Investing in your skin, Part 1

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I turned 40 years old this year and I can say that for the first time ever, I have started to notice changes in my skin. I’v always been kind of lucky – greasy skin as a teenager and in my early 20’s meant that my skin never dried out and I’ve managed to dodge acquiring a lined face. But all that’s kinda changed lately!

When it comes to your skin routine, you definitely need to start with the basics and that means you need a great cleanser for step 1. I’m constantly on the look out for lovely products that will remove my make up thoroughly, with minimum scrubbing.  Products that won’t dry out my face but will leave my skin soft and feeling properly clean and fresh. There are so many products on the market, but my advice is don’t go cheap, find something worth investing your money in but at the same time, look for something that will last and give you value for those pounds you have invested.

Can such a product exist? In a word, yes.  First, let’s talk about my other favourites and the pros and cons.

Benefit Foamingly Clean Facial Wash – £17.50

PROs: Smells lovely, removes make up and doesn’t leave a trace behind, leaves the skin really super soft and feeling great, the foam does all the hard work so you don’t have to scrub your face, lovely packaging.

CONs: As with lots of Benefit stuff, it runs out quickly. You don’t get much product for your money and it doesn’t last very long. I expect more for the price.

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Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish – From £8.50 for 50ml

PROs: Smells amazing due to the natural, herbal ingredients, has a measured pump dispenser so that you never pump more than you need, makes the skin feel thoroughly refreshed and beautifully clean and soft. With continued use, the skin glows and starts to really look different and more toned. This is my favourite cleanser ever. I just can’t afford it all the time!

CONs: Sometimes the measured pump amount isn’t enough to fully do away with stubborn mascara, and once this thing is empty, the pump stops working so you just have to trust that you got it all out. Once again, doesn’t last as long as I would like.

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Now onto my winner. £11.50 gets you a premium brand cleanser, complete with storage.  A cleanser that removes all traces of dirt, make up and gives you a fantastic clean. The bigger bar can last me a year, easily making it more than worth the £14.50 price tag.  Portable, nice to look at on the bathroom shelf, this is an icon in skin care and it’s no wonder. Over time, my skin always changes and looks brighter, smoother and firmer, especially when we used with steps 2 & 3.

Clinique Facial soap with Dish, from £11.50

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Are there any cons? Well, yes actually. This cleanser is being recommended as the best value for money brand name cleanser; it doesn’t mean it’s as nice as the others! Doesn’t smell of anything great particularly and heaven help you if you get a bit on your eye because I always seem to and it really stings. Plus, once you’ve rinsed off and you’re ready to splash cold water on your face (I always do….just to give it a last rinse), your hands don’t slide over your baby soft skin. They don’t hardly move. Does this mean it’s not as good as other products? Or that it cleans you so well, it just doesn’t leave any product behind sitting on your skin? I suspect the soap preps your skin for stage 2 of Clinique’s legendary 1-2-3 skin care system. All in all though, if I were to suggest any product, this is the one I’d advise anyone with a bit of money to go for.  So, throw away your Simple, Neutrogena and Garnier and start investing in your skin a little- you will be glad you did.

Coming in part 2 – toners/step 2 of your skin care routine.