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When shopping for Clinique products, it's always best to look online first, because those women could sell you expensive air and you would leave with a smile on your face. Clinique on a whole is a nice brand to use, generally as gentle as simple, but more effective (and in turn, more expensive). But if you are serious about blemishes and feel like you've tried everything, Clinique's three step anti blemish program (of which this is number two) isn't a bad idea. Personally I have suffered from blemishes since I left school and have tried everything to the point of feeling hopeless. When I first went into my local Clinique branch (for help) they assigned me to their first three step range. The range was lovely to use but did nothing to get rid of my spots, so I went back in to exchange them for the anti blemish range. The Clarifying lotion I'm reviewing today is the second step in the program, but can be used to some degree of success if you substitute the other two steps, they are after all a basic notion of wash, exfoliate and moisturize. The Clarifying lotion is the exfoliation stage, but rather than a 'scrub' as is often it is a lotion that takes away the top layer of dead skin cells. For sensitive skin this CAN be ideal as it is a gentle yet effective alternative to the scrubs. The first thing I would tell you was that just because you have spots does not mean this is the product for you, you need to look at your skin type; the reason you become spot prone. If you suffer from dry, sensitive skin your skin will be trying to compensate with oil, i.e spots. So you should be using the first or second step clarifying lotion as you want to exfoliate but not dry out further. If you have an oily skin type you will need to be using the third version or the anti blemish version as these are stronger and will help to strip the oils that are causing your pores to block. If you go into your local Clinique they can help to determine your skin type and if they do get it wrong (as with me) you can exchange them for more appropriate products (I even took in empty bottles, so do not hesitate, you have been miss sold products after all). The lotion itself has the texture and density of water, simply dab onto some cotton wool and sweep across the face. Although it is tempting to rub it into your skin, assuming the more of a good thing idea, you must not. This is an exfoliant and will dry you out if not used properly. DO NOT forget to shake the bottle vigorously as there is a white liquid at the bottom of the bottle that needs to be mixed with the majority. When you first use the lotion you may feel a slight tingle, but this will pass and after a long day of subjecting your skin to outside environments you will feel fresh and rejuvenated. If you use it in the morning it will set you up for a fresh faced day and if you use it again before bed it will help to wind down and relax. It is scentless so you aren't left with a chemical after smell. As for the blemishes, this wasn't enough for me, I needed to combine with PanOxyl cream (which I have also reviewed) to keep my spots at bay. But as exfoliation is essential, this lotion plays a big part in my routine and I've no doubt those with less aggressive skin will have even better results. If you are a fake tan fan this is a great product to use before as it exfoliates and takes off any traces of dirt you might have and will set you up for an even tan. Also if you have an undesired tan stain somewhere on your body you can use the lotion to help take it of faster, for this you will need to rub. Obviously the skin on your leg has more resistance than your face and a following of moisturizer will prevent any possible dryness that could occur. If you suffer from allergy's this is also a wise product to use, as with all Cliniques products the lotion is put through a rigorous allergy test, so that should put your mind at ease. The price varies at different times of the year, it is definitely a wise idea to wait for Debenhams to reduce it by ten percent as this happens a lot. At around fifteen pounds the price is steep, but my bottles last me beyond three months, where as a scrub of five pounds can last you three weeks, so the price does pay off in the end, whilst you receive a Clinique quality product. So to sum up, a good product. Didn't cure my stubborn blemishes, but helped alot.
Ohhhh St. Tropez, I want to love you, really I do. But you release products like this and I don't know where to stand in this love hate relationship. Since a close friends mother developed skin cancer I have become a self confessed seasoned false tanner. Instant false tan however is something that's never appealed to me, why spend out and put all that effort in just to wash it off in the morning? Why ever. Recently however I was pushed into delving into this wash off world when getting ready for a night out. A few days off my tanning routine, feeling like a ghastly ghost a friend offered me a squirt of instant fake bake before a long awaited night out. Never a fan of the extreme colour attached to fake bake I wasn't tempted to buy the product myself. So to insure I would never find myself in this situation again, I decide I needed a good instant fake tan for such emergencies. ST. Tropez as a brand is notoriously hit and miss. Some of their products will deliver you from bland to tanned in a beautiful manor and some will leave you streaky and orange. I had high hopes for their instant tanner, I'm not sure why, probably the old, 'you get what you pay for' mentality. Not a slogan to live by clearly. The first time I tried it I exfoliated my legs and set to work with this experiment. I used a mitt to add a generous amount to one of my legs. Most fake tans main irritant is that they take ages to dry and your left to wait for this. St. Tropez instant however seems to dry as you apply it, and as you spread it around you rub off bits that have already dried. Not good. Streaks galore. So I washed off and went it to attempt two. I did find it easy to wash away, as soon as the 'tan' came into contact with water it raced off down the drain which at the time I was glad of. Had this been rain or sweat I might not have been so happy with its easy removal so perhaps a happy medium is something St. Tropez should look into. The second time around I literally added a dot and smoothed it in as fast as I could without scrubbing. This seemed to work better and after a good ten minutes spent on each leg I was left with a colour I was happy with and was happy to leave the house in shorts. As the day went on my tan seemed to, for want of a better word, dry out. Patches began to emerge and the tan seemed to come off in small black beads of dried tan. As my legs were ruined anyway I ran my finger along one of them and left behind a white line and a black finger. I have tried the product since, determined to find the secret, but I cannot find it. As I sit here reviewing I have one perfect leg and one patch worked leg. So my search for the perfect instant tan continues, If I can find an instant tan with this colour GREAT, but it will need to last for more than a few hours to be considered a success. For now I'll have to get my 'faux glow' from my trusted gradual self tanner. This tan ranges from 10 - 15 pounds a pop, outrageous money for a tube that will now rot in the back of the cupboard. Almost cannot believe St. Tropez would attach their name to this product.
Walking through boots it's hard not to get drawn to the brand that dons retro pin up girls and cleaver puns. Soap and glory have been on the shelves since around 2006 and since have flourished not only because of their cleaver marketing ploys, some of their products prove to be worth the price tag. Soap and glory's 'Scrub of Your Life' claims to leave elbows suddenly silky, remove the bumps from the back of your arms and leave you feeling you can conquer all. Bold words draped over this arrogant, little, pink tube do prove to have some precedence. The product itself is a clear gel with fairly large pink beads. The smell isn't something you'll ring your friends to boast about, but it isn't off putting and doesn't stick to you. The instructions tell you to, 'wet down in the shower, squeeze out a hand full of the scrub of your life and get a smooth on', easy. The first time i used this, I popped a sploge on my leg and went to rub it in, not so easy, this created a blob that stuck to my leg and I had to add more water so as to disperse around the rest of my leg. So my advice would be to sploge into your hand first and rub your palms together, you can also use exfoliating gloves or a mitt, these will add to the scrub and prevent your hands from becoming a bit raw. If you do use your hands pop a bit of hand cream on afterwards to prevent dryness. One thing I noticed was that it foamed up, I've never come across this before but I suppose its tied in the moisturizing aspect that it boasts, it certainly makes application easier and adds to the luxury factor. When I use it I always scrub towards my heart, this improves circulation which overall benefits skin. The scrub is a bit stubborn to wash off because it is a rich product but if you scrub as you rinse it should come off with ease. The result is impressive, you will feel soft enough so that you don't need to moisturize afterwards and you don't need to scrub vigorously to get a result. This scrub is often marketed as a good scrub to use before applying false tan (often on the boots website). Personally I wouldn't recommend this, due to the added moisturizer within it. If you moisturize soon before a tan it affects how well the tan will 'stick' to you and your tan will not last you as long as it normally would. I would recommend a scrub like st ives and apply a little moisturizer to your dryer areas (such as your knees and elbows) and then apply moisturizer when your tan has developed. One draw back that surprised me was the packaging, at first I thought I would enjoy the product being in a tube, and I did, until it was running out. If your like me, when you spend out on a quality product you do tend to 'scrape the barrel' to get every drop. The frustrating thing is there is always a small amount that you cannot get out when the product is running low. I won't lie I did go at the bottle with a pair of hair dressing scissors, at 6.50 a bottle I don't feel embarrassed by this, but obviously it isn't ideal. I love buying this scrub at christmas for friends and relatives, its such an easy present because it suits so many people and the packaging is so fun and engaging. It is also worth waiting for the 3 for 2 offers because they come by a lot with soap and glory. So overall a good, fun product that does what it says on the tin, with a few design flaws but as scrubs go, a definite winner.
Suffering from acne at any age can be traumatic, not only because of the undesirable aesthetics but because it hurts. One of the most frustrating aspects tied in with acne is the fact its so flippantly regarded by those not afflicted. This skin disorder that affects so many can lead to scaring, infection and after time often wears the sufferer down. Any sufferer will tell you they have a small graveyard of half empty bottles and tubes of washes and creams that have not done the trick and are therefore left out of pocket and are left feeling hopeless. I was one of these people until I read about PanOxyl. Like many I didn't suffer until after school and I found this made things difficult because acne treatments aren't aimed at adults, the information is harder to get hold of because the majority of your friends and colleague's 'grew out' of acne years ago the few spot remedies aimed at an older age group are designed to treat the 'odd' spot that might appear. I came across a product called 'pro active' that had wide spread approval from celebrities and acne suffers alike. The only aspect to put me off was the price, having spent well over 200 pounds in my quest for a clear complexion, I was dubious to part with over 50 on a product that held the same claims as so many others that had tried and failed. So I looked into the active ingredient which I found to be a chemical called 'Benzoyl Peroxide'. Benzoyl Peroxide is a chemical that has a drying and peeling affect, which is why it is found to be so affective on problem skin. I was excited to find out it could be bought in the form of a cream called 'PanOxyl' and even more excited to find out the cost was bellow 3 pounds ! So what was another 3 pounds to discover this miracle cream? My trip to boots took place asap. So I got home with my latest tube and as always paid careful attention to the leaflet inside. I was warned that benzoyl was known to cause dryness, peeling and bleaching to fabrics. Scary stuff. The first victim to fall foul of not heading these warnings were the fairly new pair of chinos I wore during application. WASH your hands immediately after use, if not for your sake for your clothes, its not fair on them. So I used my normal cleanser and applied the cream not only to the individual spots I had but the areas surrounding them, it dried fairly quickly which I was happy about and rushed off to bed to have sweet dreams of spotless skin. I woke up to find very little difference, which was a disappointment but I did notice there wasn't a new spot to greet and squeeze as usually there would be which was a nice surprise. So the following evening I repeated this method and went to bed expecting to wake up with very little difference. What I woke up with was very different to what I went to bed with. I first noticed my skin was red and almost glowing, it wasn't sore but It definitely looked it and I was quick to apply some (anti blemish) Moisturizer to the affected areas. I went about my day and whilst at work I discovered I had a small cut in one of the areas I had applied it. After returning home I layered my face in moisturizer and tried not to 'crack' to wide a smile until the dryness had subsided. After this experience I fell out with my PanOxyl and we didn't speak for a week while my skin returned to a normal colour. Although this experience was off putting, I had noticed within my healing week I hadn't had a new spot and the spots I had were getting smaller and less aggressive despite using moisturizer more often then I usually would. Needless to say I gingerly made up with the tube and added a SMALL amount again that night. It says in the leaflet that skin will get used to the benzoyl and I've found this to be true, no more cracks and no more dryness than is needed to fight back my oily complexion. My new routine consists of cleansing in the morning and applying anti blem moisturizer and cleansing again in the evening then applying the PanOxyl. I also exfoliate often to combat the 'peeling' effect. I believe it works because Skin becomes oiler as you sleep and you shed skin cells that become trapped in your oily pores and create spots. By drying the skin out at night and letting the antibacterial effect of the benzyl peroxide take place, spots find it harder form. So here you have, the secret cure at a shockingly low price. If you do choose to try this remember you will need to persevere with it, but the results can be incredible. You can buy the PanOxyl cream in three strengths (2.5%, 5% and 10%) which is really for you to decide, I flit between 5% and 10% because my skin has become used to it so you may want to start lower. My skin hasn't been so clear for years and regimes I've spent beyond 40 pounds haven't had such an effect. PanOxyl contains - benzoyl peroxide, carbomer, di-isopropanolamine, propylene glycol, macrogol lauryl ether, sodium lauryl sulphate and purified water. So if you no yourself to be allergic to any of these, not the product for you.
The general self confessed tan addicts of this world will openly admit to having tried and tested the majority of self tans, and I confess to my involvement in this game of trial and error. 'Sun kissed moisturizers' promise to leave you feeling soft skinned, hydrated and of course sporting a healthy glow. Unfortunately there are many big branded tanning moisturizers that will leave you greasy, streaky and orange, not the desired look for the masses. Last year I discovered Palmers Bronzing Gradual Tan in superdrug, having used palmers body butter religiously since discovery, I decided to extend this trust to their tanning alternative. The first thing I enjoyed about this product was the pump, why brands that specialize in self tan haven't caught on to this revelation I do not know, tubes of self tan generally end up greasy and generate a streaky orange look themselves, enter pump; no more spoilt bottles. The second thing I noticed was the smell of the product, Palmers is after all famous for its chocolaty scent, some may assume you work at a bakery but this is clearly a better assumption then those that lead from the usual old tea bag odor that so many tans omit. The smell will last for a couple of days and if you want to keep it up but keep at your current shade simply apply some palmers body butter. A large flaw often found with sun kissed moisturizers is that they take multiple applications to build up a considerable colour, palmers does not. One application will leave you a considerable shade so if you're pale skinned it might be an idea to mix with a normal moisturizer or use sparingly to make the tan more realistic. The final thing to look forward to is how long this product will last you, if you look after your tan it can last you beyond a week, which means less pumps and less purchases. The price is also a sigh of relief at 5 - 6 pounds and when used correctly will keep you tanned beyond a month, you might even keep costs down by using your general moisturizer less often as this product leaves your skin soft and supple, a welcomed side effect. So take it from someone that found out the hard way, this product is one I cannot recommend highly enough and doesn't yet have the recognition it so strongly deserves.