Anyway, the first thing I decided to look at was exfoliation. I have used a physical exfoliant since I was a teenager. I can remember gleefully scrubbing my tender skin with Aapri scrubs and/or those scouring pad type foaming mini sponges they did. The thought of it makes me shudder now.
More recently, after finding even a 'gentle' exfoliator from Nuxe to be hideously scratchy, I resolved to find a new way to get rid of dullness and blocked pores without adding to the broken capillaries in my cheeks. After watching a Lisa Eldridge video on YouTube in which she sang the praises of lactic acid as a gentle yet effective exfoliant, I went for a look around Space NK. I came home with this:
According to the REN website, the Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask is:
a potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone, firmness and radiance. It has been formulated with a fruit acid complex (lactic, glycolic, tartaric and citric) and Papain Enzyme to give a gentle but potent exfoliating peel that will leave skin glowing and in optimum health.So as well as lactic acid, there are several others for dissolving your dead cells. The product is meant to be applied once a week for ten minutes - avoiding the eye area - and then washed off. I've been using it for four weeks now and I really like it. The directions say you may feel a tingling sensation when you apply, but I don't. It feels very gentle and has not left me with any soreness, redness, itching or any other unpleasant side effects. What it has done is made my skin look calmer, more even and glowy. Even after the first use, I could see a subtle difference. In the past few weeks, my hormonal outbreaks have lessened and blemishes have cleared up faster than they usually do. My ruddy cheeks are also a lot calmer since I've stopped scrubbing at them.
I've tried to show what the product looks like above. It comes in the usual REN vacuum packaging and is a thick peachy gel that smells very fruity. In fact, as a result of the texture and odour it is a bit like applying apricot jam to your face. I find this an oddly enjoyable experience. I will continue to use the product and plan to repurchase once it's run out. I expect it to last another six weeks based on how much product is left after four applications. I'd recommend it to anyone except those with sensitive skin. It's particulalry recommended for those with acne congested and mature skin and is said to work well on post acne scarring, blemishes and blackheads.
I have also started using a new daily skincare routine in the past couple of weeks. It's too early for me to give a complete review but I wanted to share my thoughts because I am so impressed.
MV Organic is 'An all Australian organic skincare company, specialising in luxury formulations for discerning skincare lovers, including those with sensitive skin, eczema and rosacea'.
It is sold in the UK at Content where I ordered the small size of the cleanser. Then when it was back in stock I also purchased the travel essentials set which includes the hydrating mist and a 15ml moisturiser as well as another small sized cleanser. I also bought the full sized Pure Jojoba.
The products are a joy to use. The cleanser is thick and creamy and smells delicious. It is used in conjunction with a muslin cloth and a series of warm to hot compresses which leave my skin feeling thoroughly cleansed but not stripped. This is followed by a light spray of the hydrating mist and then a pea-sized amount of the moisturiser is massaged in while the skin is still damp. I have been using the jojoba oil as an undereye moisturiser at night, and I cannot remember the last time the skin there felt so hydrated. This product can also be used as an eye make-up remover and a moisturiser for sensitive skin.
I'd say the range is mid to high level in price but you are paying for the highest quality, organic ingredients and you do not need a lot of product. The moisturiser in particular is amazing. I was sent a tiny sample - maybe 1/4 tsp - with my initial order for the cleanser and it lasted me for a week used once a day.
After I'd used the cleanser and samples of moisturiser and jojoba for the first time, I was very happy with how my skin looked the next morning. It was refreshed and glowing and felt incredibly soft and nourished. I immediately emailed Imelda at Content to ask when the travel set would be back in stock so I could try the hydrating mist and get the 15ml moisturiser.
I will continue using the products and write a fuller review in a few weeks time.
In addition, I can highly recommend Content. All my purchases have arrived swiftly and well packaged with lovely samples and hand written thank yous. I was also sent a 10% off voucher with my first parcel and am looking forward to placing more orders there in future.