2019 vs 2020 Skincare Routine: Approach and Products (Video)

My Current Evening Skincare Routine

I was looking at some old blog posts and realised that it’s been over a year since I last posted my evening skincare routine. So I thought it would be interesting to go through it and see which products changed, which ones stayed the same, and whether I still agree with the skincare principles that the younger, less wise Michelle …

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My Current Evening Skincare Routine

I don’t really like sharing my skincare routine too often, for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m usually testing products as part of my routine, so I don’t want to look like I’m endorsing a product I haven’t fully tested yet. Secondly, I think it’s tempting for people to see my routine and try to replicate it exactly. I am a …

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Skincare Favourites 2018 (Empties Video)

Skincare Favourites Video

Videos are coming thick and fast as I try to get rid of all the old ones with my old background! This time I review my favourite skincare products from 2018 that I liked enough to finish using, along with one foundation. Click here to watch the video. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here. …

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Foreo Luna Play Plus Cleansing Tool Review

Foreo Luna Play Plus Cleansing Tool Review

I’ve been asked about Foreo’s sonic cleansing devices more times than I can count, so I’m glad to say I finally have the Foreo Luna Play Plus ($75 AUD) in my hot little hands!

I’ve been trying out the Foreo Luna Play Plus in my cleansing routine for the past few weeks. Unlike other vibration-based cleansing brushes, the Foreo tools use little silicone knobs. On the Luna Play Plus, the knobs come in two sizes: there are larger ones at the tip which are meant to be used on the T-zone, and smaller ones around the rest of the tool that are meant for the rest of the face. The Foreo Luna Play Plus comes in 7 colours, and I have the fuchsia model.

Foreo Luna Play Plus Cleansing Tool Review

It’s much smaller than I expected, smaller than the palm of my hand, so it’s super purse-friendly and travel-friendly (the exact dimensions are 64 x 60 x 28 mm, and it weighs 60 g). But don’t let the small size fool you – it’s very efficient at cleaning!

Related Post: All About Cleansing & How to Choose a Gentle Cleanser

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Cleansing Balm reviews: Farmacy, Pixi, Emma Hardie, Ole Henriksen, Caolion

Cleansing Balm reviews: Farmacy, Pixi, Emma Hardie, Ole Henriksen, Caolion

I’ve been a fan of cleansing oils for a while (see e.g. Cleansing Oil Reviews). I love how quickly they get rid of my make-up, and how they protect my dehydration-prone skin.

But the tiny thing that annoys me a little about cleansing oils is that they can be a bit fiddly to get onto my face. I know this is a massively first world type of problem, but if you can solve it, why not? That’s why I’ve been reaching more and more for cleansing balms instead.

Related post: How Do Cleansing Balms Work? The Science!

Here are some cleansing balms that I’ve been trying out lately.

Cleansing Balm reviews: Farmacy, Pixi, Emma Hardie, Ole Henriksen, Caolion

Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm

Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm ($34 USD or $46 AUD for 90 mL) is a soft green waxy balm. It comes with a handy spatula, but it’s attached to the flimsy plastic insert lid that I throw away most of the time, which got annoying, so I’ve gotten rid of the insert and I’ve just stabbed the spatula into the balm for safekeeping.

It quickly melts away make-up, and rinses off quite cleanly, which is all I really need in a cleansing balm. It has a few actives (in particular echinacea, which is in a lot of their other products too), but I’m not really looking for my cleansers to do much heavy lifting in the actives department.

This Farmacy cleansing balm does contain polyethylene, which is technically microplastic. While it would be nice if they got rid of it, the very small size of polyethylene used for thickening (rather than as scrubbing particles) means it’s probably not going to have the same effects in the environment as the larger microplastic particles.

Ingredients: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, PEG-10 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Amino Esters-1, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Amber Powder, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm ($60 USD or $79.95 AUD for 100 g) is a product with a cult following. It’s based on grape seed and sweet almond oil. Grape seed oil has always been one of my favourites with its high linoleic acid content, which makes it light in texture and perfect for oily skin. This particular product feels and smells super luxe as well. It doesn’t dissolve as well in water as most of the other options I’ve been trying, so it comes with a two-sided (muslin and cotton towelling) washcloth for removal. I personally don’t like dealing with washcloths since I dislike having to launder them regularly to avoid breakouts. This balm doesn’t rinse off cleanly without the cloth unfortunately, so I tend not to use it as much, but if you’re a fan of cloths this is a great but pricier option.

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Do I Need a Special Cleanser to Remove Sunscreen?

Do I Need a Special Cleanser to Remove Sunscreen?

Here’s a myth I’ve been seeing around skincare communities: that you have to use a special cleanser to remove water-resistant sunscreen. For example:

“Keep in mind that most of these sunscreen actives are also oil-soluble (only dissolves in oil, not water), which gives sunscreens their water-proof and sweat-proof properties. Therefore, in order to completely remove sunscreen, you have to use an oil, cleansing oil, emollient cleanser, or makeup remover of some kind.” (Source: Skinacea)

Have we all been leaving sunscreen on our faces before we discovered the magic of double cleansing??

Do I Need a Special Cleanser to Remove Sunscreen?

How Do Cleansers Work?

Luckily, the answer is no. A regular cleanser will remove waterproof sunscreen! The reason for this is surfactants.

Surfactants are a special class of chemical I’ve mentioned quite a few times before. They look a bit like a tadpole, with a lipophilic (oil-loving) “tail” and a hydrophilic water-loving) “head”.

Do I Need a Special Cleanser to Remove Sunscreen?

(Related posts: How Do Cleansing Balms Work?, How Does Micellar Water Work?, The Science of Face Washing)

Because of this special structure, surfactants can help oil dissolve in water and vice versa. The tail binds to oil while the head binds to water. The surfactants help the oil lift off the skin, forming little oil droplets that end up dispersed in the water as an emulsion (surfactants are also known as emulsifiers for this reason). The droplets can then be rinsed away, leaving your skin clean.

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