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01 June, 2014



Every time I go through a breakout or have any skin woes I consult the beauty queen herself Caroline Hirons cheetsheets (have you read them? If not you should!) her advice on sudden breakouts noted that spots needed nourishment not drying out. I know it's tempting to slap on the spot drying treatments in hope to blitz the area but from my experience, that area of skin takes longer to heal and ends up being dry and patchy. So with all that in mind the combination of using a cleansing oil to remove my makeup, (followed by the REN Clearcalm Clay Cleanser) then applying a facial oil, even over my blemish prone skin actually helps keep my skin clear.

My first foray into cleansing oils was from ARK, their Remove Pre Skin Cleanse* comes with a handy pump and contains natural ingredients of grape seed, avocado and kiwi oil to protect the skin and leaves it feeling plump and soft. You can read my full review here. Overall it's lightweight to use, gentle around the eyes when removing waterproof eye make up, has a pleasant scent of essential oils and I love the way that it leaves my skin feeling - super soft. However ARK products are currently only available online in the UK and their store is not based locally for me, it's also £25 for 125ml, so not exactly a budget buy.

When I used the last few pumps of the ARK cleanser, I decided to switch things up and pick up The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil which is £12 for 200ml - super affordable and everyone seem to be loving it. It's in a clear plastic bottle also with a pump. TBS claims this silky cleanser removes waterproof makeup and impurities, leaving skin feeling clean and refreshed. So after using this every night for the last week or so it hasn't really left me wanting more but made me realize how much I loved the ARK oil more.

First off TBS texture is thicker and takes a little longer to work into my skin, especially around my eyes, it does not melt or dissolve my mascara as easily as the ARK oil. Secondly in my opinion it doesn't smell that nice, it's a odd scent, which isn't floral or uplifting as I expected. But it's not a deal breaker by any means, as I know others like the scent. So after I rinse it with a bit of water to let it emulsify and wash my face, it does leave it feeling clean and fresh. Maybe I'm being picky but for a budget oil cleanser is does do a good job, without any thrills.

So after I've cleansed by skin, one my favourite skin care steps is using a facial oil. After running out of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I picked up the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil at duty free last month. The Clarins is £32 for 30ml, it's in a clear glass bottle with a topper to dispense the oil. This natural oil contains Rosemary, Geranium and lotus extracts and claims to purify, tighten pores and refine skin texture. It also hydrates the skin and prevents fine lines. The consistency of the oil is quite thick, (compared to the Kiehl's)

I add a few drops on the palms of my hands to warm up the oil, then gently press it against my face. You can feel it on your skin but as I'm going to sleep anyway it doesn't bother me too much. When I wake up my skin is soft, it doesn't make my blemishes any worse or experience any sudden breakouts. It also doesn't clog my pores but I'm not sure about it tightening them. I had terribly congested skin all around my chin after I came back from my holiday last month and this oil actually helped clear up my skin. It's a lovely nourishing product even for oily skin girls like myself.

So yes as you can see, I have a thing for oils! I've also started oil pulling but that's another post...

*PR sample

What are your favourite cleansing & facial oils?

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