I've amassed a few new skincare products recently and thought it was about time to sit down and write up some reviews. In case you're new to my blog, my skin is super oily and very prone to cystic acne (or any kind of acne, really)--these items aren't exactly conducive to dry skin types!
Ole Henriksen Aloe Vera Deep Cleanser: I'm sure there are thousands of aloe vera skincare products on the market, but this one was the first to make me gasp. If you've ever sliced off an aloe leaf and slathered the pure essence all over your skin (read: if you have an Asian mother), you know how bizarre it can feel. The consistency of real aloe vera is sort of cooling and gel-like but contains the oddest sticky threads that clump and stick to your fingers a little bit. I know Ole Henriksen is a reasonably natural brand, but the fact that this cleanser has those very same aloe threads completely threw me for a loop--and for the first time, when a product claims to contain aloe, I believe it. It's definitely a more unusual cleanser in that respect, and those sticky strings might not be for everyone, but I'm really enjoying it. It's not as drying as the Murad Daily Clarifying Cleanser, so I might switch back to that for summer, but this is still really thoroughly cleansing as well. Severely oily skins could certainly use this, but combination skin wouldn't be wronged by this product either. My one qualm is that the packaging is a bit unsuited for the type of product it contains--this bottle is more for shampoo than a face cleanser, and you have to be careful with how much pours out.
DDF Sulfur Therapeutic Mask: Ever since finding out my beloved Burt's Bees Pore-Refining Mask had been discontinued, I've been on the hunt for both back-ups and a new equally good clay mask. I'd heard good things about DDF products, and was curious about a face mask that was meant to treat acne and minimize pores. It all sounds so good in theory, but I'm afraid the execution is a little lacking. Pore-tightening wise, I don't see how different this product is from any other cheap clay mask out there, and I didn't notice any difference in my acne either--even the non-cystic spots! I do like how this mask has a shorter drying time than most, as usually, when I pile on the layers, I have to wait even longer for it to set before I can rinse it off. That being said, I think the sulfur in the mask tends to irritate my skin a little bit, as sometimes my face feels itchy with it on, and then dry once I've washed it off. I certainly like clay masks to be drying, but this one is a bit too much so for me. I still use it on occasion, but just as a spot treatment and not all over my face.
Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion: I was planning on repurchasing MB's Special Cucumber Lotion (the urine colored one) but decided to give this one a try instead. Both are meant for the same skin types and list similar ingredients, so I didn't think I'd notice much of a difference. In actuality, these two toners aren't dissimilar, but they're not too compatible either. Both provide that fabulous clean, brightening, sweep over cleansed skin that I just love, but this one is a lot more gentle--I would actually say it's better suited to normal skin, and the Special Cucumber is more meant for oily. I don't particularly like or dislike this product; it's just okay, and I'll be going back to Special Cucumber when I've finished it up.
Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30: I've been wearing SPF 15 all winter (naughty!--it's supposed to be 30!) but we've been getting more sunshine here, so I thought I needed to step it up a little. As much as I love sunscreen and what it does for the skin, I'll be the first to admit that I don't particularly like wearing it. I hate that greasy finish, how I can always feel it on my skin no matter how "lightweight" it claims to be, and that grayish quality it gives my face when I use a higher factor. SPF 15 is doubtlessly the easiest one to wear, so much so that I can't even feel it on my skin, but 30 provides significantly more protection without the horribly uncomfortable feel 45+ sunscreens have. I have, of course, had some unpleasantly thick SPF 30s, but this one is incredibly easy to wear. The sunscreeny smell isn't too strong, and the consistency of it is just fabulous, particularly so for oily/normal skin. It's nice and light and you don't need much to do your face and neck, but this definitely isn't oil controlling. Nothing about this moisturizer stops your skin from looking shiny throughout the day, but at least it starts you off with a matte, powdery finish.
I was going to include a chemical exfoliant as well, but that particular product has me so bewildered that I'll need a bit longer to play with it.
Something exciting for all you fabulous readers will be coming up soon!