Cleansing oils are a great compromise between convenience and oil cleansing. I’ve tried a bunch more from Dermalogica, Shu Uemura, Hylamide, Erno Laszlo and Simple since my last review, so here are my thoughts.
Cleansing Oils vs Oil Cleansing
First, what’s the difference between cleansing oils and oil cleansing? Simply swapping the two words around makes a big difference!
Cleansing oils are oils that contain surfactants (emulsifiers) – in other words, they’re much like a mixture of oil and soap. When you apply them to your skin they act like oils, but when you add water, the soap part helps the oil dissolve in the water and rinse off your skin (they’ll look a bit milky at this stage – that’s the tiny oil droplets hanging out in the water!).
Both methods are great for removing makeup and sunscreen. However, cleansing oils are generally easier to rinse off, since the surfactant is already mixed thoroughly in the oil. I’d still recommend double cleansing by following the cleansing oil with a cleanser (exception: if you weren’t wearing anything too heavy on your skin to begin with, and the cleansing oil is compatible with your skin). Even though cleansing oils should theoretically come off when you rinse with water, sometimes they aren’t formulated with quite enough surfactants for complete removal. There are tons of reports of cleansing oils breaking people out, so it’s a good idea to test it on a small area of skin before using it too liberally before a big event!
My face is naturally darker than my body despite me using a ton of sunscreen, so I’vebeenfaketanning in an effort to stop me from looking like a mime artist. But now I’ve gone too far and my body is usually a shade darker. While I could just use fake tan on my face, it feels wrong to use a body product there, like I’m just asking for a breakout, plus fake tan works best right on the skin and gradual tans are usually quite thick in texture. So I’ve been testing out some lighter products purposely designed for the face instead: Tan-Luxe The Face Raspberry & Rose Self-Tan Drops, Hylamide Glow Balance Booster and St Tropez Luxe Facial Tanning Oil. For comparison, I’ve also included Hand Chemistry which I’ve reviewed before, since I mostly used it on my face.
Dihydroxyacetone has a bad reputation because of older versions where impure DHA caused the reaction to go more of an unnatural orange than yellow.
Erythrulose is a newer fake tan ingredient that’s a bit larger than DHA, so it works slower but penetrates deeper and you end up with a more gradual tan that lasts longer. (Erythrulose was developed by someone who reads Lab Muffin – hello Roland if you’re reading this!)
None of these are really “oils”, even when labelled as such – dihydroxyacetone and erythrulose are both water-soluble, so they’ll be in a mixture that’s mostly water.
Most of these contain lots of humectants to counteract the drying effect that dihydroxyacetone and erythrulose.
Make sure you wash your hands with soap after application! Fake tanner ingredients stick harder to dead skin, so you fingertips are really prone to staining.
By the same token, make sure you don’t apply these products on dry patches of skin. Either avoid those spots, or apply a moisturiser on them to prevent patchy staining.
Tan-Luxe The Face Raspberry & Rose Self-Tan Drops
Tan-Luxe The Face Raspberry & Rose Self-Tan Drops (available from TVSN if you’re from Australia) is a product that’s designed to mix in with your regular cream or serum. You can add as many drops to adjust to the shade you want.
It’s $74.95 for a 30 mL bottle on TVSN which is on the pricey side, but you also end up using less product since you’ll only be using a few (2-3) drops each time. I only ever use 2 drops max, since I don’t want to wake up like an oompa loompa (yes, it will turn you orange if you don’t proceed with caution!). It’s mixed well with all the water-based serums and moisturisers I’ve used so far, but I expect that it doesn’t work that well with oilier products.
I found that it was quite easy to stuff up while applying this and end up streaky. Make sure you mix the tan drops evenly into your cream on your hand, and make sure you also apply it very evenly.
Scent-wise, it stands up to the claim that it doesn’t smell too strongly like DHA, but it’s still detectable. The product alone has a strong raspberry scent that I found a little offputting, but once diluted into a cream it was quite nice. It contains a few nourishing ingredients – glycerin, raspberry seed oil, rose geranium oil, vitamin E and aloe vera – but the fact you only use a few drops means they aren’t as effective. Just make sure you use a good moisturiser with it.
Last week I reviewed NIOD – this week I’m reviewing some products from Hylamide, another brand under the Deciem umbrella. Hylamide is a bit less pricey than NIOD, but researching the ingredients in these products was possibly more of a mammoth task than for NIOD. While NIOD tends to have more “silver bullet”, one-ingredient products, Hylamide formulas have a greater range of actives which act together to accomplish the same goal. The products I tried were SubQ Anti-Age Serum, Pore Control, HA Blur, Pore Delete and Photography Foundation.
SubQ Anti-Age Serum
SubQ Anti-Age Serum ($59.95 AUD for 30 mL) is a hydrating treatment that targets lines, wrinkles and skin texture. It contains 5 types of hyaluronic acid and a handful of peptides. Unfortunately, most of the actives don’t have independent studies, so it’s difficult to say how effective they are, but here are the claims:
Copper lysinate/prolinate: should help copper ions enter the skin, where it’s used in collagen production.
Nonapeptide-3 retino-complex: a peptide/retinol combo that’s supposed to work as well as retinol with less irritation.
Palmitoyl tripeptide-38: Hylamide calls this an “advanced form of Matrixyl”, a popular anti-aging peptide that can reduce the appearance of lines and even out skin texture.
Hyaluronic acid: non-animal-origin, two forms of very-low-molecular hyaluronic complex, a novel hyaluronic acid precursor, tamarind-derived plant hyaluronic form. I’m not entirely sure what they all are, but it sounds like they’d all act as water-holding humectants that can hydrate skin at various depths, much like the awesomely hydrating hyaluronic acid products from For Beloved One.
SubQ comes in a dropper bottle which I quite liked. It smells a little weird (like very weak beer, probably from the hydrolysed yeast extract) but it’s unnoticeable after a few minutes. The serum sinks into skin very quickly, and would be suitable to use during the day (though I only used it at night). I could definitely feel the increased hydration while using this product – my cheeks were plump and bouncy and smooth in the morning.
Pore Control Booster ($29.95 AUD for 30 mL) is a serum that’s designed to reduce oil and pores. However, instead of drying out the skin like you’d normally expect, it’s actually designed to increase skin hydration, using actives to decrease the appearance of pores and sebum instead.
Again, there’s the problem where the active ingredients aren’t substantiated by independent studies. The actives Pore Control contains are:
Bitter mushroom concentrate: causes pores to be less visible in number and size
Marine ferments: balance out shiny appearance without drying out skin
Pistacia lentiscus tree resin: skin looks and feels more “pure”
Surface balance peptides: improve skin texture without skine
Zinc PCA, niacinamide and panthenol: reduces shine and sebum
The best supported ingredient here is niacinamide, which has been found to reduce sebum and pore size in a few studies, though it’s far from a sure bet. Niacinamide has a whole host of benefits apart from sebum and pore reduction, and it’s ingredient number 3 in this product, so if nothing else, this is a great niacinamide serum. I didn’t notice a huge reduction in pores or sebum while using this, but my skin is quite hydrated and healthy otherwise so I’m not sure there’s much that can be done. It works really well under sunscreen and makeup, so if you’re after a daytime niacinamide product this could be a contender.