My first ‘good’ skincare product was a kit of Fresh skincare products; cleanse and moisturize was the goal. I remember my thoughts the first time I used it; I felt bored. The cleanser left my skin comfortable and the moisturizer was lightweight, both facts which ran counter to my idea of a good thorough clean followed by a thick layer of occlusive hydration. I only realized how much my skin had improved months later when I switched to something else, and it was then that I made a point to try Fresh’s seaberry oil, umbrian clay treatment bar, and umbrian clay lotion; all became staples in my routine for over a year of controlling acne and oiliness. As always I become bored of things and move along, but it was a pleasant opportunity to revisit the brand where it all began for me.
For a few weeks I have been making proper use of the binge masking routine, that is, masking every day. Excessive, possibly, but it is rather nice to carve out ten minutes each day to do a proper balancing treatment for the skin. I started with a gentle cleanse of the skin (my current favourite is Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser) followed by a thin layer of Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask. Composed of a high mineral content, this mask acts to balance the skin and is a brilliant—and surprisingly non-drying?—fixture in a routine for often-irritated skin. After five minutes I rinsed then followed with a more generous layer of Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. This mask was newer to me, and I was surprised by how much it knocked away redness in my skin which is a permanent fixture along my forehead and nose. It does have a rather gentle cooling sensation on the skin, but I cannot pinpoint the ingredient which gives it that property though it is a rather nice way to start the day. I followed with the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream, which is a favourite of mine for almost three years now as it tackles a little bit of everything (hydration, elasticity, antioxidants) with a complex of ingredients rather than resting upon one single component.
So while my daily routine may not be Fresh (instead more clinical in nature), Fresh is a classic which should not be overlooked for those who want to take a moment and experience their skincare.
Disclaimer: Products mentioned were given as a gift from Fresh with no obligation for promotion, I have simply enjoyed Fresh for years and thought it best to share my experience.
A different format, one where I can spend less time on aesthetics and more time on sharing my thoughts on the newest products in the beauty and skincare industry.
I have taken another look at Tata Harper. In the morning I have been experimenting with the Purifying and Regenerating cleansers, and I now remember how much I enjoyed using them last year. Purifying gives a deep clean with a light lemon scent, while Regenerating leaves my skin rather luminous. Neither would make for a great twice-daily cleanse for anyone but the most oily of skins; instead I would alternate them with a gentle oil cleanse (perhaps the Nourishing Oil Cleanser). As for the Rejuvenating Serum, I have been using it in the morning as a moisturizer. It hydrates and illuminates brilliantly. Every other day I have been using the Resurfacing Mask, which has sloughed away any rough texture resulting from my retinol. Tata is a great brand to consider if skincare is an experience for you, and you value naturals.
In the spirit of a new year—though I never have much thought for the turning-over of a number—I took today to begin the rebuild of my skin from the last few weeks of gift buying, long days at work, travelling, and preparing for the winter semester. I have already brought back NIOD CAIS into my routine, after spending a great deal of time reading academic papers on inflammation; trust me, copper is a good thing. After reading the January edition of the Victoria Health newsletter I was inspired to share my adapted NIOD cleanse routine, something I hope to incorporate weekly as the results are truly remarkable.
As for my goals this year, I am working very hard to not set any; I always find myself far more willing to excel if I am left limitless. On the whole though, you can expect more intelligent writings here on the blog, and a refined selection of product reviews. Personally I am cleaning out most of the no-good products in my drawers and trying to limit my intake of gluten, sugar, and dairy in an effort to become Gwyneth Paltrow (and better my skin and body). Now, onto the cleanse.
The Weekly NIOD Cleanse Routine
Components: NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester, NIOD Sanskrit Saponins, NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, NIOD Flavanone Mud, NIOD Myrrh Clay, NIOD Mastic Must, NIOD Hydration Vaccine.
Indication: Congestion, dullness, enlarged pores, unbalanced sebum production, irritation, redness, areas of dryness, puffiness.
Frequency: Weekly, either morning or evening.
Aftercare: Makeup application is discouraged.
Substitutions: Replace Hydration Vaccine with Voicemail Masque for the further benefit of improved cellular communication.
- If makeup is present, dispense NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester into the centre of one palm. Spread the liquid across both palms, then massage into the skin using upward, slow, firm motions. Continue until makeup is removed. Gently rinse with tepid water. Pat skin with a clean towel until dry.
- Squeeze a large dollop of NIOD Sanskrit Saponins in the palm of one hand. Wet the other hand. Massage both hands together to form a creamy paste. Starting on the cheeks and shifting outwards toward the ears, press the paste into dry skin using firm, slow motions. Take the time to breath between presses. Now press paste onto the temples, along the forehead, down the nose, and onto the chin. Let activate for five minutes. Gently rinse with tepid water. Pat skin dry.
- Mist face with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, four or more spritzes should do.
- Take a dollop of NIOD Flavanone Mud on the tip of a finger and draw a line along each cheek, then across the forehead, and then down the centre of the face. Smooth the lines outward, avoiding the eye area, until a thin layer coats the entire face. Relax for twenty minutes. Generously wet your hands with water and, with force, hold your cheeks for a count of five. Do the same with your forehead. Take more water and massage the face, loosening the mud from the skin. Continue until face is clear of residue. Pat skin dry.
- Mist face with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist.
- In the same manner as the NIOD Flavanone Mud, apply NIOD Myrrh Clay. Pay special attention to taking Myrrh Clay down along the neck and across the chest to promote a tauter appearance. Remove Myrrh Clay in the same manner as NIOD Flavanone Mud. Pat skin dry.
- Squeeze a generous dollop of NIOD Mastic Must in the palm of both hands. Apply to the face in upward, slow, sweeping motions beginning along the jawline and moving upward to the top of the forehead. Relax for ten minutes. Remove in the same manner as NIOD Flavanone Mud. Pat skin dry. On a low-heat setting, use a blowdryer to further activate the blurring properties of Mastic Must. Close your eyes and slowly move the airflow across the face. Spend no longer than fifteen seconds.
- Mist face with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist.
- Take a small bit of NIOD Hydration Vaccine in the palm of one hand. Smooth Hydration Vaccine across the other hand, then apply to the face in upward, slow, sweeping motions beginning along the neck and moving upward to the top of the forehead.
Working in the beauty industry means I receive bags of new products to try. I never love everything, but after trying something I can usually come up with an ideal client for it. Now, while these bags of goodies are one of my favourite parts of the job, my skin is far from perfect and it needs consistency and serious treatment products. This means that sometimes I have to push the newness away for a bit and pick products for me rather than everyone else. When I do that, the answer is always Deciem.
While I tried to do a gentle oil cleanser in the morning, my skin became rather congested and I had to scale it up a notch. I use NIOD Sanskrit Saponins on wet skin after the shower, let it sit for a minute, then massage and rinse. Next I mask with NIOD Mastic Must every other day. This is a brilliant product and one that leaves your skin—I exaggerate not even the slightest—clear of any visible pores. Think of it as a primer that lasts two days. Next is hydration with Hylamide SubQ Face, banishing dark circles and dehydration lines with SubQ Eyes, blemish calming with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, and a healthy dose of colour from Hylamide Glow.
To remove any complexion makeup and pollution from the city I use NIOD Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester, followed by NIOD Sanskrit Saponins. With NIOD SS still on my face I go in with my Clarisonic Mia Fit, which has done nothing but surprise me. I feel so clean and smooth from it, and despite the qualms of it removing one’s natural acid mantle I am rather enjoying it every night. After rinsing I follow with Hylamide SubQ Face and SubQ Eyes, then The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%. This vitamin A emulsion has been the first product that has noticeably eliminated my cystic acne, nearing the point where I only have the occasional spot with only a month of use. If you have persistent acne that has not responded to other treatment, get yourself to vitamin A (and stay properly hydrated!).
I have been vigilant with this routine for about a month now and have seen a massive improvement in my skin; never before has it been this clear of blemishes. More than that, it feels comfortable and I feel more confident. All in all, Deciem you are one of my favourites.
Type of product?
Calming, soothing and lightly exfoliating gel face mask.
What does it claim?
Cucumber extract and aloe hydrate, calm and de-puff the appearance of skin. Papaya, pineapple, sugar maple and sugarcane extracts soften the appearance of skin. Chamomile extract soothes. Orange and lemon extract tone and minimize the appearance of pores. Bilberry extract protects against free-radical damage.
How should I use it?
Refrigerate to cool. Wash with your regular cleanser. Dry skin. Apply a thick layer. Leave for twenty minutes or longer; may be left on overnight or during the day as a thick moisturizer. Use three times a week.
This mask is a treat and my favourite mask to lightly exfoliate and hydrate skin. I use it twice a week during the morning and leave it on for the entire day; this is my thick moisturizer of choice on cold, blustering days. It acts as a perfect base for the day.
After use my skin looks bright, pores appear minimized, and skin feels hydrated. I find this helps calm any blemishes that I may have at any given moment; an added and unadvertised bonus.
Not only do I find this mask effective, the price is more than fair. For the sticker price you get 5oz., more than double competing masks. Effective and affordable, this mask will be a constant repurchase.
Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask is available for about $60 at Sephora or BeautyBay.
Watch the accompanying On The Shelf video here, on YouTube.