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TOP POSTS OF 2013

THE SUNDAY NIGHT FACIAL

Sources: 1/2

What do you do on Sunday nights? Nothing, probably other than sit at home depressed because tomorrow is Monday. What better way to get ready for the week than to deep clean your skin? I do this faithfully every single Sunday night to keep my face in ship shape and prevent breakouts.

Get your robe on, tie your hair back, and get ready.

Step 1: First cleanse
Start by using a balm cleanser (or coconut oil) to cleanse your face, neck and chest. I really like Ren’s balm cleanser, it is gentle and has a rose scent. Eve Lom‘s is also great (if you’re not opposed to mineral oil), as well as Darphin‘s. Massage the product in to your dry face for a minute or so, even getting the eye area to remove all makeup. (Darphin’s balm recommends avoiding the eye area, but I did it by accident, and it was fine for me and I have really sensitive eyes. Use your own judgement.

Now, grab a muslin cloth or facecloth. Soak it in the hottest water you can stand, wring it out, and apply to face. Take 3 deep breaths. Repeat this 3 times. Rinse the cloth, wring it out and rub your face with it to exfoliate.

Step 2: Extraction (optional)
You maybe have noticed that the hot water has brought some white heads to the surface. If you feel comfortable doing this, you can gently extract some of the whiteheads/blackheads at this time using some toilet paper and your fingers (stay away from the extraction tools!). I usually concentrate on the chin, nose and cheeks.

Step 3: Second cleanse
Using a gentler cleanser (I like Ren’s Mayblossom and Lancome’s Galatée Confort), apply the product to your dry face and massage for 1 minute. Repeat the washcloth method from Step 1.

Step 4: Exfoliate
Apply an exofiliating mask, such as Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask to the face. Take a breather and watch some TV for the required time.

Step 5: Tone
Since you have already exfoliate, do not apply your exfoliating toner and jump ahead to the hydrating toner. I use Nars’ Multi-Action or La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc.

Sources 1/2

Step 6: Purify
Apply a clay mask (I use one from Kiehl’s) to your face, or if your skin is dry like mine, to your problem areas (nose, chin, forehead, whatever). Wait the required time, and watch some more TV.

Step 7: Hydrate
Apply a good overnight hydrating mask to your face, neck, and even around your eyes. Some masks say that you can remove the extra lotion from your face but I just leave it on all night.

Go to sleep and get your beauty rest.

AMANDA’S CLEANSING ROUTINE

Feeling frustrated with my face (as always), and after devouring Caroline Hirons blog, I decided it was high time to revamp my cleansing routine. I had gotten lazy, relying on my Clarisonic to do most of the work, and when I wasn’t sonic-ing, my hands could not wash my face fast enough. All in all, I was really not cleansing my face properly.
In walks the Eve Lom balm cleanser, with her 8-step cleansing and massage routine with a muslin cloth. Before I knew it, I had started to love washing my face, taking lots of time to steam with a hot washcloth. And, I was enjoying the results. My complexion was already becoming clearer, brighter, and well, cleaner.
Since my skin is prone to becoming congested, I decided to take Caroline’s advice and start using an acidic toner. I was already using Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal mask once a week, and loving the results, but it scared me a bit to be using acid on my face twice a day. However, I had no reason to be afraid. Peter Thomas Roth’s toner has way less acid than the mask, but is effective at kick starting your skin into action. You epidermis will begin to turnover its cells, making way for new ones and dissolving the old ones. My skin is already getting much clearer, the scars are fading and the little red bumps under the skin are disappearing. According to her, your skin should be an acid environment so as not to promote bacteria from growing. When your skin is more alkaline, this is when bacteria spreads and acne forms.
Caroline prescribes following the acid toner with a hydrating toner. I had attempted to purchase Ren’s Hydrating Toner (Caroline approved. Ren also makes an exoliating toner.), but was not able to find it in Sephora (maybe it is not carried in Canada?). Instead, I was recommended Nars’ Multi Action Hydrating Toner, which is also supposed to aid in brightening the skin, turnover, and is alcohol-free (a quality you want in a toner. The Peter Thomas Roth toner does contain alcohol, however, it was the only exfoliating toner I was able to find at the moment. It is also the fifth ingredient listed, so I don’t believe that there is enough of it to have a negative effect.). I do love this toner, and appreciate the extra step of injecting some moisture into my dry skin. I also appreciate the bottle’s design (sleek, modern, etc.), however, the cap is kind of big and obnoxious and takes up a lot of room in my skincare storage basket (which is always overflowing).
Lastly, I have added a second cleanse to my nighttime routine. Following a good, deep cleanse from Eve, I use Ren’s Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel with a muslin cloth. This was a winner for me because it is non-foaming (a.k.a. it will not strip the skin, thus prompting my skin to produce even more oil) and it works well. My skin doesn’t feel tight afterwards, just nice and clean. Added bonus is that it helps to balance and control my oily nose area.
Further reading/watching:

EVE LOM // BALM CLEANSER

After reading this inspiring interview with Lisa Eldridge, I thought more about cleansing my face better, especially at night. I was using my Kiehl’s cleanser for acne-prone skin (for the hormonal acne on my chin), but really was being lazy about it compared to the way Lisa double-cleanses her skin. I began to think that maybe I was getting so much acne because my cleanser was too harsh and meant for oilier skin (not me), thus stripping away my face’s natural oils, prompting them to encourage even more to compensate for the dehydration.
Well, it seems I have cracked it and this was indeed the problem. I had heard so much about Eve Lom’s cleansing balm and the method of cleansing with muslin cloths. Everytime I read an interview that mentioned this cleanser, the person always would say something along the lines of “when I was using my Eve Lom cleanser, my skin looked amazing“. Well why should we be lazy with our skin? We only get one face our whole lives, so we should be taking care of it to the best of our ability.
Eve’s cleansing method is pretty intense. It includes a 7-step lymphatic massage, steaming and exfoliation with a muslin cloth. It’s quite the process, but don’t be scared–it’s really not hard and once you do it for the first time you will be addicted to how it feels. It feels like you’re giving yourself a mini-spa experience every single time. Where before I use to wash my face as fast as I could, or count down the seconds until the Clarisonic would finish, now I take my time and a few deep breaths (and rarely use my Clarisonic anymore).
You only need to do the lymphatic massage twice a week, but when I first started using this cleanser I was having one of my worst breakouts yet. I did the massage twice a day until it started to clear up and the lymphs would drain.
Even if you don’t want to use this cleanser (there is some controversy about there being mineral oil in the ingredients. I, however, love it and it doesn’t break me out, so to each his own. It’s a bestselling cleanser in the UK, so you decide.) you should still adopt a cleansing balm (my friend Joanna tells me uses Coconut oil and loves it) and massage and cleanse your face with a washcloth. You can do so much good with a cloth–steam, open your pores, properly cleanse your face and exfoliate. And you should be using one (sorry to be preachy, it has made such a difference in my skin). This particular cleanser includes essential oils in the ingredients, which makes the steaming step really open up your sinuses.
For those with acne–don’t be scared of this cleanser just because it contains oil and is a balm. It will properly cleanse your face and will help to heal acne. You need oil to remove oil, so if you are oily, so don’t be afraid. I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and it is changing my skin. My complexion is clearer, my acne is almost totally gone (I am no longer using any spot treatments or acne treatments at all) and my skin is more hydrated than ever.