Dermalogica Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask Review

Dermalogica’s Clear Start line of products are targeted toward teens with acne, blackheads, oily skin and breakouts. These issues have followed me into my late 30s. I get blackheads on and around my nose and chin area that are hard to get rid of.

The Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask has a fizzy texture on application and claims to clean pores, decongest skin and target blackheads before they turn into breakouts, while facilitating blackhead extraction.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Disiloxane, Sulfur, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Kaolin, Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Polyacrylate-33, Hectorite, Butylene Glycol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Quartz, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Leaf Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Sage) Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Abies Sibirica Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Sodium Cocoyl Threoninate, Xanthan Gum, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Citrate, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Phenoxyethanol.

The key ingredients – sulfur, provides antimicrobial benefits and helps clear breakouts, kaolin clay absorbs excess oils and apple fruit extract provides some hydration. This product has a number of plant oils; I wonder if this is to cover up the sulfur scent.

Directions state to apply to clean affected areas 2 to 3 times a week, allowing the product to fully activate for 3 to 5 minutes, then rinse.

The mask has a medicinal scent, almost like a medical ginger/licorice smell. I wouldn’t say it smells like sulfur. The skin has a slight tingling sensation on application that lasts for less than a minute as less product sits on the skin while it bubbles up. I’m guessing the tingling is caused by the plant oils – ginger, spearmint, eucalyptus.

It fizzes up almost immediately on application and gets progressively more fizzy and bubbly on the skin. Once it starts fizzing, the skin tickles from the bubbles popping. Once it’s been on the skin for about 5 minutes and the bubbles have popped, it’s time to rinse.

I’ve used this for about a month, every second to third day, in the evening. I find the product a bit drying.

In the photos, the mask looks to have cleared some surface blackheads a bit. While it didn’t clear up most of the blackheads, it seemed to make them softer and easily removable. I didn’t find that my skin really felt cleaner or looked less congested as it does with a regular clay mask, but my pores looked a little better. The Clearing Fizz Mask would likely work well in conjunction with a salicylic acid serum.

I might purchase the Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask again – it does live up to the claim of facilitating blackhead extraction.

Thank you for reading.

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Amarte Daily Exfolipowder Review

Amarte is a Korean skincare company that formed an international partnership to customize their formulations for the western markets.

I bought Amarte Daily Exfolipowder at the same time as the Wonder Cleansing Foam (it was suggested to use both if doing a double cleanse routine).

Exfolipowder is suitable for all skin types and is a plant seed-based polishing cleanser that claims to be gentle enough for every day use to remove dry, dull skin.

Directions state to use morning and night, applying product to the palm of the hand, adding water and massaging into a rich lather. Gently massage on the skin in circular motion with fingertips and rinse. Amarte uses a metered dose container that dispenses the correct amount of product as the container is tipped.

Ingredients: water, Zea mays (corn) starch, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauroyl aspartate, titanium dioxide, Phaseolus radiatus seed extract, Oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, Triticum vulgare (wheat) bran extract, Salix alba (willow) bark extract, Pinus densiflora (pine) extract, pearl powder, arbutin, genistein, elemental sulfur, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, sodium palmitate, phenoxyethanol

The key ingredients, arbutin and genistein are antioxidants. Genistein apparently brightens and can prevent DNA damage (neither of which I expect to happen in a rinse-off product). Sulfur can help with breakouts.

The Daily Exfolipowder is a fine, white powder that has a light berry scent. I think the metered dose that the container dispenses is about twice what I would use for the face and neck. I have used this for a few months now, mostly daily, either after regular cleansing in the evening or as my only cleanser in the morning. While this is very gentle and doesn’t feel like it is doing much compared to other “harsher” exfoliants, my skin has a polished look and my skin feels smoother especially around my nose where I almost always have texture due to blackheads and congestion. Exfoliants with bigger grains or harsher ingredients can sting the skin or cause microtears that aren’t noticeable to the eye. I started using Retin-A a week ago and have some sensitivity, dryness and peeling, and the Exfolipowder doesn’t irritate the skin and gently exfoliants away the flakiness. While not really meant to be used as a sole cleanser, this gently cleans away lighter coverage foundation and daily debris, however, sunscreen, heavier makeup and eye makeup can benefit from a first cleanse. I like using this as a cleanser/exfoliant in the morning.

I would repurchase the Amarte Daily Exfolipowder.

Thank you for reading.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution Review

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution claims to provide skin clarity while fighting the appearance of blemishes by exfoliating the inside walls of the skin’s pores.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Water, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ethoxydiglycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 1,2-hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

The second ingredient is witch hazel which is said to help soothe skin, reduce inflammation and improve the look of pores. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that works deeper inside the pore to dissolve skin debris that clogs pores and causes breakouts.

Directions state to apply a small amount directly on spots or apply a thin all over the face in the morning and evening. This can increase sensitivity to the sun, so sunscreen is recommended.

My skin is generally oily and prone to breakouts, blackheads and large pores on and around my nose, so I wanted to try this in hopes of speeding healing of breakouts, diminishing blackheads and improving the look of pores.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid is clear and has a thin, gel-like consistency with no scent. It absorbs quickly with no sticky residue. I initially applied this in the morning and evening over spots as I saw breakouts appearing, and all over the nose and to the large pores on either side of my nose. The skin on my nose got a bit dry and starting peeling, so I applied just in the evening. I used this for 6 months.

On new breakouts, the salicylic acid stopped them from getting any worse and appearance was improved in a day or two. On larger, older breakouts healing time was improved by 2 or 3 days. The skin on and around my nose seemed to get less oily during the day.

Looking at these photos, the number and size of the blackheads has improved a bit (I think I’d expect more improvement after 6 months’ use, however). The pores on and around my nose look smaller and I have improvement in texture and clarity of the skin.

I think The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Solution works great on breakouts and pimples, but probably works better in preventing blackheads rather than removing those that are older and deeper in the skin. It helps improve the appearance and clarity of pores while reducing oil production. I think for me, getting a manual extraction of the blackheads and then using The Ordinary Salicylic Acid to prevent them would work well. I would consider purchasing this product again.

In the meantime, I am currently reviewing the Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask from Dermalogica’s Clear Start line, so stay tuned for that.

Thank you for reading.

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser/Bamboo Booster Review

Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is a new product from Drunk Elephant; a cleansing balm that claims to melt away makeup, dirt, sunscreen and water resistant formulas. This is said to be gentle around the eyes. It starts out as a thick balm, turns to oil when warmed and massaged into the skin and emulsifies into a milk when water is added on rinsing. This can be used as a standalone cleanser or as the first step in a double cleanse routine. Slaai is sold with a little tube of Bamboo Booster, a physical exfoliant.

Directions state to apply a nickel-size amount to a dry face using dry fingers, massage over the face and eyes and rinse with warm water. An option in the morning is to mix the Bamboo Booster with the cleanser for gentle physical exfoliation.

Slaai Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Lauryl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Glycerin

I had been using The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser, which functions similarly (though Slaai has a nicer texture and more spreadability; I can use less than a nickel size for the face and neck) and wanted to grab Slaai as well for comparison as it seems more affordable than most of DE’s other products (I believe I read in DE’s Instagram comments that a jar should have about 110 uses; though Wayne Goss on YouTube says about 60 uses – of course it depends how much product is used at a time).

I wear minimal, everyday makeup with waterproof eyeliner, non-waterproof mascara, eye shadow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, sunscreen from The Ordinary (which is rather thick and heavy on the skin), and the natural coverage foundation from Altilis Beauty. I have oily/combination skin that is prone to breakouts.

The Slaai Butter Cleanser has a heavy nutty and oil-like scent. The balm melts easily into an oil on the skin and spreads nicely. It removes eye makeup relatively well, with a bit of eyeliner left at the lower lash line, as above in the after photo. The foundation is removed well. After rinsing with my hands (no cloth) and patting dry, there is cleanser left on the skin, not really an oily layer like some of the liquid oil cleansers leave, but an almost waxy layer. Because of this, I had a hard time determining if my sunscreen was removed, so I applied sunscreen to half my face and used Slaai on my whole face. The side with the sunscreen felt heavier on my fingertips, so I don’t think it was all removed. Once rinsed, there is a haziness to my vision for a minute or two and my eyes feel irritated for about 15 minutes (kind of like the feeling when a breeze is blowing in my eyes and they get a bit teary). I need to use a second cleanser after using Slaai; I feel like serums and other treatments won’t absorb into the skin if this layer is left on. While I’ve only used this for a few days so far, I have gotten breakouts along my jawline; hard to say if Slaai is the cause, but the breakouts weren’t present before use.

If I use Slaai in the evening without using a second cleanser, in the morning I still feel the Slaai on my face, however, I wouldn’t say that my skin feels more moisturized. My nose feels dry. My skin looks nice in the mirror though and feels soft.

Slaai adds a nice protective layer after using a moisturizing lotion on dry hands, elbows or knees, or on the face in the shower as a mask to protect from heat and steam.

Slaai is sold with Bamboo Booster; DE has no plans to sell separately. Bamboo Booster is said to be a gentle exfoliant that removes dead, built up skin cells.

Ingredients: Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Charcoal Powder, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Mannitol, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Potassium Sorbate

This is to be used once or twice a week in the morning mixed with Slaai – morning, I’m guessing, as the face is free from makeup and dirt – I wouldn’t use this at the same time I’m cleansing a face full of makeup and sunscreen. This has tiny black spheres of charcoal powder and fine white bamboo and cornstarch powder.

Bamboo Booster is relatively gentle (not as gentle as I thought it might be) and makes my skin feel smoother, though it is recommended not to use while on a retinol, so perhaps not for those with quite sensitive skin either. More gentle exfoliants would be something like the Daily Exfolipowder from Amarte or the Rice Polish from Tatcha.

While I love the melting texture and easy spreadability of the Slaai Butter Cleanser, it leaves behind a waxy layer, hazy vision and eye irritation and doesn’t quite remove all the waterproof eyeliner or silicone-based sunscreen. The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser works better, though doesn’t feel as nice on the skin. I also prefer a more gentle, powder-based physical exfoliant. I will not be repurchasing Slaai.

Thank you for reading.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary is an noncomedogenic, balm-type cleanser suited to all skin types that can be used as a daily, standalone cleanser or the first step in a double cleanse. This claims to dissolve and trap makeup, sunscreen, dirt and debris from the skin while being gentle and moisturizing. It starts off as a balm-like texture, which turns to an oil when warmed on the skin and then turns to a milky texture when wet.

Ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Sucrose Stearate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Malic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin.

Directions state to put a bit of product into your hand and rub for 10 to 30 seconds to warm it up where it will dissolve into an oil. Massage onto dry face and rinse with warm water.

This comes in a 50 mL tube (The Ordinary will be making a bigger size) but they say only a small amount is required because the product spreads easily.

I have breakout-prone, oily/combination skin and have been using this cleanser for a few weeks now. I wanted to get an oil/balm cleanser to remove silicone-based sunscreens (I have been using The Ordinary’s sun care), light coverage foundation and waterproof eyeliner.

I started off using a two pea-size amount, but found it didn’t spread as well and go as far as I would have liked, and settled on using a nickel-size amount for the face and neck. It has a mild oil-like scent. It starts out like a balm-lotion rather than a thick balm texture like Drunk Elephant’s new Slaai Butter Cleanser.

I wear minimal, everyday makeup with waterproof eyeliner, non-waterproof mascara, eye shadow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, sunscreen from The Ordinary (which is rather thick and heavy on the skin), and the natural coverage foundation from Altilis Beauty. The Squalane Cleanser is able to remove all of the above, rinsing with my hands, no cloth. In looking at the below photo (after cleansing), there is only a smudged bit of black makeup at my outer eye left.

I don’t feel the need to use a second cleanser, as this doesn’t leave an oily or waxy film on the skin after rinsing like some oil/balm cleansers do; my skin feels moisturized rather than oily. It doesn’t leave a haze over the eyes. My eyes do not feel irritated. I didn’t get any unusual or increased breakouts while using the Squalane Cleanser. This cleanser is gentle and softens the skin. This also functions well as a mask to protect the face from heat and steam while in the shower.

While the Squalane Cleanser doesn’t spread as nicely or go as far as I had hoped (I like Drunk Elephant’s Slaai texture and spreadability), this does remove makeup and sunscreen and I would consider repurchasing the bigger size when it comes out.

Thank you for reading.