How well does the Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil work?

I have to say I have been really impressed with Yensa lately.  I was always a fan of their primer, but then I fell head over heels in love with their lip oil.  As you may recall if you read my IPSY unboxing post this past month, one of my repeat items was the Yensa CBD Super Food Dual Cleansing Oil.  At the point when the new bottle arrived I had been using the bottle of cleansing oil I had for about a month.  I am less than halfway through the bottle.  So in case you read the post and think, how did you get through so much cleansing oil in such a small amount of time?  I did not, this is the older bottle.

full face of makeup

So first, let’s see what the product claims are…

A dual makeup remover and cleanser infused with CBD and 8 SuperOils that nourishes, cleanses, softens and removes impurities without stripping the skin.  The eight benefits are:

  • Dual-phase Makeup remover and cleansing oil
  • Nourish, soothe and cleans the skin while removing impurities
  • Powered by CBD 8 super oils
  • CBD oil calms skin and helps reduce redness
  • Black sesame oil improves skin rejuvenation
  • Black cumin oil fights against acne and clogged pores
  • Chia seed oil restores moisture in the skin
  • Broccoli seed oil is rich in omega -6 and helps cell renewal

Ingredients: Heliantus Annuss (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cannabidiol, Bakuchiol, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Fragrance (Parfum)

Yensa

Now, I could be wrong, but here is my take on cleansers.  I am happy to see all sorts of good ingredients in them and I do prefer the ones that are designed with skin care in mind rather than throwing a bunch of elements at me.  However with a product like a cleansing oil, it is the first step in my skin care routine.  I apply the cleansing oil over my makeup, let it break down the makeup, rinse it off, and then go back with a regular cleaner.  Then of course I proceed to the toner. 

Cleansing oil over makeup

What this means is that the products that are in the cleansing oil, aren’t going to stick around long.  I don’t know how much cell rejuvenation and renewal the ingredients can do in the short amount of time they have against my skin.  I appreciate their efforts, but I am not looking for a whole lot of long term benefits in a cleansing oil. 

What I want it is to not cause damage to the skin, remove my makeup and not leave my skin feeling stripped. The lovely ingredients list tells me that the ingredients in the cleansing oil are not going to do damage to my skin.  Nothing in the list is something I have a sensitivity to and nothing is going to cause a reaction for me. So that is one box checked.  The only issue I could see is from the fragrance added.  However it is the last ingredient listed so I don’t think there is enough included in the product to be an issue.

water added to foam the oil

As for the scent of the product, it is slightly earthy.  If I was blindfolded and asked to sniff this cleansing oil I would be able to tell it was a CBD product. It has that CBD scent to it.   To be honest, I have no idea how else to describe it, and not because of my usual scents coming up as colors and tastes either.  It smells like a CBD oil.  The only time I have smelled that scent is in products with CBD in them. It isn’t a heavy scent.  It isn’t over powering, but it is present.  I don’t particularly mind the scent, but if you have issues with the scent, you might want to pass.

I really like the design of the pump.  It is easy to dispense, the bottle is sturdy and to be honest, I will probably end up reusing it when I am done with the product. Only two pumps of the product are needed to cover the entire face.  It is a clear oil in a green bottle.

As with most cleansing oils, it does have the tendency to get into your eyes when you remove your mascara and eyeliner. I did get it in my eyes.  It didn’t sting and surprisingly it did not stay to film up my contact lenses.  I had that problem with the Sunday Riley Oil cleanser.  Once in my eyes it would stick to my contact lenses and no matter how many times I took the lens out and cleaned it, the film remained so the world was a cloudy place.  I wear disposable lenses so it wasn’t as big a deal as it could have been but It was something that bothered me. 

clean skin

This Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing oil did not have that problem. When it did get onto my contacts, it was easily rinsed away.  Perhaps it has something to do with the dual cleansing.  Speaking of which…

After I applied the oil over my makeup and rubbed it around on my face, letting it start to break down the makeup, I added water as specified and began to wash.  The cleanser did foam up a little and then rinsed off.  It took 90% of my make up with it when it washed off.  There was a little mascara and a bit of foundation left behind (toner pads don’t lie), but most of it was gone. My skin did not feel stripped and I had no issues with clogged pores. 

However, I still felt as though I needed to wash my face with a regular cleanser.  Especially after I did the toner test and found makeup remaining. My skin just didn’t feel all the way clean with just the cleansing oil, dual action or not.

It is a very good cleansing oil, but I needed a regular cleanser to follow. I enjoyed using it for the past month and will continue to use it moving forward.  It is one of those cleansing oils that is a good reliable product.  I may set this to the side to try other products, but I will return to it until the bottle is empty.  I have no problem returning to it and in the future I might pick up another bottle. While I am more of a cleansing balm sort of person than a cleansing oil, this is one of the better cleansing oils I have tried lately. While I am uncertain about the eight listed benefits in the description, it does meet my three criteria, It doesn’t irritate my skin (or do other damage), it takes off my makeup well, and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped.


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Trying out the Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash

I am a big fan of exfoliants.  I tend to use them about once a week, occasionally twice, depending on my skincare needs.  While there are several that claim they can be used daily, it is rare to find one that actually can be used daily without causing too much exfoliation to the skin.  The Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash claims to be a…

Gentle everyday cleanser that lightly exfoliates and tones skin. Bia Exfoliating Wash lightly exfoliates and tones skin, making it gentle enough for everyday use. Jojoba grains provide exfoliation without irritating the skin and castor oil helps clear pores and impurities and evens the appearance of skin tone. This wash never leaves skin feeling tight or dry and is clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin flakiness. Scent: Uplifting Grapefruit and Elderflower

I received this in a subscription box (Glossy Box actually) and I have to say the daily cleanser/exfoliate was a combo that I found interesting.  The deluxe sample was enough for me to use twice a day for two weeks.  It is a cream consistency with the particulates (the jojoba grains) suspended in the product.

I have to say that it was gentle enough that I could use it twice daily without feeling like my skin was being scrubbed raw. It actually did no damage and did exfoliate well. It is an extremely gentle exfoliate.  You can feel the jojoba grains in the product but they tend to break down a bit as you wash rather than break your skin down and stay solid hard particles.  I had no fears that I was doing any damage to my skin while using it.

The cleanser aspect of the product foamed well when rubbed into the skin, but not extravagantly. this is not a suds galore product. It is more of an exfoliating product that also cleanses. The cleansing part is very much secondary to the exfoliation, but at the same time I didn’t feel as though I needed to go back and wash my face after rinsing off the Codex exfoliating wash which is a big plus. Typically with exfoliates I use an oil or cleansing balm to remove makeup, then exfoliate if I am going to and then use a cleanser. This did eliminate the need for an additional cleanser.

So it cleansed nicely and exfoliated well, achieving both of it’s stated goals. I appreciate that. The only drawback I had with this product was the scent.  While it claims to be a grapefruit and elderflower blend, what I got was mostly castor oil with a slight citrusy back note.

It isn’t a bad scent, but I don’t think it is for me.  I can always tell when a product is really good but the scent isn’t for me (other than the scent) because I will reach for it and sigh. I know it’s just me in the bathroom so there is no one I need to be dramatic for, but it is something I always do. Good products with scents I don’t care for get the sigh, because I want to use them, I just can’t get past the scent.

In case you are wondering products that don’t work well but smell nice, don’t get the sigh. Those just get moved along. I think the sigh is a sign of disappointment, either for the product of for my inability to get past the scent to use the product that works well. Because let’s face it, I know me. I am very scent oriented. I may know this (or any other) product works well, but if I don’t like the scent I am just not going to reach for it. I can power through a sample, but not a full sized bottle.

While I think the Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash itself is nice and it does an excellent job of cleansing and exfoliating the skin, I don’t think I could take the scent of the product every day. 

I kept hoping I would get used to it, but somehow, I never did. Which is a shame.  It really is a great product and I love that it is a gentle enough exfoliating wash to be used daily.  It is one of the few products I’ve tried that have made that claim and been able to live up to it. I love that it uses natural ingredients and plant based preservatives. I love their sustainability ambitions.

But for me, the scent is the killer. I tried very hard, but I just can’t get past it.  So sadly, while an excellent product, a full sized purchase will not be in my near future. If I purchased it, the tube would just sit there because I would find excuses not to use it.  I will however, keep the efficacy of the product in mind and look at other products from the brand in the hopes that they work just as well but have a different scent to them.



Washing it away with the Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk

Purlisse Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Cleansing Milk

At this point the cleanser was the only product I hadn’t tried from Purlisse’s Blue Lotus line and I was happy to give it a try.  After all the rest of the line worked out really well for me.  The Blue Lotus Moisturizer by the way is a really good light weight moisturizer that is pretty good when your skin is transitioning from summer to autumn, or autumn to winter for that matter.

As many of you may know I am always leery of products that claim to do more than one thing.  While the 4 in 1 name may imply that it does more than one thing, I believe it is just referring to the ingredients and their benefits. 

As the description reads…

Removes makeup, while gently cleansing and toning skin

Blue Lotus extract is a powerhouse antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits known to combat against free radical damage, White Tea helps rejuvenate skin, Soy Milk is rich in amino acids & maintains skin elasticity, Whole Oat calms & soothes sensitive skin

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So the four in one really relates to the blue lotus extract, white tea, soy milk, and whole oat not multiple tasks.  This cleanser has only one real task.  It is a cleanser.  And a pretty good one at that.  While I used cleansing oil to break down my make up, this cleanser then came in and washed away all of the residue from the makeup and the cleansing oil.  My skin was clean and refreshed but never stripped. 

I have to say it was both odd and appealing to use this cleanser.  The previous two cleansers were both foaming ones.  The first was  from Elemis and was fantastic, the second foaming cleanser I tried was from Kylie Skin and was horrible. It was a relief to transition back to a really good cleanser, but strange not to have a foaming one.  As you can see in the pics it is a creamy consistency and while it does get a little bubbly on the face, it is not terribly foamy. 

It is very cleansing though.  I accidentally squeezed a little too much out of the tube in this photo.  I actually needed a little less to get my face clean.  If anything that is the downfall of this product.  Because it is a squeeze tube it is very easy to dispense more product than you need.  There isn’t any damage to your face.  It’s not like your skin is going to complain that it is too clean, it is just a waste of the product.

I think I would have a little more control with a pump. But that won’t stop me from picking this up again.  The Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Cleansing Milk is $36 and I believe that is a fair price for both the amount of product you get and the quality of the product.  I would certainly have no problems using this product again.  For now I am going to use the last of the product up and swap it out for the next cleanser waiting in the wings.  It is an Olay one from the Regenerist line in case you are wondering.

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Province Apothecary Moisturizing Oil Cleanser, Does it take the day off without stripping the skin?

I enjoy double cleansing.  In fact I really like making a big multistep moment of my skin care.  So many things seem to be streamlined in an effort to save time.  And I get that, time is often a rare commodity.  In many cases I am all for streamlining. 

My skin care isn’t one of them.  While I like when products have more than one benefit, I am leery of products that try to tackle too much. I would rather have an array of skin care items that I use in order, each with its own special focus, than one super powered product that mostly does the job of three products, but only really does one thing well and is sort of meh on the other two.

Plus, I really like the night time ritual of skin care products It is a time to not only calm down and slow down, preparing myself for sleep, but also a small stretch of alone time. Especially now that everyone is spending more time in the house.  A little solitude is a very good thing. In fact I may have been extending some of my nightly skin care rituals to create just a few more minutes of alone time.

I love everyone, I’m just not certain why I’m the only one who knows where everything is located. Alas, it seems I am.

But that is another mystery, now we discuss removing makeup.

So, as I mentioned, I don’t mind double cleansing.  In case you just used a regular face wash ain your routine and are wondering what the point of double cleansing is, the purpose of using a cleansing oil or balm before washing your face isn’t really to completely blitz away the makeup.  It’s job is to break the makeup down so it can more effectively be washed off. 

Then a regular cleanser can be used to not only wash the remnants of the oil and makeup residue, but to actually clean the skin, washing the face instead of washing the foundation. If you’ve ever used just a cleanser and then went in with a cotton round to tone your face and come away with a cotton round covered in foundation, that is one of the reasons why.  Your cleanser needed an enforcer.  Which is the makeup removing oil or balm’s job.

They are the hefty bouncer sending the waterproof mascara and 24 hour foundation out of the door at closing time, even though they don’t want to leave the dance floor.

But what are the claims for the Province Apothecary Moisturizing Oil Cleanser?

Transform your skincare routine with our purifying organic oil cleanser. Use daily to thoroughly remove dirt, make-up, and pollution without disrupting the natural pH of your skin. High in antioxidants and vitamins A, E and omega-3, this cleanser keeps skin well hydrated. The blend of pure plant oils won’t clog pores, dry out skin or cause irritation, making it ideal for all skin types including acne-prone. 

Uses Avocado Oil | A rich, viscous carrier oil that deeply penetrates the skin to fight dryness, dullness and dehydration and Raspberry Seed Oil | Very high in linoleic acid, a fatty acid found to be lacking in the sebum of acneic skin, the oil also works to smooth and replenish the skin’s moisture barrier. 

INGREDIENTS

Sunflower Seed Oil*,  Jojoba oil*, Avocado oil*, Evening Primrose oil*, Raspberry Seed oil*, GMO-free Vitamin E, Rosemary leaf extract, and therapeutic essential oils of Bergamot, Lavender*, Frankincense* and Petitgrain. *Certified organic ingredient.

Province Apothecary website

Over all I found it to be a pretty good cleanser. I like that it is clean and organic. It even won an award.  It was chosen as a Best of Green Beauty 2016 by The Detox Market. When I used it, I dispensed the product into my hands and then rubbed it on my makeup covered face.  Then I went in with my dry Makeup Eraser and wiped off most of the broken down make up before moving on to my cleanser. 

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This cleanser worked well with water proof mascara and pretty much every foundation I tried while using this product. The cleansing oil worked very well with almost all of my lip products.  The only one that defeated it was the Clarins water lip stain in red. 

But as the Clairins stain defeated every product thrown at it including lip scrubs for three whole days regardless of the product, I don’t think that can be held against it.

The moisturizing nature of the oils meant that my face didn’t feel stripped as the make up broke down.  Sunflower seed oil, Jojoba oil and Avocado oil all work really well with my skin so I really shouldn’t be surprised. It didn’t clog my pores or break me out in any way and it washed off without residue.

I have but one issue with this product. 

Scent.

I just don’t like the scent of bergamot. It has been an ongoing issue with me as the scent of bergamot was around my whole life.  I actually used to think I didn’t like tea because my mom loved Earl Gray and it smelled so strongly of bergamot that I couldn’t drink it.  I love black tea, I just can’t stand bergamot. 

Turns out I am not a big fan of it in the cleansing department either.  While I did use this cleanser and enjoyed the effects, the scent was a real struggle for me.  I did finish the bottle and the product did perform well. (unlike the Kylie Cleanser I tried a few weeks back that smelled bad and worked poorly).

While I will not be purchasing this cleanser for me, I do think that I will be picking this up for my mother.  It is a good product.  It works really well, I just can’t get past the scent.  She on the other hand will adore the scent as well as enjoy using the product.

Plus her birthday is coming up and I really like sending her a kind of health, wellness, beauty bundle so she can have a self-care moment with products I know will suit her, but that she might not have tried yet.  As she isn’t going to get her spa day on her birthday this year, I know she will enjoy it more.  Plus, it sort of fits with her bathroom esthetic.  She uses blue glass dispensers for soap, shampoo and conditioner as well in her bathroom.  Between the bergamot and the blue glass this was almost tailor made for her.

Although it is not a product for me, I am glad it came my way as I can now add it to my list of gift giving ideas. While there are always a few standard ‘you can always get me more of this’ products, I always like adding new products to the list. The Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleansing Oil came to me in a Petit Vour box a few months ago. It wasn’t last month as I will be switching to the oil that came in last month’s box now that this sample has been used up. I think the Province Apothecary was two months ago.

I know it came in with the Ursa Major 3 minute Flash Masks (which are absolutely fantastic). This far I’ve really been liking the Petit Vour selection of products. There have been a couple of duds of course but over all the winners have far out weighed them. I’m still dipping my tow into some of the clean beauty products and learning more each day. It is an entirely different world for me and most of the companies Petit Vour sends I’ve either heard of only in passing or have never heard of so it is especially nice to give them a try. and also one of the reasons I evaluate the products I receive in the box each month is to see if I am still enjoying the box and if it is worth keeping the subscription. Thus far, this subscription has proven worth the price and I can’t wait to see what they send my way next.


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Cleaning up with Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser

This summer I have had more issues with clogged pores and acne than I can remember having in the past five years combined.  While stress is almost always guaranteed to break me out, masks and an extra hot summer of sweat haven’t helped anything. So I have been adding a few products here and there to try and help out my skin where I can. 

To be honest the Peace Out Skincare acne patches have been a lifesaver.  On a day when I know I am going to be at the computer for most of the day, I can apply them and let them work to pull some of the more stubborn, deeply buried clogs to the surface for me.

Shop the Peace Out Acne + Dark Spots Combo Set Today!

However finding the right cleaner has been important as well.  My top three cleansers at the moment are The Elemis Cica Superfood Foaming Cleanser, the Osea Ocean Cleanser and the Fresh Soy Face cleanser.  However as much as I adore those products and will continue to keep them around, I needed to look into a product that is a little more targeted towards breakouts.

And so my darlings, I put my favorites away for the turn of the seasons when my skin will hopefully return to its normal self and when I stop sweating buckets. While I’m sure my quest is far from over, I decided to start with Dr. Brandt.  The Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser to be specific.  While it was a choice item for the August Boxycharm box, I didn’t choose it and instead picked it up as an add on.  Despite shipping concerns it actually arrived on my doorstep less than two weeks after I ordered it so I have been testing this out for a few weeks now.  In fact I probably have only a couple of week’s worth of product left in the tube.

But before I discuss my opinions, let’s see what the product is designed to do. According to the Dr. Brandt website this cleanser is…

A non-drying, pore-refining cleanser that removes makeup, residue, and dead skin while helping to banish sebum and decongest pores. Skin feels fresh and mattified, without any drying sensation.

For oily/combination skin

It is ophthalmologist tested, dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic and safe for contact lens wearers. It is formaldehyde free, paraben free, phthalate free, synthetic fragrance free, and mineral oil free.

Results To Expect: Dissolve impurities, oil, residues, and debris to purify skin, Maintain a clear-looking complexion, Exfoliate dead skin cells, Wash away excess sebum for less shine, without any drying sensation, Clean and purify skin to feel fresh, Help minimize the appearance of pores and refine skin texture over time.

Wow that is kind of a lot. First of all, I can vouch that it is contact lens safe as I didn’t have a single problem with my contacts in this cleanser at all.  Which I appreciate.  Not every cleanser can boast that.  There have been a few that have left a film on my contacts when I wash my face.  Usually it isn’t a problem but some of the oil based cleansers have been problematic. 

The product has a creamy gel like consistency. It looks a little runnier here as my hands were very wet and the water began to mix in.

I also appreciate that it is free of a whole bunch of other stuff that I don’t really want to put on my skin.  Let me pause here for a moment and add a little detail about my skin. 

My skin tends to fall into the normal slash combination arena.  Now I know some of you think ‘wow I have to fight with oily or dry skin all year long so that sounds great’.  In a way yes, but in a way no.

What it means is that I end up with seasonal skin care.  In the summer I lean towards combination to oily skin and in the winter I skew more towards the dry end of the spectrum.  Spring and fall I have straight up normal skin (and fewer issues) so since I can use the same products in the spring and fall I have three seasons of skin care in my world. 

I also should point out that some of it is location based.  I currently live in Tennessee where summer is hot and humid.  When I lived in Texas the heat tended to be a dry heat so I was always trying to get moisture into my skin regardless of season.  In New York environmental issues were a big factor and in Wyoming wind was the biggest factor of all.  It beat hot, cold dry and humid. Because of a lot of wind burn I avoided almost all exfoliants when living there.

Anyway that was just more or less to pin point where my skin sort of resides on the spectrum to help you orient yourself as you read this.  At the moment, I tend to be a little more oily than the rest of the year even if I am not truly oily. I think if I were, I might have liked this product more.

cleanser on face. It foams slightly but not a lot and it does rinse off cleanly with little residue left behind.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good cleaner and I liked using it. It washed well and rinsed off clean which I appreciate.  The scent is a bit on the medicinal side, which I think is due to the tea tree oil.

I tried this cleanser, using it as I would any other cleanser, once in the morning when I first wake and then again after I used a cleansing balm to remove my makeup. The first couple of days it worked really well. I could see red spots where breakouts were imminent face and my skin in those areas become smoother.  Used in conjunction with my toner and the Peace Out Skincare Acne Patches, I started seeing some results in my skin.  Things started to clear up a bit.  I still had clogged pores along my lower orbital bone and chin, but everything else started clearing up. It did very little for the existing break outs though.

Then, my skin started getting a bit dry. I switched to only using this once a day, in the morning, and using my Elemis cleanser at night.  The drying stopped and my skin looked pretty good.  I still have some issues in my two problem areas but the random stress break outs have eased a lot. 

I have had this issue before.  Because I am kind of on the balance between skin issues, things sometimes work for me and sometimes don’t.  It’s one of the reasons I’m a big believer in getting sample sizes to test out and why I adore subscription boxes. This Dr. Brandt Cleanser is geared towards oily/combination skin.  I have normal/combination leaning towards oily skin at the moment so I could use this once a day to help me with oil control, but no more or it was too drying. 

It is the curse of being in the middle.  There are products for oily/combination and dry/combination, and I have to figure out which works best for me in the moment.  If you have oily and problematic skin I can see this might be something to look into.  It is an excellent cleanser, it was just a little too drying for me to use as an everyday cleanser.  I will use up the rest of this product with my once a day wash however. 

By the time it is gone, the summer might hopefully be starting to edge into fall and my skin will once again start transitioning with the seasons.  As masks are a part of our reality that will be staying for a while, I will look for other products to help me with my trouble spots.  (I really do think the masks are in cahoots with the stress to add to my usual problem areas.) 

I do know that once the seasons change this will be too drying for me to use.  I might put it on my list to repurchase at the beginning of next summer though as I think that if this product was used at the onset of my oily season, it might be a more successful deterrent to clogged pores than a removal of them. The breakouts it had the most success combatting were the ones just beginning to form. It was the already existing breakouts that it didn’t really help with, at least with my skin. So perhaps this would be used at the first sign of trouble rather than a continuing combatant. At least for me. 

While I will keep this in mind for later use next summer, for now, the search will continue for acne and maskne controlling products.


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A face full of foaming fun

Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Cleansing foam

There is something just plain fun about using a foaming face wash.  Dispensing a plethora of foamy white into your palm and smearing it all over the face is just kind of an amusing thing to contemplate.  Well for me anyway.  Recently I have been using the Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Cleansing foam calming micellar cleanser and I have to say, I have been loving it.

dispenser

The scent is fresh and clean, the foam is fun and my skin feels fantastic. I know I shouldn’t be surprised.  I always seem to have good luck with Elemis products. They are just really well made. I think it is the fact that it is a foaming face wash that makes me think ‘Fun’ instead of functional.  But it is quite functional. 

According to the product page…

Cleanses, Soothes, Balances Packed with fermented Superfoods and formulated with Micellar Technology, this soothing foaming cleanser easily removes all traces of makeup and impurities, leaving the complexion looking calm, balanced and fresh. Infused with soothing Biotransformed Cica and nourishing Fermented Green Tea Seed Oil. Leaves the skin feeling purified and refreshed. Vegan-friendly and 100% sulfate-free formula won’t leave skin feeling dry or tight

Receive a DELUXE SAMPLE with $30+ purchases.

I have to say I agree with all of that.  Even waterproof makeup came off easily and cleanly with little left on the toner pad to pick up.  There were as always a few traces of mascara under the eyes but  they were light smears that were gone with one extra pass of the wash cloth.  While I loved the fun of the foam, I also liked that I didn’t have to rub really hard at the sun.  I just lightly massaged the foam into my face and the makeup came off. 

Now I have to say, I looked up Cica because I wasn’t sure what it was and  to be honest I thought it sounded a bit like a shortened form of cicada.  I knew it wasn’t because the product is listed as vegan. So putting something not vegan on the label would seem really odd.  So I looked it up.  Cica is short for Centella Asiatica.  It’s an Asian medicinal herb that looks a bit like a clover.  Its main uses seem to be calming inflammation, being an antioxidant and enhancing wound healing.

I’m not entirely certain what the biotransformed part is and I couldn’t find any details on that.  But I will say, I am a big fan of this cleanser.   While I find the cleanser great and the foam fun, I have to say the practical side of me really likes the fact that you can lock the pump down. So if you decide to travel with it, Elemes will not befoaming all over your travel bag and its contents. It will be locked down tight and remain in the bottle until use. I love that feature. Disturbingly, not all pump products come with it. Personally I think they should.

The Elemis Cica Superfood cleanser is definitely in my top three cleansers at the moment.  The other two in that top tier are the Fresh Soy face Cleanser and the Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser.  I like all three for different reasons, but if I had to rank them I would say the Elemis beats the Fresh Soy Face cleanser by just a smidge and is running about even with the Malin+Goetz (that citrus scent is hard to beat in the mornings – I think my ideal would be to use the Malin+Goetz in the morning and the Elemis at night.) Not that it’s actually a competition, but if it were all three would need a photographer and a stop watch to call the race.  I would happily use any of these three on any given day.  I think it goes without saying that I will definitely be repurchasing this cleanser again.


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Reviewing Blueberry Bounce from Glow Recipe

Nope my hand is not massive, its another of the travel sizes I’m using in my collection

I picked this up as one of my add-ons for IPSY thinking it would be the perfect size for a short trip and take up much less space in my bag than my regular sized cleanser. Plus I had never tried a Glow Recipe cleanser before and I like to use the travel sized versions to get a feel for a product before I commit to an entire full sized bottle. I find it helps me waste less product. I can try things out on my skin and decide if it is right for me as travel sized products generally have enough inside them to allow me to do just that.

I have a mixed reaction to many Glow recipe products. While they all work well, sometimes the scent gets in the way.  I’ve loved all of the watermelon scented items I’ve tried (both scent wise and product wise) but with the Pineapple serum it was another story.  While that one worked really well and I loved the way it made my skin feel, I just couldn’t get past the scent.  Every sniff told me I was smearing sticky sweet syrup on my face and I just couldn’t take it. So when I picked up the Blueberry Bounce, I was more worried about the scent than how it performed.  So I opened and sniffed.

Would it be sweet as pie or subtle and clean?

The scent was oddly familiar, yet I couldn’t place it. I took a second sniff.  After a moment of thought, I knew exactly what it smelled like. Does anyone remember those Strawberry Shortcake dolls from the 1980s that had a scent to their plastic bodies?  I think it was somehow impressed into the plastic so it had an odd fruity, plastic smell? Well Strawberry Shortcake had a friend named Blueberry Muffin.  This Cleanser smells exactly like that doll, although I think the plastic scent comes from the bottle not the product.

The Skin Store
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I have to admit, I find the scent oddly appealing.  More importantly it isn’t too sweet for me.  I don’t feel bad about using it to get clean. So, now that I know the scent doesn’t bother me, what claims does it make?

This 3-in-1 cleanser functions as a makeup eraser, daily face wash, and a deep clarifying mask too. It’s got a totally unique texture—a light, bouncy gel that builds into hydrating, micro-foaming bubbles that deeply cleanse without over-drying your skin. Once you rinse, your face will feel supple, not stripped of moisture. It’s loaded with antioxidant-rich blueberry extract to protect skin and soothe inflammation. A mix of gentle exfoliating acids get rid of dead skin cells for clearer skin and smaller pores. This clean formula is free from parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, and synthetic dyes.

Skincare RX
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I can say right away, it does have an odd gel like texture. The gel sort of melts a little in your hand, but never really becomes a liquid. I suppose it might if you hold it a long time, but I don’t know why you would hold it that long.

On the face, it became more soapy than foamy which I guess is what they are calling mirco foaming. It washed my face well and rinsed off without leaving a residue on the skin.  When I used it after removing my makeup, it was a nice gentle cleanser.  It performed well.

When I tried using the cleanser with make-up on however, the cleanser did well with face make up, leaving only a little behind, but it was not very good with mascara or darker red lipstick. To get those off I had to go back in with my cleansing balm. It is a very good gentle cleanser and I think if you wanted to wash your face after the gym before applying makeup just to get the sweat off without stripping the skin, it would be a good product to use. 

Since I am at the gym a lot these days, that does make it quite useful to me. Well I was at the gym a lot. Now I am sweating while walking outside, so it will still be used post workout, just in a slightly different way.

As a primary cleanser, I have to say it leaves too much makeup behind for me to use unless I am double cleansing. While I’m always happy to find another product that can be added to my gym bag, for when the gym reopens, I’m afraid that this probably won’t be joining my daily skin care team.


Sunny citrus morning cleanse? Yes Please.

Malin+Goetz Grapefruit face cleanser

I have always associated citrus with clean.  Growing up there was orange oil polish, lemon scented pledge and I still use the homemade citrus all-purpose household cleaner I grew up with.  In case you are wondering, when you are finished squeezing your citrus, whether they are lemons, limes, oranges or anything else of that variety, you take the squeezed out fruit, place it in a glass jar and cover it with vinegar so the fruit oils can soak in.  Once it does, you have a cleaner.

Don’t worry at the moment due to pandemic protocols my jar is remaining under the cabinet in favor of the more industrial variety.

Regardless I associate citrus with clean.

So when Malin+Goetz sent over a bottle of their Grapefruit face cleanser (retail $36) for me to review, I was very excited.  I really like Malin+ Goetz.  Personally I don’t think you see enough of their products being talked about.  Everything I have ever tried of theirs has been top notch.  I really liked the fig scented perfume I received as one of my Scentbird perfumes a few months back and so I had high hopes for this cleanser. I know a lot of folks worry about citrus juice in skin care as it can be acidic, but a cleanser is the perfect place for it as it doesn’t sit on your skin long enough to be a concern. So I personally enjoy it.

According to their product page…

Our gentle foaming cleansing gel balances skin with natural grapefruit extract and amino acid-based cleansing agents. This hydrating formula gently but thoroughly cleanses skin of dirt, oil and makeup. Rinses free of residue, eliminating the need for a toner. Suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive. Natural fragrance and color.

Shop now! Grapefruit Face Cleanser

While I do adore my Dr. Thayer’s Rose Petal toner, I set it aside while I put this product to the test. While it does claim to thoroughly cleanse the skin of makeup, it isn’t really a set makeup remover.  Still, as with all cleanser tests I tried it with a full face of makeup first. 

cleanser in hand

I have to say it did really well.  I ended up with only a small smudge of eyeliner and the rest of my makeup was pretty well dissolved.  I did notice to get the full face of makeup off, I had to use a bit more product than I normally would when doing a double cleanse.  I really think this product shines in a double cleanse routine though. 

A lot of makeup removing balms leave a greasy residue on the skin.  This cleanser took that off and eliminated any make up the initial remover left behind. while I didn’t use my toner, I did the cotton round test and it came away clean. There was no harsh scrubbing with this product (especially in a double cleanse) and I needed only a little product.  My skin felt soft and not stripped and there was that great grapefruit-y scent that made my brain think I was extra clean. I found it a very nice product in the morning where citrus is also a wake up and get moving scent. 

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cleanser on face

When on the face it is slightly sudsy. I applied it to damp skin in the photo . However after applying it I splashed more water and it lathered up nicely. The suds foamed and rinsed away taking all of the remaining dirt, sweat and makeup with them. I am extra appreciative of the sweat removal as I have started doing my workouts again, this time at home. Once again I am sweating so I do find I need a mid day rinse of the face as well as the full morning and night cleanse. This product works well in that capacity. I only used a thumbnail sized portion of product mid day when I was just too sweaty not to wash my face and it worked really well without stipping the skin or making me overly cleansed. My skin had absolutely no problems with this cleanser. I’m fairly certain that when I start going back to the gym, I will be picking up a travel sized bottle of the Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser to go with me. I think it will be a wonderful addition to my gym bag.

The bottle is a plain squeeze bottle with very simple and direct instructions.  On a shelf I can see why some people pass it by for flashier packaging.  But this is one time you need to look past the cover to see the book inside.   It isn’t the flashiest package on the shelf, but it is a great product that does exactly what it claims to do and then just a little bit more. If I were to change anything, I would give it a pump instead of leaving it as a squeeze bottle so that it is easier to dispense with wet and possibly oil slick hands.  But that is a minor tweak and I am happy to use it as it is.  In fact now, given the surrounding gloom and doom fo multiple waves of thunderstorms and news reports, I enjoy the sunshiny brightness of the grapefruit scent just a little bit more in my mornings. I am definitely going to have to look into more of the Malin+Goetz product line.  They are well worth talking about.

Malin+Goetz

Branching out with Rose and Kombucha in a face wash

Pacifica Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash

I’ll be honest the thought of Rose and Kombucha wasn’t all that appealing to me when thinking of a face wash.  While I like the scent of rose, it is often over powering and I was hesitant about the fermented tea. However when I placed my order with Pacifica, using a gift certificate I was gifted by the company, a travel sized (1.4 fl oz) of the Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash was one of the gifts with purchase that came with a $50 order.  I figured it was the perfect way to try something new and so I picked it up with my order.

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 My thinking was that it was a trial sized tube so even if I didn’t like it, there wouldn’t be much waste to the product. Incidentally, the full sized version of this product is 5.0 ounces and retails for $10. As I am always looking for good , affordable products, especially in face wash as I go through so much of it, I was very interested to try it.

But first, we look at the claims.

Disobey time with the power of flowers and fermented tea in Pacifica’s Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash. One of the best defenses against aging is clean skin, it gently removes makeup, oil and impurities. This light-foaming, sulfate-free cleanser balances and refreshes skin – helping to achieve an absolutely luminous complexion at any age.

100 percent vegan and cruelty free. Shop now at PacificaBeauty.com!

For those that are unfamiliar with Pacifica, they are 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free.  Their products are formulated without  Animal testing, Animal ingredients, Parabens, Phthalates,  Mineral oil, Sulfates, Synthetic fragrances, and Petroleum.

Given that there is rose listed on the ingredients and it is usually the synthetic rose scent that becomes overpowering, I was more relieved than usual to see there were no synthetic fragrances in this face wash.  Oh and the face wash is designated for all skin types so I didn’t have to figure out if I was in the target range for the product, which I kind of like.

My skin typically falls into the normal/combination area with more oil in the T-zone, but I am dryer in the winter and oilier in the summer.  The curse of so called “normal” skin is that it’s like standing in the center of a moving teeter totter while temperature and humidity play. If the weather is perfectly balanced so is my skin. At this time of year, it seems to change daily so I have products for  both shifts, oily and dry, in my bathroom.  For all skin types is generally a relief to see on a label when the weather hasn’t actually committed to a season.

So to the testing.  Because this face wash claims to remove makeup I put it to the test and tried it once on its own on a full face of makeup, then I tried it as the second act in a double cleanse routine.  Now usually I have issues with mascara coming off, but I have to say this worked really well in taking off more mascara than most.  There was a slight smudge under the eyes but not as much as usual.  A quick single wipe with the Makeup eraser took care of it with no rubbing.  In case you are wondering, I am currently oscillating between two mascaras at the moment.  One is the Pretty Vulgar Feathers Mascara and the other is the Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Wow Wings.  I like both and will be posting a mascara review soon. I just mention it here so you know the products the Pacifica Rose and Kombutcha Flower Powered Face Wash was able to take down.

not a lot of product is needed

I suppose I rather jumped to the use in that.  To back track a little, it is a creamy pearly face wash and the scent is interesting.  There is the hint of rose but it only really serves to mitigate the scent of the kombucha.  It smells like tea more than anything else but it is not a heavy fragrance.  Personally I found it a pleasant one, especially in the mornings.

The cleanser did foam on the face but it wasn’t massive foaming, just enough suds to let you know it was working.  It rinsed off clean, and as mentioned above, took off most of my makeup. My skin felt clean but not stripped and it worked for me no matter which way the weather shifted my skin.

Over all it was very positive experience.  I know I sound a little surprised but this was not a cleanser I would have picked up on my own.  I am really glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something I thought I would more than likely not like.  It turns out I liked it a lot.  I also like the fact that while I can order it on line, I can also pick it up at Target if I run out of cleanser and need to pick something up.  I really like having a list of products I can simply pick up if I forget to reorder.  This is certainly going on that list.

If you are interested I have a code you can use to get a bit of a discount.  It is MIMSY15 and I get nothing if you use it so feel free to use it to your heart’s content. It is just for you. They are also having a bit of a sale at the moment so you can add the discounts together.  It is currently 10% off with no code if you want to check it out.

Pacifica Beauty

Cleaning up with Versed Cleansing Balm

The jar of Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

I’ll admit, it took me a little while to warm to this cleansing balm. The scent is slightly reminiscent of Vicks Vapor rub which made me feel as though I was misusing the balm at first. It is a light scent and quickly dissipates. So I opened the jar and then waited a moment and the scent was faded enough not to be a concern.

I picked it up because I really enjoy a double cleanse and I had several friends who were raving about it. When I was perusing the shelves at Target, I saw it and thought , ‘I’m almost out of cleansing balm,’ so I bought it.

I know, I can feel your jealousy of my shopping prowess and foresite.

So home I went.

Then I looked up the product while using the last of my Farmacy Cleansing Balm. (That jar is now a gold DIY planter, if you remember an earlier post). According to the Versed Website product page…

From the moment you twist open the cap, this cleansing balm smells like a spa. That’s the eucalyptus and clove leaf oil—not artificial fragrance. This face wash in balm form melts away makeup and impurities without stripping moisture from your skin (thank you, vitamin E). As you massage it into your skin with wet fingertips, the oil-based formula softens to create a light, gentle milk that rinses clean with no oily residue (the kind that may have turned you off from cleansing balms in the past). Don’t forget to wash into your hairline and along your jawline. Those often-overlooked areas are prone to breakouts. It’s the perfect start to your PM wind-down ritual and especially useful as a first cleanse for you double-cleansers out there.

Okay as I’ve said before, I love a double cleanse. I love knowing that by the time I get to my toner, the cotton round is merely adding toner to my face and not taking away the last of my makeup residue. When I am testing out regular cleansers, I test them first without any other products, then only with my Makeup Eraser and then in conjunction with a cleansing balm. Just in case you were wondering.

As I already mentioned, my first whiff of this cleanser reminded me of Vicks Vapor Rub, which I’m blaming on the eucalyptus. It’s not a bad scent, but not my favorite. It does however go away quickly and is easily forgotten. If you love the scent you can stick your nose in and inhale. My mom loves the scent of Vicks and will use any opportunity to smear it on the throat, chest and under her nose. I always put together a Birthday Beauty Bag for her with fun Beauty products she might not have picked up on her own, but that I think she might have fun playing with and come September I will be picking up a jar of this Versed Day Dissolve to put in her bag.

Shop Versed’s Cleansing Balm online starting at $7.99! Free Shipping on all orders $35+!

You know until I started writing these posts, I really didn’t realize how scent oriented I actually was.

Weird huh?

But moving on, because even I know scent isn’t everything.

I first tried this product as directed. I used wet fingertips to massage it into my skin. I was fine until I got to the eye area. Face products, gone, lipstick melted into a red haze that made me look like I’d been making out with a circus clown after far too much to drink, yup. It worked super well on all of it. And I will say that it took off eye makeup in a snap as well.

The problem was the wet fingers.

Let me explain. I wear contacts. In fact I am blind as a bat without them. Typically I put my contacts in before applying makeup and take them out after I’ve removed my makeup. My general habit it to remove my makeup at the end of the day, wash my face and then spend an hour or two doing wind down things, checking the following day’s schedule, figuring out if I actually have clean socks or if I will be wearing sandals in the snow, that sort of thing. Then I take out my contacts and apply the serums, oils and night creams I wear before bed.

With the wet fingers, small, nay miniscule, bits of the cleansing balm were sliding into the corners of my eyes as I was removing mascara and I ended up with small blurry spots on my contacts. It took a surprising amount of effort to get the cleansing balm off the contacts. I think because while an excellent product, saline solution isn’t really designed for removing oil. My contacts are disposable so it was actually easier to replace them rather than scrub them.

But since I really liked the cleansing balm for its cleansing ability and the soft skin it left behind post cleanse, I had a good think about it and decided to try something out. I used dry fingers and started by removing my eye make-up. I rubbed and the makeup melted, even the mascara. then to make sure it was just the balm removing the makeup and not the Makeup Eraser, I used a plain dry washcloth to wipe off the oil from around the eye area. It went off super easily and took all the eye makeup with it.

One eye on, one eye off using the dry method

Then I wet my fingers and took down the rest of my face.

Makeup all gone

That was really my only complaint with the product and really, it was insanely easy to solve. I would suggest using something like a Makeup Eraser or a Halo pad or something to wipe off the oil and melted makeup rather than a washcloth. Unless you keep a washcloth that you don’t mind getting stained with eye makeup. While most makeup washes out pretty easily, once you get eyeshadow glitter in the washcloth fibers it sticks around through multiple washes and months of use, returning when you least expect it. The other day my babydoll heaved a heavy sigh and asked why there was now glitter in his beard from a washcloth he took from the linen cupboard. So I’m trying to get better about keeping things seperate.

Makeup Eraser:

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So would I recommend this product?

Yes, I would. My only real issue was with my contacts and that was solved by starting with eye make up removal and dry fingers. Also using a dry cloth to wipe the oil away so when you wash off the rest, nothing flows in. I should also point out there was absolutely no pain or discomfort when it did wash into my eye, just a little blurry spot on my contact lens. If you don’t wear contacts, you will have no problem. And if you keep the eyes dry, again no problem. It melts makeup away, leaves your skin super soft from the Vitamin E, and doesn’t require any harsh scrubbing. I picked up my 2.3 oz / 67 g jar at Target for $17.99 which considering the cost of many other cleansing balms and the amount of product you get in this jar, makes it a really good deal. Very little product is used each night so it will last a really long time. I used less than a thumbnail’s size of product to take down all of my makeup. While I will be repurchasing this sometime in the future for myself, I feel really good about adding it to my Mother’s Birthday Beauty Bag as well. not only will she really love the scent, but I know she will like the way it works as well.


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