day, but some of that is foundation

I took out the After Spa reusable rounds to try and my first recommendation is to wash them before you use them.  While I am certain they are hygienic right out of the pack, if you use them without washing you will end up with a lot of white fuzz on your face.

The reusable rounds are soft and floppy.  The feel good against the skin.  However with toner, they felt a little too big.  I generally hold my cotton round against my face with the use of two fingers and occasional assistance by my thumb.  This required the whole hand.  There were maneuverability issues and the reusable round kept rolling up on me so that one application accidentally used both sides of the round.  I wasn’t certain if I could use one side and then have the other side available of  a second use, but it was something I planned to test. However even if the toner hadn’t leaked through and the side away from my face remained sanitary under traditional use circumstances, the round kept rolling up so there was no way that the other side could be used as it was already partially used during the first pass.

The rolling was a bit annoying actually and that was only partially due to size.  The round is really too big to be used for a product like a toner. The other issue was the material.  It is very soft and almost too soft for use in applying toner. If the material was a little thicker or the edge was a little stiffer, this would be an entirely different review. I did not care for them when using it to apply products like toner.

But there is also eye makeup removal.

To remove my eye makeup: mascara, liner and shadow, I had to use both cotton rounds, both sides.  The problem is, again, that the thin cloth is too soft.  It feels good against the skin, but it doesn’t have the thickness that is needed for makeup removal.  The Makeup eraser is still soft material but it is sturdier as well and does a much better job. It also has a stiffer edging which really helps it. I don’t think these rounds need a large border, but because of the super soft material it really needs a stiffer edging to help it lay flat.

I will say that when I tossed them in the wash after use, they came out spotlessly clean.  They were white and even the eyeliner and mascara washed out. I am not certain how long they will last under weekly use and washing conditions.  I will continue using them to see if I might find some tricks to getting them to perform the way I want them to as well as seeing how long they hold up, but I don’t think these particular reusable rounds are for me.

I still have high hopes that I will find some reusable rounds that are.  Because I would love to continue to eliminate as much waste as possible, but for now, I will use my makeup eraser and in the near future order a set of smaller makeup erasers for eye makeup removal if nothing else.  I will still use the cotton rounds for applications of things like toners though and I will keep searching for reusable rounds to eventually take their place.

I know this was a post about the Afterspa Reusable rounds, and you got to hear a lot more about the Makeup eraser, but to be honest, using the After Spa Rounds made me appreciate the Makeup Eraser more. And when introducing a new tool to your repertoire it is good to fit it into the context of already used products and to see how it stacks up. At least that is my thought.

Makeup Eraser

Tool Talk: Cosmedix Skincare Brushes

This summer, I entered the world of masking brushes.  Prior to this I simply used my fingers and thought ‘why would I bother using a masking brush?’

Then I ordered a super cheap one (less than $1) and tried it, just to see why so many people seemed to use them.

my less than a dollar masking brush

Wow, what a difference it made. 

I won’t lie and say I always use the brushes, because I don’t.  I also won’t say you HAVE to have the brushes. Because you don’t.  I also won’t tell you that you need expensive brushes, because you really don’t. But if you are interested in adding brushes to your masking routine, and maybe being a little extra, this might help you out.

First off, there are two main benefits to using the silicone masking brushes.

The first benefit I noticed is that I tend to use less product when I use the masking brushes than when I don’t. While there may be some seasonal swelling or water retention now and again, neither dramatically changes the surface area of my face in a massive way.  Yet when I use the silicone brushes, I use less product than when I don’t.

Part of that is because of benefit number two.

And that is less mess.  When applying masks with fingers, it naturally gets all over the fingers you are using to apply it to your face.  It can also get on the sink and the faucet taps, but mostly on your fingers. The silicon brush has less of a surface area than my fingers.  Even though I use a spoon or spatula to get masks out of the jar and start applying using one finger, I usually end up with three fingers covered in mask which I then have to wash off.  The silicone doesn’t absorb any of the mask so little is left on the masking brush.  In addition, it is easy to rinse off and in the case of peel off masks, you just let it dry, then peel the mask off.  Then of course you wash it, but that is super easy with the mask gone.

Easy Peasy.

Now the less than a $1 masking brush I picked up does the job no problem.  I am quite happy using it. However I recently received a Cosmedix Brush set in a Boxy Charm.  The set is composed of two brushes.

According to the Cosmedix website, the Cosmedix Skincare Brush Set…

Take cleansing to the next level with this embossed brush designed for gentle exfoliation and effective deep pore cleansing. Plus, bring the spa experience home with a dual-sided silicone spatula that effortlessly and evenly distributes product across your face. Use it to apply cream, exfoliator, serum, or masks with ultimate precision and no mess.

The set retails for $25. While you can clearly get brushes for less money, I would say this is not an unreasonable price. There are two brushes so you are paying $14.50 per brush.

Let’s look at the silicone brush first.  The handle is tapered and easy to hold.  The brush head itself is flat, with an angle and has one smooth side and one textured side.

The angle of the brush is really nice.  One of the ways my cheap brush falls down is that the shape of the head is triangular so the points are really hard to get into the crevices around the nose so I end up using my fingers to smooth things over, which sort of defeats the purpose of using the brush.

Not only is the Cosmedics brush angled but the corners are rounded which makes applying masks really easy no matter where on the face you are. The flat side of the brush is perfect for clay based masks.  I have been using it this week for my Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Detox Mask and it has been fantastic.  I can run the brush over the top of the mask in the jar to pick up product and put it on my face with very little waste.

The textured side is not good for clay based masks but I find it is excellent for gel based ones.  Recently I used both the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber mask and the Kiehl’s Calendula Petal infused Gel mask.  While both of these masks could be applied with either side of the Cosmedix silicone brush, The textured side does have a purpose.  Just before those masks are removed, it is recommended that you massage the mask in a little before rinsing.  The textured side of the brush is perfect for this. Just remember to rinse thoroughly, possibly even soaking the brush a bit especially if it is an exfoliating mask with particles, so that you can be sure to get all of the particles out.

The second brush, I’ll admit, I found a little confusing at first.  I tried it a number of ways, but none of them seemed to be a benefit to my skin care routine. This second brush is not silicone, but an actual fiber brush with densely backed bristles.  The head of the brush is not flat but textured with a circle of round nubbins. The issue I had with it, was that it is very absorbent.  If you dip it into a mask or serum, or even a cleanser, it will soak up the product like a sponge, using far more than you actually need to use in one sitting.

However it is useful.  The first use I found for it was to loosen dried clay masks.  Wet the brush, but remember it will soak up a lot of water so when you first press it to your face be prepared for a release of water unless you squeeze the brush out first, and even then be prepared. It does an admiral job of loosening clay masks without harshly scraping the skin. The texture from the nubbins really helps in its effectiveness.

The second use is for massaging serums into the skin. Do not dip the brush into the serum or you will very quickly lose your serum as it is sucked in.  Apply the serum to the skin and then lightly massage it in with the brush.  The serum stays on your skin and the brush just helps it absorb.

brush with Erno Laszlo Black soap cleansing bar

I have also found that it is very useful if you are using a bar cleanser. While the brush will absorb liquid cleansers just like any other liquid.  If you have a bar cleanser like the Erno Laszlo Black soap (which I personally really like) you can wet the brush (which absorbs a lot of water) rub the water loaded brush on the cleansing bar and then apply it to the face.

Shop the iconic Laszlo-original cleansing bar!

Not only does it work really well, but it helps contain the mess that the Erno Laszlo Black soap can create with drips (although really, the cleansing bar is worth the drips).  If it stays on the dish or other container where you keep your soap then it can’t drip all over your sink.  It also helps keep the bar longer as bar cleansers (or any bar soap really) starts to disintegrate when it is wet.  The secret to keeping a bar of soap (or cleanser) for longer is to make sure it stays dry when you aren’t using it.  Because the brush localizes the water, the bulk of the cleansing bar stays dry. So it lasts longer.

All in all once I figured out the best way to use the second brush in the set, I enjoyed using the brushes and incorporating them into my skincare routines.  They are lightweight, but sturdy.  Not only do they look good but they perform well.

The brushes may not be absolutely necessary to any routine.  There are many other ways to apply product, but they do have benefits. If you are looking to add brushes to your skin care routine, this may be a set you might want to look into.  I am quite pleased to be able to use them. I believe my less than a $1 silicone brush will still be used when I do peel off masks as I don’t want to deal with the textured side of the Cosmedix silicone masking brush, but otherwise I will be using these brushes for quite a while.


Sparitual