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18 Feb 2014

Cleansers | February Flake-Away

February Flake-Away is a series of posts dedicated to ridding you of tired, dull, dry skin and bringing you tried and tested products, DIYs and tips to help bring back your glow.

The cold February weather can leave our skin tired, dull and in need of some TLC. To combat the effects of worn skin and help bring back some vitality and glow, here are a few tried and tested cleansers to start your skincare regimen.

The Remover
The first step to cleansing is makeup removal or, if you're not wearing any, to remove all surface 'muck' from the day (oil, pollution, dirt) so that your second cleanser can really reach down into your pores and cleanse properly. There are seemingly endless ways of removing the muck: balms, oils, wipes, lotions, pads... the list is ever-growing. I've tried, tested, hated and loved a range of 'removers' and here is the cream of the crop:

Super Facialist Vitamin C Skin Renew Cleansing Oil is a mouthful to say but oh so simple in form. This cleansing oil smells great (think fresh citrus aromas), feels lovely on the skin (not too thick), leaves your skin feeling refreshed, and looks good on the shelf (let's be real, we're suckers for good packaging design). At £10.99 for 200ml your purse will be happy, too. You need 3 or 4 drops for your whole face and the dispenser allows you to squeeze out as little or as much as you like.

LUSH Ultrabland Cleanser is a fairly new discovery for me. I have been loving pairing down my cleansing routine, using more natural, chemical-free products to give my skin a little bit of a break and reignite the glow. On the prowl for, well, blander products, this one caught my attention. This is certainly a heavier duty option than the Skin Renew cleansing oil as it's ingredients include honey, beeswax and almond oil. It's thick in texture and feels almost like smoothing vaseline onto the face, so is great for those who suffer from dry skin or if you're wanting to remove heavier or waterproof makeup. You'll be wanting to remove this one with a hot cloth but once you do, your skin will feel soft, smooth and deeply moisturised.

The Exfoliator
Exfoliation is key to getting your glow back. It sloughs off dead skin that may clog your pores and cause a breakout or begin to flake, causing your makeup to sit unevenly on your face. However, it is important to remember not to go overboard with this step as it can cause irritation and your skin may produce excess sebum if stripped of it's natural oils. Once a week is recommended and will make the world of a difference to your skins texture.

I have loved LUSH products for many moons and have fallen for yet another pot of goodness; the LUSH Dark Angels. When it comes to exfoliation I like it done properly, I want to feel it really working it's magic, and most exfoliating cleaners simply don't do it for me. I had a Goldilocks time with this one, finding that Herbalism wasn't tough enough (although I love it as an everyday cleanser) and Ocean Salt was too harsh (probably one to avoid during the colder months, too, as salt absorbes moisture and dehydrates the skin), but Dark Angels is just right. This cleanser's main ingredient is charcoal so as well as disinfecting and detoxifying, it has the perfect rough-but-not-too-rough texture.

Bioré Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser is another good'un. It's micro beads are coarse enough to properly freshen your complexion without being too grainy and it has the added benefits of salicylic acid to fight blemishes. Coming in under a fiver, this has to be categorised under a beauty bargain.

The Soother
Keeping exfoliation to once a week, for the rest of the time we want to protect and soothe. Winter weather is unforgiving and being splattered with rain and chapped with winds leaves are skin raw and in need of a bit of lovin'.

LUSH Angels on Bare Skin is packed with calming properties. The lavender oil and rose absolute soothes and protects whilst the pieces of lavender help to gentle massage the cleanser into the skin, making it perfect for every day use. 

The Moisturiser
The most noticeable attribute of winter skin is dryness. Even us oilier-skinned gals need to replenish our skin with moisture, especially through the winds and cold snaps of February.

REN ClearCalm 3 Clay Cleanser has been a saviour to my skin as it starts to chap. Sweeping this over my face, I can feel it instantly soothing and calming my angry skin and once washed off, my face feels softer than ever. A definite miracle worker for those who suffer from dry, damaged skin.

You can also make your own evening face wash from natural oils (I like sweet almond oil) and essential oils like lavender (calming), tree tree (anti-bacterial) and peppermint (cooling). I use my homemade face wash to remove makeup (it's perfect for waterproof eye-makeup, too) and whenever my skin feels sensitive or dry. Check out my evening cleanser DIY post here.

Have you tried any of these cleansers? How do you pamper your skin when it's in need?

— Coming Soon —